I remember hearing someone say once, "She just needs to get over it," in regards to a miscarriage. I hadn't had a miscarriage at the point in my life, but even then I thought it was a pretty harsh thing to say.
It's been six months. I should be around 37 weeks. I should be putting the finishing touches on the nursery. I should have a hospital outfit picked out. We should have a name set in stone. I should've hung an ornament on the tree specifically for our soon-to-be family member. There should be seven hooks for stockings drilled into the mantle.
While Titus and I were decorating the tree, I mentioned that I have four little angel ornaments that I bought last year for my four angels. "I should get another one." He didn't understand what I meant. I'm really glad he asked a thousand questions so I could clarify.
Like the lady at Lowe's recently that wanted to go on and on comparing our families because she has four girls. "Aren't families with just one sex awesome? Can you even imagine having another one?!" I just smiled and nodded along. I've figured out pretty quickly that people don't want to hear about it. It really puts a damper on conversations with strangers.
Sean and I(mostly Sean) have decided four is good. Four is enough. After the miscarriage, I wanted another baby for the sake of having one. For the sake of healing. Babies are awesome. Focusing on getting me another one kept me happy for a few months. The funny thing is that we've never had to try to get pregnant. Each one of our boys was decided upon and in existence within a month. Easy Peasy. After losing the baby, the military snatched away two months of my open windows. When I picked Sean up from his TDY, we got many days to talk about it.
He voiced all of the concerns I already had but wasn't willing to acknowledge. The fact that we have a 13 year old. The fact that we finally get to go out, just the two of us. We're having fun with our kids now and having an infant hits the reset button on what we can and can't do as a family. The fact that raising the four we already have leaves me on a razor thin ledge of sanity most days. The expense, the effort, the time, the space...all the rational stuff. This kid rearing business ain't getting easier as they get older. It's getting much, much harder in all the ways that really matter. But still...
Coming to grips with losing our baby was rough. When she died it took away so much of our future. Our future as a family, my future as a mother. Every addition to our family has changed each of us so much. I wonder how the boys would've embraced a little sister. How would it have lessened the boy-ness of our house? Would they all be marshmallow fluff towards a little girl? They've all entered this stage of BOY that completely excludes me. Last weekend they all went out and did man stuff in the yard while I stayed inside. I could've butted my way into their fun, but it was something special between father and sons. Chopping down trees and having a bonfire and camping in our woods. I had a giant pity party thinking about how nice it would be to have a girl I could do girly stuff with.
I'm good most of the time. I think of her every single day. I can do so without crying now though the sadness is easily accessible. Sometimes the emotion sneaks up on me at the weirdest times. I can usually anticipate it. When I'm out with all four boys, I know someone will comment as if people have never seen four children before. It's guaranteed I'll get at least one, "Four boys? Gonna try again for a girl?"
I'm ashamed of my sadness sometimes. It's embarrassing to start crying out of nowhere. What would appear unprompted. But I have a reason. I had already fallen so in love with that baby and then they were gone. Sometimes it feels like mourning for someone that wasn't here is uncalled for, unwarranted. I don't know what level of sadness is acceptable, but the tears are cathartic and cleansing.
I can conjure up every emotion of that pregnancy. The shame I felt over freaking out that there was another baby coming to screw everything up. The joy of getting over that feeling and embracing a new baby. Telling the boys. Buying the first outfit. The disbelief of the moment the doctor said, "It doesn't look good." The sheer panic of thinking I was going to die as my brother rushed me to the emergency room.
2 Corinthians 1:3
I thought about not posting this one. Some thoughts probably ought to stay inside my own head, but maybe this will comfort someone. If nothing else, it comforts me to speak about my baby. She was real and she was wanted and she is loved.