It's been about a month since Caroline was born. In some ways, it feels like so much longer, and in other ways, it feels so much shorter. We're done with everything for Caroline, except for what we're personally dealing with emotionally. Today's been a pretty good day for me. I haven't had a terrible time. In fact, I even went to my doctor today for my post-partum check-up, and that didn't even send me into hysterics. Even this far after her birth, I can still feel the grace that I had all during my pregnancy, and in the immediate days after she was born.
I thought after Caroline was born that I would be done with the "dual realities" and the constant tension and back and forth. I don't think that's ever going to go away now. It will be less intense someday, surely, but it's never going to go away.
When Caroline was still with us, my dual realities were hope for healing while knowing the medical certainty. Now they are missing Caroline dearly while knowing I'll see her again someday, and that she's in a better place. I go back and forth between wishing she was still here with me and being glad that she's with Jesus instead.
Not a day goes by that I don't miss her. Some days are worse than others, but I do miss her everyday. There's not much that doesn't remind me of her, or of the fact she's not here. Seeing other families with children makes me want her here, seeing expectant mothers makes me wish I was still pregnant because that would mean she was still here. Seeing toys at the store makes me wish I could buy some for her. Seeing the lack of baby things at my house makes me wish I had a chaotic mess of baby stuff to deal with, because it would mean she was here. Going to the doctor today made me a little sad, in a way, because the last time I was in that office was the day before I went in to labor. I should have gone in a couple weeks ago for my monthly check up, not today for a post-partum check up.
There's a lot of things that remind me of what I've lost.
But even in the midst of that, I am amazed that God can have healed me as much as He has. I am amazed that I can go past the hospital and not cry my eyes out knowing that's where I both had her and lost her. I am amazed that I could go to my doctor today and not have immense heartache. I am amazed that over the last several days, even in the harder moments, they have been overcast by a great joy, knowing she's in Heaven and is waiting for us. God is good, and I am truly amazed at what He's done for me.
Don't get me wrong. I am still sad. Like I said, I miss her everyday and am reminded of my loss by a lot of things. I have had my days to just want to cry all day. I've had moments where I've told God I'm not really happy with how His plan turned out. I've had moments of jealousy of other expectant moms, knowing they'll get to keep their babies, and I didn't get to keep mine. I've had moments where I've asked God why He's allowed a gazillion people I know to be pregnant right now.
But it's fleeting. In the end, I am comforted by the great Comforter. In the end, I know God's plan is good, even if the events recently have not been. I know that there is a reason for Caroline having anencephaly. I know there is a reason she came to us. I hurt a lot because of my loss, but I can also rejoice, not just because I will see her again someday, but because God has worked, and is working, and will work in people's lives because of Caroline. Myself included. I'm grateful for the lessons I've learned, even if I don't like how I had to learn them. I'm happy to know more truly God's faithfulness, mercy, grace, and love, even if I don't care for the way I came to know them.
And I know, in the end, I win. I get eternal life, by God's grace. I get to see my daughter again, by God's grace. I get to be used by Him to bring others with me, by God's grace.
So I do go back and forth, a lot. Back and forth between mourning and joy, peace and anxiety, confusion and clarity. I'm sure I will forever. It's just the nature of being human. Heaven and earth are two totally different places, and we have to live on Earth while looking toward Heaven. It's messy.
So here we go on a new adventure...back and forth in a new way. I'm sure it will be quite a ride.