Life is what you make it… until it isn’t.
I’ve always been a firm believer that the choices you make today impact your life for years to come. It is important to form healthy & consistent habits. It is important to make decisions and take actions on things in order to ensure you fulfill your own expectations of what you think life should be.
Life is all about what you make it, until your baby dies without any forewarning for no apparent reason. If you do all that you can to make sure your life is the way you want it to be and you take all the necessary steps, sometimes it isn’t enough. And that’s just life.
That is where I am at right now. Trying to figure out what the fuck life wants from me.
I am coming up on 6 months postpartum. I’ve had no expectations for this new journey life has brought me on. I only figured that with time it would get a bit easier, as I believe that all things do. Well, things don’t really get easier, you just become better at dealing with the circumstances that are causing you grief.
For the first time since this shit storm began, I sat at my desk at work and started crying. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. The world seemed like it had stopped spinning and I felt a panic attack coming on, something I have truly never experienced.
If I really start to think about, maybe it is because as I spend time around my friends with new babies or aimlessly scroll through social media all I can think about when I see your sweet sweet babes is, I should have a 3 month old Ben right now. According to pregnancy websites, I should have a little baby Benjamin who can support his own head, who makes eye contact, who giggles, who can grasp objects with his hands and the most precious of all, a Benjamin who can lay on his belly holding his head and chest up. But instead, instead I have a tiny red metal heart filled with Benjamin’s ashes and the weight of emotions that it carries sometimes becomes too heavy.
My thoughts start to spiral and I dig deeper into my mind. What else could be bothering me at this point? We made it through his due date. With help I pulled myself out of the fog of being unmotivated and hating my body and myself. I’m on the cusp of loving myself again. In a different way entirely but none the less, slow and steady. I barely made it through Mother’s day, but I made it. That is an entirely different post for a day when I feel less pathetic about how the day actually went.
Subconsciously this weekend has been creeping up on me. Memorial Weekend. One year ago, I took a pregnancy test before we headed out to the lake, it was negative. So, I proceeded to have a carefree, fun-filled, boozy weekend. I was on top of the world, we were on top of the world. We were irresponsible, no real obligations except maybe the dogs, who are easy for the most part. It was bliss. The week after our trip on June 1st, I took another pregnancy test– I had been more tired than usually and my boobs were unusually large. I chalked it up to my period coming, but thought oh what the hell, I’ll take a test just in case. I remember nonchalantly taking the test, setting it down, walking away and almost forgetting to even come back and look at it.
The digital screen read: PREGNANT.
I remember being shocked, excited, happy, and scared– among probably 100 other emotions. I can remember every detail of those moments. Scott’s reaction. What I was wearing. Who I texted first and what I said to them. As I think back, it hurts. A year ago, we were happy. A year ago, our thoughts were so innocent. A year ago, my life was what I made it. I finished college. I had lived 2 years in my dream city. I was making healthy decisions. I got my shit together. I married an amazing man. He bought us a house. I got my first real job. I bought my first new car. We enjoyed being married. We went on some awesome vacations. I took a chance and landed my dream job. I was beginning to cut toxic people out of my life. We rescued two dogs. We finally decided we were ready to start a family. Life is what you make it, until it isn’t. Until something tragic and completely unexpected happens.
One of the hardest parts about the loss of Ben is knowing we tried our best and that wasn’t good enough. We jumped into a new adventure wholeheartedly, we let ourselves become vulnerable. We committed to making our life what we wanted and it still wasn’t good enough.
Once the initial shock and devastation wears off it’s back to square one. This is the water I am currently treading in. Things happen. Life happens. Even if you didn’t summon tragedy into your life. Square one is a fork in the road. I can either continue down a dark path of bitterness, fear and depression… Or I can pick myself up after getting the wind knocked out of me from the worse sucker punch I could have never even imagined. This isn’t the life that I made, but now it’s up to me to begin again. This life chose me, for whatever fucking reason. I’m darker, I’m wiser, I’m broken. It will be a long time before I describe myself and my life as happy again.
There will be bad days, oh there will be bad days but life truly is what you make of it.