I wrote the piece below a couple of days ago. I always feel this sense of guilt that I am grieving whilst I should be celebrating.
October is the month I lost my son. It is also Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness month with the Wave of Light taking place on October 15th. My wedding anniversary date.
Yesterday my Facebook and Instagram feeds were alive with beautiful posts honouring sweet angels. My heart continually goes out to those who have loved and lost… and those who are still struggling. A friend of mine so eloquently wrote on her wall yesterday: “We never move on, but we do move forward.”
This time of year is hard for me. Around mid-September I find myself suddenly falling into a depression. What on earth? And then it hits me all over again. Henry’s anniversary is coming up. It’s funny how your subconscious can take over without you really knowing it. You would think that it would get easier over time, but it really doesn’t. Grief is a funny thing and you just have to roll with it.
This year has felt even harder than ever. Is it because I am getting older? I know that my time for having the opportunity to have another child is soon over, if it isn’t already. (Who am I kidding? It’s done.)
Since I lost Henry, I haven’t been able to get pregnant again.
Interestingly enough I read an article only just recently that talked about secondary infertility. It helped me a lot. I have been having these huge feelings of guilt… why should I feel hard done by when I already have a perfect, beautiful child? But it’s okay to want more children. And it hurts when you seem to be unable to fulfill that desire.
I became pregnant so easily with Gwennie. We decided to start trying and see what happened and ‘boom!’ I was pregnant right away. Getting pregnant with Henry took a little longer. And after that… nothing.
I can’t explain to you the heartache. Every month I would sit in the bathroom and cry my heart out. For months and months… and years. I don’t think Bill ever knew just how hard it hurt. It wasn’t his fault. I didn’t share it with him. I somehow felt it was my punishment…. my fault, my cross to bear.
I know that I must drive some people nuts with my posts about Henry… about baby-loss. It’s okay… I get it. If you have never lost a baby or a child then you can’t truly be expected to understand. I know that I didn’t before my loss.
I spent a lot of time being angry with “friends” who told me to just get over it and move on, but I forgive them now. What could they know? They didn’t experience joy and hope for a child that was not meant to be. They didn’t labour for 3 days before delivering their dead baby. They didn’t hold their lifeless child in their arms and have to say goodbye. How could they understand?
You NEVER get over something like that.
Honestly, I wanted to die when I lost my son. It hurt so bad.
I am so grateful for the amazing women that I have met along the way since I lost Henry. And I am grateful for the friends and family who stood by me and understood my pain and still honour Henry’s existence. Thank you, kind souls. You know who you are. You are the ones that are not afraid to speak his name or still talk to me about him. I appreciate you more than you could ever know.
I have become so close to many women who have lost babies… it is a common bond that we unwillingly share, but I am so appreciative of them and their understanding and I hope that I can be of some comfort to them too. That is the one thing to come from all of this… I feel like I have been able to reach out and care for those who have experienced similar things and be a shoulder in times of need. And I am so grateful that I can lean on those same people in return when I am feeling weak.
I’m also really grateful for my wonderful daughter. She not only is a ray of light and the sweetest child I could ever wish for, but she also acknowledges and remembers Henry with me. Whenever anyone asks her if she has brothers or sisters, she always replies that she had a brother and his name was Henry. She honours and cherishes my grief with her kind and precious soul and holds the brother she almost had close to her heart. She is a very special girl and I am so lucky and blessed to have her in my life.
Please don’t think that I am not grateful. I am more grateful than you can imagine. In my mind, I have the best daughter in the world. And that is why I throw my heart and soul and every fiber into her every breath and move… but I also miss my son. I miss what should have been.
So forgive me if I irritate you with my posts about pregnancy and infancy loss. But that is my right of passage, just as those who support breast cancer or autism or Alzheimer’s.
We all have our crosses to bear.
And everyone has a story.
I will see my boy again one day.
I can’t wait!
Until then… please bear with me.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness and Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Henry James Porter ~ Always in our hearts
My favourite picture of me, Gwennie, and Henry (in my tummy!)