I didn't realize how bad I was doing. I had no idea I was falling apart so badly, I woke up each day literally trying to keep the pieces together. I didn't realize that each day was about survival, about picking myself up, about just physically existing through my day. That's all I did all of last year. And I had days I did that better than others. I had days where I literally survived minute to minute and prayed I'd get to the next. I had days I gave up, so many days driving to work I tried to see which tree I could hit the hardest when I "accidentally" swerved off the road. I had days where I was numb and it was easier. Every single day was a struggle. I was a shell to everyone who saw me. How I ever made it, I'll never know, but I did.
Then I got pregnant again in January and things got worse. I was angry at being pregnant, angry that Ivy wasn't Emma and Chase and never would be. I was angry at myself, at God, at life, at everyone and everything. I don't know how to express anger, so it turned inward. Then Ivy died and had to be removed from my body and the little bit of soul I had left with him. I fell down further until by the end of April I couldn't climb out and the light had long blown out. In a desperate move I tried to find a gun. I came to my senses and nothing ever happened, physically. I had a lot of other emotional responses, but I saw that I was not okay and I was not living.
I climbed up after that. I told myself I was going to get better. I didn't ever want another pregnancy like Ivy, never wanted to have so much anger, sadness, and desperation that it blocked out the love I had for others. I started doing more in therapy, I slowly stopped the meds I was on, the ones that were numbing me. I reread the Tom Zuba book (please, please if you have lost a loved one, no matter who or in what capacity, read this book!) and I moved forward.
On the anniversary of Chase's death I fell down the stairs. I had a hard time with that. I couldn't walk and emotionally I struggled, but it still wasn't like before. I slowed down and spent more time with Katie. This was the first summer I truly got to be with her and she is so amazing. I was grateful for all we had, the songs, the places we went (once I could walk), the art projects, the messes, the potty training, all of it. I cooked food, went swimming as a family (once I could go in a pool again), and saw some friends.
I felt I came to a place where I could try one more time for another family member and close that chapter and we know where I am now with that. I've gone back to work and I'm smiling, I'm "with" it, I feel like I haven't been to work in years because emotionally I was just surviving last year. Anyone who has seen me, can see how I am, how much I've changed.
I feel guilty this week. Guilty for letting life back in. Guilty for smiling, guilty for being "okay" and I mean truly "okay." Guilty that I know I can live without Emma, Chase, or Ivy in my physical world. Oh I think about them every single day. Every morning they are my first thought. I miss them and I wish I could see them, hold them, and be with them. I talk to them in my heart. But I'm guilty that I'm moving forward, truly moving forward with my life. I have plans and goals, I look forward to things, I smile from my heart, not just with my face.
I don't know what to do with this guilt. I feel in some ways I'm betraying them. How dare I be happy without them? How are I be okay without them? How dare I accept and even more, embrace this life that they are not a part of? Is keeping them in my heart enough? Is not suffering every minute enough? Is it okay to be glad for the living child I have while others didn't? I am struggling with this. In my head I know it is okay. In my heart I feel a betrayal. It's something I'll talk to my therapist about. It's something I'll continue to work on. I've come a long way from where I was before.
Today, is August 19th, which is the day of Hope for our babies who are no longer with us. I'm trying to think of what this means to me. How does HOPE relate to my children who have none?
I have Hope that they are WITH me, just not in physical form. They are apart of my every day, of my life. I have Hope that will live through their siblings, that they will be with them throughout life. I have Hope that I will never forget them, never stop loving them, never miss them. I have Hope that I can live life knowing I am better because of them, grateful they are mine and a part of my life, happy that I am their mom and that nothing can ever change that. Hope that I can parent them in a different way, bu saying their name, telling their story, and supporting others who also have loved and lost and are trying to make their way through. There is hope for Emma, hope for Chase, and hope for Ivy that even though they aren't a part of this world physically, they still affect it, they are still within me, and that they still touch others.
Every word of the following is true for Emma, Chase, Ivy, and all the other babies that left our world before we wanted:
I realize a lot of this is ramblings, but it's thoughts that have been running through my head. I miss my babies so much. I'm in a better place, but I still miss them, and I still love them. I'm grateful for Mary and hope Mary ends up on Earth with me, but I accept he/she may not. Emma, Chase, and Ivy, you are forever loved and forever remembered.