Guilt Cycle

Where do I start. I know many of my posts may seem self centred or samey but this is my blog and my dairy and it’s hard to remember what has been said before.

I wanted to talk about the guilt that only angel mums with kids know. Not just the guilt of grieving but the guilt of moving forward and wanting new things.

You have the guilt of losing your child.

The guilt you caused it somehow and the guilt you’ve caused pain for others through the loss.

You have the guilt of grieving for the child when so many are telling you what you have left, at least this and that.

You have the guilt of wanting another guilt, The sorrow that the new child won’t ease the pain as they will be new and not like one you had before.

You have the guilt of that new child not becoming a reality once again you can only dream and hope. You have a new sorrow a new grief and a new guilt.

Guilt that it’s not happening and must be your fault, the guilt that you’re upset it’s not happening when you have kids already and others aren’t so lucky. The guilt that your children are wondering why mummy can’t keep babies alive in her tummy anymore. The guilt that they will grow up with fear about having a family.

The guilt of not having the ability to just keep going with a smile on your face. The guilt you don’t have the ability to just forget about a future with more babies.

You have the sorrow of nature deciding who your last live baby was, the reality you didn;’t expect and didn’t prepare for thinking you’d at least have one more go. The guilt you didn’t enjoy it more at the time because if you have know it was your last chance you wouldn’t have worried so much you wouldn’t have cried so much you would have just enjoy the sleep deprivation and constant scent of a newborn mummy.

But you didn’t you weren’t to know and now it’s too late. Time is passing you back at a scary speed and it only adds to your pain. This past year has felt like a lifetime. I even question was I ever pregnant did I ever feel happy and ok with life. Of course I was and did and until something happens within me I fear i’ll always feel a little lost and sad.

Stop comparing yourself to others who have it better because for every few people with seemingly amazing luck 1 more has it worse and probably thinks you’re lucky.

tracy

Facing Grief

You get used to hearing grief never goes away, it never gets better only easier to live with.

You will never get over it but you can heal enough to live your life.

You will smile and laugh and even feel happy again but not the same as before it’s not as easy.

Well in part it is true but there is a stage of facing your grief it no longer being so raw. There’s a time you will feel you aren’t grieving as such but you are suffering.

So how do you know if you’re at this stage if grief is always here to stay.

When you stop expecting a baby to come home. You face the fact you’re baby died and your immediate future doesn’t include that. Elva was born 10 weeks early and for at least 3 months I still felt I could bring a baby home. For about 5-6 month I felt I could fix this and she would magically appear.

Accepting your baby’s death. This is hard and perplexing. How on earth can I ever accept my baby died. To accept it is to say I agree with it! No it’s not. You never have to agree it was a good thing, you never have to accept it anything other than a devastating unfair event but you can accept it happened because it did. By accepting it happened regardless of your feelings surround the why’s you are able to move on from the overwhelming need to scream why constantly. Accepting is saying my baby died I accept that even though I don’t like it and this is my new norm.

Another area of accepting is thinking of the future. You have 4 possibles: you have children but your angel baby was the last one, you have children already and have more after your loss , you have no children and no more after your loss or you have no children and go on to have more after your loss. Either way there is acceptance to be done. You have to accept you will have no more children despite wanting to and that the last chance you had died, maybe you even have to face you will never be a mother how you most desire to be. You alternatively have to accept if you do go on to have more children they won’t be your angel this is a hidden acceptance something rarely talked about.

When I think of Elva and my overwhelming desire to have another baby a part of me feels so sad because I know no matter how many children I have they will never be Elva and some days it takes my breath away.

Early on I struggled with sleeping all night and lying on my stomach and took me about 6 months to face that. Once I was no longer sad a baby wasn’t waking me I slept better and enjoyed a good nights sleep. Once I was able to lie on my stomach without huge waves of sadness I could get comfy of a night. It’s amazing how good sleep habits helps.

By dealing with your grief you can be happier. You can smile thinking of your baby instead of blocking it out because it hurts so much. It’s not some magical cure but it helps to face it in some ways. Makes small things easier, life bearable and you to function more than you don’t.

tracy

I thought it would get better

But it doesn’t.

We’ve ‘successfully’ passed the first year. Her due date, first Halloween, first Christmas her first birthday. The problem with having a preemie stillborn who wasn’t due till this year is we should have only just been celebrating her first Halloween, first Christmas even maybe her first birthday before or just after or same time. Instead she had her first Halloween and Christmas last year. She’s already 1 and we already survived a Christmas without her.

Everything is her second now and I can’t help wonder how she’d have been taking it in. I regret not setting up a fake Christmas that night she came but thinks to at a time like that really .

So no the anniversaries don’t get easier the second year because for us and other preemies mums this should have been the first. It should have been so many things. Yet its none of those it’s a new thing instead.

7 weeks ago I lost my rainbow to an ectopic I can’t help thinking how lovely it would have been for that pregnancy to succeed Elva is a big sister now but not how we wanted and Leif is a big brother with no smaller siblings to prove it.

My heart is broken it doesn’t continue to break anymore but it can never be repaired only patched up. There’s no medical help, no plaster no medicine. Like the scars on my belly that Leif tells me means I’m not better yet there’s a scar on my heart that can never heal.

I have a csection scar from him but none from Jem my first and only carefree pregnancy with no problems. No scars needed. I carry the evidence daily that I’ve struggled and not had it easy but yet no one can see them…

tracy

Now I know

I knew people had ‘gone off’ me. At the time I thought it was because of death sometimes you just don’t know what to say, sometimes you just don’t want to deal with selfishly and it hurt. Sometimes I thought maybe it’s because they know I can be negative and thought I would be more so now. I actually feel I’m a less negative person since Elva.

But now I know it’s because stillbirth makes people sad and they want to avoid anything to do with it. Awareness is great but it’s not for me. I find your situation depressing. You bring it up all the time and it’s uncomfortable. I’m reminded by it every time I see you so I need to be away from you.

This are specific things said to me but they are things suggested to me and said in a less direct manner.

Unfortunately death happens to everyone. At some point in your life you will die. You may be young you may be old. You may die of a horrible illness, accident or be taken peacefully but I can guarantee you will die. It stands to reason if we all die and we don’t know when babies die too they are alive from day 1 and therefore have the capacity to die at any moment.

Yes it’s sad but it’s also life why do you think avoiding a baby death makes things better? Because someone else will in your life someone you can’t avoid. Even if you’ve not been touched by stillbirth you will at some point in your life. Either your child will have a loss or their friend. Your neighbours son or the shop owner will and you will be told. It will be someone you know, someone you saw you may have even seen the bump, seen the scan, felt the baby move or heard the baby’s heartbeat.

Avoiding it doesn’t make it any less real.

Why raise awareness? Honestly some days I don’t know. People don’t want to know it scares them, saddens them and they avoid it.

It is important however. When I was pregnant with Elva I googled stillbirth symptoms and factors. I scared myself shut the laptop off and blocked any loss story out. I avoided any posts about it and carried on. Elva died and was stillborn. So where did avoidance get me? No where.

Education doesn’t always save a life but it helps!!! It took her death for a midwife to finally tell me in a way I understood what lack of movement is. If I had known this I would have got checked the day before.

After Elva I found out the bleeding I was having could be a symptom especially if no cause was found. I was told if I had gone to hospital I would have been scanned. I wasn’t to know I got checked but was never sent to hospital and although I nearly rang I decided to trust my midwife. It wasn’t her fault but I wish I’d listened to my instinct.

I know now that a heartbeat doesn’t mean baby is ok it means baby is alive and there’s a chance. Once they stop moving it’s too late.

Just being aware stillbirth is a possibility and having paranoia over it and getting checked could save your baby.

Research! I know it’s said not to google but from google I found out that what they were trying to tell me was lies so we set about looking into it. If you’ve read my story you will know we got the information too late but I was right and google helped me prove what I was told by a consultant was wrong!!

If I had access to my notes during my pregnancy I would have been able to compare notes and measurements and got her help sooner so it’s not always what a woman can do for herself sometimes she’s limited to what others will give her but it’s still good to be aware.

up to 75% of stillbirths could be avoided from better scans and infection screening. This is out of a woman power… but we all have instinct and for me that is yet to be wrong. I’m told to ignore it and not be paranoid I will never listen to that again. If you feel unwell or you just have a feeling then nag nag nag till YOU and you alone are satisfied even if you’re told to stop (which they can’t do) don’t listen to them until you are happy things are ok because you are the only one who knows how you feel and no scan or blood test or doctor can tell you how you are feeling.

So now I know why people I have known for years disappeared. Now I know why awareness is so hard and doesn’t really work. No one wants to know babies die first hand because like stillbirth is so contagious…….

Oh and whilst you’re imagining how sad it is and how glad you are to avoid that sadness try spare a thought for the families who this is a reality for. It’s a hard life to continue without your child

tracy