Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What IS That Feeling?

At the risk of sounding smug and/or corny, it's happiness.
Pure, unadulterated happiness. Contentment. Peace. Serenity.
For the first conscious time in my life, maybe.

I am filled with love and smiles, despite enduring a parent's worst nightmare. It's like she surrounds me like a cloak and her heavenly, pure love infiltrates my being and our family.

Everything has a silver lining now. Torrential rain? Time to curl up and cuddle with those boys of mine. Sky high electricity bill? A thankful nod that I have a clothes dryer with a newborn. Sleepless newborn nights? Doesnt bother me one iota.

It sounds strange that I could feel like this, when I have a dead child. How can you feel ultimate happiness when you have a dead baby? But I answer with: She sends us the happiness. She must.

For once in my life, I dont have a "goal." I'm not reaching for something. I am content to just "be." Everytime I complete a "project" I look forward to the next thing to accomplish. Married? Now to have a baby. Baby? Now to move to a bigger house. Bigger house? Now to have another baby. That's where I got stuck. The "another baby" part. After enduring infertilty, a full pregnancy and a stillbirth, I thought I'd never be able to give Jack a sibling. It was an exhausting time in our lives, and devastating. And pretty much all up to me, as the woman and childbearer. My body and my emotions.
It is disconcerting, however, not to have another immediate "goal." We do have more to accomplish, but we are not in a position right now to do it (travelling/renovating.)
Out of habit, my mind started to think about the next thing I could do. Since Archie is such an easy, placid baby, I naturally started to think that I could have more children. I always wanted lots of children, but after post partum anxiety with Jack, a stillbirth and an intensly torturous anxious pregnancy with Archie, I dont think I have the emotional resources to go through it once again.
A very wise friend said to me, as I confessed my desires: "Not many of us experience the utter contentment and peace that you are experiencing right now. Dont use this as a launching pad for something else. Just be present with it." Well, we dont call Gary the Grand Poombah for no reason.

So, I cook dinner while I listen to Jack read. I walk past the baby and smile as I watch him smile in his sleep. I lie on the grass with both little boys and point out cloud figures. I applaud Jack as he writes a sentence on his own. I sit and rock Archie to sleep as I look out the window. I enjoy coffee (decaf!) and spending time discussing awesome topics with my friends in a hilarious manner. I relish Clean Sheet Day. I move slowly, and no longer rush.

It's the little things, isnt it?

And I realise...all I wanted...all I strived for...was to get to a place in life where I didnt have to strive anymore.


  1. I've got tears in my eyes reading this. I feel the same way but can't put it into words like that. It's like Matilda's given me the ability to just enjoy Max for what he is.

    And it was Clean Sheet Day here yesterday :-) (with my domestic skills that's pretty exciting)

  2. You're an inspiration, Steph. I'll be honest, I don't always feel this way, and sometimes feel I'm a bit of a crappy griever. I still feel so stuck in the anger and bitterness. You've given me something to strive for here. I know this feeling is on the horizon, I can feel it.
    Thanks for writing this. And I'm truly so happy for you all, and at the same time still so sad your girl is not here.