Guilt after 5 months

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Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
Guilt after 5 months

Most of you know my story. I lost Rebecca at 16 weeks and have been having ups and downs for the last 5 months, well the newest problem is guilt.
I have a lot of guilt right now because it was my job to protect her. I had an incompetent cervix which could not handle a growing baby. So in point it is my body that gave out, nothing was wrong with her.
The worst part is when I was in the hospital I thought the 2nd day in that it would be best for her to leave me because I could not handle the thought of being in the hospital or on bed rest for the next 6 months. I was selfish! Looking back I would have stood on my head for the 6 months if that meant I would have her here with me. Did she sense that I was giving up on her and is that why she didn't hang on? I don't know why this is hitting me now, I know guilt is part of the grieving process but how do I get pass this. I have asked her and my husband both for forgiveness in how I was thinking in the hospital..

You ladies have been wonderful to me and I feel so close to many of you. Family and friends don't understand, but I know you ladies do and won't judge me for my thoughts or feelings. I just need to know is this normal and what did you guys do to get past this part of the process.

Thanks.
Robin

JGro's picture
Joined: 03/24/07
Posts: 88

Robin, I have mostly been a lurker lately, but I wanted to let you know that I dealt/am dealing with the same thing. The exact reason for my loss in February was never strictly determined, but for several reasons we now hove strong reason to suspect it was an infection. I've blamed myself, wondering what I did wrong and if I really fought hard enough.

You are not alone in this. I'm sure you've heard this so many times before, but it will just take time. You did nothing wrong. Do not hold yourself responsible for the thoughts born of anger, guilt and frustration you had during the darkest times in the hospital. I can promise you that we have all thought and felt things that later we regretted. When my water broke, I prayed for the whole nightmare to be over. But, like you, I know in my heart that if anything could have been done for my Lucy, I would have done it.

Know that you are absolutely normal and human. Truthfully, I promise that anyone who would judge you harshly for this has not walked a mile in your shoes. I began to leave the guilt behind when I realized that it was absolutely the surest sign of my love and devotion to my baby girl.

Jen

flutterby4's picture
Joined: 09/04/07
Posts: 219

Robin,

You have been on my mind so much lately. I truly wish you the peace that you need to heal. You are normal. There is nothing wrong with the thoughts you have and you shouldn't feel guilty (easy to say from this end of the screen I know, you'll have to remind me of this post next week when I'm feeling guilty again)...I have felt guilty for so many things. I feel like I didn't push the OB hard enough to listen when I told her about my backpain. I feel guilty because when I would talk to people about my pregnancy and what it felt like...I would usually say it was weird, how hard it was for me to imagine 2 hearts beating inside me and how strange I thought it was going to be when the baby started moving...I was worried I would hate it or something, idk...maybe I shouldn't have thought it was so 'strange'. That just sounds ungrateful doesn't it...

I think we all feel guilt for different things in this process, but I think most of the time they are things we shouldn't feel guilty for. You are normal, as normal as the rest of us, but it's a process and sometimes we even have to go back and do some of the steps again. But we are here to help you through them. Sending many many hugs your way.

Amy

Joined: 09/18/07
Posts: 371

Robin

Guilt is so tough to handle. It doesn't matter how logical we try to be guilt can still drive us crazy. It might be that you are heading back to work soon that is bringing up these feelings of guilt, especially when you aren't ready to go back yet.

I know that logically we can reason that it is not our fault but then again if we take the blame then at least that is almost some form of control over the situation. I think many of us feel guilty for fleeting thoughts that passed our minds during pregnancy. I remember thinking briefly about a job opportunity that I could have had to return to the classroom (which I can't wait to do) and being disappointed that I was pg and therefore not able to act on the position. I am sure there is no doubt in your mind that I would walk to the end of the earth and back to have Lily in my arms.

Guilt is a stage in the grieving process so the fact that you are feeling it goes to show that yo are dealing with your grief. This board as you said is a wonderful place to be. I feel so grateful to share in the lives of so many brave women and no that I'm not alone. I couldn't imagine having to deal with Lily's death without all of you. Can you imagine what it was like pre-internet?

Sorry for the long post. Thinking about you and sending hugs from the Great White North (which isn't white yet btw)

Antionette

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Guilt and/or blame is all part of the grief process. What heppened was not your fault. You did not do anything to make this happen, nor could you have done anything to prevent it.
We can sit here for days asking "what if's", but that will not change anything.

{hugs}

Miss Yvi's picture
Joined: 12/22/08
Posts: 100

Im so sorry for your loss, and the pain of grief you now are dealing with.

Guilt is definately a normal process of grieving, you are not alone and should not think it is abnormal.

When I lost my twins I was (and am) miserable for weeks thinking that it was all my fault. My DH and I would joke about "What if we had twins?" and we would both laugh and I would say "Dont even think it!! I could never handle twins" .......on bad days I still get into my head that maybe someone in the universe (whoever is "out there" or whoever you believe in) heard this and thought I didnt want my babies. Or even if my babies heard me (there was a suspicion at one stage that maybe they had strangled each other with their cords). But then slowly the bad day ends, my grief eases just a little and I realise that our loss is tragic, but not a product of our negative thinking.

You did not give up on your baby by thinking how hard it would be to be on bed rest. It is a natural reaction, as Im sure no one could ever say "6 months of bedrest, cant wait!". Everyone here (and family too should) knows that if there had been anything you could do to save your little girl, you would have done it. If the doctor had said you will need to be confined to your house for the next 10 years you would have done it. Because thats what mums do for the babies they love.

I hope your guilt will pass soon.

Joined: 06/14/04
Posts: 12

Robin, I am so sorry that you have been having a tough time. I, too, have been having a lot of guilt lately. Guilt is a natural part of the grieving process, so you could look at your feelings with optimisim - it means you are moving on to a diffrerent stage in your greiving journey. That is good thing!

My guilty feelings come from my reaction to finding out that I was pregnant - I was upset at first, because I was just about to start my first quarter of nursing school - something I had worked really hard towards for two years, and I was afraid that being pregnant would mess that up. My feelings quickly changed to excitement, but I still feel guilty about being upset at first, and about all the times I thought "Well I can't do so-in-so now because I am pregnant". I would give anything to have my baby back, as I am sure all the ladies here would too! We all just have to realize and accept that it was nothing we said or did that cuased our little ones to leave us. I think sometimes it easier to feel guilty, than to accept that it was really out of our control.

Joined: 05/04/06
Posts: 250

Robin- you did nothing wrong. I think it is 'normal' for us to want to be able to blame something/ someone so most of the time we turn it on ourselves. As soon as I woke up and found out that Savannah didnt make it... one of the firsts things out of my mouth was that I shouldn't have complained about being pregnant and uncomfortable. Savannah was a surprise BC baby so I also had/ still have guilt about that. Like maybe if we would've 'planned' her she would still be here. But we're human, we complain, feel sorry for ourselves & its normal. And we will work through the guilt. Your baby knows you loved her.

You would have done those 6 months of bedrest because it woulda been what was best for your baby- no matter how awful it was or how much you didnt want to do it.

shellyhudson's picture
Joined: 01/13/07
Posts: 814

I think that you are going through a completely normal and utterly painful process. I think that the holidays are a huge stressor on our emotions. I know that I have had a resurgence of the guilt in the past few days. I cope by crying. I try to keep it in until I am in a more private place but then I bawl my eyes out. I also keep a journal. I don't write every day in it but when I feel the need I pour out my feelings in it. Another thing that I use is self distraction. As long as I am busy I don't have time to think and therefor appear "normal" to those around me. If it is not harmful to you or others and you think it might help.....whatever "it" may be......then give it a whirl. Every person has different coping mechanisms. I have been told that the first year is the hardest because it is all "firsts'. I have found this to be true. It is a major kick to the gut and shredding of my heart the first time something happens that makes me think of my Damien. When it happens again, it still hurts so very much but the pain isn't white hot like it was before. I don't know if any of that made sense to you, but I hope it did and I hope that something may have been of help to you.

Shelly