So New Year, New Me. That’s how it goes come January isn’t it. Well 2 and a bit years after Poppy died I feel like I’m getting to know and understand the post loss me better. I feel a little more at ease with the road I’m on. I feel I understand a little more what affects me more. I know how my post loss mind now works. I feel I’m taking the right steps to manage my grief and post loss and parenting after loss journey.
The first year of grief was so numbing and dream like. Added in with a pregnancy after loss, despite trying to greave I think I did pretend to be more ok than I was at times. As a man it’s so ease to bottle up emotions, dig your head into the sandpit and get on with it. I was guilty of that and I still am.
I’m better at opening up to Emily about missing Poppy and my grief but I can do better. I feel the need to hide it away and run away from it. Turn my back to it and drive away into the sunset. For fear of upsetting her, seeming weak and less of a husband and father.
Bottling that in has not helped and it has made me grumpy, snappy and not the best version of myself. I think we all try to bury the emotions of loss. Baby loss is so hard to deal with and there are days when you just want to run away from his crazy hand you’ve been dealt. The truth is for whatever reason you bury the emotions, you just can’t. By keeping it in for fear of upsetting Emily I’ve ended up upsetting. I’ve done that by letting my grief of Poppy affect me but keeping it to myself.
I’m now all signed up for asking therapy. I’m ready to talk more about baby loss but more importantly my feelings and my struggles. One of the biggest things I’ve learned about baby loss is that its ok to still have struggles. We’re allowed to have bad days, even 2 years later with a rainbow baby. The waves of grief never stay calm, there is always another surge round the corner.
I’m not the same person I was before Poppy died. I’m different. My mind and brain work differently now. I deal with things differently. I’m just rediscovering so much about myself and it’s taken a while to get here. I’m sure there is more self discovery to come. I know I’ve still got a long way to go.
In the those first few months after Poppy died I felt like 3 different people all fighting each other. The Pete before Poppy, Poppy’s Dad and then the broken-hearted father left behind. Life felt in limbo, the world seemed so very different. There was a distinct lack of colour to the world.
We were so lucky to fall pregnant again so quickly and trying to manage grief and deal with a pregnancy after loss was so difficult. I was in a heightened sate of emotion for 9 months. Fears of losing another baby, losing my wife or something happening to me leaving Emily alone. I can see now that it was all so draining emotionally. I should have opened up more to Emily, allowed the emotion chance to get out. I should have given more time to being open with my feelings.
I think I wanted to show the world I was ok, that I was not a beaten man. Honestly though I was, I am. Forever will a piece of me be missing, forever will a piece of my heart be lost. I’ll never be ok and its ok for the world to see that side of me. It’s ok not to be ok. It’s ok to ask for help.
Parenting after loss is wonderful, bittersweet and hard. As well as parenting you have to try to manage grief as well. It can all mount up and you need to find away to let it all out. Its one of the reasons I started y blog. To help others but to also help myself. At the same time though, no matter how therapeutic it is to write down my feelings and stories about Poppy, it brings emotions to the surface. Emotions I think I was scared to then talk about.
I know I’ll have bad days of grief and I just need to be honest and say I’m having a bad day. That’s not a bad thing to admit. I’ll get back to you again, I’ll get over the wave, it just takes me a little while.
Over the past 2 years I’ve rediscovered how my mind works. I’m not as good at remembering things now, no idea why that is. Its been easy to just ignore things like that and think it’ll get better. It’s ok to admit I’m not as good at things compared to pre baby loss me. You just need to adapt to the new way you work, Finding ways to do things different.
It’s been easy to be a little selfish in my grief. While its important to do what you need to do to greave, you can’t forget those around you. I’ll admit I’ve been careless with Emily. I’ve not focused on being there for her at times when she’s needed me. I’ve been more focused in my grief or my writing. I’d be nothing without her, I couldn’t do this without her. She’s always been there to catch me when I fall. I got careless, I pushed her away . But I can’t bear to be breaking into a new version of me if I don’t let her in to that new version. What good is it if I cannot share it with her.
I’ve set a goal this year to navigate the bad days better and to be more positive. Be less grumpy and letting my fears get me down. To be the best version of me that I can. To be the best husband for my amazing wife. To be the best Daddy to Poppy & Reuben.
The wounds of baby loss never heal but over time you learn how to treat those wounds better. You rediscover yourself and you need to try to expect you aren’t the same person you were before, how could you be.