I have had too many thoughts in my head recently about this subject, and wasn't sure the platform to use to express them all. But, when you have your own blog, that seems to be the best place.
Reflecting on the past ten months since we met and buried Gabriel has been a difficult process. I have had so many conflicts with people and I have finally dissected each one and come to a conclusion. The common thread throughout each encounter was my desire to be an advocate and say what everyone else was thinking, but not saying (or saying to me, but not anyone else). It has been a difficult role to play, which made me question why I continue to do it. It may be the social work degree which taught me advocacy and fueled my passionate personality, it may be my past abusive relationship making me want to voice my opion through screaming and protect loved ones, but it may be the experience of losing my son which made me realize how short this life is, and that we all just need to get on with it.
If you're reading this thinking, "Hmm, is she talking about me?" Maybe. But, rest assured, I'm also talking about heated discussions with at least five other people.
I've spend so much time this past week thinking about this, discussing it with Kyle, and, per his advice, praying over it. God has opened my eyes to the person I am. At almost 30 years old, 28 to be exact, I am figuring out who I am. Some of you may not like me because of it, but more people have given me praise for it.
We heard a guest speaker at our church the other month make a statement about "doing what you love." He said if you can't figure out what would make you "come alive," think about what really angers you. Yep, that's it. Cause we all know I've been angry lately. And that completely lines up with what I haven't been able to filter. Cause we all know I have no filter.
So, I am passionate. I am not compliant. I am sensitive and tender-hearted. I am not willing to be stepped on. I am mad about this fallen world and the broken people who suffer because of it. I am happier when I focus on others, and not myself. I am calmer after being around my hubby. Oh, thank you Jesus for Kyle.
But, I think the most important thing I've realized from this little self-discovery mission, is that I can be all those things, but I also have to be LOVING. I also have to allow Jesus to shine through me. I may not always have to use a filter, but I can wait on God's timing. Because, let's face it, there's not a reward in Heaven for the person who can voice everyone else's opinion. But if there was...
"I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. But still, I am not what I used to be. And by the grace of God, I am what I am."
-John Newton, writer of Amazing Grace
Well, I just got a call from my sweet midwife who informed me that all the test results were back. Everything is perfectly normal. Huh. Well, I am relieved that nothing is wrong. But, I guess I was kinda hoping that something wasn't right, we would fix it, and I would magically transform into a woman "with child." So, the plan for right now is to take my temperature religiously, buy some ovulation predictors, and keep track of the next few months.
I am trying very hard to "let go and let God." I know that God's timing is better than my own. I know that just because I think I want my babies close together, doesn't mean that God doesn't know that waiting a year for a baby to be born, when Joel is four, wouldn't be the best thing for me. So, I will wait. I will pray. I will give up control over this and allow God to do a good work in me. See, I'm learning! ;)
So, I'm watching my friend's little man today and as he and my son are beautifully getting along it hits me that he's only two months older than what Gabe should be. Crazy. As many times as I've been around him, I've never even thought about that! So, I have to make a decision. Be upset and start a tangent of what-if questions? Or, give it up, and enjoy my day.
I think what's been helpful this morning is that I have received two emails from two griveing mommas just today. One, a precious mother I just had to privilege of meeting in person who lost her angel a few short months ago, the other momma still pregnant with her angel baby, dealing with carrying to term. Both reaching out to talk to me, someone who's been in their shoes. It makes me feel amazing. It makes me focus on them, and gets my mind off of me. It's so easy to feel sorry for yourself, get stuck in your head, etc. But, if you focus on others, suddenly your load doesn't feel so heavy. Love you girls!
So yesterday after one of my Mom's Groups, we all go to fast food joint with an attached playground area. I have allowed Joel to play here once, but because he is obsessed with slides (and can't read) he doesn't stay in the small toddler area "for ages three and below." Oh no. He has to climb up, crawl across, and enjoy all the activities of the older kids. Well, yesterday, he somehow got it in his head, that if and when he came down said slide, he would be scooped up and playtime would be over. So, he didn't. Ever. Come down the slide.
We arrive around 11:30 and I couldn't leave until about 1pm. I think the worst part was I was so embarrassed. Here's me inside the way-too-overcrowded play area, with about six moms, one dad, and 20 kids, "Joel! Go down the slide!...Do you want some ice cream?...Do you want to talk to Daddy on the phone?... Do you wanna go to Grandma's house??" Oh Lord. And, nothing worked! He'd say, "OKAY!" and then sit at the top of the equipment. Thankfully Jesus showed that He still does, in fact, love me, because there was another little boy (half the size of Joel, but only one month younger) who was also refusing to come down. His mother and I kept half-jokingly saying we'd have to go up there ourselves to get them down. Ha. Well, she ended up climbing up to get her son, and Joel, seeing the commotion, went over to that side. I said to her, "Those legs up there belong to me! Will you grab my kid, too??!!" And she did! Oh, thank you!!!!
Guess Joel won't be playing on any enclosed equipment anytime soon. To make the day better, when Daddy got home we all went shopping for his Father's Day presents. Tools, of course. We went to Lowe's and Joel got to sit in a giant blue car cart, then we went to Sears and the mall and we all split a Dairy Queen hot fudge sundae, while we people watched. It was like a slice of Heaven. Good end to a challenging day...
So, this morning was Joel's two year well visit. He was weighed and measured like a big kid this time, no more lying him on the paper to find out how tall he is. Kinda made me sad! My tiny baby is now a giant toddler! So, he's 36.5 inches tall and weighs 34.8. That puts him at the 97th percentile for his weight and between the 90th and 95th percentile for his height. The doctor said, "So basically, he's a square." Hahahahaha! She said she'd guess he's get as tall as six feet, if he continues growing this steadily. Of course, Daddy's in the corner shaking his head, cause he's hoping Joel will be even taller than him at six foot two inches. Oh I love my men!!
I went to the midwife's office yesterday and we discussed my irregular period situation. Basically, they've been very spaced out since I had Gabe (78 days, then 74, then 50, then 45) so they sent me for bloodwork this morning to make sure that my hormones were balanced, etc. It was kind of her to think of checking everything before we continue to try, getting more frustrated as the months go by. So now, just waiting to get the results.
Another update is that I have been feeling fantastic emotionally these last few days. I don't know if it's prayers or that the meds are kicking in, but I'm so relieved and excited to be feeling better! If you've been lifting me up, THANK YOU!!
I cannot get over how many people have told me recently that they read my blog. I guess when I only get an average of two comments per entry, it's easy to think only a few Potter's Mommas are getting on here and checking in on me. But, I looked at the stats and about once a month there is a day when the site gets almost 200 visitors, and is checked daily by an average of 50 visitors. Crazy! Thanks for the love out there!!
On Saturday we celebrated Joel's SECOND birthday. I still don't believe he's two years old. Craziness. It was such a great party, intimate with immediate family only. He was still overwhelmed with the number of people who were staring at him the whole time, ha. My twin brother and his amazing girlfriend drove from NYC to be here, which was such a treat. They don't get to see him that often, so when they do - wow, lots of squealing! I love being around people who love my little man. Enjoy some pics!
I do have good news to share - I have started counseling with one of my church's female pastors and it has been quite amazing. She does Spirit-led counseling, an experience that was very new to me. It was so enlightening! Instead of feeling like she's gotta have all the answers, we both go to God in prayer and ask him to reveal truth to me. I received so much insight about specific people in my life I've been having trouble relating to. She asked me to picture a scene where we were all together, and picture Jesus there too. Where is Jesus in the room? What would He say to me? What would He want me to know about the other people in the room? Genius. It was quite an experience to hear God's voice, knowing it is not your own, knowing you are receiving truth. Together we realized how much I'm still struggling with negativity and depression. I am hoping my sessions with her will continue to shed light on my grief recovery. My goal is to feel whole again...
Uh. I've been feeling really crappy emotionally. Dreading getting on here to talk about it, but I know that it will help. Just wanted to say that I have not been feeling like myself. This grief has made me feel like I don't have to pretend to be happy when I'm not. I guess it's an aspect of being inside the anger stage, so I've gotta keep trying to get outta here! Just yesterday I felt like I was outside my body when being introduced to a new person, and a few hours later when someone was giving me a compliment. I know sometimes I don't have a filter, so I found myself just mumbling something, without smiling, without making eye contact. Even while it's happening it doesn't feel like me. All I can say is - yes, I recognize it. And - yes, I'm trying to be better.
I found out about an amazing new website which has compiled a list of all the grieving mommas out there who have their own blogs. The hope is that other mommas can find someone to relate to as they go through their own loss. The blogs have been catagorized and THIS BLOG is featured under "Fatal Pregnancy Diagnosis." It's such a great idea. I hope that you will remember it as a reference if you know someone in need.
Kyle and I were lucky enough to get away this past weekend, just the two of us. We are about to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, which means we've been together a total of seven and a half years. Wowser. At one point during the weekend, I sat Kyle down and sloppily and tearfully told him how much I loved him. That I love him more now that when we first fell crazy in love. Don't know what I'd do without him.
Anyway, decided I'd try to get on here more often. Maybe blog about all aspects of life, in addition to dealing with the grief.
Just found out that our March for Babies Team, Honoring Gabriel, was in the TOP FIVE family teams for WESTERN MARYLAND!! Go us! Thank you for donating to March of Dimes, thank you for walking with me, thank you for being a part of a great day - all about honoring my little man! :)