You can’t cry forever,
You can’t curl up and die,
You have to get up in the morning,
And soothe him as he cries.
The days are cold,
And the nights are long,
Because you cannot sleep,
You wait until your eyes clamp shut
So that you have no dreams.
Dreams are where hopes go to die,
You see them playing out,
An alternate universe where life is normal;
You don’t know what birth injury looks like,
You aren’t affected at all.
You take your toddler to the playground,
And he doesn’t cry.
He runs and laughs and climbs and his innocence shines through,
That pure innocence of discovery
And that simple joy that can be found in a snack and a sippy cup.
And there YOU are,
A shining light of naivety and joy,
This Dream-You doesn’t know how good she has it,
How much you yearn for that innocence that she has.
And then you wake up.
The harsh light of morning and your child’s cry,
Is startling and cruel.
Your heart knows loss,
It knows grief.
Those dreams are torture.
You walk around and carry that sadness with you,
Your mask wears a smile,
It is optimistic,
It has hope.
The real you is nothing,
There is no hope,
There is no ending to this nightmare.
Oh how you wish that your dreams and your reality were reversed,
How you wish that you would wake up,
And still be hugely pregnant,
How you wish that this could be some extended, extremely detailed nightmare.
But it’s not.
You try the best you can,
You try to hide your pain.
You try to pretend that seeing a healthy newborn doesn’t feel like a slap to the face,
You try not to think about what you are missing out on.
You try to forget how it felt,
That first two weeks of motherhood.
That rollercoaster of relief, joy, uncertainty, fear, comfort, shock, grief, and loss.
That feeling of your milk finally coming in,
When you were told that feeding would only “delay the inevitable”.
That feeling of your world caving in,
“Your son is brain dead”.
You spent his first Christmas,
Expecting every breath to be his last.
You removed yourself from him emotionally,
To protect yourself,
To make your heart hurt a little less.
You want to forget how that feels.
You want to forget.