I’ve been really good about going to the gym and getting back into a good routine, and tonight I just don’t feel like going. To make myself feel less guilty about not going, I am going to do something productive and share something long overdue. Brady’s memorial stone arrived just after Brady’s half birthday, and since his 8 month just passed, it’s about time that I share a little more about it.
It’s hard to put into words why Faith’s Lodge is such a comforting and healing place. On the surface, it’s a beautiful, picturesque setting. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, making it incredibly peaceful. But there’s so much more to it than that. Their mission is to provide a peaceful escape for families to refresh their minds and spirits while spending time with others who understand what they are experiencing. Their slogan – Faith’s Lodge: A Place Where Hope Grows.
Since Brady passed away, I’ve thought a lot more about my feelings and the feelings of others. I’ve realized that I feel emotions with an intensity that I haven’t experienced before, both happiness and sadness. My ability to feel is amplified. When I think of my ability to experience feelings pre-Brady, I think of a spectrum from 1 to 10. Before, I could only experience happiness to a 7 and sadness to a 3. Now, I experience a full spectrum.
Recently, my husband and I went on a wonderful vacation. I took 7 days of PTO and had 11 days off in a row. It was the definition of glorious. Upon my return, I heard the typical “we’re glad you’re back” sentiments from my coworkers. Hearing those words brought me back to that first day back to work after Brady died.
The answer ended up being 28, and it wasn’t even close. Because Brady’s due date and my birthday were so close together, we wondered how old I would be when I became a mom. Continue reading “28 or 29?”
Jeff and I are back from vacation, so you can expect to see lots more writing up on the blog shortly. I didn’t get as much writing done as I thought I would, but I have an “idea list” that is about a mile long. Okay, not quite, but it is long enough for me to have to scroll when looking at it on my phone.
While we were gone, a couple of posts that I wrote for other loss blogs were published. I thought I would share links here, so you all can see them too.
The first piece of clothing we bought Brady John was a onesie to help us announce his upcoming arrival. At the time that we ordered it, we didn’t know that Brady was a boy, so I ordered a cheery yellow-striped onesie and figured it would work whether we had a boy or a girl. We chose “Schmitz Just Got Real” as a funny play on words. When you have a child, shit does get real and we thought this was a fun way to share that things would never be the same as they were before.
We drove over to my mom’s house in order for her to take the picture that I would post on Facebook to announce my pregnancy. Jeff and I planned that I would look super excited in the photo, and he would put on his best nervous face. I think we did pretty well.
I used to be fairly extroverted. Social interactions never caused me much anxiety, and I looked forward to meeting new people, learning about others, and just conversing. Since losing Brady, that all has changed. I had never experienced social anxiety, and now I do.
My therapist has suggested that I might be more of an ambivert now – not an introvert or an extrovert, but an individual with a balance of both features. I certainly don’t always want to withdraw, but I don’t want to be around people all the time, either.
Of course I’d miss it by a day. I’m just not that organized, and I guess I never noted the exact date in my mind. August 8th, 2016 was the day that we found out I was pregnant with Brady. One year and one day ago.
I might not have burned that date into my mind, but I do have a lot of memories of that day. I remember driving home from work, noting that I was out of pregnancy tests and deciding to stop and get some. Tomorrow would be the day that I could take a test after the two-week wait. After the first couple of months of just winging it, we’d gotten strategic this month. The pressure was on.
When you lose a child, you’re committed to a life sentence of dealing with triggers. It’s difficult for those who haven’t been through it to understand that these things come out of nowhere, and the intensity at which they hit you. I never even knew that triggers existed until we’d lost Brady. Triggers stop you in your tracks and hit you like a metaphorical traumatic brain injury.
When it comes to triggers, there are things that “make sense” to others, as in, they can understand that seeing pregnant women would trigger a woman whose pregnancy ended far too soon, and then there are plenty more that are less easily understood. An important thing to remember is that while some individuals have similar triggers, like anything else grief-related, there is no such thing as “one size fits all.”