This is week three after losing our baby Faith. I think I have felt every emotion possible: hope, despair, empowerment, joy, sadness, restoration, silliness, anger, frustration. It’s these last two that bother me. I know it’s perfectly normal, but I also don’t want to be consumed by them. “A fool gives full vent to anger, but the wise quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11
Monday I took her car seat out of my car. We had to run something to a friend’s house. It was my first time driving in two weeks, so I had to reinstall the girls’ car seats, and in so doing, I uninstalled Faith’s. I took it to the shed for storage with tears in my eyes. I realized it’s going to be all those little things that are going to get me now.
I had a good visit with an old friend on Tuesday which restored me. I was able to do more around the house, maybe more than I physically should have, but I felt empowered. I’m getting my body back! The kitchen was clean, laundry was folded and put away, and dinner was on the table (thanks to our amazing community of support) when the Hubby came home. I felt good about the day.
Wednesday marked two weeks since Faith’s delivery. With a friend’s help online, we found the song that was playing as we delivered Faith. I cried as I listened again and realized just how perfect the song is for little Faith. We went to storytime at the library. It seemed a much harder first outing than it should have been. Maybe I shouldn’t have been looking for such an poignant song just before leaving the house. I felt like I was holding in tears the whole time. I almost ran away to hide in the bathroom a few times. But why? It was still storytime, business as usual, as it should be. The world doesn’t stop because of our tragedy. I enjoyed watching the girls listen to stories and sing and dance with the music. So much Joy and Grace. It was one friend’s baby’s first birthday. A milestone, I realized, we will be celebrating without our baby. A few friends who knew my story were there. They acknowledged our loss and asked how I was doing (thank you, it means more than you know), but I couldn’t find words for a coherent response without breaking down, so I rushed by to find my kids and check out our books. The last time I was at the library I was with child. I was expecting to bring the new baby to the library in a few months, wearing her, nursing her, while my big girls listen to stories and sing songs with their friends. We walked to the park afterward. I had promised Little Monster a trip to the park this week. But as I watched them play with the other kids, I realized they will never get to play with their little sister, Faith.
Thursday was a day filled with good visits from friends. It was much needed after our first day without company. It was a good pick me up day, but not without my own personal frustrations too. One friend asked if we had any allergies in the family still. No, I answered. Little Monster has grown out of her egg allergy, and Little Miss grew out of her dairy and soy allergies. We were wondering what number three was going to be allergic to. There were so many things we wondered. Another girl or a boy? We have one with dark hair, dark eyes, and dark skin, and one with blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. What was number three going to look like? All we know is she had a little bit of dark hair.
The downside to using the same baby items for all of our kids is the realization that now they won’t be passed down immediately. With two years or less between each kid the big stuff would have transitioned perfectly from one kid to the next without ever having to go into storage. As I cleaned the old wooden high chair, I realized Faith will never use it. Once Little Miss has grown into the booster seat, the high chair will go into storage. As I lay in the crib-turned-toddler-bed waiting and waiting for Little Miss to fall asleep, I realized the new baby will never sleep in the crib. It will be something else that goes into storage when we thought it would receive continuous use. Faith will also be the only one of my children (Lord-willing) to not sleep in the cradle that my Opa made. She was supposed to be the thirteenth baby across three generations to sleep in it. The cradle now resides in the back of my closet. It was on my to do list to set up in a couple weeks.
I was mad the other day as I packed up my maternity clothes. I didn’t want to see them hanging in my closet anymore. I realized I have to lose my pregnancy weight without the benefit of breastfeeding, without a bundle of joy to remind me of why I gained all the weight. I had no problem losing weight after my first two, but I was breastfeeding on a restricted diet. I don’t have much to lose, but still, it is another reminder of our loss. It is bittersweet that right now I don’t have another human relying on me for nutrition for the first time since November 2013. I was pregnant, I breastfed, and was pregnant again without a break. I thought I would be giving of myself for at least another year or two. So I can have a drink or eat unhealthy foods now without worrying about the impact it might have on my child, but as I do, I realize I have an empty womb, I have no one to nurse.
Since Little Miss was born, I have referred to my kids as ‘the girls.’ But now every time I say ‘my girls’ I stop and think about Faith. She should be a part of ‘the girls,’ but she’s not here.
I know it’s normal to be mad. It is a normal part of the grieving process. But I also know I can’t dwell on it. I get mad about something, I grieve, I cry, and then I try to remember it has only been two weeks. I don’t want to be an angry person. There is too much joy in this life to pass it by. But the reality is, it has only been two weeks and I’m still coping with the loss. There are constant reminders about what we no longer have. But my Little Monster and Little Miss are reminders of what we do have. And we are blessed abundantly.
Facebook told me that five years ago I posted the song “This is the Stuff” by Francesca Battestelli. It seems fitting in my life now too (but at a whole ‘nother level):
This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that’s getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I’m blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I’ve gotta trust
You know exactly what You’re doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use
“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2