Monday, September 24, 2012


Having a newborn is exhausting for anyone. Not sleeping combined with the pressure of being responsible for a tiny, helpless humans every need is a huge stressor for anyone, even an experienced parent. When you mix in the fact that you have lost a child and are very much grieving, it's an insane combination.

I know every new parent gets stressed about many things. They may wonder "Is my baby getting enough food?" "Why is my baby so damn fussy?" "Is his breathing sounding normal?" The questions just go on, especially when we are working on minimal hours of sleep and dealing with roller coastering hormones. When you have a rainbow though, these stressors are magnified. Instead of wondering if the baby is getting enough food, you convince yourself that they're not eating enough because they have an infection and are going to get really sick and die. And if they are eating a lot, you start thinking that maybe they ate too much and they are going to spit up while they are sleeping and aspirate it into their lungs which will cause them to get pneumonia and die.

You worry about them not pooping for a day and, even though your doctor tells you that its normal behavior for a  newborn, you convince yourself that they now have a bowel obstruction and it's going to cause an infection and they are going to die. Or you hear them rapidly breathing and, though the books say that is normal, you are convinced that something is wrong with their lungs and they aren't getting enough oxygen so they are going to die. Not to mention the fact that you get up multiple times a night just to make sure they are breathing because you have convinced yourself while you are lying there straining to hear their breath, that they have somehow suffocated themselves with their blanket or have become a victim of SIDS.

Yes, all of these thoughts and more go through my mind on a pretty much hourly basis. Yes, I realize that I am overreacting and that the chances of anything happening are slim. But it's hard to believe that everything is going to be okay when you have been on the shitty side of the odds. I feel like I have limited time with my son and I am just waiting for the proverbial shit to hit the fan. I know it sounds really morbid but I can't help it. I have watched one of my children die. I know the worst can happen to anyone because it happened to me. I know I am not safe from the realities of the world. It makes it hard to believe that everything is going to be okay. 

I know this sounds sick as well, but my fears are part of the reason I am taking as many pictures and video of him as I can. I want something to see, to watch, to listen to, just in case. It's something I didn't do with Naya and as a result, I have absolutely no video of her and a handful of pictures. I regret it so much and don't want to make the same mistake.

I wonder if this fear ever goes away or if I'm going to have to live with it forever.


  1. I don't know if the fear will ever go away or not, our surviving twin is 8 months now and I am still worried something is going to happen to him. He is sick with a cold right now, but I keep worrying that it is something more serious or that it is going to turn into something more serious and he'll end up in the hospital or die from some rare complication (I watched one of my children die and I now know these things can happen to me).

    One of my suggestions for (maybe) getting a little more sleep is to get an angel care monitor. When we brought our surviving twin home, I was paranoid that he was going to stop breathing and die from SIDS. I kept straining to hear him breath and checking him constantly and I was losing much needed sleep while worrying about him while he was sleeping. The angel care eliminated that worry for me and I was able to get more restful sleep - I still use it every nap and night.

    And the picture thing - I just want to say I get it. I take pictures and video of my kids now all the time, and when I have duplicates or blurry shots - I can't delete them because I worry that something might happen to them and I will not have all my images/memories of them.

    All I can say is, enjoy our rainbow boy - and try not to worry too much.

    A friend from FB support group

  2. Although I hope the fears do subside and you don't have to live with them forever, you are not overreacting when one takes into consideration what you have experienced! I can't tell you how many times I checked on my kids when they were infants, and that's coming from someone who's never lost a child. Hell, last week my parents watched my kids for the day so I could spend time with a friend, and when I couldn't reach them for over an hour at the end of the day, I had a full-on panic attack and didn't know if I'd pass out or throw up (didn't help that as I was driving to their house, there was traffic and an ambulance speeding off to an apparent car accident somewhere up the road). ANYHOW, my point is that it's normal for parents to have at least some anxiety about their kids, and yours is a hundred times more understandable. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, that Rhone continues to be healthy and that you find some peace and are able to enjoy his infancy without so much worry on your shoulders. Take care.

  3. I've read your blog for a year and don't know you personally but i feel compelled to reply now. Your story touched me, one because my mother lost her first child and she wasn't ever the same and I have always wanted to understand what she went through. Two, because since my mother and grandmother both lost their first child I was so scared the same would happen to me. I cant say I know what your going through but I am a child from a family that went through this.

    Try to enjoy each moment for what it brings everyday. I can't tell you everything will be ok, but that's a reality we all must accept everyday. Most people just don't realize it until they've been slapped in the face with it like you have. Like I said my mom was never the same, but it did get better with time. After she lost her first, she had three more in three years and was still so distraught and distracted with her grief I felt like we were never enough for her because she missed the child she couldn't have. We still remember my brother's birthday each year and gather together and when i was younger we went to his headstone and placed something special. But the thing that hurts me the most is the way she shut out family members that she didnt like the way they delt with it or didn't understand. I hope that you can find peace with yourself and your family. And know that the fear and pain doesn't go away but lessens and becomes a part of who you are now. You can't change what happened but you can choose how you deal with it. Just try to enjoy every moment you have.

  4. Jamie I have read and followed your blog from the start which i found through Babycenter, my daughter and Naya are the same age. I had lost two babies very close to me (niece and cousin) one of SIDS and the other was still birth at 39 weeks. I just felt by reading your posts i could learn more of how my family was feeling and learn more what they are going through. Call me old school but before your blog i had never really read a blog before. In June of this year my little teenage brother was admitted to the hospital, they said he had a stroke and he went downhill from there. He had a 20 hour gradmal seizure they could not get under control which in result completely destroyed his brain. He was in coma for awhile and eventually passed away the end of July. You gave me the idea to start a blog to keep the family updated, i guess mostly trying to save myself and my parents time on the phone after spending endless hours and nights at the hospital for 2 months. I just wanted to thank you for that, once i work up the courage i will go back through everyday and read what i wrote, i feel like i can go back through and ill be able to feel how i felt that day, some days were good, i was able to communicate with my brother and help him with stuff, somedays i got lots of hugs from him, somedays i was sitting by his bedside praying for a miracle. I feel like if it werent for the blog i wouldnt be able to rememeber every detail of the time i spent there with him, when we were in the hospital for 2 months we were literally running on hospital coffee and the days kinda just mixed together. Anyways, back to the reason of this post, i wanted to congratulate you guys on your new baby boy, he is beautiful. I wish i could tell you it will be ok, you guys deserve for everything to be ok, hell more than ok! I mean, even an everyday person with no worries has a hard enough time with a newborn baby,all the fears and worries.. i couldnt imagine facing the worries you have to face daily. Take one day at a time, i hope it will get easier eventually for you guys. I have learned a lot from your story and i do not take one day for granted with my little girl, i know now crazy shit can happen to ANYONE and try to live everyday to the fullest. Again, thank you for sharing your life and your thoughts with everyone, you are so honest and your words are raw, and know how many peoples lives you have touched and the awareness you have spread..and know there are alot of people out here who are praying for you guys. =) I am so happy that your sweet baby boy is healthy and maybe he will help ease the pain a tiny bit from your tremendous loss, or maybe just help you not think about it for a minute. Wishing your family lots of luck!