December 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
In two weeks, it will be six months since losing our baby. Rèmy’s plot at Manukau Memorial Gardens is now almost completely surrounded. I feel the loss of all the new babies in the children’s cemetery. Every visit yields a new experience of grief.
Today I was overcome with emotion. I really cried today. I saw so many tiny babies at the Otara market. I felt too much… desire, jealousy, anger, frustration. A familiar darkness crept over me and I drove to the cemetery in tears.
Whilst understanding the vulnerability triggers, grieving plus Christmas is a new experience. Rèmy was due on December 6. We would have been having our first Christmas together.
So many thoughts today started with, “I just wish…”
I just wish you were here, baby. I’m lost when I’m consumed with your memory.
I had bought lots of delicious fresh fruit and vegetables at the market before I got sad this morning. I came home after being at the cemetery and forced myself to be busy. I made fruit juice, a big yummy salad, macaroni cheese, garlic bread. My partner came home from work and we had a beautiful dinner. He settled my anxiety.
To love and be loved is so soothing for a fragile heart.
October 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
When Rèmy died I played this song on repeat. I know when I’m doing well when this comes on Shuffle and I don’t cry.
But on dark days, listening to sad songs is slow torture. On dark days, I could drown in my tears. Then I imagine letting go of the tension in my body and in my mind, and visualise floating in the ocean. My tears become part of the sea and I am balanced.
I’m fighting not to become a hopeless drifter.
The grief changes. When I think ‘I miss you‘, I’m starting to think it’s more and more about missing stability… sanity, groundedness.
These are some dark days.
September 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s almost three months since we buried Rèmy. The artificial flowers from his funeral were starting to deteriorate, so we removed the bulk of them on the weekend. We got a sculpture from The Warehouse of two Kea birds. We couldn’t agree on pots and flowers, and little shrubby things, so we got a weird garden sculpture. I quite like it now. We thought of it as representative of mummy and daddy, watching over our baby boy.
There have been some pretty big changes in my life in the past two weeks, namely my living situation has changed… for the better, and I finally have a dedicated space to work in. It’s awesome… I’m overwhelmed how great it is. When I was setting up my home office, I wanted something on the wall to remind me of Rèmy – not of his funeral, or his life before his death, but something else.
The hospital gives you this card after your baby dies, created by a great organisation called Sands Manukau – Baby Loss Support which has the date and time of your baby’s death, his weight and length and his little hand prints and foot prints. It’s such a sweet gesture, and we value it so much. I put the card on the wall of my new office, above my whiteboard. It feels so good to have it out and visible. I used to keep it in my diary. It did make me cry to put it up… a lot. But it’s just one of those things. I just miss him… I can’t help that. I feel like those tears christened my office and I love this space.
I went to an event last night where I knew I would bump into people who wouldn’t know what to say to me, knowing I lost my baby. There was awkwardness all round. I know it’s hard for people; they don’t want to not mention it, because they don’t want to appear uncaring, but then they know if they do mention it, perhaps it’ll open up a can of emotional worms… and take the conversation into even MORE awkward territory. So, some people didn’t mention it, but gave me knowing gestures (tilts of the head, warm and meaningful rubs on the back, sad eyes) and some did, and I delivered my well worn lines of, “I lost the baby in July… yeah, it’s OK… I’m OK.”
There’s nothing to say. Losing a baby is horrific. I don’t wish it on anyone. As time moves forward, you just get used to living with it.
August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Baby… you’re everywhere.
I miss you. I really do. Time moves forward but my heart is scarred.
I think about you when I look in the mirror, when I wake up in the middle of the night. I cry when I drive past the cemetery – I can’t help it. I think about you when I look at Taka; we think of you when we hold each other. I think of you when I have good days, and when I have bad days – you are everywhere.
I’ve finally felt physically fit enough to get back into exercise. I started kickboxing training. I think about the anger of losing you when I smash the Thai pads. I think about you giving me strength when I’m in the burning last seconds of a 1-minute plank. Your name sticks out of my hand wraps and I channel everything you were and continue to be every time I clench my fist. You give me strength.
I started swimming again and when I’m in the water, I’m in heaven. I missed swimming when I was pregnant with you – doctors had given me mixed opinions on swimming in the first trimester, so I had opted not to swim. I’m pushing myself every time – more laps, more intensity. I’m getting stronger.
The other day I bumped into my mate at the pools. I hadn’t seen her since the funeral. We hung out in the deep end, catching up. Her sweet six year old son took the opportunity to ask me, “Aunty… your baby died, aye?”, I paused but responded “Yeah, he did…” He continued, “how come your baby died?” and I said, “I don’t know… no one knows, sometimes babies die… it’s sad.” He agreed, then continued splashing around. I couldn’t wait to put my head under the water after that confronting, honest interaction. I love the way children ask questions. But it just reminded me, baby – you’re everywhere.
August 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
The fucked up thing about coming from a culture with a high birth rate is that every second day, babies are posted on your Facebook timeline. Every second day, I read the most loved up, joyous expressions of how life will never be the same, how much everyone loves this new baby, how he/she has a name so important, so loaded with love and history, responsibility and connection.
My partner keeps trying to tell me to just be happy for the friends and family who are blessed with new babies and successful pregnancies. Clearly, so much easier said than done. I tell him that its hard to put someone else’s happiness ahead of my sadness and that I can’t help how I feel. It’s not the pictures, the pictures are undeniably delicious, it’s the written expression that hurts the most. Because I know that what we went through was the exact polar opposite of that joy.
It has been a month since we buried our son. I’m getting a tattoo next week with his name. I feel bad sometimes when I catch myself remembering what we went through, losing Rèmy and then I realise that I’ve moved on, time has moved forward. I haven’t forgotten him, but you just build on the grief and life goes on. I haven’t had a tattoo in the past year because I’ve been pregnant for over six months of that time. I felt the other day that the time was right to get a new one.
July 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s one week since I lost Rèmy.
I woke up at 3.30am thinking ab0ut his grave. I was dreaming about the soil.
When I was shaking with fever yesterday morning, curled up in the fetal position feeling like I was going to die, I wanted to go to Rèmy’s grave. But I couldn’t see straight and couldn’t have driven. I clutched at the blanket we have kept that Rèmy was laid upon in the casket, and I felt strong.
This is a good resource for miscarriage specific grief – over the last week, my mind, body and soul has been tested to its limits.
One of the well-meaning but irritating comments I have been plagued with this week has been, your time will come – you’ll get there in the end. How do they know? Don’t they think I have hoped, prayed and wished for this? It doesn’t help. It’s well-meaning, but no one knows if this is true and therefore, don’t say it if it is not a statement based on truth.
These are just some thoughts at 4.30am. Lying awake in bed, thinking about Rèmy.