A Mother’s Guilt

I admit it.

I feel like it’s all my fault.

I have been told by every medical professional and every family member that it’s ridiculous to blame myself for what happened, and yet I still do.  I feel like it’s my fault that my body couldn’t handle being pregnant.  In preeclampsia, basically the body doesn’t allow the placenta to implant correctly and this can begin a whole series of issues.  It was my blood pressure that couldn’t be controlled. It was my body that failed  and so of course I feel like it is my fault.

We were told we would need to be transferred to a different hospital, and I knew that.  The doctor told us it would be okay to deliver where we were and I was scared and alone so I just trusted in her.  I feel like I should have fought the doctor harder on this.  I should have insisted that we were not delivering until we were at the hospital that the doctors all had told us we needed to be at.  I should have done more.

I knew that the perinatologist had said that we would be able to make it another couple of weeks.  I should have insisted on waiting at least until I could talk to her again, at least until the next day.

I had wanted to be induced and at least try to labor and have a some what normal birth experience, but the doctor refused even though both the baby and myself were stable at the time.  I wish I would have insisted that we tried rather than just trusting her that a c-section was the best option for us.  For this I feel not only guilty, but cheated.  I feel like I missed out on having the birth experience I wanted and now I never will have that opportunity because of the way in which the c-section was performed there is now no way I can ever go into labor without risking both the baby’s and my own life.

I realize that playing What-If? in my head all day long is not healthy.  I know that it not going to change the outcome of something that has already occurred, but I can’t help it.  I’m constantly battling all of these different scenarios.   What if we had been at a different hospital?  What if we had waited an extra day?  What if the doctor would have switched my medication earlier in the pregnancy?  What if I would have been taking different vitamins?  What if I would have asked more questions?  What if I would have been in his room that morning?  What if we would have made them keep trying?  What if there had been a neonatologist at the hospital that morning instead of just the nurses?

What if?  What if?  What if?

The problem is, I can see the other side of the what ifs too.  What if the preeclampsia hadn’t been caught when it was and I would have had a seizure or a stroke?  What if I would have died?  What if we would have waited and the fluid got so low that Joshua was still born?  What if he would have had to endure painful tests and surgeries to only end up with the same outcome?

What if? What if? What if?

I hate that I over think every situation, every second, every detail.  They all play inside my head on this never ending loop and all I’m left with is this overwhelming guilt that I should have been able to do something different.  I was his mom and I couldn’t save him.  My heart breaks at that thought.  God gave him to me to carry for seven and a half months and to love on this earth for 2 days and I’m so very thankful for that time.  But my heart still breaks that I couldn’t save him.

I know that in the end there was nothing that I could have done differently that would have changed the outcome, but it still doesn’t erase the guilt that I wish that I could have done something that would have been enough to save him.

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