Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fear Revisited

As Calvin and Georgia's birthday approaches, I have thought to myself over the last couple of weeks that I should write his story. I know many of the babylost mamas who read my blog know the basics of what happened to my son but there is something inside me telling me to get it all out, to write it down. It seems though that as much as I want to write about my experience with Calvin, from his diagnosis during my pregnancy to his birth, surgery and death that there is something holding me back. I'm pretty sure that something is fear. I have spent so much of the last year trying to get over the pain, the horror and the guilt I have felt in regards to Calvin's death that I am afraid of revisiting those feelings and bringing up all the pain I've been trying desperately to keep at bay. Maybe I need to. Maybe putting down our experience will help me get out some of the anguish I've been holding inside. Maybe it will help me to come to terms with some of the anger and incredible hurt I am harbouring towards myself and my body's failure to put my child together properly. I'm really scared to go there again. I'm afraid it will be like ripping off the scab on a wound that's slowly healing and that the pain will be raw and fresh as the day he died. It's very unlike me to be at a loss for words like I have been lately. There is so much going on in my head right now, it's hard to find a place to start with things. I have so many emotions about my daughter's first birthday and the guilt I feel about celebrating her life and not his. I also feel guilt about shadowing her special milestones with my grief and don't want her life to be lived in the aftermath of Calvin's death. It's so unfair. To Georgia, to Calvin and to me, Shane and Lorelei. It's such a conundrum, the do I or don't I, should I or shouldn't I. I'm clearly messed up and not sure of myself right now.

Today as I read Lea's letter to Nicholas, I could completely relate to the pain she is going through as Nicholas's angel date approaches. I'm there too. Right beside her, just a few days behind and the feeling is one of dread. How do you mark the one year anniversary of your baby's death? How do you mark the day and fill it with meaning when it hurts so much to even think that it's been a year already? I've been so preoccupied with the thought of Calvin's angel day that I almost recoiled in horror the other day realizing my girl is turning one and I have no idea where the last year has gone. While Georgia holds a particularly special bit of my love because of the circumstances of her birth and what she has lived in as a result, I realized with guilt that much of her first year was spent with me in a complete haze. I'm sure the grief has blocked out alot of my memory from her early days but it's been my numbing out with medication to escape the pain of losing Calvin that's cost me much of the wonder of my beautiful girl's first year. I'm sad about it. Sad for her that I didn't take as many pictures as I should have, didn't write her milestones down in her babybook, didn't spend as much carefree happy time with her that Lorelei got in her first year. Much of Georgia's first months were spent on autopilot, getting up to feed her, change her, hold her and put her down to sleep, repeat. I don't know how I got out of bed some days to do it and to be honest, there were days I didn't want to. I wanted to stay in bed and cry and mourn and sleep and think about Calvin without any distractions but I couldn't. But at the same time, she was my reason for carrying on with things and I am so grateful to have her to fill my arms with her gorgeous baby chub while I was so horribly grief stricken. I want desperately to give her more of myself in the next year, to not be so preoccupied with thoughts of Calvin and his death but I need to honour my son as well. It's so difficult to find a balance when you lose one of two babies.

I may or may not post his story in the coming days. I'm finding it so hard just to acknowledge the year mark that I don't know if I can dredge up those feelings of loss as if they were fresh again. I want to do it for him, so that the women I've come to know and love can read his story and understand what happened to him. I just don't know if I have it in me to do it. I do have so much admiration for those of you that have written down your baby's stories, had the courage to post their pictures after they have passed away, and have reached out to help others in the process by doing sweet things like making momentos or keepsakes for other mothers suffering in loss. I'm so self centred in my own grief I haven't found it in me to do it, although I would like to do something for the other mothers very much. I would also like to find the courage to post Calvin's pictures, after surgery and as he lay dying in our arms. I am afraid to now knowing that some of the family is reading my blog and I don't want them to be hurt by his image. I'm just so damn stuck right now and it's making me even more upset that I can't seem to find my way about this milestone in my children's lives. I need a hug and a cup of courage and an ounce or two of strength to get through these coming days so that I may both celebrate the births of my twins one year ago and that I mark a year of mourning for the loss of my son.


  1. Oh Margaret. I don't have any words. Thinking of you and Shane so much as you approach Calvin & Georgia's birthday. You are in heart and in my prayers.
    It would be an honour to read Calvin's story if you ever want to share it. So much love to you xo

  2. I can relate to so much of how you feel. I didn't lose one of two babies, but I still had to be a mommy as well. I struggled with the pain pills and still find it quite difficult not to take them even now. I don't know what it's like where you live, but here, if the dr. doesn't give them to you, they're everywhere on the street, even in rural place away from the city.
    I feel like Ivy hasn't had near as much of me as she deserves since her sister died. I feel incredibly guilty that I was so self absorbed that I didn't bring her in to meet her sister. I was single and trying to figure this all out on my own, and I didn't know what I should say to her. She was five and very smart, and many days I feel I caused her more pain than I should have.
    I have to think of it this way..We do the best we can. There is no instruction manual and many of us were not even thinking about our babies dying. We couldn't have prepared ourselves. Even if we knew that one of our babies was going to die, we wouldn't know what it would do to us until we experienced it.
    Margaret, you did the best you knew how.
    I believe you will find a balance. You will find a way to celebrate Georgina's life while grieving Calvin's.

    I think you should write Calvin's story only if you want to. It will help I think, even though it will hurt. As far as pictures of him, well, it's possible that the images in the minds of your IRL people may be worse than the actuality. Even if it's not, it may help them to better understand what you went through.
    The only pictures I have of Zoe where I could actually see what she looked like, is the one on my sidebar, in her casket.

    Thinking of you, and sending my love,

  3. I think writing your story might help you, like you said get all those emotions out. I'm here either way for you.


  4. The day will be bittersweet, but I think you should focus on celebrating both of your babies on November 10th. Celebrate the miracles they are, the fighter that Calvin was, the life that Georgia has had so far. Rejoice. November 16th, is the day to honour Calvin, his Angelversary. They are 2 seperate days, 2 seperate circumstances.

    No matter what you do, it will be the right thing. Its hard to wonder what the right thing is, but in the moment you will just know.

    I wrote my kids birth stories right after they were all born. I needed to get down the inportant information, things I knew I would forget as the days and weeks went on. I have never read any of them since, even those of my living children. Maybe one day I will, but for now knowing they are there does bring me some peace. I know I will always have those memories in ink, even if they weren't always the happiest.

    Lots of *hugs* on the days ahead.

  5. Today, I talked about you with a friend here. I told her how sad you felt about "missing" so much of Georgia's first year. "Tell her to have her family and friends write down all of their memories of Georgia's first year," said my friend...

    Thinking of you and wishing I could send that cup of courage and ounce of strength.

    PS. I do smile when I talk.