To tell the truth, we were both reluctant to take any classes. I am an only child and neither of us baby-sat much or has a lot of experience with children, but I was really nervous about sitting in a class with a bunch of parents-to-be who can't relate to anything we've been through. I dreaded our situation with L coming up somehow and not knowing how to respond (and frankly, to having to respond and totally freaking out all of the other parents - ha).
Past pregnancies, L, etc. did not come up at either Infant Safety or Baby 101. But it did come up in Daddy Boot Camp. The class is much more hands-on and personal and started with each guy giving a little background on themselves. R would never have shared L's story without prompting (and he didn't share any details), but another Dad shared that he and his wife lost a baby at 22 weeks last year and this prompted R to mention our story. Apparently the other Dad came over and talked to R and they are going to get drinks this week to talk further.
This is all a long introduction into the fact that I've thought on numerous occasions how differently R and I have handled everything in the last year. I think he felt like he had to be strong and stable for me. And he is a problem-solver by nature, so he wanted to assess the situation and figure out the steps we could take to "make things better." He spoke to his family and maybe a friend or two about what happened, but he didn't go to a therapist or a support group. And truthfully, we talk less about L at home than you might think - my suspicion is that we both hesitate to bring her up all the time because we don't want to upset the other person.
When R came home from class, he immediately shared that it was surprisingly emotional. He said it was very hard to be back in the hospital again (the class was just off the labor and delivery floor), to talk about babies, and to hold the babies, particularly since they were all around the same age that L would be (as part of the class, alums bring in their babies so the men can practice comforting them, changing diapers, etc.). It caught me off-guard to hear him express his emotions about the class and it also prompted a really good conversation about L, about how we are both still so apprehensive about getting excited about this pregnancy, about how we want to handle discussing L in the future, about how we might finally spread L's ashes somewhere, etc. It was so nice to talk about our fears and worries and we both agreed that we need to do this more.
This has turned into quite the rambling post, but this week was a reminder that we are both actively grieving for L. Even if it feels odd to talk about it when we are hopefully on the brink of something wonderful happening, we still need to do it.
Do any of you have thoughts on communicating about grief with your significant other? Any tips or advice?
On a different note, has anyone read the book "Someone Came Before You"? I've been thinking of ordering it and would love to hear your thoughts.