I started blogging for a few reasons. I think it's a neat way to keep family and friends up-to-date with what's going on in our lives, but by giving them a little story behind the pictures and by getting to really share our experiences in a little more personal way than an e-mail or even phone call can sometimes do. I also started this blog for a reason I'm sure lots of other bloggers had - it's my own little virtual soapbox and a chance to share the things that are important to me. Sometimes those things are just my thoughts or my experiences.
I don't want this blog to be just about Cale. That wouldn't be fair to the life and experiences we will have without him. But I also don't ever want him to be forgotten. And in living a life that doesn't include him, it's hard not to think about the fact that it should include him. It's a weird point to be in. We are living the exact same lives we were a year ago. I was pregnant with a boy and we had no children at home. Just the dog. But our lives are not anywhere close to being the exact same. Miles and I were talking about this recently. When you are expecting a child, especially your first, you get ready for the new life you are about to begin. Your views change. Your priorities change. So when he died, we were already different people. It wasn't like we could just go back to our old lives. And yet, we had no choice.
I've been in a little funk recently. I think I'm better, but I can always tell when I'm just having a hard time and over the last week or so I was just having a hard time. Recently, a friend of mine found out she is expecting her rainbow baby. I think finding out this happy news helped bring me out of my funk. But it got me thinking about how different I am and how different my world is, without really being much different. And people just don't really understand that. I don't blame them. But I can at least blog about it and maybe try to explain myself (and in the process maybe explain the thoughts and feelings of others in our situation). First off, we learned the hard way how fragile life is. We learned there are no guarantees. We really learned what pain is and in the process, what love is. I have friends who I met through my online support group, or just through their own baby loss experience who even though I haven't met some of them in "real life," are very dear and special to me. Take above mentioned friend. She just found out she's pregnant, but unfortunately, she knows that getting pregnant is not the same thing as having a baby. Her first baby was stillborn at 40 weeks. She was a perfect and beautiful little girl, who was silently born about three weeks after Cale. And I just hope that when she's ready to "announce" that she's pregnant, she will be greeted with all the love and support she will need to get though this wonderfully emotional roller coaster.
After Cale was born I avoided the channel TLC. There are roughly 8 million different TV shows on that channel about pregnancy. And half of them glorify idiots who shouldn't have kids in the first place. One that sticks out in my mind is the show "Addicted" and the particular episode I came across was about a meth addict who was pregnant. Sweet. Stuff like that pissed me off before we had Cale. Now, it infuriates me.
But what I've come to realize is that it's not just meth addicts or naive 16 year olds who don't understand. It's a lot of people. I used to be one of them. After I made it out of the first trimester with Cale I never even thought about having a stillborn baby. It never crossed my mind. I'm not saying every pregnant woman should be warned of the endless possibilities of what could go wrong, because there is enough to worry about when you are pregnant, but more people need to appreciate when things go right. And that doesn't just go for pregnancy, but everything. I certainly enjoyed my pregnancy with Cale and I knew I was lucky, but it wasn't until after he died that I realized just how fortunate I was. Losing him . . . now that was horrible luck, but being pregnant with him for nine months? That was a blessing. Not because I shouldn't have been able to have a baby or we have fertility issues, but because ALL pregnancies are incredible blessings.
A few months ago I got a nice message from a classmate of mine who I was never close friends with. She just wanted to send her sympathies and she told me she was (at the time) newly pregnant and how reading about my story, helped remind her how fortunate she was and what a blessing it was just to be pregnant. That message made my day. Here's someone I'm not close to, reaching out to me but also expressing gratitude for morning sickness! I know there are lots of other people like her. People who don't have to experience a loss to really grasp how lucky they are. But I wish there were more.
But like I said, appreciating when things go right shouldn't just be limited to pregnancies. And ironically I learned this lesson when everything went horribly wrong.
My family is from Tucson which has been in the news recently. The other day I got a call from my dad and he said that he was listening to the radio and they were talking about some of the upcoming funerals and memorials for some of the victims of the shooting. And he called for no other reason that to tell me he loves me. But what was special about that phone call was that it didn't take the tragedy in Tucson or the news about the funerals to prompt that call. Well, maybe it prompted that one call in particular, but my dad calls each of his kids for no other reason than to tell us he loves us on a pretty regular basis. It's very special and it reminds me that I too am so grateful for all the things I love. I'm grateful for the things I have and the things I don't have. And I should continue to express that gratitude every chance I get . . . and I think you should too :)