So here is actually a funny story for today. I know my posts lately have been about loss and sadness, but there is a lot of joy and good going on in my life. One of them happened yesterday even though they didn’t start out that way.
So yesterday my husband got our daughter ready to go since I drive him to work being we only have one car. I asked him does she have on pants and he said that she didn’t want to wear them, but he will put them in the car. We leave and I have to go to Home Depot on the way home and therefore Emma having pants was kind of a big deal. I grab the jumbled fabric that he said were pants and it was a long sleeve shirt. She of course already had a shirt, and I needed pants.
A little miffed at my husband, I go to Home Depot anyway and try to think about what I was going to do about my daughter not having any pants. Well, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in my heart and said, “It’s a long sleeve shirt. Put it on like a skirt and tie the sleeves in the back to keep it on”. It was genius!
Doesn’t she look cute with her skirt shirt thing? And everyone kept telling me that my daughter’s outfit was so cute as we walked through the store. If only they knew what kind of morning had led up to it. So, in the honor of that guy who now plays Bailywick in Sofia the First, I made it work 🙂
It feels like this journey of grieving over my baby is never going to end. I guess that because every couple of weeks should have been a mile stone passed. This time we should have been able to announce that we were pregnant to the world. Many people I know are pregnant and have just announced it and I am super happy for them but I am also very jealous. I should have been able to do the same! Everyone should have known that we were expecting another baby not that we just lost one! Today has been really hard for me and in another couple of weeks will be another bad day because we were supposed to find out for sure if we were having a girl or boy.
I keep trying to tell people I am okay, but, in all truth, I am really not okay. I am still angry, upset and crushed because I lost my baby. I had my baby taken away from me, meanwhile, I get to stand by and watch everyone else enjoy the excitement of theirs. I am sitting here crying again writing this because I don’t know what else to do. I have been doing projects all day trying to distract myself but now I have run out of things to do and the mental capacity to do them. I am so not okay.
But I know there is hope because I know it’s fine that I am not okay. It’s okay that I can’t go back to serving in my church’s baby program because I can’t hold another baby without crying. When will I ready? I don’t know. I don’t know how long it will take for my heart not to ache when I see a new born in the store in the line next me. I don’t know when I won’t cry when I think about my baby that should have been to the point when I could feel her. Or feel like a failure when my husband is about to sign his vasectomy papers because our infertility is something that can’t really be fixed. I don’t know anything.
What I do know if that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay for me to not know what the future has in store. But, if you’re like me and are not okay, then know we are not alone. There are so many hurting men and women out there who don’t know when they will okay either. I can only put one foot in front of the other on days like today. Tomorrow can only be better.
I just read a really great devotion from Joyce Meyer in her book Trusting God Day by Day. In it was a saying of standing up on the inside. We are in a very interesting time in world history with America’s presidential election and everything still going on the middle east. There are many people standing up literally for what they think is right even though most of them are just throwing a tantrum. It’s not truly protesting or standing up for anything. But I won’t get into that at the moment.
What I just want to say is that standing up for things is important but sometimes it is best to just stand up on the inside. To still have your convictions but to use them at the appropriate time. Everything in good time right? That goes for standing up for something too. There is so much I want to stand up for and scream at the top of my lungs to get what I want but I can’t always do that. I have to be patient and wait on God to give me the moment to do so.
But one thing is for sure, I will always be a Patriot, Christian, and supporter of freedom. That I will always stand up for whether it be on the inside or the outside.
So this year I had my birthday. Yay! And I am now 25 years old… Yay! I don’t feel that old really. I still feel like a spicy sixteen year old but I am not one anymore. I am a mom and wife. I have gotten a college degree. I am now a homeowner. There are so many changes that have happened for me in these past twenty five years. I have gone from a child to an adult.
I look forward to the next twenty five years for sure. Within that time now it’s crazy to think that my daughter will graduate high school, my husband will retire and I will be an empty nester. Talk about another huge shift in life from where I am now with a working husband, a toddler and a very busy home. But I don’t take any of it for granted since I know how fast everything can be taken away. In a blink of an eye my plans can change and be taken down a different road. So these next twenty five years, I just want to enjoy the journey.
To anyone who has lost a child and are looking for a way to make sure they are not forgotten, here is the right place to be. First it is not silly and it is totally valid for wanting to have a memorial for your little one no matter the age because we did something for our lost little ones. Let me tell you my story of what we did and maybe it will spark some inspiration for your event.
A week after my D&C was an emotional day for us because we got to have a celebration that recognized the life of our little angels. It was a such a sweet time and I wasn’t sure what my family would think about it but they came to give their support. Turns out they loved the idea of the celebration because we all believe that these were little people and now they are in heaven waiting to meet us someday.
I read a letter I wrote to my children and other family members said a few words. It was so nice to have that time to mourn over the losses as a family instead of just a couple. I think it’s totally ok to bring other family members into the grieving process because they have a version of it themselves. Our parents are mourning the loss of grandchildren, our siblings are mourning the loss of nieces/nephews, and we are mourning the loss of our children. They are all children just with different titles to different people.
After we had our time of speaking and crying, we then went out and hung a wind chime in their memory with four little butterflies on top.
I chose to go with butterflies because there is a cool identity behind them. At first I thought maybe angels since we call them our little angels or rainbows because of God’s promise, but then I thought about the butterfly.
A butterfly is a cool insect because it is the picture of transformation. On earth we are like the little caterpillar soaking up God’s word and getting ready to make that cocoon, and then the process of death in the symbolized in the cocoon and when the butterfly breaks out we enter into God’s glory and take on our new heavenly bodies. Well, my little butterflies got to be transformed just a little bit faster than the rest of us. They didn’t have to deal with a regular body outside the womb that gets old and broken. They got to go from the most innocent version of anyone to being born into this perfect body up in heaven. So for that reason I wanted to have butterflies on the wind chime, and my parents found the most perfect one that has the most heavenly sound. It truly doe sound like my little butterflies laughing.
There are so many options but this one just spoke to me since we have a good idea that our last baby was going to be a girl but we are not sure what the other three were since they only lived for a few weeks. I look forward to wearing this in their honor
And one last option we found to remember our little ones is by a Memory Angel Christmas Ornament . We ordered this one off Etsy as well from a shop called Charminglee Charms. We haven’t received it yet but it will be beautiful too. We ordered it with the color bead that would have been her birth month, and we will probably be ordering three more with the other babies projected birth month stone colors as well.
Even with the celebration past, I still miss my babies very much. I will always miss them, but I have hope that I will get to see them again. I will get to meet all four of them when it’s my time to be with Jesus and I can’t wait.
So if you have lost a little one, maybe hanging a wind chime, wearing a necklace or getting something like an ornament, any choice would work well for you to remember that they were a person. They weren’t just a bunch of cells whether you got to see a heartbeat or not. They were your baby and deserve to be remembered. Don’t let anyone make you think that you are making a big deal out of nothing. Losing a baby is painful wether it was at a few weeks or after birth. A baby is a baby and they deserve to be remembered forever.
Today is one seek since my D&C and it has been quite the week. I still miss my baby very much, but my heart is beginning to open to the idea of moving on. I still have to wait via doctor’s orders to keep from being with my husband but I think the time has been good in order to get my head going in the right direction instead of just jumping right into bed with him again and just trying to get back into life. I didn’t take the time with my others and we both suffered in the long run for awhile. So taking the time to heal before is very important to anyone who has suffered from a miscarriage.
My husband and I have really gotten a chance to talk about how we are feeling where we want to go in the journey of building our family or keeping it just as it is. The conversations have not been easy since we have had to answer some pretty hard inward questions but they have been worth it. We are still not sure where we want to go. We don’t know if we want to keep trying to keep trying for a baby or to just enjoy the little miracle we have.
There is really no wrong answer though which is nice. The right answer is to keep trying and the right answer to just enjoy our only child. She is enough for both of us so we would be happy either way. We have some plans we want to do and adding a new born to our life would be tricky, but there is still that desire to keep trying.
If you are like me and are having this inward tug of war, know that you are not alone and there really is no wrong answer. You have to do what is right over all for your family and not what your parents or friends say, your doctor says or what society says. The only people you need to worry about is you and your partner and everything else will fall into place. I know because I have to tell myself that same thing every day. I know have to make a decision but right now I am going to take the next week to continue healing and reconnecting with my husband on an emotional level before we move back into our physical relationship.
I have to say these past few days have been rather crazy. I am still recovering from my D&C and my husband and I are trying to work out our feelings about the loss of our baby. But there is one other person in our home that we cannot forget and that is our two and a half year old daughter. She has feelings just like us and she is very perceptive. We have tried to not make it a huge thing in front of her about the baby passing away, but she knows something is up.
To be honest it would have been easier to actually grieve without a child than it is with one. Let me explain. See, when you have infertility problem without having a child in the house already, there is the ability to openly grieve without little eyes looking at you wondering why mommy has now cried all of a sudden ten times in the last hour. Anyone know what I mean? Children are a lot smarter than people give them credit for and they can sense everything that happens in the house. So if I am sad, my daughter picks up on it and knows that something is wrong.
The other reason why having a child when you have lost another is because your fertility is staring you in the face everyday. You can’t get away from the reminder that at one time you were able to have a baby and now suddenly you can’t. It’s maddening. With my daughter, when things started rolling, they were stressful in their own way but she was a solid pregnancy (difficult birth) but no reasons that the pregnancy was ever in question. Now that I have lost four in a row, it’s so frustrating, but my daughter can’t know because she would feel bad if she really knew what was going on.
Trust me when I say my daughter is enough child for me just like your little one if you are in the same boat as me. And, honestly, she would be enough if my husband and I were never able to have another baby. Would it be heartbreaking for that to really be a reality? Of course, but are we preparing ourselves for that outcome? Yes. But here is the ticket for those of us dealing with secondary infertility is that we have a reason to live that those unfortunate woman who has primary don’t. We have our child that we have been blessed with and that is where having a child and grieving with them in the house is easier.
If I didn’t have my daughter while going through this, I would probably have fallen into a horrible depression. I would probably have internalized this situation to the point that it would have ruined the relationship I have with my husband and I would be curled up in a ball all day in bed because I frankly could. That is not the case for us with children in the house. They force us to get out of bed everyday when we feel like we are falling apart and live because they are still living. Yes, you lost a baby, or two, or three, or four, but you are still a mother to at least one on this earth.
When I get up every morning, especially right now, the first thing I want to see is my daughter’s smiling face. The day after my D&C I was feeling ok physically but emotionally I was drained. I knew she was up but I just wanted to disappear into the sheets, but I had to get up. And you know what I am so glad I did because I got to experience a real treat. My daughter wanted me to cuddle and hold her like I did when she was a baby. Now for those who have had a D&C or had a stillborn, the feelings of holding a baby again is painful, but, when my daughter wanted me do it with her, it was restoring. I knew I still had this little girl who needed me and I needed her. She is still my baby no matter how big she gets, and I will always be her mommy.
So the biggest advantage to having a child and dealing with a miscarriage if they give you a reason to live. They are your joy and strength in a tough time like this. My daughter is that joy and strength and she will be if she turns out to be our only child not by choice. But here are a few tips I am using to get through this valley of grieving when I am unable to show that I am grieving around my daughter:
Laugh with him/her
Play with him/her
Pray for direction and strength
Don’t forget to spend time with your husband together and as a family
See the blessing that is in front of you instead of the sorrow of your loss
And when you can, go into the bathroom and cry it out
That almost last one is the hardest for me. I know with my last pregnancy I had so many plans and dreams to do with this baby since I had learned from some of the mistakes I had made with my daughter. There were quite a few things I hadn’t fully enjoyed and embraced and I wanted to do them over again. But now none of those desires will come true. Will they ever come true with another baby? I don’t know. I still don’t even know what the pathology report says and won’t for another week on why this baby passed away so soon. But what I do know is that I didn’t stop being a mom when this baby’s heart stopped because I still have a child’s whose heart is beating still, and she cannot be forgotten. So continue living as we get to parent our little blessings while remembering our angels in heaven.