It’s been a very heavy week for me. I have so much on my mind, which mostly concerns the baby girl that we said goodbye to September. February 11th was my due date. February 5th was my scheduled c-section date. With both of my boys, I went into labor before the scheduled c-sections (both boys were breech) so I constantly think about the baby that should be home with us. My therapist suggested I write a letter to the baby and I think I am going to do that in a journal. She also suggested I write a letter to myself. And I think I’m going to do that, too. I want to share a few things I’d tell myself, as writing on my blog has always been cathartic for me. (Maybe it will help you or someone you love, too.)
Notes to Myself During a Very Hard Time
I want to tell myself that something you’ll never expect to happen to you will happen. And it’s just as awful as you could ever imagine.
I want to tell myself that the physical pain will be terrible but the emotional aftermath will be so much worse.
I want to tell myself that it’ll be one of the worst days of your life. Probably tied with losing your dad.
I want to tell myself to accept sympathy and kindness because people mean well and it doesn’t necessarily mean they pity you. (Thank you to my therapist for sharing this video on sympathy vs empathy with me–honestly, it’s a life changing perspective and integrate this approach into how I deal with everyone going forward)
I want to tell myself that yes, you are lucky for everything that you have, including two healthy children, but this is a legitimate trauma and you can grieve, too.
I want to tell myself that you can also be angry. It’s ok to say, why me? But to also remember that while it feels extremely isolating, everyone has their struggles.
I want to tell myself that you will be crushed every time you see a baby announcement on social media. Maybe avoid the explore page. It will also be hard to see babies or visibly pregnant women. You will wince when you hear about anyone having a girl. It doesn’t mean you aren’t happy for them–you are! It’s not their fault, of course–it’s just going to be painful for a (long) while. (It’s kind of how you felt/feel at a wedding during the father/daughter dance…it just hits close to home, you know?)
I want to tell myself to talk to your kids about it because they have big feelings about it, too. Don’t sweep it under the rug and drop it forever–let them grieve in their own way, too.
I want to tell myself that you aren’t weak or broken, even if you feel that way.
I want to tell myself that grief is not linear and some days you will feel awesome and some days you will feel like you got hit with a ton of bricks out of nowhere. Not sure how long this lasts.
I want to tell myself that it’s ok to want another baby but be really, really scared and unsure if you can do it again.
I want to tell myself that everyone else will move on because, well, that’s normal. Ask for help when you need it. It’s ok to bring it up if you want to talk about it.
I want to tell myself that these kind of things profoundly change you as a person. Life moves forward. You’ll never be the same in some ways but that you’ll be “ok” again and you’ll gain a lot of perspective. Breathe. Take your time. Love deeply. Grieve on your own timeline.
– Thanks for all your kindness and love during this time. Truly.