5.01.2008

Avery and Lily

I know I spend a lot of time talking about myself and Zoe and you may be wondering about how Avery and Lily are doing through all of this. I don't know exactly how they feel about Zoe's death or how their brains are processing her absence. I do know that they know who she is. We have photos of Zoe all over the house and our big beautiful canvas photo (courtesy of Stefanie Baldwin) of Zoe up in the playroom. We say good morning and good night to Zoe every single day. Lily always gives her a great big, open mouth sloppy kiss while Avery prefers to "pat" her.

When I'm alone with them I will sometimes just talk about Zoe. I'll remind them of the times they all played in the playroom together and stole eachother's paci's, or I'll remind them of our one public outing (that wasn't a doctors office or a hospital) as a family to the Christmas Tree Farm, or of their first Halloween together and how cute they were in their Disney princess costumes. I'll go on and on to try to ingrain in their memories these small snipets of time that they had with Zoe. I know they won't remember these times, but maybe, just maybe if they hear it often enough as they grow up we will have created memories for them to draw on when they start to wonder about their sister.

They always look at me while I talk and remain very still and quiet (not a common occurance these days). Lily and Avery have both pointed to the sky or the ceiling when I'm talking and uttered a little "uh?" To which I answer "Yes, your angel sister Zoe is in Heaven. She's watching over you." I don't know if doing this is harmful, I don't believe that it is. I believe we have to talk about Zoe, constantly, to keep her spirit alive. Just because she isn't here in the flesh does not make her any less a part of this family. I want her spirit to fill this house and fill our hearts. I want to feel her presence everywhere I go. I hope I'll get there soon...right now I still feel a lot of emptiness. It washes over me in waves, sometimes it's just a ripple and other times it's like a rip-tide that pulls at my heart and takes my breath away. And it's very unpredictable. I'll have a stretch of good days and then all of a sudden while doing the most mundane of tasks, I will be brought to my knees with sadness and longing.

I reached a very dark place not long ago...Richard was very worried and our grief counselors were as well. We had a very intense session that day, I was exhausted afterwards...but it helped. And I have had a good couple of days. We had a nice weekend - Richard and I actually got to be grown ups for 24 straight hours as we spent the night in Atlanta to see Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. We then spent the rest of the weekend with the girls, just the four of us. It was nice...almost normal.

As for that dark place...I saw a psychiatrist this week who spent an hour asking me lots and lots of questions about myself, my experience before, during and after my pregnancy, and about my family mental health history. She assured me that I am not crazy, although I often feel like I am, and she said my meds need to be adjusted. So she's weaning me off Zoloft and putting me on something else that she thinks will work better. I hope it does. She also told me to lay off the wine...did you know that a glass of wine is only 5oz! I thought I was doing okay with my "glass" of wine with dinner, but then I realized I was having more than just one glass, because my wine glasses hold more than 5oz. She said I could have half a glass...but 2.5 oz? What's the point? I guess that is the point...there isn't supposed to be a "point" right? So I haven't had any since Monday night.

She also wants me to get individual counseling in addition to the grief work that Richard and I are doing together. She also reinforced, or tried to at least, that the girls' premature birth, NICU stay, and Zoe's death are not my fault. Logically I believe her, I believe Richard, I believe everyone that tells me this...but there is still that shred of myself that says "I am their mother, I grew them inside of me, I am SUPPOSED to protect them from all harm, evil, and sickness." I know it's not logical, I know this. I know you can't do anything to get preeclampsia and I know preeclampsia takes it's toll on your body. When you develop preeclampsia, you either have the babies or everyone (including mom) dies, there is no other choice, there is no other alternative, there is no therapy to prolong the pregnancy. We bought five more days than they thought we'd have the day I was admitted...I just wish it could have been longer. I will always wish it could have been longer.

I will always wish the girls did not have to be thrust into a world of bright lights, needles, tubes, poking, proding, all this trauma they experienced so early on, when they should have been nestled in comfort in the perfect world that is a mother's womb. I know these lights and needles and tubes saved their lives, I know these medicines and therapies were necessary...but I will always wish they could have been welcomed into the world by first being brought to my arms, my kiss, my touch. I suppose I'm still grieving for that "normal" pregnancy and childbirth experience as well. I think there is a lot that has been left undealt with, because we have just been trying to exist, make it through another day, and stay together, be a family.

Richard has been so incredible, I can't say enough and I know I have a lot to say that hasn't been said. But he has been the rock through all of this. Were it not for his recent insistance I think I would still be in that dark place I found myself a couple of weeks ago. I'm getting the help I need, the help I should have gotten over a year ago. As my psychiatrist says I have Depression that is compounded by Grief. This is not something to take lightly, I know this. And for the first time in a long time I do feel like the fog is lifting, not much, just a little...like I can now see my hand in front of my face. I can see just a little of what Richard has been seeing and living with for the last 18 months and I know it's not what I want. I don't want Avery and Lily to grow up with a Mommy who is sad, lethargic, doesn't care, can't get out of bed, doesn't want to eat....I have a responsibility to show them how to work through the hardest challenges in life with grace. It is so obvious to me how early your kids start learning from you, how acutely in tune they are to your every movement and expression. I can not and will not allow myself to let them down any longer. Avery and Lily deserve better than that. Zoe deserves better than that. With God's will, this vast community of support (you all) He has graced me with, and the unconditional love of Richard, Avery, Lily, and my extended family I will make it. Day by day, baby step by baby step.

10 comments:

Jaymie G. said...

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how glad I am that you got help for your depression and grief. Your last post made me ache for you even though I've not ever met you. What you have been through is something that no person should have to experience, and, yet, you have. You are working so hard to get better yourself and to take care of those precious girls.

Bless you. Take care of yourself and we hope to hear from you again very soon.

Jen Clark said...

I'm sending so many hugs and prayers your way. I'm glad you are receiving the help you need to keep going in the midst of this nightmare. My heart aches for you. God bless you.

Dorinda said...

I keep checking! I just want to keep saying that I am here. That I am praying for you. I think of you all often. I have no advice. No easy answers. No simple cures. But I am praying and if you need anything else you let me know!

God bless.
Dorinda

www.nelsontriplets.blogspot.com

Stacey said...

Oh, I am so glad that you have Richard and he loves you all so much. I have worried about you for a while but you are so brave to get the help that you need to try to come to some peace for yourself and your family. I pray for you all the time and by the grace of the Lord he will provide you the strenght that you need to get through this difficult time. Those beautiful little girls need you as much as you need them. You keep talking to them about their angel sister Zoe because it will help them to know her as they grow. My niece and newphew talk about my mom like they know her because of how their older sisters talked about their Nana. You are doing a great job!
Stacey

Stefanie~ said...

Keira,
Just doing a check in on you. I'm so sorry for everything that you are going through. I hope it helps to know that we all come here and think about you and Zoe and avery & Lilly. I think you are so courageous for letting us in on all the lows your experiencing. Giving us the not so pretty picture let's us know that you are indeed grounded. AND i know that you are helping many people out there who may stumble across your blog one day and who knows, it could have been the day that they couldn't make it through, the day when they wanted it no more. I know that you've helped many and sharing your raw thoughts with us means so much. I continue to think of you often.

AnnD said...

I am a lurker who first read your story many months ago when your little Angel passed on. I have thought of you often. I don't walk your shoes, and never have. I have four healthy full-term babes - for that I am truly blessed. However, reading your posts (even the ones where you are so sad) makes me believe you are an awesome mother - multiples would be a ton of work, multiples, premmie and special needs, I can't even imagine the 'adventures' you have had - even before Zoe passed.

Congrats on being a wonderful mom. I hope you find a way to cope, to manage or to accept (not sure of the correct words). YOu have a beautiful family.

AnnD said...

I am a lurker who first read your story many months ago when your little Angel passed on. I have thought of you often. I don't walk your shoes, and never have. I have four healthy full-term babes - for that I am truly blessed. However, reading your posts (even the ones where you are so sad) makes me believe you are an awesome mother - multiples would be a ton of work, multiples, premmie and special needs, I can't even imagine the 'adventures' you have had - even before Zoe passed.

Congrats on being a wonderful mom. I hope you find a way to cope, to manage or to accept (not sure of the correct words). YOu have a beautiful family.

AnnD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AnnD said...

Ooops - got impatient, and it posted a few too many times.

guinnf said...

Tons of prayers lifting you up for tomorrow. I know that Zoe is looking down on you and wrapping you in her love and you face the first Mother's Day without her. Enjoy the day with Avery and Lily and your family.

Kimberly and the GA Guinn Triplets
www.guinnfamilyhome.com

All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31