Marriage After Pregnancy Loss
Let’s be real: marriage is hard, even under the best of circumstances.
Add in the loss of a child, and all of a sudden you’re called on to have strength, faith, and belief in yourselves and each other that you never could have imagined. And it’s really hard.
Today, Sean & I are celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary. I’m grateful to be able to say this. There are many reasons why, but when I think about what we’ve been through together, I know that we are fortunate.
I’ll be honest – there were some dark days.
There was a point when I thought my marriage was over. Not because I wanted it to be, but because I didn’t think we were strong enough to continue on together. I understand now that we were both hurting more than the other realized, and it’s really difficult to take care of your marriage when you’re not taking care of yourself.
We lost sight of our partnership. We didn’t allow ourselves to be fully vulnerable to each other because it was easier to keep the pain inside. We talked, but not enough. We went through the motions and acted like things were more ok than they were.
Eventually we got back to being a team, but not before figuring out what we needed separately first. It’s kind of like being on an airplane when they tell you to secure your own air mask before helping others – as much as you want to help your loved ones who are with you, you can’t until you’ve put yourself in the most favorable position for success. We had to make ourselves a priority in order to help our marriage – and we did.
I find, even now, that grieving as a couple is so much harder than grieving individually. You’re forced to confront those moments that make you uncomfortable, that bring up emotions and open old wounds.
Earlier this week, we participated in the wave of light just as we have done every October 15 for 6 years now. We lit our candle, shared the photo, let the world know that we were remembering our 3 children. I told my husband that while I love this event, I also hate how heavy it is. We didn’t talk about it – I didn’t want to cry, I didn’t want to pull up sadness and memories. But I realize now that I don’t know if he wanted to talk about it – because I didn’t ask.
Our losses will always be a part of us and will always, to some degree, define our relationship. There will always be “what ifs” and “should haves” and moments where we have to face this aspect of who we are, both as individuals and as a couple.
I know I am lucky – I got my happy ending. Fighting through was tough and I have no doubt there will be trying times in our future as well, but I will never, ever forget that we are in this together.