Wednesday, January 12, 2011

4 Months

4 months ago tonight, we were in the NICU, talking with the neonatologist on duty about what our "code preferences" were...meaning, if we wanted them to use life support, cpr, etc. were Otis to code. We were pretty sure that he was not going to live, and that the results of his brain testing the following day would be catastrophic news.

4 months, and not a single person mentioned it to me today. How quickly they forget, how quickly the promises of marking the dates with me fade, how quickly everyone moves back to their own lives, complaining about their own children...having the nerve to try to speak to me about the "hassles of cold season with two kids under five."

I am feeling so very sorry for myself.

I wailed like a two year old throwing a tantrum today, kicked, screamed, and shook.

E held me, tight, while I wailed, and kicked, and hit, and sobbed.

E and I had a few very scary days this week, where I feared we had lost our connection, where everything seemed to be crumbling all over again, where I was so physically terrified of losing him or our marriage disintegrating that my whole body trembled...

My grandmother seems to be making a recovery. Her heart has stabilized. Her pneumonia is fading. One week ago they told us to say our goodbyes, that they didn't think she'd be with us for another 24 hours. Today she was transfered from the hospital to a nursing facility, her progress has been that good. But she is not lucid a lot of the time. And she is violent and angry that she is in the hospital. This woman is unfamiliar to me - she is in the body of my granny, but Granny's spirit seems to have left. She often doesn't really recognize me, or does, and then doesn't. And she never speaks of Otis, or of my pregnancy - I don't think she remembers that he existed. It is so hard to be with her, for so many reasons.

I don't understand a world where a 97 year old woman who so desperately wants to die makes a recovery, and leaves the hospital, and a baby who we so desperately want to live dies, and only leaves the hospital as a lifeless body on its way to the mortuary.

I miss him so much. I looked at his ultrasound photos today, that little boy, lying there on his back, hands behind his head, kicking back as if he were watching clouds float by from a grassy meadow or hanging out in a hammock waiting for a cold drink...I wish I had gotten tapes of the ultrasounds. I wish I had done the 4D ultrasound, I always thought they looked so creepy, but now, god, I'd give anything to be able to replay the tape, and watch him move, with life, around inside of me.

I miss him so much.

Today was one of those "I don't know how I can go on living" days. They haven't all been this painful, but today most certainly was. It hurts so badly. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. In every single cell of my body, in every thread of my being, it hurts. I don't understand why I should ever want to feel hopeful about anything ever again in times like this. I don't understand how people manage to go about with their lives, in the midst of such inconsolable suffering. The darkest thoughts seep into my mind and get stuck on repeat: I don't want to live without my baby. I don't want to live without my boy. I don't want to live.

I know it will pass. And again, I will say this for my readers' sake: I am not in danger of hurting myself. And many days I do want to live, and many moments I do feel hopeful.

But today, it is dark.

I miss you, so much, baby boy.


kate said...

oh sweet sarah - i am so sorry... i am so sorry that people forget, that there are so many hard and painful moments, that nothing can bring back otis...

please know that i think of you and your beautiful otis many, many times EVERY SINGLE DAY. it doesn't matter where i am or what i am doing - i will find my thoughts drifting towards him and you. i carry otis's picture with me in my purse - truly - because i want him close to me (and through him, you). i talk to my children about him and teach them how to write his name.

i wish there was more i could do... loving you from afar is not enough.

kate xxx

car said...

I'm so sorry that no one took the time to let you know that they knew that today was Otis's 4 month anniversary. I know how much a little email can mean on a day like today.

lucy clout said...

beutiful girl I am so sorry that no one told you they knew, and remembered and were thinking of you. I did and I was and I'm sorry for keeping that to myself, it does no good I know this. last night, as I often do, I thought of you and little O and reeled at how so much can change in so small a time. my heart breaks for you and for E and for granny, it's not fair, it's not right that life should be as cruel as this. It is good to see the picture of you and your boy here, he is such a handsome little man.

love to you


Missy said...

Biggest of hugs and love Sarah. I wish I could offer words of encouragement and make all the people in our lives understand and remember our heartache. We wish so many things. You and Otis are loved today and always!

zubeldia said...

Oh, sarah, love, I wish that Otis was here and we were celebrating his 4 months on this earth. He is always with us, and everyday we think of him; think of you all. When he died I wondered how on earth the world could go on, how people could carry on as though nothing had happened. And there is such an injustice in that, as grief grinds us to a halt nothing else stops moving.

Each day there are moments of quietness and stillness when we think and stop - all of us. When we catch a glance of Otis' photo or his name on the fridge door. We love him, we miss him, we mourn him, and yet what we feel doesn't come close to what you feel. And when I think about that I am always amazed by you, Sarah, your courage EVEN on days like this when the world is dark, when your soul feels dark. Especially on days like this, my sweet friend...

Love you so much, S.

Maddie said...

Sending love and hugs. And wishing Otis was still in your arms today.

Maddie x

Sarah said...

I'm sorry it's already 4 months - how the time crawls / flies.

And yeah - I threw a heap of tantrums in the early days. Still do sometimes, just with the sheer injustice of it all.

If you ever need to talk - whether it's stuff from Glow or just grief or whatever email me at

Wishing you peace,
Sarah H

My New Normal said...

I am also sorry it's been 4 months and no one remembered. If it makes you feel any better, it's been 5 months for me today and none of my family or friends remembered either.

Life goes on for them in a way that it doesn't for us. I'm coming to terms with it so that I'm not continually disappointed by others.

æ said...

I remember. Like Kate said, every day. Like H said, I should have told you and I'm sorry I didn't.

Thank you for putting this photo here. It displays larger for me than on his website. I still haven't found that all-encompassing word for how it feels to look at the two of you. You know, the word about marveling at beauty while being swallowed by sorrow.


Sarah said...

I remember, too. I think about you and E and Otis every day, I pray for you three every day with so much love.

I love this picture of you two, it fills me with joy and breaks my heart simultaneously. I so wish you could be holding Otis again.

I love you,

Angela said...

I'm sorry no one thought to send a quick e-mail or text message to you today as I know how much it can help.

I love the picture of you and Otis. Sweet boy, how I wish he was in your arms.

Jenn said...

You're entitled to shitty, shitty days. They come and go, as you well know. I'm sorry this was such a bad one.

I'm sure dealing with the issues surrounding your Grandmother is not helping.

Thinking of you Sarah and sending you much love. xx

Catherine W said...

What a beautiful photograph. So much love. Your Otis was a gorgeous baby.

I'm sorry it so dark at the moment xo

still life angie said...

Gorgeous photo. Otis is beautiful. Sending you love at four months.

katman110 said...

Sweet mama, I am so so very sorry.
I, too, think about you and your beautiful Otis every day. And about how terribly wrong it is that he's not in your arms today. Sending you love and wishing you peace...

Monique said...

I'm so sorry you're struggling right now and wishing I could come by and sit and cry with you.

Otis was a beautiful boy and he is so loved and missed. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Sending you so much love mamma.. Otis is so loved.

Hanen said...

Oh Sarah - sending so much love. I know at four months out my brain was just hitting those same impossible equations - of me being alive, her not. Does not compute. It is an impossible thing to live with, and then, at the same time, you are living with it, doing the impossible minute by minute. Such a gorgeous little boy - I love his hair so much - so thick. xxxh

Brooke said...

Oh Sarah, that photo is amazing. He is so beautiful. It's not possible to understand any of this. I feel the same way about living right now--not that I am actually going to stop doing it but that I don't see how I can possibly bear to continue.

Wishing you better moments in the days to come.

Hope's Mama said...

This broke my heart. I'm struggling a bit myself at the moment, but the intensity of the grief at four months is ferocious, I know. I'm so sorry. He's so beautiful. He should be here.
Holding you close, Sarah.