Growing Gills

Although I’ve been sleeping more in the last few months since I returned to work, a peaceful sleep still evades me. In the darkness of the nights when I can’t sleep I am consistently haunted by images of that day and that night.

The doctor squeezing my leg and saying “it means your baby died”.

The look on my dad’s face as I got off the elevator after coming from the ultrasound room and screaming at my family not to touch me.

When my in-laws finally arrived and how no one could find any words.

Throwing up from all of the morphine

But none, none of those memories haunt me so much as when I had to lay her in her crib and watch her being wheeled away from me, knowing that I had held my daughter for every second of her life, and that I would never hold her tiny little body ever again. And no matter how hard I try, nothing will ever fill my arms quite the way that she did.

I’ve learned to let the happiness in. I’ve learned that it’s ok to laugh and feel good and feel love again. It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I can recognize that allowing myself to be happy doesn’t mean I love or miss Everlee any less. I’m also starting to accept the fact that some people will never be ok with me talking about her. That won’t stop me from speaking about her though. She’s my daughter and she’s a huge part of my life and who I am. I will never apologize for that.

Choosing to move a step forward in your grief is such a personal, such an individual thing. It comes on its own time line, with its own rules. When you chose to get out of the habit of talking of your grief, your dead child, its a hard thing to understand.

How do you come back from this type of thing?

You don’t—but you won’t always suffocate on your own sorrow. You will become something else. You will grow gills, and you will breathe in an entirely new way.