Eisley Antalya · Jami Joann

the “what ifs”…

Even before we lost Eisley I struggled with the “what ifs” and now that she is gone, they haunt me even more. If I wake up in the night my mind just messes with me so much which to be honest, is part of the reason I can’t sleep without Ambien for the first time in my life.

One of my favourite nurses would talk with me about the “what ifs” and how they could come to haunt me and how I would need to battle them with truth. The truth is, I feel like the what ifs are the truth. Right now I don’t think there is one person that could talk me out of that.

I am trying to feel what I need to feel. Sometimes it is guilt. Right now I feel immense guilt.

I struggle the most with wondering about the week and a half they gave me the okay to be up and around because they thought we were in the clear (I was 17 weeks and had stopped bleeding and at that point she was right on track). Because I had been on bed rest for almost 5 weeks at that point when they told me I was free to walk around, I overdid it. I took Chase out everyday to a park or outside or shopping. I Chased him around at the spray park. I overdid it and I wish I could take that week and a half back because that week and a half meant everything to her.

I struggle wondering if I didn’t stay on my left side often enough and when I would wake up at night sometimes I would be on my back and panic because I knew it wasn’t good for her. When I would go to bed at night, I would turn to fall asleep on my right side “because it was easier for me to fall asleep on my right side”. I regret being so selfish.

(Side note: They gave me an order of positions for best blood flow to the baby. The best position was on my left side, then my right side, then my back, then sitting, then standing. When I went to the hospital the totally cut out lying on my back, sitting up and standing.)

I wonder about my time that I was home and on bed rest. She barely grew then and it was my fault. You can try to talk me out of it, but I know it was. I would struggle asking my family to do everything for me and for Chase and I would get up to do a “quick diaper change” or to get a glass of water or make a “quick meal”… I regret being so stubborn and not asking for help for everything.

I also really struggle when I think back to the days that I sobbed with her inside of me. I know she could hear me and she could feel me shaking. I only did it twice when I was pregnant with her, but twice may have been too many times. I remember that Thursday before she passed away I had a horrible day. I was terrified of losing her and cried throughout the day. One of my nurses (who was with me that day I cried so much) told me after I lost Eisley, that she could see a change in me the day I cried. It made me wonder if I gave up hope … and I struggle with that right now too. I had never hoped for something as much as I had for her life… yet that day, I was terrified and feared I would lose her. Did I give up? Was one day of weeping too much for her?

The only thing I feel I did right was the amount of water I drank and how I totally cut out caffeine and all other beverages. But that is the only thing I feel I did 100% right.

I also struggle knowing that  my placenta may have failed her (we don’t know for sure what happened yet, placenta or chromosome, the tests come back in a few weeks… as if it could make things better…) I am always battling, wondering if there was something more I could have done. Everyday I wonder.

She was so perfect and it just doesn’t make sense or add up. What happened? What went wrong? Could I have done more? All of these questions are haunting me right now.  I will probably never know and that is so very hard. But I know that I wish I would have seen the severity of everything from day one. I knew something was wrong, but I wish I would have done more…

I am really struggling today… lately… this week has been incredibly difficult. I’ve felt so guilty this week and have shut down emotionally more than I know is healthy. I want to feel what I need to feel, so if it’s guilt I need to feel, then so be it. I just don’t want to become numb and let the loss of Eisley be one that changes me negatively forever. I want her life to change mine for the best. I want to carry on her legacy and the trust and hope I had in Him throughout everything.

Right now, I am struggling and I am asking you to pray for me to know how to handle this guilt in the best way.

I always wonder if I contributed negatively more than I helped her. I feel like I failed, I feel solely responsible even if it was the placenta because it’s my body that did this to her, it was my body that failed her. I wish I would have protected her more. I wish I could rewind and try harder.

I would change oh so many things to have my Eisley here in my arms.

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8 thoughts on “the “what ifs”…

  1. I don’t know how you are being so strong. I would surely be a mess, so no one blames you for feeling like you do. But, because I’m on the outside looking in, I can tell you what I’m sure you would tell anyone else.

    Stop feeling guilty for the what ifs. It was not what you could or couldn’t do that caused this to happen, this was just a part of a bigger plan. It’s not our place to question or know what that plan is, it is just our place to accept it. It may take a very long time, and that’s fine. A part of you will always be empty and longing for your daughter, and that’s fine too.

    I think feeling like you could have done more is probably a part of your coming to terms with this. But don’t blame yourself or you will head down a spiral of depression that you may never come out of…and you can’t do that. You have your son and husband, who are also hurting, that need you. I think you are probably one of the strongest women I have ever come across, but it is also okay to lean on others. I’m inspired by you.

    It’s never easy to accept when horrible things happen and believing that everything happens for a reason is probably one of the most difficult things we can ever be asked to believe…but it’s true. Not our reasons, but his.

    I’m sending you light and love and praying that you can find what you need to get through this.

    Martha

  2. hi friend,

    …this is painful for me to read. i hate that you are being mentally tortured. jami, God knew all of your shortcomings before He allowed you to become a parent. but more than that, He knew all of your strengths as well.

    HE KNEW.

    and He gifted you with the blessing of children because You are a child of His and He knew, that as You have been parented by Him, You would parent your children in like-mindedness.

    AND THAT YOU WOULD PARENT WITH HIS HEART…FOR YOUR HEART IS HIS.

    sweet sweet jami, REST in knowing that our Eisley-Girl is with her Father.

    there are no “what ifs.”

    SHE IS HOME.

    i love you.

  3. My heart breaks reading this dear friend. I am praying that God brings you peace that passes understanding and the GRACE you need for each day.

    You are so loved and I will continue tp pay for you!

  4. Jami, you were a wonderful mommy to Eisley. Every second of her life, you were and always will be. Nothing that happened is your fault. Its so hard to grapple with why these things happen. I understand- you might remember me from twitter, we just lost a baby at 15 wks and we lost a baby at 19 wks in 2008. I tortured myself wondering both times, if I had done things differently if our precious babies would have been able to stay with us on earth. The truth is- some things are out of our control. But God has it all in His hands and HE LOVES US. He But trust that we will see our babies in heaven- and that our Savior works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That He ordained our babies lives before we ourselves were ever were born. That He LOVES them. That they are SAFE with HIM. And that WE are safe with Him even when life doesnt make sence and can feel so scary. I am praying for you my sister in Christ, I will continue to remember you in my prayers!
    Love Mary

  5. Jami,
    I’m Emma’s mom. I’ve been praying for you for weeks, and I deeply appreciate your prayers for me.

    Sweet one, I can completely understand the temptation to ‘what if.’ And I believe it is just that, a temptation that comes from our minds, not God. I hope that you have the chance to ‘what if’ with your doctor, so that you can lay these thoughts to rest. Find support from other parents who have lost a child (Compassionate Friends is one option, and there’s a chapter near you). Grief catapults us into unfamiliar and dark territory, and we need compassionate and knowledgable human guides and companions to help us navigate it, as well as God’s grace.

    Love,
    Jenni

  6. I want to tell you to not feel guilty but as a mom who has walked in your shoes (and still is) I understand. I hope, though, that deep down you know you did ALL you could. Really, you did.

    My placenta failed all 4 of babies and only 2 of them have survived. It’s tortureous to know that the one thing I was created to do, I failed out. Here’s the thing. God knows your hurts and your guilt and He does want to free you of those. It will come in time. Just cry out to Him. He hears you.

    I am thinking of you. Those first weeks and months are so difficult. Looking back I wonder how I survived. But God will carry you, even if you don’t think He is. I am 2.5 years out and I still struggle with the “what ifs” — In some ways, I probably always will.

    ((Hugs))

  7. Dearest… no matter what if, she could not have asked for a more loving mother. I love you and pray for protection from the enemy. words are not enough.. xo

  8. It’s so natural for us mothers to want to blame ourselves for anything negative involving our children. It’s our way of finding a reason for the things that happen, even the things that were out of our control. I know that nothing can take the hurt away, but know that you are not alone, you have people all over the world that are praying for you, and you have TED, CHASE, and OUR LORD and SAVIOR. I pray that your grieving softens and you can find healing in time. read the bible, I always find comfort, or even distraction when things get rough (EVERY DAY)

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