Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's Been One Week Since We Looked At You...

It has been a full week since our ultrasound and it feels like we have aged seven years instead of just seven days.  There have been so many emotions, discussions, decisions and feelings to deal with and a lot of tears to shed.  Despite all that, we have still been trying to cling to some semblance of normalcy...not just for us but for the girls as well.  Chris has been off work most of that time and I worked some modified hours this weekend, but for the most part we have just been spending time as a family and enjoying one another. We've eaten out a lot because I just haven't been able to make myself prepare anything. We've also probably indulged the girls a bit more than normal - hence the fact that we now have a kitten.  Otherwise, we have done a pretty good job of holding it together during the day and trying to make sure that life is moving on as close to "normal" as possible for the time being.

It has surprised me a little that woven through all of the bad we have encountered this last week, we have managed to find moments of fun, laughter and goodness too. It seems like the image I have always had when someone receives tragic news is that they spend all day and night sobbing in bed and just can't manage to go on.  (Don't get me wrong, I've had times where all I want to do is hide in bed and pretend that this isn't happening to us!) In reality, it is always in the back of my mind but we have still managed to laugh and play and enjoy the girls.  Chris and I have laughed and teased and glimpsed pieces of our old relationship. I have been able to think about other things like the grocery list, Christmas presents, Halloween costumes and finally getting a haircut that was nearly two years overdue.

The downside to all of that?  It kind of makes me feel guilty.  I wonder if I'm allowed to laugh?  If I'm allowed to have fun?  If I'm allowed to forget about this tragedy long enough to focus on something else? I know, of course, that the answer is "Yes, it's the only way you'll survive."  Somehow, that doesn't help the guilty feeling all that much though.  In the end, I find myself questioning - "Why are you able to discuss this without crying?"  "Why have you been so focused on the practical?" "How are you managing to get up each day, dress and feed your kids, and do all of the other things that have to be done?" "Why aren't you in near-constant tears?"

For the last week, I probably have been focusing more on the less emotional aspects of our diagnosis; these would be the things that require a decision or action on our part at some point.  It is probably intentional that I try not to let myself think about the things that we'll never get to experience with our third child.  Right now, those are the things that make me tear up and feel like I'm at the edge of losing it. I never thought I would be able to discuss cremations, burials, funerals, or death without sobbing, but I've had to.  With those things already discussed, my mind is painfully free to contemplate the first hugs and kisses that we'll never feel, the first words that we'll never hear, the first tears we won't get to wipe away, and the first time playing with big sisters that we'll never get to see. These are the things that didn't really come to mind those first few days but are creeping in now and breaking my heart. 

I know that the strength I've had in the last week has been a blessing and I am grateful that we've made it this far. I am also thankful for the fun and the good times we have still managed to have.  It just somehow feels like it means we love this baby less than we should or that we aren't grieving "the right way." (I know there isn't really a "right way" to grieve, but if you've been there I think you know what I mean.)

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