My experience of being a babyloss mom is coming up on 38 years come May 2. I never thought I could live that long without my children. I have.
At first, after my first ever experience with child birth ended with my stillborn baby, James Collins, Jr, I really thought the pain would kill me. Like you, I could barely put one foot in front of the other much less show a face that didn't have that grief-stricken look. You know, that somber face. I made everyone uncomfortable around me and I couldn't help it. That first year of grief was something else, always trying to dig yourself out of a hole that kept getting deeper the harder I tried.
So many of you are now at the first year angelversary, just recently past it, or getting ready to be there. I have heard from you how you dreaded "that day." I was the same way. I still remember it clear as day, maybe in part because I am nearing my 38th angelversary in May for James Collins, Jr. May 2, just to be hit again May 31 by Reita Gale's 31st angelversary. Wow, two in one month, plus you throw in Mother's Day and it becomes a very emotional month. I thought I would never enjoy May again.
Some of you I am so happy to say have rainbow babies or sunshine babies. That helps tremendously. My sweetest days of my life were the two days I brought my rainbows home from the hospital. For those of you who have not had a rainbow baby or fight infertility, may God bless you for your pain and longing to have your baby that stays home with you. One you can actually touch, hold, and get sweet kisses from. I can not pretend to relate to your pain. I pray you will get that baby soon.
Since we did not have the medical ability to have a child any other way except naturally or adoption, we did decide on adoption. We were lucky enough to conceive naturally. I can say that since we were so use to adoption in James' family, we were very comfortable with that option except that it meant waiting at least three more years. That seemed like forever to wait.
Some of you are experiencing your third, fourth, and even longer angelversary. You are expressing how each one just pounces on you. In my years of experience, it always will. Some years will be better than others. I can't explain why. Some years down the road will hit you like it was the first. You can make your traditions and I think you shoud because then you don't have the worry and stress of how you are going to celebrate your baby's angelversary. That doesn't mean you can't deviate from that tradition at times. I think you should. We do. We have done everything from just eating out alone (not my favorite at all) to James sending me flowers, simple talks, a suprise from James. It was always just between us. No one else cared, except for my twin sister who would call or send a card which just simply stated that she knew what date this was for us and wanted us to know she was thinking of us. She was the only one who EVER remembered or said anything to us about it. We put flowers in the church also on their angelversary and although James parents sat right beside us in church they never mentioned it. Not to knock down his parents because mine didn't either. We always took flowers to their graves and took our rainbow children with us. They never got it. I guess I just never explained it well enough to them. To this day, they don't like to hear about their brother or sister, even though it means so much to me. They just don't get that these babies are a part of our family.
My daughter-in- law does. She has done several nice things for me like getting me a Button for my balloon blog and FB page! She also has made me candle holders for my babies. Perhaps she understands because she lost her brother suddenly at age about 21. She knows grief. I fel so much for her and her family.
Friends, it is never going away, but how we deal with it is what matters. I have found doing something for others has helped me tremendously. So many of you do the same. You have been so kind to me and I have appreciated it so much....there are no words to express my gratitude to you.
Always know that a "down day" is so okay no matter how long it has been.
My best friend is Jesus. He helps me in so many ways. The words in the Bible are so true.
I have been mad at God so many times and at Jesus for not performing a miracle and saving my children. He did save them right into His Kingdom. Some days I just marvel in that. You do know that they were His before they were ours. In fact, they were always His.
Find your joy in life. Try your best not to be down every single day if you are past the first angelversary. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is okay to grieve forever for your child. I have. However, find something else to help you enjoy life. Planting flowers to enjoy. Doing something to make your baby see you get some joy from life. It takes time. Do all of this at your own pace.
Lastly, if I had not found all of you in this babyloss world since last November, I would still be in a rut of wondering how to honor the memory of my babies. YOU have let me know it is okay to shout it out loud. YOU have allowed me to blog and continue follow it. I appreciate all of your comments and emails. It had lead to better communication between James and me about babyloss. He understands it so much better now. We are a team on our balloon project.
Perhaps one day, my rainbow children will read my blog and "get me" and my journey through babyloss. I hope so or they will never really know their mother completely.
Always do something for other babyloss mothers and involve your children while you still have them living at home with you so they will understand what the loss of a baby or child means and how it affects the family.
Oh yes, I am still waiting for the NC State of Vital Records to send me my Birth Certificate Resulting in Stillbirth for James Collins, Jr. Carly Marie sent me a Certificate of Life for Reita Gale and James Collins, Jr. April 19th I am suppose to pick up all of my records of childbirth for James Collins and for Reita Gale from the hospital in Roanoke Rapids! I hope all of this is done before Mother's Day!
I have put in my years of grief for the month of May. I found joy in May in the year of 2005 with the birth of my first grandchild, my precious granddaughter! May turned out to be a blessed month for me in time.
Blessing my friends,