Stillbirth, One Year Later.

busy week
Saturday was the one year marker since Addison’s birth. Or death. Or whatever you call stillbirth a year later, because I still haven’t figured that one out.

It’s a year later, and I don’t feel healed. I have two amazing kids here, but I still cry for her to be here, too. Is that selfish? I don’t know.

Pregnancy after our loss was hard – much harder than I expected it to be. Most days, I was able to slap on a happy smile and bulldoze through my grief. I think that’s because the fear of losing another baby was more than I could comprehend, so I forced myself to find hope and cling to it with every ounce of strength I had.

Now that Christopher is part of our life, I look at him and feel guilty for wanting her to be here, too. But then I think about her, and know that I would feel guilty if I didn’t ache for her to be part of our life. And then I think, she was sacrificed so that he could live. Or…maybe this was my fault. Or even that we just have to be ok with the fact that we’ll probably never know WHY we lost her.

It’s like this never ending battle with myself to find peace, or at least some solace in her death. But how do you find peace when the loss is this big?

A year ago, I thought I would find peace if we could just have another baby. And while Christopher has brought an immense amount of joy into our life, it doesn’t negate the feeling of loss. It’s like they’re two totally separate pieces of life – the part that’s insurmountably sad because she’s gone, and the part that’s so incredibly happy to have him here. Two totally separate, yet completely dependent events in our life. There’s no way to reconcile it.

What I can say for sure is that the past year has been a complete whirlwind. The first few months after loss were a shock. Every morning, I would wake up wishing, hoping, praying that it was all a bad nightmare. That I was still pregnant and she were still here.

Then, I got bitter. As much as I tried to avoid the phases of grief, they still hit, full force. What was funny – or not so funny – was that the bitterness came out in odd ways. It was only directed at certain things, events, ideas. Not at people. In that respect, I think it helped that we became pregnant with Christopher so quickly.

The bitterness gave way to hope. Which led to a renewed focus on our future. During that time, I realized that if I wanted more out of life, I was going to have to go after it. That if I wanted to live without drama, that I needed to surround myself with people who contribute positive things to our life, and give the same back to them.

Today, our life is in a better place than it was a year ago. We’re better people for what happened to us. That doesn’t eliminate the sting.

While the wound isn’t fresh, a year later it still feels like there’s a knife stuck in my heart. It’s become part of my being, like it’s grown into me. Weekends like this, it twists just a little further. It hurts, and the pain still seeps out, though not as badly as it did a year ago.

I will survive, as I have the last twelve months. From those who experienced this before me, I know that the pain will continue to diminish, but the knife will remain. And every so often, it will twist just a bit and unleash a little of the hurt.

The rest of the time, my life is good. Great, even. And for that, I am thankful.

Comments

  1. 2

    says

    I’m sorry that you’re going through this. I can’t even begin to think that I can understand it, but I know you can get through it and eventually the turmoil may recede. I can only wish you the best moving forward and hope that what you have here, now, today, Christopher and family will help alleviate the pain in the future. *Always* chose joy!

  2. 4

    Kelly says

    Dearest Cortney, big and gentle hugs to you and family. Not easy at all and certainly, not selfish. She is your one and only daughter at least thus far and will be forever missed until you reunite with her. As the wound/pain continue to heal/subside with time and though scar may remain as the reminder of the void, just wanted to thank you for continuing to impact words of hope and empathy always. Take care.

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