Seasons

Seasons are not only particular to weather. They can describe different points in our life as well. Jessica Martin-Weber (@theleakyboob) did a talk at MommyCon two years ago relating seasons to our intimate relationships with partners. Yep. Absolutely. Talked about how it is difficult when you are in a Spring (for example) and your partner is having a long Winter.

Grief is a winter season. And Ivy died in the winter, calendar speaking. Now spring is here and things are growing. The world is beginning to bloom as buds bring promise to glorious green life. Oh, I remember the anticipation of this spring with a new baby in our family. We are usually gifted with a membership somewhere by my grandmother (awesome gift!) and rather than our usual zoo, I opted for the arboretum based on its close proximity to our house. Even then I wasnt sure I would be up for the task of bringing 3 children (one infant) on day trips all the time. The arboretum is literally 5 minutes. And beautiful. The kids and I should really enjoy that this year. I just need to move past the looming thought that we were going to be bringing Ivy there with us.

So in this instance, Spring is hard. The very thing that is bringing life to us and our children is also bearing the reminder of her absence. At least for me. Baby girl, we had such plans for you to just meld into our family. The beautiful weather doesnt quite match my emotional season. But I am trying.

And through even the colder days, sunshine has been trying to peek through

.  .  .

 

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Drafty

I’ve got two or three drafts started. Words are jumbled these days, feelings raw. So I havent been successful at coherent entries.

Im still not.

One of the drafts is about Ceiling Cat (aka Shiloh, the grief kitty we bought).

 

My cousin miscarried at 10 weeks just a few days ago. I didnt know she was pregnant, but she reached out as she was losing her sweet dream. God is good…but he can really stop taking all these babies. Im supposed to come to terms with him taking mine. And Im trying.

We had playdates over spring break and I held a newborn and I even set up a playdate for Fiona next week with school friends. Im assimilating to this normal life thing that is supposed to happen after your baby dies.

Feelings are heavy. Maybe burnout from a busy week. A nod to the fact that I cant stay away from missing her for too long.

Integrating…sorta

I really want to take Fiona to see the new Beauty and the Beast. The disney original was always tied with Little Mermaid as a favorite of mine growing up. Im not sure Orion would sit through it, so I will have to find time for a MamaDate with her. Last night her cousin A (ten years old) slept over. They watched Sing and had a generally good time, I think. Matt went to visit a friend today, and I had social time last week visiting a friend and newborn BabyM while our bigger kids played. Snippets of our old life. Sort of. It feels a little bit like the movie Coraline, where there is this other world within a wall. And I am Other Mother…not in personality, but just in the fact that I am this altered version of my old self.

(as quite literally 4-5 other topics have sped through my brain while writing that first paragraph)

Social time has proven to be good. The thought of getting out for a playdate was way more suffocating than actually being out. Weeks ago I was afraid to leave my house, and chance an encounter with someone that did not know my baby died. In fact, attempting small talk sounded very punctuated and not quite coherent in my head.

Eight weeks tomorrow.

Conversations are still fuzzy, and I feel like I run out of things to talk about rather quickly. But each attempt to start becoming an active member of society is…..something. I think I still prefer to be around people who already know (versus strangers) and even have a mild preference toward those who have experienced similar. But only because my current abnormalcy seems less……abnormal to them.

The return for added activity seems to be contributing to some anxiety on my end. When we are finally home, or things are finally quiet, Ive lost my cool a couple times. I suppose its a work in progress between figuring out just how much I can balance and move forward in any moment or day.

But Im trying. And Im communicating. And apologizing for my falls. And just taking one day at a time.

 

Unknown

I dislike the unknown and don’t do especially well with change. But both of these things happen in life. Quite a bit.

I read an article today that I won’t link because I didnt particularly care for it. BUT, it made me think. Ivy was our surprise bonus baby. She became this juicy fruit that we began to anticipate so greatly in the days before her birth. We were pregnant with our last, and I was really trying to soak up the essence of pregnancy. The intoxicating rush that is labor and delivery. (Im not digressing into the emotional flood here). But I was so excited to enjoy the ‘lasts’ that come with the last baby.

Then time shifted, and what was becoming was not meant to be. The anticipated ‘lasts’ were gone in an instant. A split second. And in the wake of that mess, I realize that my toddler boy, my sweet Orion, has grown into a child before my eyes. He stopped nursing for a sister that isn’t here. I just bought potty rings so we can familiarize him with the concept of toilet learning. He’s a REAL boy. I missed a few of his lasts while mourning my Ivy. Time goes on and these precious minutes I should be focused on them rather than marred by tragedy.

It is what it is.

I am where I am.

Tonight is another support group, where I will give a check for a cuddle cot. Tomorrow is my post partum visit. I know my emotions are currently heightened anticipating these things. The latter part of my week should be better. Wednesday I get to meet a sweet brand new little girl. Her mama will understand if I cry giant crocodile tears while snuggling her. The thought is simultaneously exciting and terrifying.

I start to wonder what an alternate universe might look like. One in which a seven week old baby is nuzzled in my neck. If I close my eyes I can almost smell the baby smell. Would she be snuggly like her brother or fiercely independent like her sister? Sometime a day will come where she will be a memory for longer than a presence. And Im not sure how I feel about that.

 

But for now I can do laundry and be silly with the kids. I’ll ignore the uncertainty of the future. Im really trying to stay present.

This song was shared with me last night when I was in a moment of despair. I listened, went for a drive, and cried. Oh my Lord, I cried. And I spoke aloud to God. And to Ivy. And I cried some more. I dont understand. And in most days I still have anger with God for him allowing my baby to go home to him. I dont understand his bigger plan.

But I know that this morning I woke up without anxiety, and I’ll call that a positive.

 

 

I come, God, I come
Return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You strike down to bind me up
You say You do it all in love
That I might know You in Your suffering

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I’ll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I’ll know every tear was worth it all

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need

Though tonight I’m crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You’re still all that I need
You’re enough for me
You’re enough for me

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need

Fasting for Lent

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“Any person who chooses to follow Jesus receives “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”” -Peter 1:3

 

Old Me would have loved this list for Lent. What good suggestions to live with kindness. Terrific practices for daily use. Im a bit conflicted as we enter the Lenten season. How am I supposed to give something up when I have just given up one of the biggest parts of me? How do I sing the praises of my God when Im mourning my child?

 

These are the things I know nothing about.