For a long time I refused to admit that I changed. I was the same me I always was. The only thing different about me was that my heart was broken and would never heal.
Want me to hold your baby? Sure, I do love baby snuggles
Want to talk about your pregnancy? Let’s do it, I have a little experience there
Watch a movie with a pregnant woman in it? Yeah, I like movies
Talk about life as though I haven’t changed? Yes! Because I haven’t, right?
I don’t know when it happened and I don’t think there was one big moment, but at some point I realized I had changed. Some changes were big, and some small, but they were changes nonetheless and I needed to accept that. It wasn’t easy. The common sense part of my brain wanted to smack me – of course I had changed. How could I not? Why was I trying so hard to pretend like I hadn’t changed?
Because it’s hard to admit you’re vulnerable.
It’s hard to admit that while you are so excited for your pregnant friends, you are also terrified for them.
It’s hard to admit that birth announcements bring more jealousy than joy.
It’s hard to admit that those baby snuggles bring lots of tears.
It’s hard to admit that you wish you could hibernate for months at a time.
It’s hard to admit that you’re an angrier person than you were before.
It’s hard to admit that you’re far more sensitive than you were before.
Some of the changes are a little easier to accept:
I have accepted I will never again be able to watch the movie we were watching when my water broke.
I have accepted there will be songs I likely won’t be able to listen to all the way through ever again (Last Kiss is one of them, along with Lightning Crashes by Live, and Miracle by the Foo Fighters).
I have accepted I will avoid movies or shows with baby loss associations and sometimes I’ll fast-forward through pregnancy/birth scenes. Yes, this means I’m not watching This Is Us and no, please don’t tell me I need to watch it.
I have accepted that I will not be able to attend showers for babies not yet born.
I have accepted that every time I hear or see the name Melissa a wave of grief will hit me and I may struggle to breathe.
Everything in life changes us. But even when change comes from something traumatic, something life-altering, we shouldn’t be afraid to admit and accept that those experiences change us.
For me, admitting I had changed was the first step in bettering myself for the benefit of myself and my girls.
I changed the moment I knew I was pregnant with Melissa and I changed in so many more ways the moment I gave her one last kiss.
*Oh, where oh where can my baby be?
The Lord took her away from me
She’s gone to heaven, so I got to be good
So I can see my baby when I leave this world.
*Last Kiss, written by Wayne Cochran