Getting back to a new normal
Well my dear friends it’s been a while… I decided I needed time to process, time to just really realize all that we have gone through and just be present. So I backed away… from a lot of things. It’s crazy the things that losing our boy has taught me, but one of those is that it is okay to not be able to do it all, to say no. I think often times our society pressures us into doing things… expectations are placed on our friends and family subconsciously based on what they were previously able to handle mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. For a long time, I found myself “grinding” if you will… setting goals and going after them. Now I know what my goals were, but if I am honest I felt like I was just doing a lot of things and maybe not doing them all well. But for the fear of letting down the expectations of those around me I just kept it up… let me tell you that is no way to live my friends. Since losing our son, I have had to be okay with saying no or not right now… backing away knowing that people may not understand it or even support it and be okay with that. At the end of the day I, and you, need to do what is best for you, your marriage, your sanity, and your overall well-being. I don’t care if it is a status or a paycheck or whatever, it’s just not worth it sometimes. Anyway… off that soapbox! Back to an update since… February I guess?!
One of the hardest things after burying our boy was the decision to allow my milk dry up… in the beginning I told everyone I would love to pump and donate it, I desperately wanted something good to come out of our loss. And honestly, I felt bad that my milk was coming in and that it wouldn’t get used, especially knowing that so many mommas struggle with milk production. It was also hard… mentally and emotionally to know that the milk my body was producing for our boy, that time of connecting with my son, wouldn’t be possible. So through talking it over with my midwives and Jerry we made the decision to let my milk dry up. Let me tell you… that was one of the most devastating decisions and process to go through. In order to ensure that I had no complications and to further along the process my sweet husband applied peppermint oil in coconut oil and cabbage leaves multiple times a day… I can remember the cabbage being cold, my breasts being sensitive and me in tears every single time he had to do it. It was like every few hours I had to be reminded that that dream of feeding my baby just wasn’t possible, that he was really gone. It has me in tears just thinking about it. If you are a momma who has lost a baby and is going through this, please reach out… I would love to pray for you during this time!
As March rolled around I was starting to work some. I know I have shared a little bit about this process on social media, but it is still a process! I remember the first shift back at that hospital like it was yesterday… My sweet husband drove me to work knowing that it would be just so hard on my way and then afterwards. I cried the entire way there and when I walked into the hospital and I was a DISASTER… I wasn’t sure who knew about our loss, and honestly I didn’t really want to talk about it, but I knew my face showed the pain that I felt every minute of those 12 hours. Something happened though during my time there that night… I felt like I was in a special place… I sacred place so very close to my boy. I would be lying to say though that each day I drive up and sit in my car I don’t go right back to that day of getting to the hospital and then the day leaving there without our boy. It is hard, but I know he would want me to be strong, and help take the burden off my husband some. Thankfully, he didn’t go back to work right after so he was with me for about 4 months… and all I can say is the lord provided during that time…. And even still as we recover from not have a paycheck for 4 months.
In May we had to move kind of abruptly... our lease wasn't up until the end of July but the owner of our house was able to sell so we had to scramble to find somewhere to go. As usual, the Lord provided very quickly and we were able to meet a very nice owner of a house near our previous one and move in at the end of May. The weeks leading up to the move were difficult in every way possible. Up until this point we had kept the door to the nursery closed. Prior to losing our boy it was primarily so that the dog wouldn't go in there and find something he thought was his toy, but after I couldn't bring myself to go in there... to look at the things we had been given or purchased for our sweet boy. It was heart wrenching to even think about it. The weeks leading up to that week of Christmas i had spent so much time preparing... washing and hanging the little outfits and sanitizing the bottles, how do you just come to terms with the fact that all that preparation led up to such hard moments?! As the days got closer to moving day I had packed most of the house, but knew that we would have to open that door and stand face to face with the fact that our boy never got to have his diaper changed on that changing table, or take a sweet nap in that crib... it was debilitating. But one morning it had to happen. The buyers of the house were coming for an inspection, and after almost 5 months of a closed door some stranger would be standing in my sons room. We made the decision to go in there together before they got there that morning... and it was just as hard as I expected. I stood there and cried as my sweet sweet husband just held me... i honestly felt like I couldn't catch my breath. But as with everything, we got through it, together.... and about 30 minutes later I had to answer the question "Is there a baby asleep in here?" to a man that had no idea that opening that door and walking in that room was far harder to go through than answering that question.
Since then, we are back to more of a routine. I would be lying again to say that things are easy. I miss my son every. Single. Day. And the 2 weeks that Jerry is at work each month we both work really hard to get through each day… but for the rest of my life here on earth I will feel like something is missing. I have watched some sweet mommas go through their own losses over the last year or so, and have been able to connect with so many mommas who have lost babies just as we have. I hate every time another mom can say I get it… I wish no one in this world got it. Regardless if you knew your baby for only the 9 months you carried it, for a few hours or months or years, or for 16 years, losing a child is the worst pain that I can imagine. It changes everything about you… which is very hard to explain when the world still sees you as the same person. It has made me stop and consider the pain that Mary felt knowing her son would die, that she too would have to spend a lifetime apart from him. I have so much empathy for what she might have felt that day, and the days following, the anguish in her heart. But like her, I know I will see my boy again and that gives me hope. It's strange, I have been a believer for most of my life, but I have never longed for heaven like I have for the last 7.5 months. It is a hard battle to stay present, to be content with the fact that right now God wants me here, apart from my boy. But at the end of the day, I trust Him. So for the rest of my days on this earth I will work to live a life that would make him proud, love his daddy fiercely, and stay true to myself. we Love you so much baby boy!
As the days continue to pass please don't hesitate to reach out and to talk to us about the moments that our sweet John Gabriel pop in your head... hearing his name is such healing for us, and we truly want to talk about him. I am hoping to get more consistent about sharing my thoughts, updating y'all on life, and some other exciting things...your support and love is so special to us! love you guys