04 April 2015

The Stone

I came across a new blog this week which I wanted to share here. I loved this blog (titled Four Plus an Angel) and in particular one of the posts titled, The Stone. I loved it so, SO much. It is an unbelievably accurate take on what it is like to lose a child or in our case, a baby. I share it because it really impacted me but also because I think people struggling with many different types of loss can relate. Deep grief has unique characteristics but common threads.

Click here to read The Stonehttp://fourplusanangel.com/2015/02/the-stone/

For me, the author hit the nail on the head. Perfectly. I have read it and re-read it many times over. It is exactly what I live with on a daily basis. Sometimes I don't feel justified in having the feelings I do because I didn't meet Lexie. I didn't hold her. She didn't come home with us. And yet I feel like I could have written this article. How is that possible? I guess it's because we lost her so far into the pregnancy. Because of the circumstances surrounding our loss. The fact that I felt her move and carried her all those months but that I never got to meet her... that it all ended so abruptly and that I wanted her so badly. I feel like I knew her and yet I didn't really. 

But then it occurred to me... It doesn't really matter why I feel the way I do...my feelings are my feelings and the depth of grief a person feels is individual and can't really be evaluated or explained. It is also the the very real power of motherhood. It transcends time and space.  It is also the power of a tragic and traumatic experience... it stays with you.... always.

I don't write as much as I used to about our loss... I don't feel the need to as much anymore. This isn't because I don't think about it and her every single day because I do but because I am more at peace with it and my heart has slowly healed over the past 11 months. There are still times though when it is enormously helpful for me to get some of my thoughts OUT and I have been feeling that more lately. Probably because we are approaching May and the one year anniversary of losing Lexie. Maybe it's also why I stumbled across that beautiful post. I think I needed to read it... to find words that clarified what I so often feel. And so there it was. Funny how that works sometimes. Words have brought me so much comfort and clarity this past year. The words I have found in music, the words I have read in books and the words I have written myself have all been enormously healing. I can't help but wonder if my love of reading and writing wasn't given to me long ago in preparation for this loss or any other tough times I will inevitably come across. Whatever the reason, I am grateful for it.

I also really loved the title of the blog: Four Plus an Angel. It caught my eye because I constantly struggle with how to label our family. Sean and I talk about it a lot and it's something we are both grappling with as my pregnancy continues and my due date approaches. Are we about to be a family of five... or six? Do we have three kids... or four? Without a doubt, in my heart, we are a family of six and I have four babies. But I rarely, if ever, tell people that in conversation if they don't know our story. I can tell that even our close family and friends aren't sure whether they should call Aiden our third or fourth baby... they aren't sure what to do either and I don't really know what to tell them to do because I am so conflicted about it. Out in public, people will often look at the girls and me and see that I am pregnant and say:

"Oh you are expecting #3? Is it a boy or a girl? 
I politely respond and say, "Yes, #3 and it's a boy." 
And they get so excited and say "Oh how wonderful ... a boy after two girls!" 
I just smile and nod and tell them how excited we are.

And every single time, what I want to say is this: "NO!!... this is my FOURTH baby. A boy. After three girls. Yes. There was a third girl!! She should be here too but she isn't and it sucks. She is our angel baby in heaven."
That's what I'd like to say. But I don't because it makes people feel bad and not every conversation needs that kind of depth. Plus... lets be honest, I could easily buzz kill a lot of interactions with that info!

But truthfully I hate referring to Aiden as my third baby, my third pregnancy. He isn't. He is my fourth pregnancy and my fourth baby and every time I have to say he is my third, it irritates me. But it's just the reality of the situation and in truth, he will be my third baby here on earth. Lexie is my angel baby above. So we are five plus an angel. It is what it is. I hope I will become more comfortable with this reality as time goes on but I am also accepting that it will never feel quite right. This is because it isn't quite right...not without her.

I wanted to share one other post from this blog, as well. I wish I could have passed it along to the people in my life last summer and fall when the grief was so strong and so present and I couldn't really explain what I needed because I didn't really know. But what I needed (and thankfully mostly got) were a lot of things on this list. Reading this list though... even now... after great strides and healing... literally brought me to tears.


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