Postpartum checkup and Rafiki

Yesterday I had my 6 week postpartum check up. It has been 7 weeks since she came and went. I had convinced myself that things would be easier and that I’d be “okay”.

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Well I’m not.

I’m actually just starting to feel again.

I allowed myself the sadness and pain then slowly I numbed myself to where I can actually talk about her with a straight face and not feel.

This week I realized that I sound like a robot. I look like a heartless woman when I talk about her because instead of concentrating on how I feel, I try to make things less awkward to whomever I talking to.

Thursday I allowed myself to feel as I spoke with someone and although I felt a deep sorrow and longing for my baby, I felt their sincerity and deepest sympathy for my loss.

Yesterday as I was at Central Utah Clinic’s Women’s Center (which I absolutely love), I allowed myself the emotions I usually try to hide. I felt sadness because I was alone and had no baby to show off. I felt anger, because I had gone through the whole 40 weeks and she was gone and there was nothing I could have done about it. I felt anxious, because I saw the little heart beat finder thingy and my heart stopped for a minute. This was where I found out she was gone. One week before finding a heart beat was so easy and the next week it’s gone….

I was so grateful that they gave me an appointment with the midwife that had been through the same thing. She had two boys, one a still born and the other died a week later. Being able to talk to her and listen to how she dealt with her struggles was so comforting. I know that all the midwives cared for and felt for me, but she had been there. She knew where I was and what I felt and she let me know it was ok. She was extremely sincere and empathetic towards me and I don’t think it could have gone any better.

Yes I was sad.

Yes it was scary.

Yes I missed my baby.

Yes I dreaded going and didn’t want to be there.

But it’s ok to do hard things.

It’s ok to be somewhere that reminds you of something difficult.

It’s ok to see things or people that remind you of difficult things.

A month before baby was born I was stressing out because of things that reminded me of past issues. I thought I was ok, I thought I was fine, and then something’s came up and reminded me and I was in “that place” where I try so hard not to go. I felt hurt, insecure, sad, depressed, stressed out and just not in a good place. After I had baby Maria those issues seemed irrelevant, small and extremely insignificant. I felt ok and was full of love and comfort. Weeks later I found myself struggling with the same issues.

I’m not perfect, neither do I have a perfect understanding. I don’t know how baby died or why she died or why anything bad happens to anyone. But as a wise blue butt baboon said:

Ahh, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I look at it, you can either run from it or learn from it.
So what are you going to do now??

I could have just not gone to my appointment (which I was so tempted to do). I could just hide from the world in my sorrow or become so busy I don’t feel anything. Which I kind of did. Or I could bury my feelings deep inside and hope they never come out. In which they always do in a very unpleasant way.

I chose to go.

I chose to feel.

I choose to not hide from the world but embrace it and welcome it.

I choose to express my emotions through crying, writing, dancing, singing, playing with my kids, arguing with my husband, reaching out to old friends, teaching my primary kids, going to the temple, being open and allow all that God has in store for me into my life. Blessings, trials, joy, sorrow, the good, the bad, all that He deems good for my potential, my eternal happiness, my life, my learning experience, my perfect self, whatever will teach me to become the best me possible, be it blessing or trial (or both since they can be one in the same depending on your perspective), I choose to LEARN FROM IT.

At 7 weeks I can tell you I’m ok but not ok. It may seem like I haven’t progressed but I guess it depends on your perspective. I’m still sad, I still cry, I’ll never get over it.. But I accept it, I value this trial and I look forward to the day I can see her again.

7 weeks has been quick but has also felt like an eternity. 7 weeks down, eternity to go, I think I’ve got the right perspective.

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So what are you going to do? Run from it? Or learn from it? The choice is yours alone.

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6 weeks

This Saturday baby Maria would have been 6 weeks. I usually do ok but I still have my moments of sadness and grief. I have so much time on my hands now I’m not exactly sure what to do with it. We had prepared ourselves some free time to take care of a new born and without one we are a little unsure of what to do.

I have had lots of nieces and nephews and neighborhood babies to hold and love and that always seems to make me feel better. I have always loved holding babies even before I had my own. They are just so sweet and precious and perfect and cuddly and everything else that’s wonderful.

Having family members and friends who weren’t/aren’t able to have children, I have always had an appreciation for my fertility. Also having family members and friends who are on bed rest because of the toll that pregnancy takes on their bodies, I have appreciated my “easy” pregnancies as well. Baby Maria has given me a new appreciation for my own personal trials and struggles.

We stayed at a host families home in Virginia who’s daughter was diagnosed with leukemia when she was like 2 or 3. They had a book made for her about her journey. As I saw the picture of their sweet little girl with tubes and things in her body and loosing hair or gaining weight because of steroids and being put through scary things I could never imagine, I became so grateful that my sweet little girl didn’t not have to suffer. We watched The Ultimate Gift and my heart ached for the sweet little girl with cancer. Baby Maria didn’t have to suffer the pains of this world. She received her perfect little body and was needed elsewhere. I am so grateful to have had the chance to carry, love and hold her, even just for the short time we had.

I feel that my trials are hard. Life hasn’t been kind to me but The Lord definitely has. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs and I am grateful for my “downs” because they have reminded me to look up. I don’t appreciate them in the moment and have my days of “why me”, but in the end or through the sweet tender mercies of The Lord, I am reminded that I am never alone.

My amazing friends gave me this perfect gift:

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I bawled my eyes out after opening it. Josh has a key chain with their names and symbol as well. A perfect little reminder of what forever will be like for the both of us.

I can’t begin to express how blessed I feel even in trials. I have always felt alone and carry burdens that I can’t share or express freely like I do with Maria. Yet this trial alone has helped me feel my Fathers love and my Saviors love and even the love of those on the other side. I am so grateful for my sweet Maria and all those who have helped me remember, celebrate and love her. For those who share with me their burdens and remind me that I am not the only one to those who let me hold their babies and let me have a small piece of their heaven, thank you. I’ve learned so much in the past 6 weeks and have grown so much closer to my little family.

My sweet Joshua… Poor guy had to deal with my emotional battle the last few days of tour and a few days after. Yet, he supported me, loves me, doesn’t think I’m crazy, and still tries to make me the happiest me possible. I couldn’t imagine going through this with anyone else.

6 weeks has seemed like forever. Yet I can’t believe how quickly time has gone by… When I see a baby around the same age my heart breaks a little thinking of how big my Maria would have been if she were still alive. But I know she is still here, watching over us. 6 weeks may have gone by and who knows how long we’ll have to go, but at least I know forever is where I’m headed.