Matthew's Pictures

March 26, 2009

Emotional Rollercoaster

When I was pregnant with Matthew, I often wondered what I would be like after losing him. What I imagined has been far different from what I have been experiencing.

I was very emotional until the funeral,then, I was okay. But not okay. I stopped crying, and was without emotion. I just couldn't understand what was wrong with me. Why was I not grieving for the son that I had just lost? This can't be the end of it. I turned to the Lord in prayer several times a day for help and guidance. He has been there with me throughout all of my heartache and will be by my side until the end. He will get me through this.

Two days ago I started experiencing an emotion that I never even considered before. Guilt. Before I had Matthew, Josh and I had made the difficult decision to offer comfort care to Matthew instead of trying to save him. Based on his poor condition after he was born, we stuck to our decision. His kidneys did not work, his chest was tiny, he was having such a hard time breathing while on support. We did not want him to suffer and be in pain and struggling for every breath. I believed that he was a baby that was meant to be with the Lord and felt much peace with my decision during pregnancy. When the time came to take his support away, my heart did not want to let go. I considered in my mind flying him to Winnie Palmer for help, but no. I didn't want to do that to him.

Little did I know that would come back to haunt me. I was watching one of the baby shows on t.v. on Tuesday. You're probably wondering why in the world I was watching one of those after losing my baby. Unfortunately, I can't provide a good answer. I just did. It showed a baby who went on breathing support after he was born, and I began to wonder why in the world did I let him go? Even though I knew why, I kept asking myself.

Yesterday got even worse. At one point I kneeled on the ground, crying, asking for God's forgiveness if I did the wrong thing. I could barely drive either. I know that Matthew left this world surrounded by and knowing only love which makes me happy. A friend of mine who just lost her baby as well is experiencing some similar emotions, so I think this must all be part of the grieving process. I don't like feeling like I made the wrong choice. I think it was the right choice, but is a very difficult one to accept...wondering what might have been.


Chelsea Pang said...

I hear so much of what your saying in my experience. I wondered too what it would be like not pregnant. I had never been pregnant before Grace and it still felt abnormal to not be pregnant after she was born. I felt like I could be pregnant with her forever.
There were times I felt so scared that I would stop grieving, like turn cold. My husband was very comforting, it was one of those moments when his man-type emotions matched my mother-emotions perfectly. I think everyone is surprised by all the feelings they have in grief; unexpected, ugly, embarassing and just weird.
You are doing just the right thing, feeling when you feel and talking. Don't ever believe that you are feeling anything that isn't totally understood by someone or isn't within the normal range of grief.
Tears and prayers for your right now. This is such a precious and diffucult time for you. I still love looking at Matthew's pictures. It is weird that to see other babies like my Grace gives her more life.

Chelsea Pang said...

Also, I forget to mention that I wanted to see and hold babies right after Grace was born. I can see why you were watching that show. I needed to have a connection to what was a part of myself missing at that time.
Ok, all for now:)

Stephanie said...

Oh Jenn. I still watch baby shows often. I don't really know why either. I just do. My gosh I wish I could tell you not to feel that way, but I may feel that way given i'm in your same boat. I know that I often read stories of "miracle" babies that made it through PUV. However there is always a catch. Always a shunt placement, several surgeries and multiple transplants. I still search online for stories thinking maybe I will change my mind. But when I see the needles and tubes and the low success rate I find comfort in my faith. Knowing that there is no pain, no needles no PUV in heaven. That Vayden will not look over at his older brother and wonder why he can't play right now. Oh the lil things like that. But c'mon you have kids, you know that those lil things are what makes a childs life worth living.

Go back to all the reasons why you made your choice and embrase those reasons.

Thank you for being there for me. I really can't tell you how much you've meant to me.

carebear said...

You have absolutely NOTHING to feel guilty about, because ultimately...the choice wasn't yours to make. It was God's choice the whole time. We all like the think we are in control of our lives and those that we love...but its a false confidence. God designs, plans and forsees all before we are even aware of what is taking place. If Matthew were meant to be here, he WOULD be here. His life might be hard at first, but God would have seen him through. God called him home instead, where he is LIVING a happy, healthy life of only joy and love. Don't second guess yourself, you don't deserve. Remember only good thoughts about Matthew...never doubts. HUGS!

Sue said...

Dear Jenn,
How sweet you are! I'm a 55 year old grandma (Ahma) who has been keeping up with you since I read from Corie Obrien's blog about you and your precious Matthew.
You precious Moms are such an encouragement to me. Your relationships with our Father are strong and abundantly alive.
I am grandma to Caleb who is Home in Heaven with your precious Matthew. Caleb's story is found at this link: He's been Home for over a year now.
You seem to be doing fine, sweet one. Our Father is holding you and guiding you every moment. You are walking honorably and giving Him the glory as you go. Allow yourself to go through these days as you need to. Grief is a very individualized process. But, from your testimony I think you are doing fine. The tears will come and that's okay. The Father is holding you...allow yourself to enjoy His embrace. Climb on up in His lap when you need to. He is always available.
Love to you from me in Tennessee!

Praying for you and yours!
In His Amazing Love!
Sue Shaffield

Anonymous said...


Guilty feelings after comfort care are very common. I feel guilty when I read about babies who survived for days or hours after birth by being placed on equipment to help sustain their lives. One of the new members of the PUV group on facebook had her son with her for 19 days on breathing support and then dialysis, but he still lost his fight.

I want you to know that God would not put this guilt on you. You did everything you could to give Matthew some good time with you and your family. Guilt is something that the enemy puts on us to steal our blessings. One of my advisor professors in college told me something that has made a huge impact on how I have viewed guilt. He told the class that I was in that guilt #1 was a tool of the enemy, because it only brings despair, pain and confusion. #2 Jesus died and took everything on the cross with him including our guilty feelings. #3 when we hold on to our guilt it is like trying to take the punishment from Jesus and he does not want us to go through that. Jesus bore our burdens, our pain, and our sickness so that we could come and lay our burdens down at the cross and not have to bare them ourselves.

My advisor is actually a well know Christian Pyschologist now. He has written many books in the Christian book store. His name is Les Parrot. His words have stuck will me all this time... for 16 years. I am not saying that I have not felt any guilt since baby Nels passed. I have, but when I do I lay it down at the foot of the cross... because I know that Jesus doesn't want me carrying that burden alone. It would just be to hard.

I just want you to know that you are such a good mom Jennifer and that Matthew must be proud of how you fought for him through out your pregnancy. Hold on to that. You surrounded him with love his whole life, and were brave enough to give him back to the Lord when it was time.

(((Hugs))) Kristin