Rose and I went off to a baby expo on the weekend. We already bought tickets, back before we were pregnant. After the miscarriage we weren’t sure if we would go or not. In the end we decided to turn up and had a backup plan if staying didn’t feel like a good idea. We did stay, we walked through the whole expo and looked at everything. I bought a pregnancy protein supplement. There was nothing there about miscarriage or loss. There was a miracle babies group for premmies. They had painfully tiny dolls in humicribs with eye masks on. It was hard to look and hard to look away.
We held hands everywhere. People assume you are sisters or friends otherwise. You can feel really invisible. Holding hands got us a few stares and whispers. It’s always nice when people figure it out and take it in their stride. I found myself telling a lot of people about Tamlorn when it came up. Nearly everyone asked if we had kids or were trying. It felt really weird to talk about it and really awful not to. It felt really false to be talking about it without feeling or showing any pain, but I couldn’t let any of that out or I wouldn’t be able to breathe. By the end I was feeling really fragmented and tangled up.
We saw these tiny shirts with the lovely messages and went back for them at the end. They read “You are my greatest adventure” and “A smooth sea never made a skilful sailor”. Pretty appropriate. The lady at the store was really kind, didn’t offer any advice or tell us about her cousin/sister/friend’s losses, was just sympathetic and sweet. She ran after us and found us after we bought the tops and gave us the little dog. It was really touching. This is what being open does, you get the weird and horrible but you also get care.
I feel pretty mixed about going. It was nice to feel that we’re still trying to conceive, still planning and going to make this happen. But it also hurt and I still don’t know how to speak about it without feeling so disconnected and weird.
Today I didn’t know I was being brave, and that’s kind of worse. I went off to a henna gathering and it turned out everyone else there was a Mum and had brought their kids or baby. I came home in tears and found a post on facebook by someone who was upset that their efforts to cheer someone else up had not gone down well and “some people just need to be negative”.
Then I had a panic attack and went back to bed.
Apart from getting up, I’d say my biggest achievement today was buying a plant for Rose. It was a nice plant.
You know one of the most helpful things so far? Our GP being totally unsurprised that Rose and I are having rough days when we’re feeling suicidal. She wasn’t flippant but she was also unfazed – “of course you are! Your baby only died 2 weeks ago.” Weirdest thing but neither of us have had a day like that since. Oh I mean, there’s nightmares, and there’s panic attacks, and there’s hiding under a sheet on the couch. But yeah. Having permission to be really impacted without trying to get over it, recover, look like we’re coping. “Grieve all you need,” she said, “delayed grief is hard and messy. Let me know if you’re in danger but I expect you guys to be really hurting and that’s okay”. She called us mothers.
Just trying to breathe. I’m so tired.
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