I am not okay.
I will go and I will smile and I will pretend, but I am not okay.
I keep thinking about all of the things that should have been. This should have been our first Christmas and instead, it is our second Christmas without her.
I honestly do not remember last Christmas. I don't remember what we gave or what we got. I don't remember who was where, what order we did things in, what we had for lunch. I remember crying as Maddy (my then 1 yr old step-niece) sat in my Dad's lap while her older brother opened presents. I remember thinking that Dad would never get to hold Raelyn like that. He didn't want to see her when she was born so he didn't get to hold her then either.
I told my step-mom at Thanksgiving that I would have to get her the pictures that I took from last Christmas and when I went to look at them, I realized that they were from 2 Christmases ago. I don't think I took any last Christmas even though I always take pictures.
My heart is so heavy with missing Raelyn that I didn't think there would be room for any more sadness, and yet... there is. Last year, I bought Christmas gifts for the grandparents that were baby-themed. Yes, I know Raelyn died in September and no, the gifts hadn't already been purchased. I bought them in November knowing that I would be pregnant again by last Christmas. Raelyn was conceived in the very first month of trying, so I just knew that I would be able to give these baby-themed gifts at Christmas.
Christmas came and went and they turned into Valentine's Day gifts, then St. Patrick's Day gifts, then Easter gifts, then Mother's Day gifts, then Father's Day gifts, then Independence Day gifts, then Labor Day gifts, then Halloween gifts, then Thanksgiving gifts, and finally Christmas gifts again. Now four days before Christmas #2, I am already removing them from their Christmas bags and digging out the bags with the hearts and cupids on them.
How long can you wait? How much money was wasted on birth control for the first 5 years of my marriage? How long can you keep moving forward without falling? The thought of potentially facing an unfavorable diagnosis again petrifies me, but somehow, I am more scared at the thought of never facing any diagnosis, healthy or otherwise. I am terrified that I have missed my chance for motherhood, that I already had my shot, that Raelyn was the only daughter we will ever have, and I let her go home without a fight. How long is long enough? I'm not ready to give up on the dream yet, but I am tired of the struggle and the strain on our marriage. I asked my husband what he wanted for Christmas and his only response was, "a baby". How long will my body continue to fail us?
Sorry for my ramblings--they just run through my heart constantly. The tears come more easily now than 6 months ago--as I pass Santa in the mall, as we prepare for our vacation-just the two of us, when I hear Steven Curtis Chapman's new song (Heaven is the Face). That last verse gets me every time... "Heaven is a sweet, maple syrup kiss and a thousand other little things I miss with her gone... Heaven is the face of a little girl..."
I may never know how much I have missed, and that breaks my heart all over again.
I'll smile and laugh and I'll swear I that I am, but I'm lying.
I'm not okay.
I am not okay.