~ C ~
~ C ~
~ C ~
To most today is just an ordinary Tuesday. To me today means so much more. Today, October 15, 2019 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I never imagined October 15th would become a day I cherish like Christmas, New Year’s Day and loved ones birthdays. But for the rest of my life it will be just that.
My husband and I lost our first child when I was 20 weeks pregnant in January. There simply are no words to describe that dark time in our lives. Prior to our own experience with pregnancy loss, I could have never imagined what all it entailed. Whatever preconceived ideas I did have about miscarriage were washed away like a piece of sand in a tsunami once that life altering event forever marked our lives.
Although our son was only in our lives a few short weeks, we loved him like we had known him for an eternity. After his birth as I was holding him for the few short moments I had with him, I just couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was gone but perfect in every way. I saw in him all of the hopes and dreams we had for him. I knew at that moment that I would never get to experience those moments with him on earth but I prayed that he would still get to achieve all those dreams in heaven.
I will never forget the deafening silence that occurred when my son was born, far different from the sweet lullaby that played to mark the birth of all the other babies in the unit. I will never forget having to decide what I wanted to do with our child’s body. I will never forget letting go of our son for the last time. I will never forget the loneliness I felt coming home without him. And that was just the first day without him. I will never forget anything about that day as it forever changed the rest of my life.
I wish I could say navigating life after pregnancy loss has been easy, but it hasn’t been. Pretty much every day of this past year has been awkward and painful. I actually got used to feeling a bit like the grim reaper, since I brought such sadness everywhere I went. But I tried not to focus on that too much. I just did my best to focus on what I could control each day and not worry about the rest.
But all of that brings me to this triumphant today. The fact that I am standing here is a testament to the simple fact that God is so good. It is by his grace, strength and love that I’ve made it through this experience. Each day is still so incredibly hard but I am still standing, which is more than I imagined. Today I still have sadness for our loss but I am also able to hold joy at the same time.
Today I honor Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day for the beautiful and complicated day it is. It honors all the lost sweet little ones and let’s all of their loved ones left behind know that they are not alone. It honors the long journeys we have traveled and encourages us for the journey ahead. And although the day will never replace what we have lost, it’s a kind and gentle reminder that we are not forgotten.
~ C ~
We have been blessed by so many people near and far throughout our loss journey. The prayers and support offered by our family, friends, loved ones and strangers has made all the difference. We are forever thankful.
~ C ~
~ C ~
Over the past few weeks it has been so incredibly hard to focus on my wellness pillars. Everything from reading books, to listening to professional development podcasts, to working out, to focusing on the present, to eating clean has been an uphill battle it seems. I am doing my best but if I am being honest, I am not exactly where I want to be.
It’s such a slippery slope. A few small not-so-great decisions turn into a day full of bad decisions. And that can spiral into a week filled with unhealthy decisions. It can happen in the blink of an eye, which is the scary part.
But one new tool I have in my life this year is discipline. Becoming disciplined has completely transformed so many areas of my life over the course of the year. I couldn’t see it along the way, but as I look at my overall healthier state now, I almost can’t believe the person I was before.
So as I find myself struggling a bit to stay focused on my wellness pillars, I will lean on my faith that small positive decisions each day will continue to open doors in my life. I will just keep doing my best and focusing on the small decisions each day. It’s worked so well for me before so I know the sky is the limit if I keep moving ahead.
~ C ~
Lately I’ve been filled with such emotion…
… Fear of the unknown…
…Excitement for what is up ahead…
…Anxiousness for what I can’t control…
… Joy for each and every moment…
… Sadness for what will never be…
… Hope for what may be…
I am honoring each emotion. I am giving myself grace for doing my best in each situation. I am focusing on what I can control.
This is the current season I am in. And I am exactly where I am supposed to be in my journey.
~ C ~
One of the things I have been learning over the course of the last year is how to hold all the parts of life at the same time. We have to hold all the emotions, all the life events, all of the challenges and all of the triumphs at the same time. We have to hold happiness and sadness in the same moment. We have to let our fears and bravery stand side by side. We have to recognize our fullness and emptiness, giving each the necessary space in our life. The fact is life is complicated but we can’t let that hold us hostage. We must learn how to hold all the parts of life, while simultaneously making a conscious effort to move forward. If we don’t embrace this fact, we will forever be in the same exact spot.
Learning to move forward and continue to strive for success in my life, while holding the pain of pregnancy loss is something I have unfortunately become very familiar with. It is one of those things I could have never imagined would be part of my life story. But here I am and here it is. When I experienced my miscarriage nine months ago, it affected me deeply and permanently. There was so much about the experience and the aftermath that I didn’t expect. Some of which I have shared and some of which I plan to share in the future. But the one thing I didn’t quite grasp at the time was how profoundly it would effect my future everydays. It affected me and still affects me everyday in every way.
As a generally optimistic person, at first it was beyond confusing to try to hold deep sadness yet move forward in my life at the same time. But I knew I had to figure this out if I wanted a life worth living. After nearly a year of intentional growth in every facet of my life and work on grief with trusted counselors, I have learned that the key to holding all of life at once is to understand how it all comes together to make us whole. My sadness for the loss of my son and the happiness I have as I strive to achieve other goals in my life come together to tell my story and make me a whole person.
Today on the first day of Pregnancy Loss Awareness month, I remember all of the women who are carrying the pain of the loss of a baby along their journey forward. Often a silent and lonely journey, I pray not that they have an easy one, but rather that they give themselves grace as they manage to hold it all. Because life can be beautiful after loss.
~ C ~
The first full week of Autumn has been very eye opening for me. I realized that although it is my favorite season, it tends to be the season when life is busiest for me. Despite my best efforts I have just been overwhelmed and out of sync this week. Life has been hectic is every way, shape and form.
But after taking stock of week one, I realized that I need to reset myself. And I also realized it is completely okay to stop the train that is life to make sure it is securely on track. In order to fully embrace the season I love so much, I will take the rest of the week to stop and remember the things that are most important to me. My plan to reset involves:
I actually look forward to resetting myself this week. I refuse to waste another moment of Autumn.
~ C ~
When we go through tougher seasons in life we come out of them left with so many pieces. Our old lives shattered, some pieces never to be found. But along the way of growing and overcoming, we find ourselves picking up a few new pieces along the way. Before long we realize we now have a collection of parts to represent who we are.
In this season I am finding joy learning how the pieces can come together to make something perfectly imperfect.
~ C ~