This week I want to talk about something that I experienced in the early months of us realising we would not be able to have children.
It seems a strange thing to have thought now, but then, when we are grieving our thoughts are often different to those we would normally have.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that we only have photos of our children as embryos. Wow – this is hard to write about…as I feel a bit ashamed about it (although I tell myself I shouldn’t.) I used to be jealous of people who had children, of course, but I also was kind of jealous of people who had had a still born child.
I didn’t, and don’t, actually wish a still born child on anyone and certainly not on ourselves. I can’t even begin to know what it would be like to have a child and for them to have died before they took their first breath.
What I was jealous for is that they got to hold their baby and have photos with them and show the baby to their family and perhaps friends too. Their baby, their child, was real. Ours were just a flicker for a few days and nobody but us and the medical staff saw them. Our parents couldn’t hold them – we couldn’t say “look at this beautiful angel that we created.”
Even now my arms are aching to hold them.
It’s a strange kind of jealousy – actually I’m not even sure, now, that jealousy is the right word. Perhaps it’s more that I wished for something more than what we had – even if it was just to get to hold our child. To have those photos and to see their faces. I wanted to take every part of them into my memory.
We didn’t get to do that and sometimes I think that our loss is not even viewed as a loss because of that. But, we did lose something precious.
It’s impossible to compare losses and it’s certainly not a competition. What am I trying to say here? Perhaps that there was nothing for us to hold out and say “see what we have lost – we created this and we had dreams and hopes for this and we loved this…and now it’s gone.”
Our pain about our loss was ours and the pain my friends have felt about their loss was theirs. There’s no scale to measure which was stronger or bigger or worse – but both losses and the grieving for our children were, and remain, real.
I feel that this entry is a bit all over the place, so let me know if any of it doesn’t make sense. xxx