I have to say these past few days have been rather crazy. I am still recovering from my D&C and my husband and I are trying to work out our feelings about the loss of our baby. But there is one other person in our home that we cannot forget and that is our two and a half year old daughter. She has feelings just like us and she is very perceptive. We have tried to not make it a huge thing in front of her about the baby passing away, but she knows something is up.
To be honest it would have been easier to actually grieve without a child than it is with one. Let me explain. See, when you have infertility problem without having a child in the house already, there is the ability to openly grieve without little eyes looking at you wondering why mommy has now cried all of a sudden ten times in the last hour. Anyone know what I mean? Children are a lot smarter than people give them credit for and they can sense everything that happens in the house. So if I am sad, my daughter picks up on it and knows that something is wrong.
The other reason why having a child when you have lost another is because your fertility is staring you in the face everyday. You can’t get away from the reminder that at one time you were able to have a baby and now suddenly you can’t. It’s maddening. With my daughter, when things started rolling, they were stressful in their own way but she was a solid pregnancy (difficult birth) but no reasons that the pregnancy was ever in question. Now that I have lost four in a row, it’s so frustrating, but my daughter can’t know because she would feel bad if she really knew what was going on.
Trust me when I say my daughter is enough child for me just like your little one if you are in the same boat as me. And, honestly, she would be enough if my husband and I were never able to have another baby. Would it be heartbreaking for that to really be a reality? Of course, but are we preparing ourselves for that outcome? Yes. But here is the ticket for those of us dealing with secondary infertility is that we have a reason to live that those unfortunate woman who has primary don’t. We have our child that we have been blessed with and that is where having a child and grieving with them in the house is easier.
If I didn’t have my daughter while going through this, I would probably have fallen into a horrible depression. I would probably have internalized this situation to the point that it would have ruined the relationship I have with my husband and I would be curled up in a ball all day in bed because I frankly could. That is not the case for us with children in the house. They force us to get out of bed everyday when we feel like we are falling apart and live because they are still living. Yes, you lost a baby, or two, or three, or four, but you are still a mother to at least one on this earth.
When I get up every morning, especially right now, the first thing I want to see is my daughter’s smiling face. The day after my D&C I was feeling ok physically but emotionally I was drained. I knew she was up but I just wanted to disappear into the sheets, but I had to get up. And you know what I am so glad I did because I got to experience a real treat. My daughter wanted me to cuddle and hold her like I did when she was a baby. Now for those who have had a D&C or had a stillborn, the feelings of holding a baby again is painful, but, when my daughter wanted me do it with her, it was restoring. I knew I still had this little girl who needed me and I needed her. She is still my baby no matter how big she gets, and I will always be her mommy.
So the biggest advantage to having a child and dealing with a miscarriage if they give you a reason to live. They are your joy and strength in a tough time like this. My daughter is that joy and strength and she will be if she turns out to be our only child not by choice. But here are a few tips I am using to get through this valley of grieving when I am unable to show that I am grieving around my daughter:
- Laugh with him/her
- Play with him/her
- Pray for direction and strength
- Don’t forget to spend time with your husband together and as a family
- See the blessing that is in front of you instead of the sorrow of your loss
- And when you can, go into the bathroom and cry it out
That almost last one is the hardest for me. I know with my last pregnancy I had so many plans and dreams to do with this baby since I had learned from some of the mistakes I had made with my daughter. There were quite a few things I hadn’t fully enjoyed and embraced and I wanted to do them over again. But now none of those desires will come true. Will they ever come true with another baby? I don’t know. I still don’t even know what the pathology report says and won’t for another week on why this baby passed away so soon. But what I do know is that I didn’t stop being a mom when this baby’s heart stopped because I still have a child’s whose heart is beating still, and she cannot be forgotten. So continue living as we get to parent our little blessings while remembering our angels in heaven.