Learning to find middle ground.

I’ve been debating on what I wanted to write today. How deep I wanted to go emotionally. I haven’t been writing about all my ups and downs as much because it gets exhausting and the reality of it is that the emotions pass much more quickly now–even if they do still come as often. To write about them almost makes them linger longer than necessary.

However, I do feel that it is still good for me to get feelings out and is a big part why I decided to take on this writing challenge.  I read a blog post today that really resonated with how I’ve been feeling in general lately. Not exactly, because my trials are different than hers, but the hurt/anger/jealousy that comes from seeing or hearing about a newborn still haunts me. Ironically (or not) I never feel it with family–or people I’m close with. Just strangers. Possibly it’s just with people that don’t know my story. It’s almost as if I’m waiting for them to say something to upset me–which is completely unfair to them.  I just can’t turn off the emotions yet–whatever they may be.

Example:

These past couple weeks I’ve really started focusing on my fitness–now that I am cleared to start working out again. Aaron and I have entered in a few races to help motivate both of us and it’s been fun. A couple weeks ago I did my first 5k since having Isaac. Aaron decided last minute to do the 10k (and rocked it–I think he was 1st or 2nd in his age group).  My race wasn’t pretty. I walked most of it, but I had a great friend agree to walk/run it with me. Her boys did it with us and totally kicked my trash. It was awesome. While we were running walking, I saw a cute family doing the 5k together. A mom and a dad and a double stroller. The older of the children looked to be about Audrey’s age and the younger was still in a carseat. The carseat was covered and so I couldn’t see exactly how old, but from glimpses the baby seemed to be tiny.

I looked at the family lovingly thinking “way to go mom! You are out here running a race after having a baby! Serious kudos. ” I was so happy for her until it hit me that I too just had a baby. I suddenly saw the cute family in a whole new light. While I still was cheering the new mom on, the cheerleader in me took a backseat to the pain that was finding it’s way to the corners of my eyes. I truly hate that all of my emotions end in tears. It was hard not to feel my bitter reality when  I remembered that I should have been the one with a double stroller, pushing along my little family.

What is really hard is that at moments like these I feel like I can’t just break down and sob like I want to. I can’t just let my emotion flow until it has run it’s course and the hurt/pain/jealousy is gone. Instead, I push it all aside as best as I can, I pretend that those feelings and emotions never happened. Pushing those emotions aside doesn’t really help though. It doesn’t get rid of them, I just ignore them until they make their way to the surface at another time.

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Aaron and I with members of his class after the duathlon.

A week later we had signed up for yet another race. This time it was a duathlon. 2 mile run, 10 mile bike ride and then a 2 mile run. I had been training for it (in truth the 5k was in prep for this race), but I was still so out of shape. With every step I was reminded that my body had just had a baby and by the time I finished the race the emotional build up, combined with the physical exhaustion exploded and I collapsed into Aaron’s arms and sobbed heavy, ugly sobs. I wasn’t looking, but I’m sure I gained some attention. I just didn’t care. I couldn’t even tell you what I was feeling at that exact moment. I just needed to unload it–whatever it was. All those times that I had pushed the feelings aside were no longer able to stay doormat and demanded to be recognized.

I know that part of my pain came from no one knowing what I had gone through. I’m not sure how to explain this one, but it seems to compile things when I feel like I have to bury my pain or grief. To add to this weird mixture of emotions, there were a couple of spouses at the race who had just obviously had babies.   It was only obvious by the babies they were carrying. They hadn’t competed, but they were there as support. It made me so desperately miss my own little boy. The tears just wouldn’t stop that morning. I was grateful for sunglasses to hide my red eyes, but even with them on a Soldier from Aaron’s class asked me why I was crying. Not realizing that Aaron hadn’t told anyone in his class what had happened (only that it was a family emergency), I mentioned that I missed my baby. Not understanding the situation, she then asked if the baby was with Grandma (Aaron’s mom and sister were visiting). It became apparent that she didn’t know that we had lost Isaac and was a little awkward for both of us when I mentioned our baby was in Heaven.

I’m not sure how to handle things differently. I hate crying. Especially so openly (and dramatically) in a public setting. Not that I am afraid of crying, but more because I don’t like the attention it brings. I hate making people feel awkward.  I feel like if people knew why I was crying, they’d just let me cry and I’d only get understanding looks–rather than confused/concerned looks. Also, If I had my trial was somehow plastered to my forehand or something, than I wouldn’t have to go through more awkward conversations. People would just get it.

Kind of.

It’s not realistic or maybe not even ideal, but it was how I was feeling.

Another aspect that I am trying to figure out how to deal with is a new calling at church. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have something called visiting teaching. I love this program. Our woman’s organization is divided into pairs and each pair of woman is responsible for 3-4 woman in our church. We visit them each month and bring a spiritual message as well as provide support and friendship. It’s a wonderful program.

However one of the new woman I was called to visit just had a baby. A baby boy to be exact. And he is only a couple months old. 😦

I haven’t visited her yet as she just moved here and our new assignment begins in May. I am at a loss at what to do. Because her family just arrived they are most likely not aware of my most recent trial and how much I still miss Isaac. I don’t know if I say something or ask to be reassigned? Is the Lord giving me this assignment for a specific reason? I just don’t know. I have never not wanted to visit someone before, but I am not sure that I am ready to consistently visit a new mom who has a baby that is the same gender and age as what my little boy would be. Even seeing her interact with her baby at church from afar is hard.

What I am finding the most interesting and difficult right now is the more time that passes the harder it gets. It’s not what people talk to me about anymore–and I’m grateful. I don’t want to be defined by the death of my son, however it’s still so often at the forefront of my thoughts that I don’t know how to live a “normal” life either.

Where is my in-between?

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3 thoughts on “Learning to find middle ground.

  1. “What I am finding the most interesting and difficult right now is the more time that passes the harder it gets. It’s not what people talk to me about anymore–and I’m grateful. I don’t want to be defined by the death of my son, however it’s still so often at the forefront of my thoughts that I don’t know how to live a “normal” life either. Where is my in-between?”

    Bless you I could NOT have said it better myself (((Hugs))). My Frankie was born sleeping on 29th November 2013, and you have summed up how I feel in those few words because it is true, in some respects it is getting harder not easier, especially as I still have empty arms and despite all the tests, the diagnosis I’ve had and the positivity of the consultants I feel that motherhood is getting further and further out of reach for me the more that time goes on. I’ve been reading your blog and my heart breaks for you, my Frankie had Chromosome 15 Duplication Syndrome (Trisomy 15), so a lot of your posts resonate with me, although we didn’t know this until after Frankie was born sleeping. Be gentle with yourself and take care, I’m always available if you ever want to talk, from one angel Mummy to another xxxx

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    1. I just discovered your blog and I love it. Reading other blogs is why I started writing. I found so much comfort from others experiences that I hoped my experience could help someone else. Thank you for reading and for commenting!

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  2. Sara, I’m sure you will find out why you were assigned that particular sister to visit. Only God knows what trials she has faced, and maybe you are the one to help her in some unknown (yet) way. Know that you are always in my heart and thoughts. I admire you because you are able to put everything you are experiencing out there in order to help yourself, and hopefully others. Love you all.

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