Friday, November 20, 2009

Being Pregnant Does Not Equal Being Over It

I want to preface this post by saying that I am incredibly thankful that my pregnancy with Eliana is going well. I am thankful that things with her look great, that I have been feeling well, and that God has gifted us with the chance to begin to really feel excited and hopeful.

But, being pregnant again and feeling excited about it doesn't equal being over what happened with Isaac.

There's a particular area of my life, where I spend a lot of time, in which I would just love to wear a t-shirt that says this or have it stamped across my forehead. Spencer and I have been talking lately about how many people around us just won't talk to us about Isaac anymore, if they even ever did.

It's hard that people want to know all about Eliana, but never asked about Isaac.

It's hard that people want to tell me how I should "Just wait until she gets here..." and then share all the woes of having a newborn at home, forgetting that I would trade an infinite amount of sleepless nights if it meant that Isaac could still be with us.

It's hard that people have seemingly forgotten... forgotten that I am already a mom, that I have a son, and that I still miss him so deeply... and am far, far from over it. It's as if that part of me has been erased, when nothing could be further from the truth.

These are obviously not people who are closest to us; those who are know how much we deeply miss Isaac and how hard we're trying to learn how to balance the ache of missing him with the excitement of meeting Eliana in March and to do all of that with gratitude and grace.

I think it is easy for others, though, to look at a glowing pregnant mom who has lost a child and to forget that she is just that: a mom who has lost a child... a mom who is so thankful to be pregnant again with a healthy baby and is reminded daily of God's faithfulness and provision in that... but still a mom whose arms and heart ache for the child she lost and loves so much.

There is moving forward. There is waiting with anticipation to meet your second child. There is excitement and joy surrounding a pregnancy that is going well... and for each of those things I am thankful.

But there is no over it... and that's okay.

41 comments:

Julie said...

Oh Stacy,
Bless you! What a heart wrenching post...You and Spencer have gone through so much and have always looked to God for peace and strength. I wrote to you a few posts back, and while I don't know you, I feel as I do. I pray for you often. Sweet Isaac is so lucky to have had you for his mom and I will continue praying for you and Spencer. I can't imagine how you feel but I can lift you up in prayer to the One who can comfort you. I pray you have a peaceful day and a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Love,
Julie Tallman
mom2my4boys@msn.com

Stace said...

Your comments ring true to me as well. We had twins in July at 27 weeks and lost the older of the twins 2 days later. Then the younger twin spent the next 109 days in the NICU. I was constantly told that I should enjoy my sleep while I could get it. That things would be worse when he was home-- I'd be exhausted and wouldn't have time for myself. They didn't understand that I would have given up ANYTHING to have BOTH my boys or to even at least just have Colby home where he belonged. And I have so many people who ask about Colby and want to see his pictures... but these are the same people who weren't there when Connor passed, who ignored the service, who disappeared at the most difficult time in our lives. It's tough to find people who understand.

I'm so happy for you and Spencer, but I understand the turmoil that must be burning your heart. Take comfort in knowing that there are so many people-- online as well as in real life-- that are thinking of you, Spencer, your baby girl, and Isaac. He'll forever be remembered and he will be a special guardian angel watching over your baby girl.

Jus and Kat said...

Stacy,
Please believe me when I say that I know so many of the emotions that you're talking about here. There absolutely is NO over it! One of the many difficult statements for me to swallow during my subsequent pregnancy, especially if I was trying to bring Dylan up or talk about what happened with him, was, "Oh, this baby is going to be just fine." I know those people were just trying to comfort me, but I also felt a total disregard for my [completely justified] fears and anxieties.

Kat In Dylan's Memory

Daddy's Dream ~Mommy's Miracle said...

I have been trying to come up with a post to say just this, so I hope that you don't mind if I use some of your words!! You said it so well!

Sarah said...

That's one of the things I worry about when we get pregnant again. I can only imagine how hurtful some of those people are - I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with that. I met someone recently who shared a sweet story about her second child (she lost her first). Someone asked her second son if he was the oldest and he nodded his head "no" and pointed to heaven. I love how they have continued to talk about their first son with their other children and that the kids even ackowledge his part in their family. I'm sure Eliana will be the same way about her big brother, Isaac! How precious that will be for you to see her acknowledge her brother! We're still praying for you and Spencer, and baby Eliana. Lots of love, Sarah :-)

JamieW said...

I can only imagine. I want to be pregnant again for some many reasons but among my many fears are the what you just described. I am always surprised at how many people have their own stories of losing a child when they hear mine and I am always struck with an intense desire to hear more, not about the loss but about the child. I know this desire stems from me hoping and wishing that in 20 years someone will ask me about my sweet second son.

crystal theresa said...

((hugs)). that is one of my fears about having another child after Calvin - that people will forget him, that they won't understand that even with another child, it will never take away the aching. a friend told me that one of her fears is that our future children would live under Calvin's shadow, which was mind boggling to me. it seems like others are more worried about our "healing" and "getting over it," and less about our need to remember and carry our sweet boys with us, regardless.

Paige said...

So understandable- I had a hard time when friends would all talk about their babies and deliveries, and even ask me if I was "enjoying" my pregnancy. Not that I didn't already love Callyn, but after losing a baby pregnancy will never be "fun." I am sure you have experienced the "is this your first" question several times as we have- and it even continues after the baby comes. It used to bother me, but now I used it as an opportunity to share my story and my love, Tatum! Thanks for always being so open and honest!

Anonymous said...

So sorry for some people's thoughtlessness. I have 3 children (they used to be wonderful children, but now are teenagers ;)) Not one of the children are more vaulable than the other. Each child holds a special part (large part) of my heart. The same will be true for you. No child will replace Isaac, but your heart will grow, there is always love for just one more.
L

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tammy On the Go said...

so I have a friend who lost 2 babies a couple years ago, she has since adopted 2 children...should I still ask her about her girls?

One she held, one she did not...

Erika said...

Stacy,

I so hear you on this!!! I think those "just you wait to see how hard it is" comments really made me just shake my head. I wanted to say, "do you think taking care of a newborn is harder than crying every night? harder than grief? harder than walking around in a daze because you're in so much pain, and feel alienated from normal life?"

I know people are just happy for you- but it does sting so much that people who never say anything about the baby in Heaven are so quick to be excited about the baby on the way.

The other comment that drives me bonkers is when they say the new baby is "meant to be" or better yet, "I am SURE everything is going to be fine."

Hang in there. Isaac is and always will be your son. There are so many of us who remember him and think about him all the time. (((hugs)))

-Erika

littletinyfootprints.blogspot.com

Cecilia said...

We are hoping to be blessed with more children, and I wonder how others will respond. Ethan was born still, and I think it's hard for people to grasp that he was still our child and a very much loved member of the family. It's like someone saying 'at least you can have more children'. I know people mean well, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Thanks for being honest!

The Fabulous Ms. Beth said...

Amen sister! :)
As a mama who lost her first child, her precious boy, only to go on to have a healthy little girl this past March, I feel ya. There is no getting over it.. never ever... I know when I had my rainbow baby girl I was over the moon, but I was also reminded of the many things we didn't get to experience with our first..
Hugs to you as you wait in sweet anticipation for your rainbow.. and many more hugs as you miss you sweet Isaac each and every day.

Charity said...

I know this is completely off topic but I was wondering... How do you make it to so that people cannot enlarge and steal your pictures off of your blog?

I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.

Stacy D said...

Tammy... yes... I would definitely still ask her. If she doesn't want to talk about it, you'll know. But it's nice to be at least given the choice to talk about it or not.

Charity... the girl who designed my blog created it that way. I have no idea how she did it. :)

kristy said...

AMEN! So beautifully said, as always.

Anonymous said...

I know it is very hard. People do automatically think that a new baby somehow makes it all better. This is one of my biggest fears .... that family and friends will forget about my Nicholas. I will never let that happen that is for sure but I do struggle with this. As always, that you for your blog and your comments. God bless, Darla

Rachel Tenpenny Crawford said...

I am a mom of two babies in heaven. My twin daughters died in July of 2008 after 7 and 13 days of life. I already have an older son who was two and a half when my girls were born. People told me that I should at least be thankful I have one. As if that some how makes up for the loss of my sweet girls I so deeply loved and wanted. And then just last at the Marine Corps Ball I was being introduced to a wife of another officer who was pregnant and of course the conversation turned to kids. She asked me if I had children and i said yes, a son who is almost four leaving out that I have two daughters that died for the sake of decorum and that I didn't know this woman from adam. And she said to me, sounds like time for another one to me. I just smiled on the outside and cried on the inside. She doesn't know me so she does not know that I had two more that died and I am still healing...that not everyone gets to keep their babies...that my son has two sisters he will never know and I have an empty nursery that was ready for two girls that never came home. It hurts. I understand what you mean that there is no over it...just through it every single day.

banbear2 said...

God I could have written this myself. I think all of us who have lost a baby have gone through this with a new pregnancy. The fear that the baby that is gone will be forgotten. I still think of Raymond every day even if nobody else does. And you are right, people seem to think that if you have another baby it will all be ok then. Not the case. Hugs to you.

The Writer Chic said...

Nothing but Amen and I love you, sister. Talk to you soon!

Jenell said...

Well said! I've actually posted about this more than once on my blog as well. Some people just don't get it and they never will. For some crazy reason some think that now you're pregnant again, it's as if your other children never existed. I know people mean well, they just don't understand.
Jenell

Misty Rice said...

I think you should get one of your favorite photos of Isaac and make it a Christmas ornament.... or a something where he can always be the angel on your tree.

Do you have any plans for how you will celebrate the upcoming holidays?

The reason I ask....

Because I am a blogging friend....and I do want to ask all the questions. I do want to talk about Isaac , but for "us" that aren't so close to you..... we also want to be safe and not be TOO NOSEY, or be considered rude. We don't want to see you smile and then be the ones to bring tears to your eyes.

Its not that we are forgetting baby Isaac, because we wont and cant.

I am being honest with you because I feel we have built a small friendship...right?

I have wanted to ask and talk about him before....but I also didn't want you to feel like we are judging you thinking YOU are forgetting Isaac becuase you are pregnant and enjoying this pregnancy.

The reason I say all of this my sweet friend... is because I think I can speak for many others that really want to be that free, open and comfortable with you about Isaac, but there is a line we sort of feel afraid to cross over.

When it is too much or too little.

Some wouldn't want people bringing it up all the time... and some (like you) and I would be, love it.

Does that make sense?

So now that you have opened the doors for us to know we CAN cross the line .....

I can't wait to meet Isaacs baby sister. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you were able to get a sono picture of her with her thumb up just like Isaac. I got goosebumps seeing that.

I want to see more belly pictures too.

Maybe get a maternity shirt and on the belly part of the shirt have Isaac's pic saying.... "thats my baby sister in there."

*giggle*

That would be too cute.

Anyways....I know this is getting long.

Big hugs girl....

I hope you didnt' mind me crossing the line.

Franchesca Cox said...

Well said. I couldn't have said it better. I am three months along and thanking my God for being so good to let me carry what seems like a healthy, beautiful baby so far. But on the other hand, people seem to forget what I am regardless - a babylost mama. I can relate to everything you have mentioned here and it hurts. Thank you for putting into words what my heart feels everyday. Sending *big* HUGS!

Mrs. H said...

As one that just gave birth to my "rainbow baby" this is beautifully put. Zane has not filled the hole left by losing Nathan, but God has given me an additional room in my heart for this new little life. New life that fills me with wonder and awe for our amazing God, just as the little life that was taken so early a year and a half ago. I am not "over" my first son, but even more in love with God's perfect creating hand in my life, as displayed in my new son.

Julie said...

What a beautiful post and so well written. I wish I could express myself with such grace. Thank you for sharing.

Thinking of Isaac...always!

Holly said...

I am in total agreement with you. Although I'm not pregnant yet after losing Carleigh, I know the same thing will happen to me. Other may forget her but I never will. You can't ever replace your child you lost.

Sonya said...

It is absolutely ok for you to still be grieving Isaac even with a new healthy pregnancy. Having another baby in no way erases Isaac. Absolutely not and it is awful that you feel like people are expecting you to feel that way. Isaac will forever be in your heart and you should never feel like you have to forget about him. I pray that these people will have a change of heart and see how incredibly difficult this must be for you. Of course you are excited about your pregnancy and about having a daughter and truly thankful for all of that, BUT Isaac is still your son and you are still his mother no matter what! I am sure that in some crazy way these people who think that are just trying to guard your feelings. they don't realize that talking about Isaac is what you want, to acknowledge his life. They just don't get it. But Stacy, Isaac is important and don't you let anyone try to tell you other wise!

jenn said...

Stacy,
I am writing you as a mom who lost her baby boy and 13 months to the date, gave birth to a sweet baby girl. I struggle with this constantly, especially with the people who say that I now have 3 kids, when in fact I have four. I love the moments of crying and stinky diapers are glorious. Yes, I get less sleep, but it is still way more than when you are aching so fresh from giving birth to a child who did not live. It's a hard road to honor the child that is in heaven and hold the one you had after. The ache of lossing a child seems more prevelent when your holding his sister. A sister who will grow up seeing her brother only in pictures. However, our children in heaven will continue to live here on earth as we talk about our memories of them.
Praying for you,
Jenn

Bluebird said...

Agree 100%. It is so hard.

Nicole said...

Stacy-
I love your honesty!

Do you really feel that a grieving mom is ever "over it"? I have been told many times, by people that are SUPPOSED to be close to me, that I need to "get over" my grief.

If getting over my grief means never talking about my son again, than I don't want to be "over it".

Wishing you peace over the holidays. Isaac will never be replaced or forgotten. And, I am so excited to see pictures of his little sister!

Blessings, Nicole

Jen said...

You will NEVER EVER be over it. Most people will NEVER EVER truly understand that. But thankfully you are blessed to know a lot of blogger and real life friends who do, and we will walk through this journey with you. Praying for you.

Cynthia said...

I am sorry that there are people in your life that tell you (or inply) that you need to get over it and that Issac's sister should "make up" for it.

Thinking of you and praying.

jacks grandmom said...

Of course you will never forget about sweet Isaac- nor should you and nobody else will either- i don't think people intentionally stopped talking or thinking about Isaac but I think they are trying to not overlook and to not downplay your upcoming blessing of having Eliana either. Everyone is so excited that things are going well with the pregnancy and that Eliana is healthy and well and I think after so much sadness (which I know will never go completely away as you will always feel the loss of Isaac) they are trying to rejoice in the new life! Which is how it should be. It really truly does not mean that Isaac is forgotten-that will just never happen. I think Isaac is very happy to know that he is having a little sister. You will never "be over the loss of Isaac" he will always have a huge place in all of our hearts- as will your new little girl.

Liz and Will Timmerman said...

Stacy,
As always, thank you for your honesty. You have beautifully writen about something I have been dealing with since I became pregnant and gave birth to my daughter. Having her here with me does not change or even lessen the pain I feel for wishing her older brother was here. In fact, it sometimes makes the pain even more sharp, because I too feel like people have forgotten about Luke, and feel like I have moved on now. It is so tough when people tell me - wow, enjoy how easy it is with one child - once you have two, you will never have time for yourself! Or when they talk about how their second child interacts with their first, and how they love to see that. These comments make me feel like they have forgotten that I DO have two children, and I would give ANYTHING to not have any time for myself if that meant they were both here with me! And it hurts to hear other moms talk to me like I have no idea what it would be like to see my children play together. Don't I wish with all my heart that I could witness that joy on this side of heaven? Oh Stacy, this road is tough but reading your post helps me to feel less alone with these emotions. Thank you, as always. And believe you me when I say that I will never forget Isaac, and that I wish this road was different for both of us.
Liz Timmerman

Troy & Amy said...

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. Some people just don't get it. Having another child isn't like a replacement for the loss of another. It's not like replacing the gravy boat out of your good china because it broke. You can't can't 'replace' a human no matter what you do.

I pray that you continue to find peace and comfort from people that DO understand though.

Kathy Hooper said...

Stacy,
I only know you as a blog reader, but feel compelled to write. You say the people who have been insensitive to your feelings about Isaac are not those closest to you; I think it is probably that they don't know WHAT to so or don't want to upset you (as wrong as that may be). I have known several parents over the years who have lost children (in childbirth, infancy, and even young adulthood), and I always neglected to talk about that lost child (even with my aunt after my cousin committed suicide). I didn't know how they would ache to talk about that child. I feared causing them pain by mentioning the child's name. I just didn't understand.

Now, after some life experience and some maturity has come my way, I try to be more diligent about mentioning their lost child and remembering with them.

Just wanted to share from my perspective that people probably don't think you are "over Isaac", but just are uncertain what to say or do.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kathy H...it is very difficult for people to know how to bring up a loss- especially one that was so rapid, such a very short life. Your relationship with Isaac was on a very exclusive and personal/emotional level that not too many other people shared..which makes it all the more difficult for 'outsiders' to know how to handle it in relation to your current pregnancy. I've discovered it becomes a two way street- I have to give leeway to those who 'don't get it' and figure out ways that the people who matter most will know by my responses that it's ok to talk about the loss. Bless you always...Rachel

Anonymous said...

Stacey I have to say that I completely agree with your entire post. I have not personally experienced what you have gone through, but I have read your blog faithfully and have cried and grieved with you and thought of you and Isaac on many occasions. Your grace is a wonderful example to all who read your posts. I have family that often say 'people should 'just get over it' (regarding any number of tragic events) and I just do not understand. How can a person get over something/anything so devastating? They can't, and they shouldn't have to!! I will always think of you and your little boy Isaac. He will never be forgotten and I would not mind asking you one bit about him! Feel free to keep on telling us about him because we are listening, and we care deeply about him!
Love Always,
Nicki Mattoon
Albany NY

Mandy Fairbanks said...

I ran acrossed your blog and I think it is wonderful what you have done. I lost my son Tristin May 20,2008. He had a heart defect called hypoplastic left heart. He was the most amazing baby I've ever known. He lived 2months and 10 days. I too am expecting a baby girl March 8th. It really does feel strange to be excited about this pregnancy and also still mourn our Tristin. I will forever have a missing piece in my heart for him. The one thing that keeps me going is that he touched so many lives in the short time he was here. Thank you for your blog.

lisavengesta said...

sometimes i think people are scared to state the obvious because it hurts them too. they aren't forgetting about issac, i think they are just scared to remind you of your pain and loss. ((hugs)) and i think you are absolutely amazing to share this with all of us...