Friday, May 1, 2009

How do I deal with it?

I'm struggling. I would like to know that whatever happens in my life, I can count on my Mum for her love and support, but I can't. She has no empathy whatever for how hard this is.
In the first few days after we found out that Olidea had major problems, my mother made a comment to me one morning as I passed her on my way to work - "it happened to a girl I know at work, but hers was worse". The woman in question's baby also had CDH, but the organs had grown outside of the chest cavity. Apparently there is a scale of grief relating to your unborn child's abnormalities. It's not as simple as knowing your baby is going to die, it's about how attractive their corpse will be.

In the lead up to christmas, as Michael and I trudged to appointment after appointment, hoping that today would be the day that someone found a way to help Olidea, Mum kept asking what I wanted for christmas. The scan was days after my birthday, which I didn't get to celebrate, nor did I receive any gifts. I had asked previously for my christmas present to be contributions or gifts for the baby, but knowing there would be no need for those things, my mum just kept asking over and over again what I wanted for christmas.

Olidea was born 5 days before christmas. We left the hospital on monday afternoon, and had Olidea cremated on Tuesday, so that she could be home with us for christmas. I would have preferred to just keep christmas for our little, sad family this year, but Michael's mother, who lives an hour's drive away, really wanted us to be with her. I went with Michael, because worse than being surrounded by happy people, I didn't want to be apart that day. We arrived, apparently with the intention of only staying an hour, but that wasn't to be. MIL had invited most of her family for christmas lunch, and we weren't allowed to leave before we ate, which got later and later as we waited for BIL, his wife and daughter. There were about fifteen people there, including toddlers, by the time we sat down to eat, and I knew only a few of them. I tried to smile, and failed, I felt so very confused, I didn't know who knew we had held our baby for the last time 2 days earlier, and who was just not talking about it.

Because it was christmas, there was nowhere we could escape to, everywhere was booked out. We did stay in my parents caravan down south for a few days, but even that was horrible,
Mum's BF was there with her family, including her 6 month old grandchild.

I spent those early days psyching myself up to go back to work after new year, but I got to the office, just over two weeks after losing her, to find most people had already been retrenched, and I was next. The bosses had thought it was kinder to wait until after everything was over to tell me, but as hard as I know it would have been to do it earlier, I would so have loved to not spend that time worrying about work, and just let myself feel grief.

I set only one task for myself between her birth and my EDD, I needed to fix her nursery, to give myself a place to sit, and make a place for her in our home. It was important to me that if we have more than one child, that they share a wonderful nursery, with furniture that will still be beautiful if they want it later. The room has been my mother's store room since we moved in here, and before that, as this was my childhood home, until my parents moved out almost ten years ago. I have lived here again for 5, without my parents, and with Michael for 3 years.
Mum is territorial. She didn't want to let it go. I asked her a year ago, pregnant for the first time, but I miscarried, and she took the opportunity to ignore her junk. Again, I asked her when we got pregnant with Olidea. I asked her every time I saw her after confirming the pregnancy last August. Over and Over again, she told me she was too busy. After christmas, we spoke about how we planned to go through with our plans for the nursery - Our home is 2 story, surrounded by trees, with a wonderful big gum tree branch draped across the view from the nursery. We wanted a treehouse theme, with plants and insects and a bit of "possum magic" for inspiration.
Again, mum was too busy, but with the added pressure, came another argument - she didn't have any room in her house. I asked for three months following Olidea's birth, so that I could move the shrine/ crib from next to our bed, and give her a beautiful nursery by the time she was due, just as it should be. One week before my EDD, three weeks after I had asked for the last time, Mum noticed in passing that I seemed to be a little upset about something. That 'little something', after i tried to put her off, to avoid the argument, became my fault, for not asking enough times. Saying it so she could hear, or making her understand. But SHE IGNORED ME EVERY TIME I ASKED!!!! I kept asking her to leave me alone, to go away, but she backed me into a corner, in MY HOME and wouldn't move until I told her why I was upset. That triggered one of her vile diatribes, and ended with her standing in the middle of my driveway, screaming at me that I'm a horrible person, I don't care about my Grandmas, I'm selfish etc. etc. etc, for around ten minutes.

Today, a month later, she tells me I'm making it all up, for some malicious reason, just to hurt her feelings. Again, and again, and again, she does these things, forces an argument, says horrible things to me, and denies it when it is suggested that she may have any reason to be at fault.

She tells me there's something wrong with me, I'm insane, I need to see a doctor, or the psych again, but I AM NOT THE CRAZY ONE!!! She makes me think I am though.


  1. Hi Michelle, you're not crazy. You're not crazy. Just say that to yourself a few times until you believe it. It sounds like your mum should give you space. It sounds like SOMEONE should tell your mum what you've been through and it sounds like she should LISTEN and try to imagine what this horrible thing is that you've been through. I'm sorry that you're going through this.