I have pondered that question and my last blog post of this year for several weeks. The answer is yes.
From January to June 16th, almost exactly the first half of the year, I was the happiest I have ever been. I had an amazing family, a fabulous husband, a beautiful dog, a perfect house, and a baby on the way. (And I still have almost all those things.) I was so enjoying preparing my life for a new little baby. I was so ready for the next chapter. During this time, we completed some projects on the house, prepared the nursery, each celebrated our 27th birthdays, had a beautiful baby shower, and hosted a lovely Mother’s Day gathering for my family. I also finished my Master’s degree, which was a huge accomplishment. It was a happy time.
Though my personal life felt quite perfect, my professional life was anything but. I was having a miserable school year. I loved working with my students, but the paperwork and politics that went along with the job made it so frustrating. I tried so hard to do my best work and to do right for my students. In the end, I was no longer happy as a special education teacher and I knew I had to find a way out.
I’m declaring June 16, 2012 the best and worst day of my life. I delivered my daughter – my first born. I felt the love that every mother describes. I felt pride and joy over the fact that I had a daughter who could become as girly and artsy as her Mama. I was excited to go shopping. On this same day, the worst thing that could ever happen to a person did. My child died. I lost my baby and all the dreams and plans that went with her. I felt emotional pain like none I’ve ever felt before. I lost a huge part of myself and my world was shattered. I was forever changed.
Since Maya was born and died, the rest of the year has been a roller coaster. I have a new perspective on life. I have developed a true understanding of what’s important and just how precious life is. When my world shattered, I searched and searched for a way to put the pieces back together, only to realize that it’s out of my control. When I let go and let the pieces drop back into place, I gained some clarity on my climb up the mountain.
I have reconnected with some old friends and grown more close to others. I have been the recipient of some of the most beautiful acts of kindness and my faith in humanity has been restored. I have made new friends, especially in the online world. There are now people all over the world who know Maya’s story. I no longer feel like I am on this journey alone.
I have grown closer to my husband than I ever felt possible. We have both changed, and he has remained strong in these dark times. I am so blessed to have such an amazing man by my side.
In addition to navigating this road and climbing this mountain called grief, other things have happened this year, and as I reflect, most of them have been good. I finally got out of being a SPED teacher. I am in a teaching position that I love and I feel so comfortable in my new role. My job is my saving grace right now. I went on some wonderful trips both before and after Maya was born and died. While some of these trips were for the purpose of healing, they were enjoyable and memorable in their own right.
So yes. 2012 is the year that I lost my baby and felt more sadness and grief than I ever thought possible. It was and hopefully will remain the worst experience of my life. However, 2012 is also the year when some of the best things happened to me including the birth of my daughter, the completion of my Masters, a new job, new friends, and a new me. I am slowly getting to know this new me and I like her. Would I trade her in for my daughter? Of course. But that is not an option.
So, as we move into 2013, I am content with 2012. I am sad to leave behind the year that brought little miss Maya into our lives. However, I am entering 2013 with hope, comfort, and gratitude for the life that I have. I look forward to getting to know the new me. I look forward to letting go of the control and letting my path lay itself. I’m not sure what lies ahead, but I am ready and excited!
I wish all of you a Happy New Year! May 2013 bring you all that you hope for and more!