Tomorrow will be two weeks since I gave birth to our wonderful little boy. Whirlwind, blur, rollercoster – are some of the words we’ve used to describe this time. It’s life changing. As with any new baby, life is now Before Leo and After Leo. Leo has changed us. Profoundly. And I’m okay with that. It’s not how we ever planned or imagined, but it doesn’t stop us being Leo’s parents.
It’s also been a learning experience. For us and for those around us, I’m sure. We’ve never been through anything like this. I wouldn’t even say I’ve been through grief anywhere close to this. We’ve each had grandparents die, but there is an element of expectation with those deaths – although, equally heartbreaking. The process of fertility treatment enabled us to adopt a new perspective on a lot of life’s woes, and this, preparing to bury your own child, your baby, has done the same.
So, in the first week or so I opened up my Pages app and just started to write. Ramble really. My old English teachers would have had a field day with their red pens. It was just a way of getting the fast moving thoughts out of my head, so I could say to myself “you’ve dealt with this” and just as quickly move on to the next chain of overwhelming thoughts. It’s helped. It’s not left me jumping for joy, and over grief, but it’s helped. Forcing myself to try and find the words, to think somewhat clearly, to explain my emotions, to excuse myself of any guilt for them…
So I’ve decided that it would be useful, for me, to take some of those ramblings and formalise them. To have them more structured, and clearer – a log of this chapter, as already my memory is failing me. I think it’s important to remember what this time is like, to be able to look back and go “we did okay” and “we got through it”. Why does it need to be online? Well, at the moment it’s online, but private – which seems pointless, but I’m not up for any rash unveiling of my emotions (and it’s not just mine, it’s those around me too) just yet. Once things are out there, they are just that, out there. But online has been a place I’ve gone for support over the past few days. Hearing of other people’s stories, although different, gives a sense of hope, a sense of normal and allows you to paint your own picture of grief. There simply is no guidebook on how to do this. Just our instincts.
Oh, and I’ve just noticed that I’m referring to “it” and “this”. Perhaps a subconscious way of avoiding the word: stillbirth.