If I had a dollar for every time I've said that losing a baby is confusing, I would probably have enough money to adopt every child in the world. Confusing isn't the only word I would use to describe it (though it's one of the more appropriate ones), but besides being sad and angry, confusion is what I feel the most.
I started thinking about this on Monday. It was 11:04, and I got up to go to the bathroom at work. As soon as I walked in the door, I thought, seven days and ten minutes ago, I walked into the exact same stall and found that I was bleeding. Seven days and ten minutes ago, I was pregnant, and now I'm not. In my last letter to little bean, I wrote about how it was weird to not have any active participation in her delivery. With this miscarriage, I just stayed home. I was kind of an active participant, kind of not. Either way, one day the baby had a heartbeat, the next, it didn't. One day there was a baby in me, a few days later there wasn't. One week I got to stay home and mourn our loss and deal with the physical pain, the next I had to come back to work and pretend like everything was back to normal. Whatever that means anymore.
It has been nine and a half months since we lost Carter, and with each subsequent loss I find it harder and harder to understand our new normal. In the span of forty weeks, one normal woman's pregnancy, we have lost three babies. Three little angels that have somehow broken and completed us all at the same time.
There are so many things I've written separate posts about that I could continue to write about for years and years: sadness, anger, confusion, emptiness, fulfillment, joy, grief, fear, dread. The fact that our house is so empty. The idea that when I go out in public, no one would ever guess that I am a mother. How unfair it is that we are unable to bring a child home when there are parents locking their kids in cellars or the trunks of their cars. That I'm terrified people will forget Carter and little bean when there are so many other babies in the world. How crazy it is that time still passes, and that it seems to go so slowly, yet so fast. I think a lot about the day my counselor had me choose emotion cards out of a deck. I think I chose like fifteen different emotions. Maybe even twenty. That's a lot of emotions for someone to feel. And it would be one thing to feel each of them on different days, but I feel all of them simultaneously every single day.
How is it possible to feel so empty and full at the same time, all the time? To be so thankful for what I have, but so angry at what I don't?
When you lose someone you love, it's kind of like a giant boulder getting dropped into the middle of a small puddle. It crushes a lot of who you are, and the ripples aren't so much ripples as they are just chaos. Water spills outside the puddle, breaking the serenity and the wholeness of it all. The boulder is too heavy to lift all at once, so to get it out of the puddle, you have to slowly chip away at it, piece by piece, and it takes a long time. But even once every chunk of the boulder is removed from the puddle, there's still a dent where it fell, and that dent will never go away. There will always be tiny pieces of the boulder that are left behind.
Every single day I'm reminded of the chaos this boulder of child loss has caused in my life. Depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, loneliness, social anxiety...the list could go on and on. Losing Carter and little bean have hindered my ability to function like a normal human (or at least as normal as I was before, anyway). Brandon's work provided tickets to a baseball game last night, and I wanted to go, but we got about ten minutes away from home and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't handle people asking how I was doing, or giving me hugs, or telling me how tough I am. And on the flip side, I couldn't have handled everyone avoiding me or avoiding the subject of our losses. So instead we just went home and I was sad all night. It's not fair that we're changed in this way. Of course, I would rather be this person without my kids than never had them at all, but ideally, I'd like to still be normal and have them here with me.
It has been a pretty crappy week, in all honesty. I hate going to work not knowing when I'll get to be a stay-at-home mom. I hate staying home because it's too quiet. But I hate going out in public because, you know, people. Thank you to everyone who sends me notes and special things and remind me that our children are remembered. They always seem to come at the right time, and this week has been no different. And to all you loss parents, or anyone that is going through a hard time. just hold on. The ripples get smaller, and each day you wake up is another chip off the boulder. We can do this.