The last few weeks have been draining me emotionally. I don’t know if it’s been the anticipation of Averie’s birthday on Sunday or having Isabella here and missing Averie or a little bit of both.
Things have felt so incredibly fresh. It has felt like we lost her just yesterday. I’ve been feeling emotions that I haven’t felt in a long time. Anger crept back in the other day out of nowhere. The what if I’s started popping back up in my mind. I had to shut it all down. I couldn’t go back to that place.
When I close my eyes sometimes I find myself back in my gloomy hospital room sitting in bed staring off. I play over and over the moment the doctors walked in to tell us the worst news of our lives. How I thought it was a joke, a dream, something other then reality. No way could this happen to us, to our sweet girl. I remember rereading a sign by my bed that asked about pain level. I would stare at that sign for hours in a zombie state. The TV was on, but I never watched it. The sound of it just in the back ground keeping me sane so I wouldn’t hear the screams of the children being born in the rooms surrounding us.
The other day I glanced down at Isabella while she was sleeping. She looked exactly like Averie in that moment and my heart sank. I love that my girls look a like, but seeing Isabella look how Averie looked after she had passed away, threw me for a loop. I find that I have to keep reminding myself that Isabella is here to stay. Like there is a part of me that can’t get passed the fact that she isn’t going anywhere, we don’t have to say goodbye to her. We get to raise her, I get to teach her things, I get to watch her grow. I still find myself watching for her breathing while she sleeps. If she’s breathing shallow to the point I can’t hear her or see it I end up moving her to make sure she’s ok. It usually backfires on me and she wakes up, but I can’t get over that fear.
In some ways I feel like I’m not as prepared for Averie’s 2nd birthday as I was for her first. Emotionally I feel different. I don’t want to say that having Isabella here makes it worse, it just changes it. I want Isabella to look forward to her sisters birthday, to enjoy the traditions we’ve set in place so she can feel connected to Averie.
I’ve asked a few people close to me to share their experience of the day Averie passed away. I’m not stupid I know that it didn’t just effect Zach and I. I know that those that are close to us don’t exactly know how it feels to lose a child, but I don’t think they need to. I know the pain they felt for us, for Averie, was very real. They suffered themselves as well. Did it have to be as great as ours for them to feel sympathy and understand? No, but that’s ok. What they felt was very real and raw. When someone passes away it’s like a ripple. The ones closest get hit the hardest and then it trickles out. I feel lucky enough to have loved ones that cried with us, that despite being thousands of miles away and having never met Averie, still loved her and love her to this day.
Last night I danced with Isabella as we listened to music. In the moment I felt happy. Blessed to have another beautiful daughter I could hold. I thought about how life can change in seconds. How unpredictable it is and how when it takes a drastic turn we all have to navigate through it somehow. I’m still living my life for Averie. That will never change. But now I want to live for Isabella and more then anything for myself. I want to make both of my daughters proud of the person I’ve become. I am not sure how I ended up here, still standing, but you better believe I’m going to continue to stand tall regardless of what life throws at me.