Sunday, June 23, 2013
Right Where I am 2 years 2 months
I'm still here. Yup still here, I survived. That's what being right here, right now feels like-I'm shocked I'm still here. How have I survived for over 2 years without my baby? I don't know- that's why I'm shocked. When everything happened I was sure that I would never really live again, but here I am doing it.
It doesn't feel like its been over 2 years, except when I look around and realize that life has moved on. Caleb's little sister is almost a year and a half and really the time has kept on ticking. Unbelievable to me because in an instant I can be back there on April 14,2011 and feel everything I felt that day-in an instant. But right now I feel mostly shocked that I'm still here and that it still hurts this much. I thought if we finally brought home a live baby, then I would feel better. And I do-don't get me wrong, Abigail made everything better. But (there's always that but) it still sucks. I thought once we got a live baby we would feel like we finally belong. But we don't-I still feel out of place. Still feel weird when conversations about babies come up. I guess right now I'm just trying to accept that our family will never look like other families. We will always be broken and apart from each other and that's hard to swallow each and every day.
At 2 years and 2 months I no longer run from babies or cringe. But pregnancies, that's been harder lately. Every time I see a woman with a big belly I immediately feel like someone kicked me in my gut. The universal sign for life is a large pregnant belly, but to me instead of seeing life all I see is death. Then I think "what will that do to me?" To have my perception altered forever so that life no longer means life, but instead death. Right now I don't know what it will do,but I know it feels scary every time those pregnant bellies start showing up. I want to run up to the moms and ask them "is your baby still moving, are you doing kick counts? When was your last ultrasound, is the cord wrapped around the neck?" And the list of irrational(or rational?) thoughts streams in and I'm at its mercy until it passes. I just don't like pregnancy-end of story and right now I'm not sure if I ever will. (side note-if you're a pregnant friend-I'm happy for you, I just physically get scared when I see pregnancy. It has nothing to do with the person, but the state of pregnancy in general)
I don't cry that often, instead tears come to the surface and then I'm able to shove them back down. I'm so much more sensitive to things than I ever was before. I don't watch the news-too many sad stories. I have to be careful about how much of the world I'm absorbing. When the Boston bombing happened or the tornadoes-I simply have to shut them off. I say a prayer and move on. This might seem cold hearted, but if I hear a news story or read something about those tragedies, my mind instantly drags me down the rabbit hole of Post Traumatic Stress and it feels too close to me. I cannot handle other peoples' crisis. Its like my cup is full (even after 2 years) and adding any more to it will make it spill over. So I avoid the news, facebook updates about tragedies, or online pictures. Its all too much for my mind to handle and that's alright. I'm thankful that there are people who can help people in crisis but right now, I'm just not one of them.
Right now I tend to focus on little boys who are 2. I see them at parks or in the grocery store and I let my mind wonder before I can grab it back. Its so tangible now to see a 2 year old little boy and think/wonder what Caleb would be like. Its so hard and my heart breaks again each time that I realize I have no idea what he would be like at 26 months old.
Right my anxiety is manageable as long as I'm working out. I can tell the weeks I stop working out that my anxiety rises. Its like my body needs to be physically exhausted in order for my mind to slow down too. I still see a counselor about once a month. She helps me navigate through the rougher edges of life and gives me tools to handle awkward social encounters.
I want to help others, no I need to help others. I don't know how else to parent Caleb except by going back into the darkness of pregnancy loss and helping others along their journey. And at the same time-it has nothing to do with Caleb. Its like after we lost him I saw this huge need that wasn't being filled and my heart longed to bring Christ into the black hole of loss. I truly believe that by helping those experiencing a pregnancy loss I am helping some of the poorest and spiritually in need out there. So I'll keep trying to help..and not just help, but dream big. Right now my husband and I are doing a lot of talking, a lot of dreaming of things we would have wanted after our loss. We feel called by God to, in a sense "build a city," for those who have suffered this particular loss. And its exciting, the missionary in me gets excited. Big dreams for a Big God and I know in His time they will come to fulfillment if its His will.
At a little over two years out I'm still in disbelief when I hear about another baby dying. But then I'm also in disbelief when I hear of one being born healthy. Its like my mind cant decide which one really happens-and the reality is both. It's also starting to dawn on me that we are just at the beginning of the fertile years when it comes to our peers. So the pregnancy talk and more babies isn't stopping anytime soon. Sometimes it feels like a cruel joke- the thing that hurts the most for you is the thing that brings others the most joy. But that's not entirely true because at a little past two years I can somewhat get excited about new babies again. And even start thinking about the idea of a third pregnancy for us. I've come a long way from where I was.
Mostly right now, right here, I'm doing well. The pain comes and goes and can be hidden easier than before. I went to the grocery store this morning and ran into a couple with a brand new baby. I smiled and chatted and told them how cute the baby was. Then at the checkout the cashier asked if Abigail was my only child. I was able to say no, that she had a big brother in Heaven. I managed all of that trip to the store without it even phasing me. There was a time not too long ago that that same trip would have wiped me out for days. So I guess in some ways I'm moving along this path.
At a little over 2 years I'm starting to get to a place where I can accept our family and what has happened. Not just accept, but start of thrive again, instead of just survive. Nathan and I are talking of going to Rome in October this year. For some reason this trip feels so important for me in my grief journey. Like this trip would be proof that our life is ours again. That we can actually live, not just get by. Of course I'm worried about leaving, worried about traveling, worried about anxiety....but I'm at a place in grief where I just don't care anymore. Ive lived with it long enough now that I refuse to live in fear of it. I want to live...I want to really live....
Caleb, 2 years and 2 months is too long to be without you. I say to your daddy all the time, "do you think he knows, really knows, how much we love him, how much we miss him even now?" I hope you do sweet baby boy. Missing you...