I’m feeling very compelled to write today for whatever reason that may be. I’ve been thinking about my journey through grief a lot lately and where it has taken me and have wondered where it will take me from here. Losing Tenley has been such a beautiful disaster; I know many people may ask why I choose the word beautiful about something so ugly. I have to pick that word because that has truly been a great definition of my journey through grief. Yes I’ve felt like I have been in the depths of hell, the ugliest place you can ever imagine but my little girl fought so hard to show me the beautiful side of it and today I can honestly say I can see it.
I try and start from the first day of losing her….
The best word to describe that day was NUMB, maybe it was the morphine or maybe it was because of how sick I was when I delivered her but I honestly don’t remember crying one tear on the very first day. I know, I know it sounds crazy. How could you not cry when your child died? I don’t know but I do know she was with me that day telling me to be strong and that she was ok. I also know that I had that one little button and the tip of my fingers that I could just press and I would feel NUMB all over again. I did cry though I cried so much I could have made a lake, but those tears just didn’t come at first. That morning though when I woke up without my belly and without my baby I CRIED and I cried hard and for a long time, trying my best to be quite so I didn’t wake Louie. I wanted to be alone I wanted to feel the pain and I just needed to cry. The nurse came in shortly after I finished my giant sob fest and asked if I would like to see Tenley again, I shook my head with a smile and immediately started crying again. I feel like the tears didn’t stop for months after that. I would wake up crying, I would wake up swearing I could hear her cry in her room only to go into an empty room and an empty crib. I would hold her blankets and just cry on the floor asking why. Why my baby? The answers came to me though and what a beautiful journey it has been since then.
The answers came that I needed to volunteer for families like mine; I needed to be there for mothers who we’re feeling that raw emotion I was feeling. I also feel like I needed to know I wasn’t in this alone and that there we’re others “like me”! More answers followed when I realized I needed to work with these families even more, somehow I need to touch these families, and then it hit me I wanted to become a NICU nurse. I could relate in some sense and if the unimaginable happened to their child I could be there for them in a deeper way than most NICU nurses. Once again it didn’t stop there though so I became a Doula, I still haven’t done any doula work but I will get my foot out there in a matter of time and when it’s right. Becoming a doula then made me want to go further, I want to be a midwife. I don’t ever want a family to be treated the way I was when I was pregnant. I can see this blossoming into something BIGGER though and I’m just waiting for Tenley to show me what’s next in my journey. I went from not worrying about going to school to wanting to be a midwife and it’s all because of this Beautiful Disaster that happened to me, out of pain beauty came.
Once I found out why this happened to me I could see why and what my life was supposed to be. My little Tenley has only begun to show me all the fabulous things she is going to bring to my life. I can feel her (and I’ve been told) she is just tugging at my arm like “come on mom, I have so much to show you”! Little did I know my daughter was going to teach me about life instead of me teaching her about it. I’ve learned to smile through the pain and hard days and I know that is what she wanted. She wanted her mama to be happy and she wants me to teach people and be there for them.
I made her a promise the day she passed I whispered in her ear that “I was going to make a difference for her and fight” and that’s what I’m doing. When those doctors can see the day that I’m better at helping an expecting mother than they we’re I can smile that I finally made my promise come true to my little girl and I can smiling knowing that if I can help one mother have a better experience through their birth and loss of their child this journey will have been worth it.
The day she died was really the first day of the rest of my life without her, my clock started all over again and she has given me life. Thank you my Tenley girl for giving me such a beautiful blessing.
“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be” – Robert Muncsh