Monday, June 25, 2012
I am having trouble sleeping tonight and thought may be if I write that would help. I have been thinking alot about all the "firsts" that have really made this journey such a struggle. There are so many things you anticipate but so much more that you don't. I can't believe we've gone through a Thanksgiving, Christmas, both of our birthdays, New Years, our anniversary, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day all without our sweet baby. On top of that every 11th is so emotionally draining for me. I can't believe so much time as past but yet it is no time at all. You would also think by now things would be "better", but they are not. One ACD mom in the group we are a part of asked "Does it ever get better?" and I read as numerous parents chimed in with the same basic response, that it never gets better you only become used to the pain. Some of these parents had lost a child in the last year, others 5-10 years, but they all echoed that same answer. Although we are not very far down our path, I can see what they mean. I have gotten a little used to the grief, but it is still there. Still a part of me. Sometimes I hate this new "normal", but I can't 100% hate it because having Polly in my life, even though she was here for such a short time, meant so much, I am thankful to have experienced that rather than never being blessed with her at all. I worry about her first birthday and angel-versary. Although they are 4-5 months away I know those dates are coming. I imagined throwing her birthday party, making her a homemade cake for her to dig in to, and also busying myself with making it very special. Now I am not sure what to do. I have some ideas, but find myself struggling with worry of how we will handle those dates, and the month in between. The months of October and November have a completely different meaning now. Those words are almost hard for me to look at. I know we will make it, but it won't be easy. Usually the firsts you experience after you become parents are joyous ones, but for us they are so very painful. Each one is another painful reminder of how different our lives are without our daughter here. How quiet our house is. How lonely nights like this are when you can't sleep. How much we miss her with every piece of our heart and soul. It just hurts, there is no getting around it. So I make tiny goals for myself, all I have to do is make it to tomorrow. That seems to help. Making it for the week or the month or the year is just too overwhelming of a thought. Small steps are the key I think. Anyways bless you who take the time to read this and pray for us. Love you sweet Polly. Hope to see you in my dreams!
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I realized the other day that I don't really remember what life was like before Polly. I have to sit and think really hard to put myself back in situations in the past that I thought was the most stressful thing ever, or scariest moment ever, or something I worried about. In all of those examples, there was something that happened that ended the stress and then things went back to normal. For example, if I had a deadline for work and trying very hard to finish in time, you would feel stress and then when the deadline hits, everything is done, you can have a sigh of relief and go back to feeling normal, without this constant stress that kept you up at night, made you loose your appetite, or took over all your thoughts for the time being. I feel like grief is stress and sadness all rolled up in one. Except I don't get a break from it. Polly won't miraculously appear in her crib one day and we are all better. Instead we have to learn to deal with this constant stress that won't seem to go away or ease up. I have noticed in many ways I have gotten used to it. Used to the feeling like a heavy weight is pushing on my chest or my throat tightens because I am about to cry. Those feeling don't take me by surprise anymore and don't go away, but I've felt them for so long, we both have, that they have become sadly for us "normal". So in an attempt to have that stressful feeling go away for a few minutes, I try to go back to happy memories and what I felt then. I can't feel that way anymore, or atleast not now, may be those feelings will return one day, but I try to remember what being stress-less felt like. Like the day we found out we were pregnant with Polly. We were starting a family and were so excited! The weeks went on with the normal doctor visits and sonograms, finding out what we are having, deciding a name, registering.....we got caught up in it all. We were about to join this wonderful club of parents that we had eagerly wanted to be included in, but for now we were outsiders. Only our story didn't end up like everyone else's did. We are still in shock as to how you can go through a pregnancy with no indication of something being wrong, or something would not function normally. And to be honest, I always worried something was wrong. When I look back at those memories, when I was a naive first time expectant mom, they were happy but in the back of my mind I always worried. It really bothered me actually. I imagine every pregnancy carries its worries, you hold your breath until you hear good news at each appointment. That is how it was for me and appointment after appointment I was assured things looked good. Everything was there with the appropriate size, shape, etc. I have had people tell me since Polly passed that they thought it was odd when I would say something like "pray we have a healthy baby in October!". I didn't realize it but that was my worry and fear showing. I would think I was silly and tell myself "the doctor said everything is fine, no need to worry, why am i worrying????". The day I went to be checked into the hospital I was doing some last minute things around the house. I decided to look and see if the matching Pottery Barn Christmas stocking that we both have was on sale. I knew it would be getting closer to Christmas so was just waiting to purchase one for Polly. Well it was! So I put the monogrammed "Polly" order in and bought it, knowing it would be here when we were back from the hospital. Literally as soon as I ordered it I felt this dread come over me and I thought to myself "I hope I am not jumping the gun here. I hope Polly gets to use it". I was so shocked I thought that, here I was within hours of going to the hospital and I am worrying something will go wrong. Again I think most moms worry and that is normal, but the way I worried was not. It shouldn't have bothered me this much but I assumed I was being anxious and told myself things would be fine. I truly feel that was God trying to prepare me in a way. For me not to get my hopes up too much or for me to always be on guard. I was never able to 100% be carefree about any part of my pregnancy. Something always made me fearful in my mind. I never thought those worries of mine were a little odd until I have had people mention that they thought it was weird I would say that. I think I had to prove to myself that I could carry and deliver a healthy baby like everyone else and for some reason I stressed about this not happening for us. When we got back from Augusta, it was so sad to walk into our house feeling broken and defeated with Polly's ashes in my arms. This isn't how this was suppose to happen. Our struggles were suppose to be as new parents with sleep schedules, feedings, and late nights. Not with these terrible struggles now facing us. Among the month-stack of cards and bills were packages with gifts that were sent lovingly to us in assumption we would bring a baby home like everyone else. And there in the middle was the Pottery Barn box, with Polly's perfect Christmas stocking in it. It matched ours exactly. My fears were a reality now. But we put her stocking up like we will every year, in an attempt to include her in our lives as much as possible. So we struggle, with our fear, our sadness, and our grief, but some how we continue to make it.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Yesterday was Polly's 8 month birthday and 7 month angel-versary. Every month you would think the 11th would get easier and it is the opposite. It is like time is fast and slow at the same time. I feel like it was ages ago when I held Polly last, or kissed her lips one last time before her nurse (and our dear friend) Carmen took her from Whit's arms. I loved kissing her lips. It was something I didn't get to do until after she passed, she always had some tube for the ventilator in her mouth. Every night when I kiss her little box I imagine it is her sweet, tiny lips and I try desperately to hold on to that memory. I would literally give my arm to be able to do that again. Every 11th I am just reminded of how much time as gone by, which feels like decades to me, and I remember what I was doing this time last year. This time last year I was more than half way along, and had my first baby shower and was making plans for others. We had also picked out her name because I didn't want to call her "baby" but by the name we would call her the rest of her life. I remember assuming the delivery would be the scariest part of all of this. Everything was so normal and things are just so different now. All the babies expected that would have been the same age are all here now, thankfully. But for us, we are still in this limbo, still waiting. Still walking through the valley that we wish we were not in. It is hard to go about your day like everything is normal when such a huge and literal piece of me is not here and will never be here again. I just feel lost. I feel like this is not recoverable, but yet Whit and I are still here......"making it", although it sucks. Every day is a struggle, though some are not as bad as others. I feel like we will forever be the parents who lost their child and that no one gets us. I don't even get myself sometimes. I feel like I can't bring anything to the table and that I can't give back. I just don't have the energy and all of my relationships are complete one-way streets right now. Grief is so very draining and emotional. I don't think I could ever explain it appropriately with words. I find myself desperately looking for signs from God that He is still there too. I know He is.....God doesn't leave you, but when you are in such an intense situation, knowing you are about to loose everything, things change. I know we were blessed to feel God as strongly as we did when Polly was here and especially the day He took her back. I don't think the average person gets to experience God so intensely while on Earth, so I do feel blessed in a way. I feel God has to give me such literal signs to get my attention though. I know the issue isn't that He isn't here or He is "busy", but it is me having blinders on. Anything I can think of as a sign I will take it, and I notice if I look a little harder, pay a little more attention, I will see those signs. I saw Polly's name in the credits of a tv show last night, which stood out since her name isn't a common one. Or a song will come on the radio, one that we heard in Augusta a bunch, or even when I have been crying in despair by myself the room has suddenly filled with sunlight. Rainbows are also a big one too. I recently saw the most beautiful one when I was crying so hard, I was having trouble catching my breath. It was a double rainbow, a big bright vivid one and a tiny less bright one next to it. I immediately thought of Jesus and Polly. They were with me like they always are. Those signs help me tremendously. I really rely on them to give me a boost. I sometimes wonder if God gets frustrated with how much I need to see these signs. I'm sure I am making it harder than it has to be, but I hope He keeps it up. :) As always thank you all for being there for Whit and I. I know God has placed each of you in our lives to help lift us up. Miss you so much Polly.