Is that a really blunt title? :)
I've been asked a lot lately how I'm doing. I'm never quite sure if that question means, "Hey, what's up?" or "I've been thinking/praying for you and am wondering if you need to talk?" :) Since I don't know and I don't want to assume the wrong thing, I usually just say, "I'm fine. Thanks."
When I was giving blood for a bunch of tests (which we're still getting billed for 9 weeks later; thanks for the reminder, St. David's) the day I gave birth, the tech asked me what was going on today. Um, awkward. I kind of chuckled and said, "Well, I'm here to be induced to give birth to my still born child." Silence. "Actually, I was asking about ESPN. I noticed you were watching it." Very awkward chuckle. "Yeah, that's just on to distract me. I really have no idea what's going on." ;) See, I get easily confused.
So if you're asking how am doing regarding Maggie, here's the straight answer: I'm still grieving. I went about 4 or 5 weeks without crying and I thought I was doing tons better. My blood pressure is almost back to normal... Oh, you didn't know anything about that? Well, that's because when you asked "How I was doing?" I wasn't sure if you wanted to know the details :) Now you know.
This past week was very raw for me. I couldn't put a bandaid on the pain I feel as I know that I would be in the final trimester. I know that final trimesters are no fun. I've been there. My final trimester with Ellie lasted longer than I'd hoped. But in the end, I had a baby. At the end of this final trimester it will be the middle of January and I will not have a baby in my arms. To be honest, it scares me half to death. I have no idea how I'm going to get through the month of January.
You may be wondering where the bright and happy "Becca" went. She isn't gone for good, I'm sure of that. But she is grieving. Tomorrow marks 10 weeks from the date when I went in for my ultrasound. I was crying the Sunday before the ultrasound... for no apparent reason. Looking back, it's almost like my body was preparing me for what I didn't know. When all of that was happening, I cried, but I also felt very peaceful. It was easy to place God in complete control because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I couldn't handle any of those difficult moments on my own.
I cry now. And I also question who is in control. It's harder to place God in control of every little detail when dealing with the mundane. When I'm washing dishes and I look over and see Ellie cuddling and loving on her baby dolls, I want to bawl. And when people post or show pictures of babies via ultrasound, I really lose it. I still have sweet Margaret's ultrasound pictures on my fridge. Why? Because she looks perfect. Because she is my daughter. Because I don't want to forget her. For whatever reason, you can't see the deformities in those little ultrasound pictures. I vividly remember her at 7 weeks waving to me as if to say, "I'm OK, mama! And I love you. And I can't wait to meet you!" Little did I know that I would never get to hold her until she was already with Jesus.
I miss my baby. Whenever I'm out and see pregnant mamas I automatically start guessing how far along they are and then am reminded of how far along I would be. It hurts. It's like drinking bitter water. When I see newborn babies (especially girls) I smile but I feel like someone stuck a knife in my heart.
Am I depressed? You bet. Do I have hope? I do. But I have to work a little harder these days to feel that hope. I haven't been to Margaret's grave since the plaque was placed. I will go there on Tuesday. And I know I'll bawl. Psalm 113 is inscribed on her marker. I wanted that reference there in case another grieving parent is visiting and wonders if there is hope. Psalm 113 points to the hope we have in God. It's a chapter that I've started putting to song and singing to Ellie when I feel like my world is falling apart. My world is (seemingly) falling apart. I never dreamed I'd have a perfectly healthy little girl and then have another daughter whose little body was so messed up that she couldn't even survive.
In the midst of this suffering and heartache I have to point back to who God is. He is a God of passionate love and purpose. I don't understand His purpose right this very minute. But I already know there is a plan greater than anything I can comprehend. I have been through difficult times before only to look back on them and see God's signature clearly written across those past chapters of my life. He hasn't signed off on this chapter yet. I think He's still working on my heart. And I believe that in the nights when I can't stop crying He is lovingly singing songs over me.
Someone posted the shortest verse in the Bible on their FB status the other day: Jesus wept. John 11:35. Jesus did weep. He knows the pain I feel.
So when you ask me how I'm doing and I say, "I'm fine" and you are wanting to know something more than that, you'll have to ask. And if you really want to know, be prepared for the blubbering idiot to come out and bawl on your shoulder. Because this is not an easy time in my life. I have no "memories" of Maggie. I'm not sure it would be easier if I did. But I picture her everywhere I go. I picture Ellie with her and I grieve that my sweet girls will never get to hold hands and play together here.
Margaret Jacquelyn, I know that you are with Jesus and that you are painless and free. I love you so much that I'm choosing this time in my life to focus on the pain associated with losing you. When people ask how I'm doing, if you hear me say, "I'm fine" know that the only reason I am able to cope is because I know that one day I will see you again. And I long for that day, sweet baby! I miss you more than words could ever describe!
P.S. - I promise the next post to be more uplifting.... after writing all this out and dabbing my eyes with 10 Kleenex I am feeling much better. God really is SOOO good to me even when I feel like a blubbering idiot 7 days of the week ;)