Its' true. The blogging world is full of pretty things. And happy Mamas. And clean houses. And perfectly styled/dressed children. And that's okay.
But I started my blog after I lost Liam. I started my blog to write & make myself uncomfortable because that's what helped me to heal. I somehow lost track of that & got caught up in the pretty. Don't get me wrong, some things should be kept private. Especially when they concern other people (for instance, I have never delved into the details of my divorce because it directly involves Collin's Dad; a public platform is not appropriate in that situation). But I got into blogging for my love of writing. And in my opinion, the best writing occurs when it's outside of your comfort zone.
I am passionate about writing & self-growth. But I also get caught up in the need to be a perfect Mama. A perfect daughter. A perfect girlfriend. A perfect everything. And I make things, "pretty." But it's about to get real up in here.
I've decided to once a week host a linky party. I'll call it, "Let's Get Real." And once a week, on every Monday, I will write about something uncomfortable or something I'd normally be afraid to share. I'm hoping this will inspire others to write & improve on themselves. Reflection is an awesome tool & incredibly therapeutic. If you're not sure what to write about, here are some ideas/examples:
- a body part or personality trait you are self-conscious about
- a struggle you're currently going through
- a struggle you overcame
- something that happened to you
- a scary encounter
- a move you were reluctant to make
- a chance you didn't take
- dealing with daily pressures (wife, mother, work, etc)
I plan to have this go up every Monday & I have already recruited a few of your favorite bloggers including Mandey, Audrey, Chelsea, Joni & Megan.
We all struggle. We all have inner turmoil. Let's use blogging as our platform to inspire & lift each other up. Here is our button, so please take it & put it on your blog or use it on your Let's Get Real post. Our first posts will be going up Monday morning, so be sure to stop by any of the above listed Mama's blogs above to link up.
Now that the deets are out of the way, here is my first Let's Get Real post:
When you lose a baby, people are so caught up in the fact that you just lost your baby to think about the small reminders. The things that people don't even realize you have to deal with. Things that, when you have an alive baby, you never even think twice about. Things like getting his social security card in the mail. Formula samples. Weekly pregnancy update emails. Congratulations on your newborn cards from Gerber or Target or wherever you registered & happily gave your baby's due date. Returning baby gifts. Packing up baby clothes. Seeing if you can get your money back for the crib. Cancelling the baby shower. Hospital bills. Paying...writing a check...for the care of the baby you don't even have. Telling the people in your life that you are no longer pregnant & then facing the questions.
For me, the worst reminder? One of the worst & hardest things to deal with, was when my milk came in. It was the next morning. We had come home the morning before & I spent the entire day in my bed. I drifted in & out of sleep, but never rested. My Uncle dropped off some food & even money to help us with medical expenses he knew would be coming our way, but I did not greet him & stayed locked inside my room. I had been weeping over Liam's tiny clothes hanging in the closet all night. I woke the next morning & Greg was making breakfast. I sat down in a daze, barely greeting Christine (Greg's daughter-in-law who was living with us at the time with her twin daughters). And then, I felt it. Wet. Cold. On my breasts & I looked down & saw the damp circles on my shirt. I could not get up from the table fast enough. I was embarrassed. I was mad. I was so fucking mad at my body. Didn't it know my baby wasn't here. Didn't it realize the baby was early & did not make it? Didn't my emptiness inside will the milk to just disappear?
I took the longest shower of my life. I locked myself in the bathroom & just stood in the water. No sobbing, no pained moans. I just...was. And there were no more tears, nothing left to cry. I had nothing left inside of my body to give. I was defeated. And now my body was reminding me of that.
Sometimes, I don't understand how I made it through those first few days. I honestly don't remember much. Flowers poured in, people sent emails, gifts, cards & sent their love. None of it mattered to me. All I wanted was for the nightmare to be over.
I remember pulling out an old, too small sports bra after that shower & I never took it off. Not for a solid week. I was terrified of more milk escaping & did not want to face it or deal with it. My stupid body. This stupid body that couldn't even protect & grow my son. This stupid body that failed him...& me.
The final day I wore the bra, I was getting ready for a shower. I'd developed a stretch mark tracing ritual...the only proof that my baby existed was on my body. The body that failed me was also ensuring my baby lived on. I also realized I'd stopped lactating. I was suddenly so frantic for the milk to appear again...because it was also proof that he existed. A reminder, yes & I was desperate for it to stop, but once it was gone, it felt like he was, too. All over again. Life was moving on....without him in it.
I couldn't stop the tears. But I was robotic at this point. I took my shower.
And it was in the shower, with my stupid body that wasn't so stupid anymore, that I made the decision to not let Liam's death consume me. I refused to allow Liam to be associated with sadness. Everyone was looking at me so pitifully. And treating me like I would literally crack open. But I was proud to be Liam's Mama & he did live. His life was short, but he was loved & celebrated & gave me so much joy. And he may not be here, but God damn it, my stretch marks are & I am. His Mama is here.
It's hard. His death is still a demon that I fight every morning. I carry the weight of him with me everywhere I go. Where I exist, he exists inside of me. And that's ok with me. I have learned to live & live for him. And I'm ok with being the crazy lady who makes her dead baby a birthday cake every year & sobs. I am ok with all of that. As unfair & sucky & shitty as it is, I have learned to be ok.