We lost our blueberry in January 2011 and it is still just so sad. I am sad for us, sad for all the mamas out there who have a candle lit tonight and sad for all of the mamas who may have a candle lit next year. I am especially sad for those mamas that I know are out there, in the darkest of places, who don't even want to get up and light that candle, or acknowledge that this has happened to them. They are still stuck in that darkness, feeling as though they will never escape - I was there once too.
Why are there so many of us? 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss, whether an early loss or a later one, that's 25%. Why doesn't anyone tell you this? Why is it something kept so secret that when we are in that dark place we feel as though something is wrong with us, or like we could have done something to prevent this.
Losing our blueberry changed my life. I have been accused of "being obsessed" with my daughter but goddamn it - don't I have a right to be?! After a loss, that fear lingers. The fear is always in the back of your mind, whenever you are happy or excited, tugging at you and trying to drown you, the fear of losing the one you love again. I think of losing Lemon often and there isn't a moment that goes by that I try to strangle that fear from taking over with gratitude instead. Gratitude for my ability to be a mother and each day, especially on the tough ones, I think of those out there who don't get this privilege.
The sadness also never goes away. I cannot watch the beginning of Up without getting tears in my eyes or that part in The Help where the woman plants a rose for every one of her lost babies. The sadness lingers and tonight as I looked at your photos, read your stories and saw all of the candles that Brooke (from Swell Forever) lit for all of us, I cried. The tears are always there, with the fear, I have to constantly work on containing them and to count my blessings.
I am grateful for my journey. It took me a long time to say this, to realize that I am GRATEFUL, and to not be jealous or angry that my journey wasn't easier. I have met so many amazing women, have connected to so many people and have received so many emails about people finding my story, reading it and then it bringing them peace in their own journey. Of course I am not content with my journey, I never will be, but I can't change my story so I am content with where it has led me instead. It has led me to all of you.
I am not the best at building a community on here or on any other social media. My time is consumed with working full time, cooking dinners and spending free moments with Lemon, who I don't see enough during the week (duh). But I do feel as if I am part of an unspoken community, and it brings me joy to know you are out there and that you understand. Sometimes I feel crazy, sometimes I let the fear consume me and spend my days worrying about the little one I love more than I should but then I remember that I'm not alone and there are others out there maybe feeling just as crazy as me. Thank you for being "out there" and I hope that you feel it too. You are my community.
If you would like to read about my journey, I linked my Pregnancy Loss posts above. Yoga has helped immensely in my journey; and I just celebrated my teacher's birthday last week and honored her with a gift, telling her that she helped to bring me back to life after I was swallowed in darkness. I write a lot about my practice here and what it taught me, and how it helped me to want to live again. Find something that helps you, something that gets you out of bed, something that you love and that makes you happy - that will help you heal. Brooke, from Swell Forever, also has a compilation of blog posts from a lot of us who have experienced losses and that is an amazing place to send someone if they are going through this, I would have loved to have stumbled upon that when I was losing my babe. I am also here for you, if you've found this blog through loss, and would be happy to write to you and offer you support, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to the so many mamas who have written me and told me your story, I am so honored and blessed to "know" each of you.
If you know someone who has experienced a loss, or have gone through a loss yourself, I am giving away one of this Forever Birds (from Swell Forever) on Instagram, see my pic for details. I bought one and it is so cute, I love how it hangs in my window, reminds me so much of my blueberry.
When I tucked my own babe into bed tonight I cuddled her extra tight and we sang "You Are My Sunshine" and "This Little Light of Mine" in honor of all of your babes. My heart is with you all tonight. I hope you find peace in knowing you are not alone, and that you are able to heal over time. We will always remember but we can't let the darkness swallow us, we must live on.