I need to vent for a moment
There are too many women going through loss, too many miscarriages, too many stillbirths, too many infant deaths. And the really troublesome part is no one fucking talks about it. When I lost my daughter I sat up in my bathroom and cried, I hid, I felt guilt, I was angry and I looked endlessly for answers. What did I find for support? Nada. The only blogs that showed up were from either 2013 or 2015 and were way outdated and never updated, now I am beyond happy they were able to move forward but not everyone handles loss the same. I had religion thrown at me, all of these suggestions given to me, all by people that had never experienced the kind of loss I was dealing with. My daughter was a full term baby, that up until I checked into the hospital in labor had been perfectly healthy. There was no real reason or cause for our loss, we weren’t given any real answers or explanation or a cause as to why we lost her and what could have caused it. And I’ve been searching for tips, or advice and frankly I’m not religious. I was raised with a small amount of faith, but that all left when I lost my daughter. Maybe someday I’ll get my faith back, but it’s incredibly hard to believe in a higher power or guardian angels when I prayed and begged to everything to hear my daughters heartbeat. So I knew religion wasn’t going to be the road to recovery or peace for me. Group therapy was the other suggestion by the hospital and by my Dr, and once again big, fat nope. Not my idea of healing, I handled my daughters delivery a lot differently than is normally suggested and I opted to not hold her or see her, Yes this might seem cold or horrific to you, but I had a friend go through a similar loss and she held her early term baby and I feel like it really traumatized her, I saw her and her son and the hospital didn’t really give her a choice. So my Husband and my Mom had the option to see our daughter, but I couldn’t face it, call me weak or whatever, but I couldn’t have handled it if she had some sort of trauma or deformity or something wrong, the Doctors still didn’t know what caused my daughters death at this point so I was still in a complete and total state of shock. The last thing I wanted to do was sit around in a circle with a bunch of crying strangers, and listen to them cry about holding their dead babies or having their Childs ashes put into a teddy bear they carry around with them. Yes that’s a real thing, and if you’re reading this and thats worked for you, I’m so happy it offers you comfort and peace, but it wasn’t for me. It seemed a bit morbid for me and I think it would have traumatized me even further.
I mean lets be brutally honest for a quick second here, the fact of the matter is its sad, stillbirth, miscarriages, pregnancy loss of any kind, or child deaths are all sad. And what it really boils down to is its fucking sad, its tragic, its the worst loss imaginable. It really is horrific and no one wants to talk about dead babies, and that’s what the real issue is. No one talks about it, women feel a sense of shame over the loss so they hide the loss. When in reality people need to face it, and we need to find some fucking cures. I don’t ever want anyone to feel the kind of loss that I felt but it happens to women too often, daily. And don’t quote me, but I’m sure hourly across the world. I’ve read things on different websites and message boards, women wondering how to handle their grief, how long is an appropriate time to wait before trying to conceive again, what kind of medications help, ways to memorialize their lost child. Whatever works for them, or you I couldn’t be happier for you that you’ve found something that works, and offers you comfort, but I’m not the same as everyone else, I can’t even fathom having a doll or a bear made to the same weight as my past child, or having my Childs ashes put inside a doll to sleep with or carry around with me. That to me is not healing, its morbid. To each their own, and if it helps you, I’m so happy for you. I think so far this whole blogging experience has been pretty therapeutic, I just want people to know they are not alone. There is no reason to be ashamed of your loss, I had people reach out to me and it offered me comfort knowing I wasn’t alone. Like I’ve previously mentioned, there is such a stigma attached to this kind of loss, and no one talks about it, the only people that mention it in my life anymore are my husband and our immediate family and a few close friends. But I felt myself angry towards everyone else for moving forward, I had the feeling like my world had stopped turning, why hadn’t anyone else felt this? It’s as if people just expected me to be over it by now. People tend to compartmentalize grief, they are comforting and so sad with you in the beginning stages, and its understandable, not everyone can wake up every morning and struggle to get out of bed. But I think it’s because our loss isn’t spoken about anymore, they were sad for us, but now they can wake up and move on. We don’t have that luxury. Every morning I wake up I have about a minute where I feel like it was all a nightmare, then I look across the hallway and I see everything in the nursery all boxed up. Instead I get to think about my daughter almost 24/7. When I walk into a room, I get to be “The girl whose baby died” and people scatter or get flustered when they try and talk to me, because no one knows what to say. And I don’t blame you, its uncomfortable, its sad but dont not acknowledge it. Yes I get you are being conscious not to upset me or make me sad, but guess what I am always sad. You don’t have to ask questions or be morbid about it, but simply asking how I’m doing is enough.
People don’t realize the triggers that can absolutely tear our worlds apart. When I first lost my daughter I tried to put on a brave face and carry on normal activitites like cooking and cleaning, this was within the first few hours I got home from the hospital and the weeks to follow. I think I was so numb to it all I wasn’t trying to face it, and I was honestly afraid that if I just sat upstairs in my bed all day and rested like the doctor suggested I would just cry and think about my daughter. Not only is it incredibly hard to try and not sob throuhout the day, but your body is a constant reminder of your loss and the trauma you just endured. I’m gonna be slightly graphic here, but after childbirth you bleed. And boy do you bleed a LOT, for days, for weeks for an entire month. It is the most uncomfortable feeling and its a reminder of what happened. Not only do you get the bleeding, but my milk came in. That was absolute torture. I sobbed when this happened and had a total meltdown. Not only is it extremely painful, but its a harsh reminder from your body that you just had a baby, but you don’t have a baby to nurse. I tried EVERYTHING to get this to stop, I was completely and totally miserable. Having to go into the nursery that was full of everything ready for the baby, but had no baby and grab the pads to put into my bra to absorb the milk was probably one of the worst parts. I literally fell to the floor in there and sobbed. We tried binding my breasts with an ace bandage, my mom showed my husband how to wrap me carefully but tight enough, we googled old wives tales and my brother in law even went out and bought a head of cabbage for us to freeze the leaves and put on my chest with no relief, it just stunk. I tried the sudafed, nada. Finally I looked inside the box the hospital sent us home with, the box contained brochures, a stuffed animal and a USB drive with pictures of my daughter, but underneath it all I found two packets of tea. This tea saved my sanity. It was called No more milk tea by a company called Earth Mama Angel Baby. I drank this stuff three times a day for three days and my milk was finally gone! My doctor had no idea about this stuff so I brought her a box at my next visit to share with someone else going through a similar pain. I think the worst part about it all mentally was having my milk come in and not having my daughter to nurse, it was a nasty reminder that I had gone home empty handed. Another painful trigger for me was grocery shopping or going out in public in general. I was doing great walking through the grocery store with my mom until we were checking out and I glanced over and saw a newborn baby girl in a cart next to me. That fucking killed me. Or hearing a baby cry, that was the music to my ears I never got to hear when I delivered, so I definitley cried in my car in the parking lot to my mom about that one. Triggers come and they have thankfully started to subside, but don’t feel crazy, or ashamed about it. It’s natural and it will get better, take it from someone who had her groceries delievered for months to avoid this. Once I dealt with it and faced it, the effect had diminished. Yeah it still hurt, but I don’t leave my cart and go cry in my car anymore, I distract myself and walk away. It gets easier, and theres no timeline on when I’ll be okay, my heart was broken and I hope eventually it’ll heal and I can feel like myself, but until then I’m just trying to be kind to myself.
In conclusion for this post, be kind to those around you that have gone through loss, dont dismiss what someone has gone through or not mention it. That sometimes can hurt the most. Now I’m not saying ask them everytime about their child specifically or ask them in depth questions about it, but just ask how they are with everything. Even hearing my daughters name for the first few months killed me, but now it’s getting easier. Sometimes just having someone to talk to and vent to can help and heal. I did have a child, I did prepare for almost a year to have the best job ever and I was robbed of that.