There has been something weighing heavily on my mind that I haven't shared on this blog. Mostly because I don't think what I'm about to say is easily accepted in the baby loss community.
It seems to me that the social norm of deadbabyland is that we forever grieve out babies. We are expected to never "get over" our child's death. We are told over and over again that we will never get over it, and that's normal, and that's OK.
So where does that leave the mothers, who like myself, have "gotten over it"?
Where does that leave the moms who have found a way to move on, who've accepted it, and who are actually happy with their lives now.
I feel like there isn't a place for them in the baby loss community. I don't feel at home here anymore.
When my daughter was stillborn I was racked with grief. I've never felt anything so painful in my entire life. Every day was a struggle. Every. Day. I truly don't know what I would have done without the Baby Center mom's and without the other people from these blogs. I really do mean that. I say it again and again: blogging is what helped me heal.
But now, I feel like I don't belong here anymore. Because I no longer grieve for my daughter.
The definition of grieve is to feel great grief or sorrow, or to distress mentally. My daughter's stillbirth no longer causes me to feel either of those things.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy about it. But I've accepted it, and I have (gasp) moved on.
Her stillbirth is no longer a stabbing pain in my heart. It is, in fact, something that I have learned to embrace.
I have a very large scar from her birth, spanning from my pubic bone to my breast bone. I would not give that scar up for anything. Everyday I look at it in my mirror with love. It reminds me of my daughter. I wear it like a badge. I'm actually proud of it.
Her birth is sort of like that scar. It changed me. I am not the same person I was before she was born. I am glad she existed. I'd go through it all again if it meant I got to be her mom. My life has changed in many ways since I gave birth to her. There are many people in my life that I did not know before her, and who I would not know if she had lived. I now know who I can count on, and who I can't. My relationship with my husband has changed immensely since her stillbirth. I believe our realtionship would be very different if she were alive. I wish it didn't take losing a child for us to grow this close; but it did, and I accept that.
Even though she is not alive, she is still part of my life. Her picture is on my wall, her name is tattooed on my foot. I think of her everyday. But I am OK with her not being here.
I know that is going to be tough for some people to swallow. In the movies mother's are always depicted as going crazy when they lose a child. We are lead to believe that dead babies equal crazy mommies. But that isn't always true. Sure, in the beginning I felt like I was never going to be happy again. I couldn't figure out why this happened to my family. What did we do to deserve it?
I should have been asking myself what I did to deserve to be her mom. What was so great about me that I would be blessed with her? Why was I chosen to have this precious person all to myself. No one got to know her like I did. No one else in this entire world got to feel her kicks. No one else got to experience every second of her short time on this earth- except for me. Why look at that like it's a horrible thing? Why can't I look at it like it's a wonderful thing? She had a short life, but it was fantastic. She never knew pain, or heartbreak, or disappointment. All she ever knew was me, and my love for her. When I used to think about her stillbirth, I would feel pain for me not her. I thought about her in a very abstract way. "I want my baby" But truthfully, it could have been any baby and I would have been happy (or at least thought I was happy). It was all about me, and not about her.
The truth is I'm happy with my life. Even without her in it. I know that is going to rub some people the wrong way, but that is the truth. I like where I'm at and I would not change it.
Her life, and death, forever changed the course of my life. I am a better person than I was before she was conceived. I'm much more compassionate than I used to be. I never let an opportunity pass to tell my family I love them. I'm more health-conscious. I'm thankful. These are all things that I contribute to her.
I will always be thankful for my daughter's life. But in a way, I'm thankful for her stillbirth, too.
And I believe that's OK.