During Baby Loss Awareness Week I wanted to talk about some of the most personal parts of what it’s like being a bereaved mother. I hope you don’t mind. You will never really know how it feels until you have been through it yourself, and that is something I would not wish on anyone, but I’d like to give you an insight into what life is like for me and other mums like myself. It may help you to know what we go through on a daily basis and how hard life is for us now even though we may be smiling. You may think twice before you say something… or even worse not say anything at all.
I’d just like to say that my family and friends have been there and supported me in the best way that they know how. But what they don’t realise is that there is so much more going on. I hope that this can give you a little insight. I am very happy most days and cope well with my grief. But I am quite lucky and it is certainly not like this for everyone who has lost their baby. Over the next few posts I am going to write about how baby loss has affected me and my relationships with the different groups of people in my life. I’m going to highlight some of the worst parts to help people understand a bit better. I feel its important to know what your friends and family members are going through so you can support them in the best way possible.
Baby loss and Family
My family have been amazing. They were there every minute through the early days and I couldn’t have got through it without them. They acknowledge Isaac’s special days and my Mum goes the extra mile on Mother’s day and at Christmas. But what about all the other days in between? Its super tough acting like I am fine all of the time. But I know that if I’m fine then they will be too. My mum will worry and my dad will not quite know what to do. And the others don’t say anything at all. But there are lots of mornings I wake up and think what do I need to get up for today? I don’t tell them this. I send my mum the daily text that says I’ve slept well and I’m OK and going to work. But in reality some nights I have been awake for hours thinking about all sorts of things. The main reason I do this is so I don’t upset them. They have been through a tough time too. They have lost their grandchild and watched their daughter go through the heartbreak of saying good bye to her son. Can I really put anything else on them? Sometimes I feel like I have failed. And I work hard to make sure that they think the opposite when actually I’m exhausted and feel like it will always be a losing battle until I give them another grandchild. In my head I think that will fix the problem of them being disappointed. Are they disappointed in me? I’d say definitely not. But I still think it. I am not ready to even think about having another child yet. But I worry that that is what they are waiting for. I want to show them how hard I am working in my job by throwing myself into my career, neglecting my home and my personal life. But really I just want to sit and be still for a moment. This is what happens in my head some days I am constantly second guessing myself and trying to prove to my parents that things are OK. I’ll say it again… I am exhausted.
I’m sure that if they knew how I was feeling sometimes then they would try to help in any way they can. But the fact of the matter is that they can’t help me. They don’t know and I can’t explain it to them. It’s like I am always keeping something from them. There is a whole part of my life that they can’t help with or fix and that is something I have had to come to terms with. Along with everything else that comes with being a bereaved mother. I have learned to fix things myself.
As for my wider family, they aren’t close enough to have felt the effects first hand. So they don’t really say anything. Which is sometimes worse. They obviously know all the details but they don’t mention it. They don’t mention him. And that’s hard. They are not as sensitive as my parents are so they freely talk about a whole number of things that make me want to curl up and cry. I feel my face blush when something comes up that I feel a little uncomfortable with and I know it’s because they have not realised what they have said. And then they do. I can see the cogs turning and then its hits them and they look at me. And I’m there all red faced and trying to smile through it. I don’t want to be that girl, the one who makes people feel uncomfortable and bad for something they said that is completely innocent and perfectly fine to talk about in any other situation. So what do I do? I remove myself from it. It makes it easier for us all. But then I am separating myself and missing out on making memories with them. It’s tough. It isn’t in all situations. There are some I have learned to cope with. But baby showers are a no go and this has caused a number of problems all over my life. I’ll explain that a little more in the next blog.
If any other bereaved parent has felt anything like this then you are not alone. Managing my family life and my grief at the same time has been a challenge and its one I am constantly working on. Some days are much worse than others and I’m learning the best way for me to cope with those particularly bad days where not even my mum can help me.
Thanks for reading.