Sunday, 27 September 2015

Nine Weeks

I've been writing over the last three weeks but not publishing. I'm not sure why really. I feel in a strange limbo at the moment. My heart still aches, my mind is still full of Aneurin and grief but the rawness of the trauma is easing ever so slightly. I feel horrible for saying that; I don't want it to ease because I don't want people to mistake that for me moving on or getting over what's happened because I can't and I never will. I suppose this is just what it feels like as time moves on. There are still moments of pure terror though and feeling like I can't breathe. Yesterday was one of those days. All I could do was cry my way through it and drink up as much Aneurin as I could through his memory box and photo album. 

Someone described the urge to speak about a lost child as a 'white hot burning in the lungs' and it really resonated with me. It's not just that urge to shout and scream and tell everyone that I have a son and although he may not be here he still matters and is so incredibly important, it's also the pain. The raw, searing pain of loss that at times feels like it's capable of creating earthquakes, causing landslides and tidal waves. There's only one thing that can create power like that and grief is propelled by one thing; love. Something we all take for granted and a word we throw around so easily. I know love. I'm lucky enough to have been loved my whole life in many different ways and I love back but I wasn't prepared at all for the love I felt for my son. It's unlike anything else. I want to point out here that I am 100% pro-choice and I fully support a woman's right to choose. For me though, the second I saw the word 'pregnant' on that plastic stick I was overwhelmed with love. In that second a group of cells I didn't know existed minutes earlier became a person. Actually, maybe a person isn't the right word, future is probably more accurate. My future. A future of unconditional, unwavering, incredible love. Not only would I forever be tied to this little Pea growing inside me but I was forever tied to my husband. A whole different sort of love but equally as important. All I saw in that moment was love and it grew, a lot. 

I'm angry that my life will never be the same again. Everything is different. Everything I do for the rest of my life will be different and it's unfair. Time might soften the pain and it might mean my grief finds a different place in my head but it will always be there because my love for my son will always be there. My life has changed and there is nothing I can do about it. If we are lucky enough to get pregnant again it will be terrifying. It won't be 9 months of excitement and joy, it will be 9 months of fear and worry. It's so easy to say 'well, don't let it then' but that's not how this works. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there will be moments of joy but that pure, innocent joy I felt with Aneurin is impossible now. I've learnt the hard way that being pregnant and getting past a certain point does not mean you get a baby at the end of it. I feel like I've been cheated out of something and I'm angry at that.

Mr D and I have both had our assessments for grief counselling with Cruse Bereavement Care but there's a two month waiting list. Hopefully though it will tie in with Mr D's return to work so will help him through that. I feel like him going back to work will be the final door that closes and signifies our complete committal to our new normal. Neither of us are quite ready for that yet though so for now we just plod through every day as best we can. 

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Six Weeks

Today I am scared. 

I'm scared because I thought I was coping but I've realised I'm not. I'm spending each day manically distracting myself, petrified to be alone for five minutes with nothing to focus my mind on. The second I feel anything I swallow hard and shake it off, pushing whatever it was down and away so I don't have to deal with it. I can feel it building up and intensifying inside of me and I know it has to surface but I'm so scared. I don't want to feel it. 

I'm scared because I don't know who I am anymore. This has changed me completely. I was pregnant me for 8 wonderful months. It was hard and tiring and at times really very difficult but I loved being pregnant me. That identity was taken away from me so quickly along with parent me who I was so incredibly excited to be. I can't go back to the me before I was pregnant, not with what I know now. I am such a different person now I know what it's like to grow a child, to love them so fiercely before they even move and then to feel that life and personality move inside me, I can't ever forget that. It changed me. I can't be the me I was before but I can't be pregnant me or parent me either. I have no idea who I am. If I carve a person from what I have now she will be empty and sad and broken and that's not who I want to be. 

I'm scared because I can laugh and enjoy myself and I don't understand. It's real and it's lovely because I need to feel hope but it scares me. 

I'm scared because I woke up this morning and Aneurin wasn't the first thing I thought about. He appeared a minute or so after but I'm so used to him being there as soon as I wake up and it was horrible. I felt like I had forgotten him, betrayed him. I don't want to move on. I don't want to not think about him all the time.

I'm scared because I have that overwhelming swell of emotion in my chest right now. My eyes sting, my head aches and something is twisting in the pit of my stomach. But rather than let it flow I am swallowing hard and gritting my teeth because I'm scared if I don't it will just never stop. 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Five Weeks

The more time that passes, the further away I feel from Aneurin. The longer the gaps are between tears and overwhelming bouts of grief, the further away he feels. The desire to wish time away and tick the weeks off gets muddled up in the fear of feeling so far away from him. I want to relive my three days of labour, his wonderful birth and the hours we spent with him over and over again for the rest of my life. Those are my most treasured memories. I'm in the process of writing his birth story but I want to access my labour notes because a lot of it is still a bit jumbled up in my head (thanks morphine). I'm so scared of forgetting. I'm scared of forgetting how he felt in my arms and how warm his little bum was. He was exactly the same temperature as me for such a long time, it was lovely. I never want to forget any of it and the more time that passes the more scared I am it'll happen. 

Mr D and I are at such different stages in our grief which can be difficult sometimes but I continue to be so impressed and overwhelmed by our closeness and our love for eachother. He says he feels like this will never feel easier and he can't cope with it. He has always been very insular with his emotions and by nature he isn't optimistic. I'm the opposite, even now. Hope is the only thing I have and the only thing I have ever had. I don't know whether years of mental illness has made me that way or whether I've always been like it but my life hasn't been easy and if it weren't for my hope I would have given up a long time ago. Mr D finds no comfort in knowing other people have been where we are and survived whereas again, I am the opposite. I'm surviving on other people at the moment, whether it's him or my mum, our families, friends or strangers on baby loss forums. My strength is coming from having other people to lean on. Mr D will only talk about Aneurin and his short but wonderful life to me. I want to tell everyone and will talk to anyone who gives me the opportunity.  It's so strange how two people can be so different but work so well. 

The waves of grief are exhausting. There are parts of the day when I almost feel normal (albeit a new normal) and I laugh and make jokes and genuinely feel like me again but all the while with him just lurking in my mind. I can think about him and bask in the sunshine of our memories and it doesn't hurt, but then my emotions turn on eachother and it's overwhelming. Instead of remembering how his fingers felt wrapped around mine I remember I'll never feel it again. The realisation that we will never see him again bores into my brain, that we'll never kiss his scraped knees, never be woken up by his chattering in the next room, never know what his giggles sound like. It's difficult to explain but those feelings feel so deep and so painful that it gets difficult to breathe. We will never see our child grow up and it physically hurts. And then without realising, that pain eases just slightly and his beautiful little face will drift into the background, not completely out of sight because I'm not sure there will ever be a time when I'm not thinking about him somehow but just out of reach enough that I can go back to whatever I was doing without gasping for breath. 

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