It's late and my mind is racing, so please forgive me if the following isn't the most coherent. Nevertheless, this is where I am at tonight . . .
It is hard to praise God right now. It's hard to do anything right now. Breathing even seems like too much when there are so many things just knocking the wind right out of me. Little reminders pack quite a punch these days, sending me back down to the ground just as I try to get my feet back under me to take a few clumsy steps. Some days it doesn't feel like it is worth the fight.
I'm struggling to find good right now. At the risk of sounding like a horrible, selfish person, I have wondered and worried that a time will come when "my boys need me" is no longer enough. It takes a lot to keep going. I know that if I did not have Adam, Noah and Mason counting on me I would be in a much darker place. Dealing with such a loss takes a toll on a family and a marriage. Relationships are affected. So many days I wish I could just stay in bed, curl up in a ball and just be. I know I am coming up short as a mother and a wife right now, which is so frustrating because they are not a roles I take lightly. Doing all I can is mediocre at best. In survival mode I can only see as far as the next thing needed--breakfast, lunch, naps, dinner, baths, bedtime. I'm running on autopilot and coffee. Going through the motions. Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. That is hard. Tough ages compounded with the exhaustion of each day of the last seven weeks makes for quite a few battles with my boys. They deserve better than what I am capable of right now. Contrary to the observations of strength and grace, I am weak and floundering.
My body and my head are messed up. Neither one are functioning well and that makes dealing with the everyday things that much more difficult. My bones feel heavy--like dead weight slumping me over. I am dragging. Looking back, I realized I have either been pregnant or nursing for all but a few months of the past five years as a mother and wife. I was either growing a little life from within or working to nourish my precious boys. The me I know best is the screwed up version from before my life began as Mrs. Miller and Mommy. And the things I battled for so many years did not just disappear upon the changing of roles and titles. Being healthy for my babies took priority, though the battle raged on in my head. But during the times in between my "life sustaining" responsibilities and privileges, I have struggled and fallen hard into the strongholds I know best. I feel more careless with myself lately.
I have spent the past seven weeks standing still as world keeps on spinning, stuck here in this place unable to move back or move forward. Life makes me dizzy the way it whorls around and around. I am struggling to figure out how to step back into it all. Though we only knew our little girl for those 31 weeks, each day was sacred to me and the loss is still so profound for us. I cannot imagine things being worse than they are now, though I'm not sure much else would surprise me at this point. Some have related our situation to a miscarriage, which is so hurtful. Having experienced a miscarriage with our second pregnancy, I can say that as hard as it was to lose a child so early, what we went through with Maggie feels so completely different. It's hard to be the only one to have ever known her alive for the many months she grew and moved inside of me. Adam and our families were the only ones that held Maggie for the short time she was here with us. I think people have trouble grasping the concept when they never saw us with her--I just went from being very pregnant to not being pregnant. And after 7 weeks, it is old news to many. For us, it is still so fresh and raw.
I'm nervous to be out running errands, taking care of things that have to be done. I get anxious about running into people. I don't know if I can endure the type of comments Adam has had to receive from some people over the last month. "Sucks about the baby" or "It's easier to lose them early on--when you don't really get to know them." So hard. Hearing things people have actually said makes me that much more anxious. I realize I am not the easiest person to approach right now. I wouldn't know what to say to someone either--there really are no words. Some end up talking out of the need to say something and it doesn't always come out right. Others have said nothing at all about it, and I end up feeling hurt that they didn't even acknowledge what has happened.
It doesn't help that I take everything personally and am probably overly sensitive to everyday interactions. If the lady at the checkout looks at me the wrong way I want to burst into to tears. Small talk is difficult. Strangers don't know any better and frankly, some wouldn't think much about it even if they did know. I can't exactly walk around with a sign around my neck that says,
"GRIEVING MOTHER: HANDLE WITH CARE."
I feel very alone right now, but it is certainly not because of a lack of support from countless friends and family members. As hard as it is, I know it's probably where I need to be. Although I have not been great at keeping up with everyone, your thoughts, prayers and words are appreciated, and are desperately needed still. At the end of the day, though, I know that this is not something anyone else can take on for me. There is no substituting, skipping ahead or going back--I am just in it. I will never be the same woman I was before Maggie. Things like this change a person and try as I may, my words don't begin to express the impact it has had on us so far. With things as broken as they are, I worry about the shape I will take as I am pieced back together. I do not want to become hardened, unable to recognize myself through the scars.
More than a few of our friends are expecting new little ones right now, and the number seems to keep on growing. I prayed before we lost our Maggie and I continue to pray for the protection of our friends and their precious babies. I would never want any less for those families, I just so wanted our little girl here with us, too. I'm embarrassed to say that sometimes I feel like screaming at God, "What about my turn!?!" As a mom, there have been times when Noah and Mason are so beside themselves once they have their mind set on something they want but cannot have, that I literally have to get down on my knees, pull them in close, take their face in my hands and look into their tear-filled eyes with my own as I speak--only then am I able to break through the hysteria and get their attention.
No matter how much I stomp my feet, scream or beg, God has made His decision--and that is not going to change. He certainly has my attention now more than ever. And although I don't think it was His sole purpose behind taking Maggie back to Him, I do believe he had a soul purpose in mind.
As parents, we hurt when our kids hurt. But we say to our children, "I don't always need to give you a reason--you need to obey simply because you trust and respect us as your parents. We know you can't understand it at this moment, but we love you and would never do anything to harm you."
I am angry, confused, devastated, lost and exhausted. I am struggling to feel Him. When I can feel Him, I can feel Maggie because she is with Him. I want to curl up on His lap right next to my daughter and just be ok. Even though it is hard to praise Him right now, I know that He is my only hope of peace. Not today or tomorrow. Not next week, next month or even next year. Someday. In the mean time, I am desperately trying to keep from unraveling.