Showing posts with label death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label death. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dads Grieve Too



Oftentimes, when we lose our children, people are concerned for mom. They are worried about whether or not we've eaten, how are we sleeping, how we are emotionally, how are we feeling physically, etc. The concern lies with mom. That child we have just lost is only half ours, with the other half belonging to dad.

Let me say it- Dads matter too. They've also just lost their child.

During grief these men are overlooked. Nobody asks how they're feeling, if they even acknowledge his roll in that child's life. Us moms, if we have a loss during or immediately following pregnancy, are enduring all the postpartum body changes. Other than that, our partners are dealing with the same emotions.

Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding manhood says that our partners are suppose to be our rock and support us. The stigma says that men don't have feelings surrounding the loss of our babies. It doesn't acknowledge men grieving in any way. All that this does is create hurting men and further the stigma about how men are suppose to be. Look at the support out there, it is predominantly geared towards us mothers. There's virtually nothing for fathers. We even have a Bereaved Mother's Day. There is no Bereaved Fathers Day.

Having spoken with my partner, he's opened my eyes as to the disservice being done to fathers. He really felt as if he didn't matter. When Mary passed away, he had to be strong and support me. Nobody ever asked how he was feeling. He felt like he had to suppress everything he was feeling and I can say that it threw a wrench in how he handled his grief.

The reason I choose the above photo is to illustrate the emotion that so many fathers have to keep inside. This rocks them to their core. They're devastated. They have lost something precious to them that they love. They feel the same way that we do.

More than Milestones

When my daughter passed away, I knew that I wouldn't watch her grow up. What this ended up looking like, predominantly, was emptiness.

I knew I would never see the toothless grins or hear the giggles coming from that grin. I would never see her determinedly roll over, see the excitement on her face of being able to crawl across the floor after siblings and pets, or watch those cautious first steps. She would never be able to run through the house as we're playfully chasing her around.

As holidays approach, you feel the emptiness where your child should be. I never got to see my grandparents holding her during dinner on Thanksgiving, her exploring the massive tree my mom puts up in the family room on Christmas, or her sitting at the kids table during family togethers with her cousins. We never got to do Halloween costumes or Easter Baskets for her. On Mother's and Father's Day, she isn't physically present to do fun things with our family.

There are times where I look at my children and can feel that empty space. I see the other things, things that nobody thinks of, that we were robbed of with Mary Beth. I never got to see her in school performances with classmates, never got to celebrate the first and last days of school, or take her shopping for new school clothes with her sisters. When shopping, I wonder if she would have the eclectic fashion sense that her little sister has, the more laid-back blase style of her older sister, or the fashionista style of her oldest sister. We never got to teach her how to ride a bike or even buy her one. We never will have the chance to see if she liked playing in the water. She never got the chance to go sled riding with us or build a snowman. She never got to experience painting her nails and using our make up to try to get fancy with her sisters.

Not only did we miss out on these fun childhood things, but, we're going to miss everything that occurs during the pre-teen and teen years. I'll never teach her how to shave her legs or argue with her over inappropriate training bras. There won't be any figuring out classes in school or any extra-curricular activities. I'm left to wonder what things would she be into- band, choir, softball, football, wrestling, etc. I won't get to deal with the "my mom is uncool" stage. We won't get to teach her how to drive or help buy her a car. There will be no sleep-overs with her friends or first boy/girlfriends or having to comfort her after her first heart-break. There won't be first jobs. We won't get to help her figure out her homework. She won't be here for any of our notorious late-night Walmart trips. There won't be any of her friends walking into our home saying, "Hey, Mom!". I won't get to go shopping for Homecoming or Prom or helping her get ready for these. We won't get to schedule senior pictures with my cousin.

As an adult, we won't be helping her figure out college, if she would have been interested in it. Would she of wanted to go in the military? There won't be any engagements or marriage, if that would have been on the table. There will never be grandbabies or grandfurbabies. I'm going to miss out on her talking with me while trying to figure out her future. There is someone out there that will never be part of our family because she isn't here.

We've lost more than milestones, we've lost an entire person worth of experiences and a chunk of our future. There's so much that was taken from her, us, and our family due to her death. We will never get that life back.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Experiencing Loss After Infant Loss



       







           Death is a rather uncomfortable topic to address in society. Unfortunately, this is something that we all must face at some point or another. Our family, sadly, was hit by this last month when my husband's grandmother passed away. This was the first loss in the family since our daughter. I know, for me, this caused multiple triggers from when we lost Mary Beth. One of my concerns was that of my children. Back when we lost their sister, they had all been around loss, so I knew the older ones would be ok. However, seeing me break down did cause my oldest daughter to break down as well, but she and I are very close.

          My biggest concern was having to help the youngest two girls navigate this. Yes, the one also went through the loss of her sister, but she wasn't even two when that happened. I almost felt like I was in unfamiliar territory this time. As much as I would love to take them and go hide them from everything that could ever hurt them, I know it's not realistic. Nobody can hide from death. Navigating these waters with children who have, essentially, been untouched by death was a concern as it is for any other parent. So, I began this by being honest. There's no point in trying to lie or sugarcoat this loss. We did have a few advantages in that we do keep photos of Mary around from the funeral home, so they knew there would be a casket and she wouldn't quite look the same. They also were familiar with the cemetery, so there was nothing spooky about going there.

 Mary is laid to rest beside her great grandparent's, with her great grandmother's place being between Mary and her husband. So, in getting the spot ready the caretaker's took it upon themselves to haphazardly toss our daughter's belongings around, which meant broken items. That angered the kids and I. We are on first name basis with one of the guys and he knows this is a family.

The biggest thing that hit me was lost time. I know we can't always spend every moment with someone, but it still hurts when you don't get that last chance. I'm learning that, no matter what, when someone dies, we're gonna have regrets and things we wished we would of said or done. This, to me, is one of the reasons that I believe we should always tell and show those around us that we love them. She knew I loved her because I told her every time I would hug her. As far as I've always been concerned, she was my grandmother too. I didn't get to really have close relationships with any of my grandparents. She just meant the absolute world to me.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A note about homebirth

I know alot of people go on and on about how horrible hospital births are because of this or that. Be darned if I wasn't one of them!! We talk about how safe homebirth is and poo poo those who don't agree with us or support us. We warn other moms about the horrors of hospital birth. You know when people would tell me that babies used to die because they were born at home, I had my "research and statistics" to back me up and prove they were wrong. Wanna know one thing I have learned now??? We don't hear about deaths after homebirths because of the stigma. Your baby dies in the hospital and people feel sorry for you. Your baby dies after a homebirth and people automatically blame you, even if it wasn't your fault. Because you made the choice to birth at home, you don't really have a right to grieve. I have read so many stories of loss and there are actually groups just for homebirth loss. If homebirth was so much safer than the hospital, we wouldn't need those groups would we??? We talk about how if your low risk home is much safer. I have NEVER been high risk before yet home was the worst place my daughter could of been after her birth. Please, please think about how you promote homebirth as being so safe and wonderful. My daughter is dead because of homebirth. You don't want to be a number or a statistic.

If you want to promote homebirth, fine but please encourage the people to do their homework. There is more to homebirth than just labor and birth itself. There can be problems in the newborn. Make sure your midwife has no birth injuries, deaths, or stillbirths under her belt. Stillbirth can strike anyone, but please be concerned if someone has mulitiple ones. We do our research n the c-section rate of a hospital or doctor, but do you do the research on mortality rates in the midwife you are using??? Do they know anything about newborns?? Have you found out why a baby was injured or died from the parents and not just taken the midife's word??

My 4 hospital babies are here and healthy. Out of my two homebirth babies one is here and healthy while the other is in a cemetary. She is proof that homebirth isn't as safe as we all think.

A note about homebirth

I know alot of people go on and on about how horrible hospital births are because of this or that. Be darned if I wasn't one of them!! We talk about how safe homebirth is and poo poo those who don't agree with us or support us. We warn other moms about the horrors of hospital birth. You know when people would tell me that babies used to die because they were born at home, I had my "research and statistics" to back me up and prove they were wrong. Wanna know one thing I have learned now??? We don't hear about deaths after homebirths because of the stigma. Your baby dies in the hospital and people feel sorry for you. Your baby dies after a homebirth and people automatically blame you, even if it wasn't your fault. Because you made the choice to birth at home, you don't really have a right to grieve. I have read so many stories of loss and there are actually groups just for homebirth loss. If homebirth was so much safer than the hospital, we wouldn't need those groups would we??? We talk about how if your low risk home is much safer. I have NEVER been high risk before yet home was the worst place my daughter could of been after her birth. Please, please think about how you promote homebirth as being so safe and wonderful. My daughter is dead because of homebirth. You don't want to be a number or a statistic.

If you want to promote homebirth, fine but please encourage the people to do their homework. There is more to homebirth than just labor and birth itself. There can be problems in the newborn. Make sure your midwife has no birth injuries, deaths, or stillbirths under her belt. Stillbirth can strike anyone, but please be concerned if someone has mulitiple ones. We do our research n the c-section rate of a hospital or doctor, but do you do the research on mortality rates in the midwife you are using??? Do they know anything about newborns?? Have you found out why a baby was injured or died from the parents and not just taken the midife's word??

My 4 hospital babies are here and healthy. Out of my two homebirth babies one is here and healthy while the other is in a cemetary. She is proof that homebirth isn't as safe as we all think.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Introducing me

I am a mother to 5 wonderful children here on earth. My youngest child passed away after her birth. This will be my place to just get out my thoughts, feelings, and talk about my life after loss. My children mean everything to me and losing one has been devastating. Some days I am ok and others, I can break down at the drop of a hat. I am conflicted about so many of my thoughts and beliefs. I was a totally crunchy mom but am now questioning all of that. I have had two homebirths. One turned out awesome and the other, turned out horrible. I feel that if I had just trusted the actual professionals, my baby would be here. Now, since I feel homebirth was wrong, I question my not vaxing philosophies. I am seriously thinking about catching my last three children up. I hate second guessing myself.

Introducing me

I am a mother to 5 wonderful children here on earth. My youngest child passed away after her birth. This will be my place to just get out my thoughts, feelings, and talk about my life after loss. My children mean everything to me and losing one has been devastating. Some days I am ok and others, I can break down at the drop of a hat. I am conflicted about so many of my thoughts and beliefs. I was a totally crunchy mom but am now questioning all of that. I have had two homebirths. One turned out awesome and the other, turned out horrible. I feel that if I had just trusted the actual professionals, my baby would be here. Now, since I feel homebirth was wrong, I question my not vaxing philosophies. I am seriously thinking about catching my last three children up. I hate second guessing myself.

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