Friday, December 3, 2010


Gah, so panicky these days. So anxious. So uncomfortable. I flinch at so much, my shoulders have taken up residence in my ears, my back is always tense, I sleep with my hands in fists.

I saw my acupuncturist on Wednesday. We always joke because even there I can not find a moment of respite. I try to close my eyes and they are like window shades that are overwound and they keep springing open. "You don't have to relax," she tells me, "the needles will work anyway..." and "You certainly don't have to TRY to relax..." Because I get myself even more wound up about the fact that I can't relax.

This morning I woke up very angry with my prenatal care team. Angry that I never got a 36 week ultrasound or a growth scan, angry that they never suspected he'd be as big as he was, angry that they didn't check my placenta with an ultrasound, especially when I went late. My midwife that I saw for the last 6 months of my pregnancy was out for my 40 week appointment, so I saw a substitute. I can't help but wonder if she totally effed things up, assumed I had had a growth scan, assumed all was fine. Our visit was rushed. She tried to push induction, but gave me no good reason why I should be induced other than of course we opted to wait it out. I will forever have questions, I know. And I had pretty much decided not to pursue mediation or even a meeting with the care team and the ombudsman, but today I was rethinking that...imagining the future financial burdens we face...and there we go, I started my day in a total anxious panic again.

E has been having a really horrible time this week, and it breaks my heart to see him in so much pain. Last night I got home from work and the dogs were here and his car was here but it didn't seem he was (and he hadn't answered my call on the way home from work) and I said, "Hello?" to no answer and for a brief moment (that seemed endless) I had the most awful visions of finding him dead in the was so scary. Turns out he was on the phone in our guest room with the door closed, but for those moments before I found him, I had felt the walls crumbling in on me and was so terrified...

My uncle is in the hospital, pretty seriously ill right now. Our friend K has lost all her hair and just completed her second chemo treatment for breast cancer yesterday. A friend from college passed away in his sleep on Thanksgiving morning, he was 36. Life is fucking brutal, and I can't get a break.


Jenn said...

Oh, dear Sarah, I'm so sorry life is so brutal for you right now. I wish there was something I could say, something I could do to somehow make it easier for you.

I relate to so much of what you've written here today. The anxiety, the panic, the horror of worrying about hubby dying. My very good friend is on her second chemo treatment for breast cancer and we've been dealing this week with a family member being in and out of the hospital. Life really is just so brutal sometimes.

Thinking of you, praying for you, sending you much love.

Angela said...

I'm sorry you are so panicky right now. I worry constantly about my husband dying too. I know how overwhelming the fear and worry can be.

I know it doesn't make anything better, but I passed a blog award on to you. You can check it out on my blog when you have a moment.

Maddie said...

Hugs Sarah. I remember the anxiety as well. Before I read the grief books it didn't make any sense to me - rationally the bad (OK that's an understatement) thing had already happened. Then I read it was normal. And then at my first appointment with my psych he asked me about anxiety and was I spending a lot of time double checking the door was locked. I was.

I was just talking to another BLM on Thursday and about the fact I've struggled (another understatement - there aren't really the words for this) with Matilda's death despite having a highly monitored pregnancy and the best possible care for Matilda when she was alive which meant the 'what ifs' haven't been a big part of this for me. I can only imagine how much harder it would be if you thought things could have been different.

I used a lot of Bachs Rescue Rememdy - I think it helped. I had a couple of panic attacks before I started using it.

Maddie x

Maddie said...

Also, this sounds very simplistic but it helped me sometimes (and still does). When my mind was heading down a track of seeing only bad things in the future I'd tell myself 'not helping not helping' to try and break the train of thought. It worked sometimes.

sarah said...

Oh Maddie, simplistic is good. I like the "not helping not helping" suggestion. And I actually can see it working.

Thanks Jenn and Angela too for stopping by and commenting.

Today has felt a little bit like a breakthrough day in some ways, and in good ways I should say, so there's that. Of course that probably means tomorrow will be horrible; but...I'll take a good day while I've got it.

zubeldia said...

oh, lu, it really is so unfair that you're in the midst of this unspeakable grief and more nightmarish stuff happens. You're a beautiful soul, you are, and you are what's right with this brutal world, you, your love for your gorgeous son, your love for E, your precious son himself.

You are so loved, my girl. And I love you.

Hope's Mama said...

I am still angry at my carers and still wake up some days and feel like marching back in to that hospital and shouting at a lot of people. We were failed dismally. We also didn't have a scan after 20 weeks as it was a normal, healthy, boring pregnancy, but the thing is ANY pregnancy can go wrong at any moment, so I wish scans at that late stage were more routine. Sure, it might have shown nothing was wrong, and there wasn't anything wrong until the last 24 hours or so, but it MIGHT have and it is those what ifs that will forever kill me. We have so many what ifs and have so many moments in time that I know if we went back, we could save the baby. Our caregivers have so much to answer for and it took us many, many months and the birth of a live baby some 15 months later before we finally had the courage to pursue action with a lawyer. We're still in the middle of it all now, and it isn't fun but it is something I felt we had to do, as the hospital needs to take things more seriously and I feel like we have to do this to try and make a difference for other mothers and babies out there.
I'm thinking of you so much. Oh I know how much these early days hurt. Your wounds are still so fresh.

Missy said...

I used to wake up angry at myself for choosing those A-holes who took care of me. And I find that sometimes I still am because it's so easy to second guess it all. I'm sorry that life isn't treating you very well right now. I wish I could take it all away, but at the very least I can tell you that you are loved and supported. Thinking of you often!

Anonymous said...

Oh Sarah- I so wish I could just sit with you for awhile- to talk and breathe. The anger and the ever changing mindset- it is all to well known to me. I had a doozy of a day- so if you want to talk you always know where you can find me.
Thinking of you my friend...

kate said...

i've found a place to go hiking near to my home - in the australian bush with native flora and fauna all around. The walk we took together inspired me to find my own quiet place. whenever i head off i think of you and otis... and i hold you in my thoughts all along the way.

with love,

kate xx

æ said...

I'm kind of struggling as to whether or not this is helpful to say, so shoot, I hope it feels all right. I'm just finding myself wanting to advocate for your right to more info as well.

We got two ultrasounds when we got close to 40 weeks and both times they checked my placenta, among other things, to help us make an informed decision about induction. And they did it like it's so totally routine (the first one must've been shortly before 40 weeks even), and I was even seeing a sub for that one. And it was a total hassle because they hadn't scheduled it beforehand and we went along with it but wouldn't have argued for it, but it was our DOC's job to get it done. Not ours. And she did.

I think you have every right to be angry that they didn't bother to check. I get that everything seemed fine, but the thing is that's why that technology is helpful. I wish they'd at least offered it to you so you could have made informed consent knowing the status of your placenta and O's approximate size. That's really unfair Sarah.


hayley said...

hi sarah

I'm so sorry that life is being so brutal. thinking of you on yet another weekend.

love h.x

Missy said...

Wanted to let you know I showed some blog love. Thinking of you!

Tess said...

I feel for you Sarah, on so many levels.

I have no one to blame for Elizabeth's death; it was a tragic accident - it doesn't stop all the 'what-ifs' that are indeed so 'normal' for us.

I hate that I can't relax around others outside the hubby and home, even then, it comes for me at night times when my guard is down.
What helped me with my anxiety about losing A, was the realisation that everything is random, the 'why not me' - you saw that and wrote on it too... keep chipping away at it and you'll get more of the good days.

I hope your Uncle and friend K are doing better today, you too.
Thinking of you, E and Otis

I've shared the same 'blog love' as Missy - thank you Sarah

Anonymous said...

Wanted to let you know that I have passed you some blog love.. hop over to mine to see....
Grace- Leslie

brianna said...

Sarah, I am sorry to hear all the health challenges of people in your life right now. I hope for their full recovery. It is a terrible thing to lose a friend so suddenly as you lost your college friend.

Anxiety is something I have struggled with for years, long before George died. It can be paralyzing. I find going for walks help, especially if Leif comes along. Hoping you find a way to alleviate some of this anxiety.

Anonymous said...


You stopped by my blog last week and somehow I didn't see your note until today. Thanks for your kind words. I am so sorry for the loss of your Otis. The words sound hollow, but know that my heart is sending warmth your way.

I could have written part of what you wrote in this post - the anxiety about more bad stuff happening (particularly to my husband) is frankly terrifying. I used to believe that things worked out - but that is now gone. I used to pride myself in feeling that somehow I could solve most any problem that came my way - oh, that is so not true anymore.

When I lost Quinn and Trace, I also lost myself and so much more - and maybe, just maybe, some of it will come back someday - although I am quite certain it will never be the same.

By the way, I'm also rebelling against saying "happy x". No Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year etc. It won't be happy, and I won't pretend otherwise. I'm determined to come up with an alternative - because "happy" is just not something that I think I'll be feeling this holiday season.

I do hope that you find some peace though - and that the universe gives you a break. You've clearly had enough sadness for a lifetime already.

Fiona said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious baby, Otis. I lost my baby boy, Bailey, in March 2009. Thinking of you. Take care xx