I have discovered in learning the stages of grief, that the first stage is denial/isolation/shock. I have learned how little I understand about the grieving process and have seen as I look back, exactly how I have gone through the stages. For me, I was more at a state of denial at the very beginning. This was shown in me telling the nurse to put the heart rate monitor on me just one last time just to make sure. I feel like for me the shock came next and then I moved on to isolation.
As the story continues, I can honestly say that leaving the hospital, I felt a sense of relief. I was happy to know she was no longer inside of me and that she was in the arms of my Heavenly Father. When we got home, we had loads and loads of support! Our kitchen was covered in flowers, we had meals covered for a week and we had people sending us cards and gifts. We literally felt so much support and saw so many examples of what we need to be like when others are going through hard times. Throughout the next couple of days, I just wanted to remember her. I took out all of the things we were given at the hospital and showed it all to my oldest boy. I wanted him to understand he has a sister, but she is not with us. I showed him a picture of her and his reaction was amazing. I just felt so much comfort in watching him bond with her.
At that time I was grateful it happened when it did. I had Halloween coming up in 3 days and that is one of my favorite holidays. I knew I would be able to focus my attention elsewhere. So I did just that. I prepared the costumes, we painted pumpkins and I wanted everything to feel just as it should on Halloween… and it did.
I knew that would be the perfect costume for our family. Luckily it was super easy and I didn’t have to do much to prepare for it. But they turned out perfect.
That night, we went to our church’s trunk or treat and then went trick or treating around the neighborhood. It had been 3 days since I gave birth to our little Lennon and many people were very surprised to see me out. Quite honestly I questioned myself on if this was the right thing to do, but I felt I just needed a little pick me up. We all did. I did really well at the Trunk or Treat, but later I started getting super sore and feeling a bit overwhelmed. I knew I probably overdid it, but it was worth it.
After all the hype of Halloween was over, I was still in shock. I still continued to feel so strong. I of course had my daily cries and had very emotional moments, but I still felt strong. The Sunday after Halloween was a fast Sunday. This is the first Sunday of the month in which you fast for two meals and give the money you would have used to the church. They in tern give that to people who need it. Fast Sunday’s are always very spiritually uplifting days for me. That morning for me, was not so spiritual. I started to feel the urge to isolate. I really didn’t want to go to church and have to face so many fears. Talking about it, seeing other people who were pregnant (especially those due the same time as me) Fear of people’s facial expressions when they look at me. There was just so much going on in my head and quite frankly it just made me so ANXIOUS! But, I went. I was not about to let this horrible situation take over my life and destroy me. I got up and bore my testimony that day. ( stood in front of a whole congregation to express my gratitude to the Lord) That was tough, but again, I did it. It took everything in me to allow myself to stand and talk about my situation, but yet still express my gratitude for what I did have. Afterwards, I talked to many people and they helped me to feel grateful for coming that day. I found myself consoling others. Which I found interesting. I was definitely meant to go to church that day, because in our last class ( Relief Society..all women class) I heard the most beautiful lesson. The lesson was on the talk, Grateful in Every Circumstance by: Dieter F. Uchtdorf – https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/grateful-in-any-circumstances?lang=eng#watch=video
I felt like I gained so much from that talk and it gave me so much strength!
The next day, I took the boys to preschool and it was going to be my first day alone. I feared it was going to be very difficult. I did ok until I started to unpack. That was when I saw the gifts I had been given in Utah for baby Lennon and then on top of it, I saw the first things I bought for her. It brought a flood of emotions to me, and right then, things became a little more real. I was also reminded that day by baby center through email, that I was 18 weeks that day.
IT HAD ONLY BEEN ONE WEEK!! I seriously felt like my days were becoming years. I realized then how tough this was going to be. But that luckily for me, I had so much support. I was getting messages daily from people, and so many uplifting comments. I was literally surviving off of others comments. In this case, my situation was unique. Since everything from the beginning was out in the open, I was forced to talk about it. In so many ways this was a huge blessing for me. Most women who go through miscarriages, keep it to themselves. For many people that works for them, but for others, it is a horribly painful way to try and heal. MY ADVICE TO YOU, TALK ABOUT IT.
Later that week, I went to take the boys to school and the director of the school was standing there with a box.She gave it to me and very teary told me she wanted to give me something to help us remember our little Lennon. She too had been through a loss of a baby. She spent 8 days with her angel and then had to send her to her Heavenly Father. I felt her pain for me and knew she understood me. Again another reason why talking about it helps. If I hadn’t talked about it, I would have never received this amount of support.
After receiving this blanket, it had been a week. I talked about our situation so much , had posted about it so much and at this point, started to feel others were starting to move on and I needed to stop talking.
I tried to fill my life with positives. We were now moving into November and I felt it was so fitting to focus on gratitude. I started to isolate and focus every bit of my attention on my kids. I wanted to teach them to be grateful. Mean while I was trying to teach myself the same thing. I started to feel alone. The phone stopped ringing, the messages stopped coming and at home, we weren’t talking about her. About two weeks after the event, I had a friend contact me and ask if it would be ok if her and her family could stay with us for the weekend. I really enjoy this friend and her family and was struggling with how I was feeling. I just wanted to hide in a hole. I knew it would be good to have them, so I of course gladly welcomed them. She was 6 weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy, and I feared that would be so hard for me. But she was someone who had struggled with fertility for years, so for some reason, it was ok with me to see her. Having them at our home was actually a big blessing for me. I was able to talk about our baby again. It was something I was really needing. Andy and I didn’t talk about it much, We were both handling things so differently. He coped by pretending it never happened. I coped by talking. Those two things were clearly the opposite. I knew it pained him to talk about it, so I stopped. I have since learned , you just have to work things out between the two of you. You are both grieving. But you really need to talk about it.