On February 17, 2017 our son’s heartbeat stopped around my eighth week of pregnancy. For a year, I have tried to find myself again after my world shattered into a thousand pieces. I never thought I could feel more love and contentment than the day I married my husband. Then, we found out we were pregnant and that love multiplied a thousand times over. I never knew how sweet having my husband’s baby growing inside of me would feel. Then, tragically, I never knew pain like I have endured after losing our baby.
This post is dedicated to our son Chance and all the families who have lost a baby. Pregnancy loss causes a wave of pain and emotions that can hardly be described. Through writing poetry, I have been able to somewhat put my pain over the last year into words that I hope will give a voice to the grief that comes from miscarriage.
The first three months after loss:
During the first few months after loss, I was still getting through shock and denial. While I had accepted that my baby no longer lived on this earth, as a grieving mother, I was extremely sad and fighting off a ton of anger and resentment. There are so many questions that I wished I had the answers for and I obsessed about those often. I still blamed myself for the loss and thought it was some kind of punishment. Loss changes you so much, that you forget who you were before it. You don’t recognize yourself physically, because your body still looks pregnant, but without a child. You don’t recognize yourself personally, because you’re so consumed with grief that you don’t even know how to smile wholeheartedly or feel joy like you did before. I questioned God, myself, and really the entire universe as to why this had to happen to us and our baby.
4-6 months after loss:
This is when people who are trying to be helpful and offer words of encouragement, actually make you feel worse. Click here to read my post with valuable information on being a friend to someone experiencing a miscarriage. Grief begins to have a time limit to those around you. Although you would love for the misery to end deep within your crushed heart, the grieving process takes time. Others seem to think it will be easy to get over, since you never held the baby. Then, you begin to feel ashamed because you are still grieving. Other people can put a very unrealistic time table on your grief. I know their heart is in the right place, because they want you to be happy again, but grief is not the same for everyone. Around four to six months after loss, it was still very difficult for me to see others having successful pregnancies plastered all over social media. Watching new pregnancy announcements and newborn babies was extremely hard. It’s not easy having a bitter heart, but losing a baby makes you feel all types of emotions you never thought you would ever experience. It takes time to work through those feelings so that you can truly be happy for others again.
8-10 months after loss
This is when the milestones really begin such as; the due date, and what would’ve been our baby’s first Christmas. The milestones made grief resurface and of course watching everyone else celebrate their baby’s first Christmas or get ready for a fun filled Christmas with children, while we grieved the loss of ours. It was tough, but we did hang up a stocking for our little love.
1 year later
As you approach the final milestones of your grieving journey, part of you feels relieved. The other part of you begins to relive the final moments of a tiny life lived and that same life taken away. The flash backs of those moments are painful. You begin to reflect on where you have been since losing your child, what has changed, how you have managed to make it through unshakable sadness, and how you desire to proceed forward with your life.
My final thoughts
I finally have hope again for the future, but I am still full of fear. Fear of going through loss again, fear of never being pregnant again, and fear of having a child of my own and being the mother that child deserves. It is still hard to see others having success in their pregnancies and holding their newborn babies, but not as hard as it was a year ago. Will I be that pregnant woman someday plastering weekly updates of my baby bump all over social media? If I do ever get pregnant again, I will be fearful until the day I actually hold that baby in my arms. You see, miscarriage rips away that joy that comes with your first pregnancy. You no longer live in that naive world that doesn’t see pain, disappointment, hurt, or even fathom it could happen to you. You now live in reality and know that tragedy can happen to anyone. It could even happen twice. So, you probably won’t know if I’m pregnant, as I will keep it between my husband and I. I worry that if I allow myself get too excited again, that tragedy will strike us and rip every ounce of my happiness and joy away again that I have fought so hard to regain.
While there are many gains to be made in a healing process, there are also setbacks from triggers. Several times throughout this year of grief, I have been doing well then grief hits me again, takes over, and I cry without stopping. Then, I pick myself back up and try to go on day by day. I try to avoid most of those triggers. Then, when I’m ready, I face them so I can try and move forward.
I don’t want our son to be forgotten nor his life to have not had any positive purpose. Therefore, below are the things that have been inspired by this excruciatingly painful experience.
- My husband and I have vowed to donate to a local NICU every February in Chance’s honor. This year, we donated to the Rex Healthcare Foundation’s Newborn Care Fund.
- We have matching memorial tattoos to honor our sweet son.
- We built a memorial garden in his honor. It’s beautiful by day and glows at night.
- This blog was created and is a safe place where I can openly talk about miscarriage and share my story to hopefully help others. Writing has been extremely therapeutic and has given a voice to an important topic that so many stay silent about.
- I have provided local resources to my husband’s FRG unit to help new mothers and those dealing with pregnancy loss.
- I am in the process of writing a book that will be available a year from now.
To my beloved son in heaven, thank you for choosing me to be your mom. Although I never held you beyond the safety net of my womb, your sweet life gave me joy like I have never felt. I promise to honor your life by remembering your existence and helping others in your name. Always remember that you were miraculously created from a once in a million love shared by your daddy and I.
© Strength 4 Spouses, LLC 2018.