Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thoughts of the day

What a realization I had today! We had a Relief Society get together tonight and it was really good. I had totally forgotten about it until 10 minutes before it started. Beckham was acting cranky so I wasn’t going to go but then I thought hey what the heck. After wrestling with his small shoes that I keep forgetting to throw out, we made it to the Church. The activity was about overcoming and recognizing depression. I was laughing inside when our speaker was going over the symptoms. I seriously was like “I have that, that too. Okay maybe I have a problem” But it’s not to the extent that he was talking about. Mine are more of bad spurts in my day. Some of the causes are Shock, trauma, stress, overwhelmed feelings and low self esteem. Over the last 3 years I’ve had all of those things. Especially in the last year. Some of the things he said that you can do to help was not helpful go figure. The main thing that I was thinking about was how does someone expect me to overcome the death of a child without a little depression?

It’s been months since our little girl was stillborn, but the events of that day still run through my mind. The specifics get hazy, but I will never forget the heartache and sorrow of that time. I was so excited for our little girl. Justin wanted a boy because he wanted brother for Beckham and because he grew up with all boys. But as we acquired pink everything, the idea of a little girl overcame Justin’s feelings. I was so excited. I loved to just sit and feel her kick. I could just lay there and feel her kick for hours. She was such an active little baby and very predictable. At our last appointment I remember walking into an ultrasound room and feeling hesitant to get on the table. The doctor that scanned us was very nervous and then the scanning began and it only took a matter of seconds to know that our daughter had passed. The doctors’ face was very somber and I knew the worst was yet to come. I then remember being moved into another room next door to the ultrasound room and listened to our options. I could hear through the walls and Justin and I could hear other couples getting good news and soon to be parents laughing and being joyfully happy…while we just sat in tears.
Then next time we were at the doctors it was to deliver our baby, or daughter. While I was in the restroom changing into my gown. I remember coming out and looking around the labor and delivery room and just thinking this didn’t feel real. I think I was in denial that my daughter was dead. We were supposed to be in that room there to deliver our living, healthy, active baby girl. I was supposed to be happy to be here, not terrified. After I got settled in the bed, the nurses came in and introduced themselves. Another doctor came in with an ultrasound machine and verified that there wasn’t a heartbeat… my heart broke again, but I think part of me was still holding onto a miracle. That somehow, someway our baby would be alright. The nurses gave me a pill to start labor, but it would take a while to take effect, so we had to wait. The nurses had mentioned doing molds of the baby’s hands and having a photographer come take pictures after she was delivered. I remember wanting that, but mainly I just wanted the nightmare of our daughter dying to be over so we could move on with our lives.
The waiting game for my labor to start continued. We turned on the TV and bored quickly of daytime TV. Justin made frequent trips to get flavored ice for me to chew on. Other than that, we just kind of hung out while we waited. Eventually it got pretty late and people started to leave. It was after everyone left and the distraction was gone that I began to realize again what was going on; that we were there for a completely different reason than we had anticipated. Nothing happened that night and I was so pissed. I wanted out of that hospital, I didn’t want to be there. Finally 24 hours of labor later it was getting close. I remember the nurse checking me and I was in an extreme amount of pain. A combo of heart ache and physical ache. She checked me and said “sweetie you’re only a 2 and you have awhile try to relax” I knew she was smoking something because I could feel our daughter coming out. Justin was calling for the epidural when the nurse came back with frustrating eyes like she had better things to do. I asked if she could please check again and in a matter of 5 minutes I went from a 2 to a 10. No wonder I was pain. She informed Justin that it was too late for an epidural and that I was going to have to do this natural. I’ve never seen Justin so mad at someone. I remember him saying that she was things that I won’t repeat. ;) She then looked at me and said don’t push and that she was going to get the doctor.
Okay let me just say this now. Not pushing was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Seriously. After not pushing for 25 minutes the doctor was finally there with nurses to help. I remember her telling me to push and thinking why? Why push? There isn’t a point. If someone could die of heart ache I would have in that moment. After 2 minutes of pushing she was out. With a normal birth, you hold your breath until you hear the baby cry, that sound of sweet relief that lets you know your baby made it. There was no baby crying when Nora was born… just the chill of silence. The room fell completely silent as the four of us in the room were left to contemplate the birth of a life that never would be. The nurse took Nora and her little body and cleaned her off and wrapped her in a receiving blanket. She was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen. She had a head full of hair and she fit in my hand. As she laid there in my arms, I sobbed.
Our doctor and the nurse left us alone at that point. I don’t remember exchanging many words, if any. Mostly we just held each other with Nora’ little body in our hands and cried. I remember telling Justin how much I loved him and that I knew we would all be together again someday. I don’t know how many times I told Nora I loved her. I knew it was little consolation, and hoped they didn’t seem like empty words.
The veil was very thin in those moments and I could feel that Nora’ spirit was there with us, trying to comfort her inconsolable parents. There is little doctrine on the eternal nature of stillbirth children. It makes it hard to know what to believe. In that moment, I knew… she had no need of the Earthly trial. She just needed a body and parents… and those she now had. She would be in heaven waiting for us and preparing a place for us. I also felt the presence of others spirits, who were there to support us through that very sad moment.
Grief is an interesting thing. We would later meet with a hospital grief counselor who would explain this to us in greater length. It seemed that holding Nora made me sadder, But I will never forget the precious angel I held in my arms that day and my arms ache to hold her again.
Justin and I took the opportunity to implore Heavenly Father’s comforting spirit to help our family get through that most difficult time. I don’t recall everything that I said in that special little prayer, but I remember the peace I felt after. For the first time since the whole experience began, I felt like I was thinking clearly.
We both wanted to leave the hospital as soon as we could. That hospital was forever a reminder of the death of my daughter. But then again we weren’t so eager to leave because leaving meant we were going home without the baby we had so anticipated… Another difference in grief, I suppose.
Going home that night was one of the hardest things I had to do, although I didn’t realize it would be when I went. I came into the house and just looked around, getting that surreal feeling again. I went upstairs and saw the bedroom she was going to have... and I froze for a few seconds. Tears came to my eyes as I realized we wouldn’t be bringing our baby girl home. She would never lay in the nursery we would prepare so carefully for her. For a moment, I forgot to breathe until I remembered that I had a mission to complete. I shook the grief from my mind, I gathered a few items of Beckham’s and we all piled in the queen bed for a family prayer and some well deserved sleep. Justin didn’t mind that I wanted Beckham in our bed I think that he knew I needed a child to hold that night.
I still don’t know and I’m beginning to think I won’t understand in this life. Sometimes we don’t know all the answers. That’s were faith comes in. Faith is belief in things we can’t see or understand. I don’t understand why we didn’t get to keep our daughter, but I have faith that because we didn’t, we will be comforted, we will understand one day and that Heavenly Father will keep our daughter safe until we can see her again. Our love for each other, Beckham and for Nora will carry us and help us to live worthy to be reunited and raise our daughter in heavenly courts above. But every day is a trial without her. Our lives are forever changed. I honestly feel different… more somber, more reverent… and every day I miss her, our darling little girl, Nora Emeline.
So the moral of this huge story, I’m glad I have a little depression. If I didn’t have any, then someone should be worried. The things that I’ve been through in my life are insane and hard. Sometimes I think “really Heavenly Father... are you sure I can handle this?” But He knows everything and He knew that Nora will always make me a little sad and that’s okay because I never ever want to forget her. I don’t want to just push her aside and replace her with other kids. As some people say I should do. (I know people can be really infuriating) I’m not saying that all depression is good. Don’t get me wrong. What I’m trying to say is that my depression has helped me become the person I am today, the mother I am to Beckham and the way I look at life.

I better get to bed I didn’t realize the time



Robins Family said...

I agree Jamie some depression is good. You cannot replace Nora with other kids. I would think your heart would still ache. You are so strong. I some times say the same thing "Really Heavenly Father...are you sure I can handle this." Just remember we all have trials. And I am sure if we could be a fly on the wall and see other peoples trials we would say I will stick with mine. Hang in there.

Justin said...

Love you babe!

Darwin and Kiara said...

Dear, Jamie:

Thank you again for sharing your story and your personal, intimate feelings. And thank you SO much for your amazingly touching comment to me on Facebook for Mother's Day. I cried as soon as I read it and saw that it was from you because I know you've been through 100 times worse than I have, and I almost felt a little selfish for my complaining. It meant so much to me that you would think of me on that day that I'm sure was more difficult for you than it was for me. You've been so strong and such an amazing example to me through your incredibly difficult trial, and I will always look up to your example. Please know that you hold a special place in my heart. Please know that I pray for your comfort and I know that we are both stronger women from the trials that we face in this life, no matter how difficult they are. Thank you for your encouragement and hope. You have an amazing testimony, and I thank you again for sharing that with me.

You are amazing, Jamie Hamblin! Don't ever forget it!


Jessie said...

Thanks for sharing that, Jamie. I can't imagine going through such an ordeal. I love her name, by the way. It's so beautiful.

I had some pretty crazy depression last year. I mean, I think I've dealt with it on a smaller level before then, but last year's was horrible. And I'm still feeling guilty about how awful I was then, as a mother and wife. Man. Life is hard, isn't it?
Anyway, I appreciate your openness about your experience. I agree with the above "amazing Jamie" comments.

Jason & Kelli West said...

Jaime, thank you for sharing such a personal experience with us. I admire you for your strength. I am not sure how i would handle going through something like that. I think your awesome. Missed seeing you at the retreat. I hope to maybe see you soon. I agree with Jessie, her name you chose is so beautiful!

Heather said...

Thanks for being so willing to share your story. We love you and your family!

Just dandee said...

Thank you for sharing this Jamie. I too think there is a reason our bodies, minds, hearts... go through depression. I think it is a natural way to deal with, understand and grow through the trials of life. I love you dearly. Believe it or not, your strength is something I look up to and am encouraged by.

Layton's said...

Thanks for writing this. I totally feel your heartache. You are an inspiration.

Amy said...

Jamie, you are such a pillar of strength to me! I look up to you more than you could ever realize. I thank God every day that you were in my life when I needed you! Thank you for your example to me, you have such a strong testimony! Little Nora is so lucky to have you as a mommy! I love you!!!

Brenda said...

Thank you for sharing this Jamie. I love you.

mike and elise said...

Oh Jamie. Thank-you for posting your story. My heart aches for your pain and loss. I can't even imagine what you've been through. I admire your strength so much! You are an AMAZING woman, and a wonderful mother!!

I love that you said that the depression you've been through has given you depth and made you better. Sometimes I forget that things we tend to be ashamed of, like depression, can actually make us BETTER. Thank-you for sharing that perspective. :)

kevin said...

Thanks for this.......

David and Tiffany said...

Jamie, you are so good with words. Your story has touched me and makes me want to be better. Thank you for sharing some of your deepest feelings. You are a strong woman. I admire you and your strength.