After Matthew died, I scoured the Internet.
I mean, that's of course after I was able to breathe for a few minutes...look at a computer screen or any thing, really, without great heaving and sobbing.
I needed to find something.
Wasn't sure of what it was. Well, of course I knew what it was. I wanted to find the way to fix everything. To rewind back to right before she said, "I'm going to go ahead and break your water," and live *that* life.
The life where he would have lived.
No such luck.
Instead, I found blogs of women who also knew what I was looking for. How to survive and live and still love God, and yes, even to find more joy and happiness in a world that had shattered.
One of those sites was Kelly's. Kelly offers such special things for mothers who've lost babies, and though I couldn't bring myself to ask for any, I was grateful for her ability to comfort mothers like me and to do so with the perspective of having been there before herself.
In the beginning days of my life without Matthew, I found myself doing her Walking With You series. Writing being therapeutic, I figured it was a great way to release words screaming in my mind and heart, as well as 'meet' other people who would know just how I was feeling.
In a world of people who don't know telling you how "It'll get better," I wanted to hear more from those who said, "I know it will never go away, but it won't always be this heavy. It won't always take each breath away...just some of them here and there."
I wanted to know and hear from women who survive.
This last year has been a hard one. After losing Matthew in 2009, I was a shell of the person I ever was before. The big smile and bright eyes I'd always been complimented on were gone...and in my mind, gone forever.
One does not ever go back to *that* person after something so sacred and precious is taken from her.
When Luke was born in 2011, I became a new person. A mother with a broken heart and a fully whole heart at the same time. Capable of still being overcome with great sobbing sorrow and yet, being able to find joy in every.single.second with this sweet reminder that God can send restored joy and hope when we couldn't ever expect it.
When we started our third IVF cycle this time last year, I was, with no doubt, happy. Content. Longing, always, of course, for a baby boy in Heaven, but grateful for the one on earth and choosing to relish every second with him. Another baby would have just been such a blessing, but honestly, if the cycles (I'd planned to attempt two) didn't work, I'd be ok. Luke was enough.
Getting pregnant again was such a shock. A joyful one, but still, shock nonetheless. The cycle went amazingly well (not usual for me) and my numbers were great. I plopped Luke in a Big Brother shirt, bribed him with a lollipop (only his 4th one, ha ha) and could not believe our great blessings.
Another baby! Such joy.
Until we lost him right at the beginning of the second trimester. No reason; normal, healthy baby boy.
I found myself right back there. That place. And this time, I was asking why I even got pregnant in the first place. With Matthew, my whole pregnancy and our time together had been precious. Amazing. Perfect. His life and death changed me in ways I'd never imagined. Even knowing he'd die in the end, I'd not have changed a single thing.
But the second time? When I lost Trey, I was just so distraught...I'd been happy. Having another baby was just icing. I was blessed to have a sweet boy in my arms already and honestly, did not know WHY that happiness had to be marred again with yet ANOTHER loss.
Why even allow pregnancy through such a complicated process as IVF to only lose him?
There's a difference, too, in the level of support. There's never been any lack of support for our loss of Matthew. It's very easy to see he was a real, living and breathing healthy baby, and people are often torn and heartbroken for us just looking at pictures of his daddy holding him.
But not so much with Trey.
Isolation. I feel isolated. Still, as I recognize that my third baby boy should have been gazing at twinkling stars on the Christmas tree, I feel like I'm the only one who remembers what my body lost.
What my heart lost.
So I'm doing this series again. To remember, reconnect and restore. There is great power in empathy, and often it's just the power that is needed to remind one she is not alone. She is heard. She is understood.
She will survive and she will grow.
With others. Just as God intended us to do...carrying one another's burdens to love and support.
I'm grateful for those who've carried mine, and blessed for the opportunity to carry others'.