It’s been quite a while since I’ve come to this space. I haven’t needed to, but I’ve wanted to. I miss writing. My goal is to write once a week… we’ll see how that goes.
Life has changed. Life has really changed. I have changed. And here’s why…
Introducing Oliver Raymond. He was born on Monday, January 20th (Martin Luther King Day!) at 11:17am. He weighed 8lbs, 2oz and was 22 and a half inches long. He is perfect.
In the last 14 weeks, I have felt every emotion you could possibly name. I think that having a baby is the biggest life-changing event anyone goes through, and it’s impossible to prepare for it mentally and emotionally. No matter how many babies I have been around growing up, there was no possible way to prepare for having to care for a baby 24/7. It’s hard. And with Oliver’s arrival and the immediate adjustment, came a lot of different emotions.
However, this post isn’t about everything I have felt and the roller coaster I have been on over the last 3 months. This post is about something that I said yesterday during my daily conversation with my mom…
“I am the happiest I have ever been.”
At first, I was a little shocked that came out of my mouth… how could that be? How dare I? Shouldn’t I never be as happy as I was before Maya died? Shouldn’t there be a perpetual sadness that looms overhead? In that moment, I gave myself permission. Permission for the above statement to be true. It is true. And it’s OK.
In the days following Maya’s death, a dear friend sent me a message. She had experienced a similar loss one year prior. She told me that any feeling I had was normal as long as it did not pose a danger to myself or others. This advice has stuck with me since then and I repeat this mantra to myself nearly every day. Throughout the process of grieving the loss of Maya, which I continue to do, I would remember these words through bouts of anger, frustration, disbelief, and happiness. Now, my grief looks different. I am no longer defined by my loss as I was in the months immediately following it. The grief, though still with me, has quieted down. And with that comes feelings of guilt. I have felt guilty for feeling happy and I have felt guilty for feeling tired and frustrated when up in the middle of the night.
Today, I am liberating myself and will no longer feel guilt. I am giving myself permission to be happy. And permission to not be happy all the time. I am replaying my friend’s words in my head as they still hold true. What I have realized is that attempting to rationalize my feelings, whether they be positive or negative, is a waste of time.
Oliver is amazing. He brings me so much joy and hope for the future. I cherish every day that I have with him and am grateful for what my life has become.
I need to believe that Maya is proud of me. I need to believe that she is OK with the fact that I do not grieve full time as I once did. I need to believe that she wants me to live on and be the best Mommy to Oliver that I can be. I wish she were here… she’d be a wonderful big sister.