By now you have likely heard of the news of Chrissy Teigen and her husband John’s heartbreaking loss of their son, Jack. I can’t quite explain it, but their loss has rocked me more than I thought it would, for having it be a couple I have literally never met before.
And just to put it out there, if you are one of the people who has commented to her directly, or to anyone really, that she should have kept this private or should be dealing with it in another way, please accept my biggest middle finger and kindly stop reading here. You don’t get to choose how someone mourns and deals with their losses.
If she had welcomed her son into the world, been able to see him live and grow and then lost him, not a single person would be bashing her for her mourning. Your (inherently wrong) feelings aside, the fact that this very public couple are being so open about their loss and grief, is allowing other couples going through something similar to not feel so alone and feel like talking about it isn’t so taboo. So, sit down, shut up, and screw your double standard.
I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to figure out why it has affected me so much. Why does someone else’s loss make me feel like I need a mental health day? Like I’m the one that needs to curl up with my husband and daughter and hold them close to me and never let go?
I think the simple truth is this: she is living out the biggest fear that I have with my current pregnancy.
Her baby was classified as a miracle baby, and somehow, after she passed what most deem the “scary” portion, she still lost him.
Both of my miscarriages happened within the first twelve weeks of their little lives. I never knew their sexes. We never landed on specific names for them. We lost them before we really even got to know them. But we loved them just the same.
I’d imagine that Chrissy had begun to imagine a life with her growing baby. She named him. She likely had started to feel him kick and hiccup. And then, just like that, all in one swoop, she had to say “hello” and “goodbye” all at the same time.
My mama heart seriously breaks for her. For John. For their kids. For what they’re all going through. I haven’t been there specifically, but my god, I can empathize. I just want to hug every last one of them.
And then I think of myself. And this pregnancy. And how much fear I’ve had surrounding it.
I finally felt comfortable at almost six months pregnant sharing our pregnancy news with people. Up until then, I would get flustered or have an anxiety attack at just the thought of a stranger or neighbor seeing or asking me if I was pregnant. Saying it out loud felt like I was making it real, and if it somehow disappeared and it was “real,” the pain would be even worse.
But if I’m being totally honest, even after coming to a place where I felt comfortable sharing the news with people outside of our immediate family, there was still a seed of doubt that this was going to actually happen for us.
When you have experienced multiple losses, it’s hard to accept the good as just that — good. It’s harder to take it day by day because the worry and the “what if’s” sneak into your brain so effortlessly. Despite the current kicks and hiccups, I still remember the blood and the contractions and the hole in my heart left from the baby that came before.
Seeing someone who has made it past the “scary” part then lose their baby brings up all the fears I’m embarrassed that I have. I know that what happens to someone else has no bearing on what happens to me and my growing girl. But no matter how much I tell myself that, I cannot push those seeds of doubt back down.
“If it can happen to her, or anyone, it could happen to me.”
Having witnessed her very real, open, honest and effing brave testimony of her heartbreak has opened my eyes to just how scared I still am. I still can’t help but feel like we are waiting for our other shoe to drop sometimes.
I sit and wonder why I can’t seem to get anything in order for our soon-to-be-arriving daughter and have often chalked it up to the fact that I don’t have the time (or haven’t allowed myself the time) to focus on getting prepped. With Addison, I started working on her nursery at 14 weeks. We were ready for her arrival two months before she was set to come blasting into our lives.
This pregnancy, I have a changing pad. That’s it. A changing pad. Sitting in the corner of what will be her room. Nothing more. It’s not because I don’t have the time. I am a firm believer that if it is important to you, you will find the time. And I know she is important to me, so it’s not that at all.
Honest? It is the simple fact that I am still so terrified. I am still unsure that we are going to make it there. There is still a very ugly part of me (that I sure as shit wish wasn’t there) that doesn’t want to build up a beautiful nursery and space for our daughter in case something like this happens to us.
I can’t go to the hospital and leave without her. I can’t come home to a house where she doesn’t exist. I can’t spend hours making a room in our house perfect for her and not have her ever see it.
I can’t get myself to do anything more than place a changing pad in the corner of the room. For now.