Thursday, November 29, 2012

Facing my fear

Today was a really hard day for me.  I didn’t get much sleep last night and while I wish it was because I was up with a fussy baby but that is not the case.  I just couldn’t sleep and so I laid there and my mind wandered.  A few months ago, a sleepless night was very common.  Slowly, my sleep is getting more regular.  A few months ago, I would relive that horrific day over and over in my mind when I couldn’t sleep, sending me into more of a panic.  Now, I am able to mainly refocus my thoughts to her and the time I did have with her when the bad memories creep in.  My sleepless night last night wasn’t as bad as it would have been a few months ago.  Somehow my grief is evolving and that scares me.  When I am deep in my sorrow, I feel like I am not so far distanced from the time she was here.  When I am deep in pain, I know how much I miss her-my heart literally hurts for her.  Lately, I don’t cry as much or have as many days where I simply cannot get out of bed.  It scares me that I will move on without her. 

I’ve said it many times, I loathe the term “moving on.” To me it implies putting the past completely behind you and forgetting it.  Because of this, I will never simply move on like many have implied I should.  I will never put Avery behind me or forget the little girl who changed so many people’s worlds in her 6 days here on Earth.  But, I have to admit, I am progressing; moving forward perhaps? I don’t know.  All I know is I am able to function a little bit better. 
I’ve digressed, sorry.  Back to why today was hard.

As I was saying, I didn’t get much sleep which makes it harder for me to function.  On days like today, I am more emotional and cannot refocus my thoughts as easy.  I was late to work and cried most of the morning.  But today was the day.  The day I finally HAD to go to a meeting at the hospital where Avery was born and where the paramedics brought her that terrible morning.  I’ve successfully avoided stepping foot on the property for the past 5 ½ months.  Which is a feat, considering I work for a subsidiary of the same hospital.  As the hours, ticked down, I progressively got more anxious.  I couldn’t focus, my heart was beating faster and every ounce of me was screaming, “DON’T DO IT!” But I got in my car and drove to the hospital.  Through tears and a panicked phone call to my husband, I somehow managed to drive the 10 miles to the hospital.  I parked and sat.  Wanting desperately to turn around and go to Avery at the cemetery (it’s close by).  But instead, I cried, I prayed, I talked to Avery and looked at her picture.  While trying to put myself together, my husband texted me.  “Baby girl is so proud of you.” At that moment, I knew I had to go in.  Not to meet with my boss and our VP but to make my daughter proud.  So, I put on my attempt of a brave face and headed in.
I took a route completely avoiding the ER and the elevator we took on our way up to have her and on our way down to bring her home.  I avoided the front entrance where Avery and I waited for my husband to pull the car around to take her home, her sleeping soundly in her car seat for the first (and only time).  I walked in strong, I took the elevator to the second floor strong, I dropped off an envelope to Administration strong, but as I turned the corner to walk to my VPs office it hit me.  One floor directly above me was the floor I paced for hours to help my labor along.  I was looking out at the same view I did 5 ½ months ago when I was full of excitement at the approaching arrival of our girl, it sounded the same, smelled the same.  I lost it as I was opening the door to the VP offices. 

Luckily, one of my co-workers (an amazingly strong woman and cancer survivor) was right there.  She took my hand, smiled and let me run to the restroom to try to pull it together.  I was able to calm myself so I went to sit with her to wait for our meeting.  She started light conversation to distract me and it worked, until the lullaby started playing over the intercom.  Whenever a baby is born at our hospital they play a lullaby.  I thought to myself, REALLY?  There are maybe 3 babies born a day and one happens to be born the minute I put myself back together?  But I got through it and we went into our meeting.  I survived one of the hardest things I have had to do since Avery’s funeral.  And I am still standing. 
This journey has been a long 5 ½ months, but by the grace of God, I am surviving.  I hope He and Avery are proud of me for making that meeting today.  As little as that may sound to some, to me, I feel like I took down Goliath. 

I am thankful for my husband and my amazing co-workers and bosses who also helped me get through a day I’ve been dreading for months.  I wouldn’t be able to do this without all of them. 

1 comment:

  1. hi Crystal, I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. Your blog page for Avery is really beautiful. I'm so sorry for what you had to go through yesterday. A couple days ago I had to go pick up ultrasound photos at the lab where they first diagnosed Gabriel w/ his fatal complication. I sat in the car for 20 minutes before I got up the strength to go inside. I swear it's like returning to a war zone. Much Love to you and Avery!