Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Power of Rice Socks

Warning: Bring a rice sock within 15 yards of my body and I might unleash a full blown crying spell.

I cleaned out the babies room today. I say babies because that's just what was going to be in there - two babies. I know it will turn into the baby's room someday, but for now it is still for my sweet babies that never came home. You would think a lot of things might send me into a crying frenzy while accomplishing this task. The sonogram pictures, the sonogram video, the maternity clothes, the picture frames we were given, the outfits that came in twos since most were determined to dress the babies alike against my will, the baby booties, the twin magazines and books, the diapers my mother bought by the droves (and judging by her garage, she still buys), the cards of congratulations, the pictures of My Babe's family with their mouths gaping open after we told them I was pregnant, the samples of formula, the initial announcement that Dr. Jerk thought we were having two boys, or the books we bought for each baby, The Gift of an Angel.

No, those did not send me into a conniption (hey, that's really in the dictionary!) fit. What did, however, were rice socks. You see, those rice socks were my saving grace during the intense nausea and extreme back pain. There was nothing like the fresh-out-of-the-microwave feeling to relieve me from the hell I had come to know as pregnancy. I never left the house without a steaming hot rice sock tucked behind my back and sides, even when driving short distances. My Babe would heat up 5 of those suckers each night and we would build Fort Knox around my body with rice socks and pillows. And, ultimately, rice socks pulled me through the last night at home. The night I should have gone to the hospital. The night I should have listened to my body. The night I could have changed the outcome of the pregnancy. The night I failed Kinsey, Ryan, My Babe and myself.

Don't tell me differently, because I'll never believe it. Don't tell me I did the best I could because I didn't. Yes, I did not know what to expect or what to feel, but I did know that those babies were going to come sooner than they should. I read premature labor books cover to cover. I did not contact a perinatologist even though my gut told me to. I did not stop working just to please the parents of the kids in my class even though my gut told me to. I continued to be on my feet because Dr. Jerk said I should even though my gut told me to rest. I constantly told myself to "suck it up." I was stubborn, naive, and just plain stupid.

The sight of the rice socks brought me back to that night. And while I think of that night, oh...every 10 seconds of the day, I allowed myself to dwell on it for a little while. To dwell on the greatest loss I have ever felt, the feeling of holding those sweet babies in my arms, the sight of their long legs and toes, the memory of what could have been, and the hope and faith for what is still to come.

So, for all of you thinking of bringing a rice sock within my scope anytime soon, you are agreeing to deal with the dire consequences. You have been warned.


Anonymous said...

From the outside looking in, no one would ever, ever blame you for what happened. Personally, if I had to blame someone, I would blame Dr. Jerk. He deals with pregnancies every day. THis was your FIRST pregnancy. I certainly don't think you should blame yourself, but I know you don't want to hear that. I've said this all before....

I think there is something empowering about saying, "I could have done better" or "I was made a mistake here" because it allows you to know that you WILL listen to your gut next time.

I just hope you are being merciful and forgiving with yourself.

Lori said...


You know from reading my own thoughts how much I *empathize* with these feelings. I really, really do.

I wish I had a better answer for how to deal with these feelings. Prayer and time... that's all that has worked for me.

Rachel said...

I had a rice bag the night of my miscarriage that I alternated between my cramping back and belly. I can't look at it either.

I hate that you blame yourself, but I can understand why you do at the same time. I agree with anonymous that next time you will better listen to your gut feelings.

Kim said...

Just wanted to love on you a little, that's all. Thinking of you and praying for you.

Julie said...

As I have felt (and continue to feel) many times before - I know the feelings of blame. It is so hard not to blame yourself as a mother. I understand 100% - but I also hope (like anonymous said) you are being merciful and forgiving of yourself as well.

And I agree with Lori - prayer and time are all that really help. These feelings will never go away - 3 and a half years later there are still days they take me down thinking of my babies - but it does get better. Be kind to yourself - let yourself feel both the good and the bad. And know that you are NOT to blame.

Many hugs and prayers!

Anonymous said...

You are taking it a day at a time. A moment at a time. Writing through it, I am so proud of you, even if you cannot be proud of yourself. Would you ever want your own children to be so hard on themselves? God knows, He knew. He is ALL knowing. He is in control, not you. I heard on Oprah a lady struggling with Infertility and being so incredibly hard on herself. Oprah told her that until she surrenders, it will not happen to her b/c she was thinking that it was all her fault which you can inference that somehow it is all in her control. It is not in your control. Aren't you glad it is not? We cannot control our lives and as much as we would love too, it is wonderful that we cannot. Think of the arial view from a map. That is God's view. He knows what is up ahead, we can't see why those beautiful babies aren't here today but He knows. He knows. Put it in His hands and leave it there.

Every phoneme of this unsolicited advice is all written in love.... Surrender all today, lay your burdens down.

niobe said...

I also beat myself up all the time over the loss of my twins. I think a lot of women who've lost babies do. The terrible what ifs accumulate until they crush you with their weight.