The Phrase “First Time Mom” Doesn’t Begin to Describe it 

I have been slacking on my blog. I think about writing often and have a lot on my mind to write about but I seldom get around to sitting in front of my computer to focus on a topic. 

Life as a mom of a living child is amazing. I am more in love with this tiny human than I thought was possible. Michaela fills my days with happiness! Even though I’m over the moon about Michaela, I often think about Joshua. Perhaps less often than I used to, but I think of him every day. It’s easier to talk about him and I cry much less often than I used to. Sometimes I think about when we lost Joshua; internally I’m sad but the tears can’t find their way out, even when I try really hard to release my emotions. 

Now that I have a little human to take care of, she takes up so much of my day. As many “first time” moms, I obsess over whether Michaela is breathing – especially when she’s sleeping. But being a mom who has had a baby who died, I’m almost compulsive about it. Michaela actually slept in my arms until my husband and I were ready to go to bed until she was 3 months old. She slept in a crib next to my side of the bed until she was 5 months old so I could peek in her crib whenever I woke at night. She’s now in her crib in her own room but I still check on her multiple times before we go to bed and check the monitor when I wake up in the middle of the night. One night I came to bed after checking on her and asked my husband, “do you think I’ll be checking in her when she’s 5?”  He laughed, “of course you will!”  He laughs at me but he’s the same! 

I will also reach my hand back when she’s asleep in the car to feel if she’s breathing. Or I stop and watch her tummy go up and down when she sleeping in her stroller or car seat. I’m always checking on her. I believe it’s because when Joshua was born, although he wasn’t breathing, he looked alive. To me, there wasn’t anything about him that looked dead. So when I look at how peaceful Michaela is when she’s sleeping, sometimes I see her and think of how peaceful Joshua looked. 

My husband and I call each other the Safety Police. We know we are overprotective when it comes to certain things. Perhaps we would have been the same way with Joshua, perhaps not. What we went through with Joshua shaped how we are parenting today. We know not everyone will agree with our rules or reasoning behind things; we are okay with that. She’s our daughter and we should be able to parent her the way we wish. 

Soon after we had Michaela, I would often feel trapped by my fears. I was afraid something I would do would harm her in some way. What if I don’t wash my hands and she gets sick. What if I let her suck on a hand-me-down toy that’s made with BPA plastic and she gets cancer? What if I do this and she gets that? Statements like that still go through my head on occassion. 

Let’s see, what are some things I’m the Safety Police on?!? I wash my hands a million times a day that I started making our own foaming soap! I triple check the car seat straps to make sure they are tight enough. I pull up on the car seat when I set it in the base to make sure it’s locked in place. I make sure she sleeps in light clothes, on her back, with a fan and a pacifier to reduce SIDS. I make her organic food myself and freeze it in glass containers. I limit my caffeine and alcohol intake because I’m breastfeeding and don’t want those in her milk. I don’t let certain people hold her while walking because I’m afraid they’ll drop her. She’s been babysat precisely 3 times in her almost 8 months.  

The list could go on.

Some of these things will seem normal to one person and strange to another. 

What are some idiosyncrasies other loss moms have? 

1.5

Today is April 26th. That means it’s been a year and a half since I held my firstborn, Joshua. 

A year and a half.

How has time slipped away from me? We’ve done so much since we last saw him. We went to Alaska, Vancouver, Chicago, and Arizona (4 times). We did multiple house projects. We attended 8 weddings. We’ve cried, laughed, and lived. We had a baby, and she’s almost 5 months already. Seriously, where did time go?

I long for Joshua. I wish he was here. I wish I could see him walking and calling out for “mama”. I wish I could see him interact with his little sister. As Michaela grows and does new things, I wonder if Joshua would have done the same. 

I wish he was on vacation with us. A couple days ago, I had Michaela on the hotel bed and started thinking of Joshua. “I bet he’d be jumping on the bed right now,” I said to my husband. He laughed and agreed. I know Joshua would have had a full spirit and been just as rambunctious as his dad was when he was little. 

When I was in the early days after losing Joshua, I wanted so desperately get back to my “normal” life. I wanted to feel me again. It didn’t take me long to realize that was never going to happen. The me now is different than  the me before. 

I wonder if it’ll ever get easier. Is that even the right word? How can the pain of losing a child get any easier? Sometimes I still feel alone in my grief. Sometimes it even feels like my husband didn’t go through the same thing as I did. Sometimes I sit, thinking of sweet Joshua, and cry. I miss him. I miss what would have been. 

I have to be honest, I’m not the person people say never asked, “why me?” I do. I ask why me often. It’s not fair he died. It never will be. I want to know why. For what reason did my son die? Was it to give me strength? Was it to deepen my faith? Become closer to my husband? Bless me with Michaela? Make me see life in a new light? All of these things have happened since we lost Joshua. But I still would like answers. 

But today, I don’t have any of those answers. I have a deeper appreciation for life and love. I cherish my family and know my little girl is the most important thing in the world. And I have a son watching over her who taught me more than I could express. Mama loves you Joshua!

It’s Still So Fresh

When Joshua passed, I couldn’t function. I could hardly talk about anything without crying. Slowly I was able to go a day, two, maybe longer without shedding a tear. I coached myself on what I could say to people and practiced it until I could say it without tears. “We had a baby and he passed away at birth.”

While I was pregnant with Michaela, I was a mix of emotions, thanks to hormones. Some were good days, some were bad. My self-coaching was able to get me through the “is this your first?” questions and be able to answer them honestly without tears. 

Now that Michaela is here, sometimes I’m a bag of tears. Of course in the first few weeks after she was born, the roller coaster of emotions had me crying most days. I’d look at her and bawl. Cry because she was so beautiful and I was so in love. Cry because I missed Joshua and it wasn’t fair that I missed out on things. 

These days when people ask if it’s my first, I never give the same answer. It depends who asks. Sometimes I tell them about Joshua and sometime I don’t. Frankly, sometimes it’s just easier to say “yes, she’s my first”. 

In many ways she is my first. She wasn’t my first pregnancy or firstborn. But she’s my first daughter and my first experience with a living child. I’ve experienced all my firsts with her outside my womb. And in that respect, she is my first. 

I didn’t always think that way. After Joshua was born and when I was pregnant the second time, I was adamant that everyone knew of his existence. He was real and everyone was going to know about it. When I heard of other loss moms not including their baby in “their count”, I was appald. These days, I feel differently. Joshua is still real to me, but I don’t always want to go into details. Nor am I good at handling people’s responses. Will I need to explain more, will I have to listen to a story about someone else’s baby who almost died, will they change the subject?

These days, when I choose to share my story, I typically cry. Experiencing the birth of a living child makes it harder for me to relive the reality that there was a different outcome the first time around. Babies are magical and remembering that I didn’t get to experience all these moments with Joshua brings me to tears. I miss him everyday. 

People have described that grief comes in waves. It ebbs and flows. I’m positive I will once again be able to tell my story without crying. If not though, that’s okay! My tears are present only because of the immense love I have for someone who is not. 

Blog Birthday!

One year ago I started this blog! One whole year. Wow, time flies. And how different my life is from a year ago! I write this as I lay on my couch with my baby on my belly sleeping (the best way for her to get in a long nap).

One year ago, I dreamt of starting a blog to get my feelings and emotions out. At that time in my life, it was hard to constantly discuss my grief with people who didn’t understand. And I felt I couldn’t constantly cry on my husband’s shoulder. He’s always been my rock but I felt I could talk about my grief all day and didn’t want that to drain our relationship. Through blogging, I quickly found a great group of other loss moms who knew exactly how I felt. At the time I started this blog, I didn’t know I would find those amazing women and didn’t realize how their stories would greatly impact my journey back to normalcy.

One year ago, I wasn’t yet pregnant again. I was still deep in grief and wondering if I would ever get pregnant again and have a living baby.

One year ago, I didn’t know that my blog would touch so many other lives. I’m amazed when I look today and see over 3500 views! I hope that my thoughts and emotions have been able to impact others in the ways that other blogs have touched my life. 3500 views may be piddly to other bloggers but I am in shock! I expected maybe a handful of people to read this.

Today, I’m a new person. I’m a mom to a living child who fills a huge void that was left in my heart when Joshua died. It will never be completely filled because Joshua still holds, and will always hold, a large chunk of my heart. My family, my friends, my blog, even strangers have helped me grieve and move forward into a much happier place than where I was a year ago.

Still, today I woke up thinking about Joshua and missing him no less than I did a year ago. I cried this morning thinking of him and how unfair it is that he’s not with me. How unfair it will always feel and how I will always miss him. That part never gets easier. I’ll always long for the baby boy I didn’t get to hold long enough and watch grow up.

I’ve spent some time re-reading my blog and seeing how far I’ve come. It brings back some painful memories but memories I wouldn’t want to let go of for they are part of my story. They are part of what makes me who I am.

I’m wondering what another year will bring. I can only hope to grow just as much as I did in this past year!

October 26th

We are just 4 days shy of Joshua’s 1st birthday. How is it possible I’ve lived without my son longer than I lived with him? How is it possible that it’s been a year (a whole entire year) since he was born and subsequently died?

Time flies. When Joshua died, time stood still. I didn’t know what to do with the days, hours, and minutes that lie ahead of me. Once I found how to stand on my own two feet again, life continued like it had before. Day after day went by, months passed in a blink of an eye, and here we are a year later.

Oh how I wish Sunday could be different. I would do anything, absolutely anything, to have him here with us; to watch him take his first steps and to watch him devour his birthday cake complete with a frosting covered face.

Instead, I’m not quite sure what Sunday holds for us. I’ve been dreading this day since October began. On October 1st, I had a fairly decent meltdown. Work was torturous that day. It’s a rare occasion that my husband is home before I am but he was that day (thankfully). I went upstairs to our room to change out of my work clothes and when I didn’t come down right away, he came to check on me. I was crying so hard that I could barely get words out. We sat on the bed and talked for a bit. I didn’t realize that simply changing from September to October would hit me so hard. But last October was filled with so much anticipation of the pending arrival of our baby. I was so excited to meet the baby, to find out if the baby was a boy or girl, and to finally after a year of trying and 9 months of being pregnant, to have a baby in my arms. Last October was so different.

Fear also set in as last October 1st, everything was fine. Just like it is now, being pregnant with our second. Everything seems to be going well. But as I know from experience, it doesn’t always turn out fine. I got a chill of fear that what if this happens again? On October 1st, I was scared it would. We’ve made it this far and what if we come home empty handed again?

As we come nearer to his birthday, I’m feeling a bit more calm. I’m feeling good about my current pregnancy and even caught myself daydreaming about what life will be like once she arrives (I haven’t let myself do that yet). I’m hoping Sunday can be a happy day, full of remembrance and love for someone who has changed our lives for the better.

I miss Joshua. Every day. I pray that God gives him great things to do in Heaven! Whether it’s watching over someone, being someone’s guardian angel, or whatever else he could be doing up there. I hope he’s making a difference.

I love Joshua. More than I ever expected. I love him as if he were here on Earth. I love him unconditionally. And I will continue to love him all the way up to the day when we are together again.

Happy birthday sweet baby! I hope Heaven is filled with balloons and all the cake you can eat. We’ll be celebrating your life here on Earth but I’m sure your party in Heaven will be much superior.

I love you Joshua!

10 Months

Yesterday marked 10 months since Joshua was born and subsequently died.  10 months.  That’s a hard number to swallow.  I cannot believe it.  In fact, I didn’t even realize that yesterday was the 26th.  Shortly after I got to work, my mom text me.

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I touches me that my mom remembers.  And almost hurts that I didn’t.  I felt badly for not knowing it was the 26th.  In the beginning, I dreaded days.  I dreaded the weekends and counted the weeks since Joshua was born.  Now it feels like each day is the same.  There is no fearing a Friday or Saturday to arrive (the day I went into the hospital and the day he was born).  There is no looking at the calendar in anticipation that the 26th is arriving soon.  It’s just a day like any other.  Part of me is happy and quite relieved I can say that.  The other part of me feels like I’m losing touch of my son when I don’t fiercely recognize these days.

Last week my cousin had a baby.  There have been plenty of births after Joshua, but this one hit me.  Not because I’m particularly close to my cousin, I don’t know what it was, but that night was hard on me.  I cried.  A lot.  The ugly, out loud, snot running down my face, can’t breathe kind of cry.  I couldn’t stop it.  The crying started on the couch, just watching TV.  Nothing triggered it.  I just couldn’t help but think how unfair it was that Joshua died.  Why me?  Why him?  Those questions I asked every day in the beginning.  I went up stairs into his room and brought out his photos.  This simultaneously made it better and worse.  The crying got worse, but my heart felt a little better.  I’ve looked at those photos a thousand times, but on that particular day looking at the photos made me feel like I was reliving the day.  I felt like I was right back in the pain the days after his death.  I wanted to text my husband to come home but didn’t want to bother him at his work function.

After I got all the deep down sobs out, I went to the bathroom to blow my nose and make sure my mascara wasn’t all over my face.  I went back downstairs to get my mind off things.  My husband came home shortly after.  He immediately knew something was wrong and asked me about it.  I just hugged him and said, “I miss Joshua.  It’s just not fair.”  He said, “I know, I miss him too.  He was too perfect for earth and God needed him for something bigger.  We have our little girl coming soon and Joshua will be watching over her.  You should have called me if you were having a bad night, I would have come home.”  It was comforting to know he missed Joshua too, but I didn’t like how he changed the subject to the new baby.  “I know, but that doesn’t make me miss him any less, in fact, sometimes it makes me miss him more,” I responded.

Getting closer and closer to our little girl’s arrival makes me miss Joshua more.  Her big kicks remind me of him.  Dreaming of (or dreading) her birth makes me missing him more as well.  I still have a hard time imagining what it’ll be like with a living baby at home.  Some days are so great.  Of course I miss him every day and try to tell him that I love him multiple times, but some days just feel normal now.  Then there are other days like last week when I just can’t stop the tears.  It’ll never be fair that Joshua died.  It’ll never be okay.  My pain won’t go away from not having him in my life.  Although, I know that I wouldn’t be pregnant right know if it wasn’t for his death.  I know this baby has a place in our lives that was meant to be, just like Joshua, and she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that tragic event 10 months ago.

10 months ago was the best and worst day of my life.  I don’t know that many people would understand that and that’s okay.  10 months ago we had our son.  He was the most perfect and beautiful baby I’ve ever seen (I may be a little biased!).  I miss him.  We had 6 hours with him.  I wish we had the last 10 months.  I miss touching his soft skin and that soft hair.  I miss looking at his cute little lips, long eyelashes, and perfect nose.  I miss him.  I love him.  I always will.

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Question for Grandma: “Is this your first Grandbaby?”

We just got back from an amazing trip to Alaska with my parents.  Alaska is beautiful!  God really knew what he was doing when we created this world!

My mom can’t stop talking about how excited she is for our baby to arrive.  It started on the trip to the airport.  She was saying how excited she was and I snapped at her, “Yeah, but you were excited last time too and it didn’t work out, did it?”  I can’t help but be annoyed by her excitement.  I don’t know why.  I’m so cautiously excited for this baby.  I’m overjoyed and really scared.  I love being pregnant, I love picturing life with a baby, but for me, those initial dreams came crashing down when Joshua was born and pronounced dead.  I want to be naively excited like so many moms are, but my reality is that I was excited, I had so many hopes and dreams, and they all came crumbling down.

On the last day of our trip, we went on a bus tour of Denali National Park.  When we got on the bus, the lady sitting in front of my mom was making small talk with her.  I wasn’t paying attention until I heard her say, “Oh, I see your daughter is pregnant, is this your first grandbaby?”

“Yes,” my mom responded.

YES?  Excuse me?  I could have punched her.  Not really, but I felt like I wanted to.

The lady went on, “oh, your life will totally change after having a grandbaby!  You think you’ll have fun now, but once they are here, you’ll have so much more fun than you anticipated.”  Clearly not intentional, but thanks for making me feel worse lady!

The conversation ended, I looked across the aisle at my mom and mouthed, “This is NOT your first.”

She mouthed back, “I know”.

I started bawling.  I was thankful that we were in the back of the bus and no one could see my tears.  I probably cried for the next half hour or hour….and if I’m totally honest, tears came randomly on and off throughout the day.

After about 5 minutes, my mom noticed I was crying, she walk over to me to say she was sorry.  I told her I didn’t want to talk to her and to go away.  She tried talking to me through my husband to which he responded, “I’m not getting into this.”  He hadn’t heard the conversation between my mom and the lady.  He just knew how upset I was at the time.  He sat there and put his arm around me and rubbed my leg while I sobbed.  All while not having any idea what happened.  He knew I was crying for Joshua though (it wasn’t the first time that week, more on that in later posts).

Since it didn’t work to talk to me through my husband, she started talking to me again, “this is the first time I’ve answered it that way.  I didn’t want her to ask more questions.”  To which I responded, “I don’t fucking care.  She doesn’t know if you have more kids (I’m an only child) or if I have more kids that we left at home.”  Excuse my French.

All throughout the day she was trying to say she was sorry, but I didn’t want to hear it.  It just made me relive how hurtful it was to hear those words come out of her mouth.  For her to disclude Joshua from her lineup of grandkids right in front of my face.

Later in the day, my mom and I were alone walking to our hotel rooms.  She said, “Christina, can I just say something?”  I turned back to her and she had tears in her eyes.  “I’m so sorry, that’s the first time I’ve answered it that way.  I didn’t want her to ask more questions.”

At that point, I wasn’t angry like I was earlier in the day.  Still very hurt, but not angry.  I said, “Mom, I heard you the first three times, that doesn’t make it feel any better.  If you would have said ‘yes’, she probably would have dropped it.  When people ask me if I have kids, I say ‘yes’.  Usually people end the conversation there.  If they ask how old he is, then I just say he passed away at birth, but most times, the conversation doesn’t get that far.”

“You’re right, I shouldn’t have answered it that way, I’m sorry.”  Our conversation ended there and we didn’t speak of it again.

But even a few days later, I keep thinking about how terrible that made me feel.  My own mom, one of my best friends, Joshua’s grandma was forgetting about him.  Was afraid someone would “ask questions” so instead she just left him out entirely.

Reading other blogs has made me realize there is no right way to answer this question.  Some people are more comfortable just including the living children when asked how many kids they have.  Some people choose to answer based on who’s asking.  I suppose that’s what my mom was doing.  She didn’t know this lady.  She didn’t want the lady to ask more questions so she answered in a way that would make her not ask questions.  I understand.  I do.  I’ve struggled with how I’m going to answer these questions going forward.

Right now, Joshua and this unborn child are my only kids (and my two dogs whom I love like my own).  I don’t feel comfortable leaving out Joshua when people ask me if I have kids.  Maybe that answer will change as the years go by, but I hope that’s not the case.  I’m a proud mom to Joshua.  I don’t care if I have 3 more kids and people ask me how many kids I have.  I can proudly say 4.  And if they look puzzled because they only see 3, I’m okay with that.  I have no issue talking about Joshua and the impact he’s made in my life.  My “situation” won’t be swept under a rug to only speak his name to those who knew him.

Crazy Train Has Arrived

18 weeks now!  Almost half way there!  The baby has been moving a ton!  It’s so comforting to be able to feel the baby move.  Before the movement started, I would hold my breath when we went to the doctor hoping the heartbeat was still there.  Now that I can feel movement, it’s a nice reminder that the baby is still alive and kicking.  I simply cannot wait until December to come.  Then I want my world to stop so I can soak in every ounce of our baby.

I’ve officially gone shopping crazy!  I told myself I wouldn’t buy anything more until we found out the gender…3 more weeks!!!  But then I went on the Gap’s website and they are having a phenomenal sale on baby items.  Onesies for $2.00, yes please!  I bought both boy and girl items.  27 items in all for $99.  I couldn’t pass it up.  I’m going to keep everything tucked away until 3 weeks from now when we find out if we are having a boy or girl.  Then I’ll return what we will not need.  Now I seriously need to stop shopping!  Take away my credit cards!

On a less positive crazy note, I’m feeling so overprotective of myself and my child.  Understandably so, considering what life has thrown at us.  I want to do everything in my power to bring home a living, healthy baby!  I don’t know if it’s the “first time mom” instinct….as if I can use that term.  I’m not a first time mom.  I’m a second time mom, but I have all those first time mom fears and quite possibly more!

Last night we were with my husband’s parents for dinner.  My mother-in-law asked if we were going to travel with them after Christmas.  They go to their vacation home every year after Christmas and spend New Year’s there.  We’ve gone with them here and there, but not consistently.  I told her that if the baby come as scheduled, which is December 1st as of now, that we wouldn’t be able to come.  Per the pediatrician, babies should avoid planes for the first 4 weeks.  She got defensive and wouldn’t look straight at me (which she always does when she doesn’t agree with me).  “Your husband was on a plane when he was 2 weeks old.”  I looked at her and said, “Well, a lot has changed since then.  That’s what the pediatrician recommended.  And I’m not taking any chances with this baby.”  People may not agree with me and that’s okay!  Each person should parent how they wish; that’s the beauty of it.  For me, I’m playing by the rules.  I don’t want to take chances.  If we went on the plane, likely everything would be fine, I get that.  But what if it wasn’t.  What if the baby got really sick because of something I chose to do out of selfishness or because I felt pressured to do it?

I was talking to my mom a few months back about our family Christmas party.  We typically have one a couple weeks into December.  I told her how nervous I was to potentially have a 2 week old baby with 30+ people around wanting to hold him or her.  And being December, half of them will be sick.  I told her how I don’t want to be the person who says, “Stop, don’t touch until you wash your hands.”  But I will be that person.  I want to be able to protect my baby from illnesses at such a young age.  When we were having the conversation, my mom looked at me like I was being a little silly.  A touch crazy.  But then again, she didn’t go in public with me the first 6 weeks because that’s what her doctor recommended.  The next day she came to me and said to me, “Christina, I understand what you’re saying and if you feel you’re not up to going to the Christmas party, that’s okay.”  Ahh, that made me feel good.  Not that I needed her permission, not that I’m planning to not attend, but it felt good that she understood where my fears were coming from and didn’t judge me for whatever decision we made for our family.

Now, December might roll around and I may be totally unlike what my fears have made me think I’ll be like.  I may be that relaxed mom who passes her kid around to everyone just to get some time alone, or to be able to drink a glass of wine!  But, I might not be.  I might be neurotic and overprotective for who knows how long!  I’m hoping I can find an easy balance where I can protect my children yet let them experience all the joys this life can bring!  I’m excited to see what the next few months bring and once December rolls around (it can’t come fast enough) I’m excited to see what kind of parent I will be to a living child!

 

 

When Jealousy Strikes

Jealousy is ugly.  It hurts others and frankly, it hurts yourself the most.

When Joshua was born and I wasn’t able to take him home, I was jealous of every one else who took their baby home.  I turned away when I saw pregnant people and couldn’t stand the site of a new baby.  I turned away, yet part of me couldn’t help but stare.  I was jealous of the pregnant people’s nativity and jealous that they would probably be bringing their baby home.  I was jealous of the new baby’s mom who was able to happily birth their baby and bring them home alive.

I met with a friend about 6 weeks after Joshua was born.  She had a 3 week old at the time.  I asked her how she was feeling and she said, “I cry a lot.  I’m having a hard time adjusting.”  I just responded, “Yeah, me too.”  I was envious that she was crying because she adjusting to a world with a new baby.  I wanted to be crying for that same reason.

I kept telling myself, when I get pregnant again, I won’t be jealous anymore.  It’ll be different.  In a way that’s true.  It’s not as difficult to look at pregnant bellies or new babies.  I’m not sure if that’s time as a factor or if it’s the fact that I’m pregnant again.  I’m able to look at those things without jealousy anymore, but that doesn’t mean the jealousy is gone.  Whenever I see a pregnancy announcement, it still hurts.  I’m happy for them, don’t get me wrong.  I want their pregnancies to go smoothly.  But part of me is jealous that they may likely go through a normal and heartbreak-free pregnancy unlike mine.  I don’t wish them pain, in fact, it breaks my heart when I hear of anyone who experiences a miscarriage, stillbirth, or even has a baby with a health issue.  I want all babies to be born healthy!  But it doesn’t lessen the fact that I’m still envious.

With every call or text I get from my mom that her friend’s kid is having a baby, I roll my eyes.  It stings.  I don’t know why, but it does.  The only sheer happiness is when I hear of a loss mom having another baby (not that I’ve always felt that way, I feel it vanished now that I’m pregnant myself).  Not that a loss mom deserves it more than anyone else does.  But it’s a happiness from a pain I know all too well.

The Bible even gives us stories of jealousy when it comes to children.  God knew this would be a continual issue in our world.

“When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister.  So she said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or I’ll die.'”  Genesis 30:1

Later in the story, Rachel is able to conceive a child.  Did her jealousy disappear or was she still envious of those who were able to conceive with no issues?

I want my jealousy to stop but I don’t think it will go away on its own.  It’ll be a conscious effort.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30

God blessed me with a wonderful 41 weeks with Joshua.  I wouldn’t take that back.  No amount of pain would be too much for me to trade my time with Joshua.  But that doesn’t change the fact that I wish he was still here with us.  However, I’m looking forward to a future with Joshua’s sibling and believe that this baby that’s growing inside of me is meant to be in our family.  I’m grateful for the time I have with this baby and know that if it weren’t for Joshua, this baby would not exist.

Next time jealousy creeps up on me, or slaps me in the face, I need to step back and reevaluate why I’m feeling this way.  Am I jealous because they are pregnant?  I was (and am) pregnant too.  Am I jealous they got to take their baby home?  I am hopeful that I will be taking a baby home one day too and I’m so happy for the time I got with Joshua, even though I didn’t get to take him home.  It’ll be a continual effort to be grateful for what I have rather than being envious of what I don’t have.  Like the Proverbs verse says, envy rots the body, but a heart at peace gives life!

Non-Stroke of Luck

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Soon after Joshua died, I met with a coworker who had a very similar experience 7 years prior to me.  She has been so great along this journey!  She now has two living children and has been able to help me understand that my emotions and feelings are totally normal.  She expresses how she felt, and although it’s not always the same as how I feel, it’s good to hear her experience through the stillbirth of her own son.  She said something to me that day that sounded so strange at the time.  Something along the lines of:

“My husband and I separately started buying lottery tickets without telling each other.  We never bought lottery tickets before, other than the occasional time when the jackpot was really high.  But we both felt like life had dealt us some really shitty cards and that life owed us something.  We felt like we were bound to be lucky.”

I thought this was a silly concept when she told me, but recently I’ve been struck with the same feeling.  Lately I feel like every sweepstakes or drawing I enter, I’m bound to win.  I’ve not really won anything before so I’m not sure why I feel like I should win now, but for some reason I feel like I am going to win.  Not that I deserve to win, not that I’m lucky, but like my coworker said, I feel like life owes me.  Logically, I know life doesn’t owe me anything, but that’s how I feel right now.

I don’t know what’s gotten into me.  I entered into the Ellen Mother’s Day Show and thought for sure they were going to pick me to go.  Even yesterday I was at an event and there were 4 prizes to enter into.  I knew I was going to win….I didn’t.  I called my husband afterwards and told him how much I felt like my name would be picked and I was upset it wasn’t.  It sounded so silly coming out of my mouth.  I knew what I was saying was senseless.  I knew feeling upset about not winning was downright dumb.

Being a Christian, I don’t truly believe in luck or karma.  Sometimes I use the terms: “that was lucky”, “good luck”, “karma…what goes around, comes around”.  I believe that God has a hand in what happens in my life.  Not luck, not karma.  If I win, God had a hand in it.  Life doesn’t owe me anything, and neither does God.