Friday, September 13, 2013
6 Month Anniversary - Loss of our Lydia
It's been 6 months. 6 months since I last posted on this blog and 6 months since we lost our baby girl. Lydia Elise Hernandez was born still on March 13, 2013. She was 5 1/2 inches long and weighed 1.9 oz.
And she was beautiful. So, so tiny, but beautiful. She had long fingers like me. A cute little chin like Charlotte and full lips like Amelia and Jorge. She was a perfect mixture of our whole family. And oh, how we miss her.
There isn't a day that passes without the girls asking about her. In those raw first few weeks, it hurt to talk about it. They would say her name and it felt like my insides were being ripped apart. I took the girls to the park about a week after her delivery. (We live across the street from a retirement community and there is a park that separates us from the community.) We saw an acquaintance there with her sweet dog and the first thing the girls said to her was that the baby in Mommy's tummy died. I lost it. That poor unsuspecting elderly woman! But something amazing happened. As I collapsed into an emotional heap on the park bench, she wrapped her arms around me and held me while I wept. In that moment, I decided I was going to start sharing my heart and my burden.
I've been pretty good about hiding my heart. My family of origin has enough skeletons to fill many, many closets, so I was taught well! I'm not going to live like that anymore. Life is full of ups and downs, mistakes, forgiveness, tragedy, loss, hope, happiness and joy. And there is no shame in it. No shame especially for the yucky parts.
I'm no stranger to loss. You can check out this post about my many miscarriages here. But this loss affected my family so differently than the others. Things got worse before they got better. Much, much, worse. My marriage fell apart. Postpartum depression mixed with grief is a terrible emotional cocktail. We were fighting all the time. Damaging old habits began to resurface and the anger in our house was at a fever pitch. Something snapped inside me - I didn't want to feel that way anymore. In that delirium, the only common denominator I could see was me. So I left. And my sweet husband caught me 2 blocks from home and talked me down from a ledge (not literally a ledge, just the "ledge" of leaving our family). It's not that I wanted to leave, I just felt like I was suffocating. I wanted things to be different and I was desperate for change. But I didn't know where to begin. My Bishop (clergy in my faith) suggested therapy. He made me promise not to leave again without letting him know 24 hours in advance. I have to admit, I called him every day that first week. But slowly things got better.
My therapist is awesome! Ironically she was pregnant (recently had her sweet baby!), and when I walked in that first day, I felt like God was playing a cruel joke on me. I know now she is the perfect therapist for me. She's helped me remove the untruths I've learned over the years about my worth and my idea about who God is and my relationship with Him. It's helped my marriage a lot too. Men & women experience and process loss and grief all so differently. And being able to see not only myself in a different light, but also my spouse has been priceless. My marriage is stronger than it has been in years. Sure, we still argue, but I also know I love Jorge. I love our family and I'm in it forever.
We have literally been to the depths of hell and back in these past 6 months, but we've come out on top. Days are still hard. I still desperately miss my Lydia. I'm still jealous when I see other women with a beautiful round pregnant belly. I still fight with my husband over whose turn it was to wash the pots and pans. I still yell at my girls for not picking up their shoes. But now I realize all those things are normal. Feeling shame about an event you had no control over is not.
Although I give credit here to my amazing therapist, I should actually give credit to the real source of my emotional recovery. Heavenly Father has healed me. He has placed in me a new heart. He is the source of all peace and joy. He was able to take the yucky parts and turn them into something beautiful. He has given me the comfort I longed for when no one and nothing else could. And I am truly indebted to Him for His patience with me. It's taken many years and many tragedies for me to finally & truly see He is the source of all joy in this world. My faith is in Him. Not in myself, not in my husband. Not in what I think I need. My faith is firmly planted in God. So for those days that I feel myself slipping, I allow God to gently remind me, it gets better. We can choose joy and be happy.
Happy 6 months, Lydia. Thank you for teaching me such an invaluable lesson. We love you forever.