Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Living with Loss

It's been a few months now since we lost our third baby and I shared about it publicly here. The response was seriously incredible. I could have never imagined the outpouring of love and support we received. It was truly amazing and really ministered to my soul. It was encouraging that people took the time to say something (when it can be really difficult to know what to say). It was encouraging to hear other people's stories of how they have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage or even a different type of grief. It has even been sobering and sweet to hear how God has used our story since then to friends who have recently lost babies. God is so good to bring beautiful things out of pain and heartache.

I wanted to talk a little about what it's been like in the months following "the worst days". It really helps me to process it all by typing it out and maybe God will use it to help someone else in their processing.



Most days I feel totally normal. Life never really stopped for us - we have a very active 2 year old girl and a sweet, giggly 10 month old boy who I am with all day everyday. So life continued on - which was painful and beautiful at the same time. I didn't feel normal, though. For weeks after, I still woke up with a heavy cloud, cried several times a day, and just felt a deep weight of sadness. I didn't even feel physically better until at least 2 weeks after my 2nd surgery. But these days...I feel like myself again. We go about our normal routine, we see friends, we have temper tantrums (mostly the kids :)), the sun rises and sets, and so on.

But then I have these "wake-up" moments - moments where I am keenly aware that I am not the same, my life is not the same, and I am still healing. They can come in a lot of different ways. The most common is waking up and just feeling a deep, heavy, can't-shake-it sadness. The only way I can describe it is that it's like a wave crashing down on me. It's so fast, and sudden, and out of nowhere...and it feels crushing. There is no event, memory, feeling, or circumstance that has triggered it but here it is nonetheless. Usually I cry a couple times that day (or I feel on the verge of tears all day). I feel extremely tired. And I'm just deeply sad. It's like a weight inside my heart. This happens maybe once every 2 weeks. They are spreading out more...but the sting is so sharp, it's physically painful.

The other "wake-up" moments I have are random and more spread out. I'll be seeing a closer friend that I haven't seen "since everything" and I relate how I'm feeling and doing...and it all just seems so surreal. Or I'll be looking at a date or event coming up and remember that we would have had our new baby then or I would have been 8 months pregnant, etc... and it just feels like an alternate universe. It's so strange that I now live in this new reality where our baby is gone. But my life continues. It's hard to describe and I wouldn't have understood it without experiencing it.

One major lesson I've learned from all of this is how to be a better friend to those experiencing loss. So many people have pushed through that barrier of discomfort and awkwardness and said something even if they weren't sure it was the "right thing".  And I am so thankful when they do. Because it shows they care and that they remember. I know others who haven't known what to say or didn't want to make me sad or uncomfortable or who wanted to respect my space and haven't said anything. I know they love me and care for me too, and I've done this too many times to count in the past. But going forward, I know that I will try to always push through and say something. Because it allows the pain/loss to create a connection and bring you closer together, rather than isolating and dividing. So I have a lot of gratitude for people who have been there with me through this, and a lot of grace and understanding for those who wanted to but couldn't or didn't know how - because that was me so many times.

I know this baby and this loss will always be a part of me. God has taught me so many beautiful things through it and I am so thankful for that. I am so incredibly thankful that He promises to be a loving, caring, compassionate Father who will mourn with us and will never leave us or forsake us. That has been proven true in my life over and over again. He gives and takes away, blessed be His name. Thank you, Jesus, for this season, however long it may last.

I want to close with this beautiful verse and print that my sister sent me to remember our baby. It also came with a vintage blue glass bottle from this company, Bottle of Tears. It was so thoughtful and meant so much - and I don't remember reading this verse before. What a beautiful promise.



2 comments :

  1. I just stumbled across your blog through another blog. I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby. You did such an amazing job articulating what life has been like for you since you lost your sweet baby. We've lost two babies so I can relate to everything you said. We lost our first baby two years ago today and our last one in January. Yes, life has gone on but there have been some very dark times, especially as I work through accepting we won't be parents. There have been moments where the pain was so intense I could hardly breathe. I admire your honesty and pray for peace for you and your husband.

    One thing that has helped me is a necklace I wear on those days when I wake up with an overwhelming feeling of grief. I ordered one of those magnetic lockets that you can put charms in off of Etsy. I have a sapphire heart for our September baby and an emerald heart for our May baby with a charm that says "forever in my heart." The necklace brings me comfort on those extra tough days.

    Praying for peace for you. Thank you for your bravery in articulating what so many women feel.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jami! Thank you for your comment. I love the idea of a necklace - what a beautiful way to remember your babies. I am going to look at them today! Thank you for sharing your story with me. Much love to you and your husband!

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Have a wonderful day & thanks for stopping by! xoxo
Nicole