I wrote this post a while ago, based on my experience loosing our daughter Ellie. Not sure why I never published it...I certainly never dreamed that I would actually need my own advice and be experiencing loss again, but as I was reading through it just now, It really resonated and seemed worth sharing.. My most recent experience has also taught me that loss can look very different, and it all hurts.
If you asked me 6 years ago what my future and parenting journey would look like, I guarantee infant loss would not have been in the realm of possibilities….Life is funny though and bad things happen to good people all the time. I never intended to write about this, but my experience with Ellie and this journey has become such a huge part of who I am and how I parent, it seems only natural…
I was lucky enough to have a friend who had sadly already navigated the waters of infant loss. She was a huge resource and offered support that was invaluable and just what I needed. It’s a bond I never wanted to share with her or anyone else, but it is truly a bond that runs deep. I’m hoping by sharing my own experience and journey on here that maybe I can be that person for someone else or at least give others the inspiration to find that person and connect with others. It’s a group no one should have to be in, but if you’re experiencing this it’s a group that will prove invaluable…
I felt lost, alone (even though I wasn't), I felt mad, angry, sad, and I felt like I was living a bad dream. But somehow you pick up the pieces and move forward, these moments and experiences will never leave you, but you will move forward. The saying is "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and it's totally true, but beyond that, I believe that these difficult and heartbreaking times actually make us better versions of ourselves...
Here's some things that were helpful for me:
Yes, everyone's experience is different and you might not feel any of what I'm describing, but if you do, don't feel ashamed (it's easy to, but its the last thing you
need). Take it a day at a time and go easy on yourself. There will be little things that will trigger a reaction you didn't expect. There will be situations that are too much and too overwhelming....just be good to yourself.
Here's what was really hard for me:
When you are emotionally and physically ready to try for another baby, be prepared that it will be the longest 9 months of your life... pregnancy on its own can be challenging, but pregnancy after loss is excruciating.. (IMO)... I spent a lot of time at my doctor's office, and her nurse and I were best buds. The best thing you can do is relax, but that's also the hardest thing to do. If your doctor says its ok, do prenatal yoga and breathing, anything to keep you calm. When our Jack finally arrived, I was overjoyed, over the moon exited, and filled with love welcoming our little miracle… but I was still often overcome with emotion thinking about what I missed out on with our little Ellie. Whatever you do, go easy on yourself, be kind to yourself, and do what's best for you and your little family.
If you are reading this and have experienced this, I'm truly sorry you've had to forge this path. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you want to chat.
Thanks as always for stopping by!
I'm Rebecca, a Maine mom of three energetic young boys and wife of a lobsterman, living in my favorite place, the coast of Maine. You'll find me here talking about my parenting journey, mom style, recipes, running and exercise, travel, stories from our life in Maine and so much more! Most days I'm just figuring it out as I go - Thanks so much for stopping by!