Sunday, October 10, 2010

Life Without Laura 10/11/10

Coming back to write this entry was tough. I avoided this website completely over the last couple of months for obvious reasons. October 22nd will make it 3 months since Laura passed. Three months, seems like a decade ago. At the 3 months mark after giving birth, most parents are saying how they can't believe how fast time is flying. For me, it has gone by very very slow. Right now, I look at this story that I have written of Laura's life, to be a story with a sad ending. All of the happy moments and memories in this blog, brings out a bunch more sad memories. Hopefully, someday in the future, I will be able to say different about the blog and look at it more as a happy ending and not a sad ending like it is now.


Laura's death certificate stated that her cause of death was Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia (ACD). This disease is when the vessels of the alveoli form out of place, creating a barrier to gas exchange in the lungs. There is neither a cure nor a treatment for the disease and the longest surviver was only 2 months old. Had I kept Laura on the vent for as long as she could fight, Laura would have ended up passing away to respiratory failure due to no oxygen being exchanged in the lungs.

THE FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance

For the first few days after Laura passed, I was in denial, my mind was numb and overwhelmed and I felt emotionally and physically drained. I hardly had anytime to myself, anytime to think and dwell about Laura. And I liked it that way. I had plans all day, everyday to keep my mind off things. However; life moves on...and that it did. Friends and family went back to their original way of living, like they should. But me, I'm still stuck in the month of July and to tell you the truth, I'm not ready to leave it. I wasn't and I'm still not ready to "let go" of her. And by "letting go" I don't mean to "forget," I mean to move on beyond the grief and move on with my life.

I find that I cycle through the 5 stages of grief multiple times throughout the week, sometimes even all in one day. A lot of times, I deny that she is gone, I feel as though I am still pregnant and months from now I will give birth to a healthy little girl. Or I feel as though months from now, I'll have to go through another emotional roller-coaster ride at Children's Hospital-Boston, as Laura goes through her second open heart surgery. Then, I come to realization that Laura is gone. The realization that I have given birth to her already and then she was too sick to get better. A lot of times, I get angry at many different things; myself, her doctors, life. I get angry at myself because I feel as though it is my fault that she was born with the horrible disease. I could've fought for her to get a lung transplant, although they haven't had a successful case yet, but who know maybe Laura would've been the first. I get angry at her doctors, even though I shouldn't be because they tried their hardest and nothing was their fault. But for some reason, I get angry at them because they couldn't fix my daughter. Boston Children's is the top pediatric hospital in the country and they couldn't fix my daughter ad make her better. Then I get angry at life because I wonder, if there is a God then why would he make me suffer through all of this. Why would he do this to me? And why would he give me something I can't handle? I go through bargaining a lot and I live in the depression stage of grief. I accept that she is gone, which usually triggers the other stages of grief all over again.

July, July, July... When will July end for me?

Every month, I relive the month in my head, as if it was July all over again. Everyday I think about what happened that day in July. I relive it over and over again. The memories... Today being October 11th, back to July 11th, was Laura's 4th day on this Earth. On this day, three months ago, the sun was out after a series of torrential down pours, it was my first time waking up in my own bed after over a week of being in the hospital, Cass and Will came up to visit Laura, and the next day was Laura's first open heart surgery so I was busy meeting up with doctors and surgeons and signing papers all day. Tomorrow, the 12th of October, would be three months since Laura had her first open heart surgery and I remember every detail of that day. And that is how I relive the month of July over and over again.

One of the toughest things I have found myself going through since Laura passed is the nightmares I get all the time. At least 3 or 4 times a week, I have a dream about the day that Laura passed. Each time I'm at the hospital, even though the hospital looks different every time, I see her with all of the tubes and wires. And every time, the doctors inform me of the horrible news. And every time, I make the decision to take her off the life support and every time, I hold her one last time. About that point in the dream is when I usually wake up. Sometimes if I am lucky, I will wake up before all of the bad news happens. In a way, I look forward to having these dreams because I get to see my beautiful daughter almost every night, however; I dread these dreams because I fear the pain it leaves me in every time when I make the decision in the dream to take her off of the life support. I wake up sweating, my heart pounding and sometimes even crying.

Being back to work definitely helps. It gets me out of bed and helps to keep me occupied and keep my mind off things. It also brings back a lot of memories happy and sad ones, but hey I guess it's better than dwelling on it at home in bed, right? People ask me how I am doing, I almost always respond with "I'm good" or I'm doing ok" or "hanging in there," although these responses, right now, isn't the truth, I know one day, whether it be days, weeks, months, maybe even years from now, I will wake up and be ready to have "closure" and to move on with my life while keeping Laura in my heart. But right now, I just miss my little girl wayyyyy too much to do so.