Life, as we all know, continues. We get up, we stop at Starbucks, we go to work, we answer emails, we go home and make dinner. Our household is still going and we are attempting to do just that. Some friends and family no longer bring up the subject and have resumed talking to us as though nothing has happened. Others offer support and encouraging words when it seems we need them the most.
Unfortunately, my body gives me daily reminders to not move on so quickly. Yesterday, I pushed myself too far and I was hurting by the evening, enough to call my doctor this morning for her opinion. I can’t work out, I can’t walk long distances, and cleaning the house even feels like such an exhausting chore. My body still hasn’t fully accepted the fact I’m not pregnant which is a whole other treat in itself.
Mentally, I’m still a mess. Life doesn’t actually move on so quickly and this isn’t something I can rush. I haven’t made it through a day yet where I don’t cry uncontrollably. The reminders seem to be everywhere and anywhere. The triggers, I can’t avoid. I am not good at putting on a fake smile and just saying I’m fine, because I’m not. I dread going to sleep at night because I feel overwhelming guilt. I lay there and wonder if I did something wrong, if I should have done something different, if it will happen again, and where my baby is. I worry about time passing and dates coming and going. What would have been second trimester, third trimester, baby shower time, and the dreaded due date.
When I sleep the nightmares come, empty cribs, cries coming from somewhere I can’t decipher, dead babies, empty arms, people stealing my baby and me not being able to get there in time. They seem never-ending. I wake up wanting to smack my Husband because how the fuck can he just go to sleep?
Then there is this other worry, something that seems so strange. I worry every time my Husband walks out the door that he isn’t going to come back. I worry that he is going to die and won’t make it back home. I’m sure it is the obvious, lose one and you think you are going to lose it all. This additional fear in the wake of everything else.
People comment on our marriage, how losing this baby will strain it, how we will handle it differently, how he won’t understand. These people are wrong and don’t know my marriage. If anything this has strengthened my marriage, brought us closer together, forced us to lean on one another more than ever for support and comfort.
People make a lot of other assumptions about our life. They comment on future children, how we should act, how we should mourn, why you don’t do one thing but you do another. Some comments that are meant to encourage you are actually the worst words that can be echoed. The most random people will offer you the most amazing words to lift you up and that is when you can see it in their eyes, they have suffered the same pain, they know, they truly understand.
I try to be there for my friends, one complaining about how she doesn’t have privacy in the ICU with her newborn baby girl. I want to scream at her how nice it must be to hold her baby because I will never hold mine. But my friend deserves to have her own feelings in her own situation. So I go with her and we spend a Saturday purchasing everything for the baby shower, the one I promised her. I sat with a bottle of wine that night making diaper cakes and wrapping baby gifts, my Husband helping me in silence. The obvious words hanging in the air.
Other times we say no. We ignore phone calls, offers for dinner, and we even cancel plans at the last-minute. Some people I can’t entertain, I can’t host, I can’t re-tell my story for them because for some reason they want private details. Sometimes I just need silence and they can’t offer that.
On another side each day does somehow get slightly easier, I don’t know how to explain. The weight of it all lightens a bit with each passing minute, hour, day, chance at laughing, smiling and enjoying the little moments. We grieve daily in our own way, together and separately. We don’t censor ourselves, we voice what needs to be voiced and we discuss the future. We talk about how we are going to move forward and what this means for us.
No one can tell you how to go through this. There isn’t a timeline, a book, or a blog that will give you an answer. You have to follow your heart, stay true to yourself and always remember to breathe.