Thursday, June 10, 2010

how? how? how?

How could this have happened?

Sometimes I can't help but get caught up in these words.

They came to my lips yesterday during an unexpected trip into Peyton's nursery. You could ask me why I entered, and I would have no answer for you. (I haven't been into her room since writing this post in early February.) I can only say that as the knob was turned and I stepped in; as I looked around at the unused baby items, the clothing, the crib, and remembered for too brief a moment what life was like at the time when that room was set up, those words came to my lips... 

How could this have happened?

Tonight a friend stopped over, and out of nowhere, in a way that I haven't in months, I just broke down to her mid-sentence and cried.

I cried that I used to be so in control of things; that I had plans, on top of plans, on top of plans; and now feel that everything is so completely out of my control, that all I can do is collapse into how overwhelming a feeling that is. I feel like a pawn, anxiously awaiting whatever move the universe doles out for me next, and it's terrifying.

I want to be in control of my life.
I want to feel alive.

Even the choice of adding to our family has gone awry. I take shots and patches and pills in an attempt to make happen what had come easily for me in the past, and it doesn't seem to matter.

I see baby items in our house and can't believe that we will ever use them. Not truly believe it. Not in a way that brings any security and comfort to my heart. After all, these things, these precious items that were hung with care, have now been left stagnant, untouched, for a year and a half.

Seeing them makes me feel like they belong to someone else. I feel isolated, left out of a world where babies  happen with ease (or so it seems) to everyone but us. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to feel this way.

I have tried positive thinking, The Secret, the law of attraction. I have tried prayer, meditation. I have tried to envision everything working out, but try as I might, right now, I just can't see it, and that hurts.

As someone who so prided herself on five year plans for everything from home ownership to career moves, it breaks my heart that I can't plan five days, five weeks, or five months down the line, because nothing feels within my control. This, too, brings to mind the words...

How could this have happened?

After a blood draw at my RE's office earlier this week, I, like a moth to a flame, walked to the bathroom in the waiting area to wash my hands. I did this, not because they were dirty, but instead for the smell of the soap. Pink and watery, this soap, I had discovered in a flashback of awareness, is the same institution grade soap that we used when scrubbing into Peyton's hospital room.

To anyone else it would smell like soap, but to me it smells like my child. My perfect, beautiful, brave little child who was here long enough to haunt my memory, but too short a time to remain in the memories of others.

Lately Peyton has felt "surreal" to me in a way that hurts like losing her all over again.

I washed, and washed, and rewashed my hands, working the soap deep into my pores, wanting to soak it in, and then as I drove home, I held my fingers just below my nose, breathing in the memory of her, and reminding myself that she was here. She was here. I know she was.

She was real.
I was her mother.
I had a daughter once.

It all felt so cruel to be driving away from the place that signifies my stolen fertility, breathing in the scent of my stolen child, and asking myself over and over...

How could this have happened?


  1. I get stuck here too. I look at Matilda's photo and ask 'How did you die? How did this happen'.

    She was real, she is loved, and you are mother.

    Maddie x

  2. There are no words for this, no explanations that can make what you have gone through make any sense. My heart breaks for you as I picture you trying to capture the scent of your little baby. Your love for her is so clear.
    sending love your way.

  3. i wish your story was different....i am so very sorry. the image of you washing your hands to smell your little girl was so beautiful...and i'm sure she was there too....((hugs))

  4. I am so sorry for your loss and your pain. I think of you and Peyton often. Thank you for sharing the story of her life.

  5. Oh Kristin, I wish I had an answer to that heartbreaking question. {{{Hugs}}}, love, and prayers coming your way.

  6. I still ask that question daily. Must be the timing, but I too find myself breaking down for seemingly no reason lately. Mid thought, mid conversation, mid anything...
    " long enough to haunt my memory, but too short a time to remain in the memories of others."
    That line is so perfect and so true.

  7. This post screams of the immeasurable and unbearable pain you are suffering.
    I wish there were words of comfort but I just can't think of anything that would be anywhere near to being adequate.
    All I can say is I'm so so so sorry for this unbearable loss.

  8. How was always my question, not why.
    I try to avoid the soap though, because of the memories.
    We don't have control over so much in this world. Keep controling the little things you can.
    I'm sorry it's so hard.

  9. Oh sharing about the soap made me cry. I wish this was all easier for you. I am so sorry this is all so hard. I wish I had an answer xxx

  10. I don't know. I wish it hadn't happened.
    There are days when I still just stop and pause, in utter disbelief that these things could have happened. x

  11. Life is unfair and the mind plays tricks. Abiding with you.

  12. Like Sara, "HOW" was my question, not why. I wish and I hope and pray that it will get easier. Thinking of you and sending a million *HUGS*.

  13. At least once a day, I ask, "How is this my life? Really? How is this my life?"

    Because it just doesn't seem possible, much less even real.

    The nursery seems to be a big slap in my face reminder because it's PROOF that it was real--and did happen--and is my life. Hard to reconcile with disbelief.

    I am so, so sorry for the pain of it all but you are right in that it boils down to the complete and total lack of power or control we have in any of this.

    I actually get kind of aggravated with people who tell me to think positively because I never thought more positively in my LIFE that Matthew would live and look where that got me.
    It's BS to me and I don't even want to hear it.

    It's not in my hands and I don't want the responsibility of it because that implies my inability and failure.

    Enough of that already, thanks.

    Thinking of you and your precious heart...

    BTW---You and Peyton have touched so many people--short as her sweet little life was, it was not too short to remain in memory forever. She's too precious for that!

  14. My daughter lived 22 days and died of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. 27 October 2009. My husband and I found ourselves looking for the soap of the NICU. That smell comforted us. However the smell of the Pampers sensitive wipes would undo me. We have a 2 year old and my husband bought "the wipes" mistakenly and I couldn't use them.
    We have so little that we can call "her" things that are specific to her and those 2 smells are part of it.
    We too have been robbed of the "simply have another baby easily" group. Because SMA is a genetic disease we have a 1 in 4 chance of passing it on so we have opted for IVF with single gene testing. I am surrounded by women who don't think twice about getting pregnant and I will never have that freedom again.
    Do you also have thoughts when a friend announces they are pregnant and think, "oh don't get excited because this could happen to you."
    I've struggled with that. Our daughter's disease is the #1 genetic killer of children under the age of 2.
    Sorry to unload all my "stuff" onto you and your blog. I just feel so alone and I want to talk about my daughter but like you said in your post it seems she was here such a short time that she has faded from people's memory.
    Big hugs to you,

  15. I wash my hands with the soap at my RE to feel closer to Joseph. I thought I was the only nut job who has memory of what he smelled like based on a cleaning product.... I love going in for that soap.. contemplated buying some for the house. then decided I'd keep that my secret... sending love to you....

  16. I agree with Sarah "How was always my question, not why." I just wish there were easy answers but there are none and that is so hard.

  17. I hate that feeling that they didn't really exsit. It hurts worse than losing htem the first time. I am angry and sad that my mind turns them into some sort of surreal dream. I hear myself scream..SHE DID EXSIST! But then I look around and it feels so empty, and I think, did she really?

  18. Wow, I could have written so much of this post. I find myself in those moments of sheer disbelief all the time. I can't even imagine the added layer of your fertility struggles now. It's just not fair. The world is so not fair. Xoxo

  19. My heart aches with every word of this post. You are her mother...her beautiful, brave mother. And, she was here on this earth. And she does wait for you in heaven's glory. I know those words do not take away the pain of all that you are missing...all that has been stolen from you. Please know that you are in my heart and in my prayers.

    Love to you...

  20. One of the reasons I struggle with whether my family should have another baby since losing Simon and Alexander is that I think it's so unfair that you aren't pregnant...and I would feel like such a greedy bastard to even try. Every time I think of just makes me cry. I want your rainbow....I want your nursery filled....I want those precious baby items to be used. I want your heart to have some healing. I care so much about this....and I just can't imagine ever uttering the words "I'm pregnant" until you have that as well. I think of you every day...not in a stalker kind of way...but as a sister in life. Sending you so much love....because I wish I could give you so much more. You deserve so much more.

  21. You are her mother. She is your daughter. Sending you so much love.

  22. She was here and she mattered.

  23. I'm so sorry, Kristin. I wish I could change it. I wish I could help. I wish even my words could help a little.
    Peyton is so beautiful.
    You are her mother.
    You matter. She matters.
    So many hugs and so much love.

  24. You know, I was just thinking about this today... How we had to wash our hands a million times during each visit with Freja in the NICU... 'Visit...' That does sound aweful doesn't it? No parent should have to 'visit' their newborn child and be forced to turn and walk away with empty arms... Anyway, I'm trailing off here. I can still smell the NICU... I have a hard time walking into a hospital because the smell sets off so many painful memories. Thinking of you!

  25. hugs.... many, many hugs....

  26. I have been thinking about you so often. Haven't read a new post from you in a while. I want so badly to just give you a hug and make everything okay. It just isn't fair.

    Lately, I've felt the same way about Ayden - feeling like his existence is just surreal...almost as if I'm left wondering, "Was he even here? Did I really give birth? Was he really with us for 4 months? Did I really have to face the funeral of my child?" Ugh...I hate that it has become surreal. He WAS here, and he was here for 4 wonderful months, and he made my life so complete. How in the world did this happen? How was my child taken from me?

    Praying for you and thinking of you so often.

  27. I wish I had answers to bring you comfort...none of us ever know why, just another cruel fact of our lives at this point. I'm so sorry you had one of those days...HUGS and prayers your way.

  28. I just found your blog and have read many of your posts. I am so sorry for your devastating loss. I wish I could offer any words that could take the pain away forever. I am sending you a big cyber ((hug))...

  29. I sometimes put on the baby lotion that we used to use on Lukas. I too close my eyes and remember him and open my eyes wishing that I could still hold him.

    I keep praying that your story has a good turn of events.

  30. You do have to wonder 'how is this my life?' Why does anyone have to go through something like this? I think I would've done the same thing with the soap.

  31. "I want to be in control of my life.
    I want to feel alive."

    I'm slowly coming to the realisation in my own life, that these sentences are in contrast to each other...

  32. I know that moment so well. That moment of "how did we, how did I, get here???? How could this have happened to US, to ME?" The things that only ever happen to other people... and yet they don't. They happen to you and me. To good, normal people and then? Then life carries on all around.
    Praying your treatments succeed xx

  33. I was thinking about you and your blog and about Peyton the other day and then I started thinking about another blog that I follow. It got me thinking and wondering , have you and your husband considered using a surrogate?
    The other blog that I follow is :

  34. Some days you will smile and others you'll cry. Let yourself feel those emotions, but don't get buried in them.

    As someone with cerebral palsy, I've faced my share of obstactles, pain, and hurt. Just remember you have a life left to live. Your life didn't end when Peyton passed. I know it seems impossible, but things will get better. Give all of your cares, worries, and hurt to God. He has never left your side. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

    Satan is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Even if you only have an ounce of hope, that's all it takes to believe for a miracle. Hang in there.

  35. I have no answers for you. But I will sit and cry with you. I understand the surreal-ness. I understand the shots and patches and appointments. I understand longing for the smell -- just the smell....

    I'm so sorry.

  36. I also have a soap memory. A different situation from you but it still involves the doctor office soap. I'm just honestly so sorry for your loss. Reading your post makes my heart break for you. I am not a regular reader (but I'm adding you to my reader today!!) but have visited you before. I think your sweet baby girl is so gorgeous (I think that every single time I see her on your blog).