I am in survival mode still – but I will survive.
“There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.”– Aeschylus
On Thursday, it had been 6 weeks since I gave birth to Kellan. I am unsure how I have made it through those 6 weeks, but I have. I am still breathing.
I had my “postpartum fetal demise” appointment on 10:15 am on Thursday. That’s the clinical medical term if you are wondering. So that’s how my appointment was coded – Fetal demise. Kellan was born at 10:20 am on July 4th, 2019. Exactly 6 weeks from my appointment. He was my beautiful son that died, not a fetal demise. Screw medical terminology.
As I walked into the clinic, I saw three very pregnant moms awaiting their appointments. One mom looked young, one mom had a toddler with her, and the other mom was about my age. I hope they know how lucky and fortunate they are. I wish I had known.
As I sat down on the exam table, I wanted to scream. I hated every single minute of being there. It felt like every sound was magnified to me. The music that was playing, the laughs I could hear through the wall. Sitting in that room on the cold exam table, I felt like I was going to explode.
I almost got up and left. I stood up and told Scott I was going to get dressed and walk out. I really was going to leave, I absolutely did not care. He asked me to please stay. I still wanted to leave, I really did, but I stayed in that appointment for him. And I got through it.
Scott left to head to Russia the same day as my appointment. He will be gone for 8 days before I join him there. Keeping busy and distracted while he’s gone will be key. I started working again Friday, and will really dive in on Monday. The people I work with are so supportive and understanding. I am incredibly fortunate, and I know that and appreciate it more than I can explain. I’m ready – but still scared.
Everything is scary still, especially because I never know what’s going to come at me. When I least expect it, I am knocked down. Even by people who I thought would never knock me down. You just never know.
Harsh reality: the majority of people will always do what is best for them, tragedy doesn’t change that. Get used to it. Life goes on.
My friend from Kansas City came to visit and has been here for the last 2 days. I always get a little nervous when I don’t know what to expect. Remember, everything’s scary. But it was so good to have her here.
I have been needing to go through Kellan’s clothes to choose the items for the bears I am getting made. Last night with my friend’s help, we did it. It was absolutely as horrible and devastating as it sounds.
Together, we sat on the bed in his room. We sorted through the items I had so lovingly selected for my sweet Kellan to wear. We held them up and talked about them. A sweatshirt I had gotten that said “Celebrate the little victories” for him to wear on Sundays, in case his dad had a bad weekend of hockey. Multiple sizes of adorable red pants for Wings games.
The softest and highest quality clothing a baby could have. I told her as I looked around his room full of things – I wanted him to have it all. I was so prepared. He was going to be so trendy. A kind and sweet little boy. And smart – so very smart.
I told her – I would have been a great mom to him. She agreed.
And now, instead of each of these carefully selected items being worn by Kellan – the beautiful, soft, trendy items will go to make memory bears. What a gut punch.
And then I found the UGG rain boots I bought for him when I was in Blaine for the Robertson Cup. What a happy memory that was. Every single piece of my body felt broken as I held them up. I almost couldn’t breathe. What torture. But it’s my life.
As I sat there in Kellan’s room looking at the life I had prepared for, the one that got stolen from me, I couldn’t help but think of what everyone else was doing on this Friday night. Were they out enjoying the Brown County Fair? Maybe they were playing with their kids, or enjoying a glass of wine over dinner with loved ones. And here I am, sorting my dead son’s clothing. Let that one sink in. It’s brutal.
I really hope people realize how fortunate they are. I don’t think they do.
Today I woke up at 4 am to take my friend to the airport. She decided against my idea for her to accidentally miss her flight and stay another day. Can’t fault me for trying. I will miss her. It felt so good to have another safe person here with me. I’ve discovered the hard way, safe people are hard to come by.
Scott landed in Moscow finally and his phone works like we had hoped it would. I’m very thankful I will be able to talk with him while he’s gone. He is my world, even an ocean away.
As I laid in bed and thought about what my day was going to look like, I got an email saying my hospital chart had something new in it. I pulled open my app and it was my clinic report from Thursday’s appointment. I always read every report.
There at the top it read:
postpartum vaginal delivery for fetal demise 7/4/19-Kellan
They wrote his name. I felt a little piece of my broken heart push closer together on it’s way to mend. I’m not sure if it was my doctor or her nurse, but they had heard me. It wasn’t just a medical term that happened to my “fetus”- he was a 5 pound 12 ounce, 19 inch long baby, and his name was Kellan.
He was perfect, and he was mine. And they recognized that.
6 weeks later and the world keeps moving. The world will continue throwing me things I can’t handle or shouldn’t have to deal with. But the world has also shown me – there are people out there who hear me, people out there who put my needs first, and people who understand what I need.
I am in survival mode still – but I will survive.