10 Oct Life After Pregnancy Loss is Exhausting
Life after Pregnancy Loss is exhausting.
You would think the exhausting part would be living through it, and at times it is, but I never knew how exhausting it would be to deal with others feelings towards it. I am constantly having to make other people feel okay about my losses. I am constantly dealing with their comfort levels and having to apologize for how hard they find it. I have to think about how I answer questions about pregnancy and kids, and tell them its okay when they start to squirm because it wasn’t what they wanted to hear.
All the pregnant friends who don’t talk to you about their bundles of joy because they feel bad. The amount of news I now receive on news feeds is heartbreaking. I was always afraid to be treated like the girl with the dead baby, and even though I was told I wouldn’t be, I am.
I feel like I’m apologizing for all the things I don’t show up for, because having to put a smile on my face and act okay is too exhausting that day.
Apologizing for not being as good of a friend, even when it takes two, but I’m the one who has changed. I’m the one who is different. I’m the one who is hard to be around because loss and grief is something we aren’t taught to deal with.
I feel like the whole world is waiting for the old me to show up. Like one day this grief will have passed and I won’t be so emotional when it comes to pregnancy and babies. Like the loss of my daughter and the loss that followed her one day won’t be a thing.
I’m exhausted because not only am I left to deal with the aftermath of it all and working through how I feel about it, I am left feeling like I have worry about everyone else’s feelings too.
I hate that I have to reach out to people and tell them I want them around. I hate how much guilt I feel for not showing up to things, because I am easily overwhelmed. I feel bad that people feel guilty about being happy around me, because I never asked them to feel that way. I feel bad every time someone asks how many kids I have, how many times I’ve been pregnant, or if I’ll have more kids and the answer is either honest and makes them uncomfortable or I lie and it makes me uncomfortable.
I hate that every time I stop talking about my daughter to please everyone else, I spiral into depression and anxiety and everything in my life feels off. I hate that every time that happens I am smacked in the face with my grief and I have to crumble before I can pick up the pieces, and then I am at the beginning all over again.
I wish we were taught differently about grief. The sad truth is that we are not. We are ill equipped when it comes to things that feel hard or make us uncomfortable. I now understand why so many people feel the need to pack up and runaway so they can have a fresh start. But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want new friends, or a new life. I want the one I had, but I want it to embrace the person I am now.
I can’t change what has happened, but I am done apologizing for it. I get that it can be uncomfortable but it’s not my fault, and others feelings about it are not my burden to carry. I can’t live my life pretending and anyone who has been through pregnancy loss shouldn’t have to either. So lets stop making mothers to lost babies feel bad. Let’s stop expecting them to move on or let go. Let’s stop asking questions we only want happy answers too. Let’s stop only being good friends to people when it feels easy, and please lets stop assuming things. What I need and how I carry my grief will be completely different when compared to how someone else will. There is no rule book, no time line, no steps. Loss and grief is personal so instead of assuming what your friends need, ask them and really listen. Lets stop adding to the stress and pain of it all and lets start recognizing how human grief really is.
I came across a book called “It’s OK That You’re Not OK” that I think everyone needs to read, because grief isn’t talked about or understood, yet everyone at some point will face it. So if you are struggling with grief or you know someone who is and you aren’t sure how to handle it, maybe this book could help.
“You don’t need solutions. You don’t need to move on from your grief. You need someone to see your grief, to acknowledge it. You need someone to hold your hands while you stand there in blinking horror, staring at the hole that was your life. Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” – Megan Devine
I am a mother of three beautiful daughters, but you will only ever get to meet two of them. I have been pregnant five times but only two ended with living, breathing babies. I don’t get to decide wether or not I want more kids, because the answer was yes but my body told me no. My grief is not going anywhere, it will change and shift, but my daughter is not here, and unless one day that changes how could my grief for her disappear. Grief is love with no place to go. But that is not all that is left of me. I am still the same fun, outgoing, caring, wine drinking, dance party, play with my kids person I have always been.