Mum shares how she feels following the stillbirth of her beautiful daughter at 25 weeks....
Deahn Weber's touching honesty is amazing to read
By Deahn Weber
April 03 2019
Tragically, just recently, mum Deahn Weber, gave birth to her beautiful baby girl - stillborn at 25 weeks.
As she grieves the loss of her baby, Deahn decided to write down her feelings and encouraged by her husband, she wanted to share this in the hope it might help someone else going through something similar.
As a word of warning, her words might cause emotional distress for some.
“I’m getting there”… The answer I’ve settled on, and the answer I’ve thought long and hard about in anticipation of someone asking me the terrifying question, “How are you?”
A brave move if you dare to ask, because I’m certain you will have thought about how I might respond.
If I were to answer you honestly I’d say, “I’m broken”.
I’d tell you that some days it’s hard to get out of bed. Some days I sit with so much sadness that I can feel my heart quite literally breaking into two and that I’m sure it won’t ever feel whole again.
Some days when I’m home alone I get a box of her things out from the cupboard and sit on my son’s bed holding the soft linen swaddle I wanted to wrap her in. I’ve held it so tight against my chest wishing that she was in my arms, and I’ve cried so uncontrollably loud and hard that I thought I would never stop.
I would say that on some days I couldn’t look my son in the eyes because I see her little face. Such a blessing and a curse that she looked so much like her brother and I feel so sad that the moments I imagined them spending together won’t ever happen.
I’d tell you that it doesn’t matter how much people tell me that it’s not my fault, I still blame myself.
I feel guilt, and shame, and failure. Failure as a mother and as a wife because I didn’t protect our little girl and that I’ve made my husband and family so sad, and so disappointed.
I feel failure as a woman because our bodies were made to grow and protect our babies and I don’t understand why the fuck mine screwed this up?
If you asked me how I am, I might tell you that I’ve been sick with worry and sorrow for my husband, because I can feel his sadness even through his bravest of faces.
Because while I know that he didn’t share the same physical bond that I had with our daughter from carrying her inside me, I watched the enormous amount of pain that washed over him in the moment that he held her. I watched his heart break right in front of me and when I close my eyes at night I can still hear myself whispering “I’m so sorry” over, and over, and over again.
I’d tell you that I couldn’t even begin to understand some of the guilt and responsibility that he felt in that moment, a weight I’m sure he still continues to bare. I know his pain is deep because he is such an amazing father that loves his children, and I’ll never forget that look on his face knowing he so desperately wanted to save his little girl, but couldn’t.
Maybe I’d tell you that I’m core numbingly angry. Angry at the people that gave unwanted advice, and those that reminded me how lucky we are to have our son, because they wanted so desperately to say the right thing when really there is nothing anyone can say to bring our daughter back.
I’m angry at the person that made me burst into tears in the middle of Westfield’s from a emotional text message that I wasn’t prepared to read, and I’m angry and the woman who gave me that judgmental look at the sight me crying in the middle of the shopping centre, when I just wanted to scream back at her “Fuck off!!! My daughter is dead”.
I’m angry with the men who sent insensitive texts to my husband saying “sorry about the miscarriage” because they don’t know what happens when you lose a baby at 25 weeks.
I’m angry at the teacher at my son's daycare that gave me that sad look when I dropped him off, and I’m angry at the teacher that pretended like nothing had happened when I picked him up. I’m angry at the people that didn’t call me even though they knew I probably wouldn’t have picked up the phone, and I’m angry at the people that sent too many texts and didn’t leave me alone.
But with all of these irrational and crazy confessions I know that I’m not actually angry at any of these people because I know that everyone has just been trying to do their best to show me and my family the love, kindness, support or space that they thought we needed to grieve in that moment. I know I just wanted to blame someone else, when the only person that I’m actually angry with is myself.
But what if I said I was doing okay? Because as the time passes I have moments where I feel good. There are days when I don’t cry and instead I might laugh at the silly things my son does or the witty story that my husband tells me when he gets home from work.
But is it okay to laugh?
You might ask me, “Shouldn’t you be feeling sad?” Well, to clear up your confusion every time I feel a small amount of joy, its followed with a dose of guilt because I seem happy without her, and then I sink into sadness when I remind myself that she’s not here.
I feel a constant cycle of emotion that is spinning around inside me from both the heavy grief and the crazy hormones wreaking havoc on my body.
Depending on the day I might even say that I’m doing well, and that doesn’t mean that I’ve moved on, it’s most likely because I’m finding strength in the enormous amount of kindness that people have shown me and from the stories that women have openly shared about their own stillbirth experience.
It’s these stories that remind me I’m not alone, and they bring a small amount of comfort knowing that someone else understands what I’m feeling.
If you ask how I am, I might even tell you that now I’ve got perspective.
Now more than ever I understand that the process to start or grow a family isn’t easy and appreciate that having a healthy baby is indeed a miracle.
Before losing our daughter I had also miscarried another baby at 8 weeks, so for us that’s been 10 months of failed pregnancy, so much hope, so much loss, and so much grief.
But sadly I know that my story isn’t special or unique.
When I think of the wonderful women in my life I know those that have struggled with Infertility, failed IVF treatments, complications, forced terminations, disability, stillbirth and neo-natal infant loss. Experiences that we often choose to suffer in silence, because quite frankly it’s just so unbearable to speak aloud.
You see, my sadness is way too hard for me to talk about, and I don’t want to burden you with my sorrow. Telling you that I’m good or doing well would give you the impression that I’m over it when I don’t think this is something I’ll ever get over, and telling you that I’m angry just makes me seem ungrateful and bitter.
I feel all of these things individually and all at once, and on any given day or at any given moment my answer to your simple question will always be different.
So now you know why I’ve settled on “I’m getting there”, because I honestly am, and while I don’t exactly know where “there” is, I’m hoping that thanks to your kindness and compassion in wondering how I am, I’ll eventually get to a place where things start to feel just a little bit better.