Thursday, May 22, 2014

Return to Zero

As a college student, I watched a handful of Lifetime movies.  Guilty pleasure.  I'm embarrassed to admit that as so many of them were SO bad...bad acting, ridiculous story-line, and always a cheating/scumbag man.  Ahh, back when life was carefree and I had time to waste :)  That being said, I was unsure how the Lifetime movie Return to Zero would be.  It actually had some well known actors, but you just never know.  Regardless, I made Andrew sit down with me last weekend and watch it in its entirety.  And we sobbed our way through it.

Return to Zero portrays stillbirth.  A topic I've never really seen in TV or on movies, because it just isn't discussed.  As I watched Minnie Driver deliver a baby that would never utter a sound, it brought everything flooding back.  So many details were spot on - from the panic with the dopplar, denial with the ultrasound, the grey leaf they hang on your door at the hospital, the emptiness that follows.  Even the ridiculous comments that were said to make you feel better, but in actuality make you want to scream.  It touched on so many of the taboo things one never wants to know until going into it.  My heart just broke all over again.  I was so very thankful Andrew was there for me to cling to as we watched on.

I learned 2 things from this movie.  First, I have pushed so many of my emotions from Reagan aside because of the boys - I had to "be strong for them" as I was told by so many while they were fighting for their lives, inside and outside the womb.  I spend the whole time I wasn't pregnant grieving so completely and trying to find a way to just take a step forward.  When I started having pregnancy complications, the added "stress" of the grief only made things worse.  I had no chose but to put it aside.  But that, combined with a complicated, high risk pregnancy, has made it so difficult to truly bond with my boys.  I'm not sure how much of that was the pregnancy, the fact I couldn't see them for hours after they were born, couldn't hold them for days, and just stared at their tiny bodies through the isolet.  I kept telling myself I wasn't having breakdowns and crying while in the NICU because I was prepared for their NICU journey, but I think some of it was that I just couldn't handle anymore pain or crying, so I pushed my fear for the boys down deep too.  And yet, God chose to bless us with them anyway and bring them safely home.

Second, I learned what a profound difference hope in the Lord makes.  And that is where our story begins to differ.  The husband immediately resorted to drinking and had an affair (wouldn't be a true Lifetime movie without it)  Minnie Driver (already forgot her character name) was a shell of the woman she once was after her loss.  Now, granted, I was too for a bit.  But I live each day knowing with confidence that this is not the end of my story.  I know I will see our sweet Reagan again, hold her in my arms, dance with her on streets of gold.  There is incredible pain in knowing that I will not do those things here with her, but an eternal perspective helps so very much.  If that was the end of things, I had a daughter and she died and was gone, how could I go on?  How could anyone?

For anyone who wants to understand a little better the emotional side, how it feels to be handed a child who is not breathing, to take your first family picture and not know what kind of expression should be on your face, to be confronted immediately by others healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, and to not really be able to talk about it - I recommend the movie.  It was definitely written by someone who had been through stillbirth.  I'm not sure when, or even if, it will air again.  But I can post something about it if I see that.  I think it's out on DVD too, though I can't imagine Red Box would carry that...

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