Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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The aftermath, Part II

I was literally tethered to my hospital bed. I did not get out of that bed or move from that room for one month. The nurses on the floor where I was confined were more than kind to me. Although I did have family coming and going (flying in from California, etc), I remember being alone a lot. There was so much compassion from those nurses and from my orthopedist (Handsome Hanson as he was called) as he did his daily rounds. They all tended to me in terms of my various wounds and needs (sponge bath, bed pan, trying to prevent bed sores, special meals) but no one ever spoke about the death of my brother. No one asked me how I was or if I wanted to talk about it. No one, ever.

And the same was true of family. They brought me gifts and visited with me, but there was a painful silence when it came to my brother. There were no questions about the events leading up to his death. There were no questions about how I survived. No one asked about my broken heart. No one wanted to know if I was afraid or guilty or upset or if I wanted to talk about it. I didn’t know what to make of it. But, what I eventually did make of it was that I wasn’t to speak of it; that it was a tragedy of epic proportions and that any mention of it would cause deep emotional pain to whomever was listening. It wasn’t so much his death, then, that caused me to grow up in an instant; it was the inability to speak of it. I internalized it as my duty to protect the rest of my family from pain by swallowing my own, only crying when alone, and never speaking of my brother. I had to be strong.

Beyond the heart break, there was guilt. What could I have done? What should I have done? Was there anything I could have done to prevent the unthinkable from happening? Why did we have to take the truck out in the first place? I spent many nights, alone in my hospital bed, in my hospital room, replaying the events, burning them into my memory for all time; stopping, rewinding, and wondering why I didn’t do anything to change the course of events when the truth was that there was nothing I could have done at eleven years old, but no one absolved me of responsibility. I was utterly alone in my grief.

And, worse, I began to wish it had be me that had died. I’m not sure if that was a mechanism to avoid the physical and emotional pain I was in or one to avoid facing the gut wrenching pain my mother was in. Well, that’s not entirely true. It was more the latter. He was her firstborn son. They were alike in so many ways. He was beloved. Although I always felt loved and part of this great family, when it came to this guilt, I believed that had it been me, even though she would have been sad, it wouldn’t be the same level of despair that I knew she was in. And, since we didn’t speak of the accident, it only reinforced how alienated I was.

On August 16, 1977, there was breaking news on television that Elvis Presley died of a drug overdose, in his bathroom. It was one week after the accident and it made a profound impression on me. I didn’t even know what drugs were and I barely knew who Elvis was. But I did know what grief was and I remember the craziness surrounding his death…everyone was sobbing, wailing even, hysterical; the whole country seemed to be in mourning. I found it strangely comforting. It was the only time I didn’t feel so alone.

4 comments to The aftermath, Part II

  • You are such a captivating writer and your story is so real, raw, intense and emotional. I don’t know what else to say. Again, I am so sorry that you have experiences this depth of pain. I am so moved by your ability and desire to share it with us.

  • Natalie

    I am just reading your story today. It is so heartbreaking. I can’t even imagine how alone you must have felt in that hospital bed. My family has a similar type of reaction to bad things that happen. We haven’t had a tragedy on the proportions that you have, but it is so difficult to have bad things happen and feel like you can’t talk about them or share them with anyone. It is really good that you are sharing your story and writing it down. My heart goes out to you.

  • Tireegal

    It’s so painful to think of you alone with your thoughts and guilt and the burden of feeling responsible. People just didn’t talk about that stuff back then, really. In so many ways we were emotionally stunted in those days. I think we still are but we have more support groups and buzz words and psycho babble! (( big hugs ))

  • I had similar feelings when my cousin died, though under MUCH different circumstances. Not just the replaying the final encounter, but the “never speak of it” feeling too. I felt more of a guilt, too. How could *I* grieve when my cousins lost their sister and my aunt and uncle lost their daughter?

    I can only imagine how much scarring it left in you.

    Hugs, sweetie. I hope that telling your story has brought some release.

    xxx

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