Life resumes without any hesitation. Certainly that is a good thing, but the slightest of a hesitation would be good too, to not feel like I am plowing ahead at full speed without him.
There is this pressure—most likely self-inflicted—to act as is if nothing happened. To move on, to be normal. To not bring others down with my sorrow, to not reopen my own wound.
The first two weeks were the hardest. By week three I could talk about it without breaking down. And now, most days I feel ‘normal’ and am able to express joy and laugh and carry on. Then there are moments when I feel guilt for doing so, or I’m reminded of our loss and feel sick at the thought of our experience. Sometimes I’ll be doing something physical and think “I shouldn’t be able to do this because I should be ‘X’ weeks pregnant.” My typical chores or activities, like mulching, gardening, and even water skiing recently, reiterate that I am no longer pregnant.
We would have been 23 weeks along on Sunday, July 3.
I know and I have been told by many that my grief, my mourning, my way is the right way. I have absolutely accepted that the process to heal will be a roller coaster ride for quite some time. And even years from now, I’ll wonder about our son and who James Harold would be. I’ll watch boys that would be his same age with awe and heartache. I’ll long for the opportunity to hold him again.
Accepting all of this does not diminish my anguish. I don’t want to forget him and I don’t want to have to be alright all the time. I lost my baby. I want more time with him, for him. I want my belly, I want to feel him move within, I want to celebrate the anticipation of his birth day, the day he was supposed to join us with full life and health and opportunity.
Last week I was introduced to this song via one of the support groups I follow. Hillary Scott (best known as the leading lady of the group Lady Antebellum) wrote this after losing her second child via miscarriage. For me, the song is powerful and timely.
“…I may never understand that my broken heart is a part of your plan… sometimes I have to stop, remember that you are God, and I am not… Thy will be done.”
I accept that my plans are not the plans that matter. I accept that things just happen and do so for a reason, many times for the right reason(s). My life is a product of things happening for the right reasons. My marriage to Cody is not my first. I spent seven years in a relationship that was not well-suited for me, one which I did not want to introduce children into. Making the decision to divorce (and potentially never have children) was not made lightly. I could never have envisioned what God had in store for me. An amazing love, a strong partnership, and the profound blessing of pregnancy and motherhood. Without that wrong relationship, I wouldn’t have been taken down the right path that lead me here, to a life with my Cody and Connie.
I have to accept that what is in store is even greater, even if I can’t see it. It’s hard to fully embrace–it’s hard and in the context losing our son, it seems cold. What could be better than having our baby boy? What could be better than completing our family in the most perfect way we imagined. What could be better than having a choice in the matter, the choice to carry the life we tried for and hoped for and dreamed for? As the song says, “I know you’re good but this don’t feel good right now, and I know you think of things I could never think about.” Lord knows I want my James, it’s the hardest pill I have had to swallow to know that is not an option. Only He and time know what is in store for us.
As I anticipate our next pregnancy, I do so with hope and fear and I expect that pregnancy to be a tide pool of emotion, one I will have to fight through to stay on the beaches of gratitude and happiness so that my next child is shielded from anxiety and worry.
I’ve been told that I am handling this so well, doing so with grace and strength, serving as an inspiration. That is humbling, truly. I’m only doing what I know how. And fortunately I am very well supported by family and friends and my rock and shelter, my husband. I have also sought knowledge and others’ stories to be able to relate and realize I am not alone in experiencing this tragedy. And I am holding onto my faith and the hope that we will welcome a child again, that the next life I carry will have the outcome we plan, that we will be spared feeling this heartache again.
Of course, if there is not a next child, I don’t have to think long or look far to know that the good Lord has blessed me beyond measure already. Thy will be done.