Springtime Sorrows

Spring is here and I think I am having an emotional breakdown. My mind keeps drifting back to a year ago when I was excitedly awaiting the birth of my third son. With every day that passes it sinks in deeper that he’s never coming home.

It’s starting to hit me that I will deal with his death my entire life. It’s not just something that’s going to fade away.

Every time I see a pregnant woman I am going to worry a little for her baby’s well-being as well as envy her for the life she carries. When I see a tiny, newborn baby — alive and well — I’ll wonder what it would have been like to hold a healthy, happy Luca. And when I see a family with three or more kids in tow, I’ll think of what life would have been like with my third.

I feel stressed, nervous, anxious and physically ill when I remember how my perfect world turned to pure hell within a day’s time. I went from hearing my baby’s heartbeat at a routine doctor’s check up to delivering him stillborn within 24 short hours.

This spring is going to be a rough one. Ironically it’s the same time of year associated with new life and rebirth.

But I realize it’s all right if it’s rough. I need time to suffer through my sorrows. I’ve been through a tragic event that will forever change me and my outlook on life.

I saw an interview last week of a supermodel that survived the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia. She survived but her boyfriend did not. A reporter asked her how long it takes to recover from an event like that. Her reply: You never fully recover.

I can relate to her grief. No, I didn’t experience a natural catastrophe of quite the same magnitude. But I did lose someone very close to me in a cruel and tragic way.
And I think she’s right. You never fully recover from something like that. Maybe you refer to it less frequently and tear up half as often, but the truth is, you have just learned how to better to conceal your broken heart.

A lot of times when interacting with others who have been through hard times, I think it makes all of us feel better to hear people say they have “recovered” from their tragedies. But I’m not sure we can ever fully recover. At least not me. Not yet.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda Joy Petersen
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 08:09:09

    Oh Natalie, I am so sorry for the pain you are feeling. I think that everything you said is true. You have a right to grieve for forever until you are with Luca again. You shouldn’t have to mask your pain, and people should never be of the opinion that you should “just get over it” That is neither the right mind set or a fair one. I pray that you find comfort, and that your grief will be eased slightly with each passing day.

    Reply

  2. Tammy
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 16:47:21

    I understand what you’re saying and I completely agree. After Ashley died last year one of my colleagues was talking about her mother’s death and told me you never get over losing someone, and another person said pretty much the same thing. At the time I thought it was a depressing and horrible thing to say, but the last year has showed me how true it is. No matter how long it’s been, there will always be that hole in my heart where she belongs. And as a mother, you’re entitled to miss Luca, to grieve for the life that would’ve been his and the experiences he won’t get to have. Sometimes that same thing still gets me about Ashley that she’ll never go on her first date, graduate from high school or even fall in love.

    I don’t know that any of this is comforting to you, but I just want to tell you that you’re not alone. My heart hurts for you, and I think you should never feel like you have to try to get over it because truthfully you never can. You just get stronger so you can bear it.

    Reply

  3. Elise
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 12:55:42

    How heartbreaking to hear his heartbeat one moment and find out he had died another. I have wondered for almost a year now and haven’t dared ask. What happened?

    Sometimes, when I look at my third child I can’t help but think of you. I think you must be tougher than I am. I think you must wish you weren’t so this couldn’t have happened. I wish you could have enjoyed some more time with him – time in the belly just isn’t the same. And I really wish I could help ease your pain. I hope you know that you’re in my prayers.

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Mar 30, 2011 @ 09:35:18

      I had been suspicious of my baby’s movements for a couple of days. He was slowing down a lot. I thought maybe it was because he was getting too big in my womb to move around as much. So, when I went to my routine doctor’s visit I asked him about it. We listened to the heartbeat and it sounded normal. So, we figured it was because he was running out of room.

      A lot of people never find out why their stillborn baby dies. Luca had an abnormally long umbilical cord. When he was born we saw that it had a true knot in it and it was wrapped around his neck several times. They say that a lot of babies are born with the cord around their neck and live. It was probably the knot that caused him to die. It most likely cinched down too tight for nourishment and air to get through. It is a really rare thing to get a true knot in the cord and an even more rare thing to have it result in death.

      I’m glad we found answers to why he died. It helps me have closure and realize that it had nothing to do with me and my activities during my pregnancy.

      Reply

  4. lindsay
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 10:01:35

    my baby boy died from a cord accident as well….but we are still not so sure. the cord was around his neck, but my healthy 5 year old was also born with the cord around her neck. for a awhile i was really sad and mad that we did not have a real concrete reason for his death. a knot would be comforting to me. i am glad you have peace with the answers you have.

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Apr 14, 2011 @ 20:54:15

      Oh Lindsay. I am so sorry. I have no idea what it would be like to wonder like that. You never know what will happen from pregnancy to pregnancy. There are so many things that can go wrong. My brother had the chord wrapped around his neck as well and he’s fine. I guess sometimes it’s loose enough to keep the baby from harm. I am so glad your little girl was born healthy. I think the biggest comfort for me in finding an answer was the knowledge that my baby didn’t die because of anything I did. You couldn’t have done anything about your son’s chord either. It’s just a crazy thing that happens sometimes and it stinks that we had to experience it.

      Reply

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