My Dark Day

Today is my "dark day".  Today is the day 9 years ago that I thought my entire world had ended.  We lost our first son, Nathaniel J when I was 15 weeks pregnant.

I don't want to be depressing, but each year on this day I like to take some time and remember him.  I know that I never really "met" him or got to play with him, but the minute you are pregnant you have an image and a dream for your unborn child and the loss for me was just as great as if I had been able to cuddle him.

Of course for everyone it is different, but I found different things that helped me through the pain, grief, and guilt.  Today as I remember Nathaniel, I wanted to share these in the hopes of helping someone else.
  1. We named him.  I didn't want him to be forgotten.  He was a significant part of our lives even as an unborn child.
  2. We gave family members cards with a verse on it that the funeral home gave to us.
  3. I wrote him a letter and I wrote about the entire experience. (don't read these if you don't like all that personal stuff)
  4. I finished his baby book.  I had started a baby book or at least collecting pictures and things for his book.  Ryan and I sat down in the living room one day and finished it with all of the pictures of the nursery, congratulatory cards, ultrasound pictures, and sympathy cards we had.
  5. I read a book called, Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunneberg - highly recommend this book!!
  6. I joined an on-line community where many other women had gone through the same thing.  It was a huge comfort to chat with people who knew, but wouldn't be hurt by my pain because they didn't know me.
  7. I wanted something tangible because it was important to me not to forget our first child.  Ryan and I had a ring made.  It has both of our birthstones and Nathaniel's is in the middle.  I have since had another ring made with all of the birthstones of all of the babies we lost as well.  No, it isn't a happy memory, but there was a purpose and a plan behind all of it and that is the happy, celebratory part!
Through it all you have to do something to be able to move on.  The pain doesn't go away just because you want it to!  Sometimes it hits you at the most inopportune moments with a force that is like no other!  Take time to have your "dark day".  Give yourself permission to grieve for your losses and celebrate what they have brought you! (as crazy as that sounds!)

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