{ PAL } IT’S A KIND OF TIRED THAT SLEEP CAN’T FIX

{ PAL } IT’S A KIND OF TIRED THAT SLEEP CAN’T FIX

{ PAL } PREGNANCY AFTER LOSS – IT’S A KIND OF TIRED THAT SLEEP CAN’T FIX >

She was brave, and strong, and broken… All at once.

I am so tired, but it’s the kind of tired that sleep can’t fix. I’m exhausted. Physically, emotionally and mentally. Two years ago last week I fell pregnant with Charlotte and I feel as though I’ve been treading water ever since. Pregnancy, loss and IVF have consumed our life. As I sit here at almost 36 weeks pregnant with the ‘finish line’ in-sight, I’ve never felt such darkness, anxiety and lethargy. I feel anxious about the birth and everything that may/may not come up emotionally, I am terrified of the closure it may/may not bring, and I am just sad. On top of this emotional shit-fight going on inside of me, there are also feelings of extreme excitement and the deepest love and joy possible. To feel such elation and flatness simultaneously is tough, but has been something I’ve had to learn to adjust to throughout this entire { PAL } pregnancy. I pour so much of my energy into being the best mummy possible to all three of my children, while also acknowledging my own varied and unique emotions towards each of them. The last few days in particular have been pretty tough, I think because it’s all finally feeling real. The thought of something going ‘well’ or ‘our way’ in some strange way is also a little daunting, as I got so used to the pain, the set-backs and disappointment – especially with regards to our IVF journey to conceive him. Today, much like those initial weeks after we lost Charlotte, I had the overwhelming urge to write. However, I think this will be my last post about my { PAL } journey until he is born. I need to take some time out to prepare, and of course to rest-up in anticipation of hopefully pushing the little guy out! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has stayed, supported and reached out over the last 18 months. I hope one day all my children know just how deep my love runs for them – they are my everything. 

15th October 2018 : International Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day / An estimated one in four pregnancies (103,000) end in miscarriage in Australia each year, while approximately 3,000 babies are either stillborn or die in the first 28 days after birth. If you wish to make a donation, I would ask that you visit SANDS Australia or Bears of Hope. Thank you.


sarah jane young, preganncy, rainbow baby, stillbirth, pregnancy after loss, PAL, baby boy

{ MY RAINBOW PREGNANCY ANNOUCEMENT FOR FROGGY BOY – Mother’s Day 2018 } 

THE GUILT.

The guilt I already feel at times for being happy, excited and planning for our family’s future has been one of the hardest things to process throughout this pregnancy. This is also what has been dominating and clouding my thoughts over the last week or so, and really has become quite paralysing. Surprisingly though, I am not worried that Froggy won’t arrive safely in my arms, there’s actually a real calmness there. I am more worried that his safe arrival will in fact bring some sort of closure – to Charlotte’s chapter. Am I even ready for this? Maybe I need to let her go to some extent – it’s all a horrible mess in my head. It’s like I’m scrambling to not let her go, that I’m about to lose her all over again, but that I have to give her back once and for all in exchange for him. EXHAUSTING, RIGHT?! The guilt that in a few weeks we will begin our NEW LIFE as a ‘family of four’, and WITHOUT HER. The magnitude of Mother Nature’s cruelty and that she was never even given a chance RIPS ME APART. I already do love this little boy so, so much. BUT… YOU DON’T EVER GET OVER THE LOSS OF A CHILD. A rainbow pregnancy and any pregnancies that are subsequent after a loss, do not ‘fix’ what has happened. Of course there is excitement and hope, but there’s also a sickening fear that you know all too well, and that’s WHAT CAN GO WRONG. When a family experiences the trauma of losing a child, you are never the same after that. There’s THEN, and there’s NOW. Please don’t stop checking-in with those who are living the { PAL } journey, because I guarantee you it’s a pregnancy filled with a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety – even when they are smiling. There is no ‘finish line’, it’s just another hurdle (and milestone) that bereaved parents are forced to live through. There is no right or wrong way to approach { PAL }, it just is what it is. 

I know from speaking with other women who have lived through one or more { PAL } pregnancies, that the last few weeks is often the hardest part and probably due to a few of the things I’ve mentioned today. These women, like me, I’m sure at times have also felt at least some symptoms of depression. I know I have. For me it comes and goes. Some days/weeks are OK, then it hits me. I don’t want to see anyone, speak to anyone, leave the house – you name it. I just want to close my eyes, cry and curl-up in bed alone. I am aware of these feelings and they are under control, but hard to live with at times – especially when you have a young family, job and household to run. To anyone reading this who is walking the same path, I GET IT. I hear you and I see you – as lonely as this journey is, we are absolutely not alone. 


“YOUR SECOND BABY”… 

To everyone who knows our story and continues to say this, SHAME ON YOU. This is not my second baby or pregnancy, he is my third. Most of the time it’s just easier to fake a smile and move on in the conversation, but it hurts like hell. I carried Charlotte for 21 weeks, I have never stopped loving her, I went through the horrific trauma of birthing a stillborn baby and continue to live with this grief EVERY SINGLE DAY. So when someone so flippantly refers to this as my “second baby”, you couldn’t be more offensive and hurtful if you tried. Of course, not everyone grieves in the same way, but I’ve made my wishes pretty fkn clear. I’ve experienced this (ironically) mainly from our friends and a few (extended) family members – but then again, they are some of the people who have let me down the most throughout this journey. Not only does it show such blatant disregard for the truth, but they have ignored my one and only wish. The wish that her name and existence never be forgotten. My whole being was shattered that day and the woman I was (and most of you knew), is long gone. It’s hard enough when every other person you interact with in the comings and goings of daily life asks if this is your first, and I’m faced with that awkward and gut-wrenching moment to decide what to say… Well, NO > I have a three year old daughter, Mia Grace, and we lost our second daughter, Charlotte, last year and he is my third. 9/10 that has been my answer. It’s my answer because it’s the TRUTH, and there is no greater betrayal for me than to deny Charlotte’s existence and the nightmare we have lived through over the last 18 months. 

We will always be a family of five, you will just see the four of us though. I ask, I beg… That people continue to say her name, check-in with me/us and always acknowledge anniversaries and special occasions that trigger all of the above (Mother’s Day, her due date, her birth date, Christmas etc.). I don’t really care (as harsh as it sounds) if people are uncomfortable with this, TRY LIVING IT! We recently celebrated Froggy’s rainbow baby shower, and although we had a beautiful day, there was a lot of disappointment on my behalf – in my friends. I had about 16 people either pull-out in the days leading-up (for reasonable and totally BS reasons…) to the event, some that gave no reason at all and then those who just didn’t make it a priority. Sure, I can appreciate that sounds potentially a little bratty and that everyone has their own shit going on, but even being able to celebrate this occasion was a HUGE hurdle for me, and I took it very personally. Anyway. This too is all part of finding a ‘new normal’, and really, just LIFE. We shift in different directions from those around us, but also meet new and wonderful people who fit far more naturally into our new/evolving surroundings and circumstances. To those people, THANK YOU. Thank you for having my back and proving your love for our family.

Mummy loves you MG, Charlotte & Froggy x

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