November creeps in … the hole of Owen’s death starts to bleed again. I find myself having the ugly cries in church – every Sunday. I feel broken and weak. Funny how it almost hurts more two years later than it did days after Owen was gone. Perhaps the numbness of it all is still wearing off.
November is the start of all my Owen memories. It starts with the triplet’s birth. That Monday night when my sister and I gave each other mud masks in my hospital room. The goofy belly dance I atempted during Dancing with the Stars. The fetal monitoring that showed the baby’s heart beats didn’t have the accelerations they should. Then the news that they were just fine and everything was status quo. The Tuesday morning I woke up to more fetal monitoring and the news that the heart beats were a little faster than they’d like. Waiting for my “regular” nurse to come in at 7am and then the news that I had gone from 5 cm dilated to 7 cm dilated over night. WE WERE HAVING BABIES! The phone calls to our friends and family. My in-laws jumping into the car to drive down from Green Bay. My brother leaving school and my sister driving back from Watertown. All the happy, excited memories. The risk of so many things going wrong and everything being just fine. The peace I felt that evening when all three of my newborn babies had entered the world safely.
The months to come are filled with memories of lack of sleep, struggle, questioning if I’ll ever survive this. Soon the memories of hysterical “field trips” and first smiles. Falling in love with making my own baby food.
Then the night my entire life changed … all of our lives changed forever. The night that I gave my own child CPR. The taste of blood and the shaking from adrenaline. The desperate prayers that my child would be spared, but the deep knowing that he was already gone.
In the moments, hours and days of Owen being on life support I had all the time and space to sit and digest what was happening around me. Now in the the midst of “normal” life, I feel like I’m drowning. So many leaking holes in my water vase. So many that I can’t plug them all. My water is running out so much faster than it’s being put in. It’s depleting to matter how hard I struggle to keep it all in. So rather than mend and patch the brokenness, it’s all gushing out – I’m broken and drowning.
Tell me I’m normal. Tell me I’m not the only one falling apart at the seams. Stuggling to keep it together. This has got to be normal. Even in the midst of my own mess, I know there are others far worse off than I am. I know there are mothers who are just starting their journey of grief. There are mothers who will never hold their babies. There are single moms who are stuggling to pay the bills. There are mothers who can’t feed their children. I’m making it. I’m still above water, barely.
My mom told me to embrace the pain. Absorb it and process it. Don’t try to stuff it back in because it’s messy and you might not give the impression that you were hoping to make. But rather, be real. Be what you feel and act what you believe. I believe it’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to cry. So why do I try to stuff it all inside when that’s exactly how I feel? If you process the yucky stuff it turns into strength. It becomes “where you came from” rather than “what you are.”
In November, I miss Owen more than other times of the year. Please don’t take that as I don’t miss him other times of the year. It’s just a closer kind of pain. All the memories come slapping me in the face.
Sometimes when I write these horribly broken and sad blogs I fear that I sound weak or broken. I fear that people will take pity on me. I don’t write these words for sympathy or pity. I write them because they are real and honest. They are me. I write them because I find healing in sharing the hard truth. I pray that others will find comfort that they are not alone in their own sadness.
I continue to pray that God will use this horrific loss to make something good. I pray that he will use me and give me strength to be a blessing in the world. I pray that my ears and heart will be open to receive his message. I pray that those I love will feel just how much I care about them. I pray that my life might have a slight impact on just one person. Don’t let my loss go to waste – let good continue to come from it.