It's so hard. So so hard to explain.
But the short answer...if you ever feel like a friend or family member is being distant after losing a baby...is yes. Yes they are being distant.
I hid Facebook friends who had babies. The truth was that seeing their perfectly normal lives and babies made me incredibly jealous. Envious of their lives. Of how simply it came to be for them. When we'd lost so much. It broke my heart watching their babies' milestones when my Luke should have been right there alongside them. But he was gone.
It wasn't their fault. I didn't blame them for what happened. And I would never wish what happened to us on anyone. But watching it come across my newsfeed triggered so many hard feelings. Tears. The unfairness is unfathomable unless you've been there.
It's so hard to comprehend what it feels like to watch your entire life crumble before your own eyes unless you've been forced to live through it yourself. It's hard to even put into words, really.
What's so hard for others to understand is that when you lose a baby, especially far into pregnancy or after birth, you will never be the same person you once were. Never.
I think so many of my friends expected me to just...come back. Come back to work--you're OK again, right? I haven't seen you in a year...you're all good now, right?
The truth is, the pain of losing Luke will never go away. It's always there, lurking in the back of my mind and heart--no matter how amazing my life is going right now. I will always carry him and his memory with me.
And I'm only a year and a half out. There's still so much life left to be lived. Without him.
But the thing about life? It is always changing. It's always different. I can say now that I'm happy. I am not in the same place that I was last year at this time, when we'd started trying again. Or 18 months ago, when I found out just 2 months after losing Luke that both my siblings were having a baby. My experiences have brought me here. I wish the road had been different. That things had been easier. But I'm still standing. Somehow. I was knocked down for awhile, but I'm here now. And I realize that my journey is different from any other mom who's lost a baby. We are all in different, lonely boats. Trying to find our way back. Sometimes we're lucky enough to be led back toward who we were by a rainbow baby. Sometimes it's really soon after, and for others, it's a long time after. And for some, there will never be a way back.
So if you're a friend--of someone trying to find their way back--please know:
It's not your fault and we don't blame you.
But sometimes, it's easiest to hide in the fog that's covered our lives.
And some of us may seemingly bounce back.
But some of us can't. And won't.
Some of us will want to stay lost on our lonely boat.
It doesn't mean that we don't want you as a friend.
It's just that it's hard.
Unfathomably hard...to return to what and who you once were.
We have to look toward the rest of our lives... without our own flesh and blood. Without ever knowing them. We've been robbed.
And that's just incredibly hard to bounce back from.
So be their friend. Try. Give it time. In the end, they may not be the same person. And things will be different. But try not to be hasty. Because that mama probably needs a good friend like you.
I'm lucky. I have so many people that weren't hasty with me. I knew I had to do something to get through this. Therapy. Trying again. It all takes courage. When I'd already been through so much. But my friends and family held me up, and I could never repay them for that. My courage came from them.