Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Your Father

Dear Stevie,
Dad was really sad yesterday. I mean, he's always sad, but usually he keeps those feelings pretty deeply tucked away in his heart, on the inside. But yesterday, he was sad on the outside. Neither of us has had a very good concept of time since you died (I usually don't even know what day of the week it is, much less the actual date), so we didn't even realize Father's Day was coming up this weekend. Grandma (Dad's mom) called to see if we were going to make it to lunch with his family on Sunday, and whether or not Dad wanted to be recognized at all for Father's Day. He didn't really know what to say. After he got off the phone, he just laid on the floor, silently crying (don't tell him I told you that part). I asked him what was wrong and he said, "Father's Day is going to be so hard. I wanted to be a father to Stevie so bad."

I told him then, and I'm telling you now, he was and is the best Father in the world. Not only was he an amazing father while you were alive and growing in my tummy, he's been an amazing father since you died. I read a quote once that said something like, "the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."

If that's true (and I think in a lot of ways, it is), then your Dad deserves some kind of medal. He has shown me more love during the last five weeks than I ever even knew was possible.

He never left my side while we were at the hospital, even slept in the bed with me (which for a guy who is 6'10 and 295 pounds is no easy task). In the days immediately following your death and delivery, he held me while I sobbed, and sat in the bathroom while I showered when I couldn't stand to be alone for even ten minutes. He told me I was beautiful, even when I had a bra full of smelly cabbage leaves (which supposedly help stop milk production), a pad the size of a diaper, and eyes pretty much swollen completely shut. He has cooked for me. He's done the dishes every night. He's watched nine and half seasons (and counting!) of Law and Order SVU with me (with minimal complaining.) He's put up with my freakish mood swings. He calls me everyday from work to make sure I'm "okay." He has put his own grieving and sadness on hold to tend to mine.

Everyone seems focuses on the mother when a baby dies. But in a way, Dad has had it worse. His daughter died, and with her, part of me died too. He lost his baby and in a way, he lost his wife. I know the happy, carefree girl he met at summer camp when he was 13, dated in college, and married three years ago is gone. Hopefully she'll be back someday, but right now she's been replaced with a sad and empty girl who has no "spark," who doesn't want to do anything other than sit around all day and night and watch crappy TV. Dad has pretty much had to assume the role of "caretaker" for me, when he could really use some "taking care of" himself. He's been so wonderful and strong throughout this horrible, horrible time.

All of this is to let you know how lucky you are to have a father like your Dad. Most of the world may not recognize him as a father now that you're gone, but we both know he is, Baby. He's one of the best fathers there is.

Wish you were here to celebrate Dad's first Father's Day with us. We miss you more than you'll ever know.


Ps. Blogger/readers: my good friend Annette just started a blog about her daughter, Valentina, who was stillborn at fullterm right around the time we lost Stevie. The two of us have been walking a very similar (eerily similar even!) journey. She's an amazing writer--stop by and show her some love when you have a chance! :)


Erin said...

What an amazing guy - as much as the situation sucks, I am so glad that you have been able to cling to each other to make it through. It sounds like Andy has truly been your "knight in shining armor."

Love and blessings to you both.

Dana said...

You made me cry (and laugh - a pad the size of a diaper, that is what I called the ones I had to wear for awhile).

My husband has been the same way, taking care of me while he has had to deal with losing his son and the wife that he knew. He has said that he is worried that I will never be back to the way I was. I doubt that I ever will be.

I also asked him to lie in bed in the hospital with me while I was waiting for labour to start, just so I would feel less alone. Now that I have become a little bit stronger, he is weakening a little since he doesn't have to be as strong for me anymore and take care of me all the time (cooking, cleaning - even helping me to chose what to wear. I wasn't capable of any of that for awhile and there are still things I can't quite do yet).

It is odd to say that we are lucky because of what has happened to us, but we are lucky to have such amazing husband's. That is something that I am very grateful for.


The Griegers said...

I agree with you that with the loss of a child, not only does the child die but the mother dies in a way as well. People always ask how I am doing but rarely about my husband. It makes me sad because he went through everything right along with me. Hugs to you both on Fathers day!

Shannon said...

I'm glad we are both blessed with wonderful husbands. I hope you and your husband are able to do something special for Father's Day on Sunday. I don't know about you, but it will be nice to focus on my husband and make him feel special.

Kelley and Chris said...

I could have told the exact same story about my husband. He has been very strong for me through all of this...but in those moments when the sadness is too much, we cry together. I know we both would give anything to have given the guys we love so much their little bundle of joy, but that wasn't in the cards this time. But someday...

Danae said...

It's been extremely hard for me to watch my husband...partly because I am not exactly sure what he is feeling most of the time. He is ALWAYS the strong one, and in 11 years, I have never seen him cry. He teared up at Bailey's funeral, and he choked up when had to come and tell me the horrible news that she was gone, but I have never seen him openly cry...I just don't think he's wired that way...and that makes it really hard to read sometimes. I don't know what we are going to do for Father's Day...but I want it to be special for him, just as I know you want Andy's first Father's Day to be special too.

Andrea said...

How thoughtful of Gramma to ask if your hubby wanted to be acknowledged. Many people avoid the topic, as it makes them uncomfortable.

Yes, Father's day is a hard day, much like Mother's day, but men tend to be looked upon for strength and we fail to realize that they too are struggeling with loss. My husband put aside his feelings in order to tend to me and when I look back it saddens me, as I couldn't be there for him because I was so immersed in my own grief. However, I am so grateful for the strength that he showed me and for him allowing me to see his vulnerable side....its such a blessing to have a supportive partner and I'm glad you have such a wonderful hubby.

Take care of you and honor Stevie's Daddy on Father's Day, as I know you will.


Maggie said...

Stevie's Daddy sounds like an amazing guy!! She's so lucky to have such a great Daddy and I'm so happy you have such a wonderful husband! I'm not sure what I would do without my husband. He's been my rock. I agree, the Dads have it tough. They have to act all tough & take care of us, but have to grieve too. I wish more people understood how much they hurt. XO

Lucid Anne said...

Oh Kristin, I was crying as I read this letter, and then I cried even more when I saw you mention me. <3<3<3 :tears: Now I KNOW we are truly connected- we are married to the most amazing men in the planet, 9 seasons of SVU and all. :') (When we ran out, we switched to X-Files... we are almost done with season 1 now!) Almost every word you wrote about your husband could have been about Adrian. Adrian even helped me USE the toilet and clean myself... its amazing, the strength these men dug up from their despair. Adrian finally confessed to me yesterday that he needs taking care of too... he has been so busy taking care of ME. I don't know how they do it.

Michelle said...

Yesterday my husband received an early fathers day card from the infant loss nurses at the hospital where Liam was born. I know that touched him a lot. Lots of hugs to you and your hubby xoxoxoxoxo

Amy said...

you have an amazing husband in Andy. I am so glad that you have him there to help you be strong. Yall are both fantastic parents and my heart aches for him as father's day approaches. Your right though, part of being a great dad is taking care of the mom and being a great husband... he is a great dad!

Poor Lucky Me said...

You are a Mother, Stevie's Dad is a Father, and you will forever be a family. Stevie will be with you celebrating her Daddy on Sunday, and I know she knows what special parents she has.

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