I have been having a difficult time the past few days.
Of the [quite a few] women I know who have recently had a baby, almost all of them have returned to work. Their Facebooks have been full of baby pictures and messages of regret in having to leave their child in order to return to work.
These messages upset me. I mean, at least they have a baby to leave. I don’t have my baby at all. But even that thought right there – the one that came unbidden – makes me feel horrible. Am I being harsh and unjust to these other mothers when they are just bragging about their beautiful new babies? And does this mean I am ungrateful for what I already have?
Am I cherishing my other children less because I cannot cherish their sibling enough? I find myself torn sometimes in moments of joy because I think about the one who will never participate in these moments with us. Will that always be the case? I know they say things will get better with time, but as I have no experience with the death of a close loved one, I just can’t help but feel that I am forever altered.
As my OCD has been exacerbated in these stressful and painful last few months, I find myself withdrawing from things I do want to do/participate in as an effort to avoid my triggers. CJ and I keep talking about things we would like to do once I reach what we refer to as my “baseline,” but I’m worried that may not be the same anymore. And I don’t know how to cope with that. I don’t want to become a recluse who stops living their life and not doing things they enjoy. I want to feel the desire to play, write, even just be helpful around the house.
Before, my bad days were few and far between. Now, as there have been so many gathered together, it’s hard to see that it won’t always be like this. It’s difficult sometimes to convince myself to continue pushing through. But I am a strong woman. I am intelligent and occasionally, kind of funny. I will try my best to keep smiling until the day where it’s not pretend anymore. Starting today.
Today, the last of the physical proof of what happened to me ended. CJ cannot fully understand why I’m devastated by this. I am upset because besides my broken heart, this was the last of any evidence that Riley was real. It makes me feel even more empty than I already did.
I have been given the contact information of a few women who have gone through this as well. I know that talking to them would definitely help me heal; or at least help me move in that direction. However, I just can’t do this yet. I mean, what do I even say? How do you start that conversation?
I am having a hard time eating and sleeping. Especially sleeping. I know I need some help. Also, I can’t stop myself from going to the cemetery every day. When does that compulsion end?
Today I painted my face to hide my blotchy cheeks and puffy eyes so I could go out into the world. But I am empty. Literally. I am empty.
As heartbreaking as Monday was, Wednesday was horrific. I have never in my life had any sort of surgical procedure. My heartache over the loss of our child was compounded by the anxiety I felt over being at the hospital and this caused an earth-shattering guilt because I felt I shouldn’t be worried about myself at all. Then, as I was finally released from the hospital, I had to reconcile myself to the fact that instead of bringing my child home warm and bundled in a carseat, I was bringing my child home in a small container.
Today, I wrap my head around the fact I had to pick out a little box. Why does no one ever talk about the tiny coffins? It is the smallest and saddest thing I have ever seen. And then to listen to CJ on the phone with one of the men from the cemetery, giving the dimensions of the little box? …
There are not adequate words to describe this situation. I am struggling to find a way to survive a funeral for my own child. I have never been to one before. And this has to be my first.
Many people have already made comments about trying again, but how can I even think about that when I have to put a child in the ground? Even then, I’m not sure if I will ever be ready. This has devastated me. These few days since Monday I have been having a hard time controlling my tears and even my actions around the other kids. How could I ever risk this happening again?
I am still a mother of four. This baby will always count. We will always remember.