The days that follow a neonatal death

Today I am dealing with my milk coming in, a uterus contracting and the bloodbath trail that birth leaves us. This picture is basically describes my entire being today.

After saying goodbye to my son, Paxton, 2 days after he was born, I came home buried heavily underneath a cloud of tears, pain and directing blame at myself and the way I carried myself when I was pregnant.

It was hard not to stop crying the day after we said goodbye to Pax. After spending 2 hours sitting on the deck sobbing and waiting for my husband to get out of bed, we called the saviour of the week (2nd to my midwife actually) – Funeral Director, Ana-Marie Richardson. If you are in the same boat as me, living in the Waikato and you want support with guidance following a death – contact this lady. She helped us keep our heads above water while we navigated the never ending cycling of; feeling ok, resting, waking up to cry some more, eating, arguing… repeat.

While I felt I was the only one who had any real connection with my son, I had to share the grief process with my husband. I had bloody pads between my legs, milk leaking from tender breasts (I didn’t take the pill early enough after birth to stop milk production) and some pain still as my insides found their way back home. Normally, all these things would be manageable because you would be holding in your arms, fresh out of the womb, warm newborn goodness that YOU grew. YOU. I have learned that grief is hard hard enough to go through in itself, but to have to share and compromise the process to suit someone else who is sharing your grief ,provides an element that adds so much more weight to the situation.

Compromise. That’s how we got through the week after Paxton’s death. Compromise… oh and a lot of crying. A LOT. We compromised when to have people around to our house, we compromised on who to have at the cremation, we compromised on the casket, we compromised on what to put in the casket.

I suppose everything happens for a reason and ultimately, the universe will conspire in helping you achieve everything you are thinking in your subconscious. I always thought how awful it would be to have to grow a baby inside you for so many months, to go through labour and birth and to come out with nothing. That’s now my reality. It’s not a 1 in 4 statistic. I AM the statistic. I’m the 1 in 4. I also always said that I had never had anyone close to me die so I hadn’t really had any hard lessons to learn. Well, now I have the biggest lesson to learn and I’m not even half way through my life on Earth.

You’re not supposed to bury your children.

My heart goes out to all the parents who have had to bury one of their own. It’s awful. It sux. There’s so much pain. So much sadness. I’m here for you though. You’re not alone.

There’s light somewhere, I know. I just need to find it.

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