Saturday, May 1, 2010
Grieve Out Loud!
For about two solid weeks after Matthew died, I was numb. Literally. I sat in a chair, held on to his blanket as if he was actually in it and I was holding him over my shoulder and didn't do much of anything but sit in the middle of everything else going on around me. People brought food and drink to me, took my blood pressure, asked me if I needed anything and generally catered to my every need.
My every need but the one they couldn't help me with--my need for my sweet boy.
Like I said, I was numb to all of this. Honestly, if I didn't know that I was purposely NOT taking any of the pain medication, looking back, I'd think I was heavily drugged.
I SURELY couldn't bring myself to the computer much, save every now and then when someone would share with me something they felt would be meaningful to me, or when I tried my hardest to thank everyone who was reaching out to me with the signature Facebook "<3"....that's all I could muster. I wanted NO part of any information about Vasa Previa (and actually didn't really look into it until about a month after Matthew died)...those words were like poison to me.
Really. I just sat in my chair. I made my rule of "Won't go more than a day without getting out of bed or showering" (though that's all I wanted and sometimes still want to do) but I barely did much better by occupying that chair from the beginning to the end of the day. Granted, I was recovering from an emergency c-section, but that really didn't have much to do with it.
I just didn't want to be.
So, when I finally got back on the computer a bit more, I voraciously started to find blogs of women like me. Well, not exactly like me, but who more closely understood what I was going through than anyone else could. I couldn't BELIEVE how many women have miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant loss. In this country! With all our technology! HOW?
None of the reasons really mattered, actually. The fact is, it does. Tomorrow is International BabyLost Mother's Day. If I am really honest, I hate the term Babyloss...I don't want to offend anyone, but I just hate it. I don't know if it's because it hurts my heart so much or I just think that losing one's child is not something that a generic term can encompass, but regardless, I just hate it. However, it exists because it IS so widespread. When you lose your baby, at first, you are really comforted by knowing there are a lot of women who CAN relate to you (when it seems like so, so many will never be able to again). Then you are scared to death. You can't BELIEVE how common this is...how common MULTIPLE losses are...and how blissfully ignorant you've been to this point.
I know that very few may be able to understand just what power there is in communication without the necessity of engagement. As I said yesterday, the Internet allows me to still be a human--still share a joke if I am able to laugh at one, and share my heartache with anyone who is interested. But I don't have to worry about finding something that fits me, with this new post-baby body. I don't have to worry about people looking at me with pity because they can't believe how I've aged in just a few months. I don't have to muster the energy to maintain a smile (or withhold tears, at the least) so there is not a scene made where ever I am.
I can simply *talk*...with people I don't actually have to *meet* in real life to love them. People who feel so many of the things I feel. People who can put those feelings to words so eloquently.
People who "Get It."
Sadly, they get it.
So, Grieve Out Loud is a project that sounded really wonderful. An opportunity to be supported in ways you don't even know you need to be supported! People to share with. Memorial projects and opportunities. Resources for more things than I even knew required resources. A pen-pal program, that 5 months out, I am amazed and humbled I am able to be a part of.
One of the things I really am excited about is the sending of care packages to newly bereaved mommies. You have no idea how something in the mail can literally get you through the rest of the day. Something OTHER than coupons, samples, bills, magazines...all those baby reminders. The care packages are going to be sent simply to let a mommy know that somewhere, another mommy knows how she feels...is thinking of her, and hurting for her.
Trust me, I am proof positive in how a little *stranger* compassion goes a long, long way.
Happy Launch Day, Grieve Out Loud. Thank you for the many, many precious mommies I've met through you.