Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pregnancy after stillbirth: 24 weeks 2 days

If I was doing sub sub titles for these posts I'd call this one something like 'When do the excuses wear thin' or 'When do you have to just start sucking it up'.

I'm not great to my family (parents and sister).  I can be a right snotty toerag.  Always have been.  My family have a complex history and I'm unable to let things go, as much as I try.  This last year hasn't improved my mood.  Consequently I hold them to a higher account than I do anyone else, and am more likely to be stroppy with them than anyone else.

Part of this is because I think that I should be able to be honest with my family as I spend so much time modifying what I say and do to others, and so much time explaining stuff to others.  I think my family should just get it whereas I wouldn't expect anyone else (who hasn't lost a child) to get it.  Part of it is probably also because I know I won't drive my family off by being a snotty toerag.  Which is pretty shit for them, but does, I suppose, demonstrate that I have a high level of trust in them.  Of course they won't know this, which is where my reasoning and excuses fail, spectacularly.

Because I hold them to this (unknowable in their minds) high standard over the past year they have hurt me deeply on a few times, but on the other hand, they have also been absolutely great.  I don't doubt that some of the pain comes from where I was on that particular day, so isn't necessarily about them, but is about me.

But back to the potential sub sub heading of this post.
 'When do the excuses wear thin' or 'When do you have to just start sucking it up'.

Some people may be horrified to read these, thinking 'your baby isn't an excuse!' or You never have to suck it up and accept his death!' and they'd be right.  But at some point you stop puddling into emotion at every little thing (prolly not the big things though) and you need to start seeing other people, and other babies and just dealing with them and difficult situations.

I remember reading a post on Knocked up, knocked down last year which resonated, even in those horrific early months.  The writer lost her son at nearly full term and she had a couple of best friends who were pregnant at the same time and gestation as her.  She'd avoided the kids' birthdays for 2 or 3 years, and then her friend sat her down and said something along the lines of "Come on, I know you're hurting, I know you miss your son, I know everything feels like shit, but you can't avoid these kids forever, I want you to be a part of their life (and mine) and you need to suck it up and come to the birthday party".  And the writer did, and although she was sad she did enjoy the day.

Now I'm not saying this approach works at all times and for all people.  If the wrong person said it to me I'd give them such a cutting stare and a verbal lashing.  But I think the point about not hiding yourself away and doing normal life things is valid.  How long can I avoid seeing family just because it hurts to be reminded of who I've lost.  How long can I get away with being a ratty snotbag.  Is there a time when it's not just grief and it's actually just me being vile.

I'm not saying I'm there yet, that I can just suck it up and put on a good face, and put up with other people's good intentions.  But I think there's a danger of being consumed by the fear and the pain and not seeing a way out off this pit of horribleness.  I don't want that to happen.  I think that I can love C and miss him (more than I can bear if I stopped to focus) and I can still get some enjoyment out of things and still love this new baby.

Being pregnant again complicates all this a thousandfold.  It could be that I'm feeling positive today because I've hit 24 weeks and feel pretty invincible right now (push away all the thoughts of things that can go wrong).  I kind of want to write about the complication of feeling around C and this new baby, but I can't, or won't, because it won't be right and it's too personal and a whole mess of other things you won't get unless you are in my situation.


Sea-of-Green said...

Few things are more terrifying to people than honesty in the face of tragedy. Honesty is scary, painful, and can be weirdly healing in many ways. It's so very, very true that often the best way to be completely honest about anything is to just write about it -- which is exactly what you're doing. Keep on writing! :-)

Anonymous said...

We had this discussion with our counsellor today. In our neighbourhood, our gardens are not fenced in. My husband and I are struggling to see the babies around us, while trying to understand why our son is not there with us. It is jealousy. It hurts. I agree that we can't live like this forever, but I do not know how to change it, either. We feel what we feel (even if we do not like it). I definitely do not think it should be up to someone else to tell us how we should be acting, though.

Saranga said...

Sea: Thank you for the comment. Writing this shit out is helping keep my head clear, I think.

Theheartseesclearly: Oh there is so much jealousy. There was a birth announcement at work yesterday and I had to really focus to not fall apart and to rein in the green eyed monster. I'm still trying to ignore it tbh. Then a friend brought her 6 month old into work today - he's lovely, but there's so much emotion behind meeting a baby for the first time.
I don't know how to change my feelings, and today, 4 days after I wrote this post, I don't want to. Fuck changing my feelings, I can act however I damn well want.