Because we knew she was sick, is there expectation that it should hurt less? I have this sense that since we had such a poor prognosis and knew ahead of time that death was a possibility, we have to accept it more easily. I’m not sure where this comes from- maybe it’s just a worry that people will think that. Honestly, all the advanced knowledge did was make those six hours of her life more manageable in a way. We didn’t have to deal with the shock of it all in addition to making decisions and enjoying our time with her. We just had to deal with processing her death and not the loss of a healthy baby. We knew she wouldn’t be healthy. Sometimes I wonder if the fall is greater- because most people take for granted the promise of a healthy or even live baby- but since we knew how amazing it would be to have that opportunity, we really know what we were missing. So much more emotional energy spent in wanting, hoping that my baby would live
I didn’t think it would be this hard. I had no idea. I had played out many scenarios in my head. We had talked about the hard stuff. We talked about taking a baby home on a ventilator. We talked about having to take our child off the ventilator. We both thought our baby might die. But what does it mean to talk about these things when you haven’t even met the child?
I don’t think I spent time thinking about what it would feel like after I took my child off the ventilator. Part of it might have been self-protective. Maybe I didn’t think about what it would be like to leave the hospital with empty arms because it was too painful to even think about. Now I’m living that pain. It just seemed too unreal to have spent all that time growing a baby and all that energy adjusting to the diagnoses, to not be rewarded with a baby to take home.
I’m having a hard time. I think people expect me to be ok. I hear it- “Meghan will be fine.” “You are so strong.” I was able to take so much bad news in pregnancy and find something to be grateful for. I’m still trying to do that. I’m trying but it’s hard. I remember telling Chris a few times in pregnancy “I don’t want to do this anymore.” I wanted just to be happy, to enjoy pregnancy, to look forward to birth. Well, I really don’t want to do this anymore. I wake up everyday and don’t really want to be me. When I’m crying, it hurts. When I’m not crying I have a constant ache that reminds me what’s missing. When I’m enjoying myself, I still struggle with guilt. It feels like a lose-lose situation. I need something to look forward to. I need to be reminded that good things will come. I have my up moments and my down ones. I recognize today is full of down ones. Of course it is- it’s my due date.
After today, the pregnancy is over. I’m postpartum. I’m really supposed to be in that time period when there is supposed to be a newborn. The day my entire pregnancy was based on and growing towards has come and will go. This is some sort of end, an end to that phase of my life. It’s like burying my baby all over again.