The doctor has just told you the news. There is no heartbeat. You're miscarrying. They couldn't revive him.
Whatever the news is, this is how you respond initially, no matter how prepared you were.
No. No, it can't be. There has to be something else you can do. Try this, try that. He can't be gone. There has to be a chance she could make it.
Denial. It is the difficulty to accept the circumstances that life has thrown at us.
On his website grief.com, David Kessler says: "There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle." I've found this to be true, personally. Denial is a way we temper the initial shock of loss so it doesn't run us over like a semi truck.
Denial is the typical first reaction to loss or trauma. But it's something you might keep coming back to throughout the process, as well. I experienced denial the night my water broke at 21 weeks and 5 days. In the hospital with the beeping machines, I was in denial. I couldn't cope with the idea of my baby dying. But then, as I accepted the facts of my experience over the next 2 weeks, the denial faded a bit (though I kept a bit of it hidden in a little box in my heart, and I would often open the lid just a bit and peek at it every night in the dark of my room when I was left all alone).
Then, after Genna's birth, I could no longer deny that I knew she would die. When you're holding dying baby in your arms, there is no denying it. But after she was gone, I was in a new state of shock, a new phase of denial. I couldn't fully accept her death until I heard the clods of dirt hitting her tiny coffin as she was buried.
Denial is important. You might not even realize you're in denial until long after the fact. I didn't realize that all the emotions I felt and everything I was going through in my heart and mind were actual stages of the grief process until about 4 months later, when I found a book on grieving the loss of a baby and it all started to click.
If you're in denial right now, IT'S OKAY. You're not weird, or delusional, or living in a fantasy world. You're normal. It's okay to be in denial. Listen to your heart, and let it speak to you as you journey through your grief.
If you've lost a baby recently, or are expecting to lose one due to a diagnosis that is incompatible with life, I would like to point you in the direction of the book I'll Hold You In Heaven. I share it with you because it was the first thing in my life that started helping me to actually work through my grief. It was perfectly placed for me at a time when I desperately needed it, and I hope you might find some comfort from it as well. (Please note: It is a faith-based book, so there scripture verses and references to heaven.)