I’ve just read a great sentence in the still standing magazine which has resonated with me in wanting to write this post today; ” If you ask a personal question, expect a personal answer. I’m not angry, i’m not being difficult, just not sugar coating my reality for your potential discomfort”.
Now that i’ve written that sentence, it might scare a few people away from asking after my life. I hope not. If it does, that’s ok though. Tough times are not everyone’s cup of tea. That’s definitely something i’ve learned in the last 4 months since my baby died. Some people have stayed and endured every ounce of the battle and some people have left it to time to do the healing. I wonder whether perhaps those people are scared of how raw our emotions can really become? perhaps they’re scared of potentially saying the wrong thing and making our emotions into a bigger storm that they already are? perhaps they too are fighting a battle that we know nothing about.
I imagine that the first year after baby loss is full of dates in which your anxiety builds up around. These dates I imagine to be a bit like running hurdles (remember the 100m hurdle sprint in high school?!). You start out by running steadily, building up speed and then when you near the hurdle, you bend your upper body slightly, working on the technique of lifting your legs at the right time to jump over the hurdle, sometimes clearing the jump smoothly yet other times your knee or heel knocks the edge of the jump, sending it cluttering forwards. Similarly, specific dates in time after baby loss offer the same affect. You move steadily through each day, up to the date of significance when I guess you either awkwardly trip through the day, or as time pass, you smoothly jump over the hurdle.
Today is Paxton’s due date, the date that understandably holds an incredible amount of significance for me as his Mother. I imagine how big my stomach would have become. I imagine how swollen my ankles would be. I imagine running (seriously.. who am I kidding?… no, waddling) after a nearly 2 year old. I imagine the worry or anxiety I would be holding, knowing the pain of labour that would be creeping closer.
So, instead of that, i’m sitting here writing, deleting and re writing my thoughts on what could have been, to help unravel the chaos and clutter in my head, to hopefully help the pain become a little softer and hopefully help the world understand that things don’t always go to plan and that baby loss is a tough road to travel… but a road that so many women go down. There is nothing but honesty here, so I can say that it’s an awkward trip rather than a smooth jump over this hurdle.
Mums seems to understand the significance of these dates and the merry-go-round of emotions that are all natural in this journey . Fathers on the other hand grieve completely differently. Which, i’m learning, is not a direct attack on you, yet just a natural process for them. My husband doesn’t see the significance of ‘doing anything’ for Paxton’s due date, but is openly forthcoming to my need to acknowledge this date. So, kudos to him.
Image Credit: Julia Akateva – Happy Moments Arts – Etsy