Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Gabbi was named for my Zaidy Dave- one of my favourite people in the whole world.  When my mom remarried never for one minute did he make me feel like any less that a full member of the Mechanic family.  I used to look forward to his visits, to playing chess and cards and even doing puzzles.  His death was the first time I felt a real loss in my life that was not filled by anything else.

Zaidy Dave affected everything he touched.  If it was a machine he made it better.  A person, he made them smarter.  And idea, he made it bigger.  No Jewish community in Windsor?  Build one!  No taxis?  Find some.  Things just rippled out from him like a pebble tossed into a calm pond.

More than anything in the world Zaidy Dave loved to be on the water.  Big boats, small boats, fishing boats- it didn’t matter he loved them all.  At the end of his life it seemed only fitting that even his tombstone bore the symbol of his life, a row of waves, across the bottom.

My Gabbi’s middle name is for Zaidy Dave.  Galit means waves and could there be any more fitting a tribute for a man who spent so much of his life causing ripples that affected everyone around him?

Sometimes, when I am in a daydreaming mood, I picture the two of them on Zaidy Dave’s Boat, the Lechaim, sailing off onto some adventure beyond the clouds with him as the captain and her as the tiny first mate in a pint sized purple life jacket he used to keep on board for my sister.

I miss you Zaidy Dave, and I miss you my Gabbi.  And I hope the two of you have adventures together that he rest of us can only dream of.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

For those who pray and those who don't- and I know longer know which I am.

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 pieces 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

If you want to know how to bring me comfort.


Debating God's role for me or how I must be special to him to have carried such a neshamah is no more a comfort to me than if anyone else were to lose a child.  

Right now, my relationship with God could loosely be termed "not good".  I always believed in a God who cared for his children like a father for his son.  I have cried to him for children, and sometimes he said yes, and other's he said no.  This time he said yes and teased me like a mean bully playing keep away with a favourite toy.

Each week at candlelighting I try to pray that God hold my Gabi as I wish I could be doing.  But I can't.  Both because she is in an unmarked grave and because I can't pray.  I look at a tehillim or a siddur and see only empty promises of a belief system that has been shattered for me.  I believed if I did my best to follow God's rules, whether I agreed with them or not, he would in turn look after me and my family.  

So please, spare me the "God must love you" and "God must have a bigger plan that you just can't see". And give me instead "I'm sorry.  You're right, you don't deserve this.  No mother should ever have to see her child put into a hole in the ground with no name, no marker, and no one to love her."  Remind me that Gabi is watching me and wants to see her ima be happy.  That she wants to watch her sister grow to a beautiful your lady who one day will, please God dance with more siblings at her wedding.  Who will raise a family of her own with please God fewer troubles than we see now.  Remind me that my Gabi is now a voice in God's ear praying for me when I can not pray, begging for me when I am too broken to beg on my own, that God grant me the strength to pull myself together not just for me but for Channah and for Jason.

That is the comfort I need.  Not how special I am because God took what I wanted most.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My dear Sweet little Gabbi, So many things I will never know about you.  What colour where your eyes?  Your hair?  Did you have the same long fingers as your sister or the same funny little toes.  What would your laugh have sounded like?  Your cry?  I want to know it all.  

You never heard the stories we told Channah- will never know about flutter and toro or blacky cacky.  Never heard the lullabies or felt us rub your back while we tried to soothe you to sleep.  I will never get to wipe your tears or snuggle you in the mornings.  You will never get a bracha from your Abba.

You will never feel the May wind on your face or see the streets lined with succahs.  Never wear a purim costume or dance with your Abba on simchat torah.  But you are my daughter and I love you so much I can not even begin to tell you how much I will miss you at each of those moments.  I can imagine your laugh and your smile- see your blue eyes that I imagine are just like your sister’s.  Feel your warm little arms around my neck.

My Gabbi I will never, ever forget you.  You are with me every moment of every day, and every minute is more lonely for your loss.  I love you so, so much.

2 ½ weeks have gone by now and I miss you more and more every day.  They tell me it will get easier, but I don’t believe them.  Each day is harder that the last.  Everyone keeps reminding me I need to go on for Channah and for your abba, but I only ache to have you in my arms.  I want to come be with you my sweet Gabbi- I only don’t know how to get there.    It takes more courage that I can get together.

I love you Gabbi.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This morning, for the first time since last Monday, I got up, got dressed nicely, and even put on jewelery.  We were going to the hospital to get the pictures of Gabi and I sort of hoped that if I looked confident I might feel confident.

My grandmother's best friend came along to hold my hand.

I actually came though it a lot better than I thought I would.  In many ways it was really a little bit therapeutic.

The pictures, her hospital bracelet and hospital card will go in my bottom drawer with other pictures that I do not look at most of the time.  A picture form my parent's wedding.  A picture with all my grandparents.  Of us leaving the hospital with Channah.  Our wedding day.   And now my Gabi.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

How can God be so cruel as to put me through everything he has since the summer. To make me think he has given me a 2nd chance, than to take it all so swiftly and end my life so swiftly? I am so angry at him for teasing me, making me so incredibly happy, giving me such trouble to deal with, but staying happy anyway, then making me face god knows how many years of an empty void with no hopes, no dreams, no desires for a future. Jason might be handling this with strength and emuna, but all I want is to know why God took my Gabbi. I hate him so much right now.

I feel like someone I have looked up to, worked for and admired for my whole life has turned his back on me- not only turned his back but done so while beating me senseless and leaving me in a ditch to fend for myself. I feel like I am looking at a life without any happiness. Every school event will be missing another one for Gabi. Every simcha will be missing her presence. Every candle lighting will be missing her flame.

I don't know how I can carry on in the face of such total and desolate darkness. I feel like God took my life away in that hospital- I only wish he had finished the job.

I don't even know why I am writing. When I was talking to you all I could do was cry. Jason is so strong and I feel silly being so sad in front of him. I hate to upset him. The truth is though that the void is getting bigger by the minute- the chasm be tween me and the people around me growing wider with every passing second. I feel like I am receding into myself and that soon there will be no traces of the Rachel who was- only the Rachel who does not want to live in a world without Gabi.

Help me.

I feel dead inside.  

I knew it would happen.  Everyone else has gone back to work and I am still here.   Life goes on for everyone but me.

The Rebeztin just told me I should have known not to get so attached.  She’s right.  I did everything I should not have done.  I hate myself.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Monday morning of this week I found out that I lost my little girl.  The person who I worked for, dreamed about and lived for was never going to be born.  All of my daydreams of Channah and Gabbi went out the window in a single moment when they told me there was no heartbeat.

A few hours later in the OR a perfect, tiny little princess was born.  Perfect in every single way except totally and completely still.  I watched her father who loved her hold her for the only time in his life.  I touched her tiny face.  She was so warm.  So perfect.  I thought someone would tell me it was all a mistake.  she was just sleeping.

But the nightmare didn’t end.  I couldn’t wake up.  I have no idea where physical pain ends and emotional torment begins.  I only really met my Gabi for the briefest of minutes, but I love her more than I can even begin to express.  

She is buried in a unmarked grave somewhere in Yerushalayim.  The holy city has my holy little neshama- to special and pure for this world.  Please God take care of her and hold her like I want to and can never do.

For the 2nd time in my life I have left a hospital after a c-section without my baby- only this time I know she will not be joining us at home anytime soon.

Channah has started asking questions.  Will we celebrate Gabi’s birthday?  Can a baby that never lived come back to life when moshiach comes?  Will she still be a baby or if moshiach comes in 3 years will she be a 3 year old?  People much older and smarter than me have been dealing with these questions for a long, long time.  

I feel like I am living some sort of half-life.  A shadow of who I was that only knows the dark and lonely side of life.  

I thought coming home would help.  I did not realize how really and truly hard coming into my home without my Gabi was going to be.  I  was never supposed to come home from the hospital without her.

A friend took care of getting all the baby stuff out of our apartment.  She missed a pair of socks in our room.  I made Jason hide them somewhere but now am thinking I want to hold on to them forever.

Friends are being amazing.  They are here helping, visiting, anything they can do.  Most recognize that all the help and love in the world will not bring back my Gabriella.  

I keep expecting to feel her move.  I look down in the shower and the bump that was my princess is gone.  Shots in the hospital should keep my milk coming in.  The bleeding will likely stop in a few days.  The stitches come out next week, but even my c-section scar is right on top of the old one and you can not differentiate Gabi from Channah.  But once all that happens, what’s left?   We took a picture of our precious Gabriella Galit at the hospital, but we still have not received it.  Once the stitches are gone there is no more tangible proof that my baby, my daughter ever existed.  

she was tiny 1540 grams, but perfect in every way.  Strong heart.  Good brain.  Just apgar scored of 0.  It is funny, Channah was not much higher than that- but the difference was enough that one is here and hug-able and one is not.

Why did god play such games with me.  Before I was pregnant with Gabi I was okay.  I dreamed of another child, but I had accepted the fact that my family was perfect as it was.  Then I got a 2nd chance.  I thought God had forgiven me for whatever I had done- and it was all going to be okay.  Why, of all the babies in the world, why did he have to take mine?  How could he torture me and take my life away like this.  For the last 8 months every dream has included 2 little girls.  My precious Channah and my precious Gabi.  Someone told me to find a safe space in my head I can go for refuge- but there aren’t any.  Gabi is everywhere I ever thought to be.

Then the cruelest joke of all.  Al pi halacha Gabi never existed- oh sure I have all the post birth halachic restrictions- no physical comfort from Jason at all- but none of the grieving process halacha allows for in any other case.  

The rabbi says that so long as I am angry at God at least we are still acknowledging each other.

Good advice I have heard so far includes that I should forget taking it one day at a time.  That is too much.  Right now focus on one minute at a time.  If I can make it through this one, I can make it through the next one- and the one after that.

I have also been told to remember that although other people or halacha might not acknowledge her, to remember that I was her mother.  she was my little girl and that I have all the rights and all of the feelings associated with that.  And that I am entitled to those feelings.  

Everyone has been calling and visiting.  I feel like when there are people here I can draw strength from them.  I feel stronger.  More able to cope.  What happens next week when Gabi is old news?  

I had a breakdown last night.  Took a sedative, a sleeping pill and a pain killer and slept for 5 hours.  then I woke up and it all came back.  Channah heard my crying and came in.  She gave me a hug, and got me a handful of tissues before climbing into bed with me.  Channah works a lot better than the sedatives.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I am not sure how I can move on. Everyday seems harder than the last. Everybody else including dh slowly goes back to their normal lives- and I am left aching for what I will likely never have. For some reason God will never let me bring home a newborn- and I am falling deeper and deeper into a hole. I have met with a psychiatrist, and am trying 2 counselors the the day after tomorrow. I am taking all the drugs everyone is throwing at me.

Physically I am healing fine. Mentally I am a mess. The only thing I can even think of is getting pregnant again- and lord knows how long that will be. And it still won't be my Gabbi. Some other baby months and months from now if I am lucky- and what a terrifying nightmare that entire pregnancy will be.

I really am just a total and complete mess. I don't want to live the way I am, but do not want to die and leave my Channah. I feel like I have had every hope and dream ripped away from the rest of my life- and the only way to get any small part of my life back from a God who seems more cruel than I could ever imagine is to find a way to start over. Stupid I know- I need to grieve before I can start again- but I want more than anything in the world (besides having my Gabi alive and well in my arms) is to be pregnant again.