My last blog post, I shared some happy news - we were pregnant with a baby girl named Collins. Today, I have to say that our sweet Collins is going to live out her days in Heaven.
One week ago, I went in for a regular checkup. I was in my second trimester and wasn't worried about a thing. While doing the usual Doppler check of the heartbeat, my whole world crashed around me. Baby Collins' heartbeat stopped. I heard her very last heartbeat. The nurse tried to assure me she was "just squirmy" and we were just losing the heartbeat with the Doppler. My doctor came in and tried to find it, but it wasn't there. Two ultrasounds later, it was still not there. I had literally listened as my baby girl's heart beat for the last time. I cannot even explain the feelings that caused.
Here we are, a week later. Ryan, Colt, and I are at the beach for Colt's fall break. Our first vacation alone ever. Funny how that worked out - this was not our original destination (Disney) or our originally planned week. It just happened to fall right after the worst week of my life. I am trying to enjoy myself - and I am, in spurts - but it is hard.
I have all of the typical postpartum feelings, and then some. I have your typical post-baby body, but no baby to show for it. I hurt physically and emotionally. Ryan hurts. Colt hurts. Colt is angry and aggressive, particularly with me. I failed him. He doesn't understand that I didn't choose this.
People can't warn you for what you feel after you lose your baby. Everyone feels it differently. No one wants to talk about it. No one wants to admit to the self-loathing that you feel. The anger. The grief. The complete sadness. The exhaustion. The never-ending tears. The guilt. The guilt you feel when you find yourself smiling, because you will. Then you will hate yourself for it.
I am trying not to feel guilty. I am crying, a lot. I am angry and short-tempered, and emotional. I am mad at people who weren't there for me, but trying to understand they probably have no idea what to say. I am also infinitely grateful for those that were there. The ones that sat at my table or on my couch and let me cry. The ones that were there (even before me) when I showed up at the hospital to have surgery, the ones there when I came back - empty. The ones that took Colt to school, home from school, fed him and played with him when I couldn't even do it for myself. The ones that brought food, flowers, toys for Colt. People will show up when you need them.
Anyway. I am sharing this because no one ever does. It happens a lot more than we want to think. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Here is my feeble attempt to shed some light on it. It hurts. Ask for help. I am. I need help. I need support. And that's okay.