Monday, March 21, 2011

My New Normal Feels So Wrong

There are so many moments of internal battles in this journey...

It's very common for people to ask how many kids you have.  It's also a common topic I read about on other baby loss blogs because it's hard to answer honestly without opening up a very personal conversation.  Whenever someone asks me, I just say 4 and leave it at that.  If they ask anything else, I answer their questions honestly and openly and assume that God wants them to know the details...and if they don't really want to know, they shouldn't ask!!

The Friday before last I was on my way to visit Rachel and the kids & I stopped in to pick up some fruit at a little market.  As I approached the register, I debated buying Rachel some flowers for her grave.  The cashier interrupted my thought with a question..."How old are your kids?"

ummm....ahhh...umm...  I sounded like I was on drugs.  How old are my kids?  Should be an easy question... but not one I had an answer ready for.  It was more complicated than the usual "how many?"  I swear it took me over a minute to finally answer.  I said "8, 4, 2 and my daughter was born on December 3rd" as I pointed to each of them while I said their age.  It was painful to put my hand down on Rachel's turn and my wounded heart begged that she wouldn't ask where she was. She continued on to how her son was born on January 6th....I congratulated her as I walked out with my 3 little ones, all of us well aware that we were going to visit Rachel at the cemetery.

Did I do that right?  Should I have told her about my girl?  Should I have been more true to Rachel?  Did I hide her story cause it was easier or less hurtful?  Could I have made a difference for God's name had I shared about her?

Today I was writing out a thank you card for another playground donation.  All along I have signed every one of them "Matt, Stacy, Desirae, Isaiah, Samuel and Rachel".  Today I wanted to add the new baby.  I didn't.  In each of my pregnancy's I have always included the baby when I sign our names..."and baby Aube".  It is part of our family.  But I didn't today.  It felt wrong to write it, wrong to not write it. If I wrote it, not only would that be confusing for someone who doesn't know I'm pregnant again, but I feel like it's taking the position of "baby" away from Rachel.  If I didn't write it, I was neglecting the new baby's position in our family.  I was not going to feel good either way.  So I did nothing, which felt more loyal to Rachel because in a strange way, I thinks she needs my loyalty more.

Did I do that right?  Should I have told them about the new baby?  Should I have been more true to this new blessing we have been given?  Why couldn't I be open about it?  Maybe it would speak of my trust in our great God if I had...

And last but not least, I have had 2 people so far notice my belly is starting to pop out - ALREADY!!  My response has been "oh no, this isn't the new baby, this is still from Rachel."  I told my sister about it and she said that a couple of weeks ago my belly was flat (I guess I missed that part!) and that it is from this baby... I want to deny it. ( I claimed it was the pizza I ate on Saturday - She said maybe it's twins!)  I've always been SO excited when I start showing.  I love baby bellies.  So why am I not excited?  Why does it feel like this space still belongs to Rachel?  It makes perfect sense that on my 6th pregnancy and just having had a baby 3 months ago that my belly would expand fast... Why can't I smile like I normally would and say "I know" ? 

Because "normal" is not my normal anymore.  Things like answering questions about how old my kids are, how to sign letters from our family, and how I feel about babies will never be the same.  They are forever more complicated.  Sometimes I will do things "right" and sometimes I will walk away from a situation and cry because in my heart, I have failed someone I love.

I took a nap this afternoon (I've been slammed with a really bad cold) and as I curled up with her blanket, I wondered how and when I will stop sleeping with it.  She was wrapped in it in my arms...and now she's in an identical one in the ground and there is a new baby in my womb.  It feel so wrong. 

And the battle continues...one day at a time.  In my own mind and heart.  Nobody else even knows I'm struggling in these conversations and situations.  It's another lonely battle that is easily misunderstood or unnoticed.  All I know is that my heart still aches for Rachel.  I can hardly believe she's not here and sometimes when I stop and think about it, I can hardly believe I'm still alive after all I have been through. 

I know God doesn't make mistakes, but this all feels wrong.

10 comments:

  1. Stacy you are doing the most wonderful job. Rachel is excited to know she is going to be a big sister!
    Enjoy this pregnancy. You work so hard and you deserve to be happy.
    I know in my mind I have six children. Three are alive on earth and three are in Heaven.
    My three daughters argue a lot. So I kinda imagine my three children in heaven arguing too!
    You are an excellent Christian and an excellent mother. Don't forget it!

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  2. First, your dealing w/ the tried of losing your child and now a pregnancy after losing that child. Definitely not normal by normal standards. It's a new path you have to learn to navigate. You may get lost or have to take a few detours. Rest stops may be needed. You may have to stop and ask for directions. But you know that at some point you'll reach your destination.

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  3. There is no rulebook for this time in your life. Therefore there is no right or wrong. And those that matter will only ever support you - never judge. Rachel now knows whether the baby you lost to miscarriage was a boy or a girl, and she has already met your newest blessing. As Moms our children - all of them - follow us all of our days. When you told me about Desiraes scores my heart was transported to when Shawn got similar scores and how proud I was. When I see a young girl shopping with her grandmother and so excited about EVERYTHING - my heart is transported to your outingings with Nana. When I see people melt over Sam or Caleb because they both still talk like munchkins - my heart is transported to when Meagan had that effect on everyone. Rachel may have been here for a short time but she left her imprint on your heart - just as your other children have - that does not fade with the passage of time. She will always be there.

    Love, Mom

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  4. It is hard to navigate all of the feelings you have and will encounter with this pregnancy following your precious Rachel. It has helped me to remember the women who have walked this same path and stand at the end of this leg of the journey with a healthy baby in the arms and their angel babies on their hearts. I have to remind myself that I am still grieving and that it doesn't make me a bad mother to Noah, Amelia or Sam. We love all our kids.

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  5. I will be praying for you. I know that none of that can be easy for you. I do know that the Lord Jesus Christ can help you through. Lean on Him...Trust in Him...He will show you the way.

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  6. Stacy,

    My heart breaks for you. I can only imagine what this time in your life must feel like. In all of my humanness, I have nothing to offer you. Fortunately, I know the One who does & so I'll keep you in prayer!

    Bless you, sweetie!

    With Love,
    Lelia

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  7. Stacy, You are in my heart, thoughts, and prayers constantly. I remember being pregnant with Kelsey after losing Ethan, just 3 months later just like you. It was such a joy and yet such a heartache. It is certainly a bittersweet experience. I am praying for you daily. Keep your eyes on your Savior. He will continue holding you up. He will see you through this journey. One day one moment at a time. :)
    Love and Prayers,
    Carrie

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  8. Thinking of you...With much love, Jill

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  9. Anytime I've been asked how many I do the same answer 4 and then if they ask more I answer honestly and openly. However, when someone skipped that question and asked how old my kids were it caught me off guard as well. I don't think how we answer the question is right or wrong, it doesn't change the fact that you love Rachel and she is a part of your family.

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We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes