Friday, January 31, 2014

The New Year, Loss Anniversaries, and Grief

I just published a few posts all about our Christmas, but they published on the date that I drafted them. You can find them in January 2014 if you're interested :-).

We had just been at my parents' house for a few days on the 26th through the 28th of December, but we headed back there for some more family time on Monday, December 30th. My Granny was there staying with my parents for a few weeks, as was my nephew, Jordan. We planned to stay for just a few days, but the kids and I ended up being there until January 3rd.

We didn't get there Monday until dinnertime, so there wasn't much time to do anything that day. Mom had to work on Tuesday, December 31st, but we were able to spend the day with Granny. We didn't do anything major, but Granny and I were able to really talk a lot (especially while the kids were napping) and that was priceless time. 

Even though is was New Year's Eve, we didn't have a lot planned for the evening. We did eat some yummy snacks, but other than that we watched The Brady Bunch and worked a puzzle. I know, PARTY ANIMALS! Haha! I had to snap a few pics before the kiddos went to bed (at their normal bedtime . . . no midnight for them!)

Granny, Jordan, and Bren

Me and my Mom

I didn't get a photo of my parents during our Christmas celebration, so I made it priority to get one on NYE. My dad was less than cooperative. Ahem.

Oh wait! That's better :-)!

Me, Granny, and Mom . . . this isn't a fabulous photo, but it's the only one I have of us from that night.

Chris had been super sick while we were there, and we found out later he had the flu. Ugh.

Our little family on the last day of 2013 . . . a year we were ready to see GO!

Chris had to be back to work on Thursday (January 2nd), and somehow we had to get Brenson's big Christmas gift home (a workbench my dad made that wouldn't fit in our car). Because of this, Dad and Jordan drove Chris back to our house on Wednesday the 1st, along with the workbench. However, Chris was so sick that he couldn't go to work on Thursday, and ended up at Urgent Care instead. This is when we found out he had the FLU the whole time he'd been at my parents' house. My sister and her husband Russ had been at my parents' house when we were there before, and Russ was super sick then. They were also planning to come back, but my sister ended up being very sick so they couldn't come. So, it looks like they had all passed the flu around.

This probably deserves a post all it's own, but I'm just going to include it at the bottom of this one. January 1, 2014 was the one year anniversary of the day we lost B3. I had really been dreading this day. I could tell that during the days leading up to the anniversary I was distracted, edgy, and emotional. I just kept thinking back to one year before when we were so blissfully happy to be expanding our family again. It was truly our dream coming true, and then it was gone. Just like that. And 2013? It was the hardest year of my life so far. The grief would just sweep in and knock me off my feet with no warning. I was pretty scared of the anniversary because I was afraid of the emotions that would come with it. I hated not knowing what to expect, and I hated feeling volatile.

However, on New Year's Day, I was okay. I certainly had B3 on my mind ALL DAY, and I was a bit more weepy than normal, but I was okay. Honestly, the days leading up to the 1st were harder than the actual day. I truly felt relief after it was over . . . like a weight had been lifted and I could move forward.

Like I said above, Chris had the flu and I barely saw him at all that day. We didn't talk about it being the anniversary of our loss, so that was really hard for me. I'm not blaming him - he was barely coherent - but I needed the one person who most closely feels how I feel about this situation. I felt like no one remembered our baby, and that is a terrible feeling. It wasn't true, of course. In fact, my mom and I talked about it several times, and being with my Granny on that day opened a door for us to have a conversation about loss that was so good for me. She and I had never really talked about it. Also, my MEND group sent flowers a few days before (since the actual loss day is a holiday), and several of my friends contacted me through text or social media to let me know they were thinking of me.

I had kind of been hoping that after the anniversary passed, the grief would disappear. Of course, I knew better than this, but it's hard to imagine that this loss is a scar I will live with for the rest of my life. I have been able to release some things that have been weighing heavily on me, but the scar will always be there. Recently, my life has been bombarded with baby #3 announcements (and MANY of them due around B3's due date), which has been very hard for me to swallow. Especially when I'm innocently scrolling down my FB feed and BOOM! there's another announcement. It gets me every. single. time. It's so difficult to wonder if I'll ever carry another baby in my womb, but we are putting ALL of our faith and trust in God and praying fervently for wisdom in this situation.

Infertility is so hard. Loss is so hard. The combination of the two is HARD. I'm thankful every day for God's faithfulness, comfort, strength, and grace in my life. I know I have extensive healing and growing to do yet, but God is holding me up every day.

After surviving the 1st, I planned to head home with the kids on the 2nd. However, we ended up getting about 5 inches of snow during the night, so we postponed our trip by a day. My cousin and his family who live in the area did come by for lunch and a visit on Thursday the 2nd, so I was glad that we were able to see them. Mom, Granny, and I also watched the DVD of Pappy's funeral while I was there. Granny really wanted to see it, but it was {for sure} difficult to watch. This was the first time we'd spent with Granny since the funeral, and it felt so strange at times. There is certainly a huge hole left in our lives.

While it wasn't the best start to a new year we've ever had, we were surely glad to close the book on 2013.

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