How I'm Doing, Really

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It's been nearly six months since I held my daughter in my arms for the first and last time.

How am I doing?  The truth is that I have no idea.

People ask me how I'm doing, and how our rainbow baby is doing, all the time.  They do this out of love, and I am grateful that they ask.  But I feel frustrated, because I just don't know, and don't know how to answer.

But there are some things that I do know.

I know that becoming pregnant again less than three months after our first baby died and was born has halted my grief.  I am shut down emotionally.  I expect that when our second baby is born, the terrible emotions of grief will rise again.  I think that I am looking forward to this, because feeling nothing is even more terrible.

I know that being pregnant again so soon after Eve's stillbirth is scary.  This week I have begun to wonder if our rainbow baby will be our last living biological child, because I don't know if I have the courage to go through a third pregnancy.

I know that I am dreading Mother's Day.  This is not because of the day itself, but because of the deep and painful questions that I am grappling with going into Mother's Day.  It is my first Mother's Day as a mother, and my child is dead.  So who or what am I now?

I know that it is hard to do anything.  Every task is overwhelming, even ones I found enjoyable before.  I just want to go to sleep and not wake up until I feel like a real person again.

I know that I love my children, both the daughter more alive in Christ than I am and the tiny little one growing within me.  I know that grief is a product of love, and even though grief is hard, it does not make me afraid to love recklessly.

I know that I am exhausted.  All I want to do is rest, and yet when I finally slide beneath the bed covers at night, sleep eludes me. 

I know that every night, I remember.  Once the lights go out, the memories of Eve's labor and birth wash over me.  I remember what it felt like as she made her way out of me, and how devastatingly alone and empty I felt when they took her away to clean and clothe her.  I remember how I sobbed when my husband showed me our daughter's body.  I remember the purse of her lips, the smoothness of her cheeks, the dark curls of her hair.

I know that I am loved by the Great Lover of our souls.  I know that I am not forgotten, even when I feel forgotten.  I know that I am held, even though it feels like I have plunged off a cliff and will be falling forever.

I know that death is not the end of our stories, for those that make their home in Jesus.  I know that He longs for us all to come Home.  I know that I will meet my daughter again in His heart.

I know that I am alive, that I am surviving, even if I don't want to be, even if I don't know how that can be.  I am here, I am breathing, there is life and Life within.  I am not yet finished.

How are you doing, really?

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