Capture your Grief: Day 27- Self Portrait

This post is a day late due to the intense morning sickness I had ALL day yesterday..


I can’t really highlight how I am different. Most likely, from an outsider’s perspective, I am the same.  I don’t feel entirely different personality wise, just some things have been slightly altered since the loss. Without a doubt- I am more pessimistic and cynical.  I was carried both of those traits, however, I feel like since the losses, they might be slightly amplified. I have always been relatively social. I liked to go out and do this and be surrounded by people. Now, I kind of feel the opposite. I still like the socialize, but I also find myself wanting to be alone more often.  I would rather go for a walk or do something alone rather than forcing myself to be in social situations.  This could be contributory to the loss, or the fact that I am exhausted from this current pregnancy…it’s hard to say.

I am probably not the only one who has experienced a loss to say or think this, but I want my innocence back. I want to turn a corner without the first thought in my head being ‘I hope I don’t see a bump.’  I want to look at pregnant woman and smile again instead of scowl. I want to be ignorant to all the bad things that can happen during pregnancy.  I want to be ignorantly excited! I want to not have to preface the announcement of this pregnancy with the explanation of my losses and why I am so painfully scared. Can I just be blissfully ignorant again? Please?

Capture your Grief: Day 24-Choose your Breath 

  
Courtesy of psychologytoday.com

Where am I in my healing? Where am I in the grief process? To be honest- it’s hard to say. Prior to this current pregnancy, I could say I was very angry and borderline depressed. Two stages of grief- although for me, they were simultaneous. I was angry and so terribly sad that I wasn’t pregnant with my daughter and planning for her arrival and I was furious that healthy pregnancies were visible all around me. I was angry because what I wanted and loved so badly- I lost so suddenly. 

I hate to admit this, but this current pregnancy has helped in my healing. I hate to admit this because I feel like I am saying that this baby will replace my daughter and all the hurt I have felt. When, in fact, that is not the case. I do, however, appreciate this blessing more than I thought possible. It has made me think that maybe we will have a rainbow after our storm. 

My stage in grief: acceptance

I think I am beginng to accept that my experience was something out of my control. There is no answer to the ‘why?’ Shit just happens and you have two choices; survive or don’t survive. I choose survival. 

I will never forget my experience. I will never forget my baby girl. And I will never stop fantasizing about what could of been. However, I will accept that this was out of my control. I will cherish this pregnancy and dream of a take home baby. And I will fantasize about my husband and I patenting and sharing our experience wih them. 

Capture your Grief: Day 23- Love Letter

  
Dear Husband,

Everyday, you impress me with your ambition, accomplishments and your actions. I have never met someone who is so genuine in their actions.  You lack the judgmental quality that I struggle with. You wholeheartedly accept people for who they are in you care about the in spite of their faults. I know you are not someone who likes to discuss their feelings and emotions, but that is okay (even though at times, I might complain otherwise) because you prove your care, commitment and love through everything you do- big and small. Thank you for always thinking of me and, at times, putting me before yourself.

The experience of our loss was very differently for the both of us. I am pretty certain that although you were sad and wished the situation was different, you are more or less ‘over it.’  It is okay. I do not fault you for it.  You didn’t know her like I knew her, and I wouldn’t expect you to feel the way I am feeling. Despite not being able to empathize, you have been incredible.  You have allowed me to feel what I needed to feel and without making me feel like how I am feeling is wrong or unacceptable.  You accepted my grief.  You have allowed me to talk about her and I thank you for that. I also want to thank you for being such an incredible support during the diagnosis, through the termination, and the tumultuous weeks that followed.  You stood up for me when I couldn’t, you held me when all I could do was cry, and you force fed me when I couldn’t eat. Most of all, you allowed me to feel. Although it was the hardest thing we have gone through thus far as a couple, it allowed me to see a side of you that is profoundly compassionate.  I loved you before this, but now I love you more.

I apologize if I struggle with expressing this gratitude daily, but I want you to know how much I love and respect you. You are invaluable and I am so proud to call you my husband, my friend, and my partner. I love you.

All my love,

Your wife

Capture your Grief: Day 20- Forgiveness + Humanity

  
This might be true for everyone, but there gets to a time in a relationship with someone where I have no more to give.  in essence, I have forgiven them so many times, that I just don’t have the energy to forgive anymore. And the relationship dissolves. I have gotten to this point with a few friendships for several different reasons.  I know I constantly look back on them and ask myself- ‘did I give up too soon?’  I tend to beat myself up about it and question myself; ‘was I in the wrong? Did I do the right thing? Was I too harsh?’ When I reflect on those questions, I ultimately come to the same terms I came to when I decided to dissolve the friendship; it wasn’t healthy and I was not happy. By dissolving the friendship, I was protecting myself from more frustration and hurt.  I accepted those friends for who they are, but with that acceptance I realized what was best for me.  I think, ultimately, I need to forgive myself for ‘giving up.’ In all honesty, this is a huge struggle. Its more so a struggle now, as I get older, and building friendships are more difficult than it was 10 years ago.

Every since my loss, I have found myself reflecting on this quite frequently.  It could be because the loss has made me feel very lonely and bitter and as a result, making new friends is the last thing I intend to do, therefore I am reflecting on past friendships- potentially holding them on undeserving pedestals. Or maybe I am too harsh? Clearly, forgiving and accepting myself for these decisions is still a challenge and will probably always be a struggle.

Capture your Grief: Day 14- Express your Heart

  Graphic is courtesy of artatm.com

I am terrified.  As some of you are aware, I am pregnant.  This is my first pregnancy after my loss, 4th pregnancy in total. I have no living children. I am terrified. I am terrified because pregnancy for me has not resulted in a baby.  The farthest I have gotten with any pregnancy is 15 weeks..I don’t know what it feels like beyond that.  I am terrified that I will not meet this baby. I don’t know how to shake this fear, and if shaking the fear is even possible. It amazes me that woman can pee on a stick, get a positive and immediately assume that an addition will be added to their family. I wonder what that blissful ignorance feels like?

Every morning I wake up and am still pregnant, I thank whoever is responsible.  I am eternally grateful to still be pregnant.  I know these feelings wouldn’t be as apparent if I did not experience such a loss 7 months ago. My grieving has caused me to be cynical and apprehensive.  It has caused me to change my language to ‘I’ll be pregnant then so I can’t….’ to ‘if I am still pregnant then, I won’t be….’ and ‘when the baby is born,’ to ‘if the baby is born.’  My grief has provided me with a shield of self-preservation.

I know that soon it is ‘safe’ to announce this pregnancy, but I can’t help but think that that would be jinxing it.  I have told a few people that knew about my loss and their support has been incredible.  I have even told my boss because he also knew about the loss.  I told him and prefaced it with, ‘just to let you know that I am pregnant in the event that we have a repeat experience, I wanted you to be aware.’  He’s a compassionate and understanding man so I felt comfortable sharing this with him, although part of me wishes I could of shared it with excitement rather than trepidation.

In my heart I want to believe that this pregnancy will result in a take home baby. I want to believe that my daughter is looking out for us and is sending us her sibling.  I want to believe that we have a happy ending.

Capture your Grief: Day 11- Glow in the Woods 

I am a talker, however not the talker you are probably thinking of. I am actually typically quiet in whole group conversations and I observe before I engage socially in most cases. I seldom enjoy being the center of attention and find enjoyment and observing others. So you might be wondering as to why I define myself as a talker? It’s simple; I talk through anything that is bothering me. Sometines repetively. Through this I try to find meaning or understanding in what has happened, even when there isn’t any. So following my loss, I sought out help. I joined a supprt group for parents who had to terminate for medical reason. During my first and only visit I met a woman. She had experienced her loss about 6 weeks before mine and she immediately recognized my pain. My pain was raw and fresh. It had only been a week and a few days. After the group, she walked out with me and we spoke candidly about how much it sucked. Before we departed our separate ways she offered a heartfelt hug and her email. Since then we have spoken weekly, sometimes daily. She has been an incredible part of this journey. She validates my feelings and let’s me just vent. She has been a God sent. I am grateful to have met her, but I wished it hadn’t been under those circumstances. 

Unfortunately, I knew another mother who had lost a baby late in pregnancy. She is the wife of my husband’s friend from college, and she is a wonderful person. I reached out to her shortly after my loss, because I needed help sorting out my shitty luck. She has become a friend. She has answered countless texts and has also validated my feelings. She has encouraged me to feel what I need to feel and to not apologize for it. Her insight and support has continued to be indispensable during this time. 
I knew in order to heal, I needed to talk; I needed to express my grief. This woman have allowed me to do just that without passing judgment. It’s hard to share myself wih people who haven’t experienced loss like this, because unless you have had your heartbroken this deeply, you just can’t understand. 

Capture your Grief: Day 8- Wish List


I wish to never forget my daughter.  As I go on to build my family, I always want her to be remember as my first.  She is what made me a mother. I intend to share her story with my unborn child. I want him or her to know that they have an older sister, and that older sister is the reason for their existence. I hope to never be ashamed of my experience and I want to share what happened to spread awareness of pregnancy loss and more specifically having to terminated a much wanted pregnancy.

Lastly,  I wish to help others through their grief and healing by making them feel less alone. By sharing my experience, it allows other grieving parents to know that they are not the only ones embarking on this undesired journey.  Through sharing my experience, I hope to provide comfort and support to other bereaved parents.

Capture your Grief Day 2: Intention

  
I intend to find ways to spread awareness of pregnancy and infant loss and support grieving parents in honor of my precious daughter. I intend to share my story and not to be ashamed of my loss or how people respond. My intention is to never forget my first.

To my sweet girl,

Even though you weren’t with us for very long. I am proud that you were a part of me and your father.  I will always cherish your memory and love your forever.

love,

Mommy.