bereavement · Childbirth · childloss · grief · infantloss · Labour · miscarriage · pregnancy · stillbirth · Uncategorized

My Son Was Stillborn.

I’m going to be brutally honest in this post, and I will remain completely unapologetic because I don’t write this blog to get people to like what I say; I write this blog to teach people to understand the harsh reality of stillbirth, not pussyfoot around it. The more raw I am when I speak about Otis and his passing, the more truthful I’m being about how it really is.

When dealing with the loss of your baby, you deal with a completely different journey of grief to those who lose a parent, a grandparent, a friend etc … When a child dies, you don’t only grieve for what they were, you grieve for what could, should and would have been had they lived. When good old Betsy passes way at 80 years old, she has a lifetime of memories behind her that her family and friends can recollect on; when 50 year old Bert passes away, yes he still has a lot of life to live, but chances are he’s grown up to have a family, he’s made memories with his family, his friends and siblings have had the chance to know him.

When your baby is stillborn, the only memories you have are of those during your pregnancy. I don’t know what Otis would have grown to be like (though I like to imagine). I don’t know if he would have been stubborn like me and his big sister Cora, cheeky like his big sister Maisie or laid back like his daddy. I don’t know if he would have enjoyed playing football or doing ballet. I don’t only grieve for the loss of my child, I grieve for the rest of my days I would have had with him. I grieve for his 1st birthday, his 4th birthday, his 10th and 16th birthday. I grieve for his first day of school, his first time riding a bike, his first word, his first girlfriend or boyfriend, his first EVERYTHING that some people take for granted. I grieve for his wedding day. I grieve for the birth of any grandchildren he may have blessed me with … Something you assume during pregnancy that you’re going to experience.

Right now, I’m focusing on me, I’m self centered, I’m selfish … But I’m allowed to be. I’ve had so many people ask me how I feel, and when I respond with ‘I’m hurting’ or ‘I’m numb’ or ‘I don’t even know’, they tend to respond with ‘I know what you mean, me too.’ Really!? You do NOT know!! I understand that people are hurting, but no one is hurting more than me or even the same as me. Not Cora and Maisie, not my sister Zoe, not my dad or Chris’ parents, not even Chris.

You see, what a lot of people don’t understand when a child is lost through stillbirth, is that the mother of that child has grown to bond with her child, and love her child, since she saw those two lines on that pregnancy test.

I completely understand that most of the time the father is involved from day dot, too. I completely understand that people are probably thinking ‘how on Earth can she say it isn’t just as hard for Chris as it is for her, he lost his child too’ … Well, here it goes … I endured sickness for Otis; I coped with countless hospital stays away from Maisie and Cora for him; I insisted on my kidneys being operated on without a general anaesthetic, just coping with gas and air and a local anaesthetic, for him; I felt Otis move inside me; I felt him kick before anyone could feel him kicking on the outside; I read him bedtime stories and sang him to sleep at night; I was fiercely protective over this little being growing within me, I felt it my duty to make sure no harm came to him from the second I knew he existed … From when I found out I was carrying this precious life I fought for him; I wanted him; I loved him. I’m not saying for a second that Chris doesn’t LOVE Otis as much as I, I’m not saying he doesn’t miss Otis as much as I, I’m saying that losing him hasn’t had as big an impact on Chris as it has me. He will happily tell you that himself.

I understand that those around me hurt, too. I am aware that Chris struggles. I know that my dad, Chris’ parents, Sam, Zoe and the twins miss him and wish he was here. But nobody longs for Otis like I do. Nobody else cries themselves to sleep every single night just because they want to touch his little fingers; nobody else literally aches to feel the weight of his little body in my arms; nobody else has a breakdown on the bathroom floor every time they go to have a bath, because Otis loved to be in water during pregnancy; nobody else has changed what they eat because certain foods remind them of Otis – he loved when I ate bananas, he’d kick and go crazy, I can’t eat them anymore; nobody else around me has become absolutely fucking terrified of hospitals because of me giving birth to my dead son in one of them – even harder to deal with as a sufferer of chronic illness; nobody else has become even more terrified of visiting certain friends’ houses because the last time I was there we were talking about how amazing our futures would be with this little boy I was growing.

When Otis passed away inside me; when Otis’ heart stopped beating; a part of me died too. And that part of me that died is never coming back.

People tell me that I will ‘move on’ … Let me tell you that I will NEVER move on from the death of my son and if you don’t understand why, then count your blessings. I will move forward, eventually. I will learn to live with his absence and find a new ‘normal’ without him here because I HAVE to. I know, deep down, if I didn’t have Cora and Maisie to stay strong for, then right now I’d probably be telling you a completely different story. I am broken. My heart is shattered. I will NEVER be the same again.

So when I tell you that I’m hurting or when I tell you that I’m numb or if I tell you some days that I just don’t know how I feel, please don’t just tell me that you know because you feel it too. Tell me that it’s okay for me to feel that way. Tell me that you sympathise but can’t empathise, because you don’t know what this feels like and I hope to God you never will. Tell me that it’s going to become bareable, but do not tell me that it’s going to be okay. It is never going to be okay that my little boy is buried in a tiny blue coffin in the ground instead of being led sleeping in his moses basket beside me.

Otis’ death has changed me. He took most of me with him.

 

 

4 thoughts on “My Son Was Stillborn.

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I do understand as I too lost my little girl through stillbirth and you never get over it you just learn how to cope differently with life.

    My thoughts are with you xx

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  2. Thank you for sharing this very articulate and moving story. Your grief is so raw and pain so evident to all who read this. Like you I believe you never forget, part of you is broken and will never be fixed but in time those pieces gradually come back together but fit in a completely different uneven way. I tell people the grief, pain and sadness will never go but it changes to something more bearable that eventually allows you to move forward.

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  3. Bless you and your memories of otis. …its hard to understand why what happens happens…my wife and I had two children already and then the third pregnancy was a real surprise. ..TWINS !!…..Unfortunately my wife suffered gross polyhedra nous. This in easier terms is an overactive amniotic fluid gland. My wife then had to have amniocentesis done every other day and the doctor drew off so litres of fluid per session. Unfortunately labour started at thirty weeks…cut a long story short…Jennifer arrived first arrived we weeks ere then told Thomas didn’t make it….due to the condition my wife suffered . This can do a lot of damage to a marriage …it did ours. … Thomas was released for burial after a month due to the autopsy, and unfortunately I found my wife was having an affair for six months. ….so….our marriage was over. I love all my children equally. ..and see them when I get the chance. Adam is now 29 yrs old Alice is 29 yrs old and Jennifer is 20 yrs old. I live on my own and not a day goes by I don’t think of what I’ve been through, so if I can help anybody with advice it’s this. …..Tell each other how you feel .Talk to each other. Keep the family close. Show your love to all members of your family. Keep the love candle burning bright. There are no rules to life ….but if I could instigate some they would be LOVE,LIVE,AND LAUGH TOGETHER. Bless you and your family. …keep safe. ..peace and love to you all. .xx

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  4. Thank you for your honesty. This is so true. My daughter was stillborn (36w4d) on December 1 2015 and I KNOW how you feel. 7.5 months on I still cry almost daily, I still feel broken, I still miss her every second. If it wasn’t for my almost 5 year old son I don’t know if I would have survived this as I am staying strong for him. I also hate it when people compare my loss to their loss of a parent/grandparent/husband – it is not the same. At least they have memories of that person living – I only have memories of Hannah living inside me. So thank you for being honest and for telling your story. Stillbirth happens so often (found this out after my loss) that people should be made more aware of it. Thinking of your on your journey.

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