Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mountains and Molehills

Hello again, world. I’m still here, and I’m still kicking. Things have just been so busy lately! So I apologize for not posting much recently.

I want to start off by expressing my sincere thanks to all of you out there who offer support...you'll never know how much it means to me. Those of you who comment and understand where I'm coming from are invaluable to me. Those of you who offer support in the background, thank you so much. I need so much support to face each day. It seems that each day is a new challenge. Some days I actually feel like I can accept the challenge, and at least face it with dignity. While, some others, I honestly want to run screaming at the sight of the challenge.

Today's challenge involved work. I'll be completely honest; I'm struggling to find my new normal here. I've managed to figure out where I fall in most things, but work isn't so easily organized. I would love to just jump back in as if nothing ever happened, but that simply isn't possible. I'm not the same person I once was. My skin is much thinner. My feelings are rawer.

There's a vulnerability I haven't had my entire adult life. I used to be a planner and a go-getter. Now, I am finding that I forget things easily. I’m shaken in my stability to perform professionally, because honestly, some days it’s still a challenge to get out of the bed. My boss and his boss are both understanding and really good people. I’m thankful to work for them, and I don’t want to let them down. I’m scared to let them down. I’m scared I can’t be a useful team member. I’m scared.

Back to the challenge of today: we had a meeting. So you’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal!?” Well, there are 2 big deals: One was that I was meeting with some people that I haven’t seen since I was pregnant. A very nice and well-meaning lady asked me if I was getting back in to the swing of work and dealing with a baby. The people around who knew the situation were SHOCKED. They were probably more uncomfortable than I was. I believe I handled it well, and just told her that Caroline was stillborn, and that I didn’t want her to feel bad for asking. But still, ouch. Then, the second big deal is that it was in the same room where my work friends threw me a shower for Caroline. I walked in and had to pretend to be okay, but I was punched in the gut. I excused myself to the restroom for a little private sob, and then I went back in. I fought tears all day.

Things overall are going well, though. I actually have some news to announce. My husband and I are expecting again! We’re cautiously excited for the hope to have a baby live at home with us. I am in my 9th week right now, so I’m not very far along at all, but everything is looking good so far. The doctor is very optimistic, so we’re trying to hold onto that.

This is a very exciting and scary journey. It brings up all kinds of conflicting and difficult feelings after losing a child. Part of me is scared that Caroline will be forgotten by some. I know without a doubt that I’ll never forget her, not even a little bit. It isn’t possible. But for others, I think she might just be glossed over. She might just be part of an unfortunate life event that doesn’t really need to be thought of or discussed. But to me, she’s my daughter. She lived inside my womb for almost 40 weeks. I knew her, intimately. She was a part of me. And a part of me is still with her. I don’t want everyone to have to hurt like I do, but it would be nice if people missed her like I do, like her Daddy does.

This blog is still going to be about us: Caroline’s family. It’s going to take a little turn from time to time to focus on the promise of new life. It isn’t going to become a pregnancy journal. It’s going to be a place for her family to share our lives. We share in hopes that we can help ourselves, and ultimately help others.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baby Tears

We cried tears when we learned that a child would be,

that your GOD had allowed you to quicken in me.

We cried tears with our loved ones as they shared our joy,

and we thought about names for a girl or a boy.

I cried tears as I thought of the things that we would do,

all the things that your Daddy would pass on to you.

And I cried as I thought of each inch you had grown,

as I pondered the day you’d make yourself known.

Then, to think of the world you must enter brought fears.

Once again, little loved one, your Mother cried tears.

Something’s wrong, I can tell – once again there are tears,

and I’ll not get the chance of your love through the years.

Oh the ache and the sorrow and all of the pain,

and again, yes again, my tears fell like rain.

Then His peace comes to me as I think of you there,

gently rocking with FATHER in His favorite chair.

Your sweet little fingers clenched tight in His palm

and His SON softly singing to help keep you calm.

Our FATHER knew you days before they came to be,

and He knew, little one, you would not stay with me.

So, I cry but I know that when this life is done,

I will greet and embrace you my little sweet one.

There’s a time to be born and a time to die,

and the joy and the sorrow both make us cry!

- Conni Johnson

These last few days have been a little harder than the days had been for a little while. I catch myself crying more often, harder, and less secretly than I was able to do a couple of weeks ago. Life is hard. Life outside of losing a child is hard. Life outside of grieving is hard. Life, in itself, is hard. I want to make sure and point out that I'm not giving up, I'm not caving in. I'm expressing my bare and raw emotions to...well...the world. I'm able to walk around in the world of the "normal" and pretend to be one of them. But sometimes, and often lately, it hits me...I'm not. I'm not "normal." I'm not okay. I can't be. I can't just pretend like my heart isn't still broken. I can't lie to myself or anyone else by acting like I'm really making huge strides. Well, maybe I am, because at least I'm able to go out into the normal world now. I couldn't do that for a while. But this last week, I've felt like the ground was crumbling under me. I cry at my desk several times a day. I don't mean those dainty-ladylike-tears-fall-and-you-swipe-with-a-hanky-and-all-is-well cries. I mean the shoulders shaking, make-up smearing, can't-even-make-it-to-the-bathroom-without-causing-a-scene cries. Thankfully, all the people that work around me are pretty great. They handle it like champs. And I'm so thankful for that.

I don't know if any of this makes any sense to anyone but me. If it doesn't, I apologize for rambling. If it does, I hope you aren't feeling these same feelings.