Today should have been C day number 3. It’s not, boy 3 and his placenta got poorly in January 2019 and he was born sleeping just before 20 weeks.
Am I ok? Well yes and no. To the casual enquirer or gossip or colleague: yes. To most of my friends who ask every couple of weeks (because they’re wonderful friends): yes. To my husband and my mum & dad: mostly yes but sometimes no.
That third little boy has left a hole in our hearts and lives. But that’s ok, we know it’s there because he’s not and we’re learning to live with the hole. I don’t think about the hole all the time, every day several times but it’s not overwhelming. All the boring practical stuff still needs doing: washing, school snacks, party invites, washing, shopping lists, loo roll refills, feed children, more washing. Those distractions do me good, they keep my mind busy.
I guess the thing that’s most allowing me to keep moving is the knowledge that life can go on, it has to and that by keeping going I’m not pretending that my heart doesn’t have that hole. It’s always going to be there, it’s part of me now. Each of us in our family has a hole left by baby.
It’s ok to be (mostly) ok. It’s alright for me and us to be coping. I don’t need to break down or bare my soul to everyone who asks “And how are you doing?”.
I’m a sharer, always have been. I often share too much, trust too much, believe in friendship where it’s not. But when it comes to baby and my holey heart, normalness is what helps the most.
We see so many messages these days about pregnancy and baby loss. And they are good and purposeful and supporting. Those of us going through loss like that need to feel ok to talk about it, share, acknowledge on our terms. But that doesn’t mean we need every conversation to turn to our loss, we don’t need to be reminded of it in the play ground, we can get through the day without a deep & meaningful.
I feel like I’m asking to have my cake and eat it. But I think at a time like this, that’s allowed. Be there for me and mums like me, but when we’re ready and comfortable and needing support. The rest of the time, be normal please. Normal helps.
Having written all that over the last week, I now feel guilty and ungrateful as my friends have bought us a beautiful cherry tree to remember our little boy.
Now I’m questioning whether I’m really coping as well as I think I am. Maybe the independence that I’m so fiercely proud of isn’t a good thing. Maybe I should be feeling more, confiding more, needing more. I don’t know. A good friend said to me today “if you don’t like who I am, look away”. Best advice ever.
PS this isn’t a blog about infant or pregnancy loss. But it’s not a coincidence either that I’ve started writing just before today’s milestone.