It took a long time to even allow myself to think past his birth. From the 22nd week of pregnancy through the 36th, I dared to imagine life after our loss. What would it be like to come home without the baby. I certainly knew what it felt like to come home after work each day, watch tv and eat dinner with Jim like we had always done, as if we weren't walking through the most excruciating journey in our lives. I specifically remember telling him how weird it felt to be sitting there, like we had done for years, nothing appeared (from the outside) to have been different. Yet knowing that the baby I was carrying was going to die. Something so huge, and we just ate our dinner and watched tv. It felt like we should be doing something different. I almost felt guilty that we weren't. Still not sure why I felt that way. And as the weeks passed, I found myself wondering how I'd feel a month after losing Tyler. 6 months. A year. A YEAR. I couldn't fathom that! I wondered when the hurt would get better. I was told by other BLM's that the pain dulled after awhile. That it "will get better", it "will get easier". I know most women don't want to hear that when they are living it, but I clung to it. One day, this won't hurt so much. One day, I won't physically ache so badly. One day, this will be a memory and memories are never as vivid as reality. I swear, I repeated this to myself so much. And it's true. It's been nearly 3 years since his birth and our goodbye and I'm so happy to say that the feelings of loss don't consume me these days. I think of him every single day and I miss him terribly, but I can function now and without much effort. There is a picture of him in my kitchen, 2 in my living room, many in my bedroom, his bear (that holds his urn inside) sits on my night stand right next to my head while I sleep, his box of stuff is tucked away safely under my side of the bed and his little outfits hang in the closet in the spare room. Nearly 3 years and I can't put them "away" anywhere for the same reasons I couldn't in our old house. If we have another boy, I want him to wear Tyler's hand-me-downs and I'd never be able to pull them out if I put them in "his" box. Thankfully, there are only a few so if we don't have a boy in the future, I'll have no problem tucking them away with his other things.
Today is my nephew's 3rd birthday and I won't lie, it's a bit heart wrenching that he never got to play with Tyler. That none of my nephews did, really, but they would have been just 3 months apart if he had been healthy. My best friend's little boy will be 3 on the 15th, as well. It just freaking sucks. I don't do it near as often as I used to, but I do occasionally have a pity party of "would-have-been's" still. I have triggers that pop up out of (seemingly) nowhere and I need to allow myself that grieving time. I don't expect anyone to understand anymore. I know they won't and, though frustrating, I don't blame them. I was pretty ignorant before all of this, too. But I have learned to stand up for myself and my family. I've learned that my little family comes first and I need to protect it, no matter what anyone else thinks. I own my feelings now and have no problem setting and sticking to boundaries.
So that's what it's like to be 3 years out from losing my precious baby boy. I still hurt tremendously, but I'm accepting that it'll always be that way. It's much easier to deal with my grief now than it was in the months following his death. The "new" grief is that we won't have pictures of our entire family together. This became much more real when we added Keira to our family.