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One year since the worst day of my life...

PostPosted: Jul 22, 2015 7:57 am
by Nina19
I thought I was doing better in the weeks and months since what would have been my due date. It did help not to be "living my pregnancy" every day... but then I started calculating how old my baby would be. And if I see someone with a baby I still subconsciously calculate how close in age they are to what my baby would have been. I still think of the developmental milestones my little one would have achieved by now.

Still, I did feel at some stage that I had turned a corner in a sense. I think it was partly triggered by sitting in court for sentencing of my hubby's cousin's murderers and realising again how devastating his loss was to his wife and two young sons... and remembering how close I came to losing my hubby, who had been visiting him at his business and had literally just left and was driving down the road as the unimaginable horror unfolded behind him. So close. And realising how much I do have to be grateful for. And trying to focus on that and not ask "why me", when instead I look at other couples who are desperate for a child and have never received an answer to that plea, that prayer. Then I ask myself what would make me more worthy of that blessing than them. Especially when the devastating reality of why I'm not holding that blessing in my arms hits me again: it's because I terminated my pregnancy. Because I was not brave enough. Not strong enough. Not sane enough.

This coming Friday marks one year since the most devastating day in my life. And as it comes rushing toward me, all the memories and emotions come flooding back in and threaten to drown me. In the past few weeks I've even become sensitive again to the smells etc that triggered / escalated my nausea. It just hits me at the strangest times and takes me right back. It's like my body is reliving this time last year. As I sit here, I can remember how I had told my doctor this morning last year, in utter despair and tears, that I was suicidal. And she brushed me off and spoke over me. I remember how on this morning they moved me into a ward with 3 other patients (with no explanation), where they were allowed visitors 24/7 as part of their "patient journey" ... while the constant movement, sound, light, smells etc assaulted every sense and fibre in my body and was driving me ever more rapidly down a black hole from which I simply could not return. I put tissue paper in my ears to block out the sound. I had the drapes at the window and the curtain around my bed permanently drawn to try and block out the light and movement. I kept my eyes screwed shut tightly, to try and block out the world and focus on nothingness. I was in excruciating pain, the nausea was completely overwhelming, I couldn't even keep ice in my mouth, I couldn't sleep, my blood pressure was sky high, my anxiety levels were through the roof, I thought I was going to die... and yet the nursing staff and doctor say they didn't pick up that there was any reason for concern re my mental state. I didn't see a nurse unless they were administering medication or I pressed the call button - which was usually because the other patients just left their IV's to beep incessantly. The sound would rip through me. I hadn't seen my family, as they respected my request to limit visits, as I couldn't cope with the interaction. Yet those around me had constant visitors and the continuous hub of activity quite literally drove me mad. I was spiraling downward and there was no one and nothing there to catch me... and then I crashed :(

My family didn't even know I was going into theatre, as the hospital didn't bother contacting them at any stage. To this day, only my mom and a close friend know the devastating truth of the extent of the horror of my loss. The doctor (who didn't even know me) made things worse by coldly telling me that any future pregnancy would be worse, so in terror I told him to sterilise me as I could never go through that again. And just like that... he did. The same afternoon, during the termination procedure. He didn't know me. Had no idea how I felt about termination or sterilisation outside of the bubble of insanity I was in... yet performed two such devastating and irreversible procedures together without even giving it a second thought. I was still so sick that nothing got through for the next 4 days... and then the reality of what had happened hit me. And hit me hard. And I am still trying to get my head around how that could've happened to me in a hospital, when I went there to ensure that my baby would survive, not to kill it.

Of course everyone has moved on and told me on more than one occasion, if I am even feeling a little down or mentioned something about what I'm feeling or what life might have been like now, that I should move on. That I need to let go. That I need to get over it. That I need to live in the now. That I need to be grateful for what I have. That I was kind of past my sell by date (I was 41!). So I am purposely not making mention of the looming anniversary. To anyone. I don't need to hear, yet again, what they think I should be doing, feeling, reacting, responding. None of them know the true horror of what happened anyway, so I can't blame them for not understanding that I am trying to process and "get over" my child being murdered, my part in that and feeling as if I had been medically raped... and had the right to make a choice about my future ripped from me.

I have taken the day off on Friday, as I can't stand the thought of "smile and wave" on that day, as I have to do every day. As it is the tears overwhelm me in the shower, when I'm alone in the car or on my own. Sometimes I have to escape to the ladies' room at the office, just to compose myself, because everyone expects me to be my usual happy, sunny self. Not long after my loss, three ladies in the office fell pregnant. It has been very hard to watch them go through their easy, uncomplicated pregnancies, with their burgeoning bellies proudly on display every day. And as a senior member of the management team, I have been asked to arrange a surprise baby shower for the first two, who are due in the next few weeks. So tomorrow afternoon I am hosting a baby shower... at the same time as I told my doctor I couldn't cope anymore and wanted to terminate. And no one has any idea of the cruel irony and what this is doing to me... I am not sure how I am going to survive it. But I will. Because that's just the reality of life now. And I can't deny anyone else the exquisite joy of impending motherhood, just because my heart is breaking at the thought of what I do not have.

In the past 6 months I have also had to support hubby as he eventually just couldn't cope with the burden of loss (too many close losses that he just buried in work) and ended up being diagnosed with PTSD and depression. Too often, the men just soldier on. If you ask how they are coping they will tell you they're fine. They struggle to see you suffering and don't want to add to that. You feel alone, as it appears that they have moved on and not felt the loss at all. And then one day, they just crash. He buried himself in work... insanely long hours in a very stressful environment and eventually he just started losing control and didn't know what was happening to himself - that really freaked him out even more. So the stress, sleep deprivation and loss all just bubbled over. Fortunately they have an amazing HR manager who could see what was happening and told him not to make rash decisions, but to take some time off work and heal. He even managed to convince him to go and see a psychologist... which no one has been able to do for, well, his entire life! And fortunately it was a good fit. So he spent 6 weeks off work and lots of time in therapy (some sessions went up to 3 hrs!) and was eventually able to go back to work and cope again. This has also helped me to focus on him, rather than just my own loss. But he doesn't know the true nature of our loss and would be shattered if he did. And he has never wanted to be reminded of sad anniversaries, so I can't share my feelings about Friday with him. But I am very grateful that he was able to get the help he needed and is in the process of healing... xxx Never believe that the fathers don't feel the loss, just because they deal with it differently from us...

Anyway... Friday looms. One year. Another "milestone" that I need to survive. One of just many in this journey, which will last a lifetime.

How did any of you cope with the constant reminders, the flashbacks, the "milestones"? And does it get easier over time?

Sorry for rambling... it's just been building up inside me for a while. And thank you for always being there, being caring and supportive. How I wish I had found this site when I was still pregnant...

Love and light to all of you

Re: One year since the worst day of my life...

PostPosted: Jul 24, 2015 6:13 pm
by Jammy
Oh my dearest..... I know it hurts so bad
And when you most need to be kind to yourself, the guilt and shame make that impossible.

I am now seeing a trauma specialist to help me move on mentally. Not forget, but learn self compassion and perhaps form a protective scab if not heal completely.

My only advice....try everything until something seems to work. Exercise, yoga, therapy, volunteering, etc. I am still trying things and sometimes find a way to ease my grief in a positive way.

This is so much a journey. Be patient with yourself, and give yourself space and permission to feel your way forward, as painful as that may be. You are stronger than you know.