Monday, October 24, 2011

After Asa's Born....

So, my last post was where I'm at physically - here's where I'm at mentally/emotionally, if I can even put my complicated thought process into words.  I finally was able to with Matt the other night and ended up in tears, so we'll see how this goes...You may want to drink your coffee before reading this, it's gonna be a messy one!

To start with, I'm not a private person and never have been - as you can probably tell if you follow my blog or have had conversations with me.  I've also never considered myself an introvert.  I've always been the one who loves to find a reason to have people over and hate to miss out on things.  My children's birthdays - both the day they were born and the years after - have always been big celebrations for me and I have always liked to include as many people as possible.... until Rachel.

During my pregnancy with my sweet girl, I learned really quickly (through pain) that I had to be very careful who I surrounded myself with.  I knew that the people who hurt me through this trial were going to be hard to forgive and pretty much impossible to continue relationships with.  (which ARE two different things)  I knew that because I know me.  So, I made a point of being as open and honest about my feelings as I could be with everyone in my life. (for which I've been called critical and ungrateful)  For some relationships, that has made them stronger - and others, like I suspected, are severed and will probably never be the same.  The outcome of course, depended on if they responded to my feelings with love or in defense and judgement.  And I can say in all fairness, I warned everyone of this repeatedly back in August last year.

Rachel's birthday was the same way.  We had a room full of people there after she was born, but they are not the people you would expect to be part of such a celebration...  Instead of family members and old friends, we carefully picked people who had been in our lives currently and who we knew loved and supported us.  People we could trust to celebrate Rachel and not make the day about them or disrupt the peace in the room - for us and for our children.  And that definitely upset some people who were not invited.  And honestly, I was okay with that and still am.  I had to do what was right for me & my family.  I couldn't be worried about others in that situation, and the couple of exceptions I made, I regret.

All of a sudden, I felt like a completely private person - an introvert.  And I've remained that way since last year.  I know some of it is just my grief - but I believe some of it is that I am not the same person I was before.  I've learned that no matter how full a room is, it doesn't matter if the ones in it are not really on your side.

Now I'm approaching some new decisions to be made.  And the hard part is that I don't even totally know what they are because I've never done this before.

This is what I know:  I know I'm going to have a baby and I'm hoping the delivery will go well and safely.  I know that I will stay at the hospital a couple of days.  I know that I will eventually be at home trying to take care of (hopefully) 4 little ones - possibly after a surgery if I need a c-section.  I know that people are going to want to meet our new addition.  I know that having a new baby is going to make me grieve Rachel in a whole new way, a way in which I have no idea what to expect.  I know that people giving Asa attention, especially those who did not/do not support me through my journey with Rachel, is going to irritate the crap out of me. (I know that sounds so wrong)  I know that people are going to say things to 'rejoice' over Asa that will dismiss my 'mourning' over Rachel- and all with good intentions.  I know that he is going to be viewed as her replacement by some and that some will expect me to be 'all better' now.  I know that when I'm not 'all better now' people are going to judge me.  And I know that some of those people are related to us.  I know that I am not going to want to let that baby out of my arms.  I know that I have no desire to share him at all.  I know that sounds selfish and I know I don't care. 

You're probably really confused what I'm trying to say.... so am I.  That's the hard part.  What I guess I'm getting at is that, just like I had to do with Rachel, I need to allow myself the freedom to set boundaries and do or NOT do whatever feels right regarding me and my new baby.  It seemed easier and more 'acceptable' to do this for a baby that was going to die.  I can easily feel very guilty over not doing what others want me to or get really self-conscious about what people will think of me if I do what is right for me.  It feels wrong for me to even want to do what's right for 'me'.  But somehow, I need to let myself. 

Unfortunately, I have learned the hard lesson that some people attack when you set a boundary.  That is why we haven't spoken to one of my in-laws since last December. Another boundary I set started a disagreement that caused a so-called 'Chirstian friend' to bad mouth me to everyone and even contact a lawyer against me in August and other boundaries I've set have caused people along the way to stop talking to me.  Some people take it VERY personally when you set boundaries.  I may not always say things the right way or have the best approach, but I have never asked anything unreasonable of anyone.  So, my past (and even very recent) experience tells me that if I tell people what I need or don't let them do what they want, I'm going to get punished, abandoned or attacked for it - and maybe even sued!!  ugh. 

I guess this post is my forewarning...  I've had a lot of people tell me they would come visit me when I have him and I know that you all just want to be supportive.  I know that everyone is excited for the new baby.... but I'm thinking that I am not going to be ready for a lot of attention or to be trying to entertain everyone else's needs, desires, excitement, whatever.... I may change my mind, but the way I feel right now, I think I may just want to be alone with my baby and the rest of my family while I figure out how to grieve my girl and celebrate my boy.  It feels so complicated.  I'm hoping that everyone will be patient with me and be willing to follow my lead and not take it personally if I don't want to visit or show Asa off.  I also hope that everyone will allow me to feel however I feel without telling me how I *should* feel, according to them.  Oh, and don't be surprised if nobody else gets to hold him :o)

I am not saying that I'm not open to phone calls, emails and other ways of letting me know you care - please don't take it that way.   I'm only asking for no drop-ins and no expectations.  If you call and I'm up for it, then that's great... but I want to feel comfortable saying I'm not, without worrying about hurt feelings or angry people.  And if you're thinking that sounds like crazy behavior and most people won't do that, well, I could tell you some stories!  And you're right, it is crazy, but I had to deal with it right after Rachel had died from people who supposedly *knew* how I felt, yet couldn't understand why I wanted to be alone with my family for Christmas and aggressively let me know that it was unacceptable to desire such a thing.  The exact words (amongst a bunch of other nasty ones) were "this isn't about you, it's about celebrating with family for the holidays".  yep.  fun times.  Just what a mama needs a week after she puts her baby in the ground.  So, I'm assuming this year won't be any easier, espeically with a new baby, which always seems to bring our long lost family (and friends) out of the woodwork.  This never bothered me before, but after this last year of being criticized by the same people who have abandoned me when I needed them most, I've lost patience for it.  And if I'm completely honest, my heart still hurts from it all and I don't feel like I can (or should have to) handle any more pain from them.

I have no idea how to handle Isaiah's birthday, Thanksgiving, Rachel's birthday, Christmas and then Desirae's birthday, which will all happen between now and the beginning of January!   My head spins trying to figure out what to do in all these situations with a new baby, lots of emotions, and complicated relationships in our families - and all the "joyful" people who are going to want me to just be happy.  I feel so protective over Rachel.  I feel possesive over Asa.  I feel like I'm failing my other kids (this is where I start crying) by wanting to do a low key birthday, even though they really could care less, they mostly just want to do something fun with their cousins (my sister's kids).  And although I pretty much already know how I want to handle all of these situations and Matt's on the same page as me, I feel this pressure to do what I know everyone else is going to want from me.  I guess this is where it all comes back to me... and trusting God for the outcome of decisions made prayerfully.

Well, welcome to my complex mind!  Not a fun place to be sometimes.  But there it is.... Please don't use this post as an excuse to avoid me.  Believe me when I say I'm not talking about everyone I know here. The downfall here is that, as usual, the people I want to understand this stuff most likely aren't reading this and won't and so my 'forewarning' is probably a waste of my time. Or worse, they'll read it and buck against it anyway.  However, I do hope that it helps at least one other mama to know they aren't alone if they have had similar feelings.....


  1. Not that you need my approval, dear one. But ... you are absolutely justified in setting boundaries. It's ok to have boundaries even in a "normal" situation, and much more so now. God has a way of showing us the relationships that are built on His love, and those that are not. If people choose to judge you or let their expectations encroach upon your feelings and desires, then that's a reflection of their own selfish thoughts, not yours. Personal experience tells me that Asa's birth, no matter how anticipated or how much you love him, is going to open a whole new door of grief in regard to your precious girl. I'll be praying that God gives you peace, and that you can be so focused on looking up at Him that you forget to look around at others. =) God bless you and hold your tender heart my sweet sister.

  2. I don't comment on comments usually, but this one just ministered to my heart more than you know. thank you ♥

  3. Stacy, I was hoping to see you when I was visiting Grace last weekend. I got to see Rachel's playground, but I was really hoping to see you, to hear about your girl and to pray with you and for you. I appreciate the way you are sharing and it is helping me to see others around me differently, maybe more compassionately. Your desire to honor Jesus and your beautiful daughter are a gift. Hopefully next time I am in NH I will see you and you can tell me more about Rachel.
    Stacy Paolella

  4. These are all normal feelings IMO for what you have been thru. I was very protective of Lainey after she was born and now that she is over a year I am finally relaxing a little. Just take this journey a day at a time and a moment at a time.

  5. I agree with the first post. You have every right to set boundaries! (side note, I put a sign on the door and disconnected the doorbell when I needed quiet time or the babies were sleeping)


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