We’ve all heard the statistic. Whether we are a part of it, know somebody who is or are just becoming aware of it, the odds of being that one is never fun to think about.
As a part of that group who falls on top of the fraction bar, there are a lot of things we have to deal with in life as a result of being an Angel’s mother.
Like crazy mood swings (is that just me?) while our hormones regulate after being confused by the lack of a baby. Or the spontaneous crying during the night. The strain that an event like this puts on your marriage or friendships with others…
It’s hard for a lot of reasons. Some of them are expected and obvious and others are more personal. It’s not easy for anybody to loose someone they love, no matter how old that person may be.
Some women have a normal and healthy pregnancy, or two or more, turn into an active toddler before they experience this kind of loss. They have to learn to grieve and live while taking care of the one(s) that are still living.
There are others, like me, who lose their first pregnancy. This was my first, and only experience with pregnancy and being a mother.
For all of us there are hard things; seeing other children grow up who are the age your baby should be, the envy of pregnancy or infants around you, or the anxiety and worry that would accompany a positive pregnancy test. Those are some things that seem to be a pretty universal experience.
There are personal things too… like gestational age or fertility that may have played a roll in women’s losses and grieving processes. There are many different circumstances that can land a woman in the statistic.
For me, a college age girl who may seem too young to be married to some, most of my friends around me are getting married and having babies. That’s one of the hardest things for me because whether they are having kids now or waiting (their choice completely,) I have some sort of envy of them. The obvious pregnancy envy for my friends who are expecting. The tinge of jealousy for those who have their healthy little infants in their arms. Or the envy of the control some seem to have when they say they will wait to have a family.
Many little bits of life seem fleeting. Isn’t it so odd how we perceive time’s passing? The days often pass by slowly but the weeks are gone before you realize and the months whiz by even quicker.
But that time perception breaks when you lose something. Or at least it did for me.
Even though a couple of months have passed the hole in my heart still throbs like it did those days in the hospital. Each day is a new journey to take and some are easier than others, although all seem not quite right.
My perception has broken in a different way as well. Some days it almost feels as though the entire last year of my life was a dream. A wonderful and terrible dream where I got married to the most wonderful man then got pregnant with our two sons just to have them ripped away right before birth.
It hurts to have a dream like that. To think that my subconscious is in such disbelief of what happened that it makes up a happier explanation for the things my brain knows to be true. It hurts because of the time I spent with them. I grew two humans inside of me! Two perfect little angels. It’s hard work and so worth it, and hurts almost too much to bear to have your labor of love and time taken away.
It’s no secret that the time women spend pregnant are “prep” days for the baby’s life with things like preparing a nursery, picking out names, and reading all the parenting books possible. It’s also no secret that most women, once a plan has been made, wont be very happy if it doesn’t go according to plan.
My babies were my life. The minute there were two little lines on my pregnancy test my life was changed. My body wasn’t my own, it became a vessel by which my babies could come to earth. My life wasn’t my own. It was a series of plans, preparations and decisions for how to make the babies the happiest and healthiest they could be. Because of this, when they were taken from this life, that left not only a hole in my life and love, but a gaping space of the plans and dreams I’d already made for my sons and our lives together.
Grief is love with no place to go.
I often wonder what I’d be doing if I had them with me. And although I’d never want to admit to it, I also wonder what life would be like if I’d never experienced this loss.
It’s said, “Better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.”
Every day I have to put that idea to test and see if I can be better person for the love I have for my sons. What can I do today that would make my sons proud to call me mom? What can I do today that will make someone’s tomorrow better? What can I do that will better prepare me to parent the children I long to have one day? Or better yet, how can I help other angel’s mamas to believe in life’s goodness again?
I don’t think I could ever truly be thankful for this circumstance, but I am becoming thankful for the things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met as a result.
So yes, on this week of giving thanks, I am thankful. I am thankful for the time I shared this year with my precious babies. I am thankful for the support and love I’ve been so wrapped in for these months. I am extremely grateful for a husband who is so perfect, and family and friends who surround me and remind me of what else in life I love. I will miss my sons forever, and acutely during these holidays, but I am thankful for the greater appreciation I have gained for life and love because of them. And they will be with us. I know that.