This past week has been a tough one for me emotionally. I came across a family on Facebook that was going through a very similar situation as to what we went through with Naya. Same infection, same hospital, same lung issues. Hell, it even looked like they were in the same room. Watching their situation unfold really took a toll on me. I could feel their blind hope and terror as they watched their baby struggle for its life and it brought me back. I felt the emotions that I felt 15 months ago, watching my daughter go through the same thing. Riding that NICU roller coaster and how it could go from joy to pure terror instantly. My heart was breaking because I knew how my situation turned out and I was willing the same not to happen to them. It kills me that anyone has to go through this.
Unfortunately, the baby passed away. I watched the announcement on their Facebook page and I was brought back to those early days right after Naya died. How completely lost I was. How I felt like I was in some nightmare of a world and I would surely wake up because it wasn't real. I remember thinking that if I could just figure out the right moves to make, I could change it. I could bring her back and she wouldn't be dead anymore. I just needed to figure out a way to wake up and I could fix everything. I remember feeling so hopeless and crazy. I didn't want to get out of bed. I was an unfunctioning, shell of a person and, honestly, I wanted to die. The only thing that even partly held me together was the fact that I didn't want to put my family through what I was going through. That is pretty much what got me through those first few days/weeks/months.
Thinking back to how low I was during that early time made me realize that, even though it doesn't feel like it, I am recovering. I function. I get out of bed. I don't feel as helpless. I even laugh and experience joy again. I have established something of a new normal. I know I can't change what happened and I've accepted that. I still hate it but I'm not stuck in that place where I believed that I could do something to bring her back. And that is so much of what early grief entails; It's you searching for a way to get out. Someone told me that's what you are doing the first year - searching for your baby, your old self, your old reality. After that year, you sadly realize that you those things are gone and you need to figure out a new way to live. It sucks but quite honestly, it's the only way I've figured out that will let me survive. I am slowly learning to live again all be it with a huge gaping hole in my being. The hole isn't quite gaping anymore but every once and awhile the scab opens, the pain seeps out and I hurt.