Welcome to my blog. The main purpose for starting this blog is to talk about my son, Collin James, who was stillborn on July 1st, 2010. I know it can be an uncomfortable subject for some people, so those people who know me and want to know what happened, or whats going on with me, they can come here. Everyday is a different battle for me it seems, and writing helps. thank you for reading, and don't be afraid to comment if you are here!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I just want to hold him again. My arms ache. This hurts more than anyone could ever imagine.
There are 4 phases of mourning after having a stillborn baby. I'm not sure if I am experiencing the end of the second phase very strongly, or the beginning of the third phase. Either way, I'm in so much emotional pain right now. I thought I was getting better. Everyone tells me how strong I am. I can put up a good front, but inside this is killing me. For some reason this weekend was almost unbearable. I do better with distractions, and I didn't have many of those the last 2 days.
The first phase of mourning is shock and numbness. You don't believe this could be happening to you. It's difficult to make decisions and concentrate. Sometimes you become unaware of your surroundings, cry uncontrollably, or stare into space. I went through all of these things. I don't know how many times I was embarrassed because someone was talking to me and I didn't know it. The first few weeks were kind of a blur. My phone would ring and I would hear it, but my body wouldn't react to it right away. A few minutes later I would be like "oh my phone went off", then check it. I still do that sometimes, someone will text me and I won't really realize until 20 minutes later. This stunned disbelief is the way you cope with a shock that is too much to deal with all at once.
The second phase is called searching and yearning. Some mothers hear phantom crying, feel the baby kick, dream about the baby or being pregnant again. I didn't experience the phantom crying, but I did experience feeling like Collin was kicking me again. It took about 5 weeks for me to be able to take a shower without crying. Every time I would touch my stomach, I would just cry. I just felt so physically empty, like I still wanted him to be there. At night was difficult too. I sleep on my stomach usually, something you can't do while pregnant. After having Collin, I still slept like I was pregnant. The first time I actually layed on my stomach it felt so weird. So empty. I don't think it would have felt as empty if I had been able to have my son alive.
In this phase you ask yourself why a lot. Cry a lot. I've done a lot of this. Everyone tells me that everything happens for a reason... that's hard to believe. but I'm working on it. Some days I can believe this myself, other days if someone says it I want to scream at them. But I don't. Luckily I've been able to manage the anger part of this phase rather well. Its difficult to answer questions about the pregnancy and the baby. I'm getting better with this. Starting a new job has forced me to answer the question of "do you have kids" quite a few times. Working in an office with 95% women is tricky... being the new girl they all have questions. Luckily some of them already know what I've gone thru since my friend Alison also works in that office. My tattoo has also brought up the question quite a few times. At first I would say Collin is my son, then act like I was on my way to go do something to prevent the obvious next question. I've been able to tell a couple of the girls what happened, I'm hoping maybe they told some of the others so I don't have to in the future.
Another thing you experience is wishing you were dead instead of your baby. A scary, scary feeling. And you feel guilty. Again, both feelings I am having to cope with. I am still working thru these emotions. This is why I am unsure if I am still in the second phase or reaching into the third.
The third phase is called the disorientation phase. You feel empty, lifeless and hopeless. I have been feeling all of these things the past few days, alone with some of the strong emotions in the second phase. The third phase is the most difficult for a few reasons. It starts when everyone thinks you should be "over it". And some parents feel multiple losses - of pride, control, strength, and self-esteem. It is not uncommon for parents to wish they were dead, simply because their grief seems unbearable.
You find yourself going thru these phases of grief again, but in short forms, on special dates, anniversary dates, holidays, changes in season, etc. For me, I'm very aware that this is the month in which my son was conceived. His father and I were together between now and Thanksgiving, last year. So this time of year is going to be a tricky one for me, for years to come.
Grieving takes a toll on your body as well. Its been suggested to eat right, exercise, limit caffeine and get a physical 4 months after your loss. I'm trying to do all of these things. I take my lunch to work instead of going out, go for walks on my lunch as well, I'm avoiding starting drinking coffee and soda again. It's important to take care of yourself, because when you are emotionally exhausted, the natural disease-fighting mechanism is depressed in the body and you are more prone to illness and disease. I'm very aware of this right now, and I hope to be able to continue to be strong so I can keep taking care of myself.
The fourth phase is reorganization - getting on with living again. You'll never forget, but you will accept what happened some day.
So, right now, is a very difficult time for me. I'm working through so many emotions and it seems like no one really realizes it. And I understand that, unless you have gone through it yourself how can you really know what it feels like? So if I seem withdrawn sometimes, please don't take it personally. I mean it when I say it isn't you, it's me. This has really been a roller coaster for me, one I thought I would never be on, but something I have to deal with none the less. I'll be starting going to a support group soon, and I hope that will help me deal with all these feelings. I'm also going to start reading a book my mother in law gave me, I think it's time. Slowly, but surely, I will get thru this. I will continue on the path to becoming a stronger person. I will be able to help others, and I can't wait to do so.