Can you see that my baby is dead?

In this new life I am living, I go out into the world everyday and do my “supposed to’s”. I’ve resolved to get out of bed every morning (well mostly every morning, some mornings I just can’t), get showered and dressed and face the day. I try to accomplish something every day, despite the anxiety and the crushing grief, I face the day. Sometimes I stop in my tracks because reality hits me like a ton of bricks. I’ll see a mother with her children, or a pregnant lady at the store. Sometimes I’ll just remember something that happened the night I was in labour but had completely forgotten. Like today, out of no where I remembered that I had thrown up twice overnight while I was in labour. I have no idea why I remembered that, but the reality of it slapped me across the cheek and I can still feel the sting.  But everywhere I go there is this background music in my head, every conversation I have I hear it, every person I am with, I wonder do they know? It never stops.

“Can you see that my baby is dead?”

I look like I just had a baby. I have that telltale pooch in my tummy (not to mention my massive chest). I’ve never been one to feel particularly comfortable in my body. Truth be told, I have hated my body my whole life. I have always suffered from somewhat low self esteem when it comes to my physical appearance. I’ve never felt beautiful, not even pretty. I’ve almost always been overweight, save for the year before I became pregnant when I had actually lost enough weight to finally feel comfortable in my own skin. And now my body, my physical appearance, serves as a constant reminder of losing my daughter. I lost her and I lost all of the hard work I put into trying to accept my body again. Now when I look in the mirror all I see is failure and self loathing. 

One of the things I am struggling with quite a bit now is the loss of who I was before Everlee died. I look at pictures of myself taken in the days and weeks before we lost her and I don’t even recognize that person. There’s one in particular that haunts me. A picture taken at Christmas, about six weeks before Everlee died. We were in front of the christmas tree and in the picture I am laughing. I am looking somewhere just beyond the camera lens. I look at this picture over and over. The woman I see there is content. I see her, smiling and confident, and feel an odd sense of detachment. I stare into my own eyes looking for clues- clues to what I’m not really sure; maybe some foreshadowing of the nightmare that will shortly begin, maybe some answer to how I will continue to survive. I envy her, but also pity her- she has no idea what’s coming.

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6 thoughts on “Can you see that my baby is dead?

  1. Where you see failure and self loathing those around you see strength and beauty. Your courage in the face of all that has happened is truly inspiring.
    you are a star.

  2. RHonda, i did exactly the same. I have been obese for so many year and then i lost sixteen stone before i fell pregnant with Rosie. I then put weight on being pregnant with her and even took those massive pregnancy belly pictures in front of the christmas tree three weeks before she died and was born. I look at those pictures with happy memories, do you not remember how you ate more because baby wanted it and how you rubbed your tummy when she kicked you and you thought to yourself how next christmas will be different with a baby to unwrap presents? Remember those moments you cherished whilst you were pregnant and love on Everlee even more, those moments are even more important now.
    What i do now is jog every night for one hour, its great because hardly anyone is about so i don’t have to face people and i’m losing the pregnancy weight too. But when your pregnant belly finally goes it will be another thing that’ll detach you from your happy pregnancy with Everlee, its very hard getting to the state you were in before because its another sense of loss.
    I know your pain and i hope you get as much from my blog as i do yours. Lost and lonely mums to stillborn babies, together.

  3. Hi Rhonda,

    [Heads up: This is a long comment but I hope you really get a chance to go through it all]

    You ARE beautiful! (just don’t tell Jaime I said that)

    Honestly, I think everyone has something about their physical appearance they don’t like…and by nature we focus on the negative and forget the positive. In reality, most people don’t even realize the “blemishes”.

    Would you believe I have a low self-image? Maybe, maybe not. I wish I had more muscles, broader shoulders, and perhaps even a bit taller. Forget how I feel terrible in shorts and I feel like my face is full of zits.

    I think a lot of us are tuned to what the media calls “beautiful”, and decided that their own views don’t matter. Really though, it’s “supposed to be” the opposite: You’re beautiful, no matter what anyone else thinks.

    I have also been doing a lot of work on my self-esteem lately. One of the main points is that you shouldn’t consider yourself good or successful based on other’s opinions of you, or even your own opinion of yourself for that matter. If you base your self-esteem on doing well at work, you’ll think you’re terrible when you lose your job. In the same way, if you base your self esteem on all the work you’ve done to tune your body, you’ll crash when you lose the benefits of all that work (which happens anyway; it comes and goes, and sometimes you won’t be able to keep on top of it).

    The goal behind good self-esteem is not to find a quality about yourself that you can put on a scale, but to look at yourself as a whole, both the good and the bad. For example, you should say to yourself, “You know what? No matter what I’m good at or what other people think, I am a complex and ever-changing person. I’m going to fail, and I’m going to make mistakes. Life is going to be really easy sometimes, but really difficult at others. But I’m human, and I can adjust.”

    I recognize that last bit is probably really hard to swallow, and I by no means intend to make it anything less than what it is. You’ve lost your baby girl, Everlee. As I mentioned before, I can’t even imagine what that must feel like…it must be terrible. And you might be reluctant in thinking that you’ll have good times later. But you know what? That’s alright. Just let yourself be where you are, right now. There’s no need to hurry, just be in the moment. You’re human, and you’ll keep going the best way you can, with Everlee watching over you.

    As I said: there’s no rush. Just take care of yourself and know that you’re a beautiful and wonderful woman. Sure, your personality doesn’t match the one in that photo anymore, and chances are you’ll never be like her again, but don’t let that stop you from being the best woman you can be. And remember: No matter what happens and no matter how “good” or “bad” you think you might be (in looks, personality, and even your actions), you’re always important to those closest to you, Everlee included. And that’s all that matters; everything else is just another cherry on top (or some other topping that you like on whatever your favorite food is).

    Jeff

  4. I have something to tell you that I hope comes out the right way. When I look back at pictures of myself before my great losses in life, I no longer feel sorry for that person for not seeing what was coming. She would have had to live her whole life on guard if she could see what was coming. And she still couldn’t have changed it. I look at pictures of myself now–60 lbs overweight, dark circles under my eyes, gray hair, always wearing elastic waist pants–and I can see the things I want to change about my physical being, but when i look at my eyes I see gentleness that was never there before I lost so much. I have smile lines. I’m not as afraid of life because I’ve suffered through some parts of it. You don’t need to rush right in to being OK with not being that Christmas you anymore. I just want you to know that you’re going to make it and even though you will carry the loss of Everlee in your scarred heart, you might learn to love and admire things about the new Rhonda who made it through this horror. The kindest, warmest and whole-est people I know are the ones who have been eviscerated a time or two.

  5. I so feel for you… I remember those few months after losing my son back in 2011. I am so sorry that you are going though this… I love reading your blog post… I found them the week after I lost my second little boy…. You are in my thoughts….

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