Jealousy

In general, I consider myself to not be a very jealous person. But, in this case, I just can’t help myself, and I think the issue is starting to effect my mental health.
Social media can be a wonderful thing at times, but at other times, it can be a disaster. I have been staying away from a friend’s facebook page because I feel myself slipping into depression and it is nothing against this friend, its not her fault, just as the issue is not my fault. I am working on letting go of the guilt and sadness the issue has caused. It’s a slow process, and I have to take it day-by-day.
What am I jealous of, you ask? I see all these beautiful families with multiple children and it pains me. I also see a mother who is celebrating the “last firsts” as she goes through the milestones of her last child’s first year.
I never got to celebrate and cherish those moments of knowing those were the last firsts. With Mini, I cherished the moments as the first firsts. The last-firsts are bittersweet for a mother, and celebrating them is a milestone for a mother, in many ways.
Mini’s firsts were bittersweet for us for other reasons, but we did not get to celebrate the “last firsts” with him because we planned on more children. My body, on the other hand, did not agree. Well meaning people continue to mention that we should be happy and thankful we have Mini and that he is our miracle child. Yes, he is, and we are very thankful for him and that he was born healthy, despite the complications that led to his birth, but those thoughts do nothing to help, they, in fact, make the mental state of a mother worse. We know how blessed we are to have been able to have Mini, we do not need constant reminders from well meaning people.
Those reminders are just reminders of what we do not have, the children we spent countless nights wishing for, planning for. Cowboy’s little Irish Princess, Mamma’s tiny dancer. The countless negative pregnancy tests, the tears and fears.
The sentiments are reminders of the heartbreak of yet another miscarriage. Most of all, the well meaning expressions of semi-sympathy are reminders of our girls. Of the two children we buried. The loss no mother should ever have to face.
People often ask how I can go on. They ask if one ever gets over the pain of that loss. To answer, I think Rose Kennedy said it best, “It has been said that time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind protecting its sanity covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens but it is never gone.”
Back to the original point of this post, though. How does one get over the jealousy and celebrate another’s “last firsts” as a friend? How does one get over the feeling of being robbed of their life’s dream? How does one sit back and be happy for peers who are just starting to build their families, or who are expanding their families, when one dies a little inside with every pregnancy announcement? How does one get back those bittersweet missed moments? Is it polite to tell the well-meaning friends that their sentiments reminding us of the blessing Mini is, or to be thankful for the child who survived do not help? That those thoughts imply that we are not thankful and do not realize how blessed we are to have Mini? Will I ever be able to look at or hold an infant and not see my daughters and feel that heartache?
“You know, when I would see that stuff on the news, I would shut it off because it was just too horrible to think, but I would always think, ‘how do they wake up every day?’ I mean, how do they…how do they breathe, honey? But you do wake up. And for just a second, you forget. And then, oh, you remember. And it’s like getting that call again and again, every time. You don’t get to stop waking up. You have to keep on being a parent even though you don’t have a child anymore.” ~Carol, Glee Season 5, Episode 3, “The Quarterback”

KatieBear

12 years ago, it was a crisp, clear September morning in Alaska and my world changed. You were born. You were tiny, doll-like with very powerful lungs! For those first few days, everything was perfect.
We were blessed, at 9:44PM Alaska Time with our two pound 13 ounce baby girl. Only 15 3/4 inches long, you were our little angel.
Our perfect little family. We would enjoy the next three days, making plans for you to come home when you got bigger and telling your extended family all about you.
The moment we saw you, our hearts swelled with that absolute perfect love a parent has for their child.
Daddy’s Little Girl you will always be, and forever you will be Mamma’s Tiny Dancer.
You may have only had half of your heart, but you fought with all your being to stay with us. Your strength far surpasses that of so many adults. You taught me more than I can describe, my precious darling daughter.
We had to say goodbye to you too soon, Little Lady Katie. You may be far away from us, but you are always in our hearts.
Mamma and Daddy love and miss you so much, baby girl. We know you had to go, that it was just too much for your little body to handle, but to the very end you didn’t give up.
Your little brother, who is almost bigger than Mamma, wants to make you a birthday cake today. I think I will let him.
When you were born, that moment you came into the world, I couldn’t picture my life without you. Watching you fight, I knew I would have to face the worst fear of any parent. I think I have done ok, baby girl.
I miss you every day, and yet the world goes on. We must move forward.
We love you and we miss you, my sweet KatieBear.
Thank you to all who took part in Caitlin’s life.
Dr. Glen Elrod, the BEST OB a woman could ask for! (Congrats on the new practice and the new baby!) Thank you for taking the time to answer every question I had with both pregnancies.
Tammy Hatfield. A wonderful nurse practitioner who knew when she needed help. You took the fear out of my first pregnancy.
The entire L&D staff at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage
The NICU and PICU staff at Providence and Legacy Emanuel hospital in Portland, OR. You have a tough job and every nurse in all the units is an angel.
The life flight people.
The Tricare agents who processed the claims.
The staff and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House. You guys are awesome!
Dr. Marc LeGras. Caitlin’s day to day cardiologist.
Last but definitely no where near least, Dr. Albert Starr. You saved Caitlin’s life and gave us more time with her. Your steady hands and brilliant mind are true gifts. You will always have a place in our hearts. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough.

Please, look both ways when you cross the streets of heaven while walking with your great grandmothers.

Caitlin Elizabeth
September 17, 2002, 9:44PM,
Providence Medical Center, Anchorage AK
2pounds 13ounces, 15 3/4 inches