A Mother's Love

Something I have struggled with through the last few weeks is that I don't feel like a mother. People have told me over and over again that I am one, but without having Omi here to hold or take care of; it just doesn't feel true.

A truth that I do know though, is that there will be good days and hard days through this healing process. Unfortunately, today was one of those really hard days. I chose not to take any of the anxiety medication that was prescribed to me and just feel everything. I miss her so much and with all that I am I wish I could hold her again, even if only once. Just leaving my bed felt painful today; so I didn't - until 5 o'clock. I think it's okay to have days like this though; to just take time and mourn losing her. I don't want to numb myself to the point of feeling like I am healing, only be surprised later when I realize that it has just been a facade. 

I had told myself I was going to stop writing after her birth, but honestly this blog is one of the only things that makes me feel even a little better. Just the ability to get everything I am feeling out there makes my pain a little more justified. It's also a way for me to know that I will never forget how I am feeling right now. I don't want to forget any part of Omara; even the bad parts. 

The photographs that we have of her mean more to me each day. I look at them all of the time; as soon as I start to feel like I am forgetting her face or how small her hands were. I don't want to remember her for how she looked in her casket (the last time I saw her), but how she looked when I first held her in the hospital. Truthfully, I haven't been able to bring myself to visit her gravesite yet. I am scared that when I do, the realization she is gone will just come flooding back and I will have to start healing again from scratch. 

A watercolor print made by my dear friend Ashley Bush

A watercolor print made by my dear friend Ashley Bush

It's such a weird feeling to go from being pregnant to all of a sudden not - and not have a baby to show for it. I used to care about sitting with my laptop on my stomach; now I have to remind myself that there isn't anyone in there anymore and it's okay. The cravings have all gone away and instead were replaced with lack of appetite. I miss the way my body felt before; food was so critical. I ate healthy the entire pregnancy and now all I want is ice cream and chocolate cake. I had felt like I was eating for someone else's sake before, but now that I am eating for myself it just doesn't seem as important. 

Everyone keeps asking when we are going to try for another baby. I know that this question comes with good intention, and believe me it is a question that I myself have continually inhabited. I feel so empty and purposeless that my body is aching to have another child inside of me, but I know that it isn't time yet. Matt and I have so much healing still to do.

I am afraid, though, for when I become pregnant again. I know there isn't a chance that what happened to Omara will ever happen again to a future baby, but pregnancy for me is always going to be a terrifying experience. You never realize how many things can go wrong - until something does.

I have been flooded with messages from parents who have gone through similar situations and honestly, while it helps to talk to them, it also paralyzes me in fear. It is far more common than you think for a baby to not make it to full term, but no one talks about it. I have learned that there are no certainties in pregnancy; I used to think that if you got pregnant then you would have a baby, a healthy baby - 100% guarantee. That just isn't true though and it's a reality that I will face every single day of any future pregnancy - I am hoping that I will be able to look past that fear though and treasure every  moment instead of living in the past. 

Today I came across a poem by Helen Steiner Rice that made me feel somewhat like a mother for the first time. I keep reading it over and over again knowing that it is the exact love I had/always will have for Omi. 

A Mother's Love

A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain...

It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away...

It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters

even though the heart is breaking...
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems...

It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret

like the mysteries of creation...
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

- Helen Steiner Rice