“How do you cope?”. This is a question I have been asked many times since Francesca’s death by other mummies in my situation and I honestly cant give you an answer. I wish I could. I wish I could send you a big manual on how to keep going , jeez I wish someone would send me it if such a thing exists. I think my honest answer would be that I had no choice but to continue on. I was dealt a hand that I didn’t want, didn’t even know could happen, didn’t even know pain like this could exist, but what other option was there. The life was knocked out of me when I went into labour expecting to bring home my baby and instead came home to planning a funeral. The light that went out within me is gone forever just the way anyone who has suffered like this must feel too.
I guess from the minute they told me she had gone and that I would need to deliver her naturally my brain switched into auto pilot and its not stopped since. It functions on fumes. The noise and clutter within it hasn’t ever stopped since that day so I cope the only way I can each day and no two days are ever the same. Grief is not fun I tell ya! I chose not to take medication after Francesca to try help me through the darkest times and looking back now I am not sure if that was the right thing to do as now as since Leo has been born my mind is struggling to accept what happened to his sister. Almost like delayed grief , shock and I have a constant tremendous worry that something will happen to Leo.. and its taking over my existence. I have recently now accepted the help of medication to lift some of the fog in the hopes it allows me to live somewhat of a “normal” life again and become the mummy I want to be for Leo. I know there’s no magic pill to cure me but I hope it helps this struggle I feel 24/7..somehow. I continuously battle with the stages of grief constantly. I can go from shock to anger to denial to bargaining then into a deep depression followed by acceptance to then start it all over again but never in same order. I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread some days and then others I feel a little lighter especially having my wee man around whose smiles can melt my heart but I always have a constant feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. I also didn’t have the best experience with bereavement counselling and I was advised that the mental health team in my area couldn’t help due to the PTSD nature of my diagnosis and that they don’t commonly deal with “Stillbirth” cases so I retreated away from any further offers of help from those of you who reached out to me with other places to try for help and back into myself. I guess This is when I live up to my star sign , typical cancerian away back into her shell with the claws at the ready, and I started writing and writing and then writing some more and within this I found a self of purpose that I had lost and didn’t know was there anymore. For every post I shared on Instagram, blog I wrote and hundreds of replies I got from the many of you out there living this life with me it made me stronger and to me, sharing my story is a massive part of my life now.
I have sat here at my computer trying to write some pieces in absolute floods of tears making it near impossible to see the screen then other times I have sat smiling and laughing at the memories I’m reliving all while putting it own into words. For me its therapeutic and helps let go some of the pain and trauma. Although a lot of the time though I have sat staring at a blank screen wishing I could write down my thoughts to let the out and clear the brain clutter but found it impossible to do as some days I just can’t function at all. Its frustrating. It angers me. I hate that I no longer control me, grief now does that for me. I have lost all sense of myself because of this.
I know from reading many of your posts/blogs that I’m not alone in this but I want to take the time to thank those of you out there for having the courage to be vulnerable and speak out truthfully about your struggles of coping with loss as you really have helped me more than you will ever know.
As always for Francesca and Leo xxx