Thursday, March 31, 2011

For those who pray, and those who don't

 Can those who wish or pray please do so for another pregnancy as quickly as humanly possible- like now or at the very least before our trip to Toronto this summer.  I don't think I can handle this void for much longer.  Yes Channah was assisted, but Gabi was a total surprise- please wish, hope or pray for another spontaneous surprise asap.  We are already aiming for it again.

I feel dead inside and I know right now that the only thing that can make my brain whole again is a baby in my arms.  I had so focused my life on having a little one again I now have no idea what to do with myself.  My body is healed but my brain is so broken.  It is shattered into hundreds of millions of people each with a tiny picture of me with a baby on it.  I have no idea how to put the puzzle back together without a real copy of the picture to look at.  It is like trying to do a puzzle without knowing what it is supposed to look like.

I have dealt with depression before and now I have to wonder if I was faking it for attention.  The pain of the grief in my heart is so sharp now that I keep needing to double check there is no real physical knife in my chest.  The tears come for no reason at all- and for every reason under the sun.  A beautiful day will send me into hysterics because Gabi will never see it.  A hug from Channah will have me longing for another small set of arms around my neck.

Why did this happen to me?  Oh lord I have always tried to be good and kind.  To help those who needed it and to mind the feelings and sensitivities of those who might be in pain of their own.  How could you in your majesty tease and bully me by playing "keep away" with the one thing I want so badly when I was so, so close to getting it.  

Is it wrong to hate god?  No that is the wrong the question.,  I don't think I can hate something I am not sure I believe in anymore.  In those 5 minutes of silence in the ultrasound room my belief in that covenant was torn away from under my feet leaving me on the shakiest ground I could imagine.  All my life I have been taught to turn to God in my times of trouble- now here he is the cause of it- to whom do I turn now?

My siddur and my Tehillim sit closed on the shelf, as do most of the books we have been given.  At night I wake with nightmares and find myself sitting on the edge of the bed in Channah's room just watching her tiny body rise and fall- terrified that God will take something else I love from me.  I want to hold her tightly and scream at God that "HE CAN'T HAVE HER!  SHE'S MINE", but I know in my heart that God can do whatever he wants and better not to call attention to how much I love her.

My life feels empty save for for her tiny speck of light, and I so fear that light being extinguished I can barely breath.

God please, I hate you and I love you.  You have given me so much and taken away so much.  Please send me a healthy, full term pregnancy as quickly as possible to mend my heart and my brain from the extreme pain you have put them in.  Please return me to a whole and sane state where I can be the parent and wife I want to be, and the woman I need to be.

Please God, I have no one to turn to but you.  Avinu malkenu, my father my king.  You can grant any wish my heart desires.  Please see me as a daughter begging at your feet for true happiness only you can provide.  Please allow me to say with a full and happy heart "who brought me happily and joyously to this day" as I had planned to do less than a week from now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Line Between Comfort and Cruelty

When dealing with a tragic loss people feel they need to say something. In order to do this people turn off the filter between mouth and brain. They end up saying something that hurts and provides no comfort at all. Not only that but the hurtful thing they say isn't even original.

There is one concept that has been repeated many, many times. Only twice it was said in a way with compassion and understanding and to some degree provided comfort. The other times it has not and has even gone as far as someone suggesting that we should be "happy" for the "zchut" of burying our dear baby girl Gabi in an unmarked grave somewhere in Jerusalem.

I have decided to play a little game. My interest in politics, leads me to follow websites that break down the nuances within a story and how they are spun when presented to the public. For example last week procedural manoeuvring was used to make sure the Government did not fall on the budget but before the vote to find the Government in contempt of parliament. We are going to look at 3 versions of the same idea and you can guess which is comforting and which was hurtful. Keep in mind that all three versions are simply conjecture because we really have no way of knowing if they are true or not. It is very possible the source is what my Uncle likes to call Mesechet Baba Misa.

1. There are Neshamas that have had accomplished everything they needed to do, however they still need to go through the process of being in the womb to complete their mission in this world. As they are very special Neshamas they have the option of choosing which family to help them complete this most important task. Of course they only choose the best of the best to look after them for such a short time.

2. I don't know if this helps or not, it is something my Rebbe told me. Many Tzadikim were wiped out in Europe and for their Nishma to complete their mission they just need to be buried in Eretz Yisrael. Perhaps you were helping one of these special Tzadikim make their way to Eretz Yisrael.

3. Perhaps she was a Nishama that had to go through the process of being in the womb to complete their mission in life. You are so lucky that you were given this mission and should be happy that G-d gave you this opportunity.

Have you figured out which one it is yet?

Gabi was born 4 days later than Channah and aside from having no heart beat was in much better shape then when Channah as born. Halacha hardly recognized Gabi. She was burried somewhere in Jerusalem in an unmarked grave. We will never know where. There was no funeral and no Halachot of Aveilut. Our Rabbi has said we would not be permitted to remain in shul for Yitzkor. No Yahrzeit. She will always be loved and remember by us but Halacha has already forgotten her.

Now can you guess which version of the story is not comforting?

The first two tried to show that there was a purpose to Gabi's life even though it was taken away before she could take her first breath. The third is just cruel.

If you still can't see the difference, go to the Shiva of the latest terrorist victim and tell them how lucky they are that they lost a love one Al Pi HaKiddush Hashem. Go find me a parent that is happy about the opportunity that they got to bury a child. Show me a Siddur/Tehillim covered with stains from tears from your davening of have the same "zchut" that we did. Perhaps after taking these steps you will finally understand how mean and cruel your words actually are.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Once again I am home from a c-section without my baby girl.  This time she will not be joining us in a few weeks.

I am home but not sure I want to be.  I never expected to come home from the hospital without my little girl.  All my hopes and dreams for the last year have been tied up in this child and this pregnancy.  Every daydream had Channah with playing with her little sister in different places.  Someone told me to find a safe place in my head. There isn't one.  Gabi is playing in every one of them.  Channah and Gabi are hiding out in every nook and cranny in my brain.  They are stuck in every fiber of my being.  Together.

It was never supposed to end this way.  And now I have no idea how to go on.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How We Lost Our Little Princess

I want to write down all the things going through my head write now. I just can't capture it in any type of coherent form. I am just going to recap what happened yesterday.

On Monday morning Rachel went to the Kupa for her regular Monday round of appointments at the Kupa. The nurse was having trouble finding a heart beat. She immediately went to the doctor to do an ultra sound. The Kupa doesn't have an Ultra Sound tech working on the day that the high risk doctor was in. She said she saw a faint heart beat and ordered an ambulance.

Rachel called me to tell me it was time and to get to the Mercaz before the ambulance. It took me a moment to register what was going on. She said we were going to the hospital and they would decide if we need an emergency C-Section. Ein Kerem was choosen because it would be closer.

Taking the 38 can be nerve racking at the best of times. Taking it full speed in traffic with sirens blaring was terrifying. Rachel had to do it lying down backwards. During that time, I started refocusing on the possibility that we could have a preemie born that day and we could handle it. I never had the slightest inkling of what really happened.

Rachel was set up in labour and delivery. They brought over the ultra sound machine. You could see the look in the techs face when he didn't see anything and called over another tech. Again the same thing happened and they called in the doctor. Next was a proper ultra sound. Rachel was given the option of how to get there and choose walking as it was the fastest. As I am running with all our stuff, to keep up with Rachel, the staff is trying to get me to take of the paper work. After doing everything they could they determined their was no pulse.

We went back to L&D, before being taken to a mostly private room next door, away from the heart breaking noise of the heart monitors. I called the Rabbi to tell him what happened. 20 minutes later I called to ask the first Shiloh and he said he was already on route to the hospital.
Rachel also needed a Mom, so I called her Aunt from the Shomron to sub in for the role. The help at that point in time was tremendous.

Rachel was given the choice between induction and C-Section. After choosing C-Section the doctors than tried to discourage her. The C-Section was scheduled for 2 hours later. During our wait we also met with the Social Worker.

During the C-Section they showed us the large knot in the umbilical cord. They said it happened very fast and she showed no signs of suffering. The first time you hold your baby girl in your arms, you are supposed to make a Shechiynu. Instead I burst into tears. She was warm and looked just like Channah when she was born, only bigger (1480g). I can still feel what it was like to hold her in my arms the same way, I can still visualize how I used to first hold Channah. It felt like holding a sleeping baby. Rachel was still pretty imobile from the surgery, but she was able to touch her.

The support we have received since then has been amazing. People are spending the night, so Rachel is not alone. I spent a great deal of time, yesterday and today running around to get straight the Chevra Kadisha starightened out. We rented a car so we could go back and forth to the hospital easily. Parking is a nightmare. It is like Yorkdale the week before Christmas, only worse. Channah had her Mesibat Siddur today. My chavrusah arranged for a professional photographer to make a video for Rachel.

We had finally accepted the fact that we had our perfect little family. Then we go to the Kotel and Channah davens for a little sister. A short time later, Rachel's dermatologist would not provide a needed script until she took a pregancy test. She thought it was just jet leg, not the answer to a special little girls prayers. Maintaining this pregancy became a full time job. We were so greatful for the oppurtunity. Hashem gave us such a wonderful gift. I am still having trouble accepting that he would just take it away just like that.