This year has been a difficult one. Starting next year (this Friday), I want to try to focus on being happy despite losing our daughter so recently. But before I try to find my happy I need to get out a few observations and realizations I have made over the past month.
People don’t always say nor do the right thing, but in general people are good and mean well.
We received so many cards and messages from people expressing their sympathy for our situation. Some words really touched me whereas others made me really angry. Everyone meant well but sometimes what is a helpful message for one person brings out the complete opposite reaction in another.
We just need to remember that each person mourns differently and what really matters is the intention behind the message, gift, etc. We need to remember to not scream out our true feelings at the grocery store clerk who politely asks how our day was.
One gift in particular that was special to me was the dozen roses I received from my nurses in the hospital. I had my largest emotional breakdown when it came time to leave the hospital. I attribute this rush of emotion due to the fact that the hospital was my home for a month and it symbolized hope. Leaving the hospital without a live baby just felt wrong and for me signaled the end to the entire pregnancy. The nurses were my family for a month and I really bonded with a handful of them. Knowing that many of them pitched in to buy me flowers was so touching.
2. Boobs are crazy weird.
After the passing of Haley I obviously didn’t breastfeed and quickly learned about engorgement. Holy crap, your breasts feel like you had implants and the implants are made of boulders. Eventually, your breasts go back to normal size but then the leaking begins. I had no idea I would be leaking milk for weeks after my surgery. What an awesome reminder that I don’t have a newborn to feed.
3. You can have multiple emotions at the same time.
In AP Psychology class in high school you learn all about the stages of grief and you assume that the stages happen sequentially. Emotions don’t always work sequentially; sometimes you feel many emotions at the exact same time. Many days I was furious and sad simultaneously. While I was sobbing I wanted to punch through a wall. My anger mostly came from this thought – It is not fucking fair that “all” of my friends are currently pregnant and have multiple children but I don’t get one.
*I know that this is a first-world problem and I could be much worse off, blah, blah, blah. Right now I want to bitch about my situation and you need to let me.*
One day Alex came home to find me crying/laughing and understandably he was a little concerned. I was just at my breaking point where if I didn’t laugh at what had occurred that day I could have spiraled downwards quickly.
Every single show, commercial, piece of mail, etc I had seen that day involved the subject of pregnancy even when I went out of my way to avoid it. For example, I started a new season on Netflix of one of my favorite shows. The show is a comedy, mostly about dating. In the very first episode of the season OUT OF NOWHERE it was reveled that the main character was pregnant. Ha Ha Universe . . . very funny.
During the cesarean I distinctly remember turning to Alex and proclaiming that I could never go through another c-section again. I have a large pain tolerance and that surgery was almost unbearable for me. Two weeks later at our post-partum checkup with the doctor we talked about future pregnancy options. On the drive home I expressed to Alex that I would be totally fine having another c-section. How quickly women forget the pain of childbirth is astonishing and actually a little frightening.
Final realization of 2015:
I never knew I would miss my daughter so much. I met and said goodbye to Haley within a span of two hours, how can such a short amount of time cause me to feel so completely empty?
(Originally published Dec. 30th, 2015)