Holly Days: Let's Get Real

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Let's Get Real

I've been seeing a lot of bloggers talking about getting, "deep," & posting about , "real," things instead of always posting pretty photos & pretending their lives have no struggle. And then the make their, "real," post, only it's full of BS. The only blogger I've yet to see get, "real," is Audrey. And do you know what? I loved it. I love her raw honestly. I loved that she put herself out there. I loved that she was brave & talked about the real shit.

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 MandeyAudreyChelseaJoni & 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:

For those who don't already know, I lost my first born, Liam, in August of 2008. Our story is eerily similar to Diana's from. My bag of water broke early due to an incompetent cervix that was previously undiagnosed. We held off labor for two days. I finally had to birth my baby boy & he died 15 minutes later in his Mama's arms. You can read his story here.

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.


  1. This is a great idea. I love your post and I'm glad I found you and was able to read. Your a very strong woman and your doing great by letting Liam still live through you! I think making a cake each year is a great idea!

    1. Thank you very much! I'm so glad you found my blog & enjoy it!

  2. This is a great idea and I love what you have shared. I'm also sorry that you had to go through it. I always wonder though what's appropriate to share on my blog. I think I get real every so often, but I'm always nervous about what people are thinking. Did I overshare? You know what I mean?

    1. Thank you..I think we all wonder that. But it also feels good to let it out & connect with other people who have been through similar experiences.

  3. I am so sorry! And I agree with the pp.. let Liam live through you! He is watching you.. every step of the way!

  4. Oh darling. I could not imagine having to go through that! It is literally a fear. But I love that you spend his birthday eating cake and remembering him. (ps I thought about him a lot yesterday.)

    1. Mother's Day is always the worst. :) But I have persevered & so have you! :)

  5. oh my. I linked up, but I've read your post and Joni's and I'm not sure I belong. I'm so sorry for what you've gone through. I cannot imagine.

    1. Of course you belong. Nothing isn't nOT serious enough. If it was something big to you or hard for you, it doesn't make it any lesser a struggle than anyone else. :)

  6. i could never even imagine the pain of losing a child. although it just doesn't even compare to holding your child in your arms and having to say goodbye, i had two miscarriages in a row in my second trimester before having my second child, phoenix. it was a very hard couple of years for me and i almost gave up trying to have another child after that. i love that you keep him alive by celebrating each year.

    1. It is the worst imaginable pain. But so is miscarriage. I'm sorry for your losses as well.

  7. thinking of you, and liam.

  8. Great idea & outlet (found out through L to the third)! I haven't exactly been in your shoes, but I know what it's like to lose a baby. Someday I'll get into it, but I decided to start small this week. Thank you for sharing this post- it's really moving.