Some people try to hide it, but really it can’t be kept a secret.
A marriage suffers greatly when a child leaves the earth. Both parents are stricken with grief and severe depression and of course people say that this is a time to lean on one another, but you can’t help someone else when you are just as in pain as they are. This is the truth. There is not one couple that can say their marriage becomes stronger after. In time it does strengthen but not for quite awhile. People need to be aware of this. Couples can put a perfect happy front when they are in public but truth be told is they are in severe pain and probably can’t stand to be next to each other.
In the hospital, my husband and I cried together. We held each other and I soaked his shirt with my tears. That first week home from the hospital, the arguing started. Every little thing he did annoyed me and angered me and I know it was the same for him. We never talked about losing Alexander. Every now and then we did console each other, like when I would be tortured in my nightmares by reliving the labor and birth. He would wake me up and hold me till I fell asleep again.
We never said aloud that we blamed each other but still there was an intense tension between us that indirectly said in some way we blamed each other. That’s how every couple is. No matter how their baby or child passed away, the parents blame themselves AND each other. Even when it seemed like we were having a good day that tension would still be there and if he did something like didn’t put his work clothes in the laundry, somehow i’d get this overwhelming feeling to scream at him. The smallest issue became a huge blown out yelling fight. We separated a few times because things became so intense. Alexander’s loss was a deep throbbing pain that we both tried to ignore, but the more we ignored it, the more painful it became. He would go out a lot and come home so late and I would find anything and say anything to make him feel bad.
The thing is, we had no idea how to handle our baby’s death. We went to a few therapy sessions and we didn’t have the slightest idea of how to even start to talk about him and what happened. We both said that we didn’t do things we should have or did things we shouldn’t have. Even though we had that tension, we still knew at the same time that we weren’t the ones to be blamed. It was such a confusing time and even as I type this, it’s still like a blur. We just had our wedding and the next week we had a memorial for our baby. How do you think that made us feel? Our wedding pictures were practically disgusting to us because we never thought about the fun times of that night, we thought about how I was pregnant, and then his death. Our wedding was always linked to his death. Then we had people who didn’t know that he passed and they would see us out and say oh hey when did you have your baby? or can I see a picture of your baby?! Then we feel awkward and embarrassed when we tell them what happened. Even when I was pregnant with Aiden, things were so hard because we were terrified of losing him and bonding with him made us tense. Every thing became ten times harder when I did go into labor at 28 weeks because then I felt it was my fault and he never said it but I assumed he blamed me now for both. Luckily, my labor was stopped. My husband was a bit more helpful after but things were not the same. After he was born, anything that happened with Aiden was stressful. The thought of SIDS happening would twist our minds.
It took us close to 2 years for us to finally be at a safe and humble state together. We had a huge argument where I finally broke out and said that I blamed him but ultimately I blamed myself. I told him I was dying from severe agony of feeling this intense sting that I couldn’t carry my own son, I didn’t have a single damn picture with him, and for some reason my body refuses to carry to full term without problems. It really punctured his heart to finally hear and see me really blame myself. Obviously when people are hurting, they are always in a bad mood or quick to say something hurtful. That’s how I was with everything and everyone. He understood that at last and I understood him.
Now, we are still in pain because truth be told, you will never heal, but we are at a place where we can enjoy each others company and laugh together. We are starting to do more things as a complete family and partake in activities with our children. It is true when they say that communication is the key to a happy marriage. He does not go out all night long anymore and the little issues don’t get to me anymore. We deal with our problems by talking and help each other as much as we can. We have our movie nights, our outings with our children, we talk about what we want to do with our home, and when we feel upset and hurt, we talk it out. He listens to me and I listen to him. We come to an agreement, we make compromises, we talk. We are bounded to each other.
I was really nervous about bringing our issues out into the open but I really believe people need to know what happens behind closed doors. There are loaded tears, words with stabs, screams with blame, and hate. We always came out in public with smiles and acted like we were such a loving couple when really we hated each other. I am very happy and proud to say that now, we came back to our bond and our closeness. We came together to join March of Dimes to honor our son. I still suffer with depression and he does too, but we can finally smile and laugh with true happiness and love. I love my husband deeply and with all my heart and soul as I know he loves me with just as much power.