By Loss Mom, Morgan McLaverty
Leaving for the hospital on October 16th in 2016, I put my two boys down for a nap and kissed them goodbye.
I left home with my Lennon for the last time.
I was nearly thirty-two weeks pregnant when I walked into that hospital. Walking out, I was a grieving, broken mother, holding only a box of memories.
There is something to be said of coming home from the hospital without a baby and instantaneously having to return to mom life. Your living children need you, no less now than before, and yet you are no longer YOU. The free spirited mom who would have everyone follow her out in the rain, to run and dance and sing..... she was left behind the moment her child passed away, a few short weeks before delivery. Yet, the sweet faces that greet you upon your arrival don't know your burdens. They don't understand that your pain isn't their fault, or theirs to bear.
As a loss mom, you still have to be a mother. Even when you are broken. Even when the "before you" has been irrevocably altered by a pain like no other and forcibly forged together the facets that remained. You paint on the smile and hope that one day, soon, you'll actually feel what it means to smile and mean it. You will catch yourself feeling the whispers of love touching your aching, burdened heart and you won't welcome it. You will feel guilty for it's presence. How can there be happiness when so much is wrong? How can love live within a broken heart?
I often credit my living children for holding my hands and (unknowingly) forcing me to be okay. They did not allow me to sit and feel the torment. They did not allow me to wallow in bed, skipping showers and forgetting food. Caring for them, in turn, made me care for myself when my son was stillborn. I am grateful for their presence, yet I wonder if I was ever given ample time to deal. The miracle that I have living children has never been lost on me. Being aware of the blessing doesn't mean that there won't be hardships though.
They have helped me move forward. Was I ready to though?
They helped me enforce a "fake it 'till I make it" mentality. But is playing pretend truly what's best for a grieving heart?
Coming home from the hospital with out a baby in my arms would not have been easier without them at home to care for. It just may have made caring for me a little easier. Also, there would not be the added burden of feeling guilt that you are not doing enough for your children; enough for yourself. Just, not enough.
Wanting to work through the shattered pieces of who I once was, saying goodbye to a child and finding out what steps need to be taken to be okay, while simultaneously being a Pinterest mom is a feat no one asked of me. Yet, looking into the eyes of the children that miraculously lived, added stress and pressure to an already impossible situation.
But they are the reason I am here.
They are the smile that lives in me, even during my hardest moments. They are the answer to my why.
I am grateful for the burden. Profoundly certain that they gave me relief from the waves of grief. They also created in me, guilt and pressure to want to be okay.
Because of them.