Through this time of loss, people in my life have been very good at listening to me through my tears. They have given me space to vent, space to grieve, and also at times pushed back on things I say. For all these things I am grateful. A few weeks ago I hit another low point in my grief. “They” say it comes in waves, and I can attest to that. I had begun taking birth control pills because I was scared of getting pregnant right away. I need space to grieve this child and space to allow my body not to be in the first trimester for 5 consecutive months. My friend and colleague then said, “But Joy, if you’re taking birth control you’re not going to get what you want.” I hated that she said that. Even though I hated it, I took her very seriously. I’m learning that think she’s right.
I’ve pondered that statement for the past month and tried to take in its full meaning. What does it mean to get what I want? I’m having to break apart the words to figure out what it is I’m looking for. How can I get what I want? I could get pregnant again soon. For a lot of women that is what they need both physically and emotionally. I’m different. I’m realizing I’ll never get what I want. I don’t want just any child. I want that child. I’ve realized that what I want is to be 15 weeks pregnant now. I want that belly. I want the morning sickness and fatigue to have gone away not because my kid died but because I have that second trimester glow everyone always talks about. I want to go to bed every night without seeing the stains of my mascara on my pillow. I want people to wonder if I’m pregnant or just gaining weight. I want to have cherished my child more while it was still alive.
I’m finding that I what I really want is to move through life without constantly fearing my tears. It happens whether I want it to or not. I cry at home, I cry at work, and I cry at the grocery store. I never know when my emotions will be visible to strangers. It has been two months since we lost our little minivan and hasn’t yet gotten any easier. This past Sunday at church we recognized nearly 40 of the most incredible high school seniors I’ve ever met. They are 10X more busy than I was at that age and still take time to help others. I brag on them all the time because they somehow manage to make strait A’s all while remaining well rounded human beings. As I watched them come forward to be celebrated by our church family I (once again) fell to tears. Of course I’m proud of them. Our world should be so grateful to have humans like this leading us. In addition to my gratitude for these 18 year olds, I’m also sad. This is just one more event I won’t get to celebrate with my baby. Its amazing that the most incredible and celebratory times can lead to me walking to the back of the sanctuary with tear stained eyes.
I want my child back. I want that belly. I want to celebrate others without my brain reminding me all the things I’ll never get to celebrate with our minivan.