Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad.

Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad

And, just like that, I'm days behind on the MEME. Don't worry, I've already received some tsk tsks from IRL friends. And I'll do my best to catch up.

But can I just skip over the rest of the picture posts? Please?

My relationship with photography could be one of the most striking changes since the birth and loss of our daughters.

Because on the one day, in the few moments that we needed a camera, we had none. For some reason, the woman that carries a little point-and-shoot with her everywhere had a an empty purse. The man who takes hundreds of photos weekly had nothing in his hands.

But its worse than that. Its not like we trekked hours to get to the hospital. We could walk there from our apartment. One phone call to M's parents or my brother would have sent them and any photo-taking apparatus we wanted dashing to the room where we were weeping.

But we didn't call.

In fact, we sent both of them away when they appeared at the hospital that night. Because I couldn't bear to let anyone else into the grief that overwhelmed us. Didn't want to try to explain the events leading up to the delivery. I couldn't get my head around anything that had occurred within the last 24 hours and trying to bring anyone up to speed while hanging on to the final seconds of our daughters was more than my heart and head could bear.

And if I could undo all of that, I would. If I could give the people we love just a few minutes with our daughters while they were alive, I would.

But I didn't. And that is one of the most shameful admissions I can make. I didn't. I didn't let anyone in.


We have just a handful of photos of Isa and Jovi - one from a camera that a nurse let us borrow and a few taken on my cell phone that are far too fuzzy to do anything with. Trying to transfer the photos from the nurse's camera to something we could use was a fiasco, an absolute breaking point for M, who insisted the prints she handed us were lovely but there HAD to be a way to get them off the memory card and on to one of our computers - he ran home to get a computer and any other USB apparatus he could grab. He opted not to grab a camera because at that point the girls had already passed away and it felt, I don't know, it didn't feel right snapping photos. Frankly, I am surprised he didn't hurl all of our cameras into the river. Because that was his state when he returned to the hospital. Shaking. In shock. Realizing that the apartment he entered looked exactly like it did just a day earlier when all was well. The understanding that everything in our lives had completely shifted, but nothing else had.

So, its not a particular photo that makes me angry/sad/ashamed - it is the lack of them, and the remembrance of my own selfishness that makes me cringe.


TracyOC said...

We made a similar decision when it became apparent that R was going to die. It may have been more like a non-decision. The hospital offered to keep her on life support until family members could get to the hospital but we declined. They offered to take some pictures of her in the little white dress they provided and we declined that offer too.

I suppose our parents and siblings had a right to come and say their goodbyes or to see what she looked like at the end but we didn't care to make a big production of our last moments with R.

You did the best you could for your girls. That's all you could do.

~Hollie said...

Im so incredibly moved by your post. So much so, words escape me. Im with TracyOC, you do the best you could at the time and there isn't no fault in that.

Anonymous said...

not selfish. just survival. xoxoxo from one of your IRL friends. L.

Anonymous said...

Please, please, don't call yourself selfish. Forgive your grieving, heartbroken, shocked and traumatised selves, and realise that photos and family goodbyes were the furthest things from your mind. My heart breaks for you with this post.

stacyb said...

That is a really powerful post. And you did what you could at the time (as hollie said). Sending you thought and thanking you for sending some our way.

Hope's Mama said...

I have just forwarded this post to a midwife friend of mine to remind her that most people only ever end up with regrets for not having any or enough photos, rather than the other way around.
Like others said, you did the best you could at the time, and that's all anyone can do. I also wish we'd let more people see and hold Hope, and pictures of others holding her, so I understand your regrets.
I'm just so sorry. This post was really heartbreaking.

Heather said...

I think we all would have done things so much differently with our babies if we had been in our right mind at the time. But who can be in their right mind when their baby is dead or dying? You did what you could under horrible, awful circumstances. I'm not at all religious, but I still know your girls understand.

luna said...

what theluckylife said.

so not selfish. just human. doing the best (and only thing) you could possibly do in an unfathomable impossible situation.

B's Mom said...

I think everyone who suffers a loss regrets something they did during their grief. For me it was the way I spoke to my sister while I was fresh out of surgery. I was short with her, and when I think about the look on her face it breaks my heart. I know I hurt her. I regret it. But at the time I couldn't think about her. I WAS being selfish, I know it, but that's what happens when you go into survival mode. At that time I was just trying to keep my shit together. I didn't think about her feelings.

Catherine W said...

I don't think you were selfish.

We didn't take a camera either. I let people in when G was dying and now I wish I hadn't. Perhaps some situations are just so awful that nothing we choose to do is right?

Please don't be ashamed. You and M would have been in deep, deep shock and you did what you felt was best for your family, yourselves and your girls.