Helping Through Loss
I woke up this morning And I heard the news I know the pain of a heartbreak I don't have answers And neither do you I know the pain of a heartbreak
This isn't easy This isn't clear And you don't need Jesus til' you're here Then confusion and the doubts you had Up and walk away They walk away When a heart breaks
Before I was a statistic, or should I say before Porter was a statistic, I would have never imaged the difficulty, the heartbreak, the emotions, the disabling crippling pain that a family goes through after the loss of a baby. You probably don't know this either, you don't know this because its not cool to talk about miscarriage. You don't know this because we aren't allowed to share the news of pregnancy until this supposed 12 week mark. You don't know this because the 1 in 4 babies who never made it into their parents arms are hidden, they're memories discarded by everyone except the two people who created them.
Just get over it, move on, make another baby. As if some how a new baby will replace the person who was growing inside of you. Like all babies are blank slates, and you'll soon have exactly what would have been, you just have to wait longer now. Like somehow because you never saw his face smile back at you that you aren't attached, that you weren't up dreaming about the person he would have been, the things he would do, how his siblings would cherish him, and how you would send him off to college. Because the moment you saw the two pink lines you didn't fall deeply in love only to have your heart torn out 20 weeks later. Miscarriage is a shitty thing you know, because not only are we mourning the loss of a baby, yes a baby, a child, a person, a human; but you are supposed to do it quietly; alone. You get your things together the next day and go to work pushing the feelings deep down inside away and pray that no one asks you if you are okay or that you don't hemorrhage in front of all of these people. Or you take a day off to schedule the procedure in which your baby is ripped from your uterus to make way for another baby so when you tell people you need a sick day you hope they leave it at that.
I gave birth, it was a choice I made and something I didn't know I needed. My son knew me so well he gave me the most beautiful birth to cherish. He gave me that. I went home and took a postpartum period. I stayed in my bed for days, I bled into my diaper, I cried in the shower as milk dripped from my nipples, I snuggled my older children and smelled deep into their heads. I held my husband as we both cried together. My friends came by to check on me, to feed me and my family, they sent games for the kids, keepsakes for Porter, they named stars after him, they made me jewelry with the most beautiful subtle reminders of him and most importantly, they didn't listen to me when I said no. They just did things, they just took care of us, selflessly brought me their babies to kiss, they kept checking in on me and when I didn't answer they didn't take it personally. Instead of a brit shalom we had a memorial service with his ashes and they all came.
Share your babies with the world. Do not wait unless YOU want to wait, not because society doesn't want to hear it until you hit that stupid golden useless 12 week mark. If you are a statistic like us then don't be afraid to talk about your baby, what would have been, what should have been. I refuse to shame the loss of a baby into silence. If you are on the other side of things and a friend to someone experiencing a loss that they've shared with you; feed them, carbs. Come by a drop goodies on their porch, check in not expecting a response, just be there and hold space. You don't need to have the right words to say, there are not right words. But remember, no other child will replace this child, time doesn't heal all wounds, and maybe there isn't another baby in their future. Allow them to process the loss of their child in their own way; just be present.
To my friends, family (the ones who cared), and my village; thank you for making the loss of our boy just a little bit easier, a little bit more comfortable, and a little bit less than the worst thing in the world. I want you to know that whenever I think of him, I think of all the people who cared for us in the days after, I think about how loved our family is and how special the people in my life are and I am forever grateful.
Today we hung up something of the things we had been collecting over the weeks after his passing. We probably need a space 10X as big as this to showcase all of the amazing things we had received, but for now this is where some of the keepsakes lie. A little shelf will be up soon; I plan to sit his ashes there. We will always be together sweet boy. Thank you for giving me the little bit of you I was so lucky to know.