Monday, August 22, 2011


I've come to realize, albeit it the hard way, that life is all about perspective. Someone will always have it better than you, and someone will always have it worse than you, and you just need to work with you and what you've been dealt or given. I have spent far too much time ruminating and just spinning circles of "what ifs?" What if she had been born a year later, what if I had finished school on time and graduated in 2010 like I would have if I had stayed on track, what if her father and I didn't constantly argue and could stay together? What if, what if, what if. Well, self, guess what. The "what ifs" don't matter because I can only deal with the "this is." This is the financial situation I am in, this is the relationship trouble I have, this is this is this is. What it was NOT was the type of life I wanted my child to have. I can't spend time comparing myself to others. I can't keep looking at girls younger than myself, raising their babies while living with their parents and having no job or car of their own. I can't get jealous of every pregnant woman I see, and I can't get upset with people who complain about their kids around me. I will start to hate everyone if I do that. I am not the type to put myself up on some kind of pedestal and scream, "I made a sacrifice and did what was best for my child, so everyone in a situation similar to mine, or worse off than mine, should do the same or they're wrong!" No, I wouldn't dream of doing that, and I don't feel that way. But sometimes it just stings me to see seniors in high school with a two year old. I don't necessarily feel jealous or feel like their child is "bad off," it just makes me wonder why I thought I couldn't do it. And then I realize - she and I are not the same person. Even if we lived in the same town, were the exact same age, and shared the same group of friends and had an identical family life and financial situation - we are not the same person. Deep down, I know that I made the decision that was best for my daughter and myself, and sometimes I do have to remind myself of that. If I don't, I start to wonder. I start to drive myself crazy, I question myself, I question my decision and I start to regret, even though I know deep down it was what was right. You know how they tell you to go with your first reaction when you take a multiple choice test, because your gut answer is usually the right one? It's kind of like that, only on a much, much larger (and heart breaking) scale). Once I processed all of it, and thought about the kind of situation my child would be raised in, adoption was my first thought. Obviously not my first choice, but my first thought, given my circumstances. After she was born, parenting became my first thought, but that was my heart speaking, my emotions overtaking the logical side of my brain. The day I left the hospital without her, parenting was still what I wanted, but I knew somewhere, deep deep down, that her life would be best off in the hands of two parents that were much more capable...ready and waiting to raise a baby. Ready and prepared to dedicate the next eighteen years+ to a beautiful little girl that they had dreamed of for years. I do still have my (very) hard days, but I know my daughter is where she belongs. She beat a lot of odds to be a part of this world; I diligently took my birth control, I didn't have any prenatal care whatsoever for the majority of my pregnancy (due to not realizing I was pregnant because the pills I took made my period vanish about a year and a half before), and she ended up with APGAR scores of 8.5 and 9.

All of this has got me thinking. We, as human beings, are controlling by nature. We like to have a set work schedule, we like to have a sleep schedule, we try to plan and plan and plan, but ultimately, life has a plan of it's own that it can enforce on you when and if it pleases. Look at it this way, for example. Couple A gets married, buys a house, saves and saves and saves, and then plans for a baby. They make sure they are financially ready, have a room ready, and are 100% certain (as certain as you can be - I realize parenthood is something you can never be 'ready' for until you have experienced it) that they are prepared for a baby. They try and try and finally conceive, and go to all of their ultrasound and NST appointments, do all the necessary bloodwork, drink lots of water and no soda, and refuse to let their bodies get stressed out. She makes her body the happiest, comfiest place in the world for her much loved and much wanted little baby. Then, a day before the baby is due, she goes in for one last ultrasound and finds out her baby has passed away. Then, someplace in the world, at the same time, Couple B is a young couple, not fully committed to one another in the sense of marriage or being together forever. They are not ready whatsoever for a child, have not finished school, have no savings, and just plain aren't ready. They don't realize they are pregnant until very late into the pregnancy, have had no genetic testing, no bloodwork, have drank soda for the entire pregnancy and have not been eating right. Their baby is born right on time, completely healthy and ready to go home in less than the mandatory two days in the hospital. Why does this happen? It happens every hour of every day everywhere. It's not fair, and truly demonstrates how, no matter how much we plan, things do not always go the way we intended. Couple A wanted and planned for a baby...they got pregnant on purpose, for a reason. Couple B tried to avoid getting pregnant and still did and had a healthy, smart baby. Life doesn't go as planned. That's why I have to take it day by day. I can't look too far into the future, it's too scary, too overwhelming, too dark right now. I get out of bed everyday by telling myself, "today I can live through the day without my daughter." Then, I do the same thing the next day. I've been doing it for months now. But, had you told me months ago that I'd still be saying it now, I'd think, 'how can I live without her for months? Years?' but I'm doing it. I'm alive. I'm not the happiest person on the planet, but it could be worse. I could be the woman in Couple A who doesn't have her child by her side because she passed away. On the other hand, it could be better. I could be the woman in Target with a 9 month old babbling away in her carriage. But, the point is, I'm neither worse off nor better off, I'm just me. I can't be compared to anyone else because I am no one else but myself. Just like no two people are alike, no two stories of motherhood are alike, either.

This is not the life I would have chosen for myself. Is that to say that if I had a choice, I would go back in time and make absolutely positively sure that my little girl would never have been conceived? I know it's contradictory, but I would absolutely not do that. All of this (the past, the present, and whatever the future holds) in terms of my daughter, was worth it the minute I saw her for the first time. The experience of that absolutely innocent, unconditional, overtaking love you feel when you see your very own baby in your arms, has and always will make all of this pain worth it to me.

On another note, I think I have a scrapbooking addiction. I print off each and every single Michael's and A.C. Moore coupon I can find, and somehow I managed to get 70% off my entire purchase this past weekend. I got about $25 worth of stickers and $8 or $10 worth of 12x12 paper for under  $10.00! And, I know I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but I stocked up on Halloween stuff and birthday stuff. October and November are right around the corner, which is very hard for me to wrap my head around. Seriously, soon I'm going to have a one year old. Well, I guess I shouldn't use the word "have,"...but you know what I mean. No matter where she is, nothing will change the fact on her birthday that one year ago that day I gave birth to her....and that's what I mean when I say I'll have a one year old.

I suppose there's no guarantee that I'll even get pictures of her in her Halloween costume, but based on the way this year has gone so far (with photos on her first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and 4th of July - all in her holiday outfits), I'm pretty positive I'll get at least a couple. And I pray and pray and pray that I will get photos around the time of her birthday! I took photos of my little collection of Halloween and birthday paraphernalia, of course...

...and I have since bought little white ghosts and these, because I can't help but think that the little girl at the bottom, in the pumpkin outfit, resembles my little girl if she were a cartoon. Whhaaat, she has the fair skin and the jet black hair, just like her! Hahaha. Now I'm itching for Halloween to get here so I can make her "11 month" page!


  1. you are so right. so many people don't realize the struggles that can come along with having a baby. on the outside, two people meet, fall in love, and bada boom, bada bing, there's a baby. but it doesn't always work like that, and no one really knows the inner side to your story besides you, and no one can dictate how you feel besides you. ((big hugs to you))

  2. I love this post. I think you and I have been on the same thought loop lately ;) It's so true; no child or pregnancy experience or parenthood experience is the same. It's very easy to compare ourselves because it's human nature, but we need to be a little more gentle with ourselves and realize that some things are out of our control but it was under our control to make the best decisions we could at the time. I love your scrapbook addiction! I feel like such a jerk because I haven't finished the book I wanted to give to my daughter on her first birthday (a month ago). You are motivating me to do it by the end of the year!

  3. You are SO wise. And I remind myself of the same things ALL the time when grieving for my own daughter gets really tough. Thank you for this beautiful post! On a side note, I love, love, LOVE your scrapbooking stuff. I have oodles of the stuff myself. I just went to Michael's yesterday and spent more money than I should have (but then again, it was a gift card I received for my birthday. So there! LOL), but I got lots of cute stuff! I hope you DO get pics of Arianna for your scrapbook - I'll bet it looks awesome!

  4. Thank you girls! I'm just trying to keep my head above the water any way I know how. I'll post pictures of my scrapbook later this evening and as I continue to work on it. The little problem is, I can only work on it as fast as I get photos, but that's USUALLY every month :) And Monika... I should own stock in that store! If left to my own devices, I'd spend hundreds every time!