When I was pregnant with Lydie, I read a review about a book called Rare Bird by Anna Whitson-Donaldson. It's a memoir - my favorite - written by a woman whose 12-year-old son asks to go play in the rain and never comes home. As a mother, I couldn't imagine. I told Justin about it, said I thought I'd request it from the library. He asked, "Why do you do this to yourself? You're pregnant. Why do you read this kind of stuff?" For once, I listened to him.
And I never thought I'd be reading it a couple months later, comparing Anna's grief to my own.
I've already devoured multiple books about stillbirth - the stillbirth community is only so big, and I've read much of it. So now I'm just reading about grief.
And I wish I had Anna's faith. She is so sure her son is in heaven... a better place. A better home. She believes "nothing is impossible with God." She helps this carry her through.
If I talk to God right now, it's only because I am so fucking lost that I figure things can't get much worse.
I go to sleep thinking about Lydie. I wake up in the night thinking about Lydie. Last night, around 4 am, I thought to myself, or maybe to God, "just show me that she's okay." I drifted off to sleep again, thinking about my daughter, hoping maybe I could have one of those dreams I've heard about, where you're reunited, even for just a moment in time. Where I feel in my bones, that she's okay. Where I get a little peace.
That didn't happen.
But somehow, I did fall back asleep.
I sleep better than you think I would.
Grief is exhausting.
didn't sleep well the whole time I was pregnant. With both Ben and
Lydie, I would wake up in the middle of the night, wide awake. Hormones,
I think. I would finish books at 3 am. I would get so frustrated
about how wide awake I was in the middle of the night and how tired I would
inevitably be later.
And now, I sleep.
Unfortunately, I don't have a newborn waking me up every couple hours. I was dreading that part of having a new baby. How ridiculous. How lucky are those moms who get up every couple hours with their new baby?
Now, sleep is a relief from the pain I'm in all day.
When I wake up and I think about Lydie, it's usually not as painful as it is during the day.
I snuggle into my husband, and I cuddle her blanket, and I think about our daughter, but the stabbing is a bit duller. I feel the love we share more than the pain.
"Have you ever considered that Lydie is with you? That she is telling you 'mama, it's okay?' That she's easing you back to sleep?" our counselor asked me.
That seems so out-there.
But I am surprised how well I can sleep.
So maybe, I don't have Anna's faith. Maybe I'm struggling with God, just as I always have.
But I am working to have some faith that my daughter hears me as I talk to her. That my daughter knows how much I love her. That my daughter can protect me and comfort me and help ease me back to sleep.