Yesterday marked one week since baby Cameron was born. Today, my little boy will be cremated and we will be going to pick up his ashes.
The response I have had from Cameron’s story has been overwhelming; I have had so many positive things said about myself, my family, and my little Cameron. Aside from some very hurtful things said by an ex friend, all of the conversations I have had this week have been so uplifting and healing.
In my story I talk about how giving Cameron a natural birth was the best thing I could have done for him, my final act as his mother. I also know that if I had gone the D&C route (which I originally would have, had it been offered), that would have been ok too. I also spoke with a woman who felt guilty for not holding or looking at her son after she miscarried him. We spoke about how, for the fourteen weeks she was pregnant with him, she did indeed hold him and he spent every minute of his life surrounded by the love of his mother. Each person must deal with their own situation in their own ways, no two stories are the same. I feel blessed to have had those three days to come to terms with what had happened, to Google what Cameron would look like, accept the fact that he had gone and that I would have to birth him. Honestly, when I was told I was going to be induced, I told my brother it was the “worst possible outcome”. It was only with time (and hours of conversation with my husband) that I decided it was actually a good thing.
Before twenty weeks, it is not a registered death. Cameron will have no birth certificate, no death certificate, no funeral. To me, this is a blessing and I am glad he left us before it got to that stage. To others, however, it is important that their child is recognized in these ways. Each persons grief is unique, and so it must be dealt with differently.
I am not going to pretend I am any stronger than anyone else put in my position. My husband and I have eaten take-away every night except one – luckily I had some home cooked meals frozen for my son. I wore the same pair of tracksuit pants for eight days (I did shower, but just didn’t bother to change my pants), and my son spent two days in his pyjamas. Today I vacuumed, and I shudder to think how long it has been since I last did it. I have nightmares, night sweats, and complete meltdowns at times, often crying myself to sleep. Physically, my body has almost healed. Emotionally, it may take a while.
My husband said this morning- it will be two steps forward, one step back. Just when I felt alright and ready to change into a clean pair of pants, I found my diary and had to scribble out my weekly countdown each Sunday. Looking at the scribbles hurts too much, so I will just go out and buy a new diary and start fresh. Just this morning, I got a delivery of new baby bottles that I had forgotten I had bought online. There will be those little stabs to my heart for a while to come, and although I expect it, it does set me back.
I miss Cameron so much already, I watch Jacob play and imagine him with a little brother, he would have loved it. It helps that hope is not lost, he may get that little brother or sister one day.
Often I feel cheated. Why me? Why was I given an amazing gift only to have it ripped away? Why does anyone have to go through this? Questions that will never be answered, and I guess they don’t really need to be. Bad things just happen. What matters is how I choose to live the rest of my life – bitter and jealous of anyone who has a healthy baby or a big pregnant belly, or grateful and appreciative of all of the wonderful things I have.
I look at my son, who turns two in just over a week, and can’t believe how lucky I am to have a gorgeous, healthy child who brings joy into my life just by being in it. My family, including my Mum who looked after Jacob in those first few days, leaving my husband and I to have time together to process and grieve. My brother and his girlfriend who took us in and let us stay at their house when we couldn’t bear to go home. My friends, who have sent flowers, given me chocolate, DVDs, skin care products and even a colouring in book so that my days won’t be so quiet and long. The women I’ve met online have offered me support and a place to vent, to share stories and experiences, and know that I’m not alone.
For what seems to be the first time in my life, I am being kind to myself. I am allowing myself to cry, to leave the housework, to spend a full day on the couch and watch movies, to let others in and take up offers of help. Sharing my thoughts has been my way of dealing with what has happened. I never want to come across as ‘preachy’, because these last few weeks have really taught me how differently people cope, and there is no right or wrong way to feel. We just have to make the best of the hand we have been dealt.