Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Six Months.

Image from Google

We're somehow six months on since Jonah's birth. It's hard to describe this feeling. It feels as though he was only born yesterday, but then it feels so long ago. I hate that the further away from January we get, the further away it is since I last held him in my arms. It truly has been the hardest six months of our lives. 

But I've also learnt a lot about myself and life after loss. I've learnt that six months is no time at all, on this grief journey. But that it also feels like a huge milestone. That it doesn't get better, but it slowly gets easier. And that some days will still knock the wind out of your sails and that's okay. On those days, I just need to take a breather and allow myself to feel what I need to feel, to survive. 

I'm no longer the person I was 6 months ago. I'm a mother of two but having to learn to parent a baby that isn't here. I haven't had to juggle night feeds, with looking after a toddler. Instead I've learnt that I have had to accept that going to the crematorium is going to be a part of my two year olds life. That death will be something that is discussed openly and that she will see her parents cry inconsolably about the loss of her brother. 

I watch pregnant ladies and newborns through a different pair of eyes. I imagine what my life would be like if Jonah were alive. I long for that feeling of him kicking me or to hear his heart beat again. I find myself staring at babies and imagine what Jonah would look like or what he would be learning to do. And then my heart breaks all over again, knowing we will never know who he would have been. I've learnt to block feelings out because sometimes it's just too much. I still long for those new born cuddles and would give anything to be kept up all night with a not so tired baby. I guess that's something you don't realise about baby loss, the want for a baby never goes away, even in the darkest days. 

The biggest hurdle to get over now is dealing with the daily flashbacks from the trauma I experienced. Living with PTSD means my anxiety can go into overdrive at any moment. There are many triggers that are pretty unavoidable, like the sight and sound of an ambulance, doctors or hospital appointments, anything hospital related on the TV or radio - that kind of thing. I can be taken back to that night, in a second. I'm lying on my bathroom floor, soaked in blood. Or I'm in the hospital with not even the strength to roll over. And then the weakness comes over me, as if the blood is draining out of my body all over again. Somedays I'm so exhausted by my thoughts, it's as if I've not slept for weeks, yet I have to somehow keep living my "normal" life. 

People say they don't know how I do It, or I'm so brave, but I have no choice. And then others think I should be over it by now. When you lose a child, you will never be over it. When you've experienced such a life changing event, you will never be over it. Most people are lucky enough, to never have to fight for their lives, to come so close to no longer being here. Most people are lucky enough to only ever see someone in a coma on TV. That's not our reality. There is no happy ending to this story, I can't just switch over the channel when I've had enough. This is my life and somedays it's just relentless. 

But some days are better. I see the beauty in everything now. It's like my eyes have been opened a little more, to see the little things around me. I will always spot a butterfly dancing around or be able to pick out the prettiest of flowers - after speaking to a few baby loss mamas, this seems like a common theme. We're suddenly able to appreciate the little things in life, in a completely different way. And I guess that's something to take from all this. The sun still rises and the days continue, whether you do or not. And despite everything, I want to be a part of this world and share my story. Because it might not be beautiful or have the fairy tale ending, but it's my story and it needs to be heard. 

Katie xx
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