Need to get my feelings out

This post may be kind of rambling, I just need to get my feelings out.

I miss my baby, my sweet River, so much.  I hate that she is gone.  It feels like my life is a puzzle with a piece missing.  Things will never be right or complete again.  No matter how beautiful the puzzle (and I do have a wonderful life) a piece will always be missing.  The hardest part might be that this can never be fixed.  I will never have my baby back, at least not in this life.  I will always have this hole in my heart.

Sometimes I am actually jealous of those who have late miscarriages or stillbirths.  I know that sounds strange, but I just wish I had gotten more time.  I lost River just 4 days after finding out about her.  I never heard her heartbeat, never saw her on an ultrasound, I don’t have any piece of her.  I have things that remind me of her, but it is things that I bought.  There is also so much that I never did because I thought I had more time.  I never sang to her, I never read her stories, talked to her, told her that I loved her.  I don’t even actually know if she is a girl, I just can’t call her an it, so I call her a she.  I wish I had something, anything.

It also hurts that everyone else has just moved on.  No one talks about her, I doubt anyone even thinks about her.  I miss her so much that sometimes I can hardly breathe through the pain, but no one else cares.  I know that a miscarriage is very different for the mother than it is for those around her.  No one else really had a connection with my baby, so they are not feeling the same loss as I am.  I just want someone else to miss her.  I want her to be loved and remembered and missed.

I had no idea a miscarriage could hurt so much.

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Pregnancy trauma

I have been having a hard time for a little while now.  After Iella was born my depression pretty much all went away, and it is still mostly gone, but my anxiety has started getting bad.  I almost wonder if it is kind of like PTSD.  I keep having nightmares about getting pregnant again.  I have flashbacks to the worst moments of my pregnancy, the ones where I didn’t think I would survive, when I thought I wouldn’t get to see Mingli grow up, the moment Iella was born blue and not moving when I thought she was dead and it was all my fault.  Often these flashbacks are accompanied with crying and hyperventilating.  Sometimes during the day I will just randomly think “what if I get pregnant again?” and it will put me into a panic attack.  The thought of going through another pregnancy has me so scared I can hardly think.  I am positive I won’t survive another pregnancy.

At the same time I want to have another baby so bad.  Kaanas and I have talked about adopting, and that is something I want to do no matter what, but it makes me sad that I may never have another newborn, may never get to nurse another baby.  I would love a child that I adopt just as much as Mingli and Iella, but the moments I would miss with that child makes me sad.

Making a difference

While on our adventure over the weekend I was driving while Kaanas slept at one point and he woke up to me sobbing.  One of the songs on the radio I was listening to had gotten me thinking about child hunger, and I started imagining what it would be like to not have food to give Mingli, to have to listen to him crying every day because he was hungry, and possibly even watch him starve to death.  I realized that is what some mothers are living with, and I decided that I need to do something.  I have always donated little things here and there, a couple of dollars to whatever charity the store I am shopping at is raising money for, a toy in the box at Christmas.  I don’t like to pass by a charity without giving something, but I have never sought out a charity and really tried to make a difference.

My first thought was that I wanted to donate a little bit each month to a different charity, even if it was just $10, so I started looking up charities.  The thing I was drawn to, though, was not something little.  The thing I was drawn to was donating an entire herd of animals to a community who needs it.  The only problem was that it cost $5,000 and there was no way Kaanas and I could afford that.  I started looking at other stuff, but kept going back to the herd of animals.  Then I realized, I don’t have to actually pay for it myself.  I decided that I am going to raise the money for it, even if it takes me months.  I spent some time looking up fundraising ideas and found a whole list.  Right now I am starting with wrapping gifts.  I have advertised in my church that I am wrapping Christmas presents for whatever donation people feel like making.  I have other ideas to do after the Christmas season as well.  I am really excited about this.

Grieving the loss of more kids

I have always wanted a large family.  It has been my dream for as long as I can remember.  After Mingli’s pregnancy Kaanas and I decided that we wouldn’t have as big of a family as we had been planning, but we were still planning on having a few kids.  Now, after what happened with Iella’s pregnancy, we don’t think even that is possible.  I honestly don’t know if I can make it through another.  Every time I think about getting pregnant again all I can think about is the fact that if I am not strong enough to make it through I will miss Mingli and Iella’s lives.  There were moments during Iella’s pregnancy where I was truly afraid I wasn’t going to be there for Mingli’s 3rd birthday, that I wouldn’t get to see him in his dinosaur costume, or get to help pick out his Christmas presents.  I want to see my children grow up, and I want to grow old with Kaanas.  But at the same time I am mourning the fact that I will never have another newborn.  Iella is already a month old.  I will never do this again and it makes me so sad.  I keep going back and forth between crying over not having anymore kids, to crying because I am so scared of being pregnant again.  I know it will take time to process all of this and learn to be ok with it.  I am trying to remind myself that it is ok to be sad.  Eventually I will be ok again.  There is so much I am trying to process and work through because of this pregnancy, this is just one of those things.

How my mom feels

At Mingli’s doctor’s appointment he got a couple of his vaccines.  After dinner recently this came up because Mingli wasn’t feeling well and my mom mentioned that it might be because of his shots.  My family is mostly pretty anti-vaccine, and some of them didn’t even know I was getting Mingli vaccinated, so instead of this being just a little comment it turned into a whole discussion about vaccines.  It was mentioned that President Roosevelt was in a wheelchair because of polio, and my mom said that yes, he was in a wheelchair, but he didn’t have autism (she firmly believes that vaccines cause autism).  Her tone sounded like she thought being in a wheelchair was preferable to having autism.  This was really hurtful to me, because she knows I have been diagnosed with autism, and even more so because she knows that we suspect Mingli has autism.  It felt like she was saying that she would prefer I was paralyzed than be the way I am.  It felt like she was saying that having autism was this awful thing.  I know many people feel this way, but to me autism is just part of who I am.  I have worked hard not to feel broken because of the things that are difficult for me, and it was hard to hear that my mom might still see me as broken.  More than anything I do not want her, or anyone, saying that kind of thing around Mingli.  If he gets diagnosed I never want him to feel broken.  I want to help teach him coping skills, but I want to teach him that his brain is just wired differently, but that is the way God made him, and God made him that way for a reason.  I just feel sad that my mom feels this way, and I don’t know what to do about it.

Independence

I have been thinking a lot about what we expect of babies.  I have heard a lot of advice about what I should be doing with Mingli and now Iella, and some of the advice is things I should be doing so my babies can be independent.  I do not believe in letting my baby cry, I co-sleep, and I do other things that I have been told will lead Mingli and Iella to being too dependent on me.  This has made me doubt my parenting style.  Recently, however, I have realized something.  Babies are supposed to be dependent on their caregivers.  They cannot feed themselves, they cannot do anything if they are cold, hot, wet, or hurt.  They need us.  Why do we expect independence from babies who cannot even hold their own heads up yet?  I’ve decided that infancy is a time of attachment, where I will be with my babies and make sure they knows I love them and that they can trust this world.  Toddlerhood is a time of growing independence.  Mingli has entered this phase and I have begun teaching him how to sleep by himself, make his own food, dress himself, and start developing the skills he needs to be truly independent.  My kids will learn these skills only after they has learned that I will always be there for them, that I love them, and that if ever they needs help I will always come.

Being a mother of 2

It has been so strange becoming the mother of 2.  I thought I had prepared myself for it, and I had in every way that I could.  I was prepared for trying to juggle the needs of 2 children.  I had thought out practical ways of handling things like bedtime, meals, and other times that I thought both kids might need me.  I am living with my parents so I knew I would have help when I needed it.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the way my heart would feel.  I wasn’t prepared for how torn I would feel.  All I want to do is hold Iella, love on her, soak in every minute of her being a newborn.  All I want to do is play with Mingli, do school with him, take him outside, make him laugh.  Each of my kids has my whole heart, all of my love, but they can’t each have all of my time.  This is the part of having another child that I didn’t expect, and it is the hardest part.  I guess all I can do is make sure to spend individual time with each of them every day and try and let go of the regret I feel over not being able to give them each more.

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