My birthday is in less then two weeks away. The last few weeks have been very rough. Way more rough then the last few years. Last year, specifically, seemed almost… too easy. Not feeling super sad made me feel awkward and ashamed. This year has been the complete opposite. I have felt like I have been in a haze full of anger and grief. It is to the point where my focus is just not there. I miss my son. A ton. I feel angry that he isn’t here growing, running, laughing. I feel sad that this was the hand I was dealt. I feel resentment. I feel a bunch of other things that do not provoke butterflies and roses. I also feel happy to be sad. That sounds so insane even to me but I am strong 364 days a year. I put on a brave face and I deal with my grief every single day. Not only do I deal with it, I have conquered it. It is my armor. Losing a child brings you the most unexplainable feelings. I am always looking for someone to relate to and I know I will be looking for that forever. Even the strong women I have “met” that are dealing with their own loss is only a little relatable. I still find myself trying to show them it is possible to go on. It is ok not to grieve every moment. That there is still life after the worst goodbye that ever existed. Even though there are many woman out there that wear the same burden I do, my story is mine; just as theirs belong to them. In the eleven years since the birth and death of my son I still haven’t figured out the perfect balance and I know I probably never will.
We share a birthday. It was a cruel, tortuous joke that got played on me. Never in a million years would I have thought that my son would be born 15 weeks early, let alone on MY day. The day that I am supposed to enjoy antiquing and breakfast in bed. The day where I am allowed to make it all about me and be as selfish as I need to be. The last 11 years my birthday has not consisted of any of those things. What I want to do on that day has changed. All I really want to do is lay in bed and cry all day. I want to listen to sad music and read prayers about grieving moms. I used to refold all the clothes we had stashed for him that I kept. I would take the only blanket that ever touched him and bury my face into to it and drown in his scent. I would gaze at the very few pictures I have of him through tear soaked eyes. It made me feel better to torture myself with the truest feelings I have. A few years ago the blanket lost his scent and some of his clothes I gave to Harper. There is so much of my grief that I have let go and that has naturally evolved. I have so many wonderful people in my life that always try to make me feel special on my day but it is hard to tell them to just to go away. Watching someone else be a total wreck is so hard so I respect that they are only trying to help. I love them for it and I try to suck it up for them… and for me too. The truth is I don’t want to feel better, or worse. I just want to embrace what the present emotion is. The people who don’t even acknowledge his existence actually make me angry. I know it shouldn’t since those are the people that I really share his story with. This year won’t be as easy.
I have been asked before that if I had known that I would lose him if I would still make the choice to carry him. That sounds like a cruel question but I understand it. People are so afraid of their own sadness that they barely are able to understand someone else’s. The best solution for some is to remove the part of the story that makes it the saddest. The truth is… If I could change anything I wouldn’t. Unless, of course, I could change that he would have lived. That part of the story is outside of my control. The part I could control… getting pregnant, setting up a nursery, falling in love, and ultimately saying good-bye is not something I would give up. Maybe that is what gives me the strength not to give into the crushing pain almost everyday. I had an amazing pregnancy with Peyton up until the day he was born. I was never sick. I don’t remember the fatigue. I could eat any and everything… and I did! I still remember what it felt like the first time he kicked me. I can still close my eyes and see him move on the screen during our sonograms. I still can hear the rhythm of his heartbeat. I don’t have those same distinct memories with the girls. I am not supposed to because I get to have many others with them. Those belong to him. His whole entire life was apart of just me. I could not imagine having those special moments that just we got to share. Those moments are the very important rays of sun through this horrific storm. I will always hold those short months as some of the very best of my life and I would never trade them in for no more pain. If I had to do it all over again, would I? Yes, I wouldn’t change a thing.
To read Peyton’s birth story you can click HERE