Well, let me start at square one. This site/blog is about Tyler's life, Tyler's death and my grief. His life... 35 weeks, 5 days, 1 hour and 15 minutes. Oh, what I would do to have those moments back. The list of what I wouldn't do would be shorter. His death... surreal, painful, confusing, heartbreaking, Earth shattering. I've never wanted to die so badly in my life. It physically felt like having my limbs ripped off. Or my heart torn out. Obviously, I don't know what either of those feel like, but it was a physical pain. Not to mention the full boobs (that didn't have a baby to feed), the c-section incision to heal (that allowed us to meet him and hear his cries), the pregnancy weight (that never fully went away before I got pregnant with Keira). I guess my grief is intertwined in both his life and death. I wish I could say that I didn't cry during the remainder of my pregnancy (after diagnosis), but it isn't true. Finding out the baby I was carrying would die when born, I couldn't stop the premature grieving. I think I grieved more of the loss of innocence, the carefree planning for a baby, clothes shopping, baby gear shopping, happily chatting with other women who donned a baby bump and the excitement. Sadly, I still grieve that. And with that grief, comes all the other feelings associated with it...like anger, jealousy, bitterness. It isn't fair that some tramp who cheats on her husband gets a healthy baby with the "other man" or the teenagers on 16 and Pregnant get perfectly healthy babies (not that a 16 year old could maturely handle a child with special needs...). Yet, one of my best friends is on her sixth pregnancy, hoping it's her second take-home baby. SECOND. And one of those "pregnancies" was much like mine with Tyler. She carried to term hoping that her baby would get to come home, even if for one day. That didn't happen and baby girl died during labor. It just isn't fair that ANYONE'S baby dies. It's bullshit, actually.
FINALLY, I remembered one of the things I wanted to talk about! When I get the semi-rare occasion to talk about Tyler, people still tell me how strong and positive I am about such an incredibly devastating loss. The truth is, I'm NOT strong and Jim can assure you, I'm a negative Nancy most days. It drives him crazy. But, he gets to hear ALL of the negativity because he's my husband and he's stuck with me. :) He's the only person who has to put up with it. Crappy way to look at it, I agree, but it's the way it is. He isn't going to gossip about me to someone else saying that I'm "not over it" or that I'm "depressed" or whatever. He keeps it to himself and discusses it with me. He isn't afraid to tell me that I'm being a whackamadoodle. Sometimes his opinions (he thinks they're "fact"...) are down-right wrong but I appreciate that he voices it. Usually I appreciate it. Then again, my LOSS of Tyler will always be sad. Devastating. But I am beginning to think that the person I am after knowing (and losing) him, is better than I would have been without him. I'll never be "over" the loss, but I can see the bigger picture now. I feel like I'm at the top of the hill, looking down on that dangerous, muddy path I've been traveling the last 2.5 years. The closer I got to the top, the more the sunshine I see. It doesn't mean those cuts and scrapes never happened, but they healed and I'm only left with scars. I'll have my Tyler scars forever and I kind of like them now. This journey is all about acceptance. First, I had to accept the fact that God wasn't going to perform a miracle on my baby. Then I had to accept that it was all part of the plan. Tyler's plan was a little shorter than most, but he had a big job to do and he did it! I was never meant to bring home a baby in 2009. Tyler was always meant to be missing his kidneys and die. Then I had to accept how differently me and Jim grieve. This was so.frickin.hard. I totally see why so many marriages fail after the loss of a child. It is so lonely. Then we isolate ourselves in our grief. Then we don't understand why our spouses are making us feel so alone... I swear, it's the story of Job. Some days, I truly feel like God told Satan, "Go ahead, give the Clark's all you've got. They'll stand by me." Our faith has faltered a BIT more than Job's did...but we're still here and we're not giving up. Accepting that people are ignorant has been hard and I know it is extremely hard for other BLM's, too. It makes my blood boil to hear people say, in a shocked tone, "...and the doctors MADE you continue to carry the baby???" No. I chose to. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, and I don't mean to offend anyone who terminated for medical reasons, I know it is SUCH a personal decision and I don't judge, but DAMN, people!!! The only reason a doctor would MAKE you terminate a pregnancy is if it was going to kill you. It's called a liability! For Pete's sake! It's such an ignorant comment, yet I'm so thankful that I hear stuff like this because it reminds me that the life I live is not normal. Most people's babies don't die and that is a wonderful thing! I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. And of course, the "it's nature's way of xyz" or "God has other plans for him" or whatever. You can polish the turd all you want, but the fact is: My baby died and yours didn't, so shut your pie hole. Nobody is going to make a grieving mother feel better. Her baby died. Her life has been shattered. She's questioning her entire existence. She doesn't believe in God right now because her God wouldn't have done such an awful, painful thing to one of his children. For me, the current stage of acceptance has been especially hard. I'm kind of in the home stretch. It won't get much better from here out. (I'm pretty sure I've blogged about this in the last 6-8 months...maybe not...) It's painful to live without Tyler. I look for signs from him every.single.day. It's almost habit anymore. Will it be like this when I'm 80? That in itself is a painful thought. I'm 26. 80 is still 54 years away. Ugh, I need to chew on that thought for awhile.
I will end on a happy note because I can! I got to share Tyler's story today. His whole story. This site. A newer friend saw one of my posts on FB about Tyler. Something to the effect of "losing a child" and she asked me about it today. She had no idea. She's one of those people who knows when it is and isn't socially acceptable to bring things to attention. She knew I had a story but since I never openly shared it, she didn't ask. Why did I never openly share it? Because nobody wants to talk about a dead baby. I could talk about Tyler for HOURS! Pregnancy, birth, the hours I got to spend with him, his effect on my family and friends, the life lessons he taught me... Instead, I have this blog. Where you can choose to come and read or you can choose to ignore it. Could you imagine a person droning on and on and on about her baby that died 2.5 years ago? DOWNER ALERT! When I talk about him now, it's usually positive because the memory of him makes me happy. His memory is safe in my heart and it will always be there. I miss him terribly but he and his sister have filled my heart in ways I never knew possible. They are both the pride, joy and loves of my life and I'm so happy to be able to share BOTH of them today!