Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Moccasins

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Moccasins

I am scheduled to see my OB/GYN this afternoon for a routine check. To tell you the truth, I have so many emotions swirling in me today about going back inside that building. I have dark memories of sitting in the waiting room, trying to hold myself together in the midst of all of the happy, bulging-with-babies women after seeing my very first little peanut-baby on an ultrasound screen with no beating heart. I have more dark memories of yet another life slipping away after that. I have bittersweet memories of waiting for the doctor in a quiet exam room bawling and laughing at the same time while Brian amused himself with the odd-looking equipment lying about the room. I have sharp memories of great physical and emotional pain. I have wonderful memories of sitting with Brian in that building throughout my pregnancy with Erik -- hearing Erik's heartbeat for the first time, my belly growing ever so round, and being anxiously happy about the impending birth of our child. I have lonely memories of sitting in the waiting room after Erik was born without my husband and son, missing their presence and realizing I missed having a little person with me constantly so much (I talked to Erik all of the time before he was born). I have fuzzy memories of being so bloody tired, not knowing how to ask my doctor if what we were going through was normal, pretending things were fine, and leaving the office feeling alone with unasked questions heavy inside me. Today I must see my doctor for the first time since the diagnosis. She will ask about Erik, and I have to decide what I am going to say. I could say nothing about Erik's diagnosis, but I think that this is affecting my health and what happens in the future to a great degree, so I probably should. If I start crying, will I be able to stop? The only anger I really have is at the people around me who haven't walked a mile in my moccasins, wonder why I'm not happily pregnant at this very moment, and don't hesitate to ask me why (whether they know me and my history or not). Here's their answer. I suppose you wouldn't know unless you were me. And I AM angry, although I will try to let this go as soon as I figure out how and enough time has passed. I have had women wave baby pictures in my face after a miscarriage and tease me about not having kids. I have had people tell me how terrible it is to only have one child. What were they thinking? If they don't know me, they are making giant assumptions. Are they ever satisfied? I suppose they do not realize what it is like to have all of the joy sucked out of thinking about being pregnant, becoming pregnant, staying pregnant, and having a baby. I'm fresh out of joy, and I'm tired of needles, tests, exams, ultrasounds, nightmares, blood, and pain. I suppose they have never felt the nauseating jealously I feel when I look at other parents without a care in the world. I suppose they have never wondered how they would handle being a high-risk pregnancy after age 35 with one special needs child already. I suppose they have never had everybody say their baby would be just fine when he wasn't. I suppose they have never had the joy sucked out of even watching their friends have babies. I suppose they have never felt this kind of fear you cannot just "pray away." Yes, I'm scared shitless, but I need to deal with this my own way, and this means I need to find joy in taking care of our son the best way I know how and to heal in my own time. Being Erik's mom is what brings me peace and joy at the moment, not living up to everybody else's expectations. That is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. I know this is hard to read, but it is a great part of how I feel 93 days after a doctor matter-of-factly told us our baby was going to be mentally retarded and sent us on our way. It is how I feel when I am forced to go back to the place that makes me feel like throwing up in the parking lot. There is some good that has come out of this. I have learned to try on other people's moccasins. Now if only I could learn to cry in front of my doctor.

7 Comments:

Blogger PASLAY'S FROM IDAHO said...

SEE...YESTERDAY GIGGLES AND TODAY A FACE FULL OF TEARS!! READING THIS LATEST ENTRY TOOK ME BACK DOWN THAT LONG LONG ROAD IN YOUR LIFE AND I REMEMBER THE THINGS YOU SHARED WITH ME BACK THEN. ALL I CAN SAY IS I LOVE YOU GIRL AND I AM SORRY THAT THOSE PEOPLE AND ESPECIALLY THOSE WOMEN NEVER HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO PUT ON YOUR MOCCASINS OR EVEN AT LEAST GIVEN YOU A SAFE, SUPPORTIVE & LOVING PLACE TO PUT UP YOUR FEET AND GIVE YOUR MOCCASINS A LITTLE TIME FOR REST & RENEWAL!!

8:13 AM  
Blogger Aspen said...

Again, you have left me with tears in my eyes. I feel those raw emotions exactly the same as you. You say it so perfectly and brilliantly. If only others could ever understand the heartache we feel and the tears we hold back on a daily basis.

A quote from Sex in the City once “Sometimes in life, there is nothing harder than to be happy for someone else” I thought that said it so brilliantly.

Good luck today, you will be in my thoughts all day. Cry your eyes out if you feel the urge.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your emotions with us. I know they are raw and it stings and hurts like hell. Remember that although there are so many people who will never be blessed (and, yes, I do mean blessed!) to walk in your shoes, there are those of us out there who HAVE walked in them. I, too, have suffered the devastation of miscarriage, infertility, and finding out your perfect baby is not as perfect as you thought. (And last month, I saw my OB for the first time since Clare's diagnosis and, boy, what a story I had for her!) Just like my Clare, these things have made me a fighter. You are a fighter, Nancy, you are. Don't forget that. You are strong and tough and brave. But it's okay to let that all go as well and cry.
I was going to e-mail you this personally, but couldn't find your e-mail, so sorry for posting it on a comment!

Teresa

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just started reading your blog yesterday and when I read today's message it brought back painful memories. I have walked in your shoes and I do understand how you are feeling. I have a 5yr old son who was diagnosed April 2005. It has taken me a year and a lot of therapy to sort through my feelings. I just had my second son in April 2006. This after 3yrs of infertility and finally a successful IVF. I felt so blessed to be pregnant but at the same time I was completely scared. I also had a high risk pregnancy. I never enjoyed this pregnancy like I did when I had my first son. Back then I didn't have a care in the world. Never thinking that something could be wrong with my child. You always think these things happen to other people. At this point there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with my new son but unfortunately because of what I have gone through I am forever scarred. Every time something happens I always wonder if the other shoe is about to drop. I am trying to sort through those feelings but it is difficult. I wish you much luck and my thoughts are with you.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, I sit in awe of the woman who is my daughter. I wish I had wise advice for you. I don't know why when we decided to have babies and wanted two, two years apart, a boy and a girl, we had a girl and a boy, two years, two weeks apart. I remember when our second was born, I told the doctor that I felt so very, very lucky-- I knew that this wasn't something that I'd earned; to a great extent, it was the luck of the draw.
One of the things that I wanted to teach my children is that life is NOT FAIR. You don't "deserve" what you're going through, any more than I "deserve" the easy time I was handed.
I can't tell you what I'd do in your situation because I can't put myself there. But I do know this-- you're a wise woman. You won't race headlong into a decision before considering all the pros and cons. Because in the end, you have the ultimate responsibility for your choices, and you realize that.
Not long after Erik's diagnosis, your dad and I took a frivolous, one day train trip. We were still stunned, and felt at sea with our emotions. We met a young woman who was having a tough time-- separated from her husband and children, she was going the 150 miles home after a monthly visit with them. We met a father and late teen son from California who were trying to sort out their lives. We could tell that they all looked at us with a little envy, because we were retired, just out to have a good time. Your dad, of course, had printed maps of our route, and had his GPS along to measure train speed and tell exactly where we were on the map. He was teaching people to savor the trip, that it isn't only about getting from point "A" to point "B". We were on the same train, taking the same journey, and all of us had stories to tell. No one on that train knew how badly we were hurting.
The world, I think, is guilty of judging people without knowing their stories. I can't see how that will change globally, so I guess we need to learn to somehow protect ourselves from those judgements. Sometimes it's by ignoring them, considering the source; sometimes it may mean letting someone have it with both barrels.
Would I change your life? You bet. I so want to make things easier for you-- fairer. I know I can't do that. But change you? Absolutely not. Because you are an incredible person and I stand in awe.
Love, Mom

6:12 AM  
Blogger PASLAY'S FROM IDAHO said...

NANCE,

ONCE AGAIN HERE I AM WITH A HUUUUGE FACE FULL OF TEARS! I READ YOUR MOM'S ENTRY....I KNEW YOUR MOM WAS AN EXCEPTIONAL PERSON THE DAY I MET HER BUT I NEVER SAT BACK AND REALLY SOAKED THAT IN UNTIL THIS MORNING! WOW!!! ERIK IS SO VERY BLESSED TO HAVE YOU AS HIS MOTHER AND SO BLESSED TO HAVE YOUR MOTHER AS HIS GRANDMOTHER. SEE... THAT POEM I WAS TELLING YOU ABOUT REALLY REFLECTS SO MUCH ON HOW HEAVEN REALLY THOUGHT OUT ON WHO WAS GOING TO BE BLESSED WITH ERIK FROM HIS MOMMY & DADDY TO A VERY SPECIAL GRANDMA AND OF COURSE GRANDPA! WHEN YOU SEE YOUR MOM GIVE HER A BIG HUG FROM ME!

I HOPE AND PRAY THAT YESTERDAY WHEN YOU LEFT THE PARKING LOT OF YOUR OB THAT PERHAPS SOME HEALING WAS DONE, AND PERHAPS A LITTLE JOY CAME BACK AND NOW PERHAPS YOU HAVE A LITTLE PEP IN YOUR MOCCASINS.

I LOVE YOU GIRL!!

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darn it all Nance, why ya got to make me cry? I had found some contentment recently, for months in fact, and 8 months since my daughter's diagnosis I am starting to feel that anger and disappointment welling up again. It won't ever go away, will it? I cry with you, and for you. But like you said, find joy and peace in just being a mom to our little ones. That is all we have sometimes. Fondly and sadly, Amy

8:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home