I feel the need to write about this. Only because it shows how absolutely ridiculous this grief is. It’s just another reminder that no matter how “ok” you may think you are all it takes is one little gastrointestinal virus to send you into an emotional mess.
So this past weekend we had a family reunion we were supposed to go to for Vinnies side of the family. All week I was dreading it. I wanted to go but I didn’t. Not because I don’t like his side of the family. I love his side of the family. I couldn’t have joined a better family. But. I wasn’t really looking forward to answering the “how are you guys doing?” questions. Obviously asked with the best of intentions. Even still, not questions I wanted to answer at a family reunion where my portion of the family is one light, and will always be, one light. Regardless. I never made it to this family reunion because I ended up coming down with a little virus that had me in the bathroom every twenty minutes. I’ll spare the details I guess. Any ways, it wasn’t fun and I was upset because I did want to go. I wanted to be with my family and spend the day with family and I love going out to the country. If there’s anything I felt I’ve needed in the last seven months it’s the open country air and the calmness that the country brings. Also I wanted to be there because I know how much of a handful my little Vinnie is. He’s the kind of child that when you say “don’t touch that” he will proceed to touch that with both hands. The neighbors who live next door to where the reunion was being held has a couple few cows and an electric fence to keep the cows from not running off. Imagine my anxiety knowing how my child is. In the front of the house there is no fence and in the country, speeding is just like their norm I think and the house is about 5 feet from the street. That alone was enough to make me vomit. I knew my kids were in good hands between their father and their Mimi and their Pa though. I also may or may not have sent out a couple “proof of life” requests to my husband throughout the day. Listen I already lost one. I was not in the mood to give another one back.
Here’s where the day gets even shittier. I’m alone. No kids. No husband. Just me and my cats. Who mostly didn’t care that I was on the couch dying. Well Ozzy did. That’s my cat. Who just turned one year old a few days ago (HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSWALDO). As I’m laying on the couch reflecting. I remember the last time I was sick like this I had her. She was here. Only thing was when I get sick like this I tend to lock myself in the bathroom for the duration. If it’s a 12 hour bug. I’m laying in the bathroom for 12 hours. Well last time I was sick like this as soon as Vinnie Sr came home from work I went and laid in the bathroom all night. He took the boys up to bed and left Stella in her little rock and play thing and she started to fuss. I gave her a minute to see if she would calm down a little. She didn’t. I went out and grabbed her and laid on the couch. I laid her over me as pictured. That was all I could think about. I could almost feel her laying on me again. SOOO needless to say, I turned into an ugly crying mess.
Then of course my mind shifts to… If she were here today. If she were here how would that have worked out? Would Daddy been able to take all the kids including her? Probably not because she would have still been nursed and breast milk would still have been her primary source of nutrition. Well would I have had a stash stored in the freezer? I don’t know. Maybe a small one because even though I wasn’t working I still believe in always having a little milk stored for the “just incase”. So would I have had the milk and he took her also. I’m not sure. I will also never know. It really sucks. I just wanted to hold her. I wanted to cuddle her. It’s also hard for me to remember that she would be almost eight months old. So I go up and I hold her clothes and, not that it doesn’t hold any value but it’s no longer how it was. She would no longer be fitting into 0-3 months clothes. She would probably be in 6-9 months or maybe even a size bigger. Who knows? I never will.
I laid there on that stupid couch dying wondering even more so what she would be like on that day. What her personality would be like. What her laugh would sound like. What her features would look like. Would she still look me? What kind of baby would she be. Easy going laid back or bossy and to the point. A wild child like Vinnie Jr. or a sweet little girl like Veronica was when she was at that age. This is what this leaves you with. A life time of wonder. Then my mind shifted to her birthday that would fall on Thanksgiving this year. I’m not sure how I will feel on that day but I do know on Saturday all I could think about was how we were going to celebrate her and are we really going to want to be around all this family going to all these different houses keeping up a face that lies and says “we are doing ok on this day” when in reality on the inside we are dying for what SHOULD, have been a day of family and celebrating a holiday and the birthday of our last child. Our little long-awaited baby girl Stella. OR would our family be the salvation like they were on that day and the days that followed? I already don’t feel like getting out of bed and going and it’s still months away. I suppose though my Dads cherry pie and chocolate pie is some motivation though. So basically in my head I was going through all the should haves and where would we be todays’. I keep thinking… I should have four kids home with me everyday. I don’t. Sometimes I sit back and I just can’t believe this is my life. This where my life went. Of all the things that had to happen… THIS is what had to happen? My number one fear. The only thing I was ever really afraid of had to happen? My kids are my life. All I ever needed and wanted since the day I started having them was to please God keep them safe and please God let me keep them. Well God…. REALLY?
I’ve heard people say and I myself have also said it. “Why my baby? Why did it have to be OUR baby?”. I said that so many times in the beginning of this mess. Then I started to think about it. Really think about the words that I was saying. For me in my own….opinion..for lack of a better word.. Saying this made me feel like.. well by me saying “why MY baby” left it kind of open to suggest that I would have wanted to trade someone else’s baby. That’s not at all true. I would never in a million lifetimes no matter how much I may not like you.. I wish this on nobody. I don’t want another family to have to feel what we will be feeling for the rest of our forever. So now it’s more like “why did this have to happen to us?” as a general question. You have no idea unless you know. Unless you have been in our position you have no idea what a unique hell this is we live in. It’s a constant cycle of things. I hate when the guilt cycles back around. Usually when that happens I have a constant mild anxiety attack. What I find odd though is that it’s almost like I don’t have PTSD from her death. I have it from her life. I constantly relive the days she was alive. I may have already wrote about this. I’m pretty sure I have. I’ll just say again though. Sorry.
Oh so then my wonderful husband tells me as I’m on the couch still dying that they may just stay the night out there. Okay. I wasn’t overly thrilled at the idea but that was more or less me being selfish because I was hurting and alone and I was already missing one baby I needed my other babies here with me. Then on the other hand they love being out there also so I wanted them to experience that also. So whatever. I said ok and moved on. Finally around 10pm he told me they were staying for sure. I went up to bed where my A.C just so happened to get unplugged and was off for most of the day so the room was hotter than hell because of course why wouldn’t the universe just kick me when I’m down right. I also started to feel worse at this particular point in the night. Whatever. I laid down and started to fall asleep (oh no worried though I plugged the air conditioner back in first.) when I heard the door open downstairs. Usually I would be freaking out thinking who was coming to kill me. Instead I continued to lay there not really caring who it was or what they might be there for. I only heard one set of footsteps so I wasn’t entirely sure that it was a friendly. But I also thought if it were a stranger they weren’t exactly going to go where they were headed so I wasn’t entirely concerned. I did however think to myself “well if this is the way it ends then this is the way it goes”.. Had this happened 9 months ago I would have been an anxious mess. In walks my husband with my sleeping Vinnie. I was so sick but I was so happy. I was a little upset that my other two decided to ditch me but… such is life.
This is what it is. This what child loss looks like. This is the grief. This is how easily something as stupid as a virus can trigger something so big. On this day my emotions were bigger than me. My heart was so broken on this day. Not that it isn’t normally now but sometimes it doesn’t sting as bad. On this particular day the pain from the sting was unbearable. For outsiders who have been lucky enough to not have to of gone through this… Be patient with us. A lot of times it comes out of nowhere. If our grief is an annoying inconvenience to you please see yourselves out of our lives. But… Trust me it’s also sometimes an annoying inconvience to us also sometimes. We didn’t choose this but we do have to live with this. Imagine one minute your laughing so hard and your nose catches a certain smell and then all of a sudden you are crying your eyes out and your heart hurts so bad you think it might explode. Yea. Welcome to our lives. We don’t want “special treatment” we just want people in our lives who love us and understand that this tragedy happened and that we are forever different because of it. If we happen to mention something to you that might be an innocent thing but might actually hurt your child…. We are NOT implying you are a bad parent we are just hyper sensitive and want to spare your family from even remotely feeling what we feel. If we are friends on social media…. Take my car seat posts for example. I don’t post them to be annoying I post them because it is LITERALLY a life and death matter that all the clips are positioned exactly where they are supposed to go and that the seat is installed correctly. Regardless. We don’t mean any harm and we don’t think we are better than anyone. Respect the odd things we do. It’s just how we have changed. We were forced to change without notice. We had to reprogram. We have to look a little harder on some days to find our blessings because last time we felt so incredibly blessed one of our biggest blessings was taken from us. When you ask us to do something and if we cancel at the last-minute just try to understand. You have no one clue how it feels to leave the house without one of your children who should also be enjoying the day with you. Or we could cancel because one of us is exhausted from being up a good portion of the night with a child who got caught up in their emotions and missed their baby sister and couldn’t sleep. This is what it is. I’m sorry.
Meanwhile, while I’m writing this Vinnie jr is coloring on the fridge with a red marker… Here’s to hoping that washes off. Also during one of the many breaks I had to take while writing this we ventured upstairs to his room to get a new pair of undies and he opens Stella’s little closet chest thing where her clothes are and says “oh those are baby girls. I want her come over again. I want her come home.”
Well. Good day friends. If there is ever anything specific you wanna read about don’t be afraid to comment about it. I’m pretty much open to talk about whatever. LET’S GET INTERACTIVE!!