Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Life according to Michelle...

The Duggars recently aired the episode which chronicled the discovery of their daughter's death and her memorial service. Typically, I do not watch this show, but I heard this episode was airing, so I made it a point to watch. Even though I do not understand many of the family's lifestyle choices, several things about their ordeal really struck home.

First off, I was so impressed and touched by Michelle's serene approach to what had happened. She said so many things that really resonated with me. She spoke often of how much joy Jubilee had brought them during the 18 weeks she had been alive. I had never thought of this before, but even with all the risk and sacrifice associated with my pregnancy, I was SO HAPPY to be pregnant with triplets. I enjoyed thinking of the men they would one day become and trying to predict what each of their personalities would be. I enjoyed hoping and dreaming for them, and I was so excited and anxious to meet my little men. When Boe died, I was so consumed by the shock and sadness that accompanied his death that I forgot to remember how much joy he brought to me during the days he was living.

Michelle also spoke of how Jubilee got see the Lord first. I am no where near as religious or devout as the Duggars are, but I found such peace and comfort in this thought. If Boe never got to lay eyes on his mommy and daddy, at least the first thing he saw was someone who will always accept him, protect and love him. The last thing that really stood out to me was the kind of life she believes Jubilee will now have. She spoke of the fact that Jubilee will never have to cry or feel pain. She will never experience sadness, heartache or despair. Adam and I both feel that, had Boe lived, he would have been compromised in some way, to what extent we cannot predict.

As a parent, you try your damnedest each and every day to shield your children from pain and sadness even if it means that you, yourself, hurt in their stead. If carrying this sadness, this awful, empty burden, is what it takes to guarantee that my little boy never cries; if his life needs to take place in the solace of another, more powerful, set of arms to save him from a life of discomfort, struggle and pain, then I will bear that burden. I may not do it willingly or always happily, but at least I can do it knowing that he is in the care of someone far greater and more capable than I, and I can do it with gratitude for the joy he brought me while he lived and the joy that keeping his memory close brings to each day.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


One would think that the loss of a child would send anyone in to a deep and dark depression out of which it seems nearly impossible to emerge. Sadly, this is probably the case for many men and women who have found themselves in just this predicament. It's not to say that I was not sad and very low in the days following Boe's death, I was; I just did not have the luxury of succumbing to the bone-crushing, mind-numbing despair that catapulted into my life.

I had 2 boys in the NICU and a beautiful little girl at home. They all needed me and, for my sanity, I needed them. So, surprisingly, in the midst of immense pain and tragedy, I was able to push forward and find bits of joy in each day. It was in Libby learning to speak and walk, it was in each little victory my 2 little survivors achieved. Now, nearly 2 years later, I find myself in a very different place, and it's not one which I care to visit for too long.

I feel it is safe to say that I am knock down, drag out depressed. I do not want to get up every morning, I only do because I know I have to. The desire to sleep, and consequently "escape", is at the top of my list daily.

I look forward to very little and dread almost everything. Big events have the tendency to practically paralyze me with anxiety. Before you shake your head or roll your eyes in disgust at how self-serving this is: I KNOW how lucky I am. I have 4 beautiful living children and 1 in heaven. I have a husband who is very supportive and works tirelessly for our family. I am amazed, and sometimes envious, at how willing and able he is to whisk some or all of the kiddos away so I can have a little quiet time.

In spite of all this, I hate myself. I look in the mirror and I see a tired, sad and worn out me. I see a woman who is defeated and down trodden. I see a woman who I do not wish to be, but do not know how to get rid of. I hate that waking up everyday has become a chore, a burden, for me. I hate that my sweet little children, no doubt, suffer the brunt of my ambivalence and anxiety. I hate that my husband comes home from working a long day and has to swoop in to take over because I am simply spent. They all deserve better from me, and Lord knows I desperately want to give it to them. I just don't know how.

I am taking steps to right this situation, and I pray it will not take long to see a positive change. I just wonder, why now? Why when I have just given birth to a perfectly healthy, full-term baby? Why when I have 3 other little ones who crave my love and affection? Why when it is more important than ever that my husband and I present a united front and land on the same page? Why not when Boe died and it was logical for me to be sad, and I only had Libby at home, and I knew that Adler and Cameron were being well cared for by the NICU nurses? Why not when Adam was off from work and I could have leaned on him more without being such a burden, why not when we could have moved through our grief and the process with a bit more unification, and time? Why not?

Because. Because, and it sucks. I am ready to start living my life again, I am ready to be me again, to laugh at jokes I once found funny instead of rolling my eyes at how lame they are, to wear clothes and shoes that once made me feel pretty instead of hiding them in the closet because they make me feel ugly and out of shape, to want to reach out to friends and family whom I really miss seeing and hearing from but don't because I am too tired to do so and too ashamed to be honest about what I am moving through, to honor my little boy Boe and my surviving children by being a happy fun mommy who sees reading a story to them as an adventure not a chore or an interruption, to be the wife who greets her husband with a warm smile instead of a tired drawn look that says, "I'm done" and a snap in her voice that says, "This sucks". Yes, I am ready to be the best possible me that I can be because EVERYONE dear to me deserves it and, quite simply, I'm tired of feeling this way.