When Dexy died every bit of happiness I had within me was gone. It was like a black hole that just consumed every ounce of positivity I had. When we found out Dexy’s heart stopped it was as though my life before this moment was gone. All of the happy memories I had during my pregnancy and with Phil before we even knew that I was pregnant were gone.
Life Straight After Dexy Died.
It’s really hard to imagine what your life would be like if you lost a child if you have never been through it. It’s something we don’t prepare for and most of the time it’s something that we never think of.
During my pregnancy, especially after the gender scan I was so excited and happy. I thought about how our life would be with no sleep and the smell of baby poop forever haunting my nose. I was happy that at the end of 40 weeks he would be here in my arms.
The day we found out Dexy died was New Years Day, now known as the worst day of my life. I woke up thinking everything was normal and Phil and I talked about how he would be born this month and just knowing that we were almost there made every ache and pain worth it. Even on the way to the hospital I was trying to be positive in hope that we might meet him a little bit early. But what happens to that excitement and happiness when you are told your baby has died? It goes, everything you were, your life, your happiness is gone. You feel as though you have no purpose for this world. Everything seems so pointless. I remember saying to Phil that I would be better off dead with our son because there is no point of me existing anymore. Phil agreed as he felt the same. How do you find light when you have lost everything?
During the process of being induced I told my family that I wanted no tears just a happy labour. It was the one part of this process I wanted to have memories made that weren’t all doom and gloom. I was going to become a mum, I wanted to honour that. After all I will not have a baby crying at the end of it, I just wanted it to be as “normal” as possible.
When Dexy was born I describe it as the second time my heart broke. Even though you have the scan to confirm the death of your baby, there is still a tiny part of you that doesn’t want to believe it. When he was born I had my photo taken and you can see the realisation on my face that my baby was in fact dead.
After you go home it hits. It hits you so hard. You have to work towards going back to normality but how do you do that when you are in so much pain? How do you move forward from the worst experience of your life? Everything moves at 100 mph but at the same time everything stands still. You are planning their funeral whilst trying to keep family life running along smoothly. You have no time to laugh just as much you don’t have time to cry. It was at night when I could finally let go of the day and cry myself to sleep. When it was just Phil and I, all I ever did was crumble.
The future seems something unachievable because all you want to do is go back to the past. You want to go back and feel their kicks one last time, you want to hold them one more time even if it is just for a minute. The past becomes your future and it hurts. You find yourself stuck saying or thinking the same things. “I want to hold my baby again” “I just want to have him here” You get so focused on their physical being that you forget that they are here. They are your partner, they are you, they are the memories that you will cherish forever.
The Happy Guilt.
Any bereaved parent will tell you that they have felt the happy guilt. This is when you laugh for the first time and you let yourself go but after a minute or so you remember everything that has happened and you feel this wave of guilt because how can you laugh when your baby has just died?
The first night Phil and I went out after Dexy died was about 10 days after. We decided to go for a drink in town to be around people and to try to feel more like us. It’s actually quite funny because every pub we went into it was just us and the person behind the bar. Also the music in every place was so miserable. We just had to laugh about it. You then can feel the tears building up and the lump in your throat and it hits. Why are we allowed to live and our baby isn’t?
What If People Don’t Think I’m Grieving?
This question popped into our heads for the first 8 weeks or so after Dexy died. Every time we went out we were worried what people would think if they saw us. If we were wandering around town with no purpose but if people saw us would they think that we were just “getting on with life”? It’s like all parents should be given a book when they lose a child with “Dos and don’ts”.
As time went on I changed my mindset. What people don’t see is what I’m thinking. That’s all that matters. If I look happy and look like I’m having a nice time, what they don’t know is that all I’m thinking about is how much pain I am in over losing my baby. People see what they want to see and people hear what they want to hear. There is no rulebook on how you should be after you lose a baby. It’s against nature. Our babies should be holding our hands when we die, not us picking a coffin out for them.
If I want to publicly grieve I will and if I want to go out and have a drink and break down when I get home I will. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG. If anyone judges a parent on how they grieve they need to look at themselves.
Am I Happy Now?
No. I don’t think I will ever be happy again but I will find happiness at different stages of my life. That statement doesn’t really make sense but to me it does. It’s basically saying that I’m never going to be as happy as I was before Dexy died but I will find happiness at points in my life. I will laugh and be happy when we next have a baby. I will be happy when we go on holiday next week. But I’m never going to be happy with my life as a whole. I have a very big part of my life and light missing.