Talk to me in February.
That was my response to everything having to do with this pregnancy up until a few weeks ago. Nursery? Baby showers? Preparation? I couldn’t think about it until Callie’s birthday had come and gone. It was just too much to process.
And now it’s February. Actually, it’s half-way through February. Holy crap.
I’m not sure what I thought would happen in this magical month. But I do know that I was really looking forward to it. I couldn’t wait for January to be over, for the worst year of my life to come to a close. I would be able to turn the calendar page to February and be able to finally focus solely on our little rainbow and feel relief wash over me.
As I came inside the house the other day, I realized that our calendar is still stuck on January. No symbolic page turn. Frozen in time.
Because the last two weeks, I have been busily trying to avoid reality. The thoughts and emotions that we experienced in January drained me and I desperately wanted a break. A break from thinking, from feeling. I just wanted to feel normal. Like any other expectant mother. Happy and care-free. So, I filled every moment with nursery decorating plans and lots and lots of reality TV. And I carefully ignored, avoided, and ran from the soft and quiet emotions flowing through me like a gentle, yet still powerful, stream.
It’s backfired. Damming up this stream has caused these emotions to spill over into the most unexpected places. These feelings have bubbled up on numerous occasions over the past two weeks in the form of stress, anxiety and worry, and, I must admit, some pretty powerful crying spells over the smallest things. The slightest disappointments turn into huge emotional tailspins. And because I was ignoring all of my feelings, I couldn’t figure out why. I blamed it on the hormones, but my heart knew better.
Last night, I finally opened the dam and let it all out. And with it came the realization that I had impossible expectations. I subconsciously thought that after the “year of firsts” was over that I would be able to turn all of my focus and energy on my rainbow baby. Undivided attention. Only happy thoughts.
I’m not sure I can think of a single mom out there that has the capability of shutting off thoughts and emotions for one child so she can focus solely on another. But, somehow that is what I was trying to do. And it’s impossible. No wonder I felt such discontentment.
The truth is that decorating Rainbow’s room is bittersweet. We decided to give her the guest room because it just didn’t feel right to use Callie’s nursery. Moving the furniture around and deciding what would stay and what would go was heart-wrenching. So is thinking about the two giant boxes of clothes that we saved from Callie. For every happy thought, there is an equal and opposite sad thought as we recognize all the things we didn’t get to do or use with Callie.
And there is also the fear.
The undeniable fear that we could go through all the motions and be disappointed once again. We could drive home with an empty car seat in the rear view again. Walk in to a waiting nursery with empty arms again. This explains why I have had meltdowns over the tiniest disappointments. I’m having trouble coping with them. The fear courses through me each and every day and there is no way to stop its flow.
My only hope is to ask God for a life jacket. Trusting God right now is difficult and I’m not sure how. I have felt tremendous guilt for doubting him and I know that I have not been able to fully surrender and give him my trust and faith. But I’m trying. I want to. My hope is that if I ask God for a life jacket he will help me float on top of the doubts and fears rather than drowning in them.
And so with one hand on my brass ring, and goofy floaties on each arm I’m going to do my best to forge through the river. We will decorate. We will plan. We will celebrate. But I will be careful to balance my babies, to remember, to acknowledge my feelings rather than damming them. It won’t be like other mommies’ journeys. I have to get over that.
My prayer right now: Believe. Float. Amen.