Each Monday that passes, it's been 3 weeks, 4 weeks 5 weeks since Carter came into this world. Each Thursday, it's how many weeks it's been since we lost him. The time he came into this world - 9:06pm, and the time he passed - 11:22pm… if I see these on the clock, my heart crumbles again and again.
January 18th - the day I went into preterm labor
January 21st - the day Carter was born
January 24th - the day Carter passed away
February 23rd - the day I was supposed to have my baby shower in Florida
March 23rd - the day I was supposed to have my baby shower in Colorado, and now the day we've scheduled to hold his service
May 11th - Carter's due date
September 3rd - the day we found out we were pregnant
Then the thoughts of on February 21st… it's been one month since he was born. On February 24th… it's been one month since we've lost him, and so on.
These days and times have been absolute torture and we haven't even gotten to them all, and they'll be here every year. It causes moments or a day of overwhelming feelings - and they will forever. I don't know what the future holds in how we will handle them when they come, but I know how I'm feeling right now and it hurts so much.
And then there's the nursery. The painting Dan was working on the night before this all happened, the clothes we already had, the books for him, the maternity clothes… we went back and forth on what to do with it all. Going into Carter's room gives me pain and comfort at the same time. There are nights I would wake up and go lay on the floor with my pregnancy pillow and the blanket he passed away in, looking at the items we brought home from the hospital. I am beyond blessed to have all that we do. We decided to make a dedicated space in Carter's nursery for the items we have and the beautiful gifts we've received. I go in his room each day to say good morning or just talk to him. I find peace in having a space to do that when I need to.
For those who do not know me, I am very A-type, process, detail and deadline oriented. With this specifically, I want an answer for what feelings I should be feeling, when and how long, what the process will look like, I want answers to how to grieve. I've asked Dan, "is it okay we are going to the gym to walk on the treadmill?" Even thought we are doing it to get out of the house, I struggle with where we should and shouldn't be in the journey. I've learned very quickly there is no right or wrong way, no timeline and no directions on the proper way to grieve - you just grieve… you just be.
We are slowly trying to figure out our "new normal". Over the weeks, we've been asked to join friends on many occasions doing different things. We started by having our close friends come over. Then started going to the coffee shop to get out of the house, then out to join our close friends for lunch… Sometimes I couldn't handle it and we had to leave, sometimes we pass on the offer if one of us is having a rough day. We continue to work on venturing out, but we both know we are still in the phase of "faking it". Faking it in a sense that we are doing it because we need to figure out this "new normal". We want to be with those we are with, but I can't help but to think about Carter every moment. Some times it's much harder then others.
We will never be the same, the loss of Carter has changed us both forever. This is going to be a lifelong journey. Each day is different, each moment is different. We will never "get over" or "move on", we will find a "new normal" and Carter will be a part of that. I can only hope as we find our "new normal" that we will be able to have a balance of celebrating Carter instead of solely focusing on the devastating loss.