Sunday, December 12, 2010

Living Nightmare, Part 3

Not as bad as Part 2 but you may want to skip it.

December 5

It's hard to believe but I'm still worried about work. I don't feel able to call anyone and I can't just not show up with no explanation. I email Jae and tell her in one sentence what has happened and ask for help calling the principal and my teammates. I email my professor. And I post on this blog. It's all painful and I realize afterward that I'm exhausted but relieved.

Jamie asks me a few times to eat something. I finally have her order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I'm afraid they won't let me go home if I don't eat. Mom goes home and says she and Dad will be back at suppertime to bring me home. Part of me is desperate to be home, but a large part wants to stay in the hospital forever. I know going home will be agonizing and I just can't imagine life going on. Jamie brings in the death certificate and I'm unbelieving. Do I really have to write my son's name on a death certificate? It all seems so terribly unreal.

She spends quite some time with me, taking out the epidural and catheter and helping me to the bathroom for the first time. I'm concerned because my legs don't seem to be able to work properly especially the right side but later the feeling comes back to them. During this time, I ask questions about my baby, Is there a way to tell what color his eyes would have been? No, the eyelids are fused at this stage. Can you tell how big he would have been at full term? No, no way to tell. So many, many questions with no answers.

Finally, she gives a last dose of antibiotics and takes out the IV. She tells me she thinks I ought to stay in the hospital overnight. She asks a few times if someone will be staying with me. I assure her someone will but I'm not sure who yet. I only say this to get her to stop asking. Alone in the room, I manage going to the bathroom on my own and get dressed. Room service calls and I order a turkey sandwich only because I have to show them I'm doing ok so they'll let me go home.

Later she brings in his memory box and shows me what is inside. So little to remember the most important person in my life. The box smells strongly of varnish. Inside are the blankets he was wrapped in, a card with his measurements, a card with his tiny footprints, the tape they used to measure him and the hospital bracelet I would have worn that matched his which had to go with him. That is all there is to show there ever was a Greyson P. on earth.

The last thing Jamie brings in are discharge instructions. She rattles on about prescriptions for pain medication and how to go to the bathroom. She says I might get milk. I choke up when she says this and wonder if I can bear that. Milk to feed a baby who is dead. It just seems impossibly cruel. To my relief, milk never showed up.

I eat a few bites of sandwich and then sit and wait for my parents to come, I try very hard to control my emotions. I'm still and silent until they walk in. When I see Dad, the floodgates open and I can't seem to stop. Hysterical sobs tear from me and I can barely breathe. Mom holds me tight, Dad holds my hand. I say over and over that I can't bear it. My Dad says I'm stronger than that, I say I wasn't strong enough to keep him safe and I'm not strong enough to live without him. This is something I think constantly and say over and over again in the coming days. They say things but I don't remember what. I feel my mother's tears fall on my face.

I have no idea how long this went on but eventually I gather myself, and they bring in the wheelchair. Jamie had asked me previously if I would like an angel on the wall for Greyson. For a few moments, she leaves us in the hallway to get something from a closet. Dad goes to get the car. I hear what sounds to me like a heartbeat from a fetal monitor. I can hardly breathe. I ask Mom if she hears that, that heartbeat and I barely keep from becoming hysterical again. A nurse walks by with tears in her eyes and says she's sorry for my loss. They roll me around a corner and stamp an angel on the wall for my Greyson. A different nurse writes his name and date of birth/death.

At the car door, Jamie says to let her know if I need anything at all. Barely able to speak, I thank her for taking care of me and tell her I'll never forget her. I get into my car with Dad. Mom drives her car.

On the drive home, I cry hard on and off. Dad says a lot of the right things but also says things like, "Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life." To which I sob, "Nonono it's the end." He says I'm a strong kid. That when I began this he wasn't hopeful, that the science of it just didn't seem possible but I was determined and made it happen. Multiple times he says he hopes I'll try again. I say I'm sorry for messing up his birthday. He says not to worry about my birthday. I tell him I wanted to make him something and he says I'll have many, many days to make him things. He talks about when I was away at college and said I wouldn't let anything stop me from getting a degree and now look I have more than one. Even in my grief I wonder how this story could be relevant. I tell him I don't believe in God, he says I've got the wrong idea and I'll change my mind.

We get home and I have to smile when Mom immediately begins to wash dishes and Dad takes my car to get gas and then keeps it to do some work on it in the morning. They want so badly to help me but just don't know what to do or say. In the shower, I notice my flabby tummy and I cry hard and deep. Although I feel like I cried a lot in the hospital, Mom tells me I didn't really let loose until I was alone in the shower.

I send Mom home and go to bed. I'm more exhausted than I've ever been before. I drop right to sleep. I wake at 11 and wander around the house for a while before going back to sleep. I wake again at 3am, post "barely breathing" on FB and on this blog. I email my horrible news to the Yas.

And I cry.


  1. oh sweetheart. i am so sorry again. there are no words to describe what you are going through. cry all you want.

  2. I am so so sorry Paige...

    It is so apparent how much your parents love you.

  3. Paige honey, I am SO sorry you have this tragedy. I am glad that your parents are being so loving and supportive.

  4. Paige, I am so very sorry. So sorry. I can't believe you have to bear this. Take lots and lots of time.

  5. Your Dad is wonderful to remind you what an amazing woman you are, and uour Mom is an angel to be there through all of it and cry with you. You are deeply loved and a strong and motivated woman. You have overcome a lot with the skills your family has taught you and you will make it through this terrible time. Ideeply admire the strength it took to not only get through the last week but to then write it all down so eloquently and thoughgtfully. I am deeply touched that you have shared all of this with us. Thank you for the trust. I cannot even begin to express my anger that this happened, my heartbreak, and the injustice that I feel. You WILL be a wonderful mother when you have your emotional strength back to think about the future. But for now, grieving Greyson is the right thing to do. He will always be your first baby.

  6. Paige, what an awful, awful thing to go through. I'm so glad your parents were there for you to hold on to every step of the way. You are all strong people and you will all get through this.

    Baby Grayson is in loving hands. I've thought about the two little ones I've lost, and what comforts me is that they experienced little to no pain.. that part is all ours. But he will be mourned, not only by you , but everybody who loves you and this online community too. Keeping both of you in my thoughts

  7. Thinking & praying for you, Paige.

  8. Oh Sweet Paige, I am so very sorry. I am crying horribly as I read your posts. I cannot even fathom the hell you are living right now. Hang in there sweetie. We are all here for you. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. Paige, I just read all these posts. My heart is breaking for you. You ARE a mother. Your love for your first child will always be with you.

  10. Paige, I am so sorry you had to go through such a horrific tragedy. My heart absolutely aches for you.
    I don't think the pain of losing a child ever goes away but I do believe it becomes more bearable over time.
    In your darkest moments, please remember your little Greyson felt only love his entire life. And now, your Aunt Alys is holding him close, waiting patiently until they see you again.

    ~Big, BIG hug~

  11. I wish my hospital had offered those items. I love the angel on the wall.