Monday, May 7, 2012

Life Goes On

I have spent a while now looking on different baby loss support sites - and I'm finding myself more and more disappointed with my reality - and the reality of sin in the world. The more I read... the more I identify... the more I miss the days when I could only imagine what this would feel like - but never thought I'd have to experience anymore than the pain associated with the empathy I had for the 2 people I knew of that had actually buried babies.  2 people.  That's it.  This didn't happen often and it sure wouldn't happen to me.
Today makes 4 years since I lost our 3rd baby to miscarriage.  It was gut-wrenching.  I couldn't sleep.  I would wake up in the middle of the night sobbing....  it hurt more than I knew I could hurt.  People said all sorts of horrible things in pathetic attempts to make me feel better by pointing out some insensitive 'benefit' to it happening 'now'.  I felt alone... and I was.  Nobody else understood how I felt about that baby.  Some didn't even understand why I was sad over a baby I couldn't even feel moving yet.  The following month I got pregnant with Samuel and I was nervous until I got past my 8 week mark (where I lost the other baby) and then I started to heal - and my tears came to an end.  I had a friend who was due the same time as I was supposed to be and when she started showing, I remember crying a little... and I was pregnant again already... but the connection between a mother and her baby is one that cannot be replaced. 

All that said, I thought I knew the worst pain I would ever feel.  Until Rachel.  I thought that you (I)only lost babies in the 'danger zone' of the 1st trimester of pregnancy.  Until Rachel. 
And in an instant on August 4th 2010, as that doctor handed me a box of tissues and shut the door.... my world changed.  My heart changed.  My life changed forever.  I knew I was now not beyond the loss of a baby AFTER the first trimester...AFTER birth.  Was I really going to have to do this??

I clung onto my belly as I sobbed and yelled and insisted it couldn't be true.  I could feel her dancing in my womb and she felt so strong.  She was my girl.  I begged God to let me keep her.

But He didn't.  I sit here almost 2 years after that day, still aching for my old life.  My old problems.  My old innocence.  I sit here hating the heaviness of the air, the useless chatter of small talk, and how my address book has changed. 
I sit here wondering if I will ever be even remotely the same as I was - do I want to be or are the changes in me good?  I sit here knowing HUNDREDS of other mothers who have buried babies...not 2.  Hundreds.  After holding them in their arms and kissing their sweet faces.  Gone.  I sit here with all my ideas for how life and death go, the comfort of 'it happens to other people'; Gone.  I sit here literally aching for friendship - real, unselfish friendship - from people who understand.  But there doesn't seem to be any (that aren't on line at least!) 

I guess when I first got her diagnosis, I thought that losing Rachel was going to be like losing our other baby.  If I'm honest, I thought that I would get through it, let God shine all the way and eventually have another baby who would make me smile and fill my arms - and she would be another baby I lost, but would see again.  She would be another way I could minister to others, but the pain would be temporary. Was I clueless enough to really think that a little bit of time would take the sting away?  Yes, I was.  And I miss those days. 

I'm not sure I was prepared for the trauma of this journey.  The way it would envelope my every thought.  I wasn't prepared for the loneliness; the betrayal, the judgements.  And on the other hand, I wasn't prepared for the outpouring of love, the offers for help from strangers, the many new friends I would make along the way. I also wasn't prepared for how little tolerance I would have for surface interactions with others and how she would be on my heart through every. single. thing. I. do. - But that nobody else would know - not even her daddy.

I guess in my naivety, I thought the friends I had would rally around me... my family, Matt's family would come to our sides and want to be here for US - for the long haul - and maybe grow to love the God who carried us through this and took her to heaven.  I thought our church family would have compassion and understanding...  because how could anyone NOT grasp how hard this would be, especially for me?  I thought the that they would be behind me 100% in my attempts to remember her and raise money for causes in her honor and see them as worthy of attention.

I'm still baffled by how distorted this has become to some.  Especially the ones I thought would be my best support if I ever had a trial.  But people are selfish.  I have a hard time understanding why some people have 'heard enough about my dead baby already'.  I'm grateful for the gift of true friends, and the loss of concern in holding onto relationships that don't matter.  But when I look back 2 years and see how the flies have fallen, it's sad.  When I look back to how people responded to me in the beginning of this and see how their capacity for understanding and love maxed out long ago and they just walked away.... I guess I get a little resentful that they seemingly got their emotional needs met by ME in the middle of MY trial and get to say they were 'part of that' or that they 'helped the mom carrying a dying baby'  or that their 'ganddaughter or niece died' - and now when the rubber meets the road... Gone. I know some would say I shouldn't judge motives, but if she were your daughter, you'd be judging motives too. 

And I guess, as I make my way through another day as the mother of a dead baby, I'm still trying to come to terms myself with why I still don't feel like my old self.  And maybe that's what everyone else is waiting for, too. (I know, everyone who takes medicine is shaking their heads right now wondering why I'm not on any... but believe me, I've been there and it's not the answer for me, thank you.)

 But the more I look for someone (who HAS been there!) to tell me that will happen soon, the more I keep reading "You will never be the same."  And for every person who has NOT been there that throws out some stupid remark like "God had a purpose for Rachel's life" or "You'll see her again someday" I want to scream....  You may be right.  It may be true.  It IS true.  But for some reason, a cliche' like that is only acceptable to say about a dead baby.  Does anyone say things like that when someone loses a mother, a sister, a brother, a father?  What about a grandmother?  God had a purpose??  Yep, thanks.  I know.  So happy for you that you're not the brunt of his "purpose."  Ugh.  See, what I mean............

I'm afraid for what a lifetime of feeling this loss will do to me.  I don't want to harden. But it feels like hardening is the only way to endure the lasting pain of having to bury my daughter and the continuous hurt from others.  I'm afraid that I will harden against God.  That I will lose desire to share Him because I'm so painfully disappointed in His plan... a plan that everyone else expects me to rejoice over.

I trust Him.  I do.  I can't live without Him.  I wouldn't want to.  I can't imagine it.

But I am so human.  I'm a mother.  I'm a woman who was designed by God to nurture and protect my need friends... to want to be understood by other people.  And all the things He's designed me to need, are not being provided.

Should I chase after them; seek them out?  Should I sit alone and cry?  Should I sit alone and refuse to cry? (some think that's better)  Should I just accept that life is always going to hurt?  Should I go back into the world day after day and never mention her and hope her memory fades?  I have no choice but to keep going... no choice but to forgive, although I'll never forget.  I have no choice but to be okay with the people who have left me to grieve alone or are still trying to make my daughter's death about them, while denying me any support. I have no choice but to endure small talk every day.  I have no choice but to live without her and pray that THIS is the worst pain I'll ever feel.

I know, life goes on.  That's the problem.

1 comment:

  1. :-( I would love to support you somehow or to make your pain less hurtful. I would love to bring you back sweet Rachel and your thirth baby... :-(( Instead I'm sitting here and cry. It's okay how you feel! I will pray for you that you are able to find freedom over all the judging people, over the insensitive behavior of others.
    Love you! anja


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