Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The World Has the Nerve to Keep on Turning

This week is not my friend.  These last few days have been emotionally brutal.  And for the first time in a very long time, I'm not referencing the soul crushing grief that has been so very present since losing little Caroline.  I'm talking about the stress of this thing called life.

I guess I should really say that nothing that bad has happened.  We haven't lost our house in those awful storms that raged through our region, our cars were neatly parked in the garage and didn't have any hail damage.  We still have our health, our sweet baby Addalee, our relationship, the everlasting love of our Lord and Savior.  So, yes, I am incredibly blessed.  I don't want to come across ungrateful or whiney (although I'm probably being whiney).

My problems have been in the form of frustrations...frustrations at work, frustrations with people.  Since we lost Caroline, so many things about me have changed.  Yes, I still try to make jokes at inappropriate times and I talk even more when I'm nervous, but I used to have a thick(er) skin.  I used to be able to let some things roll off my back.  I am now finding that I have lost that ability.  I might just be hyper-sensitive, or people might just be that insensitive.  Honestly, it's probably a combination of both. 

I feel like there is a night and day difference of my life on October 18, and the late evening of October 19.  It's just a profound change.  It angers me that others have not experienced a change.  It bothers me that it truly is the same people up to the same pathetic things.  It sickens me that people behave the way they do.  I sometimes feel like I should be immune to this kind of behavior because of the hand we've been dealt in losing our sweet girl.  I feel like people shouldn't pick on me, and find reasons to complain about me to others.  I feel like if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.  I mean, I know this is a statement that has been around for so long, but it seems even more applicable when you've been forced to live in this kind of alternate reality, or Plan B.

I'm not going to go into details, I feel like that would be stooping to the level of this poor soul.  But I do want to express here how I really feel.  I am angry.  I am hurt.  I pity this person.  What a sad life it must be, to skulk in the background and hide behind anonymity.  I think it's pretty stinkin' pathetic that you don't have anything better to do with your time, and your life than find ways to hurt other people...what a sad existence.  I'm sorry that you feel like you've been dealt such a horrible hand, but look around you, so many people have it worse than you (and worse than me - see, not whining), you really need to find a way to live your own life.  I pray that you find a way to do that.

On another note, this pitiful person isn't going to steal our happiness.  We simply can't waste any more time feeling this way.  So, we're letting it go.  I needed to vent, but I'm not holding on to it. 

Tomorrow is going to be better. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Day After Mother's Day

I'm feeling very happy to have Mother's Day behind me.  It was a day that I was dreading quite a lot for a little while.  I went back and forth wondering if it was going to be as bad as I imagined it could be.  As it turns out, what I had made up in my head was worse than the actual day.  That doesn't mean that it wasn't really tough, but it means that I wasn't reduced to a puddle of tears all day.

I was very blessed to have so many wonderful people around me, praying for me, loving me, and supporting me. Also, my family was very understanding and sweet.  I originally told anyone that would listen that I wanted to skip the day altogether.  No one really had any problem with that.  I started thinking that I needed to do something special for the moms and grandmothers in my family.  When I first started thinking of Mother's Day, I didn't think I'd be able to do ANYTHING.  I was able to make my mom and Arthur's mom a memory box to keep their special things to remind them of baby Caroline.  I was able to make them copies of her hand and foot prints given to us from the hospital, and all the other little precious keepsakes they sent us from the hospital.  I had the delivery pictures printed for them as well, and gave them each one of the gifts that they had given us for Caroline.  My mom got Caroline's first pair of shoes (an adorable little set of pink dress shoes), and Arthur's mom got a sweet little bib that said "Thank Heaven for Little Babies."  I hope that they'll treasure these things, and know they will. 

I was able to pick out a card for my mom, but I had to abort that mission after I found hers because it was simply just too overwhelming, and I didn't want to lose my mind in Target.  (Did you know that they have "Happy First Mother's Day" cards?  I do...now)  Thankfully, Arthur was able to find a really nice card for his mom and spare me from having to try again.  I had even really planned to send a little card to my BLM friends that I've met along this journey, but lost my motivation when it was just so hard to look at those cards!

We actually had a special weekend together.  Arthur was so good to me, and we really enjoyed each other's company.  We hit the bookstore on Friday evening, and got a couple of good books (a new devotional, and a book about surviving the death of a child), and he even let me go to Hobby Lobby (he really knows the way to my heart)!  Saturday we went to yard sales, they're just so much fun!  From the yard sales, we went to an antique fair.  It was so much fun!  By the time we got home, we were both exhausted, but it was so nice.  Sunday, we got up leisurely.  Normally, we'd have gone to church, but I knew they'd be doing the special Mother's Day service, so I just couldn't muster the courage.  But Arthur made us breakfast, and we spent the day just being together.  We talked about Caroline a good bit.  There were tears.  There was laughter.  We tried to remember Caroline and think of our new little blessing, Addalee (name meaning story below).  Arthur gave me the sweetest card, I didn't know a card like that even existed.  It said something along the lines of this being a tough time, but that I'm a mother, etc. And he told me how proud he was of me...melted my heart.  When the day was over, I was glad though.  It was nice to lay down my head and know that another milestone is behind me.  I just pray that next Mother's Day will be different.

I spent time in prayer leading up to, and during the day yesterday for all of those that I've met who would be experiencing Mother's Day without their precious child(ren).  I wish that this wasn't a reality for anyone.  I wish that life was neat and easy.  But it's not.  So, I hope that each of you who've had to weather Mother's Day with heavy hearts (because of the loss of their babies, or even their own mothers, or grandmothers), were able to experience some peace.

As promised, Addalee's name story/meaning:  Being in the midst of a subsequent pregnancy is quite the roller coaster of emotion.  Some days just sail on by, while others, we're stricken with fear...fear that something could be wrong, something could happen, she won't come home with us either...  We have been diligently trying to find a name for this little girl since we found out she was a "she."  We had several names on the table, and none that we were just settled on.  Arthur came up with Addalee, and we just liked it, still nothing was final.  Arthur looked up the meaning of the name and found that it meant "God is our refuge."  I was almost decided.  Then, a couple of days later, we ran into a hard day, emotionally.  Arthur prayed that God would give us a sign that everything was okay and everything was going to be okay with this little girl.  He then went on the Internet to a random verse generator, Psalm 46:1 came up - God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  And the rest is history!  So, we're expecting little Addalee Elizabeth (after her big sister), late August - early September!  Please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Everything

Yes, I realize it's been a little while since Easter, but I haven't wished everyone a proper "Happy Easter."

So HAPPY EASTER from us to you!

How was Easter for all of you?  For me, it was okay...but it actually turned out to be tougher than I had anticipated.  It actually kind of surprised me.  Easter has always been one of my favorite days.  It's such an uplifting day, because of all it means to me as a Christian.  That didn't change, but there was a sadness attached to the day.  While it's a day about what Christ did for all of us, died on the cross and rose from the grave, in our society today, the day also has a large focus on children.  From the pretty little dresses to the Easter egg hunts, from the Easter baskets to the egg decorating, I was brutally aware of all we were missing out on this year.  Yes, I know, Caroline would have only been 6.5 months old, but I still would have celebrated so much with her.  I felt like I was deflated when the day was over.  Just the breath-stealing grief of missing her, it was painful.  We were able to get together with family, and that was wonderful, but part of me just wanted to hide and cry.  I suppose that it's for the best that our family is active and wants us to be there, it does keep me from hiding in my shell.  And honestly, if I just wanted to sit and cry, they'd let me...some would cry with me, all would understand.  I couldn't ask for a better family - on either side!

This past weekend, my mom's side of the family had a cookout/get-together/shower/party.  My cousin and his wife are expecting a little girl, and another cousin and his wife just finalized the adoption of their sweet little boy.   My family was really great about the shower aspect, and told me that I didn't even have to come if I didn't want to, and everyone would understand.  Because, honestly, going to a baby shower (especially for a little girl), was a nightmare for me.  I didn't think I was even going to be able to shop for a gift for her.  That came easier than I thought, then I started thinking, maybe I could actually go to the shower.  So, I decided to go for it.  My philosophy for this was that I wasn't going to let it be bad, I was going to suck it up and just do it.  I wanted to be there for my family.  And they were all there for me.  So, I survived...a baby shower, complete with little pink dresses, and pretty things.  Emotionally, I was okay while I was there, keeping busy, visiting with my sweet family.  It was a little tougher when I slowed down that night to go to bed...when I'm alone with my thoughts.

This coming weekend is a dreaded day for me (as I'm sure many of you will understand)...Mother's Day.  It's not that I don't want to celebrate my Mom and grandmothers.  I'm proud of them, and I want them to feel honored.  But honestly, I have to skip it.  I have told them that I'm basically just going to pretend it isn't a special day.  I'm not going to go to church, which would have been part of a normal non-holiday Sunday, because I just can't do the "honoring the mothers" thing that they'd do.  Because, other than my big belly, no one would know that I'm already a mother.  No one can tell by looking at me that I've given birth to a sweet little girl.  No one can see the mother's love that I have for my angel Caroline.  Since I don't have any living children (outside the womb), I'm generally overlooked by society as a real mother.  It breaks my heart.  I want to scream at the top of my lungs and somehow pass my feelings about my little girl to the world.  I want everyone to know, "I HAVE A LITTLE GIRL, HER NAME IS CAROLINE.  I LOVE HER WITH MY WHOLE HEART.  SHE'S NOT HERE WITH ME AND I MISS HER WITH EVERYTHING I AM.  EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS STILLBORN, SHE STILL MATTERS!"  Thankfully, most people don't deny me that, and anyone who knows the situation has been gracious and kind.  I guess, I really just want it to be completely evident that I'm a mother, and I don't want to have to explain it.  But, that's just how it is...

On another note, Caroline's little sister officially has a name.  We don't officially know how we're going to spell it, but her name is Adalee Elizabeth.  Her first name means "God is our refuge."  Through this pregnancy, we have good days and bad days, anxiety wise.  We were having a rough day one day, and her Daddy asked God to give us some comfort that everything is going to be okay this time around, and he went online to a random verse generator, and Psalm 46:1 was the verse that came up.  "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."  And that's how our new little girl got her name, officially! :)

This is me and little Addie at 20 weeks!

Alrighty...well, that post got a little longer than I planned on.  I guess I just had a lot to say!

Hoping everyone is having a great week.