Tuesday, December 3, 2013

12 Days of Christmas: Day Three

Written by Becca Jevons
To most people, Aron is the boy that never was. To me he is my first baby, who changed me forever and who I will spend the rest of my life missing.

I didn't get to carry my baby to term. Sometimes I think that's lucky because I was spared the torture of seeing his face and having to let him go. Sometimes I think it's not because I never got the chance to see his face and tell him goodbye. Mostly what I have come to realize is that there is no such thing as lucky. It doesn't matter at what stage you lose them, you are their mother from the moment you know that they exist, and nothing in the world can change that.

We decided in April 2009 to start trying for a baby. After 18months of trying it was clear that we needed help. We were referred to a fertility clinic in 2011 and finally in 2012 after years of trying and months of fertility treatment, we were pregnant. We lost our baby, Aron during pregnancy on 21st September 2012.

You can read more about our journey here: Life: Not What It Should Be

I can't tell you much about the months following Aron's death. It was a really dark time. I got up every day, I went to work and I came home. I ignored the phone, I avoided friends and family and I withdrew. It was what I needed to do to survive. I bought a scrapbook and I would come home every night and write to Aron. I started at the beginning and told him all about his life, about his family and about how much I missed him.

The approach to last Christmas was rough. I felt like I was being sucked into a black hole, and the only way I could really deal with it was to withdraw. I said no to any invitation that was sent our way. Friends and family didn't understand this at all. I remember one friend telling me that torturing myself by staying away from people wasn't going to bring my baby back. She was right that Aron was never coming back, I knew that, but what she didn't understand was that spending time with people was torture. Spending time on my own and remembering Aron was my way of protecting my heart.

To make matters worse for me, two months after losing Aron, at the end of November 2012 my sister told me that she was pregnant. It took her all of 6 months to get pregnant. This seemed so horribly unfair. Again, I coped by staying away. What was the point of spending time with people who thought that ignoring my loss was the best way to deal with it? Christmas day itself was a strain. We spent a quiet day with my husband's family. They knew not to expect a lot from me and for the most part they left me in peace. The day itself wasn't so bad, but by 8pm I was completely drained and retreated to the bedroom where I emailed myself a letter to Aron to add to his journal.

For me, New Year was worse. I didn't want to enter a new year because that meant leaving behind the year when Aron had existed. It was really rough. I went to bed at 11pm that night and cried my way through the fireworks that I could hear in our neighbourhood. I just didn't understand how the world could carry on when mine had stopped.

This Christmas will be very different to last Christmas. We are imminently expecting the arrival of Aron's little sister. Depending on when she decides to make her appearance, she will be 4-6 weeks old come Christmas day, so we will be having a quiet Christmas at home, just our baby, her daddy and me. The existence of our daughter changes everything. She does not replace Aron and she does not take away the pain of losing him, but what she has done is to give me the ability to look to the future. From the moment she is born I will be telling her about Aron. He will still be part of our lives and we will make him part of our celebrations.

My main tip for surviving the holidays is to look after yourself. Don't listen to anyone else. If you don't want to do something, don't do it. If you need to cry, indulge that need because chances are that you'll feel better afterwards. If you don't want to buy presents and pretend that everything is OK, then don't do it. Do what is right for you. This is your journey, this is your loss. You own it and you owe it to yourself to give yourself time to grieve and for your heart to heal. Sure, friends and family will have pearls of wisdom about what you should or shouldn't be doing, but do you know what? If they understood even a fraction of what you have lost, they wouldn't think to share their advice, because they would know that the best thing you can do is to let yourself grieve. Its healthy. Its the only way you will get through this time and learn to live with life as it is now. So my tip is to be selfish and to do what is right for YOU. Sometimes when you stop worrying about what people expect of you and just say no, some of the pressure is instantly released.

Because we don't have photos of Aron or much in the way of his toys or clothes, his presence in our house is not always evident to the untrained eye. But do you know what, he's everywhere. And even more so at Christmas. We have special decorations that we bought for him to put on the Christmas tree, and we light candles. The candle thing is something we do all year round, but this December I have bought him an advent candle that we will light every day during December to remember our boy. I will write to him in the run up to Christmas. We attend special services for families who have lost babies, and I will go to church to light a candle for him and to pray that God id keeping him safe (I struggle with this part though). Mostly, we just remember him. In our own quiet way we remember him and we always will.

These are the decorations that we bought last year for Aron.




We will probable buy another one for him this year, and when his little sister is old enough, she can choose some for him too. I chose these decorations because to me they represent childhood and the childish excitement of Christmas. They are also important because they are fairtrade decorations. It's really important to me that I always do good in Aron's name.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Since writing this post, Becca and her husband have welcomed their beautiful Rainbow baby girl, Aron's little sister, Afonwy, safely into the world. You can read their story on her blog, HERE.


Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss. Afonwy will grow up knowing she has a beautiful Angel brother Aron looking down on her and wrapping you all in love xx

Crystal Beason said...

I honestly love this! I'm sorry for your loss of dear Aron. I think you are right that we should do the holidays as we see fit. Grief doesn't just go away for the holidays. I love the meaning of the ornaments you chose. <3

Lynn said...

I think you described it perfectly. No one can tell you how to grieve. I heard a quote once, and I can't remember it word for word but the general idea was that my I have done hard work on my grief and it is mine. The way that you work through it, the things you do (or don't do) to help yourself and heal yourself are yours and they may be different for every person. Thank you for sharing!

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