If you haven’t already guessed as much, the last six months of my 2018 were pretty rough. I wont lie either and say that I had some life altering paradigm shift that grew me into a better human being with a newfound growth mindset. Up until a couple weeks ago, I was definitely going through the motions. Waking up was hard to do, and generally I kept things at the bare minimum. I kept myself and my kids alive. We did school and I did a ton of purging my house and cleaning.
After the initial shock of losing my mom, I was pretty well firing on all cylinders and then some, but on autopilot. Being the oldest of my siblings left me with a long list of things I never considered having to do.
I am so thankful to have the family I do in that they helped me so much during that time. I felt like I was treading water for a really long time. I was so tired and numb. If you are like me, in your late twenties without having experienced much death at all, you understand that the thought of my parents’ arrangements never crossed my mind. Aside from knowing my mom wanted to be cremated, I knew nothing. I had no idea what to expect or what needed to be done. Looking back, I’m not sure how I got through those first couple of months. It feels like a movie or something. Not like I actually lived it.
Once everyone returned to their respective lives I was left feeling pretty alone and lost. It’s not a lie that people who are grieving need their support system most after the funeral and general death hullabaloo is over with. September rolled around and I was just really confused. I think I asked Jake a million questions that had no real answers. I even considered emailing the coroner who helped take care of my moms body to find answers. I don’t do well with not knowing things. I wanted to know why, how, and again why. This got easier recently for me. I don’t find myself asking that question much anymore.
Early in September, in all the craziness, I realized I hadn’t had a period in over a months time. Not all that unusual when a woman is under that kind of stress though, so I put it out of my mind. Until I woke up one day and the symptoms could no longer be ignored. It was like my mom saw me suffering and reaching out to her and she told the universe to give me a break. She knew how much I wanted to have another baby. We’d had so many conversations about how I just didn’t feel done. She always told me when the time was right, it would happen for me. That if my gut was telling me we weren’t done having kids, we probably weren’t. She always put a lot of stock into intuition and trusting your gut.
So I took a test, and I sat in my bed with Jake, Addie, and Piper. I have had many a “scare” in my time as a mom, so I pretty much figured it would be negative like it usually was. I let the test sit there for probably five minutes before I looked to check it. Sure enough, my boobs weren’t lying to me and the fluttering in my pelvis wasn’t gas. I was pregnant. My heart soared and for the first time in a really long time I had a genuine smile. It felt right and it felt perfect. It felt like my mom had hugged me and whispered “see? everything is always okay in the end.”
We didn’t tell many people but we had no choice but to tell Piper and Addie, as they were sitting with us when I found out. Addie said she knew exactly where the baby had come from! When I asked her where, she said her Mimi sent it. My mom. Piper was instantaneously jealous and worried about whether she would ever get to sleep in our bed again. It was such a good day.
A couple of days later, my excitement was still palpable and I woke up so happy those couple of mornings which was a new experience for me. Getting out of bed over the summer was rough for me. Until I started to cramp. I rested and I drank water. I did what I thought I should do, but eventually I did begin to bleed and just like that, my hopes were crushed. Reality came back and smacked me in the face. Fairy tales like that don’t happen. It sincerely was too good to be true. I went to the ER and they confirmed as the bleeding and cramps worsened that I was having a miscarriage. It would take a few days and a DNC wouldn’t be necessary as we were pretty early along.
I had an ultrasound and hoped against hope they were wrong and that everything would be okay. They did an exam and I just sobbed. I knew it was over. My short lived slice of relief from grieving was over just that quickly. Like it was a dream. Jake and I cried that day together in the emergency room. He took me home and it was a somber week following. I haven’t been able to give away the pack of pacifiers Jake had grabbed at the store when I picked up prenatals. They are still in my medicine drawer.
I recovered well, my periods returned to normal like nothing happened. I have been left with a hole, something more than baby fever, ever since. That desire for another baby is still so strong, and I still have hope that maybe one day that will get to be a new chapter in our story. I have had dreams of my mom with a baby lately, and my heart feels a little less heavy thinking they are together, wherever they are. She loved babies. Like she was happiest with a newborn in her arms. I can still see her face when she got to hold my girls, or a friends baby for the first time. That gives me peace.
2018 beat me up. Really if we are honest, from August 2017 and on through the end of the year, I felt like I was in a losing battle with life. Like somehow I had done something so terrible to reap these awful consequences one after the other. It’s enough to make someone question everything. We got through the aftermath of the affair by the skin of our teeth, and still are working through that truthfully. My mom is gone forever and we lost a baby. A few months ago the words growth mindset would have made me laugh, but I feel like my fog is clearing and I can see a bit better now.
It’s cliche to expect the new year to be a clean slate, to make lofty goals and expect to just be a brand new person. But, I do have so much renewed hope. I don’t want to put it out into the universe that things couldn’t possibly get worse from here. I wont tempt fate there. However, I am deciding to take these last 18 months of my life and let them help me grow. After all, growth is said to be a painful process which means I’ve got to be right where I need to be.
I am going to make 2019 a year of blooming where I’ve been planted. This year I am taking myself back, even though I’m not fully sure what that means yet. Just that I refuse to be a victim of the crappy things that have happened recently. Instead I am shifting my mindset and letting this all help me evolve into a person who loves herself, cherishes her time on this planet, and works hard to get the things she wants. That’s what I hope to gain out of this fresh new year. I want to reach December 2019 feeling proud of how much I accomplished, even if it’s not tangible. Even if it is simply mental growth. I just want to feel a difference and I have faith I will get there.
What about you? Have you made personal goals for this year? What are you looking to get out of this new chapter? Let me know below!