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i've read yr letter to ben before today, but just reread it and cannot help but cry: i think it's so wonderful that you are loyal to his memory, and i think your instincts must tell you everything you need to know about how to continue to be loyal to it in your own way, and in the way that is best for your whole family.
maybe in the future things will change along those lines, and you will feel like rejoining the discussion.
i have an 11 month old girl (who is sick with the flu right now) and i know how fragile they can still seem. i don't know if that's part of it, but maybe you need to protect your well-being for now, and will pass into a different phase at some point.
anyway, i just meant to say that your letter to ben made him so real to me. goddess bless you all!

I think you'v made the right decision. HUGS to you. I think about Ben often

I think you'v made the right decision. HUGS to you. I think about Ben often

Tertia,

My God, you're a brave soul. Both for trying again after the heartbreak of losing Ben and for helping so many women through their own journeys of pain and sorrow.

I hope your decision brings you much peace.

I remember last year when you were speaking about your "band aid," and my comment was:

I cannot say anything that I feel would be adequate, but your post with all of its honesty is so very touching. I understand your feeling about the difference you feel between Luke's loss and Ben's loss. When I lost our girl last year, I asked to be sedated and go for the operation. My RE thought a birth might be better, more real for me. That was exactly my fear, that it would be TOO real, that I would forever have the band aid that you describe. I have a very real mental scar, but I wanted to imagine my girl not after her birth, but as my mind had imagined she would be in her life. I've had regret some days that I was "weak," but it was my choice and I must live with it. I admire your strength so very much. I'm glad you are talking about your band aid, and that you are seeing someone, though I think your disassociation is to be expected. I'd like to think that Ben and Luke are very proud of you, and are pleased that they meant so very much to you that you would walk down the IVF path again, and expose your very raw nerves to all of these experiences again, so that you might see them in the eyes of your darling Kate and Adam, and that one day that glimmer would make you smile back equally proud of yourself.

And now I think when I read your eloquent thoughts about your changed perspective, I think Luke and Ben would be so proud of you. You have given of yourself to others and have helped them through their pain. Despite how much you must mourn your own losses. Before you had Kate and Adam, they were a fuzzy picture you'd imagine in your mind's eye. Now they are here, the picture is in focus. You could manage before because of the blur, but now you have that razor's edge clarity of perspective, and have seen the potential fulfilled each day.

You've completed the circle, haven't you? You do see them in the eyes of your darling Kate and Adam. Take your name off of the list, and give another mother the time to complete her own circle. You'll be giving them an incredible gift.

You are a remarkable woman, and I am so proud of you.

xoxo

You have been so strong for so many people for so long, I think it's fine to back out when you feel it's right for you. I think the group should understand that. Yes, they are hurting, but you can't save the world. Do what is right for you and your family. Personally, if I was amongst the parents in the group, I would think less of you if you stayed and hindered your own healing. That's just my .02.

XOXOXO

Tertia, as you said, there is no "moving on". Not ever. But mourning is not a static thing, it changes and evolves - with time, and with with new experiences. You are being true to yourself, and Ben, by following your heart where it needs to go. And you are respecting those in the support group by saying that you can't be there in a way you once were.

I've been involved in a few support group and it seems to be a fact of life that they are there for a particular time in people's lives, but nearly all members reach a point where they need to leave. It doesn't mean they are "healed", or have "moved on", but that they now need something else, something different. Sometimes the support can change from helping to making you feel sad. And then you know it's time to go.

You did a wonderful thing participating, now do a wonderful thing and trust your own judgement.

Since reading about Ben he is often in my thoughts, you too.

Tertia,

I completely understand your decision. Coincidentally, just last night I made a personal decision regarding my own grieving and my twin daughter who died from SIDS more than 8 years ago. I've kept the beautiful Native American vessel holding her ashes on the mantle in my bedroom since her death. I know that anyone who knew (only very close family and friends who recognized the urn) thought it very strange to confront myself with her memory in that way every day, but what can I say, I just did.

We're moving and I realized that once I pack those ashes safely, I won't be taking them out in the new house. That makes me cry when I think about it, like right now. But it really is time for me to not have constant reminders. I'm still debating about her portrait on the living room mantle next to her twin brother at the same age. I don't think he'd miss it, but I think I will ask him whether he would like me to keep it out in the new house. When asked to bring some baby pictures to school I let him choose and he specifically wanted to take one of him and her together. It just broke my heart thinking of him showing that one to his class and explaining who she was/is.

I also declined to visit a family who recently had a SIDS loss. As it was, just the intimate knowledge of their situation threw me into a terrible state for about a week. I've visted families before and it truly is reliving the worst possible time in my life and I just can't do that anymore. People might say it's selfish, but I know what's right for me right now. I need to be surrounded by life affirming things and move on. Yes, I'm moving on.

I don't go to the SIDS sites anymore and have removed myself from mailing lists. Niki's death took more out of me that I really knew and continuing to be "involved" in more that a very cursory way is just too much.

I really do understand and wish you strength as you continue to heal and take care of the babes who are here.

Take gentle care of yourself. I have the utmost respect for you and your honesty.

Hi Tertia, I've been reading your blog for many months now but have never commented. Your posts about Ben always bring me to heavy tears, your pain and loss are so palpable. Even before reading about this support group I've always been struck by what a community-builder you are. When reading your blog about your most painful and personal experiences, I can see you reaching out and touching so, so many of us. What a wonderful gift you have already given those families dealing with preemie loss, and thanks to the group you helped to form, they will continue to have it when you go. My heart is happy for you and your beautiful family. Thank you, Tertia, from all of us.

I think about your Ben often too and it usually brings tears to my eyes. I think of him feeling his mother's arms around him in those last minutes. I think of him feeling the love from his mommy and daddy. And it makes me cry.

My brother said that you will live forever in the minds of those that know and love you. I think Ben will live forever because he has his mommy and daddy and they will tell his sister and brother about him. And they won't forget him either.

To The Child In My Heart

O precious, tiny, sweet little one
You will always be to me
So perfect, pure, and innocent
Just as you were meant to be.

We dreamed of you and of your life
And all that it would be
We waited and longed for you to come
And join our family.

We never had the chance to play,
To laugh, to rock, to wiggle.
We long to hold you, touch you now
And listen to you giggle.

I'll always be your mother.
He'll always be your dad.
You will always be our child,
The child that we had.

But now you're gone...but yet you're here.
We'll sense you everywhere.
You are our sorrow and our joy
There's love in every tear.

Just know our love goes deep and strong.
We'll forget you never -
The child we had, but never had,
And yet will have forever.

Author: Carol Parrott

(((((Tertia)))))))

I don't comment often, but i'm a faithful reader, I just wanted to say that was a beautiful post. Ben, Adam and Kate are so lucky to have such a wonderful mother. I haven't lost a preemie, so perhaps my words are empty, but I do know what it is like to lose someone that you feel you can't live without.

You aren't giving up by leaving the group, doll. You're doing what you feel is right for yourself and for your family, and that takes more courage and devotion than anything.

-Saki

Oh my darling, you have already given so much. And by keeping your story posted, you continue to give to so, so many people. I don't see anything wrong AT ALL in culling those things that would only give you more pain: you deserve better. And you won't be taking a thing away from anyone. You're beautiful.
And you are right, Ben's memory lives on not just in you, but in all of us who love you.

I think you've made the right decision also. I think it's about self preservation, and the women you've supported will understand, and see your strength as something to admire... because some day, they might have to do the same thing.
Much love to you, Marko, Kate and Adam... and of course, Ben

I always took our miscarriages seriously. Although some people say that a baby is only a person when he/she is born, I feel differently.
Having said that, your experience with Ben is not going to fade away. You can keep him as a special person forever. I don't pretend to understand your experience fully, but I know that God has blessed you, both with Ben and now with Adam and Kate. Sometimes it is right to be a support, but sometimes it is ok to be supported.

Tertia...I don't even know where to start. You have suffered through so much...been so brave and strong for yourself and others...you have earned the right to think about what is best for you and your precious family. Leaving the email group is NOT deserting Ben's memory. At different times in our life, different things help us heal. Before, supporting others with preemies helped you heal. Now, focusing on your family will continue the healig process. I think of you pften and hope you continue to find joy with the family you have created.

Tertia,

The thing is, Ben's premature birth and death weren't the totality of his being. He was a unique, irreplaceable little person; and that's the little person that you remember and miss. That's separate from the memory of losing him. You can step back from the grief and still hold him as dear in your heart and lives as ever. He'll never be forgotten by his family and their friends.

Love,
Ingrid

Oh, Tertia, I think you did absolutely the right thing. Please do not interpret it as any sort of "disloyalty" to Ben. It's nothing like that. Who knows what the future holds, whether some day you will want to resume that type of volunteer work, or whether you are done with it for good. Those are decisions for another day. All that matters is what you need now. For a time you helped other parents of preemies, and you are certainly helping a lot of women just by writing your blog. Someday you will get tired of your blog, and that will end too. We can all do a great deal of good in the world by just contributing what we can, when we can; no type of service has to be forever.

I understand.

I think it's very brave of you to take this step, you're very smart to realise that it's not working for you right now to be the shoulder for other people who have lost little children. We (women) so often are shown that we're supposed to be always the supportive martyr and keep nothing for ourselves.

You are amazing. Inspirational.

Dear Tertia--you've been so brave through so much. I think you've made a good decision, one that in no way diminishes Ben's memory or the needs of parents with newer losses. Someone will be able to provide support for those who need it. And you will always remember those precious days with Ben. But you don't need to hurt anymore than you already have.

I
wish
you
peace.

T
You did the right thing. You have been so strong and so amazing to so many people. I know you helped me through a very dark moment after losing Tess and Oliver. You gave me the hope and courage to move forward.

Now it's time to take care of you and yours. Allow yourself to be sad. Allow yourself to not be strong. It's all ok.

Ben will always be in your heart. Luke as well. I'm quite certain that they look down on you and smile and say,
"Yep, that's my Mom. G&D isn't she."

xoxo
h

Tertia - all you can do is protect yourself. By doing that, you are protecting Adam, Kate, as well as Ben and Luke's memory.

Do what is right for your family.
Peace.

Dearest T.~
Every time i read your very eloquent and loving post about Ben I cry. Your love for him moves me to tears.
I have never had a M/C or lost a baby so I cannot comment on the reason you need to withdraw from the group. Only you can know what feels right after this terrible and beautiful experience.
I can say that you need to do what is right and best for you and that will also be right and best for preserving Ben's memory. So, no, I do not think it would be an act of disloyalty to withdraw from the group. On the contrary, i think you are doing the members a disservice if staying is stressing you out, and, you have done so very much to help others in Ben's name i know he is so proud of his G & D mommy.
As we all are. xoxo
I am currently struggling with my role on an IVF board and want to withdraw from the group, but, stay b/c i feel terribly guilty leaving so many women who have come to depend on my support. On that board I am the one with the "miracle pregnancy" that gives hope to other IVF'ers. I felt it was my moral duty to help others through that experience (especially since those gals were my only support system as i went thru IVF... being single i had no DH and told almost no one of my journey except the gals on my IVF chat board). But, similar to you, I just cannot hear one more story of infertility. I cannot go through the failed cycles over and over again with so many women and keep a stiff upper lip. It is too painful for me to re-live the difficult process. The stress, the anxiety, the depression, the high's and lows of going through a cycle are too much for me to deal with (especially when the BFN's come). It is draining being perpetually positive and I need to focus on my G & D babes now and not take time away from them for this project anymore.
I can say i have been needing to move on for a while now and after reading your post I will do it tonight.
I will say goodnight and goodbye after this evening's post.
See, there you go again helping people just by blogging about yourself!
xoxo
Much love.
Suzie-Q.

Ben wants mama to be happy. Do what makes you happy. I truly believe he is watching you and Marko and A & K, and so happy that you are all happy, and he is very much a part of all that love and family, as is Luke. Just as if your mother isn't in the room with you, you love her and feel that she loves you, always. Same. Just lots harder, with lots of memories you didn't get to make. Not fair.
You are a wonderful mother, T. You've done a wonderful job of making Ben's life known and appreciated by so many people who never got to meet him (or you!). Because of that he will never, ever be forgotten.
Do what makes your life and your family's life the happiest it can be. It's not selfish.

I'm sorry that you're feeling sad. I'm happy that you're feeling Ben. I know that it's very difficult to feel both joy and sorrow. You are a woman with no less feelings than you should have. Release yourself from the guilt of feeling too much. You are feeling and behaving exactly as I would have thought and my standard for you is not shaken. On the contrary, I love that he still socks your heart. You aren't supposed to forget your sweet boy anymore than you are supposed to forget the joy you have in his brother and sister. I don't post often anymore, but this one was important.

I've never said this before to you, but a bit of my arms around you should be felt about now... B.

I think several people have already given you some wonderful advice. You don't move on, but the way you cope and deal with your emotions does evolve and change. Your needs are different now. It is okay.

((((BIG HUGS)))) to you. Do what is best for you, because it will be what is best for all of you.

Tertia,

You are doing the right thing. I know it is hard but it is where you need to go right now. I did a similar thing with a Lung Cancer Support group after my father died. I stayed for a while but just couldn't be the support I was before when we were all in the fight together. (I knew too much...)
Your post made me feel your sadness all over again and I'm sorry for your heart ache. You will always love Ben.
After a loss, I think it makes you want to love the ones who are still living more "in the moment" so you will have those moments in the future because in the end, memories are all we have left. As I held my son tonight against my chest trying to get him back to sleep I tried to be in the moment and really listen to his breathing ( in and out, in and out). I thought about how everyone says they grow up so fast and how they are right and that someday he will be too big to lie on my chest to fall asleep and someday he won't even live with me and our hugs will seem too short. So I'm going to try and get all the long hugs I can now and hold him and watch him grow. And somedays I'll forget to be "in the moment" but hopefully more days, I'll remember.
I wish Ben could come to you in a dream and help you not to be so sad for all that he is not experiencing with you. I know your souls have a very special connection and he would not want you to be sad but I can understand how you are.
May your heart be filled with much more happiness than sadness.
'wishIknew'

Tertia

Always do what is right for you. You have given, shared, supported and shone in ways I doubt many people would even be able to walk. You are brave, strong and superb. And I know Ben and Luke, Adam and Kate, are proud beyond words of you. We are proud of you. Our hearts are with you.

Cath

You never "move on" from death, I don't think. You just accept that it will ride on your shoulders one way or the other, sometimes harder, sometimes lighter, for the rest of your life. You owe it to your babies and yourself to be the best, sanest person you can absolutely be. If the time has come for you to say "no more of this", whatever that "this" may be, then that time is right. If a support group is causing you anguish then it no longer supports, it undermines, and we all deserve a life that is as simplified and quiet as possible. Those parents still in the group deserve to have effective support and not have their pain increase someone else's. Your leaving is also better for them under these circumstances (in case you were feeling a bit guilty).

Ben will be, IS remembered by more people than his parents and family. That is the power of blogging.

Tertia,

You have been such a support to so many and you made Ben real to all of us so he will always be in our hearts. You are an inspiration to everyone, loved by many and it's ok if you are not able to be a support person, you can't be everything to everybody all the time. My loss was not the same as yours because my baby wasn't born alive, but to ME she was my baby fully formed and I held her and waited for her to cry, breathe, move anything because delivering her made it unconceivable that she wouldn't at "that" moment even though my brain new better. I can't imagine the pain of having Ben and losing him in the way you did but you shared it with all of us and we all cried with you then and still do today. I don't think you will ever "move on" from that pain but Kate and Adam are two miracles that can bring you the joy to overpower that pain on the worst days they will be there to smile at you and let you know how much they need you and love you. What I love about you Tertia is you never forget those of us that had no more chances, it's kind of like when someone becomes rich and famous but never forgets their roots. I admire you, love you and think you are a blessing to many. This blog alone will always be a support for many.

My parents started a support group in our town for parents who had lost children. It is so comletely different from any other sort of grief.
My mother was the leader for almost 20 years. Finally, it got to the point where she just couldn't take it anymore. She NEEDED to not be involved anymore. It wasn't that she didn't care, it was that she cared too much and she needed to focus on the other things in her life. Unfortunately there will always be another person to take over those leadership roles.
You have been so strong for yourself and for others for so long. Letting go of this is not the same as letting go of Ben. You will never let go of your love for him. Taking care of you own needs will make you a better mother for Ben, Kate and Adam.

I totally understand -- when you are ready to be a preemie support person in the future you'll do it -- and until that time, whether its 5 years or 15 years or 20 years, its ok to take care of yourself.

Tertia,
Sweetheart, you very recently helped me when my little boy Cole passed away at 19 weeks words cannot even begin to describe how much you helped.
Your compassionate and caring nature is such an inspiration to so many people, as all the comments you have received reflect.
I can see that there must be a time to let that part of your life be put aside, it will always be there but moving on is all we can do, I know that now. Ben would want Mommie to be happy, you have done so much, you deserve to be a happy family with all of life's wonderful adventures waiting for you together.
Life after infertility - yes, you have certainly arrived and deserve to live life in happiness in contentment with your family.
Time to take care of you and yours sweetheart.
Much Love
S

Jesus, I have said "moving on" sorry sweetheart. What I meant was, there is a place for everything, it will always be there, but in it's own special place.
Much Love
S

tertia,
my heart is breaking for you. i lost 3 pg's. they were early losses and not anywhere near the age of Ben.

i wonder some times when i look at my ds, michael. i wonder if those 3 pg had made it to a take home baby, then i most likely would not have gone back for my last embryo and had the wonderful son i have now. i wonder too, what they would have been like, but can't help feeling if they had lived, my ds would not have been ever.

hugs,
marisa

Tertia -

I can not possibly know what you went through when you lost Ben, and I won't pretend to try. It struck that maybe these feelings you are having are simpoly part of the process you experience as you grow from this experience. You should most definately not feel guilty about your decision, afterall you need to do what is best for you and your family and I'm positive that wherever Ben is now, he would want that most of all.

I am so honored to have been an observer of your story and I wnat you to know that no matter what you think, I feel you are extremely brave and hope to acheive the same strength you exude.

Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Meg

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