Thursday, July 30, 2009

It’s getting harder

I don’t even know how to start this post.

I was driving home from a play date, through one of the prettiest areas near our home, and a lump started to form in my throat.

It was a rainy day, drizzly and misty.  As I drove the winding road, Seth dozing in his carseat, I thought, “this is going to be so pretty in the fall.  We’ll have to take this drive a lot in the Mustang.”

summer drive

And just that quickly, I was so sad.  I had already pictured our family of four cruising the back roads of our neighboring farmland this fall, the top down on a sunny October day.  (And yes, I would have taken a two-month-old out in an open convertible.  That’s what blankets and hats and car seat covers are for.)

But….it will just be our family of three.  Apparently perfect to the casual observer, but in reality: fractured with a piece missing.

As the weeks count down to Duncan’s original due date, it is getting increasingly difficult to keep my chin up.  As tired as I’ve been, running around after my wild child, I’d still welcome the fatigue of the last month of pregnancy.  Four times I’ve conceived, and I have yet to experience that last month.  I was invited to a baby shower this weekend, and a huge part of me wants to go, and make some new friends, but I know better.  I know it’s a bad idea to surround myself with the very items I no longer have an immediate use for.

Lying in bed earlier this week, I felt a bonafide panic attack rising.  I couldn’t get the obstetrician’s voice out of my head – it was an unending loop: "I’m so sorry, there is no cardiac movement.  I’m so sorry…. I’m so sorry….. no movement…. I’m so sorry…. so sorry…. sorry…. sorry.”  In the stillness of the night, I could feel the anguished sob clawing its way out of my chest as  sure as it did that awful Saturday.  I had to get out of the bed and go into another room so that my shaking wouldn’t wake Jim.

I actually feel this grief anew in my body.  I am weaker, physically, than I have been in the last six weeks.  Lifting my arms overhead to condition my hair, bending to place Seth in his carseat, standing at the counter to prep veggies for dinner….it takes more out of me than I like to admit.  I am hoping that as September 5 comes and goes, it will take with it this lethargy and melancholy that has settled on me like a heavy cloak.

Can I use this opportunity to ask you for something, reader?  This has kind of been stuck in my craw for a couple days, and this seems like the right segue.

If you, over the course of the last months, told me “I’ll call you,” “I want to take Seth off your hands for an hour or two,” “I want to get together,” “I want to have you over for dinner” – if you told me any of that, and if you MEANT it, and if you haven’t yet done what you said…..I just want to let you know, I heard you.  And my heart is waiting.

(For the record, MB, this isn’t directed at you; I know we haven’t had our chicken conversation yet. ;) And Nestie readers, this isn’t directed at you, either.  Your love still abounds.)

I know that so often people just don’t know what to say.  I get that.  But let me tell you this: it’s better to say nothing at all that to offer a promise that you aren’t going to follow up on.  Because when those offers fall short and become hollow platitudes rather than loving support, it just compounds the hurt.  It confirms that the world indeed has moved on, when you haven’t yet gotten your feet back under you.  It reinforces the niggling fear that you may be taking “too long” to “get over” the loss.  It makes one question the sincerity of a friendship that may have appeared rock solid before the “AFTER” happened.

So, again, let me take the opportunity to let you know that if you still want to reach out – in any way, be it a call, a card, a babysitter, flowers, food – it will be welcome.  Too much time hasn’t passed.  It won’t be awkward.  You won’t be reopening a wound.   Believe me, it’s open.

I am a mommy whose son isn’t here.  One is; one isn’t.  And once in a while, I need others to recognize that and validate that and remind me that they haven’t forgotten, either.  Yes, it’s been 10 weeks; but there is still another 6 to go.  Maybe then, the healing with accelerate.  But for now…..I still need TLC in a big way.


Angela said...

Still praying for you. So sorry for your pain.

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Oh Monica...this post is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Your words somehow perfectly describe the valley you are walking in right now. I am so sorry, sweet friend. I have often wished for a fast forward button through the darkest valleys of grief...nay, ached and longed for that escape desperately at times, in years past. But, there is no fast forward button, as you well know. And the waiting as you walk through the valley is so hard.

Praying that you will feel His love surrounding you as He carries you...

Love and continued prayers...

Valerie said...

You write your words so eloquently that I can sit here reading them and feel your pain and sadness. I wish there was something more I could do for you across the miles. I am praying for you and sending you a huge hug.


Sara said...

*hugs* I love you, Mon. I wish I could come over right now & give you a big hug, steal you away and go get some DQ (without the kids, of course...I don't share well). I have no words of wisdom, just know that my phone line is always open. Even if you just need to call and cry, I'm here. *BIGHUGS*

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you are going through this. No one should have to. I wished I lived near you so that I could make you dinner or take that adorable boy off your hands for a day. I'm still praying and am so sorry for your grief.

NationalParkMama said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and your hurt. I can't imagine. I hope all those surrounding you pitch in to ease the pain a bit.

Koningskind said...

Hi Monica, you did a wonderful job in writing down the life of a mom who lost her unborn child. The struggle for aknowledgement, the empty promisses, the growing missing of your little one.......... I recognise it all.
I would encourage you to feel your pain, even if it is so hard and deep. Feeling your pain heals.
Try to keep it one step at a time. One day you will realise that the sharpest side of your pain is gone. It will be back now and then but the periods between the deeps will become longer and the movement out of your balance will be smaller when time is going on.

I wish I could help you out in some of these things but I am too far away.

I continue praying for you.
Be blessed.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog thru a friend a few weeks ago and just wanted to let you know that I pray for you often.


savannahgirl said...

Monica, I wish we lived closer... the boys would have a blast playing together again, I would love to take him for an afternoon for you! I know that 1.5 is a very busy age, it definitely wears you out and you are already worn out :( You are in constant prayers, I am so sorry it's getting harder. I hope and pray God surrounds you in his love in these weeks leading up to Duncan's date.

The Fabulous Ms. Beth said...

many many hugs. :(

Jennifer said...

You are in my thoughts! I would love to help you - truly! Maybe we could meet for coffee one day so you could meet me and then I'd love to be a help to you. Have you considering joining MOPS? It's awesome! You are a fabulous writer and I hope that pouring out your words makes you feel a tiny bit better. My heart aches for you!

MaryBeth said...

This post has hung with me all day. I'm sad for you. Thanks for the "off the hook" nod. We'll have that chat soon.

Suzanne@the best kind to have said...

Just wanted to let you know you are in my prayers. Sending many hugs your way.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you *asked* for help. It's so often that when people are in grief that they forget or don't know how to ask for help. I appreciate that you did ask. As I said previously, you and Jimba are in my heart with prayers and compassion during this difficult time. I wish that we were closer in miles, so that I could take that little sweetie-Seth from you for a bit. You and Jim could tool around Toledo for a date, visit with someone else, or just be. Please let me know when you're in town next. I will happily take Seth off your hands for a couple so that the two of you can have some quiet time. Just ask and you will receive.
*Hugs, my friend*

Trisha Larson said...


Please feel free to link to my blog anytime. I know that a few others have and it's helped their friends and family. That's why I felt compelled to write it. I wanted others to know HOW to help a grieving parent. I don't want anyone to be left alone drowning in the ocean. Use me as a liferaft to get help.

Please know that you are not alone. Know that you will not always feel like this. Know that you are loved by God and all of us mommies that have walked this walk.


Holly said...

Thanks for stopping by Carleigh's blog. What part of Ohio are you from? I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your precious Duncan. Your post is so true. So many people move on and start to forget but I know I will never forget and there will be a piece of my heart missing until I am with Carleigh again. I hate the words, "Let me know if you need anything." How many people actually call someone and tell them they need something?

Chasity said...

I am chutch831 from the bump. I love reading your words, you truly have a gift for writing. I'm so very sorry for your losses, other people really just do not get it. There's something about the due dates and the anticipation of their arrival that really tug at the heart, and it doesn't matter how much you want "to be better", it's not fully possible. You are in my prayers. If I lived in Nashville, I would come hang out with you. My friends kind of avoid me since my losses it seems.

Kendra said...

I don't exactly know what to say to this...I am so sorry your grief is anew this week. I had no doubt in my mind it would still be present, but "anew" is something I was hoping against.
I am praying for you. Praying He lets you rest in the shadow of His Wings for awhile, and recover.
Love you.

Maggie Pelton said...

I just found your blog from the Nester. I'm so sorry for the raw emotions and pain you're going through right now. I experienced something similar with the loss of my second baby (I had to deliver, too - that was the worst part for me). I know the feeling of everyone wanting you to "be better", but better isn't necessarily what God wants for us. He wants us to be changed and grow and be different. We have to walk through the pain and feel all of it before we can ever fully know his redemption and grace through the loss of our precious babies. Anyway, all this from a total stranger - but I wanted you to know you are not alone. The hurt is real - I feel it with you.

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

You know I think about and pray for you every day. And I had such a wonderful time hanging out yesterday at the zoo; I swear I didn't read this beforehand!! I'd want to be there anytime!

Denise said...

came over through the nester and got caught up in your story about your sweet son Duncan.
i have a son that was born into heaven, Caleb. it has been nearly 9 years now, but i miss him. a place sits empty at the dinner table, and i imagine him there. i imagine his smile in our family photos. i imagine his laughter, and the way "mommy" would sound coming from him. no, i do not make my home in missing him, BUT i am his mommy, i long for him, just as my Father God longs for me.

May God continue to cover you with his grace upon grace, strengthen you, show himself to you, lavish His good love on you, and give you glimpses of his sweet mysteries.

Janna said...

I just had a post reading marathon of your blog after a month long vacation in the states.

Sadly, a lady in my church just lost her son under similar circumstances of your own.

I was going to ask you for advice on how I could be the best encouragement but this post gives me the answer I had suspected you would give me-Don't Forget about her. I will offer to help her in specific ways and remember that the grieving process will not be a short or easy road.

I appreciate your honesty for so many reasons. You are making a difference in others lives.

Melissa said...

I found your blog through the searching of comfort and other women's stories. We lost our son unexpected (just went into labor) on Sept. 17th. Landon was 6 months gestation. His due date is fast approaching, and I am having a very hard time. I don't have that much support and I feel people are ready for me to move on. Your words in this blog are so right on and I love it. Thank you for being so honest. I started a blog as well to help with the pain and loss. I thought my friends would be more supportive but to my surprise they have not been. It makes the pain that much worse. I will continue to follow your blog. Thank you for sharing your story!