Before we lost Dexy the thought of loosing a child killed me, how could you get through something like that? I never understood how parents could lose their child and still manage to laugh and be happy. I guess I just never understood until it happened to me.
When we lost Dexy the pain was unbearable, I have briefly spoken in previous posts how Phil and I talked about not carrying on because life seemed pointless. How do you come back from nothing? We had nothing. The day we found out Dexy died was New Years Day, the day where many of us would normally be hungover or spending it with family as an extra day off. But we were sat in a hospital room with our world completely shattered, everything that was meant to be exciting and happening this year was now gone. We were not going to be bringing our son home. We were about to ruin everyone’s year but breaking the most devastating news. Just how can you live your life after that.
The thought of taking everyone’s happiness away ate me up. Knowing my parents have not only lost their grandson but now they have to watch as their daughter crumbles beneath them and see the pain she is going to be going through. The thought of Phil not being able to play in the park with Dexy or get him ready for school was now gone. Simple happy moments were now non-existent because we would never experience them. I thought about the happiness I had sucked away from the junior doctors who had to hear my battle cry when we got told my son has died. How hard that reality must have hit them and how they must have felt completely useless because they couldn’t save that life. All of this circled in my head for days on end and I just couldn’t find my way back to myself. I was lost.
When I went into hospital to be induced I wanted to document my labour and delivery, I didn’t want photos of anyone crying and I wanted to go through this like any other labour with an alive baby. I took photos of the games we played to pass the time, photos of us eating dried up hospital food and photos of me getting cramp in my leg. These were memories and experiences I didn’t want robbed of me because I had been robbed of everything else after birth. This was the last moment of my pregnancy I could go through like any other mum because once he was born there would be no cry and there would be no childhood.
The moment I first saw Dexy I knew what it meant to be a mum. I looked at him and saw only his perfection and I could only give him love and not sadness. My loss was my gain because I had my son in my arms and for the next three days that is all I had. I smiled at him, something I strangely thought I wouldn’t do. I was so proud of my son, I was proud that he made it to 36weeks, proud that I got to birth him, proud I created him but more importantly proud of just how he was my son.
When we left the hospital we moved in with my parents for a few weeks because we couldn’t really even look after ourselves. Over the week I tried hard to stop myself from feeling any emotions. I just wanted to be sad. It was my right to be. I obviously didn’t drink throughout my pregnancy with Dexy and I didn’t touch any alcohol for about a week but one night I needed to let myself go. I needed to have a drink in order for me to stop bottling up how I was feeling. As the wine flowed my best friend Natalie came over to see how we were (Most of you will not know Natalie but she is one of them people who no matter what is always there and will always make you laugh!). We talked about old memories and laughed. I laughed and I didn’t stop myself. I didn’t feel guilty. Now I don’t know if this was the wine but I felt the best I had all week.
The more days that passed the more I smiled and laughed without realising. I found things funny and it wasn’t like this barrier stopping me anymore. The sound of a laugh that is also in pain is something we should do. Why can’t we be in pain and laugh? Where has this weird rule from that we have given ourselves that we can’t grieve and be happy?
I’ve realised that Dexy has given me a reason to be happy and to enjoy life. I should make the most of my life because he never got a chance too. His life is now through me. Since he died I try my hardest to do the most I can. I embrace everything as it comes and don’t get me wrong sometimes I do feel shit, I don’t want to get out of bed and I want it all to end? But if it ends for me it ends for everyone especially my son.
Soon after we came back home to our flat we booked tickets to shows and events to give us something to look forward to and aim for. We needed to keep doing what we done before because why can’t our old life before baby loss be our life now but slightly edited. Letting yourself laugh and smile is so important in the grieving process. I told myself that by making myself not laugh and suffer in silence isn’t going to bring him back but also laughing and being happy isn’t going to push him further away.
I find the people around me have also let themselves go. They have started to laugh again and be happy without second guessing it. My parents now laugh along with me because they know I’m going to be okay. We laugh about the memories before, we laugh about how I crapped myself when giving birth and we smile through all the bad bits too.
Phil’s laugh is contagious. Once he starts you never want it to stop. Hearing him laugh, not a tiny giggle but truly laugh is my favourite thing. Seeing his eyes crease up and his mouth open to let it out is the best. Before Dexy all we ever did was laugh at each other. Now we have that back.
I know that no matter what I am doing. No matter where I am. If I laugh I’m still thinking of Dexy and if I cry I’m still thinking of him too. I have nothing to feel guilty over.