I posted about this on Hellobee, sharing my blog there, and had one comment that did get me thinking. She said, basically, that I was only talking about me, and not about River herself, or mourning her loss (since I did focus more on the loss of being pregnant and such). For those that read the original comments, no I’m not trying to say I think she was right in most of it, but I do think that she had a point with that. And I had my reasons for leaving that off, but I do want to address that side of it as well.
There are two real reasons I didn’t talk about that. The first is simply that I don’t know what to write. If this were the loss of a loved one who had been born, and had a life, I would write a celebration of that life. There would be happy memories to recount, and I could talk about what I’d miss most about her. But there aren’t really any happy memories of her. There’s the time she yawned during an ultrasound (that was really cute), but that’s about it. Most of the rest, like the first time I felt her move, are more about the pregnancy than her specifically. I don’t know what she would have been like, or what her favorite book would have been. I don’t know how to write a tribute to what might have been.
The other reason I didn’t write about it is that that side of it is far more painful to think about. It might seem strange for someone who is blogging so openly about such painful topics, but I actually do NOT talk about my feelings at all. If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you that you can rarely tell how I’m feeling about something. The one exception is Christopher, and even with him I have a hard time. And not only do I not like talking about my feelings, I don’t always really have a good grasp on them myself. Usually the best I can come up with is “sad,” or some variation on “angry.” Angry is easier to feel than sad a lot of times. So I can’t really articulate how I feel about it, beyond saying that it makes me very sad. I did tell Christopher the other night, that I know we’ll still have kids, it’s not like it’s hopeless. But any baby we have, adopted or natural, won’t be her. That’s the really hard part of it all. There are a few songs that speak to those feelings, particularly “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day (hence the title of my last post). And the lines “you take the breath right out of me, you left a hole where my heart should be” from Breaking Benjamin, though the next bit “cause I will be the death of you” is a little too disturbingly fitting. Also, one thing I’ve found that does help me, though it seems strange, is to search “miscarriage” or “stillbirth” on Pinterest. That’s how I’ve found a lot of the images like the one above, and seeing other people’s words really helps me to say, “yes, that’s how I feel.” Or sometimes, “no, not that at all,” but even that’s helpful. It helps bring those feelings to the fore, so I can really process them and understand them. So here are a few of those images that really speak to me.
That last one, “I really wanted to keep you,” it’s the simplest, but it’s by far the one that means the most to me. I literally can’t even look at it and read those words without crying. Because that’s all it really comes down to. I didn’t want a baby, I wanted this baby, my baby, River. I wanted to know what kind of person she would be, and what her favorite book would have been, and to see her smile, and talk, and walk, and grow up. And now that will never happen. I don’t, even for a second, regret our choice or think that we did the wrong thing. We could have let her be born, inserted the shunt, and we would still never have known any of those things, because that the condition that destroyed her brain took her away from us long before we let her go. But I’m still sad.