Living with the loss of stillbirth and learning to live in the sunshine of our new normal.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

'Tis the Struggle

You know the dreams where it feels like you're falling? The kind that you wake up from, gasping for air?
That's how I've been feeling almost constantly for the past few days. Yes, you knew it was coming- another blog about my Charlotte. Because it is this time of year that I miss her the most. That I can't stop thinking about her. About how it felt to lose her. About how it felt to be without her on her first Christmas last year. And about how it felt when she lived inside of me. And all of these things make me feel selfish.
Look at what I have. A perfect daughter, about to have her first Christmas. A wonderful husband, who works so damn hard to bring home the money we need for food, shelter, diapers. And all I can think is, "It isn't enough." Why isn't this enough? I have 1,000x more of everything than many people have of anything. And it's not enough. Which makes me a horrible person. A horrible friend, wife, mother. Because I have so much and yet, I am beginning to wonder, to question.

Up until now, I haven't really questioned. I was a good little solider and I didn't ask (at least not often) "Why, God, why?" And really, to be honest, I'm still not asking that question. What I want to know is "Why not". Why is it that Laura visits my dreams so often. She comes to me and we rarely talk, but we hug and we cry and we love each other. In my dreams she forgives me for being a monster of a sister. For yelling at her for being a kid. For not inviting her to all my parties. She visits me, and I know it's not just a dream. It is a true visit from my sister. But for nearly two years, I have been asking, praying, begging- for a visit from my daughter. The girl I loved from the moment I saw the two lines. The girl I prayed for every night and woke with every morning. I ask God to please PLEASE let me see her, let me hold her again. Even if it's only a dream, please let her visit. Please let me close my eyes and hold my baby in my arms, let me feel what it's like to tuck her into her bed, to comb her hair and hear her voice saying "Mommy". Let me have a little piece of my baby.
But it doesn't happen. It never happens. And all I can think is "why not?" And because I don't get answers from God, I have my own. Because it was my fault? Did I do something, or not do something that caused her to die? All of the doctors can't answer me, and the one who can, God- well, He isn't talking. Does she not WANT to come and see me? Is that why I am not allowed to see her? Does she blame me for not protecting her? Because I didn't. Whatever happened to her, I am the only one who was supposed to keep her safe. Was it something I did even before I got pregnant? Some pill I took, an antibiotic or allergy pill, that messed up her chances of survival? I know we have gone this round before. The doctors could agree on this at least. It wasn't my fault. But what if I could go back and do things differently? It haunts me. Not only because I don't know what the outcome would be, but because I cannot do it anyway. Even if given that chance. Because one little change would take Sophia away from me, and she is my greatest joy. And some people might say that there is my answer. I lost Charlotte so that I would have Sophia when I did. But why is that okay, to take one for another?

It's Sophia now who catches me when I feel like I am falling. It only takes a smile, a laugh, a stinker face. Her calling for mama. And I find my feet underneath me again. And I know this will become less of a struggle. As the years go on, I will find more and more peace. I know these things. But I want to know now. Why not? Why not now? Is it really just the season? Was it the damned book? (Sorry Becca, I'm not blaming it or you- it's just what started me reeling again.) Is it just the feeling that I'm not good enough? Because I cannot do it all, I didn't deserve the chance? Whatever it is, I wish it would go away. I'm so tired. I'm tired of feeling like I am falling into nothing, especially when I know I have so much. I have so many people that will catch me. And I know it, I just can't feel it right now. I'm tired of lying awake in bed wondering what my dreams will bring, and worse- waking up disappointed. Again and again.

But beyond all of this. And there is a beyond. We are celebrating. Everyday, in between bouts of doubt. Sophia is here with us and I am beyond grateful for her. For this chance, to see her unwrap a doll on Christmas. To put her in her Christmas jammies and send her to bed with a promise that Santa will come by morning. I have been waiting for this chance for two long years. And I am not wasting it.