Today as I celebrate four months since Finn’s birth and mourn the 4-month old baby who isn’t here with me, I looked back at Jaxton as a 4-month-old, and I see what I am missing out on right now. I have a video of Jaxton, a chubby baby with arm and leg rolls, his face lighting up as Phillip tickled him. I have another video of him sleeping peacefully with a full belly, occasionally peeking through one eye to make sure he wasn’t missing anything. Now I watch as Jaxton talks, sings, plays, and grows into a smart and independent little boy. I will only ever be able to imagine what it would be like to see Finn grow up, only guess who he would look like and act like. I’m not just idealizing; I also think about the sleepless nights, numerous diaper changes, tantrums and messes. Last week after Jaxton flooded our bathroom, I actually felt sad that Finn would never be able to do that. Even as I think about what I am missing with him, I know that in his death he is more alive than I will ever be here on Earth, and by heaven’s standards he is experiencing far more than I could ever imagine. Here’s to 4 months of missing Finn, and 4 months closer to being with him again.
Not only do we represent the 1 in 4 statistic for pregnancy loss, we also represent the 1 in 8 couples that have experienced infertility and secondary infertility. In some cases the pregnancy loss(es) can be related to the cause of infertility, but in our case it likely is not related. Infertility also causes a form of grief, a grief over the inability to get pregnant easily. Sometimes as in our case, the cause of the infertility is not clear. It can impact younger couples as well as healthy people. For us, it took over a year for the first pregnancy and over two years and medical assistance for the second pregnancy to happen.
I wish it could be easy for us. I wish the process of growing our family could just fall into place for us. Future pregnancies are not a given for us; each time, we don’t know if we’ll ever have another baby.
When we think of motherhood, we often think of mothers with a few healthy, cute stair-step children, doing Pinterest worthy activities together. But the reality that is often not seen are invisible mothers with no living children and mothers with invisible children. The suffering that nobody sees as you feel your missing child’s absence every single day for the rest of your life.
I’ve experienced the more rewarding parts of motherhood – getting to watch one of my son’s grow from a tiny baby into a smart, funny little boy. I’ve also experienced one of the worst – outliving one of my children.
Most pregnancy/childbirth/postpartum articles will list out a myriad of issues you might deal with during each stage of having a baby, but most wrap it up nicely by saying something along along the lines of “but it will all be worth it once your baby is in your arms”. Except sometimes, it doesn’t work out that way.
Every day since Finn died has been an attempt to press on and move forward with my life, throwing my plans out the window and rewriting my story, my “new normal”. I literally had a huge pregnant belly one day and came home the next day without a baby to be greeted by boxes of delivered diapers on my front porch. Reality seems like a dream. I feel like I got off of a plane at the wrong destination, jet-lagged, and I’m wandering around trying to figure out where I am and how to get back to where I was going. The world around me continues and time keeps ticking forward. And as it does, I wander through this strange alternate reality ever aware of those “should-have-been’s”.
Today after work I picked up Jaxton from daycare and he asked to go to a particular park. Continue Reading
Yesterday, I had to go back to the building where Finn was born for a doctor appointment. It was bittersweet to walk through the same doors I walked out of just a couple of months ago empty-handed, into the only building where Finn was ever with me outside of the womb. Emotionally it was quite turbulent for me. I filled out my appointment paperwork in the waiting area. The prior pregnancies section is still really hard to see summarized on paper:
My silent prayer for strength was answered by this verse on the wall, one of my all-time favorites: Continue Reading