I know, it wasn't a nice trick - but no, I'm not pregnant again. Just making a point. (and keeping myself amused). Please forgive me and read anyway.....
I've noticed over the last few months (blogger shows how many page views each post gets) that the numbers have been dwindling...unless of course it looks like the post will have some kind of nitty gritty information (like "she's pregnant again?) or a picture - of say, my baby without the top of her head. My latest posts have been averaging around 100 and sometimes it takes 2 days to get there. It used to be between 300- 500 daily for close to 2 years. However, the post where I had Rachel without her hat... going on 3,000 views (the closest to her birthday yet). The post where I say the word "Drama" in the title - close to 400. The "Not for the easily offended" post - 600.
My journey with Rachel was the first time in as long as I can remember that someone other than my mom & sister cared to know what was I was feeling every day. And I've been so blessed to say that so many people in so many places care about me and my precious girl. I remember when I first started this blog, I was BLOWN AWAY that there were 30 views the first WEEK. So please know, I'm not in any way trying to sound ungrateful or like I expect people to (as "Ms. J" so eloquently put it) give me 'unending support'. I know that Rachel's life has been spread across the world by the Hand of God and I have been blessed to be a part of the journey... to have my finger tips used as an instrument for His great purpose for my sweet little girl's life. But I'd be lying if I said that it doesn't bother me that all of my effort, pain, tears, and time that I have put into pouring my heart and soul out so everyone else could get something from my journey with Rachel (along with all the back lash I have received at times) has not gained more loyalty, and instead turned into a place where so many don't come unless they see they might be able to get the 'dirt'.
I know I shouldn't care. I know it doesn't really matter. I know that this was inevitable. Just the same as I couldn't expect people to read in the first place, I know I can't expect people who did care to read forever. I mean, how long can people really care about my day to day life? Especially now that it's not so emotionally charged and I seem to have more trouble finding the beauty in my pain then I did while I was pregnant. And I also know that I have SO many new, very loyal and devoted friends that love me and care about the ups, downs, the exciting, and mundane. I can think of a handful without trying and my Nana used to say if you had two good friends, you were doing good.
And yet, I can 'know' this all day long - but it still feels like a little at a time... day after day... one more person after one more person.... she gets left in the past. A journey that 'happened' and is no more. A pain that used to exist, but has been relieved. A story that had a beginning and an end. A baby who was expected to die and is now just dead.
For everyone but me.
"Just be thankful for all that her life has done" they say. "Don't hold onto the past" I'm told. "Well, at least you got the 43 minutes with her" the woman who has never buried her baby insists. While these comments are not by any means the predominant opinions I hear, they do hurt - and they do creep in when I'm feeling sad.... "still".
It feels like just yesterday I was expecting our 4th child... one day life was simple and nobody knew much about my heart. And in the days to follow her diagnosis, life became more complicated and painful then I ever knew it could and people - thousands of them - came to know me, my daughter, and my heart. And I was gifted with knowing them and so many of their hearts as they shared their stories with me.
But I can feel the winds shifting and I'm not sure what to do with that. I feel stronger and I know I don't need help anymore. I'm fully enjoying being able to clean my own house, cook our own meals and not cry all the time. But I don't feel ready to just walk this journey with my heart hidden - and yet I feel a little used when I see that people only care to know how I'm doing and what is going on if it looks like 'news'.
And maybe this entire post is just stemming from my underlying fear..... her 2nd birthday is on it's way and I'm scared to death that nobody will care. I have already been trying to figure out how on earth I'm supposed to have a birthday for Isaiah and Asa both within a couple of weeks of Rachel's birthday and still expect people to come back again for the dead baby's party (and how long it will be before I'll start to look really crazy having them).... and I guess I know that someday nobody will want to. But I'm not ready for that yet.
Some days I really just get so tired of having a dead baby, a blog, a story to fear being forgotten. I just want her. I just want 'usual'. I just want to not find cemeteries 'pretty'. I don't want to have to always correct people when they count how many kids I have and ask, "you have four?" I want my old life back...July 2010 when her future was still full of all sorts of un-blogged hopes, dreams and pretty pink dresses. I wish I was still just expecting her. Expecting a baby. Expecting her life, not her death. Expecting to bring her home and watch her grow. Expecting things to go as I planned.
I know that God promises that He will give us far more than we ever imagined or expected. So tonight, as I continue to yearn for the simpler days never to return, I trust that His Word is true - and while I may not be experiencing all I had hoped with Rachel now, I am expecting eternity. I am expecting life forever. I'm expecting to dance in fields of daisies with her and I am expecting that she has the best giggle going in heaven.