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Grief

We had been invited to some friends house for dinner along with some of their other friends. At this point in my health journey, I had gained close to 15 pounds in three months which may not seem a lot to those of you who are average height but for a petite person, it’s like gaining 30 pounds because everything shows on a petite body. The reason for this sudden jump in weight was due to pain medication called amitriptyline. I was prescribed this drug to help my pain in the night to be able to get some sort of sleep. I felt extremely self conscious of my weight and body. I felt like I had to either choose to be fat or be in a ridiculous amount of pain where I couldn’t sleep. I had a conversation with my doctor about this situation and he said, “Ya, that’s not good. Let’s take you off of this and maybe try something else.” This was all great, I lost five pounds but the rest stayed on. I honestly was depressed about it and felt stuck because I couldn’t exercise it off.


Anyways, back to our dinner invitation out. We were all having a good time. Everyone was sitting in the living room and at this very moment in time the room went quieter. This woman in her 50’s was sitting next to my daughters and leaned over. I got this weird sense of what she was going to ask even before she even said it and I just began shaking my head no. She bent down and said, “What are you hoping your mom to have, a boy or girl?” I died a thousand deaths of embarrassment but was also so angry. A pin could’ve been dropped and heard throughout the room in that very moment in time and thankfully a new friend of mine said, “ So my dog…” and changed the awkwardness. Little did this 50 something woman know is before even coming to dinner, our girls were having an episode of deep grief wash over them, about us not being able to have any more babies. We had to work through it and drag them out to this dinner. My embarrassed heart ached for them, that wound was so fresh in their hearts and it ripped at my heart even more.

I had been working through my own grief for sometime with my counselor but my girls were struggling with their own. My youngest took this doll out and announced to the family, “This baby is the baby that died in the car accident.” She cradled and held that baby and took it everywhere with her. My older daughter was not as enthused with this whole doll idea and was asked to take care and hold the doll by her younger sister. She wasn’t in to it and didn’t treat the doll like a real baby. All of a sudden my youngest daughter threw herself onto the floor and started to scream and cry uncontrollably. I told my other daughter to leave the room and just held my youngest daughter's body in my arms as she wept.

We would just about to be going downtown and one or both girls would just start to cry and talk about how they wished they could’ve met our little one that had past away from the accident. It was one of my youngest daughters hopes and dreams to become a big sister and she struggled the most with it out of the two girls knowing that dream would never be. I was at a loss at how to help them work through their grief. The tears and deep feelings of grief were becoming more frequent. My husband got tired of them randomly crying at some of the most inopportune moments. “Ugh, why now?” He said to me. “Grief hits whenever it wants to no matter the timing. You need to be patient with them.” I told him.

I asked my counselor if I should get my girls in to see someone and he gave me some tips on how to walk them through the grieving process. He told me to have them write letters or pictures to the baby and then discuss it. So that’s what I had them do and then they read them out and explained their pictures. It really helped them to process their grief and release it. My counselor suggested having a little good bye ceremony to add more closure, which we plan on doing.


I think what bothers me the most about our North American culture is that asking about pregnancy is like asking how the weather is, when it shouldn’t be. I’ve had so many people say things like, “Oh just the two, good for you. I have four ( or whatever number) and it’s a lot of work.” Or “Do you plan on having anymore?” Or “How far along are you? (When I obviously wasn’t)” And I don’t flippin care how old you are, if you have kids or no kids, commenting or asking a woman if she is pregnant should never be. I thought it was woman code to not say a peep to another woman about this and yet I have been proven horribly wrong. You have no idea if she’s struggling to have kids, or lost a baby or maybe her husband doesn't want a baby and she does or maybe health issues or struggling with her weight. Whatever the case may be, this should never be asked or discussed with someone that isn’t your absolute best trusted friend that you know really well. It is a sensitive topic, one that is highly personal and should be handled with care.

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