I have been in a funk for the past day. In reading all of the blogs and Kindle books, I have not found one mother who did not get support to help her through her mourning period. It is bad enough to have a full term stillbirth, but without some kind of support system to help one get through this is just doubling the pain and loss. I had friends to stop by for a little while, then go on with their lives. I had not a single soul to talk to. James had been told by his mom NOT to bring up the subject with me. If we didn't talk about it, it would just go away. She told him that we should forget this and go on thinking about the future. James' mother had always been a person you could count on to help you in any situation. I had wanted to be a mother like her! But the death of our son brought out the worse in her. She didn't deal well with death, so she avoided anything to do with it. Well, I HAD to deal with death because it came knocking on MY door. I had no choice! James followed his mother's advice and never brought up the subject. When I brought it up, he tolerated only a few minutes of talk before changing the subject or telling me that we shouldn't talk about it. I should just get over it. I hadn't even been in for my six weeks check-up yet and I should be over this? I felt like James didn't love our son we had loss. That made me very angry, especially when I was up all night because I just couldn't sleep and he was just snoring away.
One night about two weeks after baby James died, I needed to talk so badly to someone and James was sleeping. It was around 11:00 PM. I knew my mother stayed up late so I called her long distance in Washington, NC. She finally picked up the phone and was immediately concerned with what was wrong. I was crying. She wanted to know why I was crying. I told her between sobs that I missed my baby and that I needed someone to talk to. People, this is just so true that it hurts me to say this in writing. My mother said in an irritated voice that I had interrupted her watching her favorite movie, "On the Waterfront" and that IF I had been a good Christian, my baby would not have died. She didn't know what was wrong with me because she had birthed 6 children with no problems. I needed to live better in order to have a baby! I was so taken back with what she said that I just hung up the phone in disbelief. Was there something wrong with me? How cruel of words could a mother ever say to her own child? I must be a misfit for her to do so. James' mother treated me the same way. I must be a really bad person. Non-deserving. I had no support from my family. Dear God, what had I done to deserve this neglect? I wasn't asking for the moon! Just some private talk time to get out my emotions and have my son validated that he was a real baby born and died. I was not fit for James because I could not give birth to a "real baby" for him. At least that was what my MIL told me. I didn't believe her or what my own mother had said over the phone. I didn't get these people! They didn't get me! What I have never understood is why James listened to his mother and actually did what she said. How could he be so full of grief and it not show? There was no way I could begin to hide mine. How could he? Or was he not grieving? I later found out he grieved in private but not in front of me because he didn't want to upset me. Well, it upset me more that I didn't see his grief! When I had my son, it was in May of 1975. At that time, fathers never went with their wives to doctor appointments. It was just not proper for men to show up in an OB/GYN office. It was indecent! It was that way for everyone. Women did this pregnancy and childbirth thing alone. Fathers just passed out cigars after the wonderful birth! We had no ultrasounds or pictures of our baby. Nothing. I can see where James was not as connected as I was. He hadn't experienced the pregnancy or delivery. Fathers were left completely out of the loop back then. However, I needed compassion from somewhere.
We moved into a new home in June. That meant that I had to agree to take down the nursery. We bought an antique trunk that I cleaned up and painted blue, pink, and white to match the now former nursery. I covered the inside after dusting it with baby powder with baby themed contact paper. Then I stored my most precious of all things, my baby clothes, diapers, toys, blankets and all nursery items. I put the trunk at the foot of our bed in our new home.
Our new home was located near the cemetery which pleased me. I could walk to James, Jr.s grave everyday and sit with him and talk. Our new neighbor's saw the baby crib coming into the house and wanted to know when we were expecting. I had to explain that we had just loss our son to stillbirth the month before. I was always explaining where my baby was to the people at the grocery store and other places I frequented. I was even asked to come back to my school to visit my students so that they could see I was alright. Those kids showed more compassion than anyone. They could not grasp what had happened or where my baby was, but they were just happy to hug me and see I was okay. They were truly sorry that my baby could not be with me.
Well, I am at a point where I don't know if I should continue with my blogging.
I thought that my blog might help some new mother out in blogworld get through the grief of stillbirth and realize that life does go on and that one day there would be true laughter again. But as I said earier in this post, you moms have support so I know you will survive. But will I ever get over the trauma of going through my grief alone?