Living in the Purgatory of Loss

It’s been a crazy emotionally draining few weeks. The kind  that makes you take stock in who you are, where you are and what your life has become. Weeks that makes you stop and catch your breath and reassess what is important to you.

On Tuesday evening in casual conversation, I asked a my daughter’s ballet teacher when she was due. She said Thanksgiving and just like that, I was punched in the gut. Thanksgiving last year was my due date, this year I should have a one-year-old sitting on my lap. I don’t. It’s not fucking fair! I just want to collapse into a pool of snot and tears and cry until I can’t cry anymore.

It all started last week when the Big Guy and I were having a conversation about the big things in life, already happening. He feels like all the big things have already happened for us. He specifically mentioned our children and though he never said it, I felt that it was unspoken that maybe our loss was on his mind, even if he didn’t realize it. This made me sad because, I already blame myself and on some days the loss is too much to bear.

Then I had to take Bella to the hospital for passing out cold in my arms and for those split seconds I thought she was dead. I really did and my whole world exploded like a nuclear bomb went off and wiped me off the face of the earth. As I sat there in the emergency room waiting to hear the results, my mind went back to that moment on May 1st, 2012 when I sat on a stretcher waiting for them to wheel me back for my D & E. I remember seeing a mother holding her 18-month-old daughter on her lap as they awaited surgery for the child and I said to the Big Guy then, “At least I am not here with my sick child!”

I was thankful not to be sitting there with a sick Bella or Gabi waiting for them to be wheeled back to get surgery when in fact I was sitting there with my baby in my belly with no heartbeat. I had completely separated myself from the situation and that is how I’ve survived the loss. The Big Guy looked at me like I was crazy. I probably was but when I sat there with Bella on that Thursday morning, I felt more helpless and useless than I’ve ever felt before.

The baby that we lost has been on my mind a lot lately; practically daily. Maybe its because its fall and I know that the due date is right around the corner. Maybe it has something to do with seeing beautiful pregnant women everywhere I go. Maybe it has been triggered by the losses of my friends in the past few weeks. Or maybe I have still not yet let it go.

When I first lost our baby, I was terrified of ever feeling that pain again. I still am but every once in awhile I see a glimpse of what if? I allow myself to wonder. But I’m older now  and so are the girls and it feels like the gap is unsurmountable. That part of our life has been forcefully surrendered and I know I could not survive another loss. That I know for sure. It put me in a very dark place that I never want to revisit. But still it hurts, I don’t know if it will ever stop hurting; the loss of our unexpected blessing.

When will I stop marking time by events of loss? I feel like I am coping well and not dwelling on the sadness and then just as suddenly, my heart is in my throat and BOOM! emotional time bomb.

Maybe we should have tried for another baby. Maybe it would have helped take up some of the room in this hole in my heart and then I realize, no, you can’t fill that void. I just have to learn to live in my loss and not being able to give my daughter a little brother or sister. When will I stop feeling like I need to be still and hide on these annual occasions of conception, miscarriage and due date?

It’s all I have. I never got to hold my baby in my arms. I cling to these tiny milestones like they are my last breaths. When will I be able to exhale?

Our babies who have gone on to heaven may not be here in our arms but they are always in our hearts. During National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, please remember what we can never forget.

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Comments (1)

Thank you for this. So many suffer in silence after their loss. I lost mine in October last year and have never forgotten the pain.

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