I am pregnant now, 24 weeks. She is healthy and active, and she brings me joy. And I find that I want to be here, and I want to be her mother. But if something were to happen, and that darkness were to fall again—if TWO of my children were to live beyond my world, I don’t know that I’d survive.
The complications of losing weight after the loss of a child
I think of all the signs the providers brushed off. I think of the other signs I just didn’t see. My heart hurts. I wish I could go back in time. I wish I had saved you.
This year has been hard for me, but it’s been a clean kind of hard. Most people understand grief is a thing. Most people understand pain surrounding death. I don’t think most people understand what happens afterwards.
I have never struggled with the shape of my body; it’s just not something that has ever bothered me. But when my son died in my 41st week of pregnancy, I learned there were so many more components to the body image equation. I had a postpartum body and no living child.
You sheltered him for nine months. You expanded with him, kept him safe. I watched you grow stretch marks, tiger stripes. I talked to him through you. I never thought to say thank you. Thank you. Thank you for holding my son, for cradling him even in death. He only ever knew love in you.
I am probably one of those ghosting stories that people complain about on social media. I am probably that person who just disappeared, and people are wondering, “What happened? What did I do wrong?”
I used to think that grief was this sad time that followed the death of someone you loved. I never imagined it was really this new layer, this new identity. I never imagined the loss I was grieving would include the loss and rebirth of me.
Today, I put on a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. They are tight, and my body fills them differently, but they do fit. And this, surprisingly, is also hard for me—as hard as I worked to get here, as much as I thought wearing “normal” clothing would be a cure for at least part of what ails me, I also miss it. I miss being pregnant.