Day 3 - Before
This was October 8, 2005. Our wedding day. I remember looking at our wedding pictures maybe a year after we lost the baby. And I looked at our faces and our smiles and saw us laughing and joking and having a truly wonderful time. And I remember thinking "we look so innocent, so young, so happy, so unaware of what's coming." I was definitely different before. Losing my baby and the difficult journey to becoming a mother to Finn changed me in so many ways. Mostly for the better I think. I think (I hope) I have more empathy and less judgement, more appreciation and less complaints, more love and commitment and less fear.
Day 4 - Now
I'm very content with who I am now and the wonderful life I lead. And by "wonderful" I don't mean perfect. There are highs and lows. But I think I'm better at feeling my feelings. Before, I think I tried very hard to avoid negative feelings. I lived in fear of being hurt and so I made lots of choices based on that - trying to avoid getting hurt. Losing the baby was a hurt too big to avoid. In a way, I'm grateful for that. I think I live a more honest life now. And swimming in the depths after we lost the baby has really helped me appreciate the good times. I'm grateful for even just a good moment. And I think I'm more aware, more focused on healing and growing. I often wonder if that would be the case if we hadn't finally gotten pregnant and safely given birth to Finn. Because truthfully, he brought me out of the dark. Having him in my life is when I finally started to really feel better and experience joy again.
Day 5 - Journal
No picture for this. I'm allowing myself to slack on pictures for days 5 & 6). I have always WANTED to write more than I actually wrote. After we lost the baby I did journal a little. I had to. I had to get some of what I was feeling out of me. That's when I started reading blogs and discovered that there were lots of women out there like me. It was immensely comforting. I don't write much anymore. I feel pretty good so I don't need it and life can be pretty busy.
Day 6 - Books
I read a lot of books after we lost the baby. I'm a book person. When I have a "problem," I read about it. So after the baby died, I read grief books, when we had trouble getting pregnant, I read infertility books, and now I read parenting books. The book that really stands out for me is Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking." I had never in my life felt the way I did after we lost the baby. I was lost. And I felt very alone. That book helped me understand that grief is a process and that there are not just mental effects, but physical ones. I remember feeling like my brain was broken. I had trouble finishing my sentences, couldn't come up with the word I wanted to say. I forgot things. And I never used to be like that - I had always been very quick and able to do 37 things at once, I remembered everything. That book made me feel like I wasn't crazy, that what I was experiencing was normal.