Patrick and I had finally went to a group support that had people there. The first one we went to was in Fond du Lac. The person running the group had not lost a child, which I would never wish upon anyone, but it would have been nice to talk to someone who knew EXACTLY how we were feeling or what we were going through. Talking to these two ladies at this meeting tonight gave me comfort. I can’t speak for Patrick, but it helped me knowing I’m not alone.
First the two women shared their stories of losing there children. It’s hard for me to tell their stories because I fear I cannot do them justice, but neither woman had gotten to bring their children home. These two women continued to live their lives and have more children. One was nine years ago and the other was two I believe. They still ache and grieve for their children that never had gotten a fair chance, a shot at leaving the hospital, but they live on by talking about them, helping others, and continuing on living their life. We had also shared our story and told them our fears and concerns, which were the same or similar. When the first lady, we’ll call her A, had her child after losing her baby, she told us she was constantly ensuring her baby was breathing, that she only had gotten a few hours a sleep a night. She never got to bring her baby home, but the fear of losing her next child was still there. The other lady, B, was currently pregnant. She also has fears that her baby will be sick, that she will not be able to take this baby home either. She said she’s waiting for the bad news, for the other shoe to drop. A fear her and I both share is that we are afraid and unsure how to separate the next baby from the one we had lost. That it will take the place of the angel baby. We both know our angel babies can never be replaced, but that fear is still there. I’m worried I will try and pick up where I left off with Gemma, treat that baby like they’re her. Gemma was her own person. She will never be forgotten.
Family support also came up. A’s family was not very supportive. Some were but most just moved, don’t talk about her baby or get uncomfortable if they see a picture or hear his name. B’s family was more like mine, which I’m eternally thankful for. Our families talk about our girls, and do things in their memory. Keep in mind A lost her baby nine years ago and B lost hers two years ago.
I had told them something that had hurt me on Easter, which I never thought of doing myself or asking my mom to do it either. I was hurt that my mom had not thought about getting an Easter basket for Gemma. She had gotten one for the three other grandchildren, but not Gemma. I told myself that Gemma doesn’t need one, she’s in heaven, but it still hurt. I felt as if she was forgotten already. I know my mom didn’t mean any harm by it and just like me, I never thought to mention it to her or even do something for Gemma instead. Both women had mentioned that I could still do a basket for Easter or hang a stocking for Christmas. I wish I would have thought about doing that, but I didn’t. They said some women put letters to their child in the stocking, or items in remembrance of them. One of the ladies also had a first birthday party for her baby where the gifts would be donations to the NICU where her baby was and the other would take her other two children out and do something fun in remembrance of her baby. I’m unsure of what we may do because Gemma’s birthday is the day after Christmas and it is also my nephew’s birthday. I don’t want to take away from his birthday, but it’s also my baby’s birthday. I love my nephew, but my baby was my true love. He will have many days to celebrate with his mom and family, my baby only had gotten nine weeks and six days.
I also want to say I do not know either woman’s story, they merely shared a page from their book. I am also by no means judging either woman, their families or how they grieve. I admire both women with how they can continue to go on because most days I want to give up and be with my Gemma. Group was comforting and I know I will continue to go.