I don’t usually choose to write when I am really sad or really angry. I try to wait until I am in an “okay” mood and when my thoughts are coherent. Not tonight. Right now, I’m really sad and really, really angry. So forgive me if my thoughts are all over the place or if I say anything offensive. I’ll try my best not to. My wide range of emotions come and go throughout the day. It’s the most extreme set of mood swings I have ever experienced; and that’s saying a lot considering that just 3 weeks ago I was a hormonal pregnant woman. These emotions usually range from incredibly sad, inconsolable, pissed off, “okay,” grateful, and once in a long while even happy. I’ve experienced moments of happiness over the last couple of days — moments with Ryan while we worked on Ava’s memorial garden, moments with my mom and sister working on projects for Ava, moments with my darling niece Arianah. But for the most part I have either been angry or sad for the last couple of days.
I know part of it has to do with Ryan going back to work. He’s been my rock through all of this. The one person who understands me more than anyone else. The one person I can say anything and everything to and I know he won’t judge me. A hug from him and a few of comforting and supportive words and I usually feel quite a bit better. He has this way with words; a way that just makes you feel at ease. For the last three weeks he has been within arms reach, ready and willing to console and support me whenever I needed him to. Now that he’s back to work, it’s not as easy for him to drop everything and talk for hours about how much I want our baby girl back. He also has his own emotions and battles to deal with on top of focusing on work, so it wouldn’t be fair for me to call him constantly while I’m upset. It’s isolating for us both. It makes me angry that society expects grieving families to jump right back in to caring about a job after losing a child. But that’s how it is, and unfortunately it isn’t financially feasible for both of us to not work for an extended period of time. My husband chooses to endure the burden of having to work while grieving for our baby so that I can heal from my c-section and have some time to grieve. I’m so grateful for this because there is no way I could care about work or anything “normal” right now. He is so strong and so selfless.
Another part of this anger and sadness is triggered by pictures of when Ava was alive. Anytime I see a picture of her while she was still breathing, I lose it. The little girl in those pictures held our fingers and moved her tiny little feet. She was here. Humanity takes so many things for granted every day, including myself. You don’t realize how much every tiny movement and every breath means until it’s all you have to remember. Those memories are everything to me. And it’s those memories that make me smile, crumble, and lose myself in anger all at once. There is no reason she shouldn’t be here today, or at the very least still growing inside mommy’s belly. Living with the fact that I will never see her open her eyes, or get to tell her I love her again is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. No one deserves this sort of pain.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t angry every time I see a pregnant woman or hear of a new pregnancy; not because I wish anything bad to happen to any of these pregnancies because I would never ever wish that, but because I want so desperately to still be pregnant with Ava. I don’t deserve this. I deserved to have my child. She deserved to live. It’s the selfish part of my grief. I’m sure these feelings will pass eventually, but for now it’s how I feel and pretending these feelings aren’t there isn’t going to do an ounce of good.
I’m angry that God took my baby. I don’t understand it. I probably never will. Him and I are not on good terms, and I know that eventually I am going to have to confront this issue. I’ve always had a relatively strong faith in God, but my faith has been shaken to its core throughout this nightmare. I have questioned everything I have ever believed in over the last three weeks, and I am still really struggling with it. As I’ve tried to explain to Ryan — it was so easy for me to have faith and believe when I was only concerned about my own fate and where I would end up. Blind faith was enough for me. But now that my baby is involved, I have an unyielding need to know that God is there and my baby is in heaven. I’ve been scouring books and articles looking for “proof” that I will see Ava again in heaven. It’s the only way to convince myself that this life is worth living to its fullest. It’s the only way I can find comfort in the fact that she is gone. But unfortunately, I know all too well that I am never going to find certainty in this. Some of it is going to have to be blind faith. I hate that. I’m the sort of person that NEEDS to know everything. It’s going to be a battle for me and it’s going to take some time. I hope I can find it within myself to come to terms with the reality of the situation and choose to trust in God wholeheartedly again. I’ll never make it through this if I don’t.
I’m angry that I’m sitting in the nursery that my baby never was able to sleep in. We spent hours, days, and weeks making her nursery perfect and we never even brought her home. I’m angry that we have to visit a gravesite in order to be near her, and even then it’s not nearly close enough to what it felt like to hold her. Angry that we have to remember her through pictures, gardens, blogging, and closing our eyes while envisioning her sweet face. Angry that the closest we will ever get to smelling our baby girl’s scent again is opening her memory box from the hospital and taking in her aroma until its no longer there anymore. I can’t even explain how much I miss her or how much this hurts. I can’t stand this gaping hole that is constantly in my heart. There is no escaping it. There probably never will be. I’ve been told that you just learn to live with a hole in your heart. I hope this is true, because right now I feel like hole is massive and every remaining part of my heart is Ava’s, leaving no room for anything or anyone else. I know that this is okay right now, but I don’t want it to be this way forever. Someday I hope the hole can be a little bit smaller, leaving just a small amount of room to open my heart up to others and experience a new “normal” that leaves me feeling at least “okay.”
One thing I’ve learned in the short (but seems like years) amount of time I have been grieving our loss is that tomorrow isn’t always going to be better, and it isn’t always going to be worse. I have to take it as it comes and accept the day for what it is and my emotions for what they are in the moment. Survival is key, and that’s okay.