Shortly after I came home from the NICU with empty arms for the second time that week, I started feeling horribly sorry for myself. I tried to open up to my husband, but he just wanted to constantly comfort me and hold me. I didn’t want that. I wanted someone to grieve with. He felt he needed to be strong for me. I didn’t want strong. I wanted someone to cry with me, feel miserable with me. That’s when I grabbed my iPad. I didn’t know what to do. I just googled infant loss. Immediately found website after website, but then, I saw it. I saw wordpress and the 100s (if not 1000s) of blogs written by mothers just like me. Women who had lost their child(ren). I began to immerse myself in their writings. Their raw emotion. I decided then and there, I was going to write. I didn’t care if no one saw it, I needed to get those feeling out. Some of them weren’t so pretty, but that’s ok. It was how I was feeling. I needed creative outlets. I started drawing, painting, writing… anything I could really. Then, my first post came very simply. A quote.
“Each new life, no matter how brief, forever changes the world.”
Then, I painted a mural on the living room wall. When I was finished, I felt like it was missing something. That night, I painted two little gravestones. It was complete. It can be viewed at Christmas Eve and No Presents to Wrap.
After I wrote that post, a bit bleak to say the least, I felt like a huge weight had been taken off my shoulders. It felt so good to get it out there. I secretly prayed that another loss mom would read it and feel the same comfort, but I was just happy to get it out. I sat and cried after writing it. I read and read the words on my screen. Had I really just hit Publish???!?!?!
After writing it, I realized if someone did stumble upon my blog, they would have no clue about it. I decided to write it all out. The whole shebang! The Beginning to the End. I had never been quiet about our struggles to start a family, but I hadn’t been shouting it from the roof tops either. Infertility was such a taboo. My body wouldn’t do what was a natural process. I was a women who couldn’t make a baby, whereas I had friends pissed they got pregnant while on Birth Control Pills.
Blogging opened my eyes to a whole new world and outlet for my grief. If I put those negative thoughts out on virtual paper, somehow it felt as if they were leaving my body. They were real emotions, raw emotions, MY emotions. I was being honest with myself and the rest of the blogging world. Something I felt I couldn’t do with ‘real’ people.
When I would have an outburst, people worried about me. Was I suicidal? Would I hurt myself? Why is she still this upset? Shouldn’t she ‘put her big girl boots on’ and put this in the past? It wasn’t until I started blogging that I began to realize, this was all normal. These were normal feelings I was having. I wasn’t crazy. I was processing in a way that no one else could understand unless they had walked in my shoes.
It was such a relief to read about others struggling with the same feelings and emotions. I would avoid baby sections at the store like the plague, I started unfollowing people on Facebook that had showed baby pictures, I couldn’t be near a pregnant woman, or anyone with a baby. My postpartum at the OB was hell. Sitting in that waiting room surrounded by pregnant women and tiny babies. People in my life didn’t understand these feelings and made me feel like I wasn’t handling things well. Like this is abnormal behavior. BUT IT WASN’T!
Over 2 years out, and still sometimes the emotions are so raw. I encourage each of you to start a blog, write in a journal, anywhere you can get your raw feelings out. A place where you can be honest and real about your emotions and pain. Something to voice your inner self without the outward lies we tell everyone daily when they ask, “How are you doing?”
It won’t always be pretty, or poetic, but it will be honest and yours.
It won’t get better, it just gets different.
Blogging helped me to know that I wasn’t alone, and these were all normal behaviors. I was going to be ok.