I had a really good week last week. I was so full of enthusiasm, so full of life. It was a refreshing change to all the sadness. This week, however, has not been good. I feel like I’m on a knife-edge, bursting into tears at a moment’s notice. It feels different to other bad weeks though. I feel angry, really angry. This is something I haven’t experienced until now and quite frankly I wish it would go away.
I had always felt quite lucky that I managed to skip the “anger” phase of grief. I witnessed first hand through support groups how the negativity associated with anger can consume bereaved parents. It completely overshadows the love and happiness that your baby brought you and instead drags you into a black hole of hopelessness. But yet here I am and I kind of feel like just screaming or breaking something. During the week I broke a promise I made to Merv after Benjamin died. It was a very important promise – to be kind to each other. We were going on a date night and he was a few minutes late. I completely bit his head off. I was totally unreasonable and really quite cold and mean to the person who is the love of my life. He is the only one who gets me through each day, the only other person in this entire world who misses Benjamin as much as I do. But, as can happen with anger, I took it out on the one closest to me.
People say to me that I’m so brave, that I’m so strong. But I don’t feel brave and I certainly don’t feel strong. I feel broken, completely broken. I am just so angry that my beautiful boy has been taken away from me. I just don’t understand why, why did it have to happen to me? Me on a good day would tell myself “there is no rhyme or reason as to why a baby is taken from their parents”, “you have no control over it”, “nothing can change it now, you have to be content with him in your heart”. But this week I’m over being content. How can I be content without him here? The dark side of me feels like I’ve been signed up to a life sentence. A lifetime of wondering what our son would look like, what sports he would have liked, whether he was more like me or Merv. I look at other people’s kids and I see how different they are, how individual they are. One may be like the Mum, the other like the Dad. And it is just like a dagger to my heart. Benjamin is gone. We will never know which one of us he would have been like. On every single special occasion and birthday for the rest of our lives he will be missing. Every year we will celebrate a birthday for a little boy that will never get to blow out his candles or play with his friends. In twenty or thirty years time this aching and longing that I have for my son will still be here and I’m finding it very difficult to get my head around it.
I look at other people and it seems so easy for them. Again, the rational me knows that everyone has a story but this week, the bitter me does not care. Everyone else just seems to be able to do it normally. They get pregnant, and then they have a baby. No fertility problems, no losing their baby at 35 weeks. There were lots of other people we knew who were due around the same time as us. They are ALL now holding their babies’ safe and sound at home. Everyone else but us. And while I do not wish the loss of a beloved child on anyone else it just does not seem fair. And I know that is because it is not fair. Bad things happen to good people.
I think maybe I could handle it better if I knew that this was the end of it for us but I know it’s not. If we try for another baby the stress will be even worse. IVF is difficult at the best of times but now it just feels like there will be so much more riding on a successful outcome. I’m afraid that every failed cycle will feel like losing Benjamin all over again. I’m afraid that even if we get pregnant every day will feel impossibly hard. There will be no safe zone for us. No scan will ever give us comfort again. Not until we are holding a live baby in our arms will that fear go away. While support groups are great, you also get to find out the one million and one different ways that a baby can die – all of the bizarre and rare conditions, all of the accidents, all of the unlucky events that align in order for a baby to die. You also get to hear of the multiple losses that people endure. One might think that because you have lost one baby that it wouldn’t happen again. One might think that because you have lost one baby that you wouldn’t go on to have fertility problems. But all of these things happen. Trying to have a baby is like gambling and sometimes it feels like the house always wins.
So for this week anger has won out over love. But next week is a new week and I promise to not give in. I’ll fight this nightmare every step of the way. I’ll try to focus on Benjamin’s love and look for his light through the darkness.