***I wrote this several nights ago and hadn't felt like it was the right time to post it. For some reason, today in the midst of trying to clean my house and keep both Bristol and (a now walking!) Emmy both alive, I felt like I needed to log in and post this. Maybe someone needs it today....***
If you have never experienced the loss of a child you probably won't understand this. You'll probably think I'm crazy. But if you have, I hope that it helps you to realize that you're not crazy. I'm writing this because I want someone to know that they're not the only person that feels this way or has these thoughts. So if you finish reading this and think I'm a complete nutball, that's fine, I wasn't writing it for you anyway! :-)
Here are some of the things that I'm plagued with because of experiencing a stillbirth...
On the day of my ultrasound a few weeks ago, I stood in the kitchen washing dishes and thinking about how I should clean the house up because if something was wrong or if my baby was dead, there would be people coming into the house and I wouldn't feel like cleaning up then. It should at least be presentable just in case...
On appointment days I think about if I really want to wear those clothes because if something happens, I won't ever be able to wear them again without thinking of the bad. I remember exactly what I was wearing the day we found out Kinley was gone. I cry when I come across it in the bin of maternity clothes. I don't wear my favorites to the doctor any more.
When working on pictures for Emmy's slideshow for her birthday, I seriously considered removing the picture in her 'Big Sis' shirt because if this baby dies that one picture will forever haunt me in the midst of what should be Emmy's video.
When visiting Kinley's grave I sometimes get a panic attack about how many more babies have been buried there, not only because I hurt for those families, but because the available plots are getting further and further away from Kinley, in case I ever need to bury another baby. Should I have purchased the one next to her just in case?
When I find out about people being pregnant, I sometimes feel afraid for them before I feel excited for them. Often my first thought is, 'Oh God, please don't let them go through what I've been through!'
I'm not crazy. I'm not twisted. I'm not morbid. I'm just forever changed. I'm scarred. I don't have to imagine the worst, because I lived the worst. And I live in fear that I'll live it again. I'm scared to pray for God's will because I'm afraid that His will might be that it happen to me again.
I've read all of the scriptures on fear. Trust me, I've looked them up! I don't need to be told that God has not given me a spirit of fear...
It's kind of like when I fell off the monkey bars as a kid and broke my arm...I never forgot that feeling. Even after the cast was gone, I still wasn't sure about getting back up on those bars again. I did get back up, but I was always cautious about it. And I always had the thought that the worst could happen in the back of my mind. Before that day, it had never crossed my mind! But after it happened, it could never be erased. It didn't keep me from being a kid, it didn't cause me to live my life in fear, but it did give me pause. The thoughts of falling still randomly crossed my mind with no warning.
I know that's a silly analogy, but you get the point. I am forever changed by Kinley and by her pregnancy. One thing that will never be the same for me is another pregnancy. I wish I could blindly glide through my pregnancy with excitement and joy and never even consider something being wrong. I did that with most of Kinley's pregnancy! But that is no longer my reality. My reality now is that I know the worst and those thoughts are forever popping into my mind with no warning.
The key for me is not to dwell there. That's not easy, but it's possible! I say a lot of quick prayers for peace! I recite those scriptures that are engrained in my head! And I remember that even though I would NEVER want to experience it again, I did survive losing Kinley. And if God called me to do it again, He would walk me through it again and I would survive. And just like I did last time, I'd come out on the other side a better person...more eternally minded, more aware of what's really important in life, less concerned with being who people want me to be and more concerned with being exactly what God has called me to be!