Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bad Day

My job. I've began to sort of hate it in the last year. Admitting that makes me sad. I used to love my job. But, as we started trying to conceive I began to experience major panic attacks. I was so afraid of getting pregnant with my bad heart and yet I was even more afraid that I would never have a child. Add this to the fact that going to work was not an escape, but basically facing my worst fears every day. The babies that end up in our NICU often have parents with no underlying issues. Healthy parents, no problems, with babies ending up on life support. So if those kids could end up sick, then what did that mean for MY baby? I was really starting to question whether this was the job for me...starting to question my own sanity if truth be told. And then BAM! I was pregnant...and I was doing okay. I was just biding my time until I could go on maternity leave. I even considered having my OB write me a note so that I would have to be switched to a less intensive job, or perhaps even kept off work so that my heart wouldn't have to work so hard. I was feeling okay. I could do this. I figured if I could make it to 25 or 30 weeks still at work that would be awesome.

But then, suddenly, I was off work for reasons totally unrelated to my heart, and my baby's life was in jeopardy, and then...well, you know how the story ends.

So now, just facing the possibility of having to throw myself back into that's unbearable. How can I go back and do it all over again, this time with the added bonus of a dead baby in my history?

A work friend of mine was telling me last week that she had just admitted a 24 weeker, and he was 'doing better than expected'. Just out of curiosity I asked her how heavy he was. Answer: 535 grams (1lbs 2 1/2 oz for all you Americans). My heart thunked. Aidan was heavier. My DEAD baby was heavier than that woman's LIVE ONE! How can I go back and care for those kids? How can I rush around and try to save their lives when I couldn't even save my own son's? And how can I do it, not knowing when or if I will ever have a shot at another?

I want to be a mom so badly. I want to be on maternity leave with a living child. I want our lives to be different. Revolve around something other than ourselves. Focus on something other than this gaping black hole of nothingness. Our future feels so empty.

It also doesn't help that I started my period again today. I'm sure the flux of hormones isn't helping anything. And, although we weren't technically TTC, we aren't avoiding it either. It took us 8 months and 9 cycles to conceive Aidan, and I was getting antsy at that point. It just feels like a huge blow to have to do it all over again. What if we are now infertile? What if I get pregnant and we miscarry, or have another loss? What if I never get to hold my own living breathing child in my arms? What if I can't take it? I feel like I'm back to square one. So just like my first post asks:

Where do I go from here?

Where do you go from here?


  1. I worry about those things too. And all I can say is, we have to just make it to wake the next day. That's all. I think some day we will be able to do a lot more than that, but some days... that's all we can manage. And that's ok.

    I dream of rainbows.. I want one. I hope we all get what we want. <3 (well- what we want that is actually attainable- another child.)

  2. I don't know what to tell you. I am a teacher, and I knew that after this year, I was done. Just done with it. I can't handle being around all of the kids and pregnant teachers, and besides that, I just wasn't happy with it anymore. Every few years I have contemplated quitting, but this time, I knew this was it. And I don't know that I will every go back. We are losing our home and are going to a rental. I have no idea what I am going to do. But I don't care. Because I'll never have to go back to that place again and that makes me happy.

    Reading your post made me wonder how in the world you are going to go back. I really can't imagine a harder place for you to be. It is perfectly understandable if you can't go back, or if you need a longer stay away from it. Can you go into another area of nursing? Maybe since the loss of your baby boy is still so fresh, you just shouldn't make any major decisions right now. Or maybe it will be so refreshing for you to just say goodbye to it.

    You have a big decision to make. But go with your gut. I just knew when it was time, and I hope that you will just know either way.

    Every time I see Aidan's picture at the top of your blog I notice how beautiful he was.

  3. Thank you Noelle. I think he's kind of beautiful too.

  4. I agree. everytime i go on to your blog i always think to myself what a beautiful baby.
    I work in a school.. worked in a school should i say. I went back for 2 days and then just completely lost iti have not been back since.
    You do such an incredible job and so many mothers must love you for the job you do.. but if it is something you can no longer take then you have to do whats best for you honey. i often go on the pprom web site and i read all these storys of babies surving when the waters had gone from a VERY early stage and yet they made it and i end up with the same questions as you have... why didnt MY baby make it? and it hurts so much.
    Thinking of you
    Angel's Mummy x

  5. hurting for you, emily. i can't imagine how hard it would be to work in NICU, even for someone who hasn't ever lost a child. and i worry about all the same things. what if it will never happen?

    right now where i go from here is simply taking it day by day, as annette said. i'm not working right now, either, since school's out for the summer, but i have not had a single day of sitting around in front of the tv as i often used to do in the summer. i am staying busy, finishing lots of projects, spending lots of time w/ my mother and friends, cleaning out closets, etc. anything at all to keep myself occupied and to be productive. it gives me a sense of accomplishment and gives me something to focus on.

    and aidan is most definitely beautiful.

  6. Are there support services, counselling, available to you through your job? I'm thinking there must be -- it's a stressful job at the best of times, never mind for someone who has been through what you have. Sometimes just talking about these things with a neutral third party can be so helpful.

    I suspect that you live in the same general area that I do, so I'm also going to recommend Perinatal Bereavement Services Ontario to you ( -- you have probably already heard of them through your work. They run a number of support groups around the city & the province. My dh & I were involved with them for 10 years, as clients & facilitators, & it helped us enormously. "Returning to work" was always a major topic of discussion, even when it wasn't the actual topic of the evening! (((hugs)))

  7. Man, I can't even imagine having to go back to work as a NICU nurse. It's hard being back at work for me, and I can just hide in my office all day. I don't know that I'd be able to go back if I were in your shoes. Is there anyway you could transfer to a different floor? At least temporarily? I was talking to one of my best friends who is an RN on the oncology/hematology floor at Minneapolis Children's and told her that I "knew" someone who was a NICU nurse whose baby had died. She said there's no way she could go back to her job (different, I know, but she deals with dying kids all the time too) if she lost a child and can't imagine how you must feel. It just sucks.

    I'm sorry you had a bad day. Hopefully today is a little better?


  8. im sorry. i have no idea where any of us go from here.
    i hope tomorrow is better

  9. I really don't know where I go from here. But I do know that I would find it incredibly hard to even walk back into a NICU, let alone work in one. It must be relentless, being unable to avoid that terrible reality of pregnancy and childbirth gone awry. I struggled with going back to work and, like Kristin, I just went back to an office job.

    I do that endless gestational age and weight comparison too. It's very painful even for me, unbelievably for someone in your position who would be confronted by the reality of it all. Could you transfer to another medical specialty? One less close to home?

    I'm so sorry your sweet Aidan isn't here.