The past few weeks have been seemingly normal. I say that with the utmost hesitation, and slight remorse. I would hate to think that Chris and I are leaving our daughter behind, as some sort of distant memory. It has been less than three months, and I have had quite a few 'good' days and unfortunately I feel really bad about it.
But, I am not going to dwell on it... so, I will write, anyway.
I have a lot of friends who ventured the 'pregnancy journey' with me. Two were due 3 weeks before me, and we all ended up having our daughters only days apart. The two friends of mine had beautiful, healthy, baby girls...and I have yet to meet them. I hate that.
One of them, M, I spoke to almost every day, went baby clothes shopping with, she was one of the first people to know I was pregnant (her boyfriend WAS the first person to know aside from Chris, as he and I were friends long before I met her, and when he told me he thought SHE was pregnant I responded with 'Yeah, I think I am too...' and, lo and behold I was!) We told each other each harrowing and enchanting detail of it all. I visited my friends, and their newborn gorgeous baby girl in the hospital just 3 days before I had Caris. I told my friend how proud of her I was, what a great job she did, how beautiful L was and we both said how we couldn't wait for Caris to be born so we could have play dates. I was so excited to see them grow up together. In being pregnant at the same time as M, we were able to build a friendship and will be closer forever because of it.
The other friend, R, and I met at a Women's Retreat my church had in October of last year. We were the two pregnant girls there, obviously showing, and glowing as much as we could. We met because of that detail, and spent the 3 days chatting about our pregnancies, about how we were excited to be having girls, about how we were scared because this was our first child. She hadn't picked a name yet, and we talked about the names her and her husband, B, were thinking about. We had a chance to write cards at the retreat and have them delivered anonymously at the end of it. I wrote R a note telling her how blessed her baby girl was to have a mom like her... I believe I may have mentioned something about her and Caris growing up together, or playing, etc. I can't remember, and as much as I want to, I can't bring myself to ask R what the note said.
I have had a few tearless days the past few weeks and I treasure those days. Every day I look at pictures of Caris, and I spend some time in her nursery. If you've ever seen it, you know it's quite full... but I pull the chair up to her crib and go through the items that were meant for her. I reread cards people wrote, medical records, trace her footprints with my finger, hold her owl pillow, look in her 'going home bag' which we never even got to unzip. I had that bag packed two months before I had her... she was so anticipated, my precious baby girl.
It is so hard to not be jealous of my two friends. It's hard to not 'covet' their lives. But their baby girls are not my baby girl. Even though they are they same size and the same age, they are not my Caris AnnaBelle.
I have 7 more friends who had their babies weeks after Caris was born, one of them was my sister. I can't write about that yet... her Colt Austin has brought a lot of healing for me, but I have a lot of healing yet to do. In time I will write about him. The other six also had beautiful, healthy babies... 4 boys and 2 girls. It's hard for me to not 'covet' their lives as well. But I know I can't- no baby could ever be my Caris AnnaBelle.
I have a total of 9 friends, all of whom have had their children. And three more who are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their children. I guess that's what happens when you have a lot of friends. I am blessed to know a lot of people- through the 2 different churches I have been affiliated with, previous jobs including my job at the shipyard, and the women's ministry I am a part of.
I need to remind myself that while I was pregnant I was more than eager to share that title with these ladies. I need to remind myself that children are a gift from God, and some women can't have kids... I had my baby, I was blessed with Caris in my womb for 8 months + 1 week and for 6 days here on this earth. I am blessed because I know that I will get to spend eternity with my baby girl in Heaven. I am also saddened because I get to spend the rest of my life here on this earth without her... visiting her at her graveside just isn't enough. I see her everywhere I look. Every.Where. Not to mention, she looked just like her daddy, so every time I look at him I think of her. Every.Time. Sometimes I find myself staring at Chris, wondering if our daughter would have ever looked anything like me. He's gotten used to it, but in the beginning he thought I was going crazy because I just sit and look at him. She even had red hair... which makes me happy and sad all at the same time, because while Chris and I prayed complete health over Caris while I was pregnant, I also prayed for red hair. So, I think it's amazing that God gave her that reddish hair I was praying for. God works things out like that on purpose, I just know He does.
Ahhhhh... What's the point of this? I guess what I am trying to say is that I am incredibly happy for my friends who have incredibly beautiful children... I just wish that my baby girl was here to grow and play with them. And even though I will forever be a part of the 'mommy club' and I have a wonderful 7 year old stepson to help raise, most times I find it hard to think of myself as being a mom. Empty womb. Empty hands. It just doesn't seem right...
I got into a little arguement with my sister on Sunday about a feeding schedule for my nephew. He was whining and it was 30 minutes before his scheduled feeding time. I said "Why don't you just feed him? He can get on his own schedule later." her response, although not meant to pierce, did "I know what I'm doing, I've done this with my three other kids." -- she didn't say that out of anger or spite and I know she didn't even think about it, but reality hit me like a ton of bricks and I could only respond with "You're right, I'm sorry. I've never done it before so I wouldn't know" and I walked away from the table and threw away my lunch trash because I knew that had I not, I would start crying the really nasty looking cry where snot drips out your nose and tears soak your shirt so it looks like you've been running. I didn't want to walk around the mall like that. Sometimes I'm okay. And sometimes I'm not. It comes and goes.
I'm scared about Mother's Day. I bought cards for my friends already. I glanced them when I walked by the dresser today. I must have bought them on a 'cry-free' day because there's no way in hell I'd be able to buy them today...
Ah, random thoughts... I just know that I am still healing... and some days I go to my new mommy friend's facebook pages and smile at their new baby pictures. Other days, I don't even look at my facebook because I couldn't handle seeing them because I feel robbed. :( and I hate feeling that way!
End note- I praise God and am thankful that none of my friends had to endure the pain that Chris and I had to endure, and continue to endure. I don't know why this happened to us, but it is a 'club' I would never want ANYone to join. I need to focus more on the 'mommy club' and not so much on the 'baby loss club' -- and continue to remind myself that by not focusing on the latter club doesn't mean I don't think about Caris, it just means I think SO much of her and am SO PROUD to be her mommy, that the fact that she isn't here doesn't outweigh the fact that she WAS here, and lives forever in me and her daddy's hearts...
Yeah, I'll leave it at that.