At the end of this week, I’ll be able to say I’m more pregnant than I’ve ever been. I’ll be able to say I’ve spent more time with Liam than I was able to spend with Madelyn, both in and out of the womb.
It’s hard to believe.
It’s hard to believe so much time has passed since I was pregnant with Madelyn. And it’s sometimes hard to believe that pregnancy usually ends in bringing a baby home. I do believe I’ll bring Liam home. But I’d be lying if I said the dark “what ifs” never entered my mind. Yet to me, it has become normal to feel that way about pregnancy.
Even when I am unaware of it, losing Madelyn has impacted me – the way I think, the way I speak, and the way I live. Because normal to me is not really normal. Sometimes I forget this.
I was searching my scattered mind for the words to describe what I mean by this. And then I remembered something I shared on my blog almost a year ago. I have decided to post it again. Some of these things have lessened for me since I first posted it. And then other parts of it are more true for me now than they were even then.
MY NEW “NORMAL”
Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family’s life.
Normal for me is trying to decide what to take to the cemetery for Birthdays Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Valentine’s Day, July 4th and Easter.
Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind.
Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart.
Normal is staring at every baby who looks like she is my baby’s age. And then thinking of the age she would be now and not being able to imagine it. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.
Normal is telling the story of your child’s death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone’s eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my “normal”.
Normal is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your child’s memory and her birthday and survive these days.
Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special that my baby would have loved, but how she is not here to enjoy it.
Normal is having some people afraid to mention my baby.
Normal is making sure that others remember her.
Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.
Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better.
Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you – it doesn’t compare. Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural.
Normal is trying not to cry all day, because I know my mental health depends on it.
Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.
Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone, but someone stricken with grief over the loss of your child.
Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives.
Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God. “God may have done this because…” I love God, I know that my baby is in heaven, but hearing people trying to think up excuses as to why babies were taken from this earth is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense to this grieving mother.
Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have three children or two, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say you have two children to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your baby.
Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years.
And last of all, Normal is hiding all the things that have become “normal” for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are “normal”.
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