Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Follow Up on Regrets

Dearest friends - I want to thank all of you so very much who commented on my post about Regrets.  This community that I've become a part of means more to me than perhaps you all know (although I suspect you all feel the same way).  Thank you, thank you.  R is out of town for work this week and I've been quite sad and you all just made me feel like I wasn't alone.

Reading your comments made me think of a few things about which I don't have regrets or which worked out better than I could have expected.  Part of it was people around us knowing better than we do about what we might need or want in the coming days, weeks, or months.  I'm eternally grateful for the doctors and nurses who guided us and told us what we probably would want when we were so unsure of how to proceed.

And before I detail what I'm glad we DID do, a disclaimer: everyone makes their own choices and each is right in that moment and right for that situation and family.  Please, please, please don't misinterpret any of my comments about what we did or didn't do as judgment. It isn't.  These are just the decisions that R and I made.

First, photos.  We asked to not have photos taken.  We don't have any photos of the three of us - as a family - which breaks my heart.  But we have quite a few that a photographer took of Q when she wasn't with us.  I didn't even know they took photos of her, but when we checked out of the hospital, they gave us a box of mementos with her footprint on top, and inside was a CD of photos, as well as a few that were printed.  I'll confess that I don't look at them often, but when I do I am SO glad I have them.

Second, we held Q.  You all know I wish I had done more (hold her longer, bathe her, etc.), but we did hold her.  When we initially found out that Q died, we told our doctor we didn't want to hold her, but she talked to us about it more and suggested we reconsider, which we did.  I'm thankful for her guidance and persistence.

Third, we also weren't sure what to do with Q when we left the hospital.  That probably sounds unloving, but we just didn't know.  Would we have a service?  What kind?  When?  We initially were not going to do anything, but the hospital gives you 30 days to change your mind.  Thank God.  We called back a week later and asked to have Q cremated.  We have yet to do anything with her ashes, but we will when we decide what is right.  I'm so glad I didn't leave her at the hospital.  We planned to do something just the two of us on the anniversary of Q's death, but Baby B was 2 days old and we were still in the hospital.  And now we think we'd prefer B to be a part of whatever we do.  Truthfully, we still don't know, but I'm glad that when we do figure it out, we'll have her ashes.

Fourth, we gave Quinn a name.  Initially, we were insistent that we would not name her.  We hadn't settled on a name yet and neither of us knew how we'd feel down the road.  But about 2 days after we left the hospital, I realized that I wanted to talk about Q all the time and I didn't want to call her "the baby."  For me, it didn't do her life justice to not name her.  We didn't make a widespread announcement about her name at the time, but we let close friends and family know.  When we sent out B's birth announcement, we included a note on the back where we talked about losing Quinn.  It felt so important to us to share her name and story with all of our friends and acquaintances.

These were just the things that popped into my mind as I read all of your comments.  They reminded me to not just focus on what I wish we did differently, but also to think about what we did that has served us (and Q's memory) well.

Thank you again.  And I'll leave you with some photos so end this post on a happy note!
Deciding what sort of trouble to get up to!

Chasing poor Forest.  Luckily, he is considerably faster and more stable on his feet, but it is not for a lack of effort from B.


  1. Glad you are doing better and that you are continuing to work through all these really difficult emotions while also honouring and sharing your memories of L (a great privilege to read). An absent spouse also makes parenting and life harder. I love being with AJ but I always feel the difference when Mr Turtle is away or busy or ill: I'm a lot more emotionally vulnerable. I hope R is home soon and you can continue family life as a team.

    1. Thanks. R is still away and I'm still pretty emotional, but doing better. You are so right about the emotional vulnerability when you are alone! Well said and thanks for reminding me that part of how I'm feeling is a result of that.

  2. Thanks for sharing. For me these complicated feelings come in waves, sometimes quite unexpectedly. The naming is (was?) a big thing for me, too. Hang in there. I think we all do the best we can, in an impossible situation. It is so unfair to be thrown into this, and have such little time to squeeze the love for a lifetime into.

    1. Naming is a big thing. I'm so glad we revisited that and gave Q a name. You say it so eloquently - "have such little time to squeeze the love for a lifetime into." So, so true.

  3. Hi D - sorry to leave a comment here, but I sent you an email, but am not sure it was a current one (it was a one) Anyway, I wanted to be sure to thank you for your donation you made to my last run campaign. . . would you be so kind as to shoot me an email so I have your current one?

    Also, has B gotten a Patagonia and/or Columbia modeling contract yet?! Because mercy, she could bring in some business!

    1. Caroline, I did! I'll e-mail you today. As you'll see from my new post, it's been an interesting few days.

      And I'm cracking up about the Patagonia contract. Too funny. We were lucky to get tons of hand-me-downs from other people in Colorado (a perk of living here) of super cute outdoor gear. It's so fun (I particularly love the vests).