Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Remembering Cameron

I struggled with ways to remember Cameron after I lost him... Many mom's had memorial items they made for other angel mommies.  It was such a sweet thing to do and helped me memorialize Cameron.  I tried to think about something I could do, but could never think of a good enough idea.  Like other angel mommies, I had a hard time feeling the NEED to take care of my baby, but have no baby to take care of.  I think a lot of us start doing memorials and blogs in order to feel that need to take care and mother our babies.  This is the only way we have.  Christian's Memorial Beach is one that a mother made for her baby and she writes names in the sand during a sunset.  It's so beautiful and thank you for making me one for my son!  :)

As long as I can remember I have wanted to be a lawyer.  I went through my whole life and through college with the sole intent on going to law school.  And I went.  I was ecstatic about getting accepted and moving to Fort Worth.  It was my dream.  And I loved it.  At first.

As the second semester came, I realized my heart wasn't in it.  It wasn't what I imagined and it was super expensive.  And then I saw the job market.  I read tons of articles about law students that couldn't find lawyer jobs after they graduated with $150,000 in loans!  I just couldn't do it and I left back to San Antonio.  And I came back completely confused.  All my life I had planned on being a lawyer... and now I decided I didn't want to do that, so what was I to do?

I went from wanting to be a pilot to a teacher to back to being a claims adjuster.  I was just all over the place, but didn't feel that those were any that I wanted to make a career out of.  Then the regret set in of quitting law school.  I thought I shouldn't have.  I should have just stuck it out.  And although I know I wouldn't mind being a lawyer still, Cameron has showed me my real calling.  I figured this out shortly after I lost him. 

My doctor had referred me to a postpartum counselor.  I called her and told her what happened and she didn't seem to be very understanding... everything was business.  Plus, she was booked up for the next two months!  I asked if she had another counselor she could refer me to and she told me the only other one that specialized in postpartum counseling was her partner and she was also booked for about the next two month.  I was dumbfounded.  I live in San Antonio, Texas.  One of the largest cities and there's only two postpartum counselors here?  I did my own research online and found the same results.  I also looked in Houston and Dallas and found similar results.  This was crazy.

I was frustrated and sad and grieving... feeling all those emotions and needing a counselor... and wanting one that understood.  Yet, I would have to wait two months to speak to someone.  I ended up finding another counselor that a co-worker recommended to me... and it's worked out well, but I can't believe that I was having to deal with the dilemma of finding a counselor that specialized in my difficult type of loss on top of my grief.  It just didn't seem right.  I was crying out of frustration and didn't know what to do. 

I wondered how many other women had to go through this.  Had to feel the dread and sorrow of losing their child and then having no one to go to.  No one that understood them. 

I realized that this is what I wanted to do.  I want to be a resource for other parents.  For other people dealing with grief, but especially dealing with the loss of their child.  It's a totally unfair situation that we have to deal with.  And with no one to turn to immediately, it just seems to compound more and more...

I already had my bachelor's degree... so I applied to UTSA for my Master's in Social Work.  I was first going to go into counseling, but my counselor advised me that the Social Work master's program will give me better opportunities and is more respected in the community.  I so thank her for telling me this since I had no way to navigate on my new career path!

Just yesterday I got a response from UTSA that I was OFFICIALLY ACCEPTED!  

I am beyond ecstatic.  These last three days have been pretty hard on me... I've been stuck inside my home, sleeping all day.  I haven't felt like doing anything nor had any energy to do anything.  I know this is part of the whole depression thing... and I'm working on it.  It's just hard to overcome.  I will never wake up to Cameron's cry... and that's something I realize everyday I awake.

But now I am on a path to keep Cameron's memory alive and help other mom's and dad's that have to go on this terrible, unfortunate path that no one should have to go on.  Because of Cameron, he showed me my path in life.  I love you my baby.  I hope I can do good in your name.  I promise to try my best and make you proud.   

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Disaster Sensitivity

This past Friday at work I had a training for disaster sensitivity, basically training us how to be sensitive to others that have been involved with a disaster since I work with claims.  I didn't think much about it... I didn't know what to expect.  But it bought back so many feelings and memories of when I lost Cameron...

So weird how things that would have never touched me like that, now bring up so many memories.  And no one understands.  Although I'm sure you angel mommies out there do.  But I'm sure none of my co-workers would have even thought about it...

So, when we first got in there they had a scenario that made us pretend that we were part of the Bastrop fires in September of 2011.  The trainer started saying how she was sure we all remembered it since it so close to home and showed a slideshow of pictures.  I don't remember any of it.  I was preoccupied in September of 2011.  September 1, 2011 I delivered my baby boy, Cameron.  I was living through my own disaster, not to worry about others in a disaster too.  I was in a fog.  A gloomy fog that didn't seem to ever lift.  In fact, it seemed to get worse and worse... I was dead inside.  I couldn't watch TV.  I couldn't listen to music.  I couldn't read.  I couldn't get up.  I couldn't stop crying.  

This whole training was emotionally draining for me.  I was tempted to go home after it.  It was hard to sit through and hard to keep hearing about September.  Hard to hear and train others to deal with someone in a tragedy.  Though I think many of my co-workers do need that training...

They had us answer a question when we introduced ourselves... we had to pick one of four questions.  I chose to answer what I have learned in the past about people who experience a disaster... I answered it based on personal experience.  I said that people react in different ways and not to judge someone by how they are handling it.  They are scared and angry and just want help since they did not choose this to happen to them.  I hope they heard me and understood.  I feel very judged at work.  I feel like many people think I should be over the loss of my son.  I will NEVER get over it.  And I don't want to, nor do I feel the need to.  

I can't believe that it's almost a year since I lost Cameron.  It feels like last week.  It doesn't seem like the time has passed. The pain has gotten better... but then again, I'm still not myself.  I still feel empty, but I think I'm always going to.  Even when I have another baby, their brother is always going to be missing.  Our family will never be whole.  I saw this quote online, but unsure where it's from, but I thought it summed up things so well:

“Do not judge the bereaved mother.
She comes in many forms.
She is breathing, but she is dying.
She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.
She smiles, but her heart sobs.
She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS,
but she IS NOT, all at once.
She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.”

Monday, July 9, 2012

I Miss Him...

I miss my son.

So much.

I woke up today feeling worse than I have in a while... wanting to relive everything.  I feel bad other days, but today, I feel that emptiness feeling again like I felt those first several weeks... that emptiness that is so raw. 

When I came back from the hospital after delivering Cameron, I started writing a ton on a legal notepad.  I wanted to remember everything.  I wrote everything I could remember from August 29, that Monday, to September 1st... when I held him.  I haven't looked at that notepad since.  I finally pulled it out this morning and read it.  I wanted to relive holding him... to relive delivering him... to relive seeing him for the first and last time.

I loved reading it and remembered how all it felt then.  Oh, how I miss him... oh, how I wish things could change.  Oh, how I wish I had my baby here with me. 

I also started a separate notepad of what was happening in the days after I came home.  I know that one is more depressing and has a lot of the anger I felt toward people those first few days or weeks... I'm not going to read that one yet.  I just wanted to remember my angel today.... remember how I felt with him.  How everything happened so fast... remember how everything transpired so quickly.

It is just terrible knowing that I have to go through the rest of my life without my son by my side.  Or maybe he is here with me, but I can't take care of him and can't hold him.  It's just not the same... I can't share the joys other mom's can with their kids. 

I miss you so much, Cameron.

Today is just a bad day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ten Months

It has been 10 months since I delivered Cameron.  So, he would have been 10 months now... gosh, how different my life would have been.  Instead of just Eric and I, there'd be a third to our family... a bouncing baby boy.  What would he be like?  Would he have been a cry baby?  Or a quiet one?  Would he have slept all night?  Would he have been serious or a laughing baby?  So many questions that will never have answers.  Until, of course, I meet him in heaven. 

I thought I started feeling better recently.  Thinking less of the tragedy itself, but more of everything in a positive light.  I wasn't feel so sad, except of course for the dreaded Monday's for me.  But then I started having difficulties at work... I feel that many people feel I should be over it by now, so I'm not going along their grieving guidelines.  And I don't even talk about Cameron at work... I know how I am judged there, so I do not bring anything up anymore.  But because I am absent sometimes, I know I am judged because they feel I should "get over" the loss of Cameron.  I want to ask them if they would put a timeline on the loss of their own child?  If that were to happen, can they ever imagine getting over it?  I doubt they'd say yes. 

And I am so glad they do not have to go through this.  I would not wish this on my worst enemy.  Never.  I hate seeing new blogs being started by new angel mommy's.  It's the worst club to be a part of.

I've said it before, Monday's are very hard for me.  A lot of times it's like I'm reliving everything that happened... But the rest of the days seem to be a lot easier for me.  Except yesterday.  I came home from work and just felt terrible.  It's hard to explain, but I felt frustrated and sad and on the verge of crying.  I went to bed and laid down in the dark and just cried.  Eric went in there and held me.  I just felt terrible.  I'm assuming this is what depression is?  Gosh, even though I guess I have it, I still don't really know what it is or how to explain it.  I never thought it'd be me suffering from it. 

I woke up today with puffy eyes and still feeling bad... so, here I am, home.  I was hoping to feel better by noon to make it into work, but I don't see that happening right now. 

Fourth of July is tomorrow... it seems all the holiday's just kinda go on... it's not a big deal anymore.  I barely even notice them coming and going.  It's just another day all the time. 

On another note (a positive one!), I have submitted my application to get my Master's in Social Work.  Another way to honor my Cameron.  If anyone knows me, I normally don't advertise attempts of what I do until I actually get it.  I fear being rejected and then being embarrassed that I did not make it, but this time is different.  Even my attempt is my way of honoring Cameron.  I want to help other mother's out there... and help those unfortunate mom's and dad's that have no where else to turn too.  I know how that felt and that is something they do not need to worry about after losing their child.  So, hopefully in a couple of years, I'll be able to get into counseling to help these people.  I'll let you know once I get word back!