Fear is something that I’ve been facing head on for a while now. When I started this Blog I said that I was going to be completely honest even if it hurt sometimes. I guess after Aiden died I lost a lot of that fearlessness that he gave me. When he was here I felt so strong and fearless like I could take on the world, without him sometimes I feel like the world is walking all over me.
For a long time now my policy has been that honestly is the best policy, and sometimes being honest isn’t easy. You have to admit to things you’d rather not because your ashamed, why else would you hide or lie about it. I guess I’ve been so embarrassed to admit that maybe I’m not as strong as I thought I was, as others have told me I was. But the truth is I’m just a normal person, I’m no stronger than anyone else, I just took what God gave me and tried to make the best of it, even if that meant that sometimes I had to lie to myself to get through. When I think back to when Aiden was here, I can see so many instances where I lied to myself just to make it through the day, shopping for clothes, setting up a nursery, looking into Medicaid for him and Hospice care school for me. I convinced myself against all odds that he was going to come home with us, even though I knew better, because how would I have gotten up every morning knowing that I’d never get to hold my little boy alive. I can honestly remember driving to the hospital that day and talking to Aiden telling him about how we were going to prove those Dr.’s wrong, how we were going to show them that he could make it because he was a fighter. Sometimes I honestly think that he held on for so long because he knew that I needed him too, that I needed him to just try to stay a little longer, give me a little more time.
With Hailey I’ve tried to be strong and carry on like nothings wrong when it is. Obviously not with her she’s perfect in every way, every Dr.’s appointment they tell us how perfect she is. But I’ve been trying to pretend like I’m ok and I’m not, I’m terrified and heartbroken and feel guilty every time I cry. We prayed so hard and for so long to have her and ever since we’ve gotten her I’ve been scared out of my mind. At first I was afraid maybe even convinced that we’d get to the next appointment and that’s when they’d tell us that we was gone, or that’s when they’d tell us she was sick too. But as time went on and appointment after appointment that s not what happened I’ve started to let some of that fear go. Don’t let me fool you there are still times that I get that sick to my stomach feeling even though I know that nothings wrong. Those are the times that I thank God that he understands that I’m weak and as much as I’m trying I’m scared. Lately I’ve moved on to being afraid of giving birth and having an infant, my mind is whirling with all of these ideas of things that could possibly go wrong, how she could be taken away from me. To be honest some nights I lay in bed tossing and turning thinking of all of the horrible things that could happen to her, cord getting wrapped around her neck, un-explained still birth, SIDS, Whooping cough, Pneumonia, trust me my list goes on and on. And the nights I don’t lay away I have nightmares about all these things and quite frankly I’ve worked myself into quite the tizzy over all of this. Now to some it may sound like I’m being ridiculous, but I guess once your veil has been torn and you can really see how all of these things happen and how often they happen, it’s really easy to give into fear.
In the book that we were given after we lost Aiden it talks a lot about dealing with all of this, I remember I read it right after he died and for whatever reason it gave me comfort to know that I wasn’t alone in feeling so insanely over protective. But at the time, I wasn’t actually feeling those emotions yet, I just knew that I would. Now that I’m here there aren’t even words for the anxiety it causes me, the thought of going back to work after giving birth to her seems just as impossible as it did when I thought Aiden was coming home. And I know that millions of babies are born each year and that all of those parents have to go back to work and those babies are just fine, really I do, but I don’t exactly have the best of luck when it comes to babies and the thought of her being out of my sight is agonizing.
When I’ve sat down and really tried to analyze myself and those feelings (good thing I took so much psychology, I may have changed my mind about a career but now I can analyze myself and my insane insecurities) I realize that a lot of the severity of them comes from the fact that with Aiden I felt helpless, I couldn’t do anything to help or save him. There was absolutely nothing that could be done for him so I felt like as a mother I failed, your supposed to protect your babies and I couldn’t and I lost him. As insane as it may sound to someone who’s never lost a child, as a mother you honestly feel like you failed them, that you didn’t do everything that you could have. I spent a lot of time going through everything in my pregnancy and beating myself up because I could have made it easier on him, if I would have gone to the Dr sooner maybe they could have helped him. I know that this is completely useless and doesn’t help anything, and when I really think rationally about it there was nothing that anyone could have done that would have changed anything. But knowing that doesn’t make the feeling of having failed go away. So my fears and anxiety spring from exactly that, I refuse to fail again. God gave me another chance to be a mother, so no one and nothing in this world is going to stop me from protecting my sweet little girl. I can do things to help her, I can save her, if I do everything right and protect her from every little thing then maybe I can keep her, maybe I’ll get to watch her grow up. I’ve never in my life felt so protective of anything as I do my children, it’s not something I can even explain most of the time, they are my life and it’s my job to protect them is the best that I can do. I honestly think that after having lost a child you love and appreciate other children so much more than any normal mother does (not to discount other mothers because I’m sure you love and are protective of your babies as well), because they’ve never had to face a day where their child didn’t exist anymore, the little person that they poured their heart and soul into is just gone and there’s nothing that they can do. It’s a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone, your arms literally ache to hold the baby that isn’t there and you can feel your heart breaking into pieces, you‘ll never see them in this life again, you‘ll never see them as a toddler, a preschooler, a kindergartener, going to elementary school, middle school, high school, college, get married, have children of their own. All of those things that you dreamed of for them are gone, you‘ll never even hear them cry and they‘ll never need you the way that you need them. So when you get another chance you better believe your hell bent and making sure that nothing happens to that child that you get to have all of those things this time, that you don’t fail again because your heart couldn’t take that.
Another thing that I’ve really been struggling with is feeling guilty for crying, I feel so wretched whenever I get worked up over Aiden or being afraid because everyone tells me “That’s not good for the baby, you need to calm down”. So I do my best to keep it all inside to not get worked up, because I don’t want to hurt her in anyway. But then I feel guilty to Aiden for not acknowledging how much I miss him and wish every second of every day that he was here, that I could hold him and kiss him and tell him how much I miss him. But to be honest all this feeling guilty isn’t getting me anywhere but extremely depressed, I’m depressed that my little boy isn’t here, I’m depressed that my little girl has to constantly feel how depressed mommy is about her brother isn’t here, I feel guilty that her big brother isn’t here for her, that he’s missing all of this, that maybe if he was here she wouldn’t be, I feel guilty that I’m digging myself such a deep whole when I know better. I’ve struggled with depression off and on for a long time and I know better than to bottle things up, I know better than to let something eat away at me until I can’t take it anymore. But lately I have just let myself fall into this slump and let everything take a big poo on me and haven’t even tried to dig myself back out. Why because I’m afraid, I’m afraid to admit that it’s been almost a year and it still feels like yesterday, I’m afraid to admit that looking of pictures of my nephew still hurts sometimes (I feel guilty about this too, because I love Donovan with all of my heart, and I’m so grateful that he’s here and that he’s healthy. It’s just not easy and I know it’s not easy on my brother either) because it’s a reminder of what Aiden should be doing right now, of what my life should be like. I feel guilty that I’ve pulled away from friends and family because “they wouldn’t understand” even if you don’t shouldn’t you at least get the chance to try. I could go on all day about the things I feel depressed and guilty about, but saying all of that doesn’t help either it just makes me feel worse that I have found so many things to be negative about when I have so much to be grateful for.
So I’m turning over a new leaf, I’m not letting myself do this anymore, I started this Blog to help me get those emotions out so that I could cry it out and be done with it and I’m going to stay true to that with this post. I’m going to really start working on me, because when Hailey does get here, I don’t want her to come home to a mommy that is deeply depressed, I want her to come home to a mommy who is ready and able to take care of her. So in keeping with my word I’ve been completely honest laid it all out there for the most part (I could type for days if I really put it all out there) and now I’m ready to start dealing with it. So forgive me if I tell you to screw off if you tell me “That’s not good for the baby, you need to calm down”, no I don’t I need to cry it out and move on because I’m not someone who can let go without addressing it. And if that doesn’t make any sense then maybe you should say anything at all, just ask me what you can do to help, sometimes I just want to tell someone what I’m so upset about and cry about it until I feel better. As far as non pregnancy related things go, I’m going to make a real effort to re-connect with my friends, apologize for not being there for them and work on being a better friend. God never intended us to go through this life on our own, and I’ve been stupid to have pulled myself away from everyone trying to protect them and myself from my emotions. It’s time to keep with my own policy and be honest and let honesty take precedence for a little while and hopefully soon peace will follow. I know some day I’m going to wake up and this all wont be so hard and as scared as I am of that day because I’m afraid it’ll mean I’ve let go of Aiden, I’m excited because I also know that’s not really what it means, just that I’ve made peace with it.
So for now this is everything, but expect more honesty with regard to how I’m really feeling, because as much as I’m excited and overjoyed that Hailey is coming, I’m also terrified and heart broken and it’s time that I start acknowledging both sides of that spectrum.
Good Night World
-Jessie - Aiden and Hailey’s mommy