This morning I woke up to find a light snow covering on the ground, with teeny flakes making their way down from the clouds. It's not unusual for snow to fall in April, but after last year, I'm far more attuned to it. On one hand it brings a sense of calm and peace, and on the other it stirs up anger and resentment. Two opposite wills battle to surface and run my mood-o-meter for the day. The trouble is, they both win. They take turns. Some moments are filled with peace and contentment. In the very next, however, I could be in a dissonant rage. Because of a few snowflakes.
You see, one year ago today, we buried our daughter. For a few too-brief moments, my husband carried her one last time. From the back of the hearse to her final resting spot. We stood on the snow-covered ground, a day later than originally scheduled, due to a spring blizzard that had moved in. That snow storm, however, gave us one more day to have our daughter with us, above ground. I was grateful for that storm in a most conflicted manner. Now, when it snows in April, I'm reminded all too clearly of how it snowed the day I delivered her. How it stormed the day of her visitation. How we traipsed through snow for her burial. And how it snowed every Wednesday for the next four weeks. In order to have these memory markers, however, our daughter had to die.
Yesterday was an angry day. I get angry that she died, yes. Then I get angry that we have no answers. I get angry that no one understands. I get angry that people are so quick to encourage and help me "dust off" rather than just let me be angry. Or sad. Or a devastated mommy. I get angry that I feel like I'm not supposed to ever be angry. I get angry for lots of reasons. Or no reason at all.
Yesterday I was being discharged from the hospital for the second time in one week. The stress this admission/release routine has brought about is completely exhausting. I go to the hospital, they stop my labor, I come home. Repeat. I am the only one in the camp of not wanting to let Little Man "cook" any longer. My 32-weeker is here and four years old now. My 37-weeker isn't. His cooking for longer makes no rational sense to me at this point. Why? Because I want him here. I want to know he's here, I want to know he's alive, and I want to know he's healthy.
I'm angry because I suck at being pregnant. I was pre-eclamptic with Little Miss, forcing her emergency arrival into this world. I remember the substitute doctor saying, "Mommy is the best incubator for baby." But I couldn't incubate her. My body was shutting down one organ at a time. It happens. Good thing we got the dramatic pregnancy out of the way first, right? Then, Harlynn died within my womb. Mommy incubated her to her death. Once I hit 30 weeks with Little Man, my urinary tract decided to explode with every possible infection it could take on, all at once. I'm on a pill cocktail to fight infection, to stop contractions, and now I'm waiting to pass a kidney stone or two. Everything that crosses my mouth, I wonder if it will bring harm to him. If I'm doing him any favors by not delivering him early. I can't do this pregnancy thing right. Chock it up to all the random coincidence in the world, and maybe it is, but I feel like I fail my children in the very first stages of motherhood. I can't even bring them into this world without complication.
I think back to this day one year ago. How we thought it would be so different from what it was. I would be holding a bouncing baby girl. Not her casket. We would be taking walks around the sunshiny neighborhood. Not the snow-covered cemetery. I would have the sounds of her coos and cries ingrained in my memory. Not the sound of her daddy's agony as he carried her out of the church.
I may be angry sometimes. I may be aloof. I may be forlorn. If I didn't love my children so much, I wouldn't be any of those things.
I have my brighter days. I have my hope. I have my faith. In that, I have confidence that it's not being held against me in a heavenly fashion when I have my angry days. I'm allowed.
Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound,
is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. ~ Proverbs 25:20