It's easy to feel beat up after a few "sad days." That's how I refer to the days when my thoughts of Ryan are almost exclusively heavy. Or the days that I trudge through with a noticeable ache in my heart.
But I always have to remind myself that I'd rather feel sad than feel nothing at all.
Because I've been there. In the place of feeling nothing. When the shock of the situation left me acting like a zombie. Or a robot.
It was the day we found out we lost him. The day before my due date, when my world collapsed. Anyone who has had a baby, been part of a birth team, or just knows anything about delivering a baby, knows that it's a process. And a pretty long one.
It took 6 hours from the moment I was induced before there was any progress. More than 6 until my contractions intensified.
So what did we do in the hospital for all that time, knowing the life had gone out of our Ryan? After the initial wave of shock, tears, and nausea subsided, we did what any "normal" expecting couple would do. We waited. We talked about absolutely nothing of importance. And we played games to pass the time. I look back on these moments now and I get such an eerie chill. The worst had happened, and we sat there in that labour and delivery room and carried on as if things were normal. The thought alone makes me feel like a horrible person. How were we playing games!?
Obviously in hindsight I'm screaming at myself. "Why weren't you asking more questions!? Why didn't you find out more about what to do after he was born!? Why didn't you!? Why didn't you!? Why didn't you!?"
But I was (we were) in shock. And with shock comes this incredible numbness that allows you to do impossible things. Like deliver a baby who was supposed to come out screaming, but instead quietly passed from one world to the next.
I'm proud of myself for doing the impossible. And doing it bravely. And doing it on my terms. The way I had planned to all along. I'm proud of myself for feeling every bit of pain that comes with delivery. Because in the thick of that shock, the pain was one of the only things I felt for quite a while.
When I see these silly games we played that night, I'm taken back there. And I can remember the physical pain and emotional numbness all at the same time. Now it's hard to imagine not being able to feel so torn up about his loss since that's the feeling I carry every day. But I like it that way. I like the feeling of feeling. And for that reason, I can't play those games from my delivery night anymore. They remind me of not feeling. And I never want to not feel things for my baby ever again.