Change has been the name of the game the last few months. We thought we would have 2, but we only have 1 (here, on Earth, ya know). We thought the next chapter of our life would be adjusting to the reality of more sleepless nights with a little one and instead we deal with sleepless nights as we grieve, question and wonder what the next steps in our life will look like. With all the change comes a lot of questions. I hate a lot of the questions. Maybe even all of them. I don't hate that I ask questions of myself or that others ask me, but I hate that I don't know the answer. And maybe I do know the answer to some of them but I don't know HOW to answer. This is not to say that I don't want you to ask me these questions, but just know that these questions are hard. They suck (sorry, there is no pretty, nice, P.C., ladylike way around this one). And I may struggle to answer. Here is a taste of the chaos that I experience with all the questions:
-"When do we want to have another baby?"... I already have another baby, but she isn't here with me. I want her back. I want another baby right now because sometimes my arms just crave so deeply the warmth and closeness of a sweet baby. My arms are so empty without Hartley. I don't know when we should have another baby because I don't want to replace Hartley. No baby could replace Hartley. Do I need to have some sort of emotional milestone before I have another baby to know that I'll be ok? Will I ever be ok?
-"How many kids do you have?"... I have 3, but God kept 2 of them. I have one baby. I don't know you well enough to dump all of my emotional burdens on you, so I'll just say 1 to make things easy. I don't want to answer, I don't want to talk about it so I'll just say 1. I'll just ignore that question because I don't want to answer the easy way and just say 1 baby. Do you have any idea what kind of question that is? I feel so stupid for asking other people that question not knowing the heartache they may have experienced like me. I hate this question. And yet, maybe I should be real and answer 3, knowing that God may have ordained this conversation...
-"How are you doing?"... I'm doing ok. I've been better. How do you think I'm doing? I buried my daughter, I have lost almost all traces of pregnancy. Sometimes I forget that I was pregnant because I don't look like it anymore, never mind the fact that I don't look like I did when I was 21. I wish I could pretend like this didn't happen so you don't have to ask me how I am doing. I feel like you are asking me how I am doing because you want to know that I am doing well because you don't want me to hurt. I'm ok with hurting. I'm ok with being sad. That's kind of a new normal for me. I wish you were ok with me being sad because that is my reality right now. And if I'm doing ok at the moment, don't judge me for having "moved on" because I haven't, I won't and I can't. I don't live in a place of sadness, it's just somewhere I "visit" often, kind of like the grocery store or the mall or the gym or the bathroom (just kind of depends on the day).
My mind is just all over the place as you can see. But ya know what, I am forced to welcome the chaos. And as I sift through all the chaos, I am slowly beginning to make sense of it all. I don't want to be foolish enough to believe that it will all be wrapped up nice in a box with a perfect little bow any time soon, but it's only just the beginning.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heaves are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:8-11