I have a confession. I have not been sharing as much of myself lately. It is not because I have a fear of sharing on le internet. Truly, over the years I have babbled on about everything including my girly parts and tweeted through delivering my third child and I love to tell you almost everything. I don’t regret it. However, these past few months I have been a mess. Inside and outside I go through my days falling apart and I did not ever divulge these feelings. At the same time, I shared less of my amazing children and my hilarious life because this damn demon on my back makes it so damn hard.
Hard to be a wife. Hard to be a mother. Hard to be a friend. Hard to be a writer. Hard to be me.
You see, I was going all gangbusters and ready to share with you the news of our 4th baby when I found out that our beautiful child would never make it to us. Everything stopped for me. Instead of bursting with joy I was overcome with grief. The day I started writing about our new addition was the day I found out that I would instead be saying goodbye.
I want to connect again. I want to share our moments and yours. First, I need to let go of this anger and hurt and work from a place where my heart is again open. I was not going to post the following, but I think it might help me to share my darkest moments so that I can again relish the many joys I have.
Here is my heart. I will re-build myself.
I have been in and out of everything lately. My life, my friendships, my blog, my marriage and yes, my mothering. Lately isn’t even the right word. We lost our baby to a fetal teratoma months ago. That’s a tumor. This tumor is called an epignathus. A tumor growing out of my baby’s precious mouth. Since then I have been shitty at everything. I am left feeling heartbroken about losing that child and then guilty because my parenting and wife-ing has been so far below par for the last 5 months.
I look at women who have lost children and I am amazed at how together they seem. I can’t even imagine that grief.
I remember my past miscarriages and wonder how I got over those. I think I only barely started to move on when we had another baby. This time I am not sure another baby will come.
I keep talking to people and reading posts from people who are pregnant, planning to have another or done. They seem to know where they stand. And then I barely keep myself from crying over my response as I approach our due date in February and know that I do not want to be done. That I wanted that child. That I might always want another baby.
See, I can’t find the bandaid. I don’t know what will stop this pain.
Losing that baby took any semblance of thick skin from me and crushed it. Now, I am fragile when I want to be strong. I am sensitive and my heart bruises easily. I cry a lot and worse than that, I have been raising my voice, yelling, because all of my anger can’t stay inside. I feel ashamed.
I have not written very much because I did not want to burden anyone with my grief and be that totally depressing woman who can’t stop crying about that baby when she already has 3 beautiful children. Well, that’s me. Totally beaten by the end of most days, and some days from the moment my eyes open. I can’t let go. I can’t move on. I am not okay with it. I am angry and hurt and confused and I am terrified. Because it is not really getting better.
And I have not been talking about it. Now I am letting it out and hoping that I will begin to see myself again soon.
I want to be better and I want anyone out there who has felt this way to know that you are not alone. That is why I am writing this down. Because this loss is real and because it does not just go away. It helps to share, and I am taking that first step.
I know that it has to get better. It just has to.
My husband loves me. My kids love me. My friends love me.
I love me.
I know I will be okay. It will take time. More than I ever thought, I suppose, but I will be okay. I will re-build my emotional life. I know I am a good friend, a good wife and a good mother. I need to ask everyone for patience and understanding and just do my very best.
Because my best is enough. I am enough.
If you have experienced the loss of a baby, know that you can share your experience and that you are not at all alone. Please visit Unspoken Grief, a community for healing after the pain of a miscarriage, stillbirth or neo-natal loss.