Monday, May 23, 2011


Every once in a while, our Angel Care Monitor will go off in the night. The first time it happened, I couldn't have even been awake while I ran down the hallway to the baby's room to check on her. A lot of times, it'll go off because a will be sleeping on her side, leaning up against the side of the crib and the mattress won't recognize her movements.
So, now it seems like it's not as alarming to me when it goes off. I mean, I still move pretty quickly into her room, but in my brain I say "AH! Don't wake the baby up, dumb alarm." This is most often.
But last night, her alarm went off and I looked at the video monitor, and she was laying right in the middle of the mattress and her eyes were open. Why are her eyes open, I thought?
Oh, because she's dead. She died. I knew she'd die. Tonight, she died. I knew it. I knew I couldn't keep her. Look at her eyes. I was literally paralyzed. My husband got up, while I laid there thinking She died. She died.
Then she sat up and started to cry.
And I hate myself.
I truly do hate the way I think. Why am I expecting her to die? Why? What if I somehow allow something bad to happen because I think it will.
If I'm honest, I still have scary thoughts. Sometimes, I'll still come around a corner at the top of my stairs and envision myself dropping the baby accidentally. Or I'll wobble on the stairs as I'm holding her and am terrified that we'll both tumble down. Those happened much more frequently when she was a tiny baby, but it still happens. I worry she'll bump her head, and die. How will I let her be a kid?
She fell the other day. She's pulling herself up now and she let go with one of her hands and hit her mouth on the corner of her play table. Her lip got puffy and fat and there was a little blood and she actually, sadly, chipped a little bit off her front tooth. It's barely noticeable but of course I know it's there.
Lately I've been spending a lot of time feeling sad. And I've been struggling with little things in life that are bogging me down.
I'm having some dental problems. I have to have my second back molar extracted next week and I'm worried about that. When this tooth started to hurt (its one I had a root canal on ten years ago, so I knew instantly I'd lose it) I broke down crying. I kept telling my husband, "I can't do it. I can't do it. I'm so tired of having to be strong and do it."
I mean, hello? It's a tooth. Most people I think would be annoyed with it. I'm in tears, screaming. I'm just so tired of having to be STRONG about things. I'm so tired of being AMAZING when I'm not. I'm tired of having to avoid situations and things and feeling guilty when I'm sad and feeling guilty when I'm not.
The grief cycle for me is on an upswing-I'm not sure if its the time of year, or what. Could I be depressed? Maybe. I'm still functioning, it's just...hard. Sad.
So freaking sad, this whole thing.


bir said...

Oh Christy, I so get ths now that I have Toby especially. When you said "...and her eyes were open" my heart stopped. Not because I thought she was dead, because I was confident she wasn't. I would be reading anentirely differnt post if that were the case. But my pause was my heart breaking a little more (possible?) for you, and me, that we think like this. I often look at Toby in our bedroom at night, beside me, in the bare light of darkness and "see" his eyes open. Of course, he's dead. I turn my light on, and he's sound asleep. All of your post I can relate to, though my monitor hasnt gone off. I hope it doesnt and I hope you have no more scares.

Nika M. said...

It might sound crazy, but maybe allowing yourself to not be strong or amazing will make you feel better. I have days like that, where I don't want to be the strong one anymore, where I just want to fall in the floor and drown in my own tears. After that good cry and letting all my guards down, I start to feel better again.

I hope it gets easier for you soon.

Bree said...

I envision Nora dying way more often than one should, too. I'm sorry, Christy. Sometimes our burdeons are too too much. Love you. xo

Hope's Mama said...

I get this, I really do. As always you've echoed so many of my own thoughts and feelings. Though we did not/do not have a breathing monitor. I'm so gutless, I was more afraid of false alarms and I was told that if they do go off (in the worst case scenario) it is often too late anyway. It just meant I checked on him. A lot. Then when I woke him up (a lot) I would feel so terrible as you know, waking a sleeping baby (especially one who doesn't sleep much anyway) is BAD. If only I could trust in him to keep living....

Lori said...

Oh friend...yes, yes, yes. Every night. Every.single.night, I look at that monitor, and see the little tick tock of his angel care monitor and STILL think..."It's not real. He's really dead and neither monitor is working right." I feel like a crazy, deranged person because if I am outside on the deck and sit (of course, holding him tightly!) him on the edge with me, I think, "Is this how he'll die? I accidentally drop him?" Or the same thoughts going down the stairs.
Or lifting him in and out of the bathtub.
Or...well, you know. I'm so, so, so sorry. You are right--it's just sad. Sending you lots and lots of love!

AKD said...

I wish I didn't have these exact same thoughts, and I wish you didn't have them. We have to take A in for another ultrasound of her head today, and I am again terrified even though I know she is fine. I am so sorry.

Michele said...

Hugs Christy.... I still have fears every now and then (although your story is the reason that the NICU nurses told us to avoid monitors like the plague, they assured us they would make our concerns worse, so we opted to not use them and to remove the AngelCare from our registry). Eventually, they do settle. But it is still hard, so very hard.

And I remember Maya's first bloody lip. It still haunts me, and her lip has a tiny scar from it that always makes me feel like "SEE! THAT HAPPENED ON YOUR WATCH BAD MOTHER!!"

Rachel said...

I totally understand. I will stand at the door and watch our daughter just to make sure she is breathing, and if I can't tell for sure. I will go into her room and lay my hand on her chest until I feel it rise. Sometimes I think I am crazy to do this, but it makes me feel better.
I too understant not wanting to be strong or amazing. Sometimes it is okay to fall apart and just be be done with everything. That is when those who care and love you can come along and hold you up. I say let others be strong for you for awhile and just be what YOU want to be. Not what everyone else needs.
Praying for you.

Isha Ethera Tirawa said...

Im sorry. Feel better, stay well <33

Mirne said...

I get this. Because it happened to me. Twice. And they really were dead. Hopefully it will never happen to you ... hopefully these fears will eventually fade.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Christy, I do that too and I don't even have your history to make me seem justified (or sane)! I bumped into the high chair the other day and it wobbled, and I could just see her little head hitting the tiles. And she wasn't even in the chair! A piece in the news about a baby overheating in a car reduced me to tears. I'm scared of everything now! Why do I always see worst case scenarios?

I'm so sorry to hear about the tooth. :( I dread dental work with a passion. I hope it goes quickly and smoothly!

JoyAndSorrow said...

Just stumbled across your blog from Birni's recent post, and I have to say that this is absolutely normal. A hearbreaking reality for any of us who have lost a child, but a normal response, I believe. *hugs*