Thursday, May 13, 2010

My heart is still broken but it's also still beating

A year ago today, I made this blog public.  A year ago today, I should have been in the hospital delivering a new baby girl named Maya.  And today, I should have a one-year-old little girl.  Today should be all about her.  We would be receiving presents in the mail from everyone in the family.  We would be busy getting everything ready for the big party this weekend.  I’m sure we’d have some family in town.

There are a lot of things we wouldn’t have too.  An olive tree.  A garden.  A friend named Bree.  Awareness of the importance of food and our health.  A little boy on the way.  Sad memories that we will never forget.

Today is a day of mixed blessings.  Life does go on, no matter what happens to you along the way.  I’m generally a very “forward looking” person so I do mostly think of our future and all the great possibilities in front of us.  But today, I want to take the time to reflect on the past year (well, really the past year and a half) and all that has changed. 

Now that I know that miscarriage and baby loss is so common, and I know what it is like to go through it, I am so grateful that I can be a support to others who find themselves navigating through this life experience. I am happy that I can be a person who will remember their baby’s due dates and always know that those will be tough months for them.  I would rather be this person than the person I was – the one who would think of the whole experience as something to get over, and at the very least, something I just didn’t understand.  I know now, there is no “getting over it,” there is simply life before and life after.  And I know those who have lost will always appreciate someone who recognizes that yes, today (or even this month) you would have had X if things had been different.

I recently read back through this entire blog.  I am so glad that I recorded some of this experience and I’m so proud of all the things we accomplished during the most difficult and devastating year of our lives.  I will be honest, you did not get to see my darkest moments – or even glimpse them – through the blog posts I shared.  But what I did share connects me to my experience and helps me not to forget.  It’s also helps me to see the progress we’ve made and how solid we really are.

I am so excited for this new baby to come; for Kaelyn to finally have a sibling and for us to be a larger family.  But there is always this underlying thought of what could have been that I can never shake.  It all started with Maya.  Like all the experiences you have with a “first child,” Maya will always be my “first” miscarriage.  She will always be the “first” time I had to experience the shock of seeing no heartbeat. Seeing the shape of my baby but with no activity.  Feeling the despair of the bad dream you never wake from.  The extreme hurt and ache for something to change…for this not to really be the life you have to live now.  I acutely remember walking around wanting to shout that I had a dead baby in my belly, so people would know what I was enduring.  I remember the extreme emptiness that came when she was no longer with me.  And the sadness that I lived with all year from knowing Kaelyn had to experience a year with a mommy who was going through so much emotionally.

In the end, I am still so sad that we have had these experiences.  I’m still hurting that I am pregnant for the FOURTH time with only one live and walking child; that I wonder several times a day if my baby boy is still alive and if he’ll make it into our world with screams.  I want to hate these things about my life.  But the truth is, the whole reason we wanted another child in the first place is because we love the life we have and the family we are.  We still have that and we always will.

I don’t know what the future holds, but May 13 will always be Maya’s birthday for me, just as it is always my father’s birthday.  And I’ve grown comfortable living the “life after.”  My heart is still broken but it is still beating too.  Sadness has been replaced by memories.   But all the feelings of the moments after I lost Maya come rushing back to me when I hear this song (Song #2 on the playlist on the right):

Broken by Lifehouse
The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
I am here still waiting though I still have my doubts
I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

The broken locks were a warning you got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded, I'm an open book instead
I still see your reflection inside of my eyes
That are looking for a purpose, they're still looking for life

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain is there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

I'm hangin' on another day
Just to see what you will throw my way
And I'm hangin' on to the words you say
You said that I will, will be ok

The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone
I may have lost my way now, having forgot my way home

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain is there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on

Thank you for following my journey.  And thank you for all who have helped me along the way.  Including Bree who made this cute paper cupcake for Maya's birthday!

4 comments:

  1. Tears. What a beautiful and honest post. I understand everything you are saying. And like you, I'm glad to at least be the kind of person that can understand and empathesize with such a loss. Always remembering both of your girls with you.

    Happy Birthday, Maya! xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. I cried as I read your post ...it is all so true...heartbreakingly true. Baby loss has changed us forever and definitely May 13th will always be Maya's day. All 13s remind me of Akul who was born on Feb 13th. Sunill and I love the number 13 and I am glad this day is special for you too. Thinking about you and your beautiful Maya today.

    Happy Birthday Maya

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think it's a fitting time to tell you I get to do an hour presentation to our new crew members next week at orientation... it'll be about 25 people. I'm calling it "Food!" and am going to go over all the recent food buzzwords like local, organic, raw, vegan, antioxidants, amino acids, etc. etc. etc. (I have 50+ powerpoint slides and pages of dialogue lol). It's not persuasive, but informative, and in the part where I talk about my background with vegetarianism and how I came to care about these things I reference bits of your story. And I'm making the energy bars you wrote about on this blog like a year ago and handing them out ;) I am so excited to share this information with others, and in a formal setting too! You guys were such an instrumental part in changing my relationship with food, you have no idea. Oh and P.S. I'm 30 lbs lighter than the last time you saw me :) :) :) Not a diet, just consciously thinking about the pros and cons of I what I put into my body. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. A mom w/a broken heart...still.... 22 years later!June 11, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Happy Birthday baby Maya.....we love you and baby Liliana too! You have beautiful names and your memory will live on forever and I thank God you are keeping my baby Adrienne Leigh Carlson company up in heaven! Kisses for you and all our sweet angels in heaven, with luv from Auntie Joyce

    ReplyDelete