So, I asked you to ask.. and you did.. and now I'm here to answer.
How is J dealing with it?
**I can't speak for J myself... so for the first time, he will make a cameo appearance :)
Well being the person I am I tend to hold things in most of the time. And being a guy I took the role of being the strong one for Tabby. I credit being able to deal with our loss, better than most people, to my faith.
I know their is a plan bigger than ours and it was in that plan for her to be here only 7 1/2 months. As Tabby says in another question, if and when we have another one, I will still always be nervous and it will stay in the back of my mind. But only time will tell. So in short I am dealing much better than most. Just taking it one day at a time.
How do you deal as a couple?
It's not easy by any means. There have been many situations where we have bumped heads and been at each others throats. The thing about grief is that it is very individual and personal. Each person has their own way.. I am very external, J very internal. I always wanted to talk about feelings-he didn't. There were days where we were thousands of miles apart and it felt like all we did was argue and bicker. The thing is, you have to force yourselves to communicate. To talk through the hardest of hard. And so we have had our knock down drag outs.. we were exhausted in the end but accomplished. The key that I found is that I have to respect his process just I expect him to respect mine. In the same token we have to meet in the middle. I can't ask him to sacrifice certain things if I'm not willing to do the same and vice versa. It's very easy to say, "we've been through so much, we can make it through anything" The key is to MAKE it work. There are no magical things or words to solve our problems.. we have to trust in one another to be each others rock when the other is shaky - It's a shit tough road to travel. The best we can do is keep the lines of communication open. And that's the key thing I think. The divorce rate amongst baby loss parents is something like 80% We have both agreed from the moment Savanna died is that we refuse to be that 80% We had already become a SIDS statistic.. that's where it would stop. So if you take divorce out of the equation completely then it never becomes a solution.
Has the babysitter talked to you guys at all?
We actually stayed in contact with her for about a month and a half after Savanna died. I tried speaking to her the night it happened after we got back home from the hospital. But she was a sobbing mess and was trying to explain how it all happened. All I heard was bubbles from her nose and mouth and I lost it.. I couldn't continue on in the conversation I was still in such a state of shock. Finally a couple weeks later.. after the funeral and the Thanksgiving holiday she came over to talk with us. She walked us through the chain of events. We allowed her into Savanna's room and we allowed her to keep one of the blankets Savanna used at her house. She is a single mom and her kids were going away for Christmas, so we invited her over to stay with us and be with our families. As time drew on I began to notice patterns. Regardless if she was doing things purposely or not, it was affecting me. She was guilt stricken in her grief I began to feel like she was comparing the fact that Savanna died in her care as being worse then it being my daughter. I was quite angry all the time and finally talked to a chaplain about it. He advised that I not speak to her anymore. She was attached to a bad memory. So each day I take steps forward but as soon as she is brought up or we talk I take 3 steps backward, that day begins to replay all over again. Even though I know she did nothing wrong, and she did everything in her power to save my little girl, it still felt like she took her.. and now she was taking my grief too. The only thing I had. So I decided in January that it was best if we cut ties. We have not spoken or talked to her since.
Did the babysitter come to the funeral?
No she did not. The funeral was three hours away and she is a single mom with two girls. Although she expressed how much she wanted to be there it was not possible as the funeral was in the middle of the week and her children were in school. We did, however, make a copy of the slide show and video for her that was shown at the service.
How many kids do you want?
We would like to have two more children.
Will you do anything differently that you didn't do with Savanna?
Boy that's a loaded question! I think about that quite often.. What could I have done differently with her. And what it comes down to is this... nothing. No matter what the circumstances, where she was at, who she was with, what she ate, what she wore.. her FULL life was only meant to be 7 months and 15 days. As a human it's so hard to fathom this thought. Our imperfect minds conceive a FULL life to be that of 70 or 80.. it's completely taboo for a parent to bury their child.. but I have come to accept that 7 months and 15 days was Savanna's full life. With that being said, when we chose to have another I'm most certain I will be highly paranoid and scared. But in the end doing anything differently isn't going to change whatever outcome his/her life will be fated to. I have no control over it. All I can do is love them unconditionally and make sure they know of their big sister. Because the thing is, all the tips on reducing the risk seemed null and void to us. She used a paci.. she was a roller so putting her on her back side or front didn't matter she slept how she was comfortable. She was crawling and trying to pull up. So the 'odds' were against her. Yet here we are. Things like bumpers and pillows and blankets in their crib.. sure I'll probably keep those things out. But at the end of the day, I have no control. So I will love them with my whole heart, and cherish each and every moment.
When/if you have more kids will you leave them with a sitter or be a stay at home mom?
Another one I have though so much about. Somehow in my mind there was a point where I thought, had she been with me she wouldn't have died. I would have saved her, that's what a mother does right? We are the protectors, the guardians of our children. But like I said before, it wouldn't have had a different outcome. So, to be point blank, I am not a stay at home mom person. I tried it.. and although I absolutely loved every moment I had with Savanna, and am so thankful for it... I was driving myself crazy. I didn't want it to get to a point where I resented her. I remember driving home from work everyday so excited and as soon as I would walk in the door I would see that smile. And it made that whole day away from her so worth it. Now please don't twist my words. Stay at home moms are admirable and courageous and the hardest workers I know. Every person has their calling, has their niche.. it's just not mine. I wish it was... BUT as I've learned through this grief journey... our plans don't always work out the way we want them to, or think they will. So once baby number 2 sparkles it's way into our lives.. my whole mind set could change. But as of now.. I will continue to work and she/he will go to a daycare program.
I hope this gives you some more insight into our little world and you're able to get a little more understanding of this journey. I hope it can help you to help another close to you. Just remember, sometimes the most healing words to a grief stricken, heart broken loved one are the silent ones.
**I will continue to answer questions as they come in. Email, FB me, or comment on the blog. Again, your inquiries will remain anonymous