Posted by Amy Peterson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 28-01-2011
The Mom Chronicles: Hope from a four year oldÂ
As most of you know by this point I am back in school working on my paramedic degree. As classes resumed a couple weeks ago, I started a new course called “Emergency Response to Crisis”. It is about dealing with various crisis in the field, namely ones that are the result of emotional crisis. To start the discussion, my professor, who also just happens to be a mom, stood on a chair in the front of the class and read us “Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it is about a little boy who from the moment he gets out of bed, has all sorts of bad things happen to him. They literally continue through out his day, and as he seeks to find just one person to acknowledge or validate his feelings that this truly is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and no one does, he resolves to moving to Australia. Apparently he thinks things are better there.
This past week was a series of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days in my house. At just about thirteen weeks pregnant, my doctor informed us that our baby screened positive with a high likelihood of having chromosomal problems. Later that same day he was unable to detect a fetal heartbeat. Two days later when he still was unable to detect a heartbeat I was sent over for an ultrasound where my greatest fear was confirmed: this baby too, has passed.
Since this moment, I have been feeling like I have been charged over by a freight train. Struggling to stay out of bed, most moments have felt impossible. This was, after all, three babies in a row that we lost. By the time you all are reading this I will have had a procedure for the remains to be removed and we will be having them tested for genetic problems. There are so many answers I seek.
Yet, as I waited in the doctors office to try to make any sense of this, first and forefront on my mind was how I was going to share this news with my son. He has been, afterall, so very excited. Only days before he had drawn me a picture of he, my daughter and then myself with a big round tummy and little stick figure baby in it. This is the same little boy that had been showering my ever expanding belly with kisses and hugs and telling it secrets.
Telling him went about as well as can be expected telling something like that to a four year old. He got it at his own level, but naturally had a lot of questions. What surprised me though, was his confidence in Jesus and Santa (who he claims live together in heaven) bringing us another baby. They are going to come down the chimney next Christmas and bring us another baby that is going to live. I wish I had his faith. At the moment, I feel fortunate, because where my faith is struggling, its almost as if he has enough for the both of us.
As moms, we have all had these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days and so have our kids. It’s a part of being human. We can’t escape them by simply moving to another country, or certainly we’d all be living in Australia! What is important as mom’s though, I have learned through the events of this past week, is how we model these days and how we respond to them to our kids. Clearly, if I have done nothing else right I have validated my son on these days, giving him hope of better ones, enough that he would have thost beliefs front and foremost in his mind on a day that I had “one of those days” and be able to share the same hope and comfort for me.
I have spent a lot of time asking a lot of questions the past few days, most of which start with why. I really thought three was a charm. We got that far, it had to work out. So when it didn’t, the loss has felt unbearable.
While I can’t change the events of the past week or make the loss any easier to bear, what I can do is offer advice to any of you who are having similar days. Only, the advice comes from my four year old, not me. That is that in some way or form things will work out. It may not be in our time frame or exactly the way we want, but there are greater beings out there, be it God or Santa or whomever you believe in, that have our best interest in mind. Because one door, even if it was a very big one, closed today, doesn’t mean another won’t be opened up tomorrow.
As for me, I don’t know I will ever be able to find it with in me to go through this again. While I desperately want another child, these losses have been so much to bear.Â But I remain convinced it has not been with out reason, and I hope if anything perhaps I can be a comfort to someone out there reading this today walking in similar shoes, that while it seems impossible, we can survive. We can get out of bed and do things like write columns. And we can always hope that perhaps someone has something else in store for us. It may be hard to believe in this moment, but I am certain that to believe in a future requires finding a source of hope. With out hope, what do we really have? This week, my son has the hope for my family, at least until I can find my own. May he be a source of hope for you, too this day. Certainly tomorrow can’t possibly be as bad.