Why is it so quiet?
In the months leading up to Clay being born, like I’m sure many people do, I lost count of the amount of times I said to Dan ‘ooo let's enjoy this quiet whilst it lasts’. Living rural, I loved nothing more than listening to the birds tweeting in a morning and not much else.
Then Clay died.
The first night we returned home, it was awful for many reasons. My parents had been in and hid anything baby related away in Clay's nursery, the door firmly shut. I was looking around the house with no baby stuff to be seen apart from the imprints left in the carpets, a stark reminder of what should have been.
We went up to bed, as I lay awake staring up at the ceiling, I couldn’t hear anything else but myself crying, it was horrible. I had programmed my mind that I would be hearing a baby crying or the soft sound of white noise in the night so the quiet I had once found comfort in had become a blackhole of what if’s and what should have been’s. I craved noise, mainly that of Clay crying but any noise to distract me from the sound of my own breathing. For that first month, I had the tv on every single night before my eyes felt heavy and I drifted in and out of dreamless sleep. For the first few days, before I was prescribed sleeping tablets, I would wake up multiple times in the night from dreamless sleep (when all I wanted was to dream of Clay) to look at that imprint in the carpet where his bedside cot should have been and listen to…well nothing. I can remember promising Dan to never ever complain about waking up to a crying baby if we are lucky enough to have another son or daughter (please don’t hold me to that though!). Small tip- the old school ‘Pimp My Ride’ is always on at around 2am and was a slight distraction…mainly because of the horrendous editing!
I thought, once I had managed to stop taking the sleeping tablets and I was able to sleep through the night again (most nights anyway) that the quietness would lift. But for those few short fleeting moments when I wake up every morning, that stage between sleep and reality, I forget and remember that Clay has died, all in the blink of an eye. Once the reality has set in that, yes, this is our life now, the quietness floats into the room. Quietness, the once wanted guest becoming one I wish would stop visiting us, especially at all hours of the day.
As the weeks have passed and we are now 3 months on from losing Clay, I have tried to make friends with the quietness once again. I try and find a different kind of comfort to before, to sit side by side with it and use it as a tool to try and process what we have been through and what we continue to go through. I signed up to the app Headspace and everyday sit through the guided meditation, which encourages you to concentrate on your breathing. When Dan isn’t at home I don’t instantly put the TV or radio on anymore, I welcome my thoughts and feelings… and probably sit and write a blog post like this, in the quiet. I don’t think we are friends at the moment, I’m not sure we ever will be again, but I think of the quietness as more of a companion now, it helps me with my healing.
Of course, more than anything I wish the quietness would f*ck off and Clay’s cries, noises and baby TV would fill every void in the house. But for now, I will allow it back in, and hopefully tell it to f*ck off again someday when Clay’s brother or sister arrives.
See you in the next one,
Clay’s mummy x