Yesterday was Easter. The weekend that normally is full of multiple family gatherings, an oversupply of Easter Dinners and Easter egg hunts was already different because of Covid. This year was quiet. Eerily so. But, what I didn’t realize is holidays after loss hurt.
Logging into Facebook and seeing pregnancy announcements, little ones searching for chocolate eggs and babies experiencing their first Easter was more difficult than I had anticipated. It was a harsh reminder of what we lost, and what we are missing out on. Social media has a sneaky way of doing that eh? Tricking us into thinking everyone else is happier than we are. Except this year, I could guarantee they were.
The thing about miscarriage, is for the time afterwards, you’re constantly thinking in “ifs.” If we hadn’t lost our baby we may have done an Easter announcement too. If we hadn’t lost our baby we’d be celebrating Easter together with warm hearts knowing it would be our last Easter with just the two of us. If we didn’t lose our baby, the holidays wouldn’t hurt.
I don’t know when the holidays will stop hurting. I imagine every milestone without our baby will always hurt, and that we’ll just get more used to holding the pain. I feel like my arms are so heavy from all the hurt I’ve been holding. I’m hopeful as each holiday comes and goes we can honor Mars somehow. Though we didn’t on Easter, I plan to buy an ornament for them for Christmas. By still including Mars in our lives somehow, I find it lessens the agony of the fact that they aren’t here anymore.
It’s been three weeks since losing Mars and life has felt a little dark lately. Like each day drags by, and then it happens all over again and in my darkest times I think “What’s the point of it all?” I know this is the grief talking, and I know over time I’ll find purpose again. But, for now, it’s really hard.
I’m finding moments that don’t hurt, where I’ll feel the sun on my skin and I’ll forget these past few months even happened. These moments are beautiful, angelic, blissful. But, they’re followed by the crashing reality that the last few moments did happen, and not only did they happen, they crushed our world.
I finally got a formal diagnosis from a psychiatrist which confirmed what I already knew, that I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD.] I’ve struggled with the side affects of PTSD for my entire adult life, and only now have I gotten a formal diagnosis. I finally feel heard, and hopeful that I can use therapy to work through this.
I’ve been struggling with nightmares which my doctor says is likely related to the trauma of my miscarriage. I wake up in cold sweats, heart pounding, feeling like I’m going to be sick, legs shaking. I still have pain where my baby used to live. I still clench my stomach and cry and scream into pillows just wishing we could rewind somehow.
But, I also have been waking up each day and have gotten out of bed for three weeks since losing Mars. I’m still surviving. I’m still going to therapy and blogging and finding small sparks of happiness when I can. I know Mars would want that for me.
So when people ask me how I’m doing, if I’m honest, I’m surviving.
I hope you’re surviving too.