Regrets And Other Musings

Sometimes I feel almost as though life is the same as it used to be, other times I feel as though a gaping canyon has opened inside me and I’m going to fall into it and never be able to climb out.

Sometimes I find myself genuinely laughing and other times I feel as though I am the best actor in the world – pretending to be sunny and full of life so no one will see how much I’m hurting inside and how hard it is for me to go on.

No matter what, though, there is always this inescapable underlying sadness and everything is jaded now – tainted with the dark hand of bone deep sorrow and loss. Even in the moments when I feel genuinely good, Cora is on my mind.

I miss the feel of her soft skin, so briefly felt, but forever burned into my memory. I miss the feel of her slight weight in my arms, even though I only had a chance to hold her for a little over 30 minutes. I long to see her look at me just one more time and I deeply regret that we didn’t get a single picture of her when she was still healthy and opened her eyes to look at me when I spoke to her.

In fact, I have so many regrets and I can’t let them go yet.

I wish the doctors at BC Children’s would have just told me that Cora wasn’t going to make it the moment they realized it – they knew almost as soon as they examined her, but they didn’t want to tell me until Greg arrived. So, they let me hold onto hope that she would pull through, perhaps in a vain attempt at forcing me to rest. Had they told me the stark truth, I would have fought through my exhaustion and anxiety and I would have sat in her room and held her most of the day until Greg arrived. Instead, because they didn’t want to tell me until Greg arrived, I went back to my room and tried to sleep a little and eat a little. I thought I needed to conserve my strength for her sake.

This regret is colossal.

It weighs me down.

All that time she spent alone, with doctors and nurses poking and prodding her while I could have been at her bedside, touching her, talking to her, soothing her and letting her feel all the love I had for her – just holding her and being the best mother I could possibly be. Instead, I lay on the bed in my room, staring at the ceiling, praying to the universe to save her life. What a waste of time. What a waste of such precious, precious time I could have spent with her.

I regret that we didn’t get any plaster casts of her hands and feet made. They were so small and so adorable. It would have been such a heartwarming reminder of her. Something we could have displayed to remind us how perfect she had been. No one even offered to do any for us. I would think that a hospital that loses sick babies on a regular basis would offer a service like that. When she was dying, there was so much going on and we were going through so much that I look back now and I wonder why the hospital didn’t send in someone to bring these things to our attention.

I also find myself full of questions that I will never find answers for.

I wonder how much she suffered before her brain stopped sending pain signals to the rest of her body. I wonder if she felt anything at all because they pumped so many pain meds into her. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to forgive myself for being so selfish and wanting them to try anything they had to in order to keep her with us.

I wonder if I’ll ever be able to stop crying or if I’ll ever feel truly happy again.

I wonder if I’ll ever believe in anything or have faith in anything again.

This permanent lump that lingers in my throat is always just a thought away and I’m constantly fighting it down and blinking back the sting of tears. But I keep fighting them because people seem so uncomfortable when I cry. I’m not sure if it is because I am usually a happy, positive person and it shakes people to see me so sad or if it is because people think that it’s been a few weeks since she died and I should be over it by now. Three weeks to get over the death of our daughter? I don’t think so. Either way, I fight the sadness and I fight the tears because I don’t want to bring others down.

Another constant reminder of my loss is my body. I have extra fat on my body from pregnancy that I have never had before. I don’t fit into any of my regular clothes, yet I’m too small for maternity clothes. My breasts are still producing milk, even though, ironically, we thought I wouldn’t be capable of breastfeeding because of a previous breast reduction. My hips click when I walk due to the ligaments stretching out in preparation for childbirth. My lower back hurts all the time because three months of bedrest left the muscles weak and tired. And worst of all, post pregnancy hormones are making me feel crazy and out of control.

If I could, I would curl up in a ball and sleep for weeks. I am always exhausted, but can’t seem to get any restful sleep. I have nightmares about dead, rotting babies being handed to me.  I have nightmares where I hold her while she dies in my arms over and over and over again. Ialso have wonderful dreams once or twice each week where Cora is alive and well and we bring her home from the hospital and she grows up to be a beautiful, bright, sunny young lady. I have dreams where I die along with her and we just sort of float peacefully along together, feeling content and ready for a big adventure. But every night I go to bed exhausted and sad and I wake up exhausted and sad.

I feel as though I would be better off if I just buried the pain in a corner of my subconscious and forget it even exists, but I know from experience that burying grief is the last thing a person should do. I need to get through it, one awful step at a time until I can wake up and face each day refreshed and full of hope. It sucks, but I must go through it to heal and to grow.

And, of course, the show must go on.

Monday. Ugh. I wish you all enough…

2 thoughts on “Regrets And Other Musings

  1. Love you Jo… let the tears out…… cry whenever you need to, k? I wish so much that there was anything I could do to help ease what you are suffering. People only seem uncomfortable when you cry because they are, like me, wishing there was something, anything, they could say or do… but we can only be here for you. When you are ready for another park date, or a walk, or a photo shoot date, just let me know. xo

  2. Jo, no amount of words can console. No amount of tears I cry for you can touch your pain, or even take one drop of it away. Things like this should not happen to people like you and for right now there is no reason. No reason why and no reason big enough to explain why there is an enemy of this world that has come to kill, steal and destroy. My hope and belief for you¡ one of the most wonderful, brilliant, stand up strong women that I have met in my life is that one day you will have an answer. The answer that you are looking for. For now, find Cora where ever you can. Find her heartbeat within yours. That is where it came from in the first place. It came from you and Greg. A precious little gift that was made by the both of you, perfect and strong. Strong for only a moment, but strong. She knew you, she knew your voice, she knew how much you loved her and the only rest you will have for right now is that she is now resting. She is your gardian angel, she is your everything… and she always will be. You are a woman who can CHANGE things for the better. Few people are like you. Perhaps one day when you get your strength back you can change things for other woman and families who are losing a piece of thier very being, like you. Learn to make plaster casts, and change the greiving moments of others. Do it for Cora, do it in memory of her.

    If you miss her skin, touch yours, touch Gregs. She was a being of the both of you. If you miss her smile, just close your eyes. Breath the air she once breathed. She will be with you forever Jo, I promise. I want you to know you are loved. NO ONE expects you to be over the biggest loss you will ever know in only 3 weeks. And speaking for myself, I NEVER expect you to be over it. Not until your dieing day. It is something you will never forget, and something that is now a part of you. You have changed and you will change even more. And the people who love you the most will accept that.

    I love you just the way you are my friend Jo, even if you are sad everyday that I am blessed to see you from here on out.

    Love your friend, Tara

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