Perhaps that definition is why I have been having such a tough few days. Or week and few days. Heck, let's be honest, 7 weeks and 3 days.
- Who I thought I'd be was a tired but jubilant new mother.
- Who I thought I'd be was a woman who falls in love with her husband more and more every day as I watch him continue to be so darned cute as a new daddy.
- Who I thought I'd be was a woman finally able to have the conversations about pregnancy, labor and delivery with other moms at play dates, while we watched our little miracles coo and grow.
- Who I thought I'd be was a woman who finally, finally was able to claim there was nothing more in the world I could ask for: A wonderful husband, beautiful baby, amazing family and friends and lovely creature comforts.
I could go on and on with the various ways I thought I could describe myself.
I am tired...but because I do not sleep and grieving is exhausting.
I am a mother...but jubilant would be the last word I'd use.
I do fall in love with John more and more every day...because I am amazed at his strength and in awe of the depths of love he had for my son. Yes, I know Matthew is John's son too, but knowing how much my husband loved our little boy...and how broken-hearted he is that Matthew died...truly, I cannot imagine my life without John.
I can have those conversations with other mothers...but not at play dates and not without making the other mothers somewhat uncomfortable because we all know how tragically my story ends...and seriously, what does one say? We all know there are NO words for this. None.
And while I still have a wonderful husband, amazing family and friends, lovely creature comforts and had a BEAUTIFUL baby, oh....there's SO much I would ask for...namely my beautiful little Matthew--living, breathing and growing as I have the honor of raising him.
So, essentially....I am a mother without my baby. Try learning how to be that. It's not easy, I promise. It's heart-wrenching and makes you feel as if you have been slammed against a brick wall--over and over--and can't catch your breath. It's constantly reliving the events that led to the delivery...remembering that even right up to the VERY second John called and told me Matthew was going to die, I was JOKING. I was my typical self--crack a joke and try to be a good patient so no one is put out....because I KNEW Matthew was going to be ok.
It's reading blog after blog after blog about the heartache of so many mothers who also have had their babies die--and realizing that the flip side of knowing I am not alone is that the tragedy of losing your baby is SO much more common than we realize.
It's questioning every single thing you've so EASILY believed in because up until now, those beliefs have never TRULY been challenged...and now that I am challenged to BELIEVE what I say, it's not as easy some may think.
It's wondering what in the world I do now. What is a mother without her baby?
That's who I am. A mother without her baby.