Whenever I hear about another stillbirth, I think back to the beginning of my experience. I go back to that time. I remember how helpless I felt in those first few days. Days? I should say weeks and even months. I read back through this blog and it's like a diary of the journey I've been on. There are some things I would have forgotten, and I'm so happy I've written them down. No matter what, when I read theose words it takes me back to that time. I can remember it vividly.
When I first lost Brenna, I first wanted to know "why?", and secondly I wanted to talk with other people who had experienced loss. I wanted to know it was going to get better. I wanted to know there was hope. There was a time that I literally could not see a future. I would try to think of something to be look forward to, and I couldn't think of anything. Life seemed like a long dark tunnel.
If you are reading this and your loss is still fresh, please know that it does get better. It gets easier. You will be OK.
I think back to that time and I think a few things helped me:
I blogged. A lot. Not all of the posts were published, but I saved them as drafts so I could read them at a later time.
I cried. A lot. I never really cried in front of anyone. Almost always when I was alone.
I found an online support group. I suggest Baby Center's Second and Third Trimester Loss group. It was important to vent to other women who understood why seeing a baby made me want to die inside.
Most importantly, I allowed myself to be sad but I didn't allow the sadness to overtake me. I could very easily have stayed in bed all day. Instead, I allowed myself to have a crying fit in the morning, and then got out of bed after a half hour. Had I stayed in bed, the sadness would easily have overtaken me. But I knew that I needed to experience the feelings I had if I was ever going to get over it. I allowed myself to experience it, but I didn't let it overtake my life.
It's been almost three years since my daughter was stillborn. I used to hate when people would call baby loss a journey. But now I know why they do. Because it's just that- a journey. You have to get to the other side of it, and that can sometimes be a difficult struggle, but you will get there.
I recently heard something* that really hit home with me:
"It'll be OK when it's all over. And if it's not OK- then it's not over."
I think that especially applies to the grieving process. It will be OK in the end.
*Ok, I heard this on Giuliana & Bill. Don't judge me. Bill it hot.