Monday, June 6, 2011

Where I am...

Kristin from Dear Stevie recently posted about the Right Where I Am Project, which was started by Angie, another blogger. You write about your grief, and what it's like right now, so that new baby loss mamas who stumble across your blog can get an idea of what the grief experience is like further down the road, and so that people who are further down the road can reflect on how far they've come in their grief. I've been having a difficult time writing about grief related things lately, so I thought maybe this would be a good starting place.
So, Where am I right now, this very second, in my grief?
It's been one year, six months and seventeen days. Most days, I really can't believe it's been that long. Other days, it seems like it has been a lifetime since we last held that tiny little girl in the "transition" room at the hospital.

I definitely still have moments where I think, "this is bullshit, I can't believe it happened to us". But it's in a different way now. Don't get me wrong - I still miss Olivia SO much it hurts. But it's different now, because in the beginning I couldn't even imagine having another baby. I wanted that baby. Now, I'm able to miss her and still be hopeful and excited about having future children. I remember in the beginning, feeling like that day would never come. But it still doesn't feel fair. I guess that's because it isn't, and it never will be... no amount of rationalizing or talking about the positive things that came as a result of losing her will ever make it feel "okay".
Kurt and I were talking last night about how losing her makes almost everything more difficult and complicated than it should be. We were talking about having kids, and about how scared we are to try again. I have said this before, but because my pregnancy with Olivia wasn't planned, we weren't exactly ready to have a baby - we weren't even living together yet when I got pregnant. If she had never existed, we would have probably not had started "trying" to have kids for another few years. Because we know that's what's smart financially for us {even though our hearts may think otherwise}, we're waiting. It's been unbelievably hard to watch almost of my blog-friends who lost babies right around the same time that we dod go on to have babies. Several of them are pregnant now, and several of them have had babies in the last couple of months. I am SO happy for them, but it's been difficult to find women to relate to. I'm in this weird in-between stage where I want to have another baby more than anything, but I'm not trying to concieve like half of the BLM community, and I haven't had a second baby like the other half of the BLM community. I haven't found anyone else who wants a baby, but isn't trying to have one - and not because of a medical reason, just because it's not practical. We had to scramble {and if you know us in real life, you know that we really were scrambling} to get everything in order for Olivia. We had to find a two bedroom place that we could afford when we weren't really quite ready to move in together anyway, and scrape together as much money as possible to afford all of the things she would need. I never want to do that again. I want to be completely prepared next time. I have said that to a few friends who have had babies in the last year or two, and they all tell me that you're never completely prepared, and that if I were to get pregnant now or whenever, it would be the right time. I agree with that... and obviously I know that anything can happen and we could be pregnant again before we're "ready", but I would like to try and be a little bit more responsible this time.

And there aren't very many newlyweds who have lost a baby. We don't really fit in with any of our friends, and that's a lot harder than you'd think. On one hand, we sort of fit in with our newly married friends who don't have kids yet. But they either aren't planning on having babies at all, or not for several years. I think both Kurt and I really feel like parents, because pregnancy and especially dealing with our loss made us grow up quite a bit faster than we probably would have otherwise. Lots of newlyweds are still going out to bars and getting drunk on the weekends with their friends... and we really don't do that. And then on the other hand, we don't quite fit in with our friends who have kids either. I've only been pregnant and had a baby for three days... so I don't know what it's like to have a baby at home to take care of. There are two couples that we're really close with. One of them was pregnant while I was, except I was a several months ahead of her. I had Olivia in November, and their baby was born in April. Then, coincidentally, the day their baby was born, the other couple found out that they were pregnant! Their baby was born on Christmas. So for a full year after Livie died, I got to feel like part of the group, talking about pregnancy pains and c-section scars. But now they both have their kids at home. I love their kids, to them we are "Uncle Kurt and Aunt Betsy" - they feel like family, and I can spend time at their houses and play with the babies without getting overwhelmingly sad or upset, but it is still hard to hang out with them without thinking that we should be a group of 9 - three guys who were best friends in high school, and their wives and babies who are all only a few months apart. Our kids should be growing up together, and now they won't.

So that's where we are. We're stuck here in this kind of limbo area, and it's a very strange feeling.

I should say though, that for the most part, we're very happy. That's something that I want new BLMs to know. Yes, we are still sad and probably always will be in some way or another, but it really does get better. Despite the hard days, life has already gotten so much better than I ever thought it would be in those first dark weeks and months.

It does get better.


LauraJane said...

This is a great post. Provides a brand new perspective. :)

Hope's Mama said...

You'll know when the time is right. Don't let anyone try and sway you or tell you otherwise. You are a mother now and I'm sure you'll be a beautiful mother again some day.
I can so relate to feeling left out though. In the 15 months we lived as "childless parents" we too felt like we didn't fit in with any of our previous social circles. It was such a difficult time. Even with a live baby here now, I still feel like a bit of an outcast. All of my friends get to tuck in all of their kids at bedtime. I don't.
Thinking of you and baby Olivia. I'm so sorry she's not here in your arms.

Heidi said...

I am so sorry about your darling Olivia. You aren't the first couple that just "can't" try again and every time I encounter one, it hurts my heart for them (and you) to know end. You should have had her in your arms and not worrying about it at all.
Thanks so much for sharing! Visiting from Angie's blog.

Holly said...

It can be so hard when you don't fit in anywhere and I'm sorry. And I'm sorry you can't try now when you really want to. It sucks to feel left behind.

erica said...

I'm so sorry about your sweet Olivia. I love the different perspective you provide in your post & I really admire your decision to wait, in spite of how hard it is, especially when being childless parents comes with such a big helping of feeling like you don't fit in. Sending love.

Fireflyforever said...

I'm sorry about your beautiful little girl and I echo Erica - I admire you for making the difficult choice to wait for Olivia's future siblings. I think it shows a lot of strength.

You're right, losing a baby makes everything else in life that bit more complicated.

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