I am getting closer to 100 posts...I haven't gotten a ton of questions, but I figured that I better start answering the ones that I have gotten... The first question that I have picked to answer is from Carleigh's mom, Holly, who submitted the following...
I know life changes dramatically when your baby dies, but what do you think has been the biggest change for you both so far?
Without a doubt, I think the biggest change for both of us has been our ability to effectively communicate to each other what we are really feeling. It kind of goes without saying that communication can be an issue for a lot of couples, especially if you buy into that whole Mars-Venus theory, but I think that Gracie's death has really compounded this for us. We have gotten to the point that we will simply say to each other 'I'm just not in a good place today' or 'It's a Gracie thing' or even 'It's a (dead) baby thing.' and leave it at that. We expect that the other person will automatically be on the same page, but those statements don't really say anything. Perhaps they tell us which 'sport' the other is playing that day, but they don't really give any idea of which ball park that sport is being played in. (It is sometimes hard to remember that even though we are living through the same loss, it is a completely different experience for each of us.)
My husband is a typical man's man, and he isn't much for wearing his heart on his sleeve, especially around people other than me. He has spent the last year making it his job to 'take care' of me. I love him with all my heart and sooo appreciate that he wants to take care of me, but I know that focusing his efforts on everything but himself isn't doing a thing to help him move forward. I have stressed to him that we need to actually talk. We need to let each other in on a little bit of how or what we are really feeling (I know that it would be impossible for us to understand everything that the other is feeling) so we can have a better understanding of where the other person is or what their thought process might be about certain things. I remind him that he needs to let me take care of him the way he feels compelled to take care of me, and he generally responds with "I don't want to burden you." What I cannot make him understand is that it is not a burden. I cannot find any way to make him understand that, as much as we are two individuals, we are also a team. I cannot make him understand that it is usually more 'burdensome' for me to never know where he really is or what he is really feeling, as opposed to talking things out, crying things out or just being together.
Our lack of communication and understanding of where the other person is usually comes to a head once every month or so, generally when everything that is pent up inside one or both of us finds a weak spot through which it can start to escape. It's not usually productive when it happens this way, and it actually has an impact on our ability to communicate about things not related to Gracie. We are trying to find a better way to communicate on a daily basis...a way that does not breed so much negative energy and allows us to get a little bit better perspective about where the other person really is and how it is impacting them on a daily basis.