The past few days since my last post have been rough on me. Friday I woke up with a migraine, second this week, and had the whole day to myself for the first time since losing Asher. It was a rough one. I packed up my maternity clothes (which were in his room) and looked at his little clothes all ready for him. I lost it. I had a massive breakdown. I am honestly not sure how someone comes back from this type of loss. I have moments where I feel like I am literally breaking. I mean, how much pain can one person take? In a year I went from struggling with infertility, to getting pregnant, to having a miscarriage, to getting pregnant again, and then to giving birth to a stillborn. That’s a lot of pain and heartache in a fairly short amount of time. I am very fearful of going back to the dark place I was in when we were struggling. I was so angry/bitter at others who had what I wanted and I hated myself for feeling that way. I don’t want to deal with that way again, yet I find I have moments where I am so angry that others are still pregnant, having healthy babies, and I lost mine two weeks ago. It just doesn’t seem fair.
Yesterday was supposed to be my baby shower. It was supposed to finally be my turn to celebrate the approaching birth of my son but instead it marked two weeks since we learned that our son had died. It was a rough morning for me. Thankfully, I had a few friends come up to distract me for the afternoon. We had a girls day of lunch, mani/pedis, and cupcakes. It was a great distraction from what the day was supposed to be and I am so grateful those friends made the trip up to me. I came home from the day to a beautiful flower arrangement of pink roses and white daisies. It was from friends to mark the day in celebration of Asher. I’ve posted a picture of the card that explains the meaning behind the flowers. I loved the thought behind them and the fact that they were to celebrate Asher on a day that was originally meant to be just that, a celebration of him.
Today marks two weeks since our son was born stillborn. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it, it doesn’t seem real. As I sit here, I look back on the first week without him and the multitude of signs he sent us that week. There is really no other way to describe the strange things that happened that week other than the fact that they were signs from Asher.
- My neighbor visited us in the hospital and brought us a keepsake box, from the hospital where she works, that they give to families of stillborns. In that keepsake box was a set of bracelets; one for baby and one for a parent to wear. (We had Asher cremated with his and I have the other one.) Within that box was a short line from an E.E. Cummings poem, “I carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)”. This poem has popped up a lot in my research since becoming the mother of a stillborn. It seems to be a very popular one amongst the stillborn community. But this poem is something that has been a part of our lives for years. While Hubby and I were dating in college, he sent me that poem and told me that E.E. Cummings was his favorite poet. For Hubby’s college graduation, I got him a book of E.E. Cummings poems as one of his presents. The poem was even one of the readings at our wedding almost five years ago. It is something that held great meaning to us even before the loss of our son. The fact that that the verse was in that box was a sign from Asher that he knows us. He knows we are his parents and he knows our history as a couple. He knows that poem held meaning to us and now it holds a new meaning as the parents of a stillborn child. We will always carry his heart with us.
- While in the hospital, Hubby and I did not see daylight for two straight days. I mean really, what was the point? The week that we came home, the weather was unbelievably beautiful for a February in Pennsylvania. I had the windows and doors open several days. It was in the 70’s and I was able to sit outside and write in my journal about him. Hubby and I believe the gorgeous weather was a sign from Asher to help make our transition home without him a little easier; to give us a reason to go outside and take Murphy for walks, something to get us up and moving.
- Later in the week, Hubby was on Amazon purchasing some workout equipment and he was using a gift card that was given to him back in November. He had me read the code off to him and the first 5 letters were “A-S-H-3-R…”. They spelled his name. Hubby freaked out and was like “OMG! That is so weird! WHAT DO I DO WITH THE GIFT CARD NOW?!” Obviously, we kept it because it could only be described as a sign from Asher. He was with us.
- When we were in the hospital, we had my parents come to our house and remove all baby items from the main floor. We had them put everything in his room and close the door. Hubby and I decided we wouldn’t go into the room until we had Asher’s ashes to put in there. On Thursday night, Hubby was saying that he knows we want to wait until we have his ashes to go into his room but that he feels like that is the last big hurdle for us. He didn’t want to wait a few more days for his ashes before going into his room. While Hubby was verbalizing this to me, my phone rang. It was the funeral director, telling me that Asher’s ashes were ready and we could pick him up. That was definitely a sign from Asher, telling us it was time to go into his room and face everything we had hidden behind that door for the last couple of days. He was listening to us and wanted us to take that next step in our grieving process.
- The next morning, after we picked up his ashes, we were on our way home with the radio playing in the background. While we were driving, the song currently playing piqued my attention. It was Motley Crue’s “Home”. The lyrics to the song say “I’m on my way, home sweet home.” Tears started streaming down my face. I said to Hubby “are you listening to this?!”. Asher was giving us another sign. He was coming home with us. He was telling us that he was still coming home, his spirit was still going to be with us at home. I like to think that he knows how important music is to me and that is why he chose to have that song played.
I need to remember these signs when I am having a rough day. He is still with us. Maybe not physically, but he made his presence known to us in a multitude of ways that first week. Getting through this grief is going to be an uphill battle. I have moments where I can literally feel myself breaking into a million pieces with the devastating loss of my son. Then I have moments where I look at his sweet face in the photos around our home and smile at the fact that I am still his mommy. I know I am going to take a few steps forward and then a few steps back. I am going to struggle on a daily basis . It is going to be a challenge to keep the bitterness and anger at bay. I will have to actively fight to avoid going down that path again. Hopefully, Asher will continue to give us signs to help us move forward in a positive way.