01-13-11 / The Anger Has Unfortunately Set In
Discouraged. Angry. Hurt. Sad. Lost. Confused. Helpless. These are my words of today. I was up by 5:00 to get myself ready for work and I was doing ok, my shower went as usual, tearful but came out refreshed; from that point on it was downhill. As I walked around the house aimlessly trying to figure out what I needed to do to get Aaden and I out the door I realized I couldn’t even figure out how to pack his lunch. Matter of fact, we hadn’t even found the energy or desire to go to the grocery store so I don’t even know if there is anything to put in his lunch box; it might be an assortment of poptarts, gummies and cheetos. Talk about feeling like an awful mother, I don’t even have anything of substance to put in my child’s lunch box for school. Since the mere thought of packing a 3 year old’s lunch was more than I could handle I began to question how the rest of my day might turn out. I decided to walk away from the tough task of packing a lunch box and focus on getting his backpack ready; this consists of packing his clothes for the day so my parents can get him dressed for school. Guess what, there isn’t a stitch of clean laundry that would be appropriate for this weather. I even considered digging his jeans out of the hamper but that’s really just gross so I walked away hoping some clean clothes would appear after I put my makeup on. There is a task that should be easy, applying my face, something I could do in my sleep; not today. I sat on the floor in the bathroom as I do every morning because I’m too lazy to stand up to put my makeup on. As I sat in front of the mirror I saw just how sad I look. I’m physically frowning, there is a difference in simply not smiling and actively frowning and I was frowning. I didn’t even realize it but once I saw it I could feel the weight of my face, it’s like there was a string attached to each side of my mouth and someone had attached a weight to each one; my whole face just looks sad. I tried with everything within me to get it in gear and head to work but after an hour and a half of trying and crying I caved in and text Judy to let her know it wasn’t going well at all. I’m so sick of those words. I’m so sick of people asking me how my day is going and I send back, not good at all. Will I ever just be happy again? Will I ever feel more good than bad during a day? Will I ever be the person that walks around with a genuine smile on her face again; greeting everyone she passes? I’m beginning to get very discouraged in thinking I might not have that ever again. Wishing I hadn’t taken that happiness for granted when I had it.
My job is such a blessing right now and I feel I have expressed that in my writing. I love my coworkers, I love my children, I love my boss, I even love my classroom that everyone else seems to find bland and boring. One thing I feel I need to share is what my job consists of. I don’t have the luxury of hiding in my room all day; I am a Speech Therapist, not a classroom teacher. This job requires that I leave the comfort of my room to pick my kids up, spend 25-30 minutes with each group, leave again to walk them back to their class and then off to pick up the next group. This cycle continues all day long. On a good day this is so fitting for me, I have always talked about how much I love that I’m not stuck in one room with the same 20 kids all day; what I would give to have that right now. Instead, I have 43 kids that will begin to question me about my unborn child. I have to walk out into our huge building every 25 minutes to see new faces each time. I’m typically so extroverted and always have something to say to each person I pass; now it’s a labored effort to just work up a fake smile. I haven’t even been able to see any of my kids yet. What will I tell them when they ask about the baby that they know is another boy? The last time I saw them we were talking about how Mrs. Bush was going to have another wild boy on her hands, I wish I could relive that Monday for the rest of my life. How will I ever be able to sit in another ARD meeting with a dumb parent that cares so little about their healthy child without voicing my disgust for them? There are more new hurdles presenting themselves daily and it gets so frustrating. Just when things start feeling somewhat normal I plow into another brick wall.
Tuesday was so good, I truly enjoyed being in the land of the living again. Wednesday was another very hard day. I sat in my truck in the parking lot of work for a while before building up the courage to walk in; I was already late so I figured what would a few more minutes hurt? I really don’t know how long I sat there but I know it didn’t feel long enough. I walked down the sidewalk as slow as the freezing cold weather would allow and text one of my coworkers to please open the locked door for me; I was dreading her face, as I hadn’t seen her on Tuesday. Each initial meeting with each coworker is going to be this way, oh the long road of first encounters that are in my future. I could see the pain on her face when our eyes met. We work right across from each other and see each other daily, I know she hurts for me. She didn’t want to make me cry but honestly on that morning I think anything would have made me cry. I don’t even know that my tears in situations as that come from sadness, I think they come from love; part of me still can’t believe how much everyone just loves me. Another one of my dear friends on my hall text to ask how my day was going and all I said was that I was at work and it wasn’t going well; next thing I know she’s in my room and we’re hugging and crying. Another coworker brought me a prayer cross to hold in my hand, it’s handmade and beautiful. Another dear friend had a candy basket sent to work for me, she knows me well enough to know not to send flowers, candy is much more useful. At the end of the day one of my close friends made the long trek to my room where she held back her tears as long as she possibly could but by the time it was all said and done, there we were, both crying like babies. I am so blessed to have the people I have. Each person plays such an important role in all of this, some are there to hold me when I cry, some are there to act like total idiots to attempt to refocus my attention, some are there to drop food on my doorstep or to prepare a meal for us so Aaron doesn’t have to worry with it, some are there to offer to let Aaden come play, some are just there to say they love us, some are there to ask us daily if we’re up to company until we finally cave in, some are there because they’ve been in this exact situation before and they offer us something that nobody else on earth can and some are there in complete silence, never texting, calling or emailing but they’re praying and that means as much as the rest. Each person is so very important. When I reached one of the all time lows this morning I found emotions within me that I was hoping to avoid. If you’re a person that rides all the rides at amusement parks you know that awful feeling of, “oh man, I shouldn’t have agreed to get on this ride”, that’s where I’m at. Sometimes when you get off those particular rides you are filled with such excitement that you’re dumb enough to put yourself through it over and over again; then there are the ones that you vow to never even think about looking at again. This ride is one I never care to look at again but I’m trapped right at the top.
We took the kids to Gulf Shores a couple of summers ago for our first family vacation and they had a tiny theme park there that we felt we just had to take them to. Aaden was only about 18 months old so we didn’t put him on any of the rides, except the go-karts, which he loved. We came across this cute little train that I thought he would just love, after all, he loves anything with wheels and always had. We put him and Kamryn in the same little car together and off they went, he was happy until he saw that the train was carrying him away from mommy and daddy. Now that I think of it, that must have been scary for an 18-month-old baby, we must have seemed miles away to him. Kamryn did her best to comfort him but they got to their furthest point from us and she started poking her head out of the window saying he’s crying, he’s crying. Even though they were on the tiniest of rides and he wasn’t in harms way, I began to panic. I ran to the little teenager running the train and told him we had to get him off of there; bless his heart, he stopped it immediately and walked across the ride to pull him out and carried him to me. I couldn’t wait to get my arms around him to comfort him and let him know there wasn’t anything to be scared of. I think that must be how my parents are feeling; I think they must be so tempted to pray to God to please hit the switch to let us off the ride. They don’t have that luxury and I don’t think I’ve thanked them enough for staying strong for us; without my parents I’m not so sure we would be able to handle any of this. They’ve been so willing to do whatever needs doing and sometimes it’s just comforting to know that they are there if we need them.
I mentioned that the anger has set in and I want to clarify what that means. I am not angry with God, I am just angry in general. I’m angry with myself for not being able to shake this. I realize it has only been a week but a week of complete horror seems like an eternity; I’m just ready to feel normal. I’m ready to have moments of sadness in the midst of a mostly happy day; I now only have moments of forced happiness in the midst of a walking nightmare. I am becoming increasingly frustrated when people share with me how they think I should feel; I’m sure they mean well but not words that I am receptive to at this point. When someone says, “you need to think positive” or “you need to hold onto the hope that he will be born perfectly healthy” it almost infuriates me. If someone lost their newborn to SIDS would someone say to them, “you just need to think positive”? And why in the world would I hold onto hope that he will be born perfectly healthy? I am well aware that God can perform miracles if that is in His plan, but I am also aware that it might not be in His plan. I don’t think this makes me less of a believer in the power of my God, I think this makes me realistic and is my human way of protecting my heart from living this nightmare in such raw form on the day he arrives into this world. As I’ve stated before, if he is born healthy we will throw a party in honor of the God that we serve, thanking him for saving our son. If he is born as we are preparing for him to be born, we will have already accepted it and come to terms with it. Why on earth would I set myself up for the greatest disappointment that any parent could live through? I appreciate that people just don’t know what to say to me at this point and I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings but if you have only given birth to babies that are healthy, that you get to tuck in at night, that you get to bathe, that you get to snuggle up to and smell the sweet baby smell on the top of their head, that you get to tickle their feet to watch their toes curl, that you get to feel their little fingers wrap so tightly around your giant big finger and ultimately that you get to watch grow into a pre-kindergartener, a kindergartener, a grade school kid, a high school kid, a college graduate, then on to meet the person of their dreams, walk them down the isle, have babies of their own and so forth; I would just appreciate it if the only words you offer are those that say, “I love you and I’m praying for you”. There are very few people that know where we’re at and I don’t wish this on anyone, but please know that we are losing our baby. This is our child. We have been planning for him for almost a year now. We can both feel him move. His ultrasounds show us the form of a human; he has long arms, long legs, big feet and a big belly. He is and always will be our child. The fact that we’ve never held him doesn’t change our love; we still love him just like any parent loves their child that they nurture on a daily basis. He is a person that we love, not just a baby in a story that I’m writing. We cannot think positive right now, we are grieving a loss that no parent should have to. I think we are thinking as positively as our human nature will allow. As I said, I know that people just simply don’t know what to say but please know that there aren’t perfect words; we don’t expect anything profound, just a simple “I’m thinking of you guys” works wonders for our souls.
As I’ve sat yet another long day at home I’ve just watched Aaden destroy my house. There is play-doh all in the carpet and in the cracks of the couch. His bear cave is now all over the living room because he woke up from hibernation and made a grand exit from the cave. He fed himself chicken noodle soup and I don’t feel I need to elaborate on how that went. Now I’m sitting here watching him stab his “cut”, which is his pink knife, into my wall as he declares that he’s rock climbing his way to school. I think I’ve somehow missed the fine line between not sweating the small stuff and losing all control over my child. I don’t know if I lack the energy to fight with him or if I just want to sit back and soak up all of him, the good, the bad and the ugly; mostly good! As I was sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself I looked at him and whispered, “I love you baby” to which his eyes got huge and he grinned really big, I couldn’t help but swell with pride as I knew he was about to make that sweet face and say, “I love you too mommy” but instead he yelled “I love Santa Claus”! I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and he looked at me and said, “well I do love him mommy.” Thank you Jesus for my sweet boy that loves him some Santa Claus.