Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I've Come A Long Way!

I am really proud of myself and I think it deserves its own blog post.

I am really proud of myself for three reasons....

#1:  I went to a store with a friend of mine a few weeks ago that is almost identical to a Walgreens in the States.  She was there needing things for her infant son which meant that we needed to go into the baby aisle (que the dun dun dunnnnnn scary music). 

The part that I am proud of is that being in the baby aisle didn't even register in my mind until after a good 2 minutes of browsing the aisle and discussing with my friend all the new things that didn't exist when my daughter was a baby.  But what's even crazier is that even after it registered in my mind, it hadn't registered in my heart.  There was no sadness or wishful thinking, no urgency, I was completely fine!  And even a few weeks later I am still fine.  I've waited for it to bother me, and braced myself for the aftershock because it just isn't a normal reaction for me, but I'm still fine.  Being in a baby aisle didn't do anything to me that it would have just a few months ago.

#2:  I went to a baby shower.  I. Went to. A. Baby shower!

This was a little more difficult.  My perspective on the pregnancy experience is completely jaded (I can't help it, it will never change), so I worried that going to something like a baby shower would set me back in my healing, or my bitchy-resting-face would be more obvious than usual, or a baby shower would be the last kick that my poor, pitiful, beat-up heart could handle and finally just quit beating, but you know what?  It didn't, it wasn't, and I'm still sitting here so I guess my little heart has a few more beats left in it.  I had fun hanging out with the ladies from work outside of work, the games were fun too, and the adorableness of the baby gifts worked their magic on me because I couldn't resist the teeny cuteness no matter how hard I tried.  That was all it was, a fun, adorable afternoon; nothing scary or hurtful about it!

These two things are HUGE for me!  Maybe they sound stupid to you, but to me they were impossible for a very long time!  If the bread was in the same aisle as the baby things at the grocery store, it meant that I was not going to get bread, and Eric would just have to stop at the store on his way home from work for a single loaf of bread even though he had a thesis to write or maybe had been at work for 20 hours that day.  A baby shower invite almost always meant that that night I would have my usual nightmare that the inside of my body looks like a cemetery.  The hurt I felt about the losses I've endured would manifest in ways that might sound silly to someone who isn't in my shoes.  I had to manage my triggers in whatever way I needed to to just get passed it, which was often just avoiding them at all costs.

#3: I learned that celebrating a healthy, happy pregnancy doesn't change anything in mine & my husband's reality, but being afraid to celebrate a blessing or anything happy stops those kinds of things from entering our spirits.  If Eric and I constantly dwell on the unfairness of what we've been through, the negativity would destroy all of the blessings we do have.  Celebrating a mom-to-be is a very happy thing deserving to be celebrated, even if that happy thing isn't in the cards for us.  We're okay with that now.  I didn't know that I would be until I went to a baby shower for the first time since our miscarriages.

I have spent the last decade navigating the pregnancy loss path, letting my grief come and go, letting it be terrible then not so bad, and letting my heart do what it needed to to just get through that particular day or moment.  Just when I was starting to heal from the loss of my son, my husband and I suffered 3 more losses that set my grief back to a place where I didn't think I could find my way back from.  I have focused my grief almost entirely inward and concentrated on getting myself through some terrible and deeply sad days. 

Now, I won't be making a habit out of attending baby showers, I am realistic about my situation and there's only so much I can handle, and it's taken me years to get to this far!  But my point is, is that even going to a baby shower or walking down a baby aisle is a HUGE step in a really great direction!    

I don't know what these three things mean, maybe nothing, but I'm hoping they might mean that I've finally healed enough to function in a world where babies die.  I'm hoping they might mean that I am finding my way back from that terrible place my fourth pregnancy loss sent me to.  I am hoping that they might mean that I've healed enough to where I can move onto a less selfish phase of the grieving process.  {I would love to get involved in facilitating miscarriage support or grief support in the area I live.  Maybe by putting this on my blog it will manifest somewhere out in the universe for someday.}  
I don't know where my grief will go next, it could set me back again, I don't know.  But what I do know is that I will eventually heal from that, just like I have every other time.  I know that if I can get the courage to attend a baby shower, or if my pitiful heart could actually walk down a baby aisle in a store and it not be as terrible as it had been a few months ago, then anyone can....eventually, when you're ready.  Healing is a difficult but amazing thing, and I hope if anyone out there has gone/is going through something painful you'll know that someday it won't be so bad, even if it doesn't feel like it today.  {I promise!}  And I know that God gave me this story for a reason.  

I'm really proud of myself!

I've come a long way!

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