ONE STEP FORWARD… ONE HUNDRED STEPS BACK

STILLBORN

Today marks 32 days without you. Today is another really shitty day, so I write…

Today I feel more alone and isolated than I did yesterday. I know I am different. With each day that passes and my varying interactions with the world just confirm how very little people understand THIS pain, and oh how I envy them. For the last five weeks I’ve hidden away because the reality that the world just continues on as normal is too much. Yesterday I put on my brave face and took MG back to her ballet class – which she loves so much. I had tried to mentally prepare myself (as much as you can) to see all the growing bellies on the other mums – there were about five of us due around the same time, as well as two born in the last few weeks. I kept to myself, I couldn’t even make eye contact with them as I choked back my tears. Tears of pain and intense jealousy. I tried so hard to tunnel my vision onto my gorgeous and aspiring little ballerina, but I just kept finding myself staring at all the beautiful baby bumps on show. It felt like the world was rubbing it in my face… The happiness and pride on the faces of these mothers… Why can’t that be me… I covered my body so no one would ask, I just wanted to be invisible…

We set-up next to a new mummy/little girl to our class. She was about 30 weeks pregnant and glowing as she watched her tiny ballerina dance around – her name was Charlotte. It was like someone had kicked me in the throat… It was literally as though I was choking on my pain and the tears that wanted to escape my body. This had been my first activity (with people) in the last five weeks and I was dreading it. At the same time though it brought me such deep happiness to watch MG. After we came home and I put my exhausted little dancer to bed, I knew I just needed some time out – to cry. At that moment I received a text message from a very close friend saying she was pregnant. Only a mother who has lost their baby knows the flood of emotions that then followed. I threw my phone and began sobbing violently on the ground… It was like my heart was being broken, AGAIN. I flew into a rage. I started beating myself up for even trying to ‘fit in’ again with the world that morning, I was so angry and jealous… I was so, so sad. I just wanted MY baby…

Motherhood in general is a social divider. There are the working mums/stay-at-home mums/working from home mums, the routine mums/the wingin’-it kinda mums, the breastfeeding mums/the formula mums, the judgemental bitches and the ones who just try to do the best they can, while supporting others. I could honestly write a short story on the above but you get my point. Motherhood also divides friendships but allows new ones to blossom. Motherhood in general is a social divider, then throw this into the mix. No one really gets it and nor should they. People say nothing, most say the wrong thing and few remain WITH you as you survive this nightmare. What I HAVE to keep reminding myself of during this process (and forever) is, there are NO RULES. The journey of grief is unique to every single person. The last thing I need to be worrying myself with is how everyone ELSE is feeling. That is not the kind of person I am or friend I want to be (or was), but what people need to understand about those (particularly mothers) who are experiencing this, it’s like you are in some alternate universe. Time slows down, your perspective totally changes, your priorities shift and your are held hostage by this pain and the loss of your child. It’s horrific. I didn’t just stop being pregnant, my baby died. She only died 4.5 weeks ago, so excuse me if I can’t attend your baby showers, or jump up and down at your pregnancy announcement or even message you back. I hope one day the pain is manageable and learning to co-exist with it becomes easier. A little easier to fake smiles sometimes and a little easier to brush off hurtful comments or behaviour… I also hope one day those friends who right now are confused with how I am coping/’treating them’, will understand and be waiting with open arms. If not, then that’s also ok.

To those friends who see me posting images on social media of flowers, MG or this last week of me at the photoshoot for Charlotte Rose… This doesn’t mean I am ‘ok‘, or that ‘I am better’. This is how I cope – from behind my keyboard. I think sometimes people forget that… The sparkle inside me has died and as I slowly try to ignite those internal fireworks of happiness once again, please be patient. Be empathetic to the greatest of your ability. Be there… Because I will be one day, I’m just not there yet.

To all the wonderful women who have respectfully supported me as I share MY journey online, thank you. To the many, many amazing women who have sent me pictures of roses in their gardens or that they have bought, thank you. To the mummies who admitted while they hadn’t been through this, they thanked me for giving them a new perspective (a little more patience maybe on those #shittymumlifedays!), thank you. It is scary to put all of this out there and to ultimately risk being judged and criticised. However, at the end of the day the pain I feel right now, no one could even come close to causing – even if they tried. To the other mummies who understand this pain and the loss of a child, know you are not alone and whatever/however you process this is the RIGHT WAY. It’s YOUR WAY.

To my little rose petal, I will continue to keep you and your memory alive. A piece of my heart and soul is with you forever and ever.

Mummy x #stillbornbutstillborn

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