Right after Connor died (I mean days after), I got online. I searched "stillbirth", "stillborn", "pregnancy loss", "infant death"...anything just to know that I was not alone. To find anyone that could give me a sense of hope. I stumbled onto a message board. Keep in mind, although very active on computers, I had NEVER posted in a chat room or on a message board to this point. Not to mention the state of shock that I was in, I wasn't completely paying attention but I found this thread that was talking about their stillborn son. I wanted to know more. I wanted to hear that stories of successes after loss. So I posted and posted and posted. Before I knew it was I writing an online diary, exposing every raw emotion and asking every question that came to mind.
I don't remember when I realized that the site was www.mothering.com and it was a natural mothering site. I had no idea what that meant. This was my first child. As I explored the other boards, I quickly figured it out. Yet the pregnancy after loss board was fairly different. There were no judgmental statements, just acceptance. I "confessed" to being more mainstream but no one seemed to care. So I continued posting and some of the moms on their were definitely part of the reason that my sanity didn't completely disappear.
I really didn't think about what I was gaining from writing at the time. I just had this intense need to hear from other grieving moms that what I was feeling was normal. After stopping (shortly after I had Sean) and especially recently, it's become very clear what I gained from publicly writing. First, my husband and friends were able to see the true side of what I was feeling. Somehow it was always easier to type then to say. Plus, to hear others agree with me reduced some of their fears regarding whether I was doing as well as could be expected. Now I forget that they don't have this glimpse into my mind and I get upset because they are not responding to what I need. Second, I've always been a pretty raw and honest individual, who was comfortable with how I felt regarding something. Only this time, I felt more lost then I could even comprehend. I questioned everything. I questioned questions. Hearing that others felt that way but maybe couldn't articulate it, reinforced my need to share. Every thank you I received for sharing, somehow gave Connor's life more meaning. I still get occasion private messages based off those threads and the feeling I get from that...well, is what contributed to starting this blog.
I've tried support groups but majority of the people there are new to their loss (18 months or less), which is as expected. The issues that I face now are different than that first year. They're different after I was able to successfully have another baby. I'll still go to the memorial sessions but that's about it. I'm not going to discuss parenting after loss issues when the mama next to me just buried her baby.
I hate how few resources are out there for infant loss but I hate even more how few resources are out there for life after loss.