Saturday, December 11, 2010

the jekyll and hyde of the holidays

I LOVE this season. I have always loved it. The "feeler" in me adores the smell of Christmas from trees and candles, drinking hot chocolate, bundling up outside and snuggling inside. Brian usually gets onto me for trying to extend the Christmas season too long by putting our tree up the day after Thanksgiving and not taking it down until New Years. But this year I find myself oscillating between excitement and sadness--like I think so many people do.

We love celebrating the things that have happened in the past year--the people that are with us and the things we have accomplished. This year we are so excited that it seems Olivia's Christmas will be much jollier than the last. She is so active and involved now which will make our celebrating all the more fun. There are so many accomplishments we could celebrate too, especially for Olivia, but also for the rest of our family. We have so much to be grateful for and oh so much to hope for next year.

The holidays are also a time where many people feel deep sorrow because of the loss of loved ones from their lives. It seems so evil sometimes that in the midst of what seems like the whole world celebrating that some people are not able to think of anything but loneliness. I will have to say that this has not been so poignantly the case for me until this year. Still, stuck to our fridge next to the reminder to get my thyroid checked again, curled up in a little scroll is the sonogram picture of the baby we miscarried last September. I have dated it September 2. September 3rd we went for another sonogram and learned the baby had not made it. Sometimes I can't decide whether it is a blessing or a curse to have this physical reminder. Usually I forget it is there, but this morning it is sitting next to me on the couch while I'm typing, not getting lost next to the shopping list. I think I kept it on the fridge because I am at such a loss with what to do with it. Put it in a photo album? Keep it in a drawer somewhere? I don't have the balls to frame it or the guts to throw it away--so it just stays there on the fridge in limbo. I guess I have been too-- in limbo.

While I have convinced myself I'm ready to try getting pregnant again I'm not really sure if I am. What do you do with the leftover feelings? Put them in a drawer somewhere too? Are you ever "ready to move on?" My biggest fear is forgetting--is not giving that baby the remembrance and the honor that it deserves. I never want that part of my life to become hazy where I don't remember if it was my life or if it was something I saw on tv, or a story someone told me once. I feel like sometimes my past is already like that to me, and I am afraid. Afraid that this will become one of those memories too. Afraid that if we get pregnant again it will be like the miscarriage didn't even happen.

I don't know-- I'm just a rookie at this, but I don't feel like you can ever really get over it. Not that you can't move on, or be excited for friends when they get pregnant or have babies, or even be excited for yourself when you get pregnant and have babies. You let this little teeny tiny life change your heart and change your life and you carry it with you in a helpful way that allows you celebrate the good things in life differently than you would have. Of course easier said than done. I am not there I don't think, but making my way slowly but surely.

So, I think I will keep the picture and the feelings close to my heart and just let the painful part go. That will allow me to celebrate my daughter and my family and this past year best. And we can celebrate the baby that we had for 9 weeks. We were blessed to have them that long. Thank you baby and thank you Lord for letting us look at life differently--celebrate differently--love differently.


  1. I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be. Appropriate always - for you and me.
    Love from us both - Mom and Dad

  2. I still think of my first baby (miscarried at 10 weeks) on what would have been their birthday. Impossible to forget, but still a bitter sweet time. Prayers that your Christmas will be full of His love and peace.

  3. I'm in tears for you, reading your words. I can't imagine what you have all been through, but I know you have dealt with everything as well as anyone could and you have inspired everyone who knows your story. You are doing more for your family, your friends,and God than you can possibly imagine. We love you!
    Laura (& Pete)

  4. oh, your mom's comment made me cry. when i read that book to layne for the first time, i couldn't stop crying. the love between a mommy and her baby (living or passed) never goes away.

    girl, it does get better. you will never forget...that's something you don't need to be afraid about. when something changes you forever, there is a point when you move beyond the heartbreak and are grateful for the tragedy. it's weird to say that. it's sounds like you are moving forward though, and i'm proud of you.


  5. I have been dating a woman for a few years now that is older than your Mom (I won't go into actual ages) and she has two beautiful adult daughters but she had a miscariage and to this day, talking about it is painful. Don't worry, you will never forget that life. On the other hand, a person that loves you does not want you to stay sad forever. Mollie and I talked about this before she died. Yes, out of respect and love we should mourn her. But long term, she wanted us to go on and have a happy life. There will always be the sadness of loss, but your baby would not want you to be unhappy and stay in mourning forever. Moving on and having a happy life is what those who truly love us and precede us in passing on want for us. It is a sign of respect to carry out those wishes. When I think of Mollie, I am saddened at losing her and that will never go away but I know that she wants me to be happy as your baby would want you to be happy in your life. That happiness can be a sign of respect and love for that life without indicating that you have forgotten. Allow yourself to be happy - it is what your baby would want.
    Take Care,
    Mark Storey

  6. Thanks everyone. This has been a quietly healing couple of days for me. I appreciate all of the love and words of wisdom so much and have taken it all to heart. Glimpses into your lives have made our life fuller and the healing process easier. Thank you.