Happy Fourth of July.
“It’s still the same old story, a fight for love and glory…”
I was in High School when I first saw Casablanca. So of course it wasn’t exactly my favorite movie, I mean what High Schooler would watch a black and white film like that by choice? I was always so confused by the plot because I didn’t understand the lovers’ motivation behind anything. I didn’t see what was so romantic in the phrase or idea of, “We’ll always have Paris.”
Through life and experience, I’ve come to a better understanding of the characters now, or at least I like to think so. Although I still don’t completely understand the “We’ll always have Paris,” thing. If you have real love, why would you want to settle for “at least…”
I do understand the “at least” idea a little now, after becoming the mother of my two angels. I didn’t get that life time I’d hoped to have with them but…
At least I had those months of pregnancy with them. At least I got to hold their perfect little bodies for a time. At least I got to know them as much as I did, even if my family didn’t.
With a miscarriage there’s none of that. No “at least”s.
Even now, nearing the one-year “angelversary” of my sons, days are hard. There’s something about holidays that bring up some of the most painful grief. In some ways it seems a total mystery that on the “happiest” days filled with fun and family we would grieve our missing ones so much, and then in other ways it makes perfect sense.
Understand that from my point of view, one year ago today- I thought to myself, “goodbye ‘simple’ Fourth of July, and hello handful…” I remember distinctly having the thought over and over as we celebrated July 4th, 2016 that it would be my last holiday as a simple married couple and that from then on we’d have two little boys to focus these “happiest days” on. And I was okay with that. More than okay, I looked forward to a kid-centered holiday filled life. (I hope that made sense.)
One year ago I baked a red-white-and-blue cake and ate watermelon with friends, all while pointing out the dancing boys in my belly, sporting my silly “watermelon seeds” maternity shirt.
And I thought that would be the end.
The end of “simple” holidays. Of selfish holidays.
My little family didn’t make it to another holiday. Or not in the way I thought we would. By that Halloween, my sons lived in heaven, leaving us down here on earth.
In lots of ways it would seem that by now- over ten months from their delivery- I wouldn’t be so riddled with grief. It would seem that by now, I should be able to enjoy a holiday, like the Fourth, without too many of those “what if…” imaginations and reminiscent bouts.
But today was not grief-free, nor do I ever expect my holidays to be.
You see, that Halloween I had some similar thoughts as I’d had the Fourth of July before, only on a different end of things. I had the recurring thought that my holidays from then on would have a different meaning than what everyone typically celebrates, because every holiday, and school year, and anniversary, and birthday…. Every one of those occasions comes with the marking of yet another piece of their lives I’d imagined for them that they didn’t get to live. Yet another day in my life that I had imagined one way and had to live through it so differently.
“It’s still the same old story…”
As an angel mama, I’ve realized some silly things about grief.
Grief envies the DUMBEST things.
Like milestones… to point out an obvious one.
Holidays, school years, baptisms… Any of them you can think of.
Yep. You read that right. I have caught myself being jealous of a rash that some other mother had to figure out and take care of on her infant.
Okay, maybe not specifically the throwing up part so much as the reason behind it… But any woman in my place could be expected to envy another pregnant woman complaining about morning sickness…
I found myself almost jealous of an obituary. When my sons left this earth, it was too soon to be able to write anything really about there life other than, “beloved sons, and brothers.” Nobody, other than myself, could say anything that made them happy or sad, likes or dislikes….. The kind of people they were… Because that was all gone before it had a chance to unfold.
As time goes by, I continue to learn. I learn the little ways I can distract myself from grief when it’s too much to handle. I learn what to expect from myself on holidays and milestones. I learn to have patience. I learn to rely on God. And slowly, I am learning again to trust in His timing. For it truly is all in His hands in the end.
If a stillbirth and miscarriage can teach this baby-eager-mama anything, that would be that the Lord’s timeline is greater than my own.
It has been incredibly hard these last few months to write updates or posts, as you may have noticed a decrease in publications on my page…
I have been struggling with sever depression.
It took me a while to actually discover that the issues and struggles I’d been facing more recently may be different than the grieving I’d been working though for a while now… But I finally got to a doctors office and got officially diagnosed.
I understand that sharing this type of thing may not be standard or typical… But if there’s one thing this blogging has taught me it is that I am blessed by the sharing of my burdens and that writing them here allows for insights and thoughts from those who wish to share with me… A well as allows me to really work through and write out my feelings and thoughts on my personal issues. Which is the most helpful part.
More than anything, blogging has shown me what an amazing reach the internet and social media can have, and what that can do in my life through all of my ups and downs.
I truly believe that I am not the only angel mama out there who didn’t realize or think that *PPD could affect someone without an infant actually in their arms… Because it did take me a long while to realize that what I was feeling could be “expected” for any woman who had recently given birth- whether or not her children are with her still.
*Post Pardum Depression