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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 15-Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I wanted to take a break from the running and the racing and the Disneying and focus on something else. Time to get serious folks.

On first glance, I seem like a very happy and satisfied person. That's because I am. My life is full and I am blessed. Get to know me and you will find that I am slightly goofy, mostly sarcastic and totally upbeat. I try not to complain about the "problems" I face in life because in the grand scheme of things, my problems are trivial and the good things I have far outweigh the bad. I tend to be the comic relief in my groups. I have a wonderful husband who treats me like a queen and 3 wonderful kids. I like to have fun. Lots of fun. You'll often find me double fisting pumpkin spiced lattes in the middle of Target:
Running half marathons dressed like Minnie Mouse:
Kissing gargoyles:
Fist pumping to music in my mini-van with all of my kids, taking selfies with my girls, making silly faces, and generally trying to get everyone to look on the bright side of things. I can be a bit brash and abrasive, I have a very up front personality(rather odd for an introvert wouldn't you say?) and people know they can rely on me for not only the honest truth, but a hard does of logic.

But only those who truly know me(and that's like, one person, I'm looking at you Missy Zarbock) know why I am the way I am. Why I stay on the side of logic and not emotion. Why I stay upbeat and don't sweat life's curve balls. Yes, I'm an optimist, but I'm pretty much completely shut off from most of my emotions. It's my own coping mechanism, my skills for self preservation.

What people don't see is a heaviness I carry with me. The heaviness is odd considering it is caused by a hole, an emptiness that can never be filled, a permanent void in my heart and soul. It silently consumes me, most days not so much but it's always there.

Why the void? Why the sad, heavy burden?
I became pregnant with my first child at 19 years old. Against so many odds, I gave birth to him in December 2002 and a month before I turned 20, before I was even old enough to drink, I lost my baby boy. It was a day that doesn't feel real anymore. A distant memory that feels like a dream but feels sickeningly familiar and fresh all at the same time. I was still pretty much a child myself, thrown into funeral planning and writing an obituary for the smiling boy I had held the morning before.
I didn't do well in the months after his death, my life completely spiraled out of control and it took a few years for me to dig myself out. I put myself back together, built up my wall, and started over again. I built myself back up, met new people, started a new family, moved halfway across the country and wiped the slate clean. People who know me now didn't know me back then. People see who they see now, very few people saw me then, so it's easy to miss the tiny, sad glimmer in my eyes.

But it's there. I have had 3 children since Chris died, I have my husband, I have so many wonderful friends, I have self confidence and self worth. But the wall I built to protect myself is still up. I never fully dealt with Chris' death, I just keep that part of me locked up and behind that wall, so others don't have to see it and I don't have to deal with it. My heart will never completely heal, no matter how many kids I have or how wonderful a life I have. I will keep running from that part of my life and that pain.

It makes you wonder, how many people do you cross each day that carry that pain and empty spot in their heart? How many people out there can never be truly happy, because they will always have a piece of them missing? The happiest days of my life, my wedding, the births of my other children, could never be completely perfect, because someone is missing. Nothing can ever be completely perfect.

This is something to think about when you meet new people. Why are they the way they are? Did something so awful shape their personality? What are they truly dealing with? 1 in 4 women experience the loss of a pregnancy, from miscarriage to still birth to infant death, like I did. You might not know it, but many of us carry this silent pain. Be gentle with us as life, at times, has not been.

In memory of my baby boy Chris 12-17-02-03-01-03, and all of the other angels gone too soon.





12 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this....peace. For Chris, Jake and Caleb.....I wish we were NOT in this club together, but its good to know I have friends who "get it".

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    1. It's a double edged sword. It's good to know I have you guys who understand, but I hate that you are here with me.

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  2. From one angel mom to another - Big hugs to you April!

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  3. Tears and hugs April, this is amazing. Because of the connections I have made in the last 6 years, I watch a lot of people lose their children and it is heart breaking each and every time, and heart breaking every time it comes up. No matter how long it's been. Much love to you and all my friends who have lost a baby or a child. xoxo

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  4. Such a good reminder for everyone - you never know what burden someone has had to shoulder and what they are dealing with every day. I'm sorry for your loss, but I thank you for your reminder.

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    1. This was kind of the point of it. I know I've turned people off down the line, because of my abrasiveness and my tendency to shut people out, or not connecting well with people. A lot of it stems from this and sometimes when you look behind the curtain, there are things in someone's past that explains why they are the way they are. Maybe they aren't that awful of a person but they are just carrying something around so heavy that it weighs them down.

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  5. Thinking of you April, knowing how strong you are, and thanking you for sharing your story.

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story about your sweet baby boy. I have too many friends who have lost a child, and I still never know the right words. Thanks for some insight into what you and many others are going through.

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  7. I love you April! Chris will never be forgotten. <3

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  8. You are an amazing person. I hate you deal daily with the loss of Chris. Its a hard load to carry that no one understands unless they have been in your shoes. Love you.

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