Relaxing Doesn't Make Babies

How many cracks before you crumble?

August 13, 2008 — 12:12 am

We lost half the tree today. I say lost it today, but in reality it was already dead – I was just trying to convince myself it was going to be okay. I had an arborist out to look at it, who quickly determined that the top half of the tree was dead, and promptly cut it off. The bottom branches are still looking good though – he said it’s very promising.

I came inside, freaked out, starting crying hysterically. I shot off a couple of emails during which I realized this has just gone too far for me. I hate to speak it because I know it’s going to freak people out, but I feel myself edging too close to becoming suicidal. I’m not there yet. But I’ve been thinking too much, too scarily, in the moments that I freak out and I just can’t keep doing this anymore. I need to do something about it or I’m worried about how far down this is going to take me. It’s not that I want to die – I just want to stop hurting. Losing half that tree felt like having my heart ripped out all over again. Stabs of pain right from my temple down to my toes.

I dug through my pile of papers from the hospital to find some of the lists they gave me with bereavement resources. I called social services, said I need to find a therapist of some sort who who has experience with child loss. I was referred to someone. Unfortunately they’re on vacation for the week, but I should hear back next week. I might put in some more calls tomorrow, I’m not sure. I also don’t even know what I’m looking for… therapist? Psychologist? Psychiatrist? Who knows.

I just feel so discordant. Most of the time I feel fine (as far as “fine” can be, less than 6 months after your baby died). I’m capable, I’m productive, I’m social. But all it takes is a crack… one little crack in my armor. And I fall to pieces. I fall into that pit. I lose it. I don’t feel strong. I don’t feel strong at all.

When I told my co-worker what my schedule will be like this fall she said, “That doesn’t leave much time off.” “I know,” I replied, “it’s on purpose.” My goal for this year is just to get through it.

36 responses to “How many cracks before you crumble?”

  1. luna says:

    I’m so sorry, natalie, about the tree and your despair. I’m glad to hear you made some calls. I hope talking with someone will help. talking with a grief counselor (or some other professional) can really help. wishing you strength.

  2. Raychel says:

    Oh sweetie *hugs*

    I have been wondering how you were doing since you have sort of been taking a break from the boards. I want to let you know that you can shoot me a PM on MLW or email me any time about anything. That offer will forever stand if you ever want to take me up on it.

    If next week seems too long to wait keep making calls. Talking to someone will hopefully help so much. I don’t know if you’ve seen therapists before in the past, but if you haven’t, you would be amazed what it can do just to have somebody listen and give you well educated advice about what steps to take.

    Please take care of yourself. I am thinking of you always and hope that you find some sort of peace sooner rather than later.

  3. Ali says:

    *hugs every so tightly* I can’t help more than that hun. I wish I could, if you need to talk to someone you know my cell. I will gladly listen to whatever it is you have to say. I’m here if you need me at any time of the day.

  4. Kel says:

    My phone number. You know it. Feel free to use it, to vent, to talk, to have someone to cry with, whatever, any time. (And I’m sorry about disappearing off the Internet yesterday – they decided to shut down power to our office for, like, 4 hours.)

  5. Janet says:

    so sorry for your despair….I’m not sure where you’re located but I can recommend an awesome grief counselor in the Framingham, MA area that I saw several years ago when my husband passed away very suddenly (not even comparable to what you’re going through)-email me if you want her information-if nothing else, she may be able to refer you to someone in your area.

  6. G says:

    Oh Nat, I am sorry things are so hard right now. It feels like a crack in glass, just as you think you have it covered, it fissures off some more. Hang in there hun, don’t hesitate to email me if you want me to spout sarcasm, anger and general discontent, that usually helps. :)


  7. Lannie says:

    Oh, sweetheart. *hugs* it’s so not fair.
    Good for you that you are taking steps…. i hope it’ll be able to help you. Take care…

  8. Lyrehca says:

    I’m sorry about your loss, again. I do hope you find someone great to talk to, and soon.

  9. CLC says:

    I know that feeling well Nat. It feels like death is a preferable option because the despair seems like it can never possibly get better. It’s not that I wanted to cause my own death, but I just willed it to come to me. It does get better though, I swear. And making those first phone calls is a step in the right direction. You need to worry about taking care of you now before you can worry about the future and your family because you will need all the strength you can muster when you are ready to take that next step to expand your family. Hang in there and remember you are not alone.

  10. Jess says:

    *hugs you tight*

    Don’t forget the state resources. There may be someone from the group (that meets too infrequently) whom you can speak with.

  11. Becky says:


    Nat, I’m so sorry. This is just…awful. I’m here if you need me.

  12. Kate says:

    Not much to add but the fact that I’m here and thinking about you.

  13. Bobbie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss and the feelings that linger. I hope you find peace soon.

  14. Janet says:

    You can also call Social Services back and see if they can refer you to someone else… aggressive, if you need to be…..

  15. Sarah A. says:

    I’m so sorry. Busted had a post on Bridges yesterday that reminds me a little of what you’re saying here.

  16. tash says:

    I’m so sorry about the tree. While I totally understand the need to plant things, they’re so loaded with symbolism and fragile in their own needs, aren’t they. And just to let you know, things like this would also drive me to think that the camel’s back was about to break. stuff just like this. It’s a lot to bear.

    You’re looking for a grief counselor, and, if you’re comfortable, an infant-loss support group. Your hospital where you delivered (or perhaps even your ob/midwife) might have information on both of those, and both are google-able — just enter the term and put your city or state afterwards. Let me know if I can search anything for you, I’d be happy to this evening.

    Really, I think it’s important that you keep talking. Keep writing. Keep telling us how shitty you feel about this. Just get it out. Thinking of you.

  17. Shinejil says:

    It’s the little things, the symbolically loaded ones, that can really bring despair to the fore.

    I think finding a good therapist who will listen to you and guide you in this dark time is a wonderful idea.

  18. serenity says:


    Thinking of you, Natalie.

  19. jaded me says:


    i so get it. i know what you mean about being close to suicidal without actually being suicidal. that is the story of my life lately. i am so sorry that the tree is not doing well. my husband has two potted flower plants that he associates with our daughters-so trust me when i say i am so sorry. good for you that you reached out for help, hang in there. right now ‘just getting through it’ is a good enough plan. i know that your next ivf cycle can’t come soon enough so hang on for that. i can’t wait to start ttc on my end either, honestly i think it was the only thing that got me through Daniella’s lost.


  20. Cori says:

    {{{HUGS}}} and prayers.

  21. Leigh says:

    Nat, I am so sorry about the tree top. Glad the rest looks ok. This just sucks.

    I hope you can find a good doctor to see. Thinking of you.

  22. Cibele says:


  23. noswimmers says:

    I am so sorry you’re in a dark place right now. Please know that I’m thinking about you, and I wish there was something I could do or say to take away some of the pain.
    Lean on the people who love you, that’s what they’re there for.

  24. Emerald Rose says:

    I’ve just read this while on vacation in Naples. I’m so sorry this is happening. I hope you can find someone to help you through this rough time. It helped me so much to speak with someone so short after the loss of our son. Just remember that you all are still in my prayers *hugs*

  25. Shilpa says:

    I’m so sorry for what you are going through. It is terribly brutal. You will find your way through this, but in the mean time it’s great that you are going to get support. I went through a late term (17wk) miscarriage of a healthy baby boy too (not even in the same ballpark as stillbirth, I know- but it still stings and I still feel like I lost my child) and counseling is what got me through it. I did find someone who specialized in loss though- and particularly pregnancy loss. I found that person through my RE, so that might be a way to find someone to help. Hang in there.

  26. Rachel says:

    I’m so sorry, Nat. Try to hang in there. I’m not sure it matters which type of therapist you go to, as long as it’s someone with experience helping people through a stillbirth. So sorry about the tree top, but the fact that the rest is doing okay is a good sign. Thinking of you.

  27. Kate says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. There are just no words.

  28. STE says:

    Oh, Nat I’m so sorry. I understand, I do. That feeling, not suicidal exactly, but “how else am I going to get through this pain?”

    I’m glad you’re looking into professional support. It really can be helpful. And I think your goal of just getting through this year is great; perhaps, though, consider thinking shorter term: get through this week, this day, this hour. This minute. Left foot. Right foot.

    I hear tell that it gets more bearable. I’m trying to trust in that.

    And when you don’t feel like you can do it, know that we are out there, walking with you. Left foot. Right foot.

  29. Lyanna says:

    *big hug*
    Nothing else I can say to make you feel better I think :(

  30. Shannon says:

    You are my thoughts Natalie. I hope that things are more bearable for you soon. (hugs)

  31. Nana says:

    Just wanted to say that I, too, have had some of the same feelings in the past that you are experiencing now. I sought professional help and ended up being on an antidepressant for awhile. Within a couple of weeks or so, I was feeling soooooo much better emotionally, physically, and psychologically. The world, my life, no longer looked or felt as dark and dreary as it had been looking and feeling. I admire you for taking the steps to get help with feeling fragile over everything life has recently thrown your way. Hang in there, Nat!

  32. Leah says:

    I’m sorry you’re feeling so horrible. My thoughts and prayers are with you — always.

  33. Kelly (curlimama05) says:

    Keep in mind, too, that your body is still recovering from pregnancy. There are a lot of girls in our PR who are still dealing with some serious PPD and our hormones are still all over the place. And you’re trying to come to terms with your loss on top of it.

    I had some really dark days postpartum, and the only thing that got me through was my son. No wonder you feel like you’re in a pit.

    I’m so glad that you’re going to talk to someone, and I really hope that the therapist you were referred to will be someone you feel at ease with.

    Take care, Nat. Devin wouldn’t want his mommy to be hurting so much. Here’s one of my favorite quotes. It’s from “Sleepless in Seattle”. Your blog reminded me of it.

    “I’m gonna get out of bed every morning… breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won’t have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out… and, then after a while, I won’t have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while.”

  34. Brooke says:

    Oh honey…those times of despair…I know them well. You are doing the right thing looking for help now before things get any worse. I hope you find someone who is going to be a good source for you, that you find the ‘right’ person.

    My motto – my friend has it tattooed on her actually:
    “One breath at a time is an acceptable plan”.
    Take is one day at a time, one hour at a time, one breath at a time.

  35. j says:

    sorry about the tree. I am glad you made some calls and I know it’s hard when things like this happen. Please take care of yourself.

  36. Lisa DG says:

    I love what Brooke said- one breath at a time is an acceptable plan.

    If you end up needing those phone numbers again, let me know.