No matter how many times you prepare for questions by people who don’t know Dexy died is always hard. You have this whole scenario in your head of how it is going to come up and more importantly how you are going to answer it.
Do I tell them the truth and risk upsetting them or do I lie and say he’s fine? They are both as hard as each other to say. I worry about upsetting them and hurting their feelings. I forget that I need to protect myself too.
This week has been pretty challenging. Especially Tuesday. I had back to back appointments and meetings without little time to myself. Time to prepare myself for facing the world.
Phil was in London the whole day and since Dexy died I am convinced something is going to happen to him. I feel like anyone in my life can now leave me without warning. I know it’s normal to feel like that considering what has happened but I just can’t stop it from interfering with my day-to-day life. Knowing that if something happened to Phil I would be 52 miles away and unable to get to him under an hour makes me really concerned for his well-being. Yes, it sounds protective but I just really don’t want to lose my husband aswell as my child.
So with that in mind I then had to go see my psychiatrist. It was the first time in 14 years that I have gone by myself and not had someone waiting for me that I can compose myself with after.
We spoke about many things. My thought pattern and how I am highly sensitive to everything in my life right now (Not like I was sensitive enough before). We talked about how im really struggling with persistent low mood and increasing anxieties about everything. I’m finding leaving the house without someone nearly impossible and this obviously has a major impact on my general mindset.
We spoke about my medications and what we should do about them. We have decided to increase both for now. Seeing as I will permanently be on medication for the rest of my life I’m happy I am able to increase and decrease where ever I see fit. I also love the fact my mental health team support my decisions and let me control everything myself. The increase is only temporary until I stabilise back out to a “normal” range of emotions.
I then had a meeting at work about my future with the company. I don’t know if any of have been keeping up with the Sainsbury’s news when it was release but two weeks after Dexy died I got made-redundant. Basically when I return back to work after my maternity leave (I will do a post about this) I don’t have a job in my existing job role. I have been given many options by the company on what I want to do and I have seen my redundancy pay out but right now I’m still deciding but this is just another contributing part to my current state of mental health.
January was a lot to process. I lost my son and got told I was made-redundant in the space of 14 days. How I didn’t have a complete mental break down I don’t know but all I can do is thank everyone who has supported me since.
So after my meeting I was hoping that people at my work knew about Dexy and that the only question I would be asked was “Are you ok?”. Well no one had been told and the only people who knew were my managers and my friends there. I was welcomed back into the store by colleagues asking “How are you finding mum life?” or “How is the baby?”.
I was certainly not mentally prepared for this as I thought the loss of my son would be common knowledge. The first few I told them that he had died and then answered the question of how. It honestly broke my heart repeating that my son had died.
I couldn’t keep saying it. I was trying so hard to stop my voice shaking and going into a panic attack. When the last person asked me I couldn’t tell the truth. I just said that Dexy was at home with Phil. She then asked “How old is he now?” to which I replied he was three months. I felt for a brief moment that I was a mum with a living child and I was living the life I should be.
It’s so hard to tell the truth sometimes and lying was helping me get out of the corner I was backed into. I wondered straight after about how she would feel when she finds out he actually died. Will they hate me for lying about the fate of my son? I had no other choice. If I told her what happened there was no way in hell I would be able to cope. I would be a crumbling mess on the floor.
I had to go pick up my new tablets in town and as I was waiting for them I couldn’t control it, my whole body was in panic mode. I was sat on the chair shaking, crying and unable to breathe. 10,000 thoughts were rushing through my head. I was worrying about what people would think when they found out Dexy died, how that poor woman would feel when she finds out I lied. I felt like I was the worst person in the entire world.
Some lady in the chemist noticed me falling apart and came over to console me. I was so embarrassed but I had no control over what was happening. We spoke about everything, everything positive that I done today. I explained how I struggle to leave the house and when I do I know bad stuff is going to happen. She calmed me down to the point where I could leave and get home safely.
When I got home it happened again. I couldn’t get hold of Phil as he was in meetings all day and all I needed was to hear him tell me that I was going to be okay. I completely shut myself off. I laid in bed until he got home crying. It’s so hard sometimes to live a normal life when your reality is so far from it.
By the time Phil got home I managed to calm down quite a lot. I talked out my day with him and he told me about all the positive points that I was failing to see.
That night I took part in “#Babylosshour” on twitter that happens every Tuesday evening between 8pm and 9pm. It’s where parents who have lost their babies can talk to each other and it really is an amazing support network. Every week it has an agenda and we all talk about that topic. It is really comforting knowing you are not alone. you can talk to parents who are 2 weeks or 10 years into their baby-loss journey. Some weeks I just sit and watch the conversations that are happening and don’t participate and other weeks I’m right into the centre of a topic. Without these support networks I would be completely lost.
So after a very difficult day that I though would never end, something good happened. I am going to be part on the “Mum’s Voice Blog” over on Feathering The Empty Nest. I’m really excited to be apart of this as it enables me to help raise awareness of stillbirth and share Dexy’s story. All along these were my goals. To not let my son’s name be forgotten and try to prevent other families go through what Phil and I have. The first part I feel like I am doing okay in. My Blog has been read in 46 countries. That’s 46 countries my son’s name has been read and brought alive in.
I am forever forgetting whatever I do to cope with grief is okay. I need to protect myself and let myself come to terms with the loss of Dexy. My heart is forever broken but my love for Dexy is forever growing.