Three months today since we lost him.
I feel like Brandon and I have been fairly optimistic since we lost Carter, as optimistic as anyone who loses a child can be anyway. I tell myself it happened for a reason, even though sometimes I don't want to believe it. I don't think there was a reason for it on our side, but that maybe Carter was just needed somewhere else, and we won't know the reason why until a long time from now. But I have learned a lot of things since we lost him. I'd rather have Carter, but if I can't have him back, I guess now is a prime time to learn some things.
I was rereading some of my posts from the last three months, and noticed that I have said "if Carter has taught me anything, it's that..." so many times. So I started thinking about the things I have learned/discovered/implemented more since that beautiful awful day.
Always tell the people I love that I love them. My family and I have never been ones to drop the L bomb, but I do it frequently now. My friends and I always say we love each other. I tell Brandon and the cats I love them like sixteen times a day. I actually am finding that I have to consciously tell myself not to tell someone I love them.
Married people fights are generally stupid and we don't actually have to have them. One time, Brandon and I started arguing about a plant we have in our living room. It, like the other two arguments we've had since October, ended with me in tears because maybe if we had Carter, we wouldn't have fought about the stupid plant. So I've learned to avoid arguments, even though sometimes all I want to do is yell and be angry. And I promise it's not avoidance in a bad way, I just think we both have a tight hold on our emotions, and know what we need to do to keep them in check.
I don't have to do anything I don't want to do. After my depression, I always told myself that if a situation made me severely unhappy, I could leave. My happiness was more important than making other people happy. And now, I believe that even more. Some situations are hard for us right now, and it's okay for us to say no to certain things to be able to maintain our okay-ness.
Having an opinion is not a bad thing. When people ask what I want, I usually say I don't care, because honestly, I don't. But I have learned that when I do have an opinion, it's okay to share it. I don't have to be rude or anything, but if something is important to me, I should say it. This does not apply to politics, where we eat, what movie we watch, and those things. When we were looking for an outfit to bury Carter in, I knew exactly what I wanted. The people I was with knew how important it was to me, and it was so nice to not feel like I was being a burden by stating what I wanted.
How I feel is not dumb. How anyone feels is not dumb. A lot of times I start out saying "this is dumb, but..." and I've learned that when I want to say that, I shouldn't. I shouldn't discount the way I'm feeling. Even if it isn't necessarily important to others, it's important to me, which means it will matter to other people. No one should ever be ashamed of their feelings!!
We are not alone. Not only are we (and I mean you, too) surrounded by at least one person that loves us, but we probably aren't alone in our situations. When I was depressed, and then again when we were in the hospital, I was sure that I was the only person who had ever hurt so deeply. Come to find out, stillborns are far more common than we would like them to be. But it has given me a strong network of angel moms to lean on and support in return.
Sometimes, things happen for a reason. We might not know it until much later.
And other times, life just sucks and hard things happen.
What I've learned most is that it's important to be kind and loving and caring. After the comment on my Instagram post of Carter and me yesterday, I realized how cruel some people can be. People that don't even know you. This person didn't follow me on Instagram, I have no idea how they found my feed other than the fact that it's public. But they scrolled through all my pictures, back two months, and left a nasty comment on a very special picture of my son and me. What kind of jerk thinks it's okay to throw more pain on top of what we are already going through? Like, it's fine for you to think what you think, but that doesn't mean you need to add more hurt to our situation. Keep it to yourself. Even if any of the people that know and love me felt the way this person did, I know they respect me enough to keep it to themselves. But I don't think any of you do, because you love me, which means you love Carter too. Probably more than me actually, which is totally fine. He's a cute kid, I don't blame you.
Moral of this novel post: have respect for others, and have respect for yourself. You and others are entitled to their opinions, and there is a way to share opinions without hating one another. Care for those closest to you, and care for those you barely even know. And don't be so quick to judge a person and their situation; you never know what kind of fragile state they're in. Obviously I'm not telling you what to do, but I just think the world would be a great place if everyone was kind to one another. Love is powerful. If Carter has taught me anything, it's that.