October 11, 2012

My 7 stages of grief

1.  Shock and denial
2.  Pain and guilt
3.  Anger and bargaining
4.  Depression, reflection, loneliness
5.  The upward turn
6.  Reconstruction and working through
7.  Acceptance and hope

When I was in collage and studying to be a psychologist/social worker I learned the 5 stages of grief.  The psych world has moved up to 7.  Who knew?!

As I was talking with an old friend from high school last night, I started thinking about how angry I used to be at the beginning of this whole journey.  I really didn't realize it or at least I didn't stop to really think about it.  Mainly because I was so busy with Dr's and making sure that nothing was being missed with her.

So here I am looking at the 7 stages and yep I've been through all of them and I'm sure I will probably go through them again a some point in this journey.

1.  Shock and Denial-  I really didn't believe all this was happening.  I had already had 2 healthy children.  I had done everything right during my pregnancy.  Dr's appt, vitamins, exercise (sort of, if you count chasing 2 little girls around and running up and down hallways in a hospital), eating healthy, no drugs, no alcohol, sleeping (as much as I could with 2 other girls).  So why was this happening to me and my baby?  This must be some kind of mistake, or bad dream.  It will be different when she comes out.
2.  Pain and Guilt- Oh my goodness!  Did I have guilt.  I thought for sure I had done something wrong.  Either I came across something in the hospital while I was working that was dangerous to a fetus. Or maybe it was all the extreme stress I was under in the very beginning, before I knew I was pregnant.  I'm not sure, but I knew for sure this was all my fault.  I was the one carrying her, it had to be my fault.  Right?
3.  Anger and Bargaining- Oh was I mad!  I had a few friends who had babies right around the time that I had Sadie.  They would post things on FB and talk about their little ones and what they were doing.  I hated them.  I was so jealous and so angry.  That's what my baby was supposed to be doing, not going to a million Dr's and being poked and prodded and having surgery.  Please God, I would do anything to change this.
4.  Depression, reflection, loneliness- I was sad, I cried all the time, I thought about stuff and what couldv'e/shouldv'e been different.  I was lonely.  No one I knew (besides one very good friend who has a little girl with Downs Syndrome) has been through this.  I had one person to turn to for advise and support.  I felt alone.  Everyone else was happy in their own world.
5.  Upward turn- One day I woke up (literally, it was the morning) and I looked outside and the sun was shining so bright, the sky was super blue, I heard Chloe and Aubrie playing in Chloe's room and laughing.  And then I heard a very soft "talking" coming from the monitor.  Sadie was just jabbering away to herself.  Everything was ok, I felt like a ton of bricks was lifted off of me.  I don't know why that morning it hit me, but it did.  And it felt great!  It was an "ah ha" moment.
6.  Reconstruction and working through-  After my "ah ha" moment.  I started on my new journey.  I no longer was trying to figure out what was wrong with her, but what I could do to make her life better.  I've always said that quality is more important then quantity. I was, and still am, determined to make sure her quality is the best that it can be.
7.  Acceptance and hope-  I accept it all.  I now realize that it wasn't my fault, and I accept that I can't do anything to "change" her, I accept that I will have to give her back to God earlier then expected, I accept the fact that I have a child with special needs, I accept the challenges that are ahead of me, I accept this gift from God.  My hope is that she feels the love that so many people have for her, that she achieves the best that she can be and that God holds her in his arms while he listens to all the prayers.

I want everyone to understand that it wasn't her that I didn't accept.  I loved her from the moment she was conceived.  I accepted her for being who she was/is.  It was the situation that was hard to accept.

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