I’m Tired.

May 5, 2015

It’s 2:00. I’m alone in a cafe, having spent the past two hours in a intense therapy session. I took an additional two hours after with Bella at her hourly care so I can work.

It’s my last week of my current term of school. Lots to do there.

I haven’t written here in a while. Several in drafts.

I have calls to make. Appointments to check.

And here I sit. Scrolling through pages mindlessly as I avoid this. Writing.

Because I feel like I should be ok. My writing should be about me healing. I’m healing y’all! Expecting a surprise baby and I’m just healing away over here. 

I’m pregnant. It’s a girl. Things are good so far. Sunday was Preston and Julian’s birthday – 3 years. And we spent a quiet day at home together.

And yet. 

I waver between feeling guilty for still grieving so, so hard – feeling guilty for not grieving enough – and feeling guilty that I can’t put this behind me.

When I was newly pregnant with Kaden I read a comment on here about my grief. Terrified of losing him, and missing the twins so much, I poured my heart out. And she asked why I couldn’t just be happy with what I had now and stop being so caught up in the loss of the twins.

That comment has haunted me. I often wonder what she thought, if she even knew, when she heard Kaden died too.

Maybe she still wonders why I just can’t be happy.

I’m so tired of being sad – ever. So tired of being different. I am so tired of having to prep myself with an “elevator pitch” for my life when I go out in public and get random, normal comments that leave me wondering what to say back. I’m tired. There are days I wish I could lay in bed and watch The Good Wife for hours on end. Yet I know at the end of the day I’d feel more – guilty.

You didn’t do today right Diana. You failed at today.

When I was a new mom, and Bella was ever so small, I took solace in my friend’s new motherhood too. We were all in the same stages of normal – crying babies, exhaustion, never ending diapers. It was comforting to realize we were all on about the same track, even mentally.

I feel so alone in this.

Most women I know that have walked through loss have had their story redeemed in some way. Another child, an adoption, a life calling. I went through another loss. I carry this baby with so much fear and trepidation (yes, I know this isn’t great for her, thank you) because nothing is safe anymore. Good ultrasounds are – meaningless when you consider Kaden’s were all stellar. 24 weeks doesn’t mean viability. It means I’m 24 weeks closer to whatever is going to happen. Birth just means I have to be on guard for any slips or mistakes the medical staff could make in giving her medications that might cause a reaction.

I feel like a ping pong ball. Back and forth. The constant struggle to “be thankful” and “stay positive” and “focus on the good” and the screaming torrent of thoughts that come with that of, “You can’t be serious Diana.”

Nothing fixes this. No words, no reassurance. My therapist wants me to sit in my feelings. I feel like that’s all I’ve ever done. Yet I know each time I short circuit the pain because I’m so tired of hurting and fearing and trying to search for a comparison to what I’m dealing with. I’m so tired of careless comments and people wondering if I’m ever going to be ok again.

Spoiler alert: nope.

I want to ask people I come across – do you understand? Have you had a trauma – twice? Can we be friends so I can tell you the deepest, most hateful, dark, sad, horrific parts of me and my story? Then we can laugh at how we both feel that way and everyone else thinks we’re insane. We can giggle at stupid comments and the awkwardness of life as it is with so much to tuck away when we go out. Can we find our new normal together and keep each other going?

That’s what I keep searching for. Some kind of a connection in this. Or a redemption in my story. Something that ties this all together, that makes me able to say, “This happened, and this is what I do because of it.”

I’m not there.

37 Comments

  • Danielle

    May 13, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Diana,
    I would like to first offer my condolences on the loss of your 3 precious boys, I have just started to read your blog. I stumbled upon it on Still Standing, while I searched through articles desperately trying to find something I can relate to. For some reason I find myself doing that, searching for someone I can relate to, just as you said in this post. I don’t know why I can’t just accept that we all have our own stories, that no story is just like mine. I found myself drawn towards your writing as you wrote about “interrupted grief”. I have a 9 year old daughter, on February 20, 2014 my husband and I had a beautiful, healthy son, Matthew. On April 7, 2014, our son passed away from SIDS, our daughter was 8 years old, she, like us loved and adored Matty. I woke up one horrible morning and our baby didn’t. He was alive at 5:15am when my husband left for work, but at 6:40am he was not. I found him, I gave him CPR, but he was already gone, he was turning purple. He left in an ambulance without me, my daughter was still asleep I couldn’t leave. I had to wake her up with the police and tell her. I had to call my husband, my mother, my sister, everyone. I’m haunted by that day. That’s part of my story, the other half, the half that drew me to your writing is that 13 months later I’m writing this to you, and I’m 8 & a half months pregnant. My sons should be 14 months apart in age, however Matty is eternally 6 weeks old.
    Although I can not relate directly to your two losses, and I know you wouldn’t want me to, I relate to your feelings of just wanting to have someone with a similar story, someone who knows what it’s like to lose their healthy 6 week old baby that they tried two years and went through 3 rounds of fertility drugs to conceive, to tell an 8 year old little girl that their brother died after only just finding him yourself, of telling their husband, and family, of losing half their world…but I realize I don’t want that. Deep down I don’t, because that would mean they too have been to hell. They too have lost a child. I know rationally that I only really want to not feel so alone in my pain, to not be drowning in fear over my unborn child, whom I conceived naturally 5 & a half months after Matty died. I just want some of this to make even a little bit of sense! How did my husband and I conceive our daughter after knowing each other 6 months and not trying at all? Why did it take so much to get pregnant with Matty? How did I get pregnant again with our newest baby by surprise? Why did Matty die? What the hell is going on?
    Thank you for writing, I’m sure it’s so difficult for you. I guess my reason for writing to you is so you know, that your writing has helped me. I appreciate you sharing your story, and your feelings, because I don’t feel so alone and scared. Your strength and courage I admire, you are inspirational. I wish you the absolute best, you and your family are in my prayers. I’m sure I am not the only person you have helped by sharing but I wanted to let you know you have made a difference.

    1. Snuza Hero

      May 19, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      You sweet, darling Mama, I’m so sorry to hear of your horrible loss…I recently heard of this little gadget that you might be able to use to put your mind at ease when you welcome your baby called the Snuza Hero. I’m so terribly sorry for your loss and am praying for healing and for your sweet rainbow baby. Love and hugs <3 http://www.snuza.com/content.php?product=hero

  • Jill

    May 12, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Sweet Diana, I only know you through your blog and through friends of friends…we’ve never met but I’ve been keeping up with your blog since before your sweet Kaden passed. You mentioned “twice” so many times in this post and just your deep desire to be able to relate to someone and not feel so alone in this…I cannot begin to understand what you are going through, but I was realizing I might know someone who can. Have you heard of the Vapor and Mist Blog? This darling, sweet Jesus-loving family lost 2 full term baby girls in 14 months (their only 2 children) due to very similar and terminal neural tube defects. Tomorrow will be 6 months since they lost their second, little Dasah (their first, Sophie was born and passed 9/1/13). I think there is a link on her site so you can write or get in touch with her. I know there is nothing I can say that will make you feel better but I’d like to hold a glimmer of hope that your 2 families might be able to find comfort in one another. Praying for you all the time <3 The link to her site: https://vaporandmist.wordpress.com/

  • jeniecemeade

    May 11, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    This is incredible. i haven’t experienced the types of trauma that you have. But I’ve experienced my own. I have no answers, no inspirational things to say. Just know that you’re not alone. That you’re being open is amazing – that you’re sharing is amazing – that you’re still trying so hard, IS AMAZING. You have encouraged me in my pain. Blessings on you – and many prayers your way!

  • Cindy

    May 9, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing your heart. You are loved. I am praying for you at this moment.

  • Jessica M

    May 7, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I don’t feel like there’s anything I can say to help, but I just wanted you to know that I follow your story closely and think about your boys a lot. I know you don’t want them to be forgotten. I also keep you and your family and the new baby in my prayers.

  • Janna

    May 7, 2015 at 11:43 am

    You are so not alone Diana. We have a 4 year old son and would love for him to have a sister or brother. We have dealt with infertility and had 2 miscarriages when I did get pregnant. It is so hard when our son asks why he doesn’t have any (living) brothers or sisters.. I struggle to understand and trust God’s plan and wish I could connect with someone who understands this type of loss. Hugs to you – it’s OK to be sad.

  • Karen Ken

    May 7, 2015 at 3:09 am

    When I was pregnant with my rainbow baby (that died). I was still confused that this was suppose to be "redemption"? Another baby can't replace the ones you lost. Trying to understand Ruth in the bible? All I could think was… What about her family that died?! Even Job? What about those that he lost? You don't just "replace" them. How is that redemption? I still don't know. The wounds are still very raw over here. The only true redemption I know is when "there will be no more crying, or pain, or death" and these things don't happen anymore. I am alone too. So alone. I wish I could take you out for ice cream and we could be alone together. But since I think we live in different parts of the country I'll I can say is that listening to that Kari Jobe song "I am not alone" may help while you sit in your grief.

  • Stephanie Lindell Appel

    May 6, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Gah – 'work their way' not there. !!!!!!

  • Stephanie Lindell Appel

    May 6, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Something that has helped me in the past is to realize that there's no frigging way you can trick yourself into doing a full 180 with your emotions. NO WAY to go from
    'holy crap I don't know if I am strong enough to do this AGAIN and instead of feeling excited I feel terrified at all moments' to "oh hooray, I'm having a baby girl. I'm so lucky, la-la-la!" So – sometimes the best we can do is just get to neutral. Tips and techniques like music or prayer or distraction or whatever works for you – those kinds of things can sometimes get you from feeling negative to at least feeling neutral. And the good news is, it's a much shorter journey from neutral to happy. So it is my deepest wish for you that more and more little happy moments work there way into your days. Big hugs and love to you, from another mama of angel twins and a fighter of IC!

  • Alia Osburn

    May 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I think this is probably the most normal response to have. I will be continuing to pray for you, even that kinda sounds like a load of crap though, some days I think you just need to be sad and process what happen. Sending lots of love your way!!

  • Tessica Trudell

    May 6, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I understand what you mean, Diana. I've had 5 boys. 3 are still here on earth. 2 we lost 7 years apart. Samuel was stillborn at 33 weeks and Ezekiel was born prematurely at 22 weeks, alive (11 months ago exactly) after a a traumatic pregnancy with a subchorionic hematoma. I've also had a couple miscarriages (15 & 7 weeks). When we had such a huge second trauma last June, it seemed unreal. How could this happen to us twice? I have a friend that lost 3 baby girls (born prematurely around 20 weeks) and a baby boy at 40 weeks lost to a cord accident. She did get to keep two precious boys… but it just seems so unfair. It really does. I know God is sovereign, and has victory over death… but I understand your fear. It colored all of my pregnancies after my stillbirth 7 years ago. I still am fearful for family or friends who are pregnant. It is hard. It always will be. I am praying for you, and for that baby girl to arrive safely. Don't feel bad about your grief. You have had huge losses…. It is just NOT something you can get over, as many people may say or think. Big hugs!

  • Gina Rodriguez

    May 6, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I wish I had a real, honest, passionate friend like you as I go through my loss. I hate that people just expect you to act "happy" even when you just can't fake it any more. We all have pain in our lives, so why do we have to act like those painful times never happened. Thank you for sharing your true feelings!

  • elizabethclements

    May 6, 2015 at 6:20 am

    I am totally pms-ing and don’t want to be ugly, but why can’t people just shut up and white knuckle it with you these next few months? Just be there and pray and love. And I know I just told everyone how to behave. I need a donut.

  • Tonya Pettit

    May 6, 2015 at 4:33 am

    When I became a mom I noticed that when I see other people hurting…I really feel it with them. I imagine people as they might have been when they were small. Or what if one of my daughters ever hurts like that. And I kind of absorb the pain and pray for the person at the same time. So this might be the weirdest comment you've ever gotten – but I've read your blog for about 3.5 years and all the way over here in Seattle – I'm hurting with you, praying for you, and wishing I could offer you some peace or reassurance. Xoxo

  • mari

    May 5, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Your writing is a gift. I find many, many of my own feelings (the ones deep inside my soul) in your words. I am not sure if this will help but in my case I wasn’t able to have an “all events connected” kind of ending. We will not have any more children and as much as I would like to have closure, the trauma of loss is what it is, a trauma. I also dealt with the haunting in my head of my own words and expectations of how I was supposed to live my pregnancies after loss. I t was exhausting, painful and very bad for my own soul. I think that allowing yourself to feel has more to do with accepting than changing. I like to think of life now as sailing in the sea. Sometimes the sea is calm. I have perspective. I am present and joyful with my kids. Sometimes the sea is not calm. The words in my head of how I am supposed to feel about life and my children because I know how bad it can be are haunting and put me down and those are the days when I do my best..and at the very end when I see my rainbows sleeping at night I tell myself all the good things I did that day and the little accomplishments…I have yet to meet in person someone who has gone through the same amount and kind of losses as me but that doesn’t matter now because at the end I have to accept that this is how I can deal with it and make the best out of the rest of my life and be the best reflection of my own soul.

  • Journey Elder

    May 5, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I have never lost a child, though I have one beautiful daughter like you and wishing for another. I can not comprehend the pain you are feeling because I have never experienced your heart wrenching despair. I can only give you an internet hug and tell you that, although we have never met, you are one of the most beautifully real women I have ever wished to know. Though you may not feel it or know it, you are a hero. To me, to your daughter, to so many women who have been hurt in similar ways. Your losses cannot be hidden away or swept into a tight box at the drop of a hat – you lost three children in ways that are horrific and all consuming. Never apologize for feeling that pain or not feeling ready to release those fears – it is that fear that shows your heart is still alive and feeding the love of your children through you.

    I was horrifically abused as a child, physically, sexually, and emotionally. It is not the same at all, but I understand the pain of feeling alone in your journey. No one I have ever met has gone through even half of what happened to me (not would I wish that on someone else) but it would be so comforting to sit down and talk with someone who gets it. Without judgements or trying to speed me along – I understand that need to simply connect with another human being on that wavelength of pain. Because until you have lived it, you cannot possibly feel that level of pain and hurt. The rawness and irrationality of it. That does not make you insane or ungrateful for life. If you ever need anything, my email is journey.l.elder@gmail.com. I am on your FB as well. No pressure or expectations – just a person who is in your corner no matter what.

  • Erika

    May 5, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    My marriage is wrecked- has been for its entire 5h years because of affairs and secrets and anyone else but me- and I feel a similar way. About wanting redemption. About being able to see around to the other side. Of thinking that it had a reason or it helped me to a place I needed to be.

    But I pray and I pray, and I’m not their yet. I’m just in a miserable marriage, wondering why lie is this way.

    1. Kiki

      May 6, 2015 at 10:45 am

  • Sarah

    May 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    One day at a time. Losing a child is not something one “gets over”. Your children will always be in your heart. I wanted to refer you to a book my women’s group did this last session about the journey to contentment. It’s called Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. Maybe when your semester’s over you’ll have a little time for reading 😉

  • Karen Perry Habiger

    May 5, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    This was so helpful! We are individuals and are pain is experienced in different ways. The joy of having another child does not eliminate the fear of losing another child, nor does it replace the grief of losing your other child. You aren't guilty of anything wrong (my opinion). You have experienced great loss. You love greatly; you mourn greatly. I can tell you the pain is less raw as time goes by. It becomes more & more a personal pain & eventually that's ok. But for now…be at peace with where you are, let go of the guilt. Big hugs!

  • Karen Perry Habiger

    May 5, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Oh sweetie, I wish I could hug you! Right after I lost my son a dear friend said to me, "Remember there are no rules on how you 'should' grieve

  • Summer

    May 5, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    You have been through what is probably the most horrific type of trauma – loss of children. You have inner turmoil and unresolved feelings, but you have continued on with life. That is all you can do. I’m not at all saying don’t go to therapy, but if you go to therapy with the expectation of it all eventually being resolved, it may not ever be. It may just always be a part of who you are. You are made up of wonderful gifts and blessings, but also of scars and pain. Sitting in it, owning it, accepting it, perhaps those all mean the same thing…but they aren’t the same as getting over it.

    Please don’t at all take this as a diminishing of your pain, but most humans walk around with that same type of mixture of emotions, just different blessing and scars. When you get to know someone well enough you often learn of those things that are hidden just below the surface. The more complicated answers to innocent questions asked by strangers.

    Again I say that not to dismiss what you are going through, but to encourage you to view it a bit more globally as you are truly not alone. Perhaps most people you encounter have not experienced your type of loss and pain, but they probably have experienced their own version and have their own scars and fears. Some are fortunate enough to not have had significant loss or trauma….yet. Some may never have that experience, but many will. Your experience is completely unique, but your feelings are likely quite similar to those shared by millions, if not billions.

    You have the gift of empathy for those in pain that will transcend what caused the pain. I fully expect there will be redemption to your story. Not in the way perhaps that you would have scripted or that anyone would wish for you, but I bet it will be there. However, it still won’t erase the loss of your three boys. That will forever be a part of your feelings, your view, and your soul.

    I hope that this fall you get to take your healthy baby girl home and continue on a new path of a family with four souls on this earth and three waiting beyond. We are all rooting for that outcome and for some well deserved peace to come to you in the meantime.

  • chgdiapers

    May 5, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Every day that you get through is a day that you did awesome Diana. Every day you wake up and put one foot in front of the other means you won that day.

  • Welcome to My World

    May 5, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    I think your feelings are perfectly fine because they are yours. There are days that I am feeling okay after losing our son and getting cancer and there are other days where it is totally not okay with me. I was so scared while I was pregnant with my daughter after we lost our son. A lot of people made silly comments to me like shouldn't I just be happy I got pregnant. Yes, I was happy but I was also scared out of my mind that something would happen. Ultrasounds and heartbeats only helped when they were happening. I also agree with you on that sometimes they do not help because all of my ultrasounds with my son were wonderful until he passed away. I wish I had some great piece of advice for you. I wish you all the luck in the world 🙂

  • Karri

    May 5, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I’m realizing, now, after having a rainbow baby after three losses, just how much my grief has affected me and my family (and all does).

    We’re a homeschooling family. My 8 year old daughter still isn’t reading. Not because she’s not capable, but because I ‘checked out’ for almost two years. TWO YEARS. 9 months of that was a pregnancy that was, for the most part, normal. But the fear in it was paralyzing.

    There are moments when I’m reminded of my terrible loss and it floods right back in. I still get resentful setting friends’ twins and realizing I’m never going to be part of the ‘twin club’. Our the friends who had babies the same time I was sure with Solomon. Yep. Big holes of nothing that will never be filled.

    No big purpose has come of them. Nothing to fill the emptiness. And I guess…That’s okay.

  • reebeckisupergirl

    May 5, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    I have to say even if you haven’t lost a child, pregnancy is full of fear. Both of my pregnancies were pretty good and yet, I still held that fear. And if you’d actually had your worst fears come true, well then I think you hold that fear longer, harder and closer. But you are strong, you are working hard through this and you are already a great Mom to this baby you are growing because you are honoring all of her siblings.

    1. Rébecca

      June 2, 2015 at 3:25 am

      Yes, pregnancy is always full of fear, but once you’ve lost a child once, it is no longer fear. It is terror. You know the pain of loss, you don’t just imagine it. And truly, going through it again feels absolutely terrifying. Even when you know God carried you through it and would again.

  • The

    May 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Oh honey….. I’ve commented before, though we’ve never connected. I HAVE done this trauma, TWICE. I have lost twins, and then the son that was supposed to “redeem” their passing. My sweet Duncan would be six in a few days. And I’ve never been able to celebrate his life here on earth in the way all my friends celebrate their children. He has spent every birthday in heaven. And I remain here….many years out. Still thinking, “I’m doing this wrong.” Even today, at a play date, a friend asked, “You seem off….angry, almost.” And I merely replied, “Yep. It’s May.” The double-whamy of Mother’s Day followed rapidly by Duncan’s birthday, spent at a cemetery.

    So….If you’re still looking for that person who has done this, twice, to be your friend and talk to you about the deepest, most hateful, dark, sad, horrific parts of us and our stories, and to laugh with you at how we both feel that way and everyone else thinks we’re insane….. I’m here. I’m 34 and live in Ohio and my grief broke parts of me I think will never, ever mend. I’d love to find our new normal together and keep each other going.

    Hugs.

  • Miranda

    May 5, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I know that I cannot understand all you’ve been through and the myriad emotions you’ve experienced over the past three years, but I do want you to know that however you feel is how you get to feel. Nobody gets to tell you to feel anything else, and warts to the person who tries. It’s hard for people to understand that sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. That it’s okay to say nothing, or just “I’m so sorry.”

    And I know it does no good to ply you with platitudes about those you’re helping by sharing your story and Preston, Julian, and Kaden’s lives with the world. None of those things bring back your sons. But there’s power in vulnerability, and in cracking open your soul and saying “this is hard. Today is hard.” you’re giving other women the strength to do the same. You might feel alone, as grief is a singular experience, but you’re never alone. Not really.

  • Michelle Marquis

    May 5, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I don’t understand what you are going through in the least bit Diana but still I know your fear, trepidation, and worry are justified. How can you “be thankful” when you have been through this before and it ended in heartache? Feel what you feel and know that it’s okay, and try to brush off the comments of those who can’t put themselves in your shoes. There are so many of us praying for you, Sam, Bella, your sons, and this new little life. We may not understand but we are walking silently beside you.

  • Fmbe

    May 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Grief is lonely because every human being is unique. Grief reveals how we love(d). There is no way to know ahead of time what it will be like. And in the case of child loss it is very hard to find anyone you can tell the gut wrenching truth to. No matter how similar the circumstances may be, your grief will be different. It sucks but that’s just how it goes. Some days are harder than others but they are all hard. I pray that something will happen to lighten your irit today.

  • Meredith

    May 5, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I haven’t experienced the loss of a child, but I have experienced a different kind of trauma twice–two different kinds of cancer just a few years apart. I hope you don’t think I’m presumptuous for sharing this, because I know that my trauma and yours are really apples and oranges. But I just wanted to encourage you that it’s still not too late for the redemption to come, for something to tie it all together.

    And it’s equally okay for you not to be there yet.

  • elle

    May 5, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Your struggles are your own . No 2 people grieve the same . I have heard the heart beat of 5 babies that never made it to this world . And lost 7 others before that . I grieve everyday . Some days it’s minutes and some all day . It’s ok. Your fear is understandable . Your timidness of happiness and joy … Expected . You are not alone . Praying for peace for you today .

  • nataliegracie

    May 5, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Diana, I lost my mom in March of 2014 (completely different, I know), but late last year, I joined a grief writing group. It has been an incredibly place of support (with mothers who also have lost children, as well as other types of losses). Here is the link to register if you are so inclined: http://www.refugeingrief.com/support/30-day/ I thought, given your passion for writing, it might be of interest. After you complete the 30 day journey, there is a private facebook group for alumni, who continue to support one another, and it’s an incredibly safe space among people who “get” the grief journey. xoxo.

  • Jasmine

    May 5, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I wish I could just hug you, as you know there is no road map for grief. Unfortunately each person has to walk the road alone. Because no matter how well intentioned everyone is no one can walk the road for you or feel what you feel. Just know that you are loved and do what is best for you and yours.

  • Christy Trevett

    May 5, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    I’ve read your blog for years and never commented. Until now. And really what I want you to hear is how completely normal I think your feelings are. And also how sorry I am that the weight of others’ less than thoughtful comments have even had to enter your brain. And also that I’m really sorry that your 3 precious boys aren’t on earth with you. I love your courage in the admitting of the “I’m not ok”.

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