Monday, December 12, 2011

Healing

It was time to feed Laila when I sent Mike upstairs to get her only to find her gone already.

It was an unexpected consequence of her death that I suddenly found myself hugely engorged with no baby to relieve the pain and pressure.

I was sitting in the hospital holding my lifeless baby when my milk let down suddenly. I had completely forgotten that when Mike went to wake her I was already full, needing her to eat. The initial realization didn't mean a lot to me. I had done it before and I knew what to expect.

(This wasn't the first time I had to go through the painful process of drying up. When I had Will I was taking a seizure medication that wasn't the safest for breastfeeding. When we discovered the medicine wasn't as safe as we were led to believe I stopped breastfeeding immediately. It was horribly painful but only lasted about three days.)

I knew it would be painful and unpleasant but the pain my body would be feeling in the next few hours meant little to me because my mind and soul were feeling a much more overwhelming pain.

I spent the next few days allowing my body to heal. It was just as painful as I remembered and expected. The brace I used to bind myself with and the cabbage I used to ease the intense heat and engorgement as well as reduce the milk supply, helped but I knew that he only thing that would ease the pain was time.

We hoped and prayed that my body would heal quickly but secretly, I also hoped and prayed that my milk would not dry up. I felt conflicted with each let down of my milk. I wanted the pain to end but each let down was a tender reminder of my sweet baby and the precious moments we spent together while the rest of our family slept. I knew that once my milk supply ended, it would be final. She really would be gone. It seemed to me the last reminder of the physical separation I had to face now and I dreaded it being final.

The physical healing only lasted a week--it was intense and then gradually gone. The real healing though is going to take much, much longer. While physically I'm back to normal, I am changed. I will never be the same. I know that I might lose some friends now--they want the old Adrianne back. The old one can't come back. That's not to say I'm not still Adrianne, just that now there is less and more of the old Adrianne, if that makes sense.

Unlike the bodily healing I experienced, I'm not sure there will be complete healing during this life.

But, I know it will come.

7 comments:

Frances said...

Adrianne, I don't know how anyone could go through an experience like this and not be fundamentally changed forever. I'm so sorry for the pain you've endured, all of it. I'm not sure if I would have the strength to repair. But, I know what kind of person you are and I feel certain that you hold those reserves necessary to heal. You are a wonderful woman. I'm sure that one day you will feel more like yourself. Of course, it will always be a different Adrianne. Our Faith tells us that things will get better, that we can look up. I hope you know we think of you and pray for you. I want this Adrianne.

Mike and Adrianne said...

Frances, thank you so much for this comment. Your comments that you write on this blog mean so much to me--so encouraging and I feel so grateful to have you as a friend. I've considered printing off some of the comments from my friends (as well as some of the emails) and put them in my binder so I can read them when I most need encouragement. So, thanks again. Love you Frances.

Taylor and Jeffrey:) said...

Adrianne whoever you are now is who you're meant to be. If there are people who choose not to accept that, it's their loss completely. You've undergone one of the worst unimaginable pains one can go through and the fact that you can come through it at all shows how strong and amazing you are, even if you don't feel it. Your faith and your testimony amazes me.

Kristi, Liezl, Quincy, Ava, and Josh said...

Thank you so much for posting your experiences and thoughts. I am thankful for your courage to share what is in your heart. I love who you are.

Tuttle Family said...

I don't know 'the old ardianne', the Adrianne I know is a woman of incredible faith...I'm blessed because I can count you as a friend.

Jenny said...

Oh Adrianne, thank you for sharing these personal experiences, I hope you realize that you are such a strength to so many people and I would never want to lose you as a friend,

Jess and Jason said...

Your life is changed indefinitely and that has changed parts of who you are...but you are still you, and I love you.