Tuesday, December 9, 2014

An Attempt at Putting Thoughts to Words

Anyone who has had an inside look at the baby loss world knows that a common complaint is how secluded it is. It all feels very hush hush and non supportive.  Brushed aside by the world.

 I have my own experience to draw from, but in dealing with Angel Blankets I have personally talked to hundreds of women, all who have dealt with at least one loss, many of them with multiple losses.

You know what? I agree with the majority. 

In the days immediately following Landyn's death I had support.  There were a few visits from the people who thought they could handle it, there were meals and flowers from church, there were cards and flowers from various others. Quickly, I'd say about two weeks, there was almost no one.  To give credit where credit is due, there has definitely been a very few, precious people, who continue to say her name and listen to me when I need to deal with a rush of grief.  Most, though, have long forgotten or are just too busy. I've had people say to me that you can't expect people to stay with you in your grief. Others have their own problems to deal with. Yeeeeesss. That is true....to a degree.  I certainly don't expect the world to stop because I hurt, and I really don't expect all the focus to be on me. 

When I first started keeping this blog I just desperately needed to get thoughts and words out of my head. I needed to organize the pain as best I could, put it into words, and just be rid of it. It helped me sleep. In a way I was reaching out, asking for just anyone to know what was swirling madly in my confused head.  In the beginning, this blog got a lot of attention.  People who knew me were curious, wondering what exactly had happened.  It really didn't take long before the interest began to fall. Less and less people would read what I wrote.  Over time, I basically just stopped trying.  It began to be more hurtful than helpful.  I joined the others who know that to protect yourself you just keep quiet.  You learn to have amazing control over your emotions. You learn to smile when your heart aches because that is all the world can accept from you. You learn who you can say those things to that make even you wonder if you are going completely crazy.

So why write all this now you might ask.  Well, it's because I've done a massive amount of thinking on this very thing over the summer and fall.  Yes, the baby loss group is definitely un-noticed.  When it comes down to it, though, just about everyone has some type of major issue they hurt over and struggle with.  What about the widow who goes home to a dark, quiet house and doesn't have the desire to cook food for just one?  What about the twice divorced mom who wonders what is wrong with her, why no one wants her?  I could "what about" for a long time. When did it become such a horrible thing to be honest with one another? Why don't we have time to really listen to each other? Why can't we love people the way they need to be loved? Why do we all have to be so busy that we can't even help someone else?

I struggle with the idea of church as a family as I ask myself these questions. I know, for certain, I am not the only person who sits in the pews and feels absolutely alone all the while surrounded by people. I've questioned friendships. I've mentally gone through lists of close and extended family...I know exactly who has or hasn't been involved. I've done some serious looking at myself. I am trying to figure out practical ways to take my own hurt and turn it into something good for someone else.  This whole thing is certainly a process, a massive learning experience. Half the time I'm not sure I'm doing it right.  Don't give me too much credit...I have my moments of wanting to just disappear in the black fog. In general, I just move forward one day at a time, quietly observing the world around me, fighting my own thoughts sometimes, and just hoping I'm doing something well.
 

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Journey Begins.

NOTE--THIS IS A VISIT TO THE PAST...I AM NOT PREGNANT!!


Two year ago yesterday.
 May 8, 2012.
It was a Monday.
The Friday before I had been talking to a friend. I "casually" mentioned I was pretty certain I was pregnant. I knew she would react with a happy freak out. =]  She asked if I had taken a test. I say, no. She volunteers to bring one over Monday morning. I agree.
Monday she shows up with kids, coffee, and a digital pregnancy test.
I take the test, head for the bathroom, and proceed to "administer" the test. Before I'm even done washing my hands my friend is banging on the bathroom door asking to come in. By the time I open the door and she walks in, the test already has the results......

This is the moment my life changes forever.
I was fairly positive I was pregnant before I had this test, but now I KNOW. I click a picture to text to hubby and immediately start to wonder....before I've even left the bathroom....if all the kids will fit in the car, where on earth will we put another bed and dresser, what names do I currently like. My life begins to plan around this little person.
At this point I'm probably close to 6 weeks pregnant.
I don't even know it yet, but I'll get 14 more weeks. That's it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Change

I was asked how me and my family have changed since Landyn's death.  I've spent some time thinking on it. I know the change is there, but putting it into words is hard. 

 My first thought was of my children. I feel they've been robbed of a certain innocence.  In our world, babies die, mommies cry, children play in cemeteries, birthdays are had for absent people, playing dollies occasionally involves a baby doll that goes to "keaven", when our Ian sleeps too long or is too still the question is asked, "Did he die?"  I often wonder how my children REALLY are and what they think. I wonder, years from now, how they will describe this time in our lives.

The changes in me are harder to voice. I know for certain I am more aware of the baby loss community. Hurting women; pictures of perfect, still, little babies; giving advice to and asking advice from other loss moms is part of  my daily life.  EVERY DAY my life involves someone who has walked down this path.

 I've learned the fine art of faking it. People don't want to see how I truly feel, so I just put it away when I need to.  I am often surprised at my ability to control myself.

 I've always been a person that feels a bit like an outsider. I'm not good at making friends, I'm not good at groups, I always feel like I shouldn't assume I'm wanted.  Over the last year that holding back instinct in me has multiplied a thousand times.  I keep drawing my circle in closer and closer....I guess I expect those that really want me, that want the REAL me will pursue me.  I'm sure there are people that think I'm a snob, that I'm not friendly. The truth is I'm so afraid of being hurt more that it is just easier to be alone then to reach out. 

I never used to be a crier and now, well, now I know there is no limit to tears.

I never knew life could be so complicated and that I would develop a real longing for Heaven.

I hold those crazy moments a little closer to my heart. A baby that loves to kick bath water all over is not an inconvenience.

When I see my children together as a group I tend to see who isn't there, not who is.

I wrestle continually with the question, "How many children do you have?"  I hate it.  My heart screams 6.  I also dread, "At least you got one girl!"  NO! NO! NO! I have TWO.  One gets pretty pink clothes and one has a pretty pink headstone.

Right now my life feels as if it is in a constant state of adjustment. I never know if today will be a good day or if some well meaning person will say the wrong thing. I never know if for no good reason at all it will be a day when getting out of bed seems like an overwhelming task. I never know if it will be a day that I'll focus only on the good things that have become or if I won't be able to see past the hurt.

There was a time in my life that I wondered what would happen if my faith was put to a test. Would I become bitter and walk away? Now I know the answer.  I will cry from pain that feels as if it is suffocating me, I will feel lost and alone, I will beg God to make it stop, I will be confused and sometimes angry, but I will fight because there is hope.

"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Is It Well With My Soul?

Last year was understandable. It made sense that only a few months after losing Landyn and just beginning to deal with pregnancy hormones that I would deal with depression. This year, it caught me off guard. It was disappointing and frustrating. I found it interesting that the time frame was very similar to last year. I suspect that the cold and shorter days have something to do with it.  I am thankful that this time it isn't as intense. I seem to be able to function normally for the most part.  Mostly, I just feel....empty.  I don't feel like doing much and can't seem to gather excitement over anything.  I feel as if I simply exist, and not much more. 



I had no interest in Christmas. I nearly dreaded the whole season and everything that goes with it. I really had to talk myself into even faking it. Do you have any idea how hard it is to enter into a season that is filled with family traditions and be reminded over and over that my whole family is not participating?  I had to remember that decorations, a tree, presents, and special food is not what Christmas is truly about and if I just don't feel into it then that's ok.  Not only is it hard to have someone missing, but our family has two birthdays close to Christmas and when I became pregnant I had made special notice that Landyn would be joining them. When I shop for Christmas, I also shop for those birthdays.  Of course, we included her in the only ways we could. A trip was made to the cemetery to put up her little tree there and her tree at home, with her special ornaments (along with the one purchased this year,) was lit in pretty white lights. It's nice, but it isn't enough. This year would have been her 1st Christmas. 
The moment the lightning tore through my heart. There should be 6.







 

There is a part of me that hates these things we do for her. It's pretty, but it's not her.



A special kind of Christmas gift, Landyn was included on a card we received. How good to see her name with all of ours, right where she belongs.
After Christmas my mind began to focus on her due date. Last year I expected it to be hard. This year I knew I would think about the day, but I was surprised by how difficult it was for me.  Not only was January 12 her due date, but this year would have been her 1st birthday. Instead of planning a day filled with pictures, cake, and a favorite dinner; I spent the day feeling alone. I really don't expect people to remember something like that, but it hurts when the day comes and goes and not a single soul acknowledges it. January 12, was a Sunday. We went to church, they played the song "It Is Well with My Soul".  I had claimed this song early on and often hummed it to myself. Maybe it was an effort to make myself feel how I knew I was "supposed" to feel.  I wondered occasionally how I would react the first time we sang it in church.  Before the music even started I knew what song was coming. I knew instantly I would not be able to sing a word.  My stomach immediately felt sick, my legs wobbled, and my whole body shook. It was an amazing effort to keep myself together. I knew a tear or two would probably not be noticed, and if it was it would be understood, but this was different.  I knew if I even let myself crack a little I would start something I couldn't stop. I would curl up on the pew and sob in a way that would attract attention I couldn't deal with.  Don't misunderstand, my inability to sing was not from bitterness, it was from knowing deep down in my soul that no matter how the day to day wrestling goes with missing her, I really do want it to be ok with me.  I can't say this path that has been set before me is where I want to be, I can't say I am ok with this, I can't say I trust at all times. Sometimes I feel myself fighting this for all I'm worth...and that doesn't make sense, because it changes nothing.  But, I try. And I think that is all that I can do for now, and so, it has to be enough.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul. 
 
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul