The envelope had my name in gorgeous calligraphy scrawled on the front and was sealed with a big and beautiful wax seal on the back. Oooooh.
I opened it gingerly, so as to not ruin the seal and slid the card out. I began to read and the tears began to fall down my cheeks.
It was a letter from my baby, the one who flew away.
What a sweet Mother's Day gift from one who has also suffered, although I deem that my suffering pales in comparison with one who has birthed a still-born child, full term. Megan from The Greatest Blessing was the thoughtful one who sent this to me and you can click here to view the letter.
That wasn't the only time I cried last weekend. I cried on Mother's day.
I cried because, alongside the cards and love also come memories. And I remember what kind of a mother I used to be. I say "used to be" because I believe that those days are history and I know with all my heart that I have turned over a new leaf, begun a new chapter in my story. That belief doesn't lessen the pain. Or sometimes the shame.
To understand this, I must take you back.
Let me tell you, ladies (and Dave ;-), I have been dreading this part! I almost chickened out. But I will share the darkness that I have come through so that the Light will seem brighter.
My awesome husband and I had a plan. Be married for two years and then try for a baby. We stuck to the plan. A few months after we celebrated our second anniversary, we were pregnant. We have found that we are quite good at that! ;-D
I was so excited to be pregnant! I was also excited that my child was going to be different, not like those other bratty, disobedient kids I always heard screaming in the store. So, I prepared myself. I read every book on parenting that I could and began forming my opinions and values. I was ready. I had the tools. I knew what the right things to do were and I was convinced that I'd be good at doing those things, like everything else in my life.
My first born came into the world. What a glorious day! But on that day I began a journey that I could have never imagined.
For the first two weeks, I was a wreck. Who was this little, demanding creature who wanted to suck all.day.long and then keep me up at night! A dear friend came to my aid and brought me a book that helped me begin to regulate and schedule my baby. With these changes, my baby cried a lot but we began getting more sleep and that was good for me. Do I believe in the basic principles of routine? Yes. Did I take it to the extreme? Yes. I didn't realize that till later, of course.
Now, here was one more area in which I had gained somewhat of an expertise and I had no qualms about sharing my views with others.
Grace grew and with that came the increased feelings that I was doing a good job. Because, well, she was good. Extremely good. I had been putting into practice all my knowledge and it was paying off. She was well trained. She was obedient. Do I believe in the basics and principles of training a child to obey? Yes. Do I believe in practicing good behaviour? Yes. Did I take it to the extreme? Yes. Teaching and training without love and joy is tyranny and I will say more about that in a later post.
I began receiving many compliments. Other moms asked me for advice. The accolades were comin' my way, and make no mistake, I liked it. To say that I was being put up on pedestal for all to "worship" would be somewhat accurate. Others didn't realize they were doing that and I didn't realize what was happening in my heart. I didn't actually want to become full of pride. I knew pride was wrong... yet, I was still proud of my excellent accomplishments as a mom, somewhat naively, for is it not a known fact in the universe that "pride goeth before a fall"?
I was well into my pregnancy with babe #2 when things started to go wrong.
I really hate to do this to you again, but it's past midnight, and this post is getting stinkin' long, which means I had to pull your tooth for you to read it all! I must pause here and resume later... I promise that I won't make you wait as long! Pinky swear!
From here it only gets darker. Bring your flashlight.