Anxiety about seeing people who may not know

Yesterday morning started like any other Saturday, I woke up in a good mood so me and Steven decided to go to one of our favourite restaurants for brunch – we’ve not been in a while since moving but we were happy to make the drive.
I was really excited for some pancakes and we were about half way there when suddenly it hit me like a tonne of bricks … The owner doesn’t know about Avery!!! Last time we were there I was 6.5 months pregnant and we spent ages talking about the exciting journey ahead. Despite it being a while ago, the wonderful owner remembers everything (it’s a gift of his) so no matter how many times Steven told me that he probably wouldn’t remember, I knew he would.

My heart was pounding, I got uncomfortable and I started crying just at the thought of us sitting down and having to say those words “she’s not with us anymore”.

It’s one of the hardest parts in the aftermath of losing a baby, the fear of people asking how the baby is, then getting teary explaining, and then watching the person who asked wish the ground could swallow them up. It’s nobodies fault that they don’t know, they’re being lovely people by remembering and asking, but it doesn’t make it any easier telling them, it makes it bloody hard having to be the one who makes them feel like shit!

But, from experience so far, every time I’ve been terrified about someone asking, when they’ve found out they’ve handled it a lot better than I imagined in my head, and the anxiety wasn’t quite worth the chest pains! It’s actually a relief because it’s another person who knows and can offer support.

nothing is ever as bad as your fear

After all the fear on the drive and Steven offering to turn back 50 times, the restaurant was closed – typical! But instead of turning around, I put my big girl knickers on and said “no, let’s go” because I wasn’t going to let the fear of explaining what happened be the reason that I don’t go to one of my favourite spots ever again!

It gets easier with each new person to tell, I usually get Steven to tell them in advance before I’m in the room, a pre planned process is a good idea – for example I walk straight to the bathroom when we get somewhere and Steven explains while I drag out a wee! He’s a really good egg isn’t he?!

So, moral of the story, there will be difficult explanations, but with each one it gets that little bit easier – you can do it, so don’t let it take over your life.

One day at a time .. Nicole XO

To read about other grieving anxieties, see ‘Do you have any children?’ and ‘Seeing other babies after loss’

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