Stages of Grief

Standard

Denial

  • The dx isn’t that bad.
  • I wasn’t really pregnant at all.
  • It can be fixed.
  • They got my ultrasound confused with someone else’s.
  • This isn’t happening to me.
  • This is just a nightmare that I will wake up from.
  • If I close my eyes for a minute, I can still feel my daughter wiggling around.

Anger

  • This wasn’t supposed to happen!
  • I’ve had enough pain with infertility already!
  • What did I do to fuck this up?
  • How come all these losers can have healthy babies and I can’t?
  • Why didn’t I get an amnio?
  • Why did the doctor wait until after Christmas when I had publicly announced the sex?
  • Why me? Why my daughter? Why not someone who was going to abort regardless?
  • Why did it have to be spina bifida?
  • I hate my doctor for finding this.
  • I hate my body for failing me.
  • I hate my baby for being sick.*
  • I hate telling people I “lost” the baby.
  • I hate people thinking this was a miscarriage.
  • I hate the pregnant girls and teenage parents at my school.
  • I’m angry with people who tell me that I’ll get pregnant again quickly and with no problem.
  • I’m angry with people who tell me that God has a plan, or that He won’t give me more than I can handle.

Bargaining

  • I’ll do anything to be pregnant again.
  • I’ll do anything to have a healthy baby.
  • I won’t ever drink again.
  • I won’t ever get pregnant again if I can just have this one healthy baby.
  • Please let there be a God who is taking care of my baby.
  • Please let there be an afterlife so that my loved ones are with my baby.
  • I’ll do anything so that my future pregnancies are healthy.
  • What if I realized my daughter was sick sooner?
  • What if I had a CVS?
  • If only I’d… (fill in the blank).

Depression

  • Why take a shower?
  • Why get out of bed?
  • Why do teeth need to brushed anyway?
  • Eh. I’m not answering this phone call right now.
  • Crying.
  • Sobbing.
  • I don’t want to eat.
  • I feel like throwing up.
  • I don’t want to leave the house.
  • Time for an anxiety pill!
  • I’m never going to be able to get pregnant again.
  • I’m broken.
  • I’m never going to be a mother.
  • Everyone hates me – either for ending the pregnancy or because I can’t have a healthy baby.

Acceptance

  • It’s over.
  • I had my period.
  • I ovulated.
  • I’m able to look at my daughter’s footprints.
  • I’m able to use the phrase “my daughter.”
  • It’s going to be ok.
  • No matter what, I’m going to love my husband and we can get through this.
  • I’m not going to let this stop me from being a parent.
  • I’m not going to let this taint my love for her. I love her, no matter what.
  • It’s ok for me to be sad. I’ll always miss her.
  • It happened.

*Oh. My. God. Did I just type that? Do I really mean that? I typed it, but I don’t really mean it. I think, that in spirit of honesty, I’ve entertained that thought in the back of mind, but I’ve never verbalized until just now. I think that perhaps this manifested itself when I was scared to touch my belly, winced when I felt her wiggle, and refused to look at ultrasounds at the specialists’.

For the record: I do not hate my daughter or my pregnancy. I hate the fact that I she wasn’t healthy and that I was put in the position to make this choice.

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