7: I Lost My Baby
With the loss of Jen, we had a practical predicament. Who was going to look after Ruby? If I was going to make my kids go to school, then I should be going to work too.
I was fortunate to have a couple of wonderful friends who helped out when I needed them, prior to this all going down. We found people who were in a similar situation as us, without extended family to rely upon and helped each other out as needed.
One of these “angels without wings”, was Jane. She had children the same age as ours and we were often involved in similar extra curricula activities.
After leaving the school on that first day, I went and saw Jane with Ruby. I managed to tell her what happened. After a stunned silence, she was understandably sympathetic, but also super practical- which was what I needed.
Whilst she and I made plans about how to get through the next few months before Ruby started school, Ruby and her daughter played outside the kitchen window.
I looked up at one point, and broke down. I looked at Jane’s daughter and felt an overwhelming sense of grief and loss for my little girl’s innocence. I felt like it was stolen from us.
Over the next few weeks, months and years I felt that same way a number of times when we were around other children. I find it very hard to look at photos prior to October 27, 2013.
It may seem dramatic, but it felt a little like a part of our family died that day. I’ve had people say to me many times that this isn’t the case, but the harsh reality is that my little girl had her first sexual experience, we estimate from what she’s remembered, before she was three. Those are the facts.
Brad has experienced similar feelings over the time.
I remember us attending a birthday party with a number of friends, all with little kids. Brad and I were the “experienced” parents of our group of friends, with all three of our children older than most of theirs. At one particular party, not long after we began our “new normal”, I remember glancing over at Brad and the despair in his eyes will haunt me forever as he watched our friends little girls running around doing little girl things in their fairy dresses. He got up, seemingly without warning, and left the party as he couldn’t cope with what we had so abruptly lost.
I often wonder how the girls will look back on their early memories. For me, we now have the before and after- the early years feel tainted.