Will my guilt ever truly go away?

Ruth - posted on 06/10/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I was driving my car with my son in the backseat in his carseat when we had our accident. I heard my son choking on his drink, took a quick look to check and ended up upside down in the river My son didn't make it out of the car. I was 6 months pregnant and managed to get out of the car but was too exhausted to go back, and couldn't see the car due to the dirty water. I blame myself - all of the what if, I should have, etc. I tell all my family that I no longer feel guilty, but will always feel responsible. My family accepts that I no longer cry myself to sleep. I still do. I still feel guilty. Has anyone else been in this situation? Will my guilt subside?

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Rebecca - posted on 06/10/2009

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I think that guilt is just another rotten part of maternal grief. I read somewhere that whilst men are inclined to blame outside people/circumstances, women blame themselves. In my experience, that seems to be right.
Our son Noah was stillborn on his appointed c-section date. We had no idea anything was wrong until we got to the hospital and the midwife couldn't find his heartbeat. I am type 1 (juvenile/insulin dependant) diabetic and as it turns out, that makes my babies susceptible to the placenta just "switching off" so to speak. 16 to 24 hours before Noah was born, the placenta stopped giving him oxygen and nutrients. We didn't know anything about this condition until after Noah's autopsy report came back. Then we found out that it happens in a high percentage of diabetic pregnancies.
My husband blames the doctors for not monitoring my pregnancy more carefully, I blame myself for being diabetic, for not realising that something was wrong, for not requesting an earlier caesarian date and so on.
I realise that in some ways our stories are very different, but in other ways they are so alike. We both did what we thought was best with the information we had at the time. Would we do things differently if we had another chance? Of course we would, but we can't and that is what is so difficult, because there is always another "what if?"
I am only 13 months out and I can't tell you whether your guilt will subside, but I can tell you that you are not alone and that it was no more your fault than it was mine.

Heather - posted on 06/10/2009

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I am so sorry girl! I cant begin to imagine how you feel but know that it is NOT your fault. And I am sure no matter how many people tell you it doesnt make it easier. I think anyone that is a mother can understand how this happened...



I dont know that your guilt will ever go away but hopefully some of your pain will. I will pray for you and your family.

Marinda - posted on 06/10/2009

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I know that this is haunting you probably day and night, but believe me it was not your fault, sadly bad things happen and we as moms always just want to protect our children, and if something like this happen we tend to blame ourselves. Don`t try to hide your feelings because in the long run its not good for you, get someone that you can talk to, aknowledge what you feel and try to deal as best as you can with it, And sweetie remember that God is always oresent especially in those bad times. Believe me no one will and can be so creuel as to blame you for any of this, your just a mother, doing what mom`s is supposed to do, when something didn`t sound right, you turned to take a look. Be kind to yourself, and know that your little angel is taken care of, "yes" we will always miss our angels that are not here with us. Take the time that you need to grieve and do what you feel to do. All my love and blessings to you

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