The day I had been dreading since I first heard the news finally arrived. My SIL and her husband were coming to town with their newborn son. If you remember in my earlier post she had told me she was pregnant less than an hour after I gave stillbirth.
James had come home for lunch that cold dreary day in January with the news. His mom was having a "Meet the New Baby" gathering for family and a few close friends and neighbors. This certainly was a very proper thing to do. I could only imagine how excited they were to have their new grandson in their home for a few days. It truly was a very happy time for all. It only brought anxiety to me as James told me his mother was expecting me to attend. She told James that my getting out and seeing the new baby would be a positive step for me in moving on. She told him also that she new of women that experienced the loss of a baby that went so deep into grief that they never came out of it. This news scared James and he encouraged me to great lengths to go over to his parents home that coming Friday night. My MIL was doing what she thought was best for me. She had never suffered babyloss. She didn't realize that you just have to ride out the wave of grief. Forcing one to get out and live again before they are ready just makes things worse.
How was I suppose to handle this when I was still so deep in grief? I didn't understand grief or why I seemed to be so deep in it after 7 months. I had never been around grief before. How long did it last? What was normal? Was I normal? I didn't know if I was or not. I didn't know if this feeling would last forever or not. Maybe my MIL was right! The only thing I knew for sure was I hurt and wasn't in control of my emotions. I felt so helpless. Why was I compelled to think about James, Jr. every waking second? He was my life! He was my baby and I wanted him to hold so much! My love for him was undescribable! I had no idea that it was normal to grieve like I was for up to three years! I found that out much later. So was I being unreasonable not to see the baby in front of everybody? It wasn't that I didn't want to go, but that I just couldn't!
My thinking was that perhaps my SIL could come over to our home the next day so I could meet my new nephew with her in privacy. I thought I could handle that just fine, and maybe I could take my time to perhaps hold him. Who knows? But please, don't make me do this in front of others. I would feel there eyes on me, watching my every move. I was terrified of crying or having some sort of weird melt down if I was just thrown at the baby and everyone gabbing about him at one time. If she held out the baby to me, would I possibly just freeze? I had not seen a newborn since looking at my own stillborn son. I didn't know what to expect as I was so emotional about my son's death and about not being pregnant again yet. I didn't want to embarrass myself or make anyone uncomfortable and spoil the baby's homecoming. Why couldn't anyone see that?
My FIL came over to our home to have a talk with me. I explained as best as I could my feelings and reasonings. I thought he understood. He seemed to and I felt better. Still, my MIL felt I wasn't moving on as I should and seeing the baby would help.
As it turned out, I told James to go without me and he did. It turns out that James, who was at a lost about the stages of grief as I was, thought long and hard about what his mother had said about my getting so deep into grief that I would never snap out of it. At home I sat and waited. It was getting late, so I called my MIL to see if he was still there. He wasn't. She took that opportunity to tell me that perhaps James and I should get a divorce. That way, we could put all of this behind us, find somebody else and be happy. I told her how in love we were and that wasn't an option! James never came home that night. It was my darkest moment. Instead he drove to Washington to the river to think. He ended up calling my twin sister's husband for help. He went to their home. It was the beginning of our turning point in baby loss.