I cannot sleep. I keep having a dream that I misplaced the baby. In the dream I think,
"he is all alone, he has no food, no milk, nobody to feed him, nobody to keep him warm, does he have sunscreen on? Where is he?" I am looking for him frantically. Then I wake up and remember that he died. I feel horror and sick to my stomach. I failed as a mother. I lost my baby. People ask me the same questions over and over so I am going to answer them. No, I am not seeing a therapist yet. I haven't had a moment to tackle the bureaucracy of who my insurance covers (from what I can tell, it covers very few therapists) or whether I can pay out of pocket or who the right person to see would be. This JUST happened three weeks ago and I had a house full of people for 2 weeks of that. Yes, we plan to go to a support group but there are only 2 near us at all and one meets the third Thursday of the month (which we missed last month because that way the day that Maxie died) and the first Thursday of the month (which was 2 days after his funeral). Yes, we know about "Our House" but they only welcome parents who are three months away from "the incident". There also seems to be a sense from some that Ted and I need to "get back out there", "face the music", or that we should make plans so we have "something to look forward to". Again, this just happened, and from all I have read about bereaved parents, this pain doesn't go away (nor would I want it to...and by the way, wouldn't you be more worried if I was already over it?). Every day that passes is one more day that is farther away from the last moment I spent with Max. So - making plans to go camping or go to the Bowl - I know you want us to feel happy - and I appreciate the thought - but I wouldn't be looking forward to those things. I am pretty honest about what I can and cannot do. If you offer something and it sounds good, I will tell you. If it sounds scary or painful, I will politely decline. I appreciate friends who keep inviting us to stuff (and in some cases, we have surprised ourselves by appreciating the distraction) but most understand that we probably won't come. Everyone means well, I know, but trust me when I tell you that going to this party or that conference or that event will not make me feel better. Please continue to invite us but please do not be offended when or if we say no. Maxie grew inside of my body, I gave birth to him, I nursed him, sat up at night with him, rocked him, sung to him, pumped (in my office, in my car, late at night after work events, while driving) for him, made plans around and for him. He was and is the very best thing that ever happened in my life. I am in so much pain that I wake up every morning and decide whether or not I want to breathe again. I get anxious in public spaces, I get teary when things remind me of Max, I don't like being away from Ted. Time will heal me to some extent but for us, this JUST happened. I didn't break up with someone and I didn't lose my job so I am not sure how getting back out there is going to heal me. These suggestions haven't made me angry, in fact, in most cases, those who make these suggestions are trying to help, but you have to trust me when I tell you that I need to trust my own instincts about how I feel. I know what is best for me. What is best for me right now is to take each day at a time and only bite off what I can chew. No more, no less. If you are wondering how to approach me, just try to be genuine. It is ok to tell me you are sorry for my loss, it is ok to give me a smile or a knowing nod. Do not try to act normal, what happened to me is not normal. Our first encounter doesn't need to be normal from the get go..it will get there but give it a minute or two. I can still laugh, I can still gossip with you, I can still work with you...and I will. But, keep your expectations in check. My baby died. I am not the same person and probably won't ever be again. I can't say whether it will make me stronger in the long run or weaker. It will be a while before we will know. Again, this JUST happened. Thank you for being patient with us, thank you for taking care of us, thank you for worrying about us. We know that we are very lucky to be surrounded by people who care.

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