The longest month of my life........
I think back when I gave birth to my daughter, three years ago, that first month flew by, sleepless nights were decorated with beautiful cuddles, painful breasts were comforted by the sounds of her eating and those adorable burps, the scar from the C section didn't even matter, nor did I care about my weight......
This time around, all the physical pain is there minus the beautiful baby to make it all worth it, plus a lot of emotional pain, I don't know if I can call it that, this is the kind of pain that is not only emotional, it is mind, body and soul pain.
But I am getting stronger. I cannot say that I am getting better, I honestly don't believe for me, it will ever be a matter of getting better, how do you get better from child loss? There's no such thing. There's only a way to get stronger. That's all. I am getting stronger to live with this pain. That's the only way to put it for me.
I went to the store two days ago, for the first time, I went into the public, aside from my closest friends coming to visit me, and one visit to my endocrinologist, that is the first time I went outside. I did it for my daughter. She asked me to go with her. But I was so afraid I would run into someone I know. I am usually that person that walks in with a smile, greets those passing by, not the obnoxious one that is loud and bouncy, but the person that acknowledges you, and possibly lifts your spirits. I am the kind of a person that speaks to the cashier in the store and asks about their day, offer them some customer service as well. God knows they stand there on their feet all day and deal with all kinds of personalities, their days aren't easy. So I made a few friends in the stores where I usually get my groceries, buy my child's clothes from, buy my clothes from. They know me as a regular, they all knew I was expecting a son and how excited I was to have my little complete family, they all met my daughter, she's with me all of the time. We are glued to each other. I am the kind of a mother that doesn't want to skip a beat of my child's life, not one milestone from her childhood. Once she's grown and on her own, I will only have portions of her life, what she allows me to be a part of, but now while she's a child, a minor, her life is my life. So going into public is a big fear of mine. I am not ready to be questioned, or answer any questions, I am not ready for explanations, or the sad looks on people's faces when I tell them. This kind of information sticks with people, I don't want to ruin their day. I didn't even tell all of my friends from my home state right away, I waited until the holidays were over to tell everyone. I didn't want to ruin their time with their families.
This week I have to go back for my OB/GYN check up, Friday it will be 5 weeks, I don't know why they made it at 5 weeks. But I don't know how I will face those amazing women working in that office. This being my second pregnancy with them, they are all like my friends by now. The day my baby was a stillborn, one of the medical assistants come over to the hospital and held my hand for two hours. They even sent me a beautiful card couple of weeks ago. So, how will I face them all? I know how they will react when they see me. I don't want to cry, not in public. I am not easy on tears usually, but now, once I start, it is hard to stop.
At least I've stopped sobbing. Now, I cry peaceful tears. Actually I have gotten a lot better about crying. On day 23 I made it the whole day without crying and I made it my goal to hold my tears until today. Today, I reward myself with tears. It is my day to cry. I am allowing myself to cry, but I am stronger. Last time I wrote here, I wrote through tears and two hours of non stop crying. Now, I can clearly see my computer screen, I start and I stop. Maybe, this is a trick in this process of grieving, where I think I am getting stronger only to find out in some coming time that I will feel again like I will take some steps back, I don't know, this is just my beginning.
I read a post today that two strangers posted, one read " Your future self is watching you right now through memories" and a lady commented " Interesting concept, I wonder what she's thinking of me.. I hope she has compassion on me when I betray my essence, holds my hand when I'm vulnerable, and smiles proudly at me and journey I've made to get here". These two comments were like a light for my days to come. I needed to read this today, I needed to read this. So I replied to them " The beauty of being able to lift someone's spirit and not even know the person, be miles and miles away. There's no word that explains my current state, but I needed to see this. I knew the future me would get through these times in a way that I always do, much stronger and wiser, like a superhero with an invisible cape, coming from underneath piles of rocks, that only one can free themselves from when they are ready. I just couldn't see her from all the hurt now... you two just put it in the prospective for me, and made her a little bit more clear. Thanks guys, much love to both of you, from a grieving mama"
Hopefully my posts bring some relief and comfort to all the strangers that read it, to all those that need it.
I share details because I hope it builds a path of hope to those that will come after me, I wish, oh how I wish, no mother ever has to deal with this kind of pain and loss, but I know there will be.
My three year old just woke up, and I went over to cuddle with her. I said " You are my baby" (usually she loves being called that) today she said " I'm not a baby, there's a baby boy in your tummy" as she goes to look for what once was a big round ball, so I asked her " Where is the baby now" and her answer was " I don't know" so she goes to point to my belly again but this time she points to my heart, and she says "There he is" I know it was a coincidence that she pointed to my heart, but it is what I needed to feel this morning.
Small blessings, make the world go around.
So, as it has only been one month and a lifetime to go, I hope that my two unexpected experiences, one from two strangers, and one from my loving three year old, bring some light into someone else's day, as they did to mine. God knows, I needed them today.
One month down,
Lifetime to go
you are so right you don't get better when your child has died. you just learn how to live with it. One of my favorite quotes is, You never know how strong you are until it's the only choice you have. I hated going to the obgyn for my 6 week checkup. I dreaded walking in there seeing all those pregnant moms. As soon as I got there and signed in they had me in the back in one of the examine rooms. They knew that was the last place I wanted to be and made it as easy as possible. I hope your doctor does the same for you. I also hated going out in public after my loss. so many people stopping and asking about the baby. It sucks. if you are able have people spread the word for you. I would lay on my couch every morning after my 3 year old was fed breakfast. Eventually after midmorning I would drag myself to the shower and then either take my son for a walk, go to my moms, or just go to the park. It was hard but the more I did it the easier it got. Take it one day at a time and eventually it does get easier. Many hugs. Nicki
nmiller77 Thank you dear. That pretty much sounds like me now. I make sure that she's fed and taken care of and the rest of the morning I'm just useless. I wish it was weather permitting for me to take her to the park or outside. I am looking forward to the spring when I can take her. I'm hoping that my doctor does the same for me.
Thank you for the words of hope and encouragement.
Two of my friends just came by this morning and surprised me with a breakfast and flowers. I really just wanted to hug them and cry with them because i felt so blessed. I knew that they were there to cheer me up, without taking about it , their actions showed me how much I'm loved. It is the moment like that, that keep me going and surviving through these days.
And comments from people like you.
I am blessed. Thank you for your words of love.
I wish you the best as you venture out into public. It is so, so scary to encounter people who know your story. I think one of the scariest parts for me is to not know how I'm going to react to their hugs. I'm not the type of person to seek sympathy, but it's hard to hold back tears when you are so sad and devastated. I'm learning to just let the tears flow. I'm learning that it's okay to cry in front of others and to seek the comfort from their hugs and words. I hope that you will welcome the sympathy. It's okay to cry.
The other day my husband and I were talking to our priest about closure. We wanted a funeral service for our son, and my husband explained that we were trying to find some closure. "Be careful with that word," the priest warned us. "I don't think you ever get closure." He went on to compare grief to a ferris wheel. He told us to imagine we were on a ferris wheel, going around in circles. All of a sudden, sludge floods the ferris wheel. The wheel slows down and you're stuck in the sludge. Eventually, the sludge levels start to recede. You make it out of the sludge and you're at the top of the ferris wheel. Everything seems okay. But then you get thrown back into the sludge because you are moving in a circular fashion. And you're back to where you started. You will rise out of the sludge, and it may not take as long as it did the first time. But the sludge never completely goes away. It is always there. When you are in that sludge, you have to take the time to grieve and accept the support from others to make it out. I really liked the imagery and think of myself on that ferris wheel. You're right -- it won't get better. But hopefully those sludge levels will recede with time and make us stronger people for enduring them.
Thinking of you often. Love to you and your family.
Hugs and love to you. How I still remember how hard those first few weeks, month were. It has been almost nine and a half years and although the tears do not flow as much as they did in those first few months, they do still flow. I hated going out in public in the beginning, with time it got easier. Be kind to yourself and know you are not alone in this!
As I approach what would have been my daughter's 9th birthday, your words regarding your first month of grief are extremely similar to what I remember feeling. I was home with her for 9 days straight, leaving only once for an appointment at the hospital, and the again when I got sick and had to visit the ER. I too gave myself goals for not crying and then learned how to sob internally. I remember going to my check up and praying to anyone that could hear me to please let the room be empty. I didn't think I could handle seeing a newborn or lots of pregnant moms. Thankfully I got back quickly. After that I avoided public places during peak hours when parents would be sure to have their babies with them. Eventually, the fear faded and my tears stopped. But it never goes away completely. I have learned how to manage my pain but its still there. I wish you peace as you continue on this most unfortunate journey.
Love and Hugs
March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We're advocating for policies to protect them. We're working to radically improve the health care they receive. We're pioneering research to find solutions. We're empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. By uniting communities, we're building a brighter future for us all.
Privacy, Terms, and Notices
© Privacy, terms and notices