Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dawn, v 36.x

I'm back from my emotional hiatus and my heart and head are back on speaking terms.  I've missed a lot, and I'm fortunate to have friends and family who continue to reach out for me and not let me go completely under when I'm so deep in my own thoughts and feeling that I don't have the energy to reciprocate.

For months, I haven't done any work to help myself through my latest crisis of losing our fifth baby.  I simply sat back, felt sorry for myself and let life happen around me.  Nearby.  It was after, on March 16, I cried all day and let the pain and loss rush through me that I wrote this letter that served as a gateway to the other side of this thing:

Dearest Sister in Law –

I wanted to write to you and say some things that I just can’t really say face to face right now.  Since Ken’s and my loss last Spring, we decided to not try to conceive another child.  I have continued to grieve the loss of the baby we conceived as well as the loss of another child in the future.  I do believe that parenting [only] our three [living] children is [logically] "best" for our family. We are overextended and stressed out as it is, and I feel our children would benefit from as much as we can offer them at this point.  Still, I continue to feel a great loss for the baby we lost and feel a void in our family that I can't seem to move beyond. 

I pretty much had an emotional meltdown all of last summer, then my due date (11/28) and the holidays were very, very difficult for me. It was in the midst of feeling this immense loss that you announced your pregnancy and, while I was and continue to be thrilled for you and for our entire family, it was difficult for me to hear.   

Our loss in 2007 was excruciating, but I view Juleana as "special". I feel that she was sent to us through our lost baby. She's our Rainbow Baby. I don't have that with my second loss. No happy ending - Only what would have been, and I don't know how to move through it.  I am moving forward - focusing on my kids, graduate school, and my marriage.  I'm excited about my life.  I can honestly say I don’t want to begin a new pregnancy, but I wish I would have been able to complete the last, and your pregnancy reminds me of what I lost and what I’ll never have the chance to finish.
*Exhale* - I wanted to tell you how I feel because I love you and don’t want you to mistake my distance for indifference.  This is my issue, and I’m dealing the best I can.  Please know I adore you guys and your little one on the way, and I’m sorry I haven’t been more excited or supportive. 

There.  I did it.  I owned my feelings.  I've embraced them, taken away their power, and let them be a part of me.  A part I can live with and no longer fear.

Our Baby Mic is a part of who I am, she's a part of our family and our history, and we'll see her whole someday.  Until then, I will be grateful that I held her for seven weeks.

What you've read is a transition - me turning toward what my future holds instead of clinging to an impossible past.

What is coming up is a story of a woman who is not defined by marriage, though you'll read about that; not defined by motherhood, though you'll read about that; not defined by her education, though you'll read about that; not defined by her career, though you'll read about that.  Not defined at all.  A woman who has yet to show the world what she has up her sleeve.  Stay tuned.