Since Finley died, I discovered a whole new community of people, people who are going through similar experiences as me. It has been a breath of fresh air in a lot of ways, because no matter what crazy thing I feel or say, these people don’t judge me, they don’t think I’m crazy, they understand how I feel.
I have attempted to be as honest as I can with the people who are in my life to try and help people to understand fully what I’m experiencing. People have all different ways of approaching me and dealing with Finley dying. I guess I assumed that everyone would want to be supportive and helpful. Some people don’t seem to be able to deal with it at all. I am unfortunately discovering that some people aren’t the friends I thought they were, that they aren’t willing or able to support me through this time in my life.
One friend in particular, that I’ve written about before in When Your Baby Has Died and Your Friends Are Pregnant, has recently told me that she is finding it too difficult to speak to me or be around me. She is due soon and apparently has been having nightmares and is really struggling with knowing what happened to me and thinking it could happen to her. She said that she isn’t able to be there for me.
I must admit that I was incredibly upset by this. I had been making huge efforts to try and be a great friend to her. We spoke about her baby, I felt it move, I looked at her nursery and even helped to pick out some decorations for it. The biggest thing for me was that I decided I would knit some animals for her that I was going to knit for Finley, because their nursery has the same theme as Finley’s did. She knew about this, because she was with me when I bought the yarn. That was HUGE for me because I haven’t knitted anything really since he died. I learned to knit for him. I thought it was a big step to acceptance of her baby. It seems it was unappreciated, because I didn’t get invited to the baby shower. When I asked her why, this is when it all came flooding out. She didn’t want me there. Partially because I’m a reminder of what terrible things can happen, partially (I think) because she didn’t want me to bring down the tone of the day.
My husband thinks that she will be ok with me once her baby is born. I’m not sure that he’s right, because I think her baby will be born and she will not want to deal with how that makes me feel.
I guess I understand most of these responses, but it really SUCKS! I constantly feel like I’m being punished again and again because Finley died. It isn’t enough that he died it seems. I had no choice over him dying, and I am trying to deal with not having him with me as best as I can. I can’t help being sad, I can’t help grieving, and I can’t help that my outlook on life has altered. I thought that I was being a good friend by accepting and being excited about her baby even though I’m sad about my baby dying. It seems it was all for nothing.
I told her that her worst nightmare that I apparently remind her of, is the nightmare that I’m living every day. My baby died. She doesn’t want her baby to die. But babyloss isn’t contagious. Knowing about the risks doesn’t increase a person’s chances of it happening to them. Pretending it doesn’t happen doesn’t stop it from happening.
So where does it leave me? I’m living the nightmare that nobody wants to have happen to them. I’m trying my best to create a new future and a new normal for myself. And I’m having to do it without people that I thought I’d always be able to count on.
Luckily for me I have others who are willing to listen to my ranting, to be there for me when I’m up and down. And I’m incredibly lucky to have found such a supportive community online and through Sands where I can rant and have people understand exactly how I’m feeling.
I must also admit that there is a big part of me that has been resisting the move a little bit. Not because I don’t want to go, but because I’m anxious…another huge move, the process to get there, being without my husband for six months, and knowing that I can’t try and get pregnant again until we are settled. The last few years have been more manic than most people would comprehend, and I think there was a part of me that was looking forward to just being stationary for a little while so that I could find my footing again. That said, I have agreed to the move and am quite looking forward to it, so I will do my best to contribute to making it happen.
Part of that requirement is finding a job. I’ve been dreading finding a job. Initially it was because I just hated the idea that I would be back at work when I should be on maternity leave enjoying being with my little one. That just seemed more unfair than I could handle. I’ve worked since I was 15, with the only exception being when we moved to Italy and I was pregnant. I was looking forward to being a stay at home mummy for awhile.
Since coming to terms more with Finley passing away, the anxiety about working changed. It became more about having to start working for a new employer. The interview process, meeting new people who didn’t know my story, trying to put my professional face on, coping with pressures and demands, worrying about what people would think if I burst in to tears on a bad day, etc.
I’m attempting to push those anxieties aside. I registered with a recruitment agency today who have a few positions in mind for me to interview for. I could realistically be working as early as next week.
I felt so anxious before going in today, that I nearly blew the whole thing off. But I soldiered through it, and found that when it came down to actually discussing my experience, qualifications and job history that I was ok. I almost got excited talking about the kind of job I was looking for. I’ve always enjoyed working and feeling like I am contributing, so I guess this is a positive step in the right direction.