Another step in our journey
Find a Conversation
|Fri, 08-03-2012 - 1:53pm|
April 1st 2011 our world came crashing down. Our son John Joseph Jr was stillborn. We labored in L&D next to the nursery window for hours knowing our son was gone. Our OB was out of town and we had a standin that was amazingly cruel. Thank God for nurses--they helped us through the worst day of our lives. A funeral in which the minister never showed up and a funeral dinner that no one knew what to say to us.
Darkness set in and swallowed me whole. I wanted to be with my son. that's all I could focus on. I hated everyone including God, pregnant women and most of all my own body for letting me down. I was angry like I've never been before. How could MY baby be so close to being born and then taken from me? How did I deserve this kind of pain?
I jumped into loss support and found it was a way to keep my son alive for me. I struggled with anger and self doubt. I had to come to an understanding within myself that my son wasn't alone. He was with friends and family that passed before him and that our time wasn't **gone* it was just delayed. I was a Mother of earth bound children and a mother of heaven bound children. I'd see my son again and we'd have our time one day. I had to learn to believe in that. Faith. I had to learn the true definition of what faith really means during that time in my life.
I took a contract for my job that took me to Alaska for several months. My husband came to see me during our wedding anniversary.. and under the most amazing Aurora--in the most beautiful place I've ever been in my life... we started another life. I was pregnant again.
I refused to really deal with the face I was pregnant.. I was too afraid of loss. I took my vitamins but ignored my pregnancy almost completely until around 20 weeks. Finally I was ready to accept that I had to live on that faith and jump in with both feet. I went to every appointment, every ultrasound, every NST--sometimes I had panic attacks and difficulty doing all the testing, but I promised my husband I would do everything I could to bring this baby into the world safely.
There is no way to unring a bell, it's been said. There is no way to go back to the naive days of pregnancy before a loss. If you want to TTC again, it will take everything you have to focus on moving toward that goal of giving birth to a live baby. If you're like me you will have panic attacks, horrible nightmares, and extremely bad days. But you can get through them. You have support in the groups that are on iVillage that will help you. You are no alone in what you are facing. I wasn't and I needed all the support I could get from the ladies who have walked in my shoes previously.
My advice to anyone trying again would be set small goals. Look to short term milestones. Celebrate those. don't look at pregnancy as a whole. It will get overwhelming for most of us. Set goals of birthdays or holidays, a certain week or the next OB appointment. Get as much support as you can, and accept that you are not going to have a pregnancy like everyone else--but you can do this.
The final weeks of my pregnancy were the worst. I struggled to stay focused. I was terrified of losing this baby after coming so far already. I needed the support here more than ever. THankfully they were here every step of the way for me.
July 13th 9:19AM John Joseph III was born and safely placed in his Daddy's arms. We had a rocky road and there are still bumps in our path--but we have a beautiful little boy named after his Dad, grandfathers and his angel brother who was looking out after him.
It can be done. There is no pain in life like losing a child. But there can be more to your journey. I hold the proof of that in my arms as I share this with you. He doesn't *replace* his brother.. he adds to my family.. and helps with the pain of losing his brother.
As you read this, I don't know where you are on your journey... but know that you have support no matter where you are on it.. and although it will never be like it was... your journey can bring you to a new place--a happy place to be. Since we lost our son, we are now very much involved with loss support, we have successfully lobbied to change hospital policy for mothers suffering a miscarriage or stillbirth--allowing them to labor in a different wing than the rest of the Mothers, and we now have another son. No, it isn't what we planned, but it's where we are now.
A rainbow baby....
I hope you find the courage to fight on and lean on the support you have here until you have your baby safely in your arms.