The Loss of a Child. Losing a Baby.
I am hoping that this story about the loss of my child, specifically losing a baby, can help others know that they are not alone if they have had a loss as well. My child was born prematurely when I was just 25 weeks pregnant. My water broke and I went to the hospital where I stayed for 1 week while the doctors tried to delay the birth of my son. Unfortunately nothing worked and through emergency c-section my baby boy Cole Matthew was born weighing just 1 lb 10 oz. Through two weeks of a rollercoaster ride of emotions my husband and I worried, watched, and held this tiny tiny angel. In the end his lungs just were not mature enough to handle life and he passed away at 2 weeks old.
We held a memorial and grave side service for our baby. Although the thought of this earlier on had horrified me it turned out that in the end it was an important part of the grieving process. The outpouring of support engulfed me like a giant bear hug - strong but gentle. Once the service was over and I had the weeks at home to recover from the emergency c- section and loss of the baby, the cards and flowers continued to meet me at the door everyday and I looked forward to the mailman arriving. Eventually the hard part came - moving on with life as normal. The cards and letters slowed down and eventually stopped and I returned to work. I remember trying to put everyone at ease that looked at me with sadness and pity. I put on a strong brave front and jumped back into my life only looking back occasionally.
Ten years and two healthy boys later, I know that that wasn't the best thing to do. I should not have been afraid to grieve longer and to let the feelings be there and pass in their own time. Instead I pushed them away, never letting myself complete the grieving process. My advice to anyone who has recently been through a tragedy such as this is to let yourself feel the sadness, the loss and that it is ok and will be ok. Whether you felt your baby inside you for just a short time or lost your child after they were born try to be thankful for any amount of time you had with your baby. Seek help with a support group in your area, write a journal. Talking and writing about how you are feeling is one type of medicine that you will need to get through this and as with any loss only time will really heal you. Don't be afraid to admit to depression that may come from your loss, both hormonal and emotional. I found that counseling and taking medication if needed, is all part of an important healing process.
Another way to help with the healing process is to create a meaningful keepsake of some sort, such as a piece of jewelry, a picture, or tattoo. Something to remember your baby by. Although I know the memory of my baby willl always be inside me, it was important to me to have a meaningful reminder too. I have a picture, the baby's father has a tattoo. We also visit the baby's grave every year to pay tribute to his memory. Our two sons know that they have a special brother up in heaven that serves as their angel looking out for them from above.
I hope this story has helped in some way. Although stories may differ the feelings that one experiences through a tragedy such as this are the same. I found that it was easier to make it through with the knowledge that others had been through similar situations, I wasn't alone, and I found comfort in telling my story to others. Thanks for listening... If you have been through a similar situation please share the story of your angel in the comment section.