I have had many people tell me that they were surprised at how well I’m doing this time around … well, here’s the whole picture.
Yes, on some levels I am doing well. I sadly have experience that I wish no one did. I had so many questions about the unknown with Abigail. I know the heartbreaking answers to those questions now. I know what it feels like to plan a tiny funeral while still pregnant. I know how it will feel to go through the mind-numbing pain of labor and delivery … knowing that I won’t get to enjoy all the sweet snuggles after. I know what it feels like to have my baby die in my arms. I know what it feels like to have my incredibly strong husband lean on me, suddenly consumed by wracking tears of grief. I know what it feels like to experience the mixture of delight of my boys at Christmas time with the numbness of grief and the devastation of wishing for the baby to snuggle that I don’t have. I could go on – but yes, those “what will happen? What will it look like?” questions have answers now.
I also am determined to not lose another year of life to the shadows of grief. I tried so hard to stay in the moment with my boys last year, and did well at that, but still my oldest son’s 2nd grade year is a blur. My middle son’s 5th year of life is a blur. The last year that I got to have a preschooler is a blur. I get one shot at this motherhood thing, this marriage, this life. I get one chance to have a 3rd grade headstrong, determined son. I get one chance to experience the delight of a 6 year old passionate conservationist. I have one more chance at having a junior kindergartener. I have one shot at my 36th year of life. I have one chance at the 11th year of marriage with my love. I am determined to work at the balance between grieving my precious babies, while living the huge gift of my life that I have been entrusted with.
And truthfully, all of that was easier to deal with when I wasn’t able to feel Sebastian move. He is in a backward breech position and since he was kicking against my back, little movement was felt. It was those jolting moments that I heard his little heartbeat, strong and perfect, at appointments, that made it so much more real. But then I could go back to my self-appointed oblivion. But no more. I feel his darling movements regularly and there are many, many nights that I lay awake for hours, with tears running down my face, as I feel him move.
So yes, I am doing well. Because I’m me. Because I have faith that God has my back, even though I don’t even remotely understand why my little family has to go through this again. Because I have experience on my side. But I am doing well with a broken heart. With eyes that shed tears more than they don’t – many, many days. With arms that hold my boys close and my husband closer. With hands that make meals for my family. With a determined, yet broken heart that journeys along with me. That’s the whole picture.
See the beauty in the dawn.