When you lose your baby, your whole world seems unbalanced because it is. What was once the truth and the way you viewed life has now changed. Sometimes getting away can clear your head. It is not to run away from everything, but rather to gain a new perspective on things. And even more so, to reconnect with those that are close and you love dearly.
I remember when we first lost Emily, another bereaved father suggested to my husband and I, getting away. I was little resistant, and then hesitant after I considered the idea. We had already planned our first overnight trip, since our honeymoon, to a secluded resort a couple of hours away. But this trip our Emily was supposed to be in my tummy. We literally reserved the place days before we found out that she did not have a heartbeat anymore. How could I go and actually enjoy myself? What it was supposed to be, wasn’t anymore. And then we had planned a family vacation to a local amusement park for the summer. It was planned to take place a month before our Emily’s due date.
My husband and I did get away last year. We did do that overnight. I remember having a good cry with him when we first got there. I said, “Emily was supposed to be with us here. I mean, she is. But not in the way I wanted.” It was hard at first. Getting there. And just taking it all in. There was a little bit of guilt. “Should I be here? Is it okay to enjoy myself even a little? Knowing that we had a baby that died recently?” It took a little bit of time, but soon enough, we just allowed ourselves to relax and spend time with each other. Talking about anything and everything. It was our own quiet space. We went out for a great dinner, and enjoyed a beautiful walk back to our room. And even went hiking the next morning, and took in all of the surroundings of nature.
With our family vacation, it was hard at first as well. Emily was supposed to be in my tummy. Why wasn’t she? Being that this was a family destination, there were many other families there. It was especially hard seeing mothers very pregnant, when I was supposed to be too. But, I wasn’t. This was an amusement park with plenty of rides. I was not supposed to be able to ride any of them today. At least the way I had envisioned these days going. But there wasn’t a baby in my tummy. So, there was no reason why I couldn’t. I did go on some rides. And I tried to enjoy them for Matthew and Ryan’s sake. And I did. I just had to reframe it all. Now I could ride the rides with them. As much as I wished that I couldn’t. At least this visit.
This time around with our Michael, we did not plan our vacations while he was still in my tummy. Which is a different experience having not done that. Chris and I went away recently, and it was nice to just get away. Spend some alone time together. Reflect. Talk about where we wanted to go from here. The big picture of life itself. You just see things differently once you leave the everyday life. We do have a great everyday life, but it is nice to gain, as I said earlier, a new perspective on things.
We are going on our family vacation soon. A vacation that is days before we were supposed to have our Michael. That is hard. But, I know that Michael, and Emily, would want us to go. And continue on with our life here until we meet again. That is hard to do sometimes. You have to constantly reframe what was supposed to be, and what actually is. I thought of a quote recently, “Sometimes you do not choose your life, it chooses you.” I did not choose for all of this to happen. To lose two babies in a year’s time. But, somehow, it chose me. It chose us. And sometimes it can help to choose not to forget about all that has happened, but allow yourself to get away. To choose some quiet and reflective moments away. Even for a little while.