With a Side of Thanks


We’re all dished a plate full of problems to go through in this life.

Each persons meat is different from the next, but all of us have an array of entrees to chew through.

And just like everyone has their food preferences, the challenges we are served can and will affect us all differently.

It can be incredibly difficult to accept that somebody’s Mac N Cheese is your broccoli.

I truly believe that in this life we will all be given at least one “super entree,” or immensely defining trial to digest. Different for everyone, but hugely life altering in all cases. I think these elephant sized portions are served to help us all learn empathy and understanding toward our fellow diners nibbling through their own plates…


{Some of my own plate recently;}

I’ve made it to my last trimester. Roughly two more months before our baby girl will be here.

There are times I can’t fathom how I made it here.

This pregnancy has a lot of unique challenges that come with it. Like any pregnancy, I am dished up a large serving of physical difficulties like nausea, pressure, heart burn, pain, and all sorts of other things. But with this pregnancy coming after only experiencing loss I am also dealt quite a bit of mental and emotional issues as well. Anxieties about anything and everything are just the beginning.


I am young. I know this, but through this pregnancy there have been times I feel forced into acknowledging this fact again and again as so many (well meaning, I’m sure,) people assume that because I look young that this is my first pregnancy. It is harmless enough, I know, but still so sadly triggering sometimes anyway. In conversations with people I probably will never see again, I’m faced with a choice; nod and smile, letting them stay in their happy little assumption of my life, OR kindly correct them by informing them this is in fact my third pregnancy, only my first (possibly) living. Which both have all their own difficult and potentially triggering reactions as well.

If I choose to let the ignorance slide, then I am forced to endure an uncomfortable conversation and well meaning advice while my mind is far away on my babies they will never know existed and the time I’ve spent considering all sorts of the things they’re saying wishing my sons were living to be cared for in any way.

It never feels right to ignore the gaping hole my sons left in my life by letting others’ ignorance remain once they have brought up the subject. This doesn’t mean I am stuck in my grief or a broken person who can’t stand to have a conversation unless it is about me and my sons. It means that when one approaches me to bestow their everlasting pregnancy and parenting wisdom, they opened a door they didn’t know was there in assuming my “momming” life was only just beginning. So, if I DO correct them, a whole new conversation springs forth or they get uncomfortable because I brought up my angels.

There are sometimes the lovely conversations in which I feel open enough to share about the boys and the sibling in between and am met with warm understanding and empathy from a woman who has been through her own loss and journey. And that is one of the things that keeps me sharing and validates my grieving.


Even well after two years later and there are still things that can change my mood at the drop of a hat.

It is not uncommon for loss mothers to have a hard time with things like pregnancy announcements, baby showers or other things that can be so innocently enjoyed by those who haven’t experienced loss. I guess I am lucky, because although there was a time when those things were impossible for me to face steadily, now I can even find myself happy for another couple expecting and celebrating even in ignorance… But there are things that still turn me back to those harder grieving times. Some of these things are known and anticipated (like twin pregnancy announcements, or seeing twins out and about, or the month of August, or even the holidays.) Others are a complete surprise and can take me more time to analyze and mentally recuperate from.


After having gone through a stillbirth, it can be hard to really prepare for a new baby.

I had prepared piles of things for the boys. From clothes to diapers we were ready. I think we may have had everything except for one important item we couldn’t have gone without…

Carseats.

Truthfully there were probably a few other things I didn’t have and would have needed, but for some reason Carseats is the thing that plagued my mind for months after the boys passed away.

How could I have hoped to bring living babies home if I hadn’t bought carseats for them to ride in?

I am not alone in having a hard time preparing for my baby after loss.

I’ve worked hard to connect to this pregnancy and my baby. One of the reasons we decided to share her name publicly so early is that I believe there is power in giving her a name. There is a solidity and an earthly nature to having a name.

I’ve bought little things for her, accepted gifts for her, made registries and planned parties for her… But the one thing that is still impossible for me to buckle down and buy for her is a Carseat.


The good news?

Just because you have a heaping full plate of life in front of you doesn’t mean it’s filled with just that gross grub you hate. It’s likely more of a Thanksgiving style meal with more options than you can even cater to and lots of favorites in the bunch, all covered in the amazing gravy called mortality. You can always gobble up your roll before even sitting down, and just grab another on the way to your seat.

And there’s always dessert.

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