raising a mommy

raising a mommy

Sunday, August 28, 2016

sometimes it just sucks

I'm writing this not because I want your sympathy or pity. I don't need it. I'm writing this because somewhere out there is a young woman who needs to hear this message. Maybe she's someone on my friends list who reads every one of my sporadic posts. Maybe she's a friend of a friend of a friend who will be brought here some roundabout way. Maybe she's not even someone who will ever read this post, but someone else will read it and it will open conversation with her. I don't care how the connection is made. If this post inspires the connection and opens the conversation in any way, it is worth every second spent writing it and every tear that I will probably cry.

We lost a baby this week. I was supposed to be ten weeks and six days pregnant today, but we found out on Monday that the baby stopped growing at eight weeks and four days and no longer had a heart beat. It sucks. There is no other way to describe the experience. It just sucks.

But let me reiterate. I don't want your pity. Here's what you need to know.

I have found the most amazing support system. They came out of places knew they would and they came from places I never expected. Outside of family and a few close friends, not many people even knew about the baby. But our little circle has rallied around our family and made us feel the love in a way that is different than I've ever felt before. While the week has sucked, these people have gotten me through.

The most important people in my support system have been those living under my roof. My husband lost a baby this week, too. The other parent can be so often overlooked, and that is not fair. I had the opportunity to carry that baby inside of me. My husband will never get to hold his child. This paragraph is short, but so important. The other parent it hurting, too.

My four year old found out on a Friday that she was going to be a big sister again. She decided it was going to be a girl and her name would be Baby. She couldn't wait to hold her little sister, Baby. Then she had to learn the hard truth that no child of four should ever have to learn. And do you know what she did? When she said her prayers at night this last week, she talked to Baby in heaven and Great Grandpa who passed away earlier this summer. Do you know what else she did? She offered her pastor father and her mother pastoral care. She said, "Remember when you told me about Abraham and Sarah and how they thought they would never be able to have a baby? And then God gave them a baby!" She's four.

Even if I never get to hold another of my babies in my arms, I have been blessed beyond measure. These two, with their daddy, fill my heart until it feels ready to burst.

And then there's my living baby who is almost two but is once again my baby. He has no idea what is going on. He just knows that mommy hasn't been able to run and play with him as much this week. But instead of pulling on my arms and trying to get me to stand up he stops what he's doing at random intervals throughout the day, he runs over to me, and he says "Hug!" throwing his little arms around me and patting my back.

There are so many others: Great Auntie Ellen who came down from the cities to spend the day with the kiddos when we needed her. My mom who stayed with us this weekend and scrubbed my nasty toilets and washed about a week's worth of dishes and made our meals. Friends from church who came over and sat or kept their distance but prayed, friends from high school who shared their stories of heartbreak and reassurance and love, friends from later in life who have never been through this and those who hopefully never will but gave hugs and support and prayers. Every different kind of support has been appreciated more than I can say.

Friends, if you are struggling, please don't do it alone. I am begging you: reach out. You will not have to reach far to find love and support. If you struggle with infertility, chronic or even one time miscarriage, postpartum depression, loneliness, or even if you just don't feel like yourself occasionally but don't think it's worth bothering someone over, please, please, reach out. I will listen. I have friends who have been through all of the above who would be more than happy to listen. Or sit with you in silence. Or go for a walk around the block and talk about anything else. If you have been through any or all of the above and you are willing to listen, please speak up. You are important and you are valued and you are worth it. You deserve support. You deserve a shoulder to cry on if that's what you want. You are worthy of the beautiful bouquet of sympathy flowers. You deserve to have someone come over and bring you a meal or clean your bathroom or wash the loads of dishes you haven't been able to motivate yourself to wash because you still feel first trimester exhausted even though the baby inside of you is no longer growing. You are worthy, and even if you don't regularly reach out or rely on others, you need it now. No one should have to go through this alone. This is what you need to know.