~*~*~*~ Trigger warning for well, everyone: Loss mamas, pregnant women, mothers with babies..........................Loss Mentioned.............................~*~*~*~
I can't sleep. Today was not a good day. Today I found out that my coworker lost her sweet beautiful healthy perfect 4 month old son over the weekend. They don't know what happened but suspect SIDS. He was found unresponsive last Friday and died at the hospital over the weekend with his loving and heartbroken parents by his side.
WHY does this happen?! And WHY does it happen to such good people?!
When I got to work this morning my boss was waiting at my desk. She pulled me immediately into her office before I could even turn on my computer and told me the news. I fucking lost it. I was a blubbering mess. She apologized profusely for not calling me this morning before I left for work. She told me she knew I would take this hard and said she couldn't stop thinking about me when she heard the news. She said she remembered that I was approaching my due date. It made me cry harder that she cared enough to remember that.
This coworker is a friend. She and I were pregnant at the same time but she was 4 months ahead of me. She and I had talked about our pregnancies and she shared with me tips and ideas and things to expect. Her son was born on the day that we found out Petey was going to die. After that it was hard for me to see her or think about her son. Once she was back from maternity leave I avoided her in the hallways. She was always all smiles on her way to the Mother's Room to pump and I would greet her but then pass on by quickly like I was on my way to a meeting in order to shield myself from the pain. I so regret that now. I so wish I had listened to her talk. I wish I had granted her the time to tell me how happy her child made her and about all of his little milestones and all the poop and all the breastfeeding and all the kisses. I wish I hadn't been so selfish. She will never again be able to talk about her baby with pure happiness. She will be different now.
There is SO MUCH I want to say to her. Advice to give her, ways to help her cope, things for her to expect. I want to tell her:
Lean on your husband now, be gentle with each other and don't let yourselves drift too far apart or you may never be able to come back together. Realize you WILL grieve differently and it will be painful and you will feel alone and not understood and may even resent each other but that you have to work through it no matter how tough it may be.
Lean on your friends and family now, accept their help and don't be too proud or pretend you can do it all. You can't. You need them. They love you and want to help you and you should let them. It will make both of you feel better.
Don't forget how much love and support surrounds you. You are not alone in this and there are many people who love and care about you and are thinking about you - more than you could know.
Try not to be surprised when people say and do insensitive things. They are just trying to help and don't realize they are being insensitive. It's unfair to ask this of you right now but you will need to somehow find a way to grow a thick skin lest the comments eat you up inside.
You will have many many sleepless nights when you lay awake tormented by your thoughts. You will simultaneously wish for daylight to come and wish it would never come so you won't have to figure out how to make it through another long day. Eventually you will sleep again.
You will blame yourself. Even though it's no one's fault and you couldn't have prevented it, you will blame yourself and will struggle to not hate yourself.
This is the worst time and you will have to push the thoughts out of your head that it would be better to be dead than to deal with this pain. It will not always be like this. There are times now where you truly do not know how you will make it through the next hour but you will. Eventually the darkness will start to fade and you will survive this. You will never forget and you will always be sad but you will survive.
You will need to find a way to accept that you will never be the same again. You will change in your core and you shouldn't resist it. You will need to try like hell to keep it from making you permanently bitter.
It will be unfathomable to you how people could be going about their normal lives like everything is fine when it feels like yours has ended. This feeling will eventually fade but things will be hard for you for a long time. Silly things will be tough for you. Triggers will be everywhere. You will need to figure out a way to be okay.
You should do whatever you need to do to grieve and try to heal. You shouldn't put expectations on yourself and should always treat yourself gently.
Your baby is loved and had an impact on this world and will never be forgotten.
I want to share links to all the websites and articles and blogs and support groups that helped me during this time.
I want to give her tips on suppressing lactation because that truly is one of the most gut-wrenching parts of this whole thing; the fact that your body is doing what it is supposed to do to feed your baby even though your baby is no longer alive... it is just pure pain.
I want to reassure her that there are people who understand how awful this is. That even though she feels alone there are (sadly) many other people who are experiencing this too, even though it's not talked about.
I want her to know that I have some idea of how awful this is for her and that I am so deeply sorry.
I want her to reach out to me.
But I don't want to overwhelm her.
Instead, I told her my heart goes out to them, reminded them how much love and support they have, that they are not alone, and that their baby will never be forgotten. These were the words that helped me the most.
I now see how helpless everyone felt when we lost Petey. It's a terrible feeling. I have not stopped thinking about her for a moment since 9am Monday. I don't know when I'll stop thinking about them. I am torn apart inside. They are lovely people - so kind and generous. I am so sad they will never be the same again.
I'm also sad for me. This has brought up some serious grief in me again. And at the worst possible time (approaching Petey's EDD).
Why oh why do these things have to happen?
RIP little G. You will never be forgotten.