Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Mother's Intuition

Well, I know that a number of people were praying for me today since it was my first day back to work. I can honestly say that my 7 hours of work today were the best 7 hours that I have experienced since 7:55am on St. Patrick's Day. When I walked into the classrooms of my kiddos, they came running up to me and showering me with big hugs and warm smiles. It felt so good to feel wanted... needed. My self-esteem has taken a major blow through this process of grieving and these children were like angels sent straight from heaven to make me feel valued and appreciated. The principals and teachers that were made aware of my situation ahead of time were very supportive and encouraging. I really couldn't have asked for a better first day back to work.

.........And then 3:00 rolled around. I walked out to my car, and the tears were streaming down my cheeks before I even left the parking lot. All at once, the emotions that I had so carefully suppressed and had been distracted from during my work day came flooding back and totally took over. I wanted to bawl. I wanted to scream. I wanted to punch someone. This evening has been rough, as most evenings usually tend to be. Tomorrow, however, I'm having dinner with an old friend and former colleague and am looking forward to having a nice dinner, opening a bottle of her homemade wine, and talking through some of these raging questions and emotions. My hubby is out of town until Saturday evening, and while the timing of the Keystone National Tractor Pull isn't the greatest (AT ALL), I understand and acknowledge his need to stay busy and involved in things that he loves to help him through this difficult time, as well.

After work, I needed to go to David's Bridal and order my bridesmaid dress for the wedding of one of my closest friends, Melody. This time last week, I thought I was going to be ordering a short pink dress 4-sizes too big to accomodate my 7-months-pregnant belly in June. We were actually encouraged to order our dresses in the beginning of March to ensure that they all come in on time for the wedding. But I kept putting off the ordering of my dress... not because I didn't have the money, not because I didn't want to try on the 6-month fake belly that David's Bridal has that you strap on to see how the dress will fit/look when you're pregnant (I was actually looking forward to that part, to be honest with you)... but because I kept telling Melody that I wanted to see/her my baby's heartbeat before I ordered the dress... "You know... just in case..." and I never finished the sentence, but I thought it: Just in case my baby doesn't make it. I think I sensed that something was wrong for a long time, and maybe it was God's way of trying to prepare my heart for what was to come. When I started spotting in my 7th week (the same week that I later came to find out that my baby died), I was extremely anxious and I worried constantly. Everyone kept telling me that it was okay... spotting is actually a normal sign of pregnancy... as long as you're not bleeding heavier than a period with serious cramping, you're fine... blah, blah, blah.

But I still worried. And just last weekend, I went to Babies 'R' Us with my cousin Beth who is 30 weeks pregnant... and as we were shopping, I would pick things up and consider buying them and then put them right back onto the shelf. There was a crib set that I found that matched my nursery theme idea and colors perfectly...  originally $300 marked down to $67. I fell in love with it and dreamily held onto it for a minute, and then said, "Well maybe I shouldn't get it... you know, just in case..." And Beth told me that I needed to stop thinking that way... that everything was fine... that I needed to just have faith. So I bought it, and now it's in the infamous box in the back room.

Just have faith. What an interesting concept, eh? Such a strong Christian woman so deeply rooted in her ability to trust in God needs reminders to "have faith" when it comes to her baby?!  ...I guess this one does. Or did, rather.

I simply don't have any way of explaining it... but I just feel like my "mother's intuition" was flashing bright red warning lights the whole time. If only I had been more assertive with my feelings at my first appointment where so little was done, perhaps I would've found out that day that my baby had died 3 weeks earlier instead of going yet another 3 weeks thinking I was pregnant. SO FRUSTRATING. It just hurts so bad... everyone keeps saying "It will get easier." And I'm praying and waiting for that day because the pain is still unbearable in my weakest moments. Jesus, help me. Thank-you.

In My Shoes

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in other's eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try to walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so that they don't hurt quite so much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

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