The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! - Matthew 6:23-24
When you have had a tragedy in your life, no matter what it is, big or small, social media is the absolute devil. It is a constant reminder that while you feel like your world is completely halted, everyone else's is going on as happy as ever. I took myself off of it for about a month but then felt completely isolated.
Today alone, here are some actual and some loosely interpreted headlines from my social media newsfeed:
[picture of a screaming baby]
Caption: Teething - the struggle is real y'all.
[Link to a blog post]
Caption: Diatribe about how crazy it is to try to raise a baby and you have no time for anything, sleep regression is happening, blah, blah, blah, need glass of wine, such a tough day. #DaddysTurn #MommaNeedsAVacation
[Picture of swollen feet]
Caption: This is just a glimpse of how HUGE I am. Never want to be pregnant during the summer again!
[Picture of piles of laundry]
Caption: Trying to remember my life before kids.
Status Update: Mom friends, what is the best ___________ (fill in the blank product) to help with ___________ (name an ailment). I am going out of my mind!
Last week I knew I had hit the "anger phase" and it was the bazillion pregnancy announcements, gender reveals and birth announcements that really got to me - seriously, are there always this many?!? It feels so cruel. Now, I'm not sure which type grinds my gears more. As everyone responds back with "LOL!" or "OMG, it's the worst!!" and then the one-upper-stories, I want to oh so politely say...
Perspective: At least you have your baby.
But now I need to turn that mirror on myself. I'm sure I've been that person that angered people with events in my life:
- Gushing about a proposal story when someone's relationship has ended.
- Discussing wedding planning when someone has had a failed marriage.
- Going on fun vacations when someone is financially struggling.
- Talking about my brothers when someone doesn't have a sibling anymore.
- Getting pregnant when someone else cannot.
- Complaining about allergies when someone is undergoing cancer treatments.
As I try to navigate this life after loss, it is easy for me to play victim. To be insulted and angered by everyone else who is simply living life the way I had been, prior to the morning of May 26. Announcing my own pregnancy, I wasn't being very sensitive to anyone that was going through infertility struggles. Announcing that it was a boy, I wasn't thinking about how that could effect someone who lost their little boy to SIDs or stillbirth.
Today, I've decided to gain perspective in my own situation, to (if even just for a moment) stop looking at the outside world with anger and say to myself: you were able to get pregnant when you wanted to. You carried him in your womb, forming a special bond. You named him as soon as you could and you knew him, he was your Hudson John. You got to feel his kicks, jabs and hiccups. You got to see him and observe for yourself the miracle of how God takes the best of two people, molding them together to have formed a beautiful baby. No, he didn't live outside of your womb. No, you will never get to have the life you imagined as a family unit. But, you had him for 32 weeks and 6 days, and it was good.
I am thankful for every single one of those 230 days because they were with Hudson. When I start to get angry and resent people for having what I want - a pregnancy or a baby - I will remember the list of things that I am thankful for and Hudson is at the top.
But, all that to say, I would just ask for you to think twice before publicly ranting or complaining about something that someone else out there would give anything to have. I am not the only one dealing with this kind of pain. Early term miscarriages, infertility, still birth, SIDS loss, moms that have loss their babies to other illness; there are several people you know that cringe when they see that because the knife slides just a little more in the heart. They would trade places with you in a nanosecond if it meant having their baby they are pining for, no matter what the circumstance is. Teething, issues sleeping or eating, colicky, whatever. When you are at your wits end, hold your little one tight, take a deep breath for your sanity and tell God thank you. It may be a rough time of growing pains, but at least you have it.
Perspective: we all need it.