STILLBIRTH – NOW & THEN >
“As far as I can see, grief will never truly end. It may become softer over time, more gentle, and some days will feel sharp. But grief will last as long as love does – forever. It’s simply the way the absence of your loved one manifests in your heart. A deep longing, accompanied by the deepest love. Some days, the heavy fog may return, and the next day it may recede, once again. It’s all an ebb and flow, a constant dance of sorrow and joy, pain and sweet love”- SCRIBBLES & CRUMBS
I should have been 36 weeks today and this is me at 20 weeks pregnant with Charlotte Rose. I should have been wetting my pants due to a poor pelvic floor with the excitement that May 2017 was supposed to bring > MG’s second birthday, Mother’s Day and then Charlotte’s due date. My two girls, born on either side of Mother’s Day… Instead I am empty. I am not the person I used to be and I miss her, so, so, so fkn much. Sometimes I actually forget that this angel I speak of and my journey of grief (publicly) is ME/MY STORY, and then it hits me. This isn’t some poor woman, another statistic, it’s me and it’s my little girl who isn’t here. Maybe this is reality finally setting in? Or maybe it’s a story I tell myself to lessen the pain – or maybe, it’s SURVIVAL.
I titled today’s post “STILLBIRTH: Now & Then” because so many things have changed – from before Charlotte, from those initial weeks post-birth of extreme shock and grief, to now, a slightly more balanced place. When I say ‘balanced’ I mean there are days I describe as ‘better’, but unfortunately it’s a place that is totally unpredictable and can tear you to shreds without warning or reason. When I say there isn’t a second in the day I don’t think of her, I’m not exaggerating. It’s constant. It’s a heaviness on my mind, my heart, my body and my soul. It never goes away, but it has begun to soften. As a mother and as a family we not only mourn the loss of our daughter and a pregnancy, but we also mourn her future – and all the ‘SHOULD HAVES’. They haunt you the most. As much as I can, I think I’ve accepted that life chose us for whatever reason. Mother Nature dealt us the cruellest of hands and our baby girl never stood a chance. I don’t know that I will ever make peace with what’s happened, I guess I will just have to learnt to live with it.
Losing Charlotte has NOT made me stronger, but it has made me love even DEEPER. Of course running around after an extremely active toddler can be exhausting (and testing at times!), but Charlotte has gifted me a patience and a new perspective that makes me a BETTER MOTHER AND A BETTER PERSON. There is still a lot of anger/rage/jealousy deep inside of me at the world and at other mothers (not literally – but what they represent). I am still very uncomfortable around women who are expecting and every birth announcement destroys me. While in my rational mind I know many of my emotions are totally illogical, the grief is louder and the pain cannot be silenced with reason. Baby showers are out of the question and my god, dont you dare whinge about your pregnancy or motherhood to me! While many people (most) reading this cannot comprehend what I’ve just said and probably think I am a nasty bitch for even saying it, too bad. This is what happens when your BABY DIES. You feel alone, you feel different, you experience self-loathing at times and there’s so much bitterness. Of course I am happy for all of my friends who are expecting, giving birth and growing their families, it just hurts so much because that’s supposed to be me too… I guess my advice if I can help others understand some of what we go through after a loss like this, is that you NEVER GET OVER IT. As children/young adults we are conditioned that ‘old/er people’ die, not our children. Of course it’s painful losing our grandparents and our parents, as we miss that person deeply. What happens when you lose a child though is that you also lose their future. Every milestone, every celebration and even the most basic day-to-day comings and goings – IS WITHOUT THEM. I think people assume you just get over this, well you don’t. I’ve gone for weeks without anyone checking-in with me or asking how I am and that hurts so much – especially considering we are now embarking on our journey to our rainbow baby (which also brings so much fear, anxiety and hormonal mood swings!). AT MG’s birthday in a few weeks it will be the first time I’ve seen 95% of my friends since last year. I have gone into a protective bubble and that’s what I’ve needed. I have anxiety about seeing everyone and how it will make me feel… Will they bring her up? Won’t they? I just don’t know and I HATE the unknown.
As I painfully countdown the last four weeks to her due date, I plan to throw myself into executing an amazingly fun and beautiful second birthday for MG and not falling to pieces on Mother’s Day. I am still working away with some amazing friends to release my Charlotte Rose x Shanghai Suzy lipstick on Mother’s Day (Sunday 14th May). ALL profits will go directly to Bears of Hope and this lipstick is in memory of ALL the babies who grew their tiny wings too soon and their families who are left behind to pick-up the pieces.
In the lead-up to Mother’s Day I want people to always be mindful of others and their stories. I will leave you with this quote > “You may not see their children, but there are mothers all around you”. To the beautiful women I’ve connected with through my loss and @thelanguageofloss, you know who you are and this is for you. Your strength, your courage, your honesty and your warmth has brought me so much comfort. I know I am not alone in this ‘new normal’ and while it’s ALL totally F’d up and unfair, we have each other. I know Mother’s Day will be gut-wrenching for you and I am so very sorry. I look forward to creating many rainbow babies and stories together as we grow. SJ x
READ MORE ABOUT THIS COLLAB > CLICK HERE