I have been thinking about this for awhile now. It's actually been weighing on my mind a lot lately. Consider that your warning . . .
The other day while I was out at the store I noticed a woman looking at me with Jack. It wasn't the normal "awwww . . . look at the baby" look - it was a sad look. I had to wonder what she was feeling. I wondered about her story and her life experiences. Was she a mother who lost a child? Lost a pregnancy? Lost the hopes and dreams of ever being pregnant and having children? Maybe it was nothing. Maybe I was reading into it too much, but the longing in her eyes made me wonder what I look like from the outside now.
After Gavin passed away I felt like I walked around with a gigantic sign on my back. One that said, "Look at me. My baby just died." I felt like everyone was watching everything I did. Waiting for me to breakdown. Waiting to see how I would react in certain situations or with certain topics. And if people didn't know . . . I felt angry with them. Sometimes I just wanted to stand in the middle of the store and yell, "My baby that was once here is now gone. My baby suffered for months! Why don't you appreciate your children?!"
Soon after (and thankfully sooner rather than later), the anger towards others turned into envy and jealousy. I remember watching pregnant women walking into the hospital as I was leaving the doctor's office and I knew they were going to give birth. And most likely they would have healthy, normal children and could never appreciate the heartache I was feeling. I found myself jealous of them. Jealous for their children's health and jealous that their lives were going along "normal" while mine had just been turned upside down.
I am not shy to admit it. I was jealous of them and I was angry with God.
I remember thinking, "Why doesn't MY baby deserve to live? Why don't I deserve the happiness I see other mom's having." Looking back now I realize the amazing blessings and happiness I have and will have again someday, but in the middle of those months, it was difficult to see past an hour. Let alone a day, a week, a month and forget about a year. When you have a baby like Gavin you literally live minute to minute. Literally.
Then the months came after he passed away. They took forever. Once again living minute by minute. I remember watching moms in the store. I remember thinking (and judging them unfairly) that they couldn't appreciate the miracle of healthy children who are here. Of course there were the moms who were upset with their kids, but mostly I saw kind and loving moms who were doing the very best they could. And I was still jealous and wishful. Hoping that I would have that chance someday.
Now here I sit. I have one angel baby and another sweet boy who is here and healthy and tests my patience too. And now I wonder . . . how do I come across to those in public who watch me? No longer do I feel they watch me for the same reasons, but I know there are other moms who are going through difficult times like I have. Do they see me and think about how I have a "normal" life" and wish they had one too? Little do they know the heartache and agony our family has been through to get to this point.
I guess the whole purpose of this post is to ask a collective forgiveness from the moms who I watched and envied and unjustly judged. You never know what someone has been through. I wonder what I must look like from the outside looking in. Life has a funny way of coming around and teaching you lessons. I learned so many lessons during our brief time with Gavin, but I still seem to be learning from that experience.
I am ashamed of my past anger and jealousy. However, I do realize that we are human and we are given human emotions for a reason. I do not believe in holding back and ignoring those human feelings, but I do believe that it is how we react to those feelings that will either make or break us.