I don’t think I cried.
I remember closing my eyes, burying my face in my hands and shaking my head in disbelief.
My husband arrived quickly and hugged me as he began to cry.
I was in shock.
I was also scared because I knew this baby still had to come out. It was one of the first thoughts that entered my mind.
I assumed they would schedule a c-section but was horrified to find out otherwise. I quickly accepted it and told myself that I could do this for my baby.
I felt sick though because this baby had died inside me – it was a sickening feeling. It’s hard to admit.
The pain. The pain felt so much worse than I remembered from my daughter’s delivery.
Perhaps knowing what was on the other end, knowing that we would never take our baby home – maybe this intensified the pain. The emotional pain seemed to hurt physically somehow.
But to this day, no physical pain will ever compare to the emotional pain and the agony endured during the months after our son died.
The days after Wyatt’s funeral was when it finally hit me. I did everything I could do for him as a mom.
I laboured and delivered him, and then we said goodbye. And now the hard part was just beginning.
I sought counseling, not because I thought I needed it, but I wanted to be sure. We wanted another pregnancy sooner than later, and I wanted to be as strong emotionally and mentally as I could be.
My counselor reaffirmed me by telling me that I was doing everything right and that she felt counseling was not necessary.
Well – then why did it still hurt so bad?
My husband took a short time off work but then needed to go back. He needed to stay busy and “do something.”
I watched as his life seemed to be pieced back together, and he was able to establish normalcy again. I didn’t envy him, but I was puzzled as I couldn’t understand how I would ever feel normal again.
I didn’t want to feel normal. A piece of my heart had been ripped out. I felt broken, empty, and alone.
How could I ever go back to the person I was before?
Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. I continued to get through each day, caring for my daughter as best as I could, and when she was tucked in at night, I climbed into bed as well.
I grieved hard, while it seemed my husband kept his feelings tucked somewhere inside.
I looked for comfort anywhere and everywhere. I read books, spoke to other bereaved mothers, and continued with counseling.
If I was able to find relief, it was temporary – it never lasted long.
Each night my husband would ask if I would join him and watch a show before heading to bed. Each night I declined.
I didn’t understand how he could pick up the pieces and move forward the way he did. I encouraged him to talk about his feelings and be more open.
But ultimately, I respected his grieving process. And as I headed into the bedroom each night, he also respected mine, hoping one of these nights I would come around.
He was patient as months continued to pass, waiting for his wife to return.
This type of thing, they say, is what could tear marriages apart. I don’t believe there was resentment between us, but we seemed to be functioning on two different levels.
I couldn’t understand how he was able to laugh, and I’m sure to him it was hard to understand why I wouldn’t try.
It’s been five years since Wyatt died. As his birthday approached this year, my husband and I finally spoke about our grief and how we each coped.
We agreed that we couldn’t understand each other. He told me that he was afraid he had lost me forever – that I was never coming back.
He talked about the hours he spent in the garage, alone working on his truck and the attachment to that truck that he now holds. It was a part of his process, and I had no idea until now.
While our grief journeys differed wildly, while we struggled to understand each other, I never once doubted that we would survive it together.
After five years, we could finally talk about our journeys and better understand the process we each went through.
We all grieve differently. We each travel our grief journey alone, albeit surrounded by loved ones who want nothing more than to pull us back into the light.
Grief is dark, and it’s ugly.
During the months after Wyatt’s death, the tremendous support that I (we) received will never be forgotten.
I will always remember the people, the words, actions, and support that encouraged me through the long days. I am forever thankful to my husband for his love and his patience as I maneuvered through my grief.
I am forever thankful that he respected and allowed me to do my grief while he did his own.