Friday, May 15, 2009


I was trying to find a word for how I felt yesterday and the word just wouldn't come.

I get frustrated with myself for feeling a pang every time a new pregnancy is announced or I watch the growing bellies of friends. I don't WANT to feel that pang of jealousy and anger, but I do.

Yesterday the neighbors heard Lucy screaming and told me they figured they knew what was going on. Sometimes I want to talk about how hard it is and others, I want to pretend she is normal. When people ask how things with her are going I sometimes lie and say, "great!" because I know things could be so much worse and I should be thankful that they aren't.

Bottom line is that I still have a daughter who will deal with her body's nacent failure to recognize how to develop correctly for the rest of her life.

My brother Nathan told me that he heard a guy with brittle bone disease tell how, after he had fallen down a flight of stairs and broken his nose and all of his limbs, his mother said, "This can either make you bitter or make you strong. It's your choice."

I long to be that parent, the parent of whom people say, "She is just so strong! She just never complains! Wow, what an amazing mother!"


If I am suddently that person, then the knife of my authenticity ceases to hone instelf on the dull edge of the sadness that has become a crucial part of me. I have to continue to fight, to be honest, in order to change and to grow.

A friend and I were talking today about how people deal with grief. What is the correct way to deal with it? Is it unbiblical to be sad; to live with that sadness all of your life? In a fallen world, I tend to think not.

I feel like my body failed her, on a mitochondrial level. Of course, in the light of day, I know that "things happen", and "it wasn't my fault", and I believe these things - at least on the surface of them.

But when the authenticity knife scratches that surface and the hurt comes slithering out like snakes, I'm facing it again: the raw underbelly of helplessness.

I sat across from a friend yesterday at Costco. I have two friends I meet at Costco, and I almost feel like I'm cheating on each one of them by meeting the other there as well. Secret's out, ladies. Churros and Diet Coke: the best therapy ever. Yesterday, I pondered telling Lizzie I couldn't come, because my hair was greasy and she always looks cute. (Damn her.)

I poured it all out to her. She said,

"There's a fine line between being sad about it and letting it turn into something else. But it's OK to be sad."

And I have to agree, and that little comment made me feel so much better. Right now, I am vulnerable. I am raw. These past few months have been HARD. I realized that the miscarriages and the sadness about Lucy are intertwined, and anything pregnancy-related drudges it all back up. I shoved it down after she was born, and it has resurfaced. I have to deal with it.

My mom was a little surprised at how I seem to understand grief, at least on the base level. "You haven't had all roses with your children, and I think you just 'get it' more than most," she said.

I'll never be the girl with the carefree pregnancies and the anatomically perfect children. I lost luggage during the journey that will never be replaced. I have to be OK with the grief, with not explaining it away or being embarassed when someone sees me wear it and does not understand why I don't take it off.

Old scars die hard, especially when you are reminded of them every four hours, here 'til eternity.

Some days I am happy and some days I am sad. And right now I really, really need to shut off my Facebook account. I can do this, I can. I can do this.

Through grateful tears, sad eyes see glimpses of redemption -

even if it's only for three hours and forty-five minutes at a time.


Faye said...

My dear friend,what you are feeling is normal.Everyone handles greef in thier own way.Right now I an going through a tuff time,I will find out next week if I do indeed have lung cancer.I have had a hard time dealing with this.I just ask the Lord to help me,and give me the strength to get through this.He is the only comfort I have right now.Time has a way of healing wounds,Hang in there.I promise they will be a better day coming!Blessings ,FGaye

Athena said...

You are handling things just fine and we all do handle things differently! I don't think we'll ever get over losing our children. I too, think about it every time I see a pregnant woman, every time I look @ my best friend's 2 year old, EVERY TIME. No I don't think I want to feel like that, but it comes and I pray it through. And that's what we gotta do, PRAY IT THROUGH, never ceasing, every time you think about it, don't linger, pray. Don't give the enemy any more ground than he thinks he already has!!! ;o) I have been going round and round about it. finally I told God, I had enough, I've been exercising more and trying to eat better, because is trying to tell me my body isn't ready and I need to get ready! We will get better at this, I promise. And when it seems the worst has yet to come... even in the next 4 hours... pray it through my friend. Some of you may think, easy for you to say, well I'm living proof that it works! Honest! I dont' know where I'd be without prayer... my friend I am praying for you even now,l praying for His strength to complete yours! I know with God's help you can make it through ALL of this! I love this line "This can either make you bitter or make you strong. It's your choice" I'm gonna 'borrow' it! this saying is absolutely right, I have chosen to become stronger... how about you?


korin said...

sending you lots of love. You are so very very strong, and so very honest.
xo xo xo

Anonymous said...

I appreciate how much you get it, although I am sorry that you understand so much about grief because you have had so much sadness yourself. I am sorry your heart hurts so much and I know it is hard. Very, very hard.
Love you.


Jess said...

I'm sorry things have been so hard these last six months. Such huge life altering events have occurred - your last pregnancy, Lucy's surgery, the death of your good friend's tiny son. I cannot imagine how anyone could experience all those life events and not feel sad and raw.

Love you, xxoo.

Alyssa said...

thank you. just thank you. for being you and letting me be me...praying for you and wearing my heart with yours...

Lizzie said...

A few things that no one has commented on yet:
1. You're writing is ridiculously good these last few posts. I hope they make it into the book.

2. What a terrible friend you must be to cheat on your Costco dates.

3. Perhaps you go to Costco more than the Average Joe?

4. This Lizzie friend of yours seems pretty stinking wise. ;)

5. I bet she doesn't really look cute all the time. For example, if you saw her right now I bet you wouldn't think she looked OR smelled cute.

6. I just checked and you're profile is still active on facebook.

Anonymous said...

your words move me to tears. you say so often what i feel, but cannot verbalize.
my losses in life are not the same as yours. i have five perfectly healthy children. when you look at me you could feel resentment, and i would not blame you.
at least three of them are really messed up; emotionally, spiritually. their hearts are broken, and they are running from their pain and numbing with alcohol, and drugs. i am sobbing as i write this.
i have been told i act as if there is no hope. my personal hope is that i know god. i realize my boys have choices and they can continue to run from Him, and never stop. that breaks my heart.
i too have much to be thankful for but every day, some days more than others, my heart literally aches inside my chest
my words are not as beautiful as yours. thank you so much for your honesty and sharing your gift. love you, gaye

jineen said...

i too feel the pain every day and try to hide it from others so i don't seem ungrateful. i don't think most people really get how it feels to face these things day in and day out. sometimes it jsut catches me when i am watching him and i feel so overwhelmed and so sad i can hardly bear it and yet i feel too silly to explain it to anyone else. thankyou for verbalizing it here

Sandy said...

Hi there, I found your blog from Jess's, I can so relate to a lot of the things that you write here. I have three children all with special needs, we struggle daily with one thing or another, it is all I can do some days to not just walk away and give up. But I know that these kids were given to me by God and I am going to get through this and everything is going to be ok!! I know it in my heart, although some days it is hard to see! I have a little different situation in that my husband and I tried for 10 yrs to have a baby, with no luck. There was no explanation as to why we weren't getting pregnant, it just didn't happen! I was bitter and heartbroken each time one of my friends would announce their pregnancy and I felt so bad about that, as I was truly happen for them, just feeling sorry for myself.
My kids are all adopted and it was the best decision we ever made to adopt them all. I now know that I wasn't able to have children of my own because God had a plan for me, I was to take these kids and raise them! I believe with every ounce of my being that is what he had in store for me!! I still feel a little bitter and sad that I was never able to feel the bond of a baby growing inside of me, or to experience childbirth, or see my what my biological kids would look like, but I have to live life and be thankful and grateful for the three beautiful kids I do have! Although I will always long to experience a pregnancy, good, bad or otherwise! I just felt I should share and let you know that your not alone in this world. There are lots of us struggling with these issues. God bless you!!

Emily said...

"Through grateful tears, sad eyes see glimpses of redemption..."

you said it, sister. you said it.

love YOU.

MooBee Mama said...

I recently heard Beth Moore say that "a Mother is only as happy as her saddest child" and it cut me to the core. SO did your "knife" post. But it is so so good. Because the alternative is numbness and no feeling at all. And that, to me, would be death.

Smelly Little Monkeys said...

Rach- Always praying for you and Lucy! I know how you feel. I get that feeling creeping up about how I might of caused Elizabeth's differences. Most days are okay and not thought about but then there are the days when I notice her hear, or she only covers one up when something is too loud. Or she lets me know that she can't wear ear plugs in one side because they are different. Those are the times I want to sit and cry and just ask why. We've also recently had to have an echo done on her (today actually) and that has once again brought up those feelings. I also get the twinges of jealousy and the why not me's about pregnancy. You figure someone who has not used any protection in 4 years could get pregnant. Hugs to you and Lucy!