I decided to start my new year a little early. I wrote a rage blog about how 2016 could in fact, piss off, but decided against it as starting off a new year sending such negativity in to the universe was not wise or warranted. With much certainty, no one would argue with us that 2016, did not go as planned. But I cannot ignore that I got to spend the first seven months of this past year loving my daughter. In 2016, we got to be a family of three. It made us parents and introduced me to motherhood.
But there will be hard years and there will be joyful years. If everything was cotton candy and roses there would be no comparison or model for balance. Without this trauma, I would not be the same person that I am today. Right now, in this very moment, I know that I am a different woman. In the aftermath, I was fearful that I would never be the same but I can see that it is for the better. My heart knows a new love and strength because it knows pain.
I know people will read it and perhaps balk or eye roll at the sentiment that pain causes some kind of awakening. That pain somehow precedes wisdom. Well, I assume this because speculating on other's opinions is not why I'm here or is it very nice. I do not think you need pain to know love but pain is what life rolled at us, so it has been our choice to embrace it and use it to our advantage.
I miss you Piper Kai but wallowing in this pain and anger will not get me anywhere. I will not perpetuate more negativity in this world because of you my darling star. I will look to your Daddy and his love for life and carry on with you in my heart because that is what is right and what is needed. My child continues to be my greatest teacher and the lessons learned are great.
In discussion with some smart lady friends, I decided not to set resolutions or goals becuase that indicates something is wrong with me or suggests there is an end point. I decided to set intentions, to be kind to myself. I intend to spend 2017 carefully grieving my child. To continue to weave her in to my functional, happy life. I need to be purposeful in my grief to allow for a balance. Too much results in a standstill, too little results in a disconnect. I plan to be in the moment.
If this is a little too positive, I feel you. I still think 2016 can piss off but I intend to not grump about it as much. I'll keep the rage blog just in case. Happy New Year, I hope that 2017 rewards you and yours with peace. Enjoy this journey becuase you only get one earth side.
Rest easy, Pipes.
Motherhood is not going as exepected. I expected to be snuggling my 4 month old. To be dressing her in cute Christmas duds then parading her around. I expected to be a tired, happy, new mom. Instead I find myself grief stricken and having an emotional breakdown because there were no wrapped presents under the tree addressed to her. The things that set me off are really unfair and often bizarre.
I believe, Motherhood starts from the moment of conception, whether your ready or not. It takes command of your body. Giving directions how often to sleep or eat. You love and prepare and take a million trips to the bathroom. Parenting started with providing her a safe and happy home. Piper died in the only home she knew. Nestled under my beating heart knowing only love. It starts with conception but does not end in death.
I love her and I'm her Mom. So what motherhood looks like is loving a child I cannot hold. It's channeling all the love I have for my baby in to everything else. It's keeping her memory alive by writing her story, the greateat love story of my life.
Its choosing life life rather than existence.
Hang in in there my tribe, I promise there is joy and love in my heart. I will never be able to thank you all enough for holding my little family of 3 in your hearts. I'm edging towards this holiday with a survival mentality. And a lot of chocolate.
Rest easy my Piper.
So I'm on shaky ground. It's not going well. I tend to lean heavily on my writing hoping to live by my words. Sometimes when I don't feel it I'll write it to encourage my path. There will be typos as I type through tears. But I am all aboard the struggle bus right now. The holidays are approaching and I'm having a hard time summoning my good vibes.
I saw the very clear blue line on Thanksgiving day. My lady time was a little wacky and my Beau pointed out I was sleeping a record and average of 12 hours a night. So I checked to make sure it'd be OK to consume the very large bottle of wine with my side of turkey that day. I called Beau told him the surprisingly, joyous news. He said it wasn't a funny joke as we had decided only a few short weeks before we were ready to take the plunge into parenthood. I spent the rest of the day with my delicious secret.
Christmas Eve we told our families. We announced at Beau's side during a white elephant exchange where Beau told everyone we had a present that we couldn't wrap. Telling his grandma who is with Piper was pretty special. She told me how bad childbirth hurt. I think she used the expression ripped in two. I can vividly remember being wrecked with first trimester nausea and decorating the tree. I had to lay down every few minutes. Telling my brothers on Cheistmas. Lolly had a plan, we handed out presents youngest to oldest and they went to hand Carly then 6 months pregnant and then handed it to me, then 10 weeks carrying the smallest family member. I planned for them to be best friends.
Im strolling down memory lane because I'm hurting. I need to remember Pipers short life. The happy parts. It goes without saying, holidays are hard. But I'll disguise my grinchy heart with love for my family. Ba hum bug, I mean Merry Christmas.
Merry christmas and a happy new year, my Piper.
Other's people children are their children. Not mine. In the lonely weeks after Piper, I'd seek out my baby niece then only 4 months and cling to her like a tiny life raft. I'd cry over her head as she slept. I breathed her in. She was and is my best therapy. We've been asked, isn't that hard? And the answer is no, I loved her first. She does not represent what I lost but life.
I relish in playing with my friends toddler. She does not know my pain but wants me to marvel at the squirrels. To eat pretend ice cream cones and play hide and seek. Another friends baby girl builds me sand castles to squish and shares her Nemo goldfish with Beau. Our friends four year old who used to rub my belly and give Piper kisses, gave me the greatest gift ever by being the first person to ask where my baby was. His innocent curiosity allowed me my first practice run of explaining her absence. In heaven, I simply said. So in the clouds, he responded then back to his monster trucks. He still sometimes knows the song of my heart shares his spaghetti and graces me with mighty hugs. The baby I want is not them. They give me a glimpse of joy and innocence.
In working at a children's hospital, I come in to daily contact with all sorts of sweet babies. Sometimes babies who are born into difficult situations. Sure, it's hard to stomach. It was before my kid died. But it fills a need to nurture and to help. It gives me a sense of purpose and hope.
Sometimes a baby will stop me in my tracks, but only for a moment. They are not her. Last week, I passed by the child watch area at the gym and an adorable, blonde baby looked right at me. I only partially smushed my face again the glass so as not to alarm the workers. Those moments ignite a longing to mother a child earth side. A primal urge I choose not to quiet. They are a reminder of what could have been and that's painful.
I know everyone's journey is unique to them. I won't speculate on others feelings and I won't lie about the sometimes jealousy I feel of blissful pregnancies or newborns. I could only imagine how difficult it must be to share your joyous news with a child loss parent but I have lived your joy and want nothing more for you. I probably want it more than the average aquaintance because I live in a different reality. But I am Piper's momma, not theirs.
I'm beyond lucky that our friends and family let us be the best aunt and uncle we can, to fill our empty arms. Bring on the happy, bring on that joy.
Rest easy my Piper Kai.
Piper Kai Bennett
I will scream, sing and share her story may it be short. Our only child was born still at 36 weeks secondary to an umbilical cord accident. This is our journey about choosing life rather than existence.