Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days of Issues {Day 15}: Issues and Infant Loss


Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  One in four women in the U.S. has experienced the loss of a pregnancy or infant.  One in four, 25%.  That's quite a statistic.

I'd like to take some time to put a bit of a different spin on PAIL (pregnancy and infant loss), and speak to how profoundly this loss can change a mother.  Specifically, how it changed me in these six "issues" areas.  

The almost twelve months following Evie's death were a struggle.  A serious struggle.  Up was down, black was white, here was there.  I was completely out of sorts.  Life made no sense.  And any progress I had made on the staircase of life, whether spiritually or otherwise, was lost.  I was knocked down to the basement.  Except this time my arms and legs were broken.  And my motivation was shot.

Slowly but surely over that year I started to heal, to relearn myself and the world and how to once again relate to others around me.  But it took a year.  And a new pregnancy. 

Truthfully, I think I am still healing in some areas.  Here's a little glimpse into my heart the year following Evie's death.

Control:

The first thing that comes to mind was my need to control my environment.  I needed to be careful who I was around and for how long and what we talked about because I had no idea when the waterworks would start or when my still healing heart would just need to "check out".  And so I spent many days just alone with my little man because then I could control the factors of my day a bit better.

I am happy to be a living, breathing testament of God's restoration in this area.  I am much more social and able to interact with others less tentatively.  I still have my days, but it's not the same as it had once been.

Insecurity:

About my body.  Here I was, toting around 20 extra pounds of baby weight with no motivation to get rid of it.  I mean, I wanted it gone, but if running the vacuum was hard, you'd better believe running on the treadmill was out of the question.  Not to mention I had that baby weight but no visible baby.  At times I just wanted to scream, After my son I lost all the weight and got back into my size 6 jeans ... this time my baby died.  She died!  And it has been hard to do anything ... 

I'm still working on this one.  I have been working hard to get my weight down, but I am still feeling the consequence of baby weight from Evie.  Dwelling on it brings me down so I just try to remind myself that I am trying my best and leave it at that.  

Comparison:

To what I used to be able to do.  I had to remind myself that I was grieving and healing.  I needed to be patient with myself and let my heart become whole again.  It wasn't easy, but it was a good lesson.

Fear:

Um, hello.  Yeah.  The question is, what didn't I fear?  Losing another baby, losing Micah, losing my husband, not being able to have another baby, of being misunderstood, that Evie would be forgotten, and the list goes on.  Fear has long been my pet issue and it is a continual struggle.  And most of the reason why, as evidenced by my Netflix instant queue, I am a pre-teen girl with a penchant for Lindsay Lohan tween dramas.  And the Office.  And, let's be real, Phineas and Ferb.  Gotta keep things light.

This really is a daily battle and I must make a conscious effort to live in right now and not what if.  

Anger:

Towards life and the general feeling of angst that was present on a daily basis.  I wanted to be "normal" again and I so wasn't.  And it didn't seem to be coming anytime soon.  I'm not proud of this, but there are telltale dents in my floors and doors that bear evidence of my anger - the need to throw something - to give my anger some sort of outlet.  I wanted to run and escape my body and my reality and was so angry that I couldn't.  

It is true that overcoming anger leads to peace.  I had to bow to the idea that in God's plan for the universe, Evie was always meant for Heaven.  Surrendering to His sovereignty was really the only way the anger stopped.  And it's not really a struggle anymore, praise God.

Unforgiveness:

Toward God for doing this to me.  I had to slowly learn to trust Him again.  It's really hard to kiss the Hand that takes from you, but no longer striving is necessary for healing.

Towards people whom I felt misunderstood me.  Towards others who handled Evie's passing in their own way but, in the process, hurt me too.  I remember having a talk with one of our pastor's wives and saying, I can't believe I have to deal with people too, on top of all this!  She said she knew it was hard, so very hard, but that I still needed to be thankful.  That was foolproof advice.  Unforgiveness and thankfulness are somewhat mutually exclusive, and I found my heart sort of melting and trying to see things their way.  It was a real blessing.

There is no doubt in my mind that losing Evie changed me.  Losing her allowed me to learn some life lessons I would have otherwise missed.  While it has not been easy, I hope I am better because of it all.  

If you know someone who has lost a baby, please extend as much grace as you can.  Her heart is trying to make sense of the world again.  And it is quite a process <3 



1 comment:

  1. One guy said, "The world is a bad place. I think I'll move." And that's just what all of us followers of Jesus are going to do someday.

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