Life After Loss


updated 10/17/2019

When we chose the name Samuel, we chose it based on a bible verse.
1 Samuel 1:27-28
"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him."
We never read onto the second part of the verse, until after he passed.
 "So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”
Little did we know, we were going to be giving him to the Lord, forever.
We couldn't have picked a better name.

I should be 37 weeks pregnant.
37 weeks is when I went into labor with our daughter.
I should be round, rolling out of bed, and on baby watch.
Instead, I’m 6 weeks postpartum, with no baby in my arms.
There is no doubt in my mind these last weeks have been the hardest of my life.
Recovering from a c-section, and grieving the loss of our baby boy is not how I planned on spending my maternity leave.
The first week was spent crying, and not fully comprehending all that had just happened.
I would fall asleep wrapping his blanket around me and snuggling the bear the hospital gave to us.
I was writing “Thank yous” to those who had sent their sympathy and thoughts in the previous weeks. We were meeting with the funeral director and making plans.I was trying to find something to wear to my son’s funeral. My milk came in and I had no baby to feed. I had a c-section, but no baby to show off. I had bags of clothes and no baby to dress. These things only made grieving harder.
I was doing all these things a new mom shouldn’t have to be doing.



We buried our sweet boy the following Saturday.
It was the first day the sun had shined since giving birth.It rained every single day starting from the day we had him until that Saturday.
Our family and close friends gathered with us that day.

We therefore commit his body to the ground; Earth to Earth,Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust.

These were the words that broke me as I stood over Samuel’s ashes on his funeral day.
It really hit me that this was the last time I would physically be in his presence. It shook my body and my soul. I couldn’t help but think how I wanted to crawl into the hole they were about to dig- it seemed better than dealing with the harsh reality of my new life as a bereaved mother. I begged God to wrap his arms around me to give me the strength I needed to not hit my knees in front of everyone.

The funeral was not the end of our struggles, but the beginning. 

Lee returned to work the next week, he started his new normal. 
I was left alone with my own thoughts. I folded all of Samuel’s new clothes and new blankets, and put them in a box- I haven’t yet put the box away because I can’t bring myself to do so.
I visited Samuel’s grave every single day that I was alone. I laid in my bed and watched his slideshow on repeat, often dozing off to it. I was making sure he was a part of my day in anyway possible.
I didn’t want to forget him or how that day felt.
I lived in a world of "What ifs ". How could I have changed the outcome? What more could we have done. I still toss and turn at night wondering if something I did may have made everything worse. If I hadn't been so stressed, would he have made it to term? If I didn't forget to take my prenatals some days, would it had made him stronger? These thoughts are torture.
I couldn’t save him.
My heart has been cracked and torn, and my body aches from this loss. I feel  beaten down,and exhausted by having to live without the child I grew and birthed.
People say that I am brave and strong but I'm not. No one really has a choice to survive grief, do they? It's not optional.
I have put up some kind of mental block, yet I struggle every day with things.
I’ve avoided many public events. I’ve had to talk myself into getting out of my car to go into the grocery store. I’ve had an anxiety attack in the hospital parking lot after having to walk down halls that we’re filled with bad memories.  I’ve cried alone in the target baby section. I've cried in my car, while looking up at the sky and yelling at God.
Every single day is a new battle.
Everyone is moving forward with their lives, and I wonder how birds continue to sing and how people carrying on loving life. In these last weeks, I have seen more babies (that all seem to be boys), more baby bumps than I saw before. Its true; your eyes are always drawn to the things you desperately want.

Lee’s grief is quieter. Quicker. But  it’s there.
There have been many days when I snap without a reason. I blame him for things that are simply because of my own bruised heart. We try to navigate around our own pain without hurting one another. But our grief doesn’t always make sense to one another and sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that he is grieving too.
 My grief is  loud and messy. My nightstand is full of books  on grief, my social media is filled with fellow mourning mothers. This is what I need right now: validation that my baby’s life had meaning.
Our relationship has been marked by many things over the years, but this season, this season is hard. This season has the potential to either break us or bring us closer.

I have started a “new normal”. I have been back at work, even though I’d rather not get out of bed each morning. I was supposed to “ease” my way back in, but I’m all in. I get lost in my work and it’s a great distraction until my day is over.
The days have been getting harder. Each wednesday is a reminder that I was supposed to be another week pregnant. Should be another week closer to my due date.Each Thursday is another reminder that I've gone yet another week without our son here. There are many days I feel an overwhelming sadness, and feel like I need a good cry. But I run out of tears and I just sit there, numb. Broken is the only word I can find to describe this empty feeling.
Yesterday I went in for my 6 week PP checkup. The immense sadness that came over my body was consuming. That's when my doctor diagnosed me with PTSD and severe anxiety. This was a feeling I knew all too well, yet so different. One minute you think you're just grieving, the next you're given a diagnosis. A reminder that I'm not the person I used to be.
We didn't just lose our baby boy.. We lost out on his first holiday's , first days of school, his wedding. We lost his entire future. Lost it all.
Every day I wonder when I will move past these things,these thoughts. I wonder when does it get easier. 
If we’re being real, raw, and honest, our baby girl Porter is saving me. What a hero she is, and she doesn’t even know it. I can't wait to tell her someday.We now know why God blessed us with a sweet, happy, perfect first child. He knew we would need her to get through this. It would be easier to be numb, and not feel a thing at all. But I believe if we don't know how to mourn or grieve, we will never know what it's like to live,love or truly feel.
When you have a positive pregnancy test, you remain a mother forever. My DNA has literally changed forever because of Samuel.
I know one day things will get easier. I will start moving forward without realizing it. Eventually, I will have another baby, to complete our family. But our family will never feel whole without Samuel here on Earthside. There is a permanent hole in my heart. And the aching is real, and I ask God daily when he is going to put the pieces back together.
"I used to think grief was a set period of time following the loss of someone you cared for. I now know it's no such thing. Grief is a lifelong journey. Overtime we become new people. We feel differently and we act differently. Once we accept that we can never go to being how we were, life stops being so scary. We stop fighting to hold onto the old, and we can truly embrace the new."

Comments

  1. My love and prayers are with all of you. Please always write in your blog. One day I feel you will go world wide with this to help other Parents and siblings . Love You All. I also feel all this here will be in a book someday. Other Mothers who have this loss can read your words and realize and think to themselves. I will get through this. The Author did. So will I. xoxo

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Meeting our Trisomy 18 Baby: Part 1

Meeting our Trisomy 18 baby: Part 2

"Not Compatible with life "Part 2