We don't talk about it enough.
We don't talk about how harsh it is. To be told that where there was once life, there is no more. How people will tip toe over you. Meaning to care, but really hurting you more. We don't talk about how there are no right words. Or how that's okay. We don't talk about what not to say or what is okay to say. We don't talk about how all the feelings we process are okay. We don't talk about how it is okay to talk about. We don't talk about the conflicting feels. We want to be held but can't bare to be touched. We want to be a lone but are afraid of the nightmares. We want to be strong but want nothing more than to collapse.
We just don't talk enough. So a year later I want to tell you what it was really like in those moments, days, weeks, months, and year.
I also want to tell you what I feel now. Because, again, we don't talk about it enough. Not really. Not in a raw, honest way.
I started writing to my “little fox” shortly after I found out I was pregnant. Pregnant. The anxiety of that word diminished within minutes of the positive test. As if I passed through every stage - denial, fear, anger, confusion - all in 120 seconds. After that there was nothing but pure joy. This was what I wanted. No, I was not married and it was not planned, but that passed through with fear in about one second.
No, this was good. This was really good.
You are my greatest treasure, my grandest adventure, and my deepest joy.
My little fox, these words are for you.
Cliche? Whatever, I was going to be a mom.
You are a beautiful soul, my love. My deepest wish for you is to be brave and true. To remember to trust in the good of people, the beauty that still remains, and the gold that trickles through your very veins. To truly believe that love for you will never be dry. You are a part of my heart - forever and always my little fox.
Too soon? Well if you haven’t caught on yet, I am a bit of a hopeless romantic in all forms.
We told the world about you today - my soul is so happy. I cannot wait to hold you in my arms. There is no shortness of love for you already - family, friends, complete strangers. You are not lucky little fox.
I was nine weeks, two days. Big announcement, chalkboard wall art, little bump and all.
Remember this truth:
“For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb” Psalm 139:13
You, my love, are fearfully and wonderfully made in the hands of the Lord. Hold your life in Him as He holds on to you.
That was January 12th - nine weeks, four days.
Three days later…
These are the hardest words I have ever written. We lost our little fox. I will never forget that fear, that pain, that anger. I still cannot process these feelings… from guilt to sadness to anger to hope to denial to fear. It simply does not make sense to me. To have to wrap my mind and heart around this loss.A loss I new to be real, and only prayed to not fall upon me. It was my biggest fear before it was even a reality.All I can think is that nothing will ever be the same, be okay, be right.
There will never come a time where a piece of me is not missing. My heart aches. My only hope is that my role and hope of being a mama is not over. That one day a little fox will read these words of mine and see my heart to be true and full of love.
Days that followed were numb, quiet, loud, painful, dark, dreary, long.
The words don’t stop there. Pages after full of hope and prayer and longing.
I packed up everything pink and blue and yellow and green, empty baby books, and and unfinished journal to my little one who was no more. The journal, too.
My mom and sister were next to me as the life was drained from me in more than just one way.
Tyler was with me when I collapsed in to bed. He was there when I woke up. He was there, next to me in bed, for the days I did not want to move.
The days until I fell back in to routine of work, home, sleep, repeat.
I was never alone for long. But I was empty. I was hardening, from the inside of my heart, out.
I was more alone than I had ever felt.
I felt nothing but. Pure nothing for this new wilderness of loss.
There was no grief. No sadness. No understanding. No hope.
Nothingness surrounded me as I found my new wilderness to seem infinite.
This empty feeling would never change.
This darkness would never wane.
I would like to think that there are no words to describe the extent of loss. The realization and reality of what was once two pink lines now nothing more than a bitter taste in your mouth.
You can try again. It happens. You are not alone. Maybe it was for the best.
I don’t want to try again. I don’t care how often it happens. How dare this be for the best?
I want this one. This baby. The life that was just pulled from inside me.
I wanted this baby to know me, even deeper than the heartbeat it felt against its temporary home.
I wanted to know this baby - deeper, longer, greater.
I don’t want to try again. I don’t want to be consoled or cheered-up. I only want my baby.
I didn’t sleep without waking up hoping it was a dream.
I didn’t leave the house without dread of facing someone I knew.
Every one was watching me. Careful to not sway me too far to one side, in fear that I was already too close to the edge.
Hollow words flew by my ears, and only anger resonated inside.
I want this one. This baby. My baby.
Everyone was getting engaged. And I was losing a baby. Putting the plans of a wedding on hold. The thought of engagement now even far off. No more house plans. Packing away boxes that had yet to be enjoyed.
I tried not to hate every one who posted a sonogram or belly picture, but I cringed every single time. Even family who I desperately longed to be happy for, I would simply roll my eyes and keep scrolling.
Every single time feeling a deep ping in my stomach. A hollow reminder that it was empty. That life was literally pulled out from what should have been its safe haven.
There would be nights to come where we would end up on the floor in fits of laughter. But in these ones, where darkness seemed more infinite, we could muster up nothing but silence and stifled tears.
Tyler would cry in the bathroom and I would hurry to wipe my own tears before he returned. We would remain silent in the presence of each other, fearful to shatter the thin glass of what was holding us together.
This was a new type of wilderness for me.
In twenty-three short years death was no stranger to my life, but there is something new to be felt when the death comes from within. There is a certain betrayal you feel when it is your own body doing the dirty work.
In those days and weeks and months, there was no end in site from this wilderness.
There was safety in that understaning.
Safety in knowing that if I stayed put, deep in grief, I would not have to face the aftermath. I would not need to accept the evident loss. No need to try again. No need to hope for a better second chance.
I welcomed the wilderness and its ability to keep me covered.
A Year Later.
I don't think we're ever the same.
I think the hardest part is I never allowed myself to be angry. I cycled through many emotions, though.
The feeling that it was my own fault.
The feeling that I would never want to try again.
The feeling that I wasn’t good enough to be a mother.
The feeling that I couldn’t grieve.
The feeling that my pain didn’t matter.
The feeling that my loss didn’t matter.
The feeling that people judged me.
The feeling that I couldn’t be honest about my pain.
The feeling that people saw me differently.
The feeling that I shouldn’t have so many feelings.
But we don't talk about these things. We talk about how we are not alone, how we can try again, how it's not our fault and that it is just a part of our story. Well, honestly? That's crap.
I was never angry. I think I’m there now. Mainly because of the things that followed the loss. Mainly because of what life looks like now verse what I pictured it would look like (snuggling a five month old). Mainly because looking back I see how heartbreaking those few days were, how calloused the “care” was, and how quickly it all threw me up and flattened me back down.
I don’t know. Like I said, I don’t think you’re ever the same.
That's the truth. That is the raw honesty. We are never the same. We try to cloak ourselves in various stages and ways fearing what the reality is. And the reality is that we are never the same. The reality is that it's okay. Feel everything you have to feel in every way you have to feel it.