It’s been seven weeks since my baby died. I had him or her close to my heart for seven or eight weeks, so it’s just an interesting thought. I wanted to tell everyone a day or two after I found out, but with Christmas coming we thought it would be so much fun to surprise the kids around the tree. We were going to get Melody a onesie that said “Big Sister,” and see if they would figure it out. So fun; what a memory that would be.
But, the day before my husband had his wisdom teeth taken out, the bleeding started. I tried to shrug it off, but I knew. It was the beginning of the end. I was a bit more prepared this time for what to expect. At least I was home, and could go through the physical process alone.
We were quite a team. He had some kind of reaction to his procedure that left him with a splitting migraine for weeks. I alternately cried, self-loathed, and yelled for no reason. I’m still stuck on the self-hatred. Our poor children are so gracious, and tried so hard to make us smile. They know that when Mommy’s crying, it’s not because of them. Elijah, who’s three, will just wrap his arms around my neck and stay there. Compassion is so beautiful in the young, it is unfettered. We named the baby Jordan; we all decided together.
I am so thankful for my two friends that checked in on me, and another who brought a crockpot full of supper. I don’t know what I would have done. My heart was broken; my dreams shattered. There was a beautiful life, and then it was gone. I am just sick.
If I could go back and change things, I so would. I would have proudly told the world, or our little world anyways, about the new life that was blooming. I know some people like to wait but I just don’t get it. A baby is a baby is a baby. I know not everyone agrees with me, but when I saw the second line on the seven different tests, the furthest thing from my mind was a clump of cells. I could feel the weight of a full baby after a feed. The way they streeeetch their arms up and stick out their bum. When they make the most ridiculous faces, crossing their eyes, sticking out their tongues. Oh, the smell. I just wanted to hold him or her so bad. Darn the people who would have commented stupid stuff. Seriously, we know how babies are made, and we are really, really good at it. I’ll link to our instructional DVD later.
Instead of taking my vitamins, drinking my protein shakes and being so careful to avoid caffeine, I got to cry alone, take care of my husband and come up with chili for a prior commitment. Bring my girls to dance class while still feeling the life drain out of me. Smile and chuckle when the fourth person TODAY asks “when is the next one coming?” The world changed, the world hurt, and there was no reprieve.
Now I’m coming out of the fog. I still cry, every freaking day. New babies, commercials, news reports of babies hurt or abused literally break me. I’m not as angry, not as raw, a bit calmer, but still just. So. Sad. I am so sad. Seriously. What was the point of all this awful heartache?
I got to learn things, so there’s that. I learned the importance of showing up. My two friends- neither of them had gone through this. They probably didn’t know exactly what to say. But they knew the importance of just being there for the heartache. They knew that a quick text or praying for comfort for someone is a healing balm for the soul. The being alone in your grief and pain- or worse, being alone with a pile of kids to watch and teach all day- is not where we are supposed to be.
We are supposed to commune. To lift each other up, to encourage, to celebrate and to cry. I have never known that as deeply as I do now. We need to look out for each other, especially those on the sidelines. But people can’t support and care if they don’t know.
So I encourage us to be a bit more real with each other. There are people in your life who will love you and support you. Make sure they know where you’re at.
And if you know that someone is hurting, reach out. Say the wrong thing. Do the wrong thing. It’s always better than no thing. They will see your heart. And even if they don’t, you will know that you did your best.
We need to be known for showing up, not known for our absence.