I think about the past 16 months and I can't tell you how we survived them.
In the beginning of 'after', we slept in the living room. Well, hubs slept and I did everything but. I cried, I watched movies or tv shows we had on DVD (we don't have cable), and I spent hours on the MISS Foundation website during the long, lonely nights reading the stories of other mothers whose children died before them.
We lived in a one bedroom apartment we loved in the best part of town and hated to leave it; so we made the decision to stay and live on top of each other. It was a small price to pay.
But now...now I hated our bedroom. I hated our whole apartment.
I hated what it was because of what it was supposed to be.
We set up Owen's crib next our bed. He was going to stay with us in our room for as long as we lived in that apartment. His dresser was crammed in the dining room next to the table and our desk. His cute little bookshelf stood next to our larger bookshelf. We had made room for him. We had carefully and intentionally craved out a place for him in our lives and in our home.
There was a hole now. A gaping, bleeding hole that would never close.
We slept in the room with the least amount of change. Not much had moved around or was added for Owen's impending arrival, so not much was removed when he abrupted left us.
My doctor prescribed sleeping pills. I took them. I slept. And I dreamed. I dreamed of babies.
I dreamed of caring for a baby; he was tiny and helpless and I was taking him on a journey to a safe place. I was carrying him in a sling on my chest, and rejoiced when we made it to the border crossing into safety, but when I looked down to check on him, he had smothered. We were almost there...but it wasn't enough. He was gone.
I had nightmares most nights in the beginning.
I felt responsible. I felt like a failure. A freak. Most babies live, right? Why couldn't I keep him safe? What did I do wrong? No one told me that a baby could die so close to full term. No one warned me that I could be part of the 1% whose babies did not survive. I wanted someone to blame. I wanted a source to point my anger towards. My doctors, God, myself...all seemed plausible.
I felt a thousand different emotions at any given moment. I was unpredictable and unstable.
Grief had taken hold of my life and I was captive to it.
I kept asking my hubs and anyone who would listen (who didn't run away)...'how do I live now? how do I go on?' Everything was different, yet the world kept revolving and time was marching on as if my son hadn't died. I couldn't understand why the world didn't stop for everyone else the day he died.
It had certainly stopped for me.