Making it through the holidays.

I'm an idiot.

I thought that I would make it through the holidays in one piece. I knew I would cry but figured I'd just have one cry and get through it. What I didn't prepare for was a whole bunch of "I'm having a baby!" announcements during the holiday weekend from friends and family. That made things even worse on my end. Add to it that I finally made myself drop by the funeral home to pick up Devon's certificates of stillbirth, and I was a mess for a bit. Those certificates put a finality to this whole situation - like, that's it. He's really gone. We have the "official" documents proving it. Ugh.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm so thrilled for the new moms-to-be. It's always great to welcome a new life into the world. But it just makes the kick to the gut a little harder, reality a little more harsh to deal with, when you get to see their joy while you're still grieving. I feel like I'm going to be grieving - and by grieving, I mean crying every day and wallowing silently in my own misery, not just having this little ache in my heart - for the rest of my life.

Lately, I've been putting pressure on myself to be OK. To make it appear that I'm doing better, even on the days when I just want to curl up in a ball and shut the world out. No one wants to see that, three months later, I'm still having a hard time getting through the day, still miss Devon like I just lost him yesterday - and the holidays are making it even harder for me. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't think it'd be this hard.

I do have lots to look forward to though. J will be here Sunday for two weeks, and I have three of my aunts on my mom's side [one from Hawaii!] coming to visit within the next week. We'll spend next weekend at Great Wolf Lodge celebrating JJ's 4th birthday. How in the world did we get to 4 years old so quickly? I feel like he was a newborn just a couple of days ago. Wow.

I am determined to make next week all about JJ. Make it as happy and fun for him as I can. It's hard not to dwell on what could've been, but I can't be sad on his birthday. His birthday is a joyful day - it's the day I became a mommy, the day my life changed for the better. We got him a bike and a Thomas remote-controlled train, along with a couple of other gifts, and I'll be making him some chocolate cupcakes to celebrate [let's hope he eats them; he's picky about his cake]. I just hope the day is as special for him as it will always be for me.

Anyway. I barely made it through Thanksgiving, but I did. Now, on to JJ's birthday and Christmas - then maybe, just maybe, the tears will start to fade.


It's a funny thing, grief.

In my last entry, I was feeling great. I was doing good, starting to feel back to normal...

And then I hit this wall.

I don't even know where the wall came from, but it definitely came out of nowhere, and I ran into it head on. Maybe it's the upcoming holiday season. Maybe it's because this past Monday make three months - a whole 1/4 of a year - since Devon was born sleeping. Maybe it's because the holiday season is in full swing, and I spent so much of the year preparing for this season with two boys that to only have one just hurts. Maybe it's because JJ's birthday is in less than two weeks, and I was supposed to have two boys at his party instead of one. I don't know. All I know is, I've been ridiculously emotional and sad for days now. I mean, it's getting better, but I'm still sad. Really sad.

I knew this would happen, me hitting this wall and feeling like I'll never recover. It's happened before - my due date being a prime example - but at that point, I was six weeks out from losing Devon. I knew that day would be hard. What I wasn't expecting was to one day wake up and be just as sad as I was when all of this started. My mind keeps going back to those last two days before losing him, and the days immediately after that. I hate that my mind went there and continues to go there, because that's the quickest way to make me cry. I know that I shouldn't block it out, because that's when grief gets bottled up and just explodes. But still. I'd rather not dwell on the worst days of my life, even though doing so allows me to heal and get better.

Sometimes, I feel like the rest of the world has moved on, and I'm still stuck. I'm not rushing my healing or anything like that, but it sucks to look around and to see life going on around me - which makes me realize that life really has moved on for everyone else. It's supposed to move on. I couldn't expect people to still fully remember what happened three months later. But then I become a little bitter, because that means the world is forgetting Devon. I'm not forgetting him ever, but the rest of the world is - which is only natural, I know. But I hate that he will only be a memory, an afterthought, because he's no longer here. I hate that all of the things I have of his fits into one box. I hate that I will never know the color of his eyes, hear his laugh, see him smile.

But then, I look at JJ, and I realize how blessed I am. I will always be Devon's mama, but I do have his big brother here who is the light of my world. And we do plan to try again - hopefully, we will be adding to our family over the next few years, and they will all know about their brother. But for now, I will be sad. I will miss every fiber of that perfect little boy. The pain has lessened, but the scars of losing him still remain - will always remain. And some days, hell - some weeks, the pain will come back and hit me like a ton of bricks. But eventually, I'll find the strength to smile and keep going.

It's a funny thing, grief. Just when you think you have it under control...you don't.


How I'm doing.

It's been almost 12 weeks since I lost Devon, and the fact that I'm still standing here and smiling is an absolute victory in my book. I will never, ever forget how I felt the day that I lost him - I felt like my world was ending, like I would never be able to move on from this. And for many days after losing him, I felt that way. I was consumed in my grief, not quite sure if I'd be able to dig out of it and get on with life.

But over the last couple of weeks, things have started to get better. I've started to see the light again. I have a lot of different factors to thank for that:

1. My sister and her boyfriend. They forced me to go salsa dancing a couple of weeks ago, and I loved it. They were right in that you forget everything when you hit the dance floor; it was so awesome to be spun around the floor for two hours and be carefree.

2. My best friend. She always, always checks on me at least once a week to be sure I'm OK. The woman is nearly 8 months pregnant and still checks on me. She's amazing.

3. JJ. He has kept me so busy and has been so loving. And, he's been crashing out early because this time change has been a little hard on him - he fell asleep at 8 tonight. Last night, he was out at 7:45. I kinda hate that he goes to bed so early now because I want that time with my baby boy...but he's also a growing boy and needs his rest! So now, I get to watch him sleep, just like I did when he was itty bitty.

4. The elections. For the last week, I've been stalking the polls, educating myself on the state questions, and following election news in general. I also watched all the debates for the first time ever. This is the first election cycle I really got into it, which kept me busy and interested. Now that it's over though, I'm not sorry to see it go - the political ads were getting OLD. And I don't even live in a swing state - they called Oklahoma in Romney's favor before the polls even closed last night.

5. Sports. We all know how much I love sports, but I kinda put it aside as I dealt with my grief. Lately, though, I've been getting back into it. I went to my first OSU football game a couple of weekends ago, I'm getting immersed in NBA [i'm so glad it's back!] and college basketball, and I'm kicking ass in fantasy football. Well, I'm kicking ass in one league [the league that I'm the only girl in and am playing with my sister's boyfriend and a bunch of his friends/family - currently tied for 3rd, holla!]; in the other, I'm getting my ass kicked. But it's still fun, and it feels good to have a genuine interest in sports again. The World Series kinda helped, too - Go Giants!

6. The holidays. We made it through Halloween [it was a little rough for me, but it was nice to see JJ genuinely interested in trick-or-treating...i think he now gets the concept of going around and asking for candy], and I'm really excited for Thanksgiving, JJ's birthday and Christmas. I have things I'm going to make for Thanksgiving, most of JJ's stuff for his birthday has already been purchased, and I'm stalking Pinterest to get ideas for Christmas decorations and homemade gifts. I want to make this year special for JJ and remember Devon at the same time, and I'm determined to do it.

When I look back at how I was back in August, how broken I was, I can't believe that I'm the same person that's still standing today. It's incredible how much things have changed for me, how normal I feel again. Now, don't get me wrong. I miss Devon every single second, and I still cry quite a bit. I still grieve. I'm still hurting. But I feel like he'd want me to keep going in his memory, and I'm trying to do that.

I've been told that if I met someone who had never seen me before, they would have no clue that I was pregnant, no clue that I lost my baby, no clue that my life has been in emotional turmoil for the last 12 weeks. I'm flattered by that, because it means that I've held my own to the outside world. I've always put on a brave face [for the most part; i have been in situations where i've cracked], but now I feel like the brave face is starting to make the brave woman on the inside that's emerging from my grief as a stronger woman. I know a part of me will never move on. A part of me will always be stuck in that hospital room back on a quiet August night, finding out the worst news of my entire life. But a bigger part of me is moving on in Devon's memory, living for him and because of him. It feels good to [almost] be back.