Since I heard the words, "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat" I have been a different person. I stared at the ultrasound screen that showed my completely still daughter and the Brandi I was ceased to exist. In the weeks and months that followed Haven's death, I was afraid to leave the house and have to face a world where I was an outsider, where I would have to answer questions. The whole summer came and went and I barely left my house or office at work. I was constantly afraid that someone would interpret a smile or laugh as a sign I no longer mourned my child; I was afraid to be happy. I was afraid my baby girl would be forgotten, that I would be forgotten. I honestly could not imagine that my life could ever improve or that I would ever be able to be more than the woman whose baby died.
Before I continue, let's establish one thing: I'll never be the same again. Burying your child will shake you to the core, shake your whole world, and you'll struggle to pick up the pieces. I was a pretty carefree person before those words tore my life apart, but now I carry a heavy weight in my heart. These are scars that will never completely fade. I'm twice a mom with twice-empty arms. No amount of time or yoga or even future children will change this. My self esteem will probably never fully recover, or my faith in people, or in my old perception of order in the world. My heart will always walk with a limp.
I've been working hard to free myself from the anxieties that weighed me down and I am starting to see that there is life after your child dies. There's life! And joy. And fun. Things aren't all sad days and gray skies forever (though I will viciously defend my right to a sad day when I need one!) Yes, life can grow bright again. You can make friends, grow relationships, and find new sparks with your love. I can't say I'm always content, but I can tell you I'm finding myself again.
I'm grateful. So very grateful. I can see the sunshine again.