Surviving your baby’s birthday (part 1)

Surviving your baby’s birthday

As you approach the anniversary of the birth of your child, you may have mixed feelings. You wonder how you will survive your own baby’s birthday.

Some people describe their experience of childbirth as feeling like everyone failed to rescue them.

I can’t tell you how you will feel. But I can tell you how I felt and later what helped me.

Below is my experience. Yours is still unfolding.

Birthaversary (also known as my baby's birthday)

Surviving your baby's birthdayNo one acknowledged what happened. Everyone just thinks it is okay and we are celebrating. Everyone wants to make the day fun and exciting.

I want that too. But I don’t at the same time. It hurts. The leaves are sprouting on the trees. Mother’s Day gatherings. Spring has sprung and the world is beautiful.

And it feels so wrong. Like I’m looking at it backwards. Or from behind or something.

I want everything to be perfect for the party. I get intense when things aren’t quite right. I’m on edge and I don’t really know why.

I have to do something

I have to talk about it. The flashbacks are more like memories now but still just as paralyzing and terrifying. And devastating.

I still can’t look at the hospital where he was born. This sucks because close family lives right across the street, so we are there frequently. And everyone knows that is where he was born so they point it out to me.

I just nod and say, “mmhmm”.

So what do I do? I talk to my husband again. He’s the only one that I’ve talked to about it. I’m not sure he gets it but he loves me and is sad that I am sad.

He just wants to celebrate. He’s happy to have a son and he’s upset that it doesn’t feel like he’s allowed to be happy.

Bedtime

Then it is over and bedtime comes. I say goodnight to my son and for some reason I start to cry.

Not the bittersweet tears of a mother watching her son grow up. But the tears of grief. It has really happened.

It has been a year since my world was rocked and turned upside down. Everyone just expects me to put it behind me.

There is a pressure to be nothing but happy. But the truth is, my heart is broken, and it really hurts that no one else seems to get it.

This isn't permanent

This isn’t where the story ends. It is where it began. Eventually, I processed through the whole story. My husband had to be my unqualified therapist (which he did very well with).

Over the years, I learned how to handle the anniversary of the worst and best day of my life. I learned some things that really helped make the whole thing more manageable.

These things can work for you, too. Read part 2 for ideas.

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