Grieving. It is a ongoing process. There are days when I wake up and feel fully engaged in life. I feel the fresh breeze, the warmth of the sun and the warm tug of my dogs nose lifting my hand to take him for a walk. Even though I am aware of the simple things that bring me joy, a deep loss resides in my heart. I believe that this feeling of loss will always be a part of my heart and daily existence. My little baby has taken a piece of my soul with him. No matter how I try to re-frame my thoughts or feelings. There is no way to sugar coat the truth. Our beautiful baby is dead and a piece of me is dead too. I am learning to live with this reality. Some days I am able to engage in life and other days I am fully engaged in deep sorrow. I have come to accept that this loss has now become a part of my life’s journey. I realize that I am very angry. I have not known how to express my anger and I hope this will be a way that I can express it without being judged or encouraged to let go of it. I find that people want to comfort me and in their desire to comfort me, I am unable to fully express my anger towards losing my baby.
How deep is the anger? How deep is the loss?
Our baby existed in our hearts the day my husband and I expressed our love for one another in our vows the day of our marriage. As we held hands we prayed that we would live a loving marriage and have children to share it with. Early in our marriage I was confronted with an illness that lasted 2 years. I felt disappointment at not having the physical strength to conceive during these 2 years. In my heart the 2 years felt like a long, long, long time. After 2 years I finally overcame the illness. I began to feel optimism and hope that I could now start trying to have a baby. I put my heart an soul into having faith and hope that our baby would arrive soon. After months of trying we conceived. We were taking a road trip to Florida when we found out we were pregnant. There was a moment of silence when we looked at the pregnancy test. We both saw that it was positive. I couldn’t believe it. My heart was overjoyed. After 2 long years of being so sick, I was finally going to have a baby. My body embraced the love my husband and I felt for one another as much as the new life that was growing inside of me.
For the first few months everyday after that day was a bundle of joy. The singing and talking to our baby became a part of our lives. The sharing and expression of our hopes and dreams for our little one was a part of our daily conversations. Our baby filled our lives with love for 5 and 1/2 months. He was born on May 5, 2011. It was a shocking experience to arrive to the hospital and discover that there was no way to stop the birth. The placenta had abrupted. There is a stillness of time in the hours and days after the birth. I have a memory of experiencing the birth and the days after in a state of shock. From being asked to hold your dead baby to having to arrange cremation or funeral services. I didn’t expect to deliver my little bundle of joy under these circumstances.
I came home from the hospital without my baby. When I sat on my bed and looked over to my nightstand I saw his little blue teddy bear. Our evening ritual of playing teddy’s melody had been broken. I began to sob. The sobbing went on for days. I am sobbing now as I recall this day. For days I could not get out of bed. My dog would come and sit next to my bed. My husband would sit next to me at times and other times would peek into the room to check in on me or call me out for dinner. I have a yearning, burning desire to hold my baby in my arms. I have learned that there is a maternal instinct after birth that draws you towards protecting your child. I often would have this image of holding my son in my arms and wanting to push all the doctors away from him. I just wanted to cradle him and sing to him.
There is so much that one’s body experiences after delivery. I don’t even think I had fully processed what was happening at the time. There is nothing that I can change and nothing that I could do. This causes me so much anger. The feeling of not being able to do anything to protect him. I feel deep sorrow and deep rage. I want my baby. I want to hold him. I want to watch him grow up. I want to play with him. I want to watch him thrive and contribute to the world. I want to see him take his first steps and say “mommy” and “daddy.” I want to watch him fall in love. I want to see his smile and hear his tears. I want to watch his father take him fishing. I want to see him around my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and nephews. I want to see him play with our dog. I want him to ask me questions and tell me when I’m wrong.
This is why losing him is so hard. It shatters one’s dreams. One’s hopes of existing together. It is difficult to face everyday knowing that when I wake up he is no longer here. Some days are harder than others. Death has forced me to figure out how to create meaning out of this experience. I feel devastated. Since the death of my son I feel a strange sense of time. Although I have friends and family’s support there is a feeling of emptiness. It feels like this empty eternal space. This waiting for a thriving baby that never arrived.