People keep telling me how strong I am. I may appear to be strong through my writing, or because I'm going about my days the best I can, or because I'm carrying Eden as long as I'm supposed to, but it's not me who is getting me through it, it's God. And honestly, I don't feel strong at all. Some days are definitely easier than others. A couple days ago when we had our ultrasound, I was happy. I was happy we were seeing our beautiful daughter, I was happy I could see personality in her, I was happy that God blessed us with this little girl, and that He had given us peace and allowed us to enjoy the ultrasound without sadness. Yesterday and today I've just felt like a mess.
Yesterday I slept in. It felt good to finally get some sleep, but it really sort of depressed me that I had "wasted" a good portion of the day sleeping. We went grocery shopping, went out to eat, and to everyone else just seemed like a normal family with a toddler. People didn't know I couldn't even look at the baby department. They didn't know that I'd look at a fully pregnant woman or women with brand new babies and feel a deep sadness and twinge of jealousy at their healthy babies. Being in public was hard - my only relief was that I'm not really showing too much yet, so instead of looking like a pregnant lady which leaves me totally exposed to a myriad of comments and questions from strangers, I just look fat. I am fine with looking fat right now. That evening I slept some more - a late evening nap that didn't leave me tired until after midnight.
Last night was filled with restless sleep. I kept waking throughout the night, tossing and turning, and woke up this morning feeling exhausted. My immune system seems to be compromised because my allergies are in full force and not letting up. Today we went to church and someone who knows I'm pregnant asked me if we found out the gender yet. I told her our baby was going to be a girl, and I tried desperately to hold back tears. How do you tell someone who asks about the baby you are carrying that the baby has a defect and isn't going to have a long life here with us? How do you tell your step-daughter of 12 years that no, Brooklyn and Eden aren't going to be handfuls when they are 12 and 13, because Eden is never going to live to be 12 years old? We explained to Madelyn several days ago that the baby has something wrong with her and isn't going to live, but she seems to have forgotten or is confused, and I just don't know how to deal with that. Thank goodness for her Dad (who has explained it to her again since), because all I can do is force a smile and nod, then run off to the bathroom to cry. That's exactly what I did at church, too. I ran off to the bathroom and cried for a few minutes, then went back to my seat and made eye-contact with no one. Luckily nobody else spoke to me, because I would have lost it no matter what they said.
Once we got home from church, I slept some more. It seems all I want to do today is sleep and cry - today isn't one of my "strong" days. I've been short with my husband, short with Brooklyn, and short with myself. It's a day that is filled with anger. It's so hard not to be angry at this situation. Frankly it really sucks, and it isn't fair. It's hard not to think this is a punishment for something, that maybe I don't pray enough, or maybe I don't read my Bible enough, or I lose my patience too quickly. I know that this isn't a punishment - God doesn't work like that, but who else can I blame if I can't blame myself? I guess there really isn't anyone to blame for this. It's just part of the plan...
For whatever reason, that I'll probably never understand, God choose to give us this child, and choose for her to have a short life here on Earth. On my good days, I come up with all sorts of things that maybe we are meant to do with Eden's life to bless others. Maybe we are meant to donate organ tissue (if the Missouri Organ donation people would ever email me back with a yes or no answer - I don't think it'll be likely), or maybe I'm meant to pump and donate breast milk to someone who can't breastfeed, or maybe we are meant to help someone else get through a tragedy like ours. But why me? Why us? Why our family?! I'm not some overly important person with some kind of huge influence on the world. I'm not someone who knows a million people, or a person who can even make the story of Eden's life reach more than the same 50 people each day. So why were we chosen to carry the burden of losing a child, when we can't even do anything with it to make a significant impact on the world? Why weren't we meant to raise Eden and watch her grow up? Why does God want me to carry this child just to lose her? Why can't I just keep my baby? It isn't fair.
Please continue to pray for us and for strength. I know the worst days aren't even here yet, but some of these days are really hard to get through.