Friday, August 4, 2017

I'm Sorry I'm a Wreck, It's Just That My 4 Year Old Isn't Here

It's not every day I find myself feeling and acting like this, I promise. It happens more than I'd like to admit, though - at least twice a year. I don't mean two days out of the year, but a week or two in the spring and a week or two in the fall.

I honestly never see it coming, either. You'd think after 4 years I would get a grip. But it hasn't happened yet.

So I'm sorry if I'm difficult to deal with right now. It's just that my 4 year old son isn't here. He was here, at one time, for a very short time - 21 weeks, to be exact. That's all I got with him. And as grateful as I am for that time with him, sometimes it just really gets to me that that's all I got. During that time, I took for granted the fact that he was here. I thought he'd be here longer than I would. I never dreamed I would be here without him.

I'm sorry if I cry or get frustrated at the smallest little thing. It's just that this month I would be planning my son's 4th birthday party if he were still here. It's not something I try and think about, it just happens. It's not something I'm intentionally acting out about, in fact, I don't even realize that's what's going on until I get a moment alone, and it hits me like a ton of bricks. The truth is, I'm still pretty angry that I don't get to see him blow out his candles, or take pictures of him with all of his cousins. Instead, my house is so very, very empty.

I'm sorry if I look a hot mess as I push my cart through the grocery store. I know you're a little uncomfortable as you make eye contact with me, unsure if you should see if I'm alright or just leave me alone. It's just that for some reason, every time I'm alone, these tears just come rushing from my eyes. I can't understand it anymore than you can. I'm not in any trouble, I just can't get my mind off of what could have been. The variety of cakes over there makes me wonder which would have been his favorite. The little girl in the cart beside me reminds me of how much fun this shopping trip could be if I were preparing for a birthday party. And those toys in that other aisle put a picture in my head of what my son might have looked like playing with them - a sight I will never really get to see.

I'm sorry if I say I'm fine, even though you can clearly tell that I'm not. I'm not trying to close myself off from you or make some dramatic scene where I pretend to be stronger than I am. It's just that if I were honest, there would either be this extremely awkward silence and then I would have to pretend that getting that little bit of information off my chest made me feel so much better, or you would share an intense story and some great advice and we'd both end up a blubbering mess - and to be honest, I can't handle either right now.

I'm sorry if I look like some kind of addict as I purchase my go-to vice to help me calm my nerves. I didn't think about grabbing a hair-tie or doing my make up as I left the house, so I literally woke up like this. I know I should learn to handle this pain in a different manor, but sometimes it hurts so bad that I just can't bring myself to do anything but try to numb it as quickly as possible. It's not an every day thing (round of applause), but you're right, it shouldn't be a thing at all.

I'm not really sure if my apology means anything to you. I wouldn't blame you if you just ignored it, and then began to ignore me all together. It's not right, and it's not fair to you or anyone else. It's not fair to me, either, although you may see it differently. Maybe you think you could handle it differently, and maybe you could. Maybe there are a million other women who have been through the exact same thing as me and 4 years later they can go on as if nothing ever happened. Maybe I am all alone in this - God knows I feel like I am. But I don't think so.

Most of the time, I love to talk about my son. Most days, I'd give anything for you to ask me about him. I can smile at his memory, share stories of my pregnancy as if it didn't end with the most tremendous loss of my life, but right now - well right now I'm struggling.

So whether you will forgive me or not, I'm going to forgive myself. Whether you want to talk to me ever again or not, I'm going to move forward, wipe these tears from my face and continue with my day the best that I can.

You may be slightly uncomfortable, but this pain that I'm feeling is agonizing. My stomach has been turning for days. My head hurts so bad from how hard I've cried. I have contacts in but I can't even see straight. I'm exhausted. I haven't done much, but I'm out of breath - any other day I could run a mile (with a couple of breaks in between).

I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I just want to explain myself.

I hope you understand.

Sincerely,

The girl with the picture-perfect life who appears to be miserable


Thursday, July 27, 2017

A painful affair

Four years later and I'm out of words.
I can't explain the way it hurts.

I can't deny my feeling bitter,
when a baby laughs, and I'm just the sitter.

While some leave scars you see so clear,
wounds like mine just disappear.

The pain, I feel most every night,
it scoots up close and holds me tight.

When death chose us to intertwine,
this pain became my glass of wine - 

my solace when it seems surreal -
a love affair to make me feel.

My comfort is this aching heart.
It's been here with me from the start.

It tucks me in most every night,
and memories flash til morning light.

A strong reminder that you were here,
This pain is something I hold dear.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Drying the Tears - A Poem for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month as a way to recognize the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other similar causes.

Since then, Robyn Bear has proclaimed October 15th to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day so that we have a single day to reach out to those grieving, a day for all grieving parents to come together and reflect on the loss yet embrace the love. While our babies' lives were so brief, they were also very meaningful. Yet, there was not a time to talk about them. Our society seemed to forget or perhaps didn't know how to reach out.

For Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day we hope that you take a moment to reach out to someone who you know is grieving, or share an article or image you think could help someone feel like the world cares and they're not alone. We ask everyone in all times zones, worldwide, join us in a candle lighting ceremony at 7pm on October 15th.

---  Drying the Tears: A Poem for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day ---

Here I am alone, wondering what it would be like
to be watching a show, and then hear you cry.

Would I be the kind of mommy that smiles at every sound,
or would I be so tired that I fall to the ground?

Would I appreciate your life the way that you deserve?
Would I listen to your cries, and make you feel heard?

Would you throw your toys, then look at me and smile?
Would you give me big hugs just because it's been a while?

Would you make a big mess and let me teach you to clean?
Would you bite your cousin's arm? Would you be naughty and mean?

Would I have loved you the way that I'm able to now?
Would you have a happy life? Could we make it, somehow?

Would we sing the same songs and laugh at life together?
I can't help but think that life would be so much better.

As I'm holding back tears, I look up to the skies,
and smile when I feel you drying mommy's eyes.

Not a single tear's fallen and I know that you're here
with me every day, drying the tears.


Resources for Pregnancy and Infant Loss:
What I Wish I Knew Before I Delivered My Stillborn Son
For the Mamas Who Lost Their Babies: You are still a Mother
What I Mean When I Say My Daughter Was Stillborn
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Facebook Group
October 15th

PHOTO VERSION TO SHARE: