The road to motherhood and beyond

From loss, to love, and everything in between

The Story of The Baby I Wanted, Loved, And Terminated.

My name is Erica and I am 23 years old and my fiancee is 24. I did not plan to share our story so publicly. I am by nature very private, and dreaded the very idea of people knowing what had happened to us. However, after becoming a part of some support groups for women who ended a very wanted pregnancy for medical reasons, I realized that the awareness about this particular issue is severely lacking. In Canada, I am so fortunate to have had the option that I did, and to be treated with compassion and kindness by my health care team. In the United States however, these women are met with bureaucratic interference and are forced to travel sometimes across the country to seek out abortions for their babies in abortion clinics surrounded by protesters. Now, I am avidly pro-choice. Always have been, always will be. However, women who choose to have late-term abortions for babies they very much wanted are often frowned upon. It is my hope that with sharing my story, I can open a few eyes to the reality of what those of us who seek late-term abortions endure, and that it is NOT a choice that is made lightly.

On January 8, 2015 my fiancee and I discovered that we were expecting. We were so excited! We tried for four unsuccessful months and we were both over the moon. When I saw the words “Pregnant” on that little stick, my life changed in an instant. I began to imagine our future, wondered whether we’d have a boy or a girl, had dreams of dance recitals and football games and everything in between. We picked names for both. We were having a baby. We were going to be parents!

From the beginning, I had an inexplicable feeling of unease. However, I have a constant feeling of unease so I brushed it off as just my habit of excessive worry. I started eating better, I cut out caffeine, I took my vitamins, I exercised, I slept well, I avoided chemicals. I did everything I was supposed to do to protect my little bean.

We went for our first ultrasound when I was only 7 weeks along. Our baby was so tiny and barely visible, but we saw it’s little heart beating away. I was immediately brought to tears. Our baby had a heartbeat, we passed hurdle one! My stepmom and fiancee were with me and it was one of the best days of my life. I was so, so happy. Everybody was excitedly anticipating the arrival of our baby. Our first child, their first grandchild.

When I went to my first appointment, I was told my due date would be September 18. My OB suggested we consider non-invasive prenatal testing. It involves a blood test and ultrasound to check for major chromosomal issues. Being young, healthy, and with no family history I opted out. I was in the safe zone.

I arranged to take the year off school and stay home with our baby. I had what most would consider a picture perfect pregnancy. I threw up once, had very little nausea. Aside from some tiredness, headaches, and pimples like a high school girl, I felt great.

Through my entire first trimester, I worried endlessly about miscarrying. I knew how fragile pregnancy was and that statistically, it is far too common an occurrence. I went for my appointment with my OB just shy of 12 weeks and was very nervous. I was always nervous going to my appointments. In hindsight, I see that my mommy instinct was telling me something. My stepmom was with me, as my fiancée was at work. He put the doppler to my stomach and immediately we heard our babies heartbeat. I cried. My stepmom cried. I had never heard such a beautiful sound. I was in awe that I was carrying a life inside my belly. I was so in love already and I had only known about him/her for 2 short months. I was through the first trimester. We were safe. It was going to be okay. Next step, boy or girl!? Our anatomy scan was set to be at 19w5d. I couldn’t wait. I scheduled an elective ultrasound for 16w5d.

The morning of April 8, my stepmom, fiancee, best friend and I set off to the ultrasound. I couldn’t even contain my excitement. I was sure it was a boy. I just had a feeling. When we arrived, I picked out the music for our video and we started. She put the probe to my stomach and there was my baby. This was the first time we were seeing him/her as a human-looking fetus. Our baby was only a tiny heartbeat the last time. My heart swelled with love. Tears welled up in my eyes. We had created this beautiful baby and soon we would welcome him/her into this world. I couldn’t wait.

As the ultrasound went on, I grew very uneasy. Our baby didn’t move. It’s legs were crossed,  the feet didn’t look like they were at a natural angle, our baby didn’t move their hands away from their face. They didn’t move despite the shaking and moving we did. We couldn’t find out the gender. I left with an unshakeable worry. Again, I brushed it off as my usual worrying self.

Fast forward 3 weeks to our anatomy scan. I went in alone. My fiancée waited in the waiting room while the tech did my very lengthly scan. I laid and worried the whole time. The tech made a comment about being unable to visualize the face and I asked if their hands were up at its face. She said yes. My stomach dropped.

She went to get my fiancee and started showing us our babies anatomy. As soon as the picture appeared on the screen, dread came over me. Our baby was in exactly the same position as last time. Not a single change. This on top of the fact that I never felt movement was enough to send me into a tailspin. Something was very, very wrong. I didn’t say anything to my fiancée because I didn’t want to worry him too. We had our appointment in 5 days. We would see what our doctor said.

The next morning, my phone rang and when I saw the name of my OB on the screen I couldn’t breathe. I answered the phone already in a panic. He wanted to see us right away. That morning if at all possible. All my worst fears were coming true and it started with this call. My fiancee and I got dressed and left right away. I tried so hard the entire time we waited to not burst into tears. I was terrified.

We finally got called into the room after what seemed like an eternity. Our doctor came in and proceeded to tell us there were abnormalities on our ultrasound. I asked what kind of abnormalities. He said he didn’t know. Could me minor, could be major but it would be up to the specialists at McMaster to tell me that. I burst into tears. The baby we wanted so badly was sick. We didn’t know what to expect and now had to wait to get an appointment at McMaster for answers.

We left the office, and I was in a daze. We drove around for hours. My fiancee wanted to try and distract me, but it was impossible. I ran through the worst case scenarios in my head. I pleaded with a god I don’t believe in to let it be fixable, minor. Please let our baby be okay. Don’t take this from us. I laid in bed and I just cried. I cried, and I cried. I called my OB daily to see if I had an appointment yet. Finally, a week later we had an appointment date. We were scheduled for a level 2 ultrasound, followed by an appointment with a maternal fetal medicine specialist and a genetic counsellor. I prepared myself for the worst. I prepared myself for fatal. I hoped for fixable.

I spent the next week in an emotionally numb daze. When May 12th came, we got dressed and headed up to the hospital with my Aunt bright and early. We waited in the waiting room for an hour with all the other pregnant women. I got called in for my ultrasound and had to go alone. I lay there through another torturous hour long scan all alone with all the possibilities of things I may hear in the next hour running through my mind.  Decisions we may have to make. The tech left to check with the radiologist to make sure she got everything she needed. I waited in the room for 20 minutes and rubbed my belly. I wanted my baby to know that I loved them, regardless of the outcome. I took pictures of my belly. I was convinced it would be only a matter of time until I didn’t have my baby inside of me anymore, and I wanted to cherish them while I had them despite how badly it hurt.

The tech came back and told me to head to the clinic. We headed upstairs and checked in. We had to fill out paperwork stating our ethnicities, any birth defects we had, family history of genetic issues, and everything in between. We were given a pamphlet outlining different diagnostic tests and major chromosomal issues. I read through the booklet while we waited what seemed like an eternity. We were called in. This was it.

The genetic counsellor came in first. She asked what we knew about our baby’s issues. We told her we knew nothing. No matter how much I prepared myself, I was not prepared for what she said next. Even writing it now I feel a tightness in my chest and the same extreme tension and worry I felt that day. “Im afraid I don’t have very good news for you.” My fiancee squeezed my hand, my aunt looked at me with a look of heart break I won’t ever forget. I burst into tears. I knew to expect this. I felt it all along.

She started to explain that our baby had fixed limbs. Our baby couldn’t move. They had clubbed feet, clenched hands. There was a build up of fluid around the lungs. It appeared that they couldn’t swallow. This was shown by a very small stomach and an excess of amniotic fluid inside of me (polyhydramnios). This could be due to esophageal atresia or a neuromuscular issue. There was no way of knowing which. They couldn’t get a good picture of the heart but when testing the flow in the cord, it appeared our baby’s heart was failing. I couldn’t handle all of the information. I held my fiancees hand and I just cried. I knew there was no way our baby could survive. There was so many issues I couldn’t even begin to imagine putting our child through that. If it were me, I’d wish to be dead. The genetic counsellor left the room to give us time before the doctor came in. My aunt held me as I cried. My fiancée cried and begged for it to be a mistake. It wasn’t a mistake. Our baby was sick, and our baby would die before we got to meet them. The doctor came in and explained that with all of these issues, he suspects a genetic cause. He explained that our baby’s heart was failing and that there were already significant signs of distress (I was 21w4d at this point). I was offered amniocentesis that could be done that same day. I didn’t see the point. Our baby was not going to live, regardless of the “why.”

My decision was made before my doctor said it.

“At this point, we can talk about termination or about comfort care for you for the remainder of this pregnancy – however long that may be.” I knew I couldn’t go one more day letting our baby suffer. I couldn’t wake up everyday and wonder if that would be the day our baby died inside me. My fiancee and I made the decision to induce labour as soon as possible. We had to make the decision to end the pregnancy of a baby we loved, and wanted so very badly.

The social worker came in and explained to us the process of the induction. That it would be our choice as to whether we wanted to see our baby or not. Whether or not we wanted footprints, a blessing, keepsakes. She told us how big to expect our baby to be. She told us that saying hello and goodbye at once is heartbreaking, and difficult, and that there would be very real, raw emotions and that it may put strain on us as a couple. She gave us her card and said she would see us the morning we arrived, and after we had delivered our baby.

We left the hospital, and I was a disaster. We were scheduled for induction a week later. I searched online for women who have had to endure this same terrible situation. I found many groups full of them. I read stories about L&D induction, regrets some of the parents had about seeing/not seeing, requesting keepsakes etc. I read their stories and tried to find comfort in them. I wasn’t alone.

I spent the next week in my house. I didn’t want to leave still very visibly pregnant and have people asking me about my baby. What would I tell people? I couldn’t stop crying. I laid in bed and talked to our baby. I told them how much I loved them over and over. I told them how sorry I was that I couldn’t save them. How badly we wanted them. My fiancée rubbed and kissed my belly. We took pictures. I tried so hard to cherish that time. I simultaneously wished it would be over, and that I could keep them inside me safe forever. My emotions were uncontrollable. There was no fixing this.

We arrived to the hospital the morning of May 19. I was a zombie. The nurse came in and as soon as she spoke to me I burst into tears. She explained that it would be a difficult day and explained the process of the induction. It could take up to 24 hours and I would be given a self-administered pain pump for the contractions. If I wanted an epidural I’d have to go to L&D. I refused to go be in the proximity of women delivering healthy babies. I would weather the pain. I couldn’t add another level of emotional pain. I was given my first dose of medication at 10:15. By 11am I was in the worst pain of my life. I was given pain medication, then another dose of induction medication at 2pm and by about 3pm I started to become comfortable. I spent the majority of the evening and night in and out of consciousness, the medication was so strong. My aunt and fiancee slept in chairs and cots beside me. At 6am, I went into full labour. I had a nurse assigned solely to me and she sat beside me and held my hand while I weathered the contractions. She was fantastic and I will be eternally grateful for her. The pain was unbelievable. I begged for it to be over. I pleaded for them to get my baby out of me. My fiancee and aunt never left my side. I had my water broken and delivered our son at 6:47am on May 20, 2015. He was born sleeping. We decided we wanted to see him. I couldn’t bear to live the rest of my life wondering what our first child looked like. We loved him. I carried him for months and felt him grow. I owed him that. They took his footprints, put him in a tiny hat and blanket and brought him to us. He weighed 1lb1oz. He was tiny and perfect. His little face was gorgeous. He had his daddy’s nose. He had adorable lips and tiny eyebrows. Limb deformities aside, he was perfect. However, it took only one look to know just how sick our baby was. We named him Jameson. He was our perfect, loved, very sick son. We took pictures, we held him and stared at him. I loved him so much. I never understood love until I held him in my arms. The time we had with him was so short, and so painful but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world. I don’t regret him. I don’t regret being pregnant with him. He taught me so many things in his short time. I’m more compassionate. I love harder, I feel more. I miss him deeply every single day and I don’t think I will ever have a day where I don’t feel that niggling sense of something missing in the back of my mind. But that’s OK. He is our baby and I love him as much as I would a child I lost at 2 months, 2 years, 30 years. It makes no difference. He is our baby. We talk of him often and fondly. Though some people may disagree, we are parents. We made the hardest decision we have ever had to make for the sake of our child. Isn’t that what parents do? We took on a lifetime of pain and suffering to spare our child one more second of it.

We were very fortunate for the care we received here. Being a liberal country, we were afforded the opportunity for safe, compassionate late-termination. We were able to give birth to our son and see him, and hold him.

Being part of these support groups I have come to realize that this is however not the norm in the States in particular. These women are forced to get on planes and fly across the country for access to safe medical care. They are forced to pay out of pocket to end pregnancies of babies they so badly wanted. Dreamed of. Tried for years to conceive. They are forced to sit in abortion clinics, visibly pregnant with protesters outside telling them that they are killing their babies. That they are doing the wrong thing. Their hearts are breaking. Why should they have to sit in a waiting room and endure this added layer of pain because politicians think they know whats best for women and their bodies? Why shouldn’t they get to deliver their babies naturally and have the opportunity to hold them and cherish them for a short time?

Despite the reason for termination, medical reasons, non-medical reasons, maternal health reasons why should these women have to explain themselves? Why should a politician who has never lived through something so horrific get to determine what a woman does with her body? These women are denied safe, compassionate care in their home states. It is wrong. It needs to be changed.

Choosing to end a pregnancy comes with a layer of guilt. Whether the diagnosis was fatal, like in our case, or more a of a grey area like downs syndrome, we all feel guilty. We all wish we could have saved the babies we wanted so very badly. We shouldn’t have to explain the reasons behind our choice because it is just that. OUR choice. We should be the only ones who decide what is best for our babies, and our families.

It is my hope that for every person who reads our story, I can help shine light on late-term abortions and how hard, and horrible it is for the women who have to make this decision without being told we are horrible baby killers. We wanted our babies. We loved them. They were sick and we couldn’t save them. I fully expect some back lash from pro-lifers and that is ok. I am at peace with our decision. If I can change at least one mind I will feel I have done my part. The women I have met through these support groups are strong. They are resilient. They are fighters. This experience has lit a fire in me that I can’t put out and I hope that in the future, all women will have the access to safe and compassionate care when seeking late-term abortions for their sick babies, or sick selves.

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On Being a Mom and a Student

Being a nursing student is no joke. Being a mom of an almost toddler AND being a nursing student is exhausting. Throw in a husband that works shift work and its a surprise I’ve lived this long.

Now, it isn’t even all the work that is the worst part. The worst part is the GUILT. My god, the mom guilt. Moms, can I get an amen?

You hear a lot of talk about “role conflicts.” You really don’t think much of it. Well, you just do it. You be a mom, and a wife, and an employee/student. Easy, right? NO. NOT EASY.

Being a mom, and a student both require a ton of commitment. This usually means that one or both of these roles are fulfilled in a less than perfect way. My former 90’s are now 80’s — or worse on a bad week. Sometimes my daughter eats toast and peas for dinner because my GOD I am tired and I forgot to take out something for dinner.

“I should probably follow that up with some yogurt or something. That’s healthy enough, right?”

I sit at home watching my peers doing research and more research, and fulfilling every single requirement of a paper. The next morning, I plead with my husband to occupy the baby so I can do that same paper in 4 hours. The paper is good, but is it great? Nope. Just like her toast and peas for dinner was pretty damn subpar. But it’s done.

It’s having other students asking “did you do x reading?” and thinking to yourself “I haven’t done a single reading all year because I barely find time to do the mandatory stuff.” Then when the final rolls around, skimming desperately through those chapters at 7am because f&#% you REALLY need to know this stuff.

Its studying for a test until your head explodes, and still not doing better than an 80 because you just can’t stop wondering if your sick baby is OK at daycare. She probably should’ve stayed home but you have that test, and that paper is due.

And there’s the guilt. What kind of mother sends their sick baby to daycare? Well.. one that is trying to give that baby a better life. But she doesn’t know that. What if she thinks I abandoned her and don’t care? What if she needs to be snuggled to sleep because she doesn’t feel well? Too bad… the test.

Being a student and a mom is praying to the sleep gods that your baby will sleep soon because you have so much to do and the house is a wreck — while simultaneously wishing they would stay awake just a little longer because dammit.. you miss them SO much.

Its waking up and going to school 4 hours early everyday so you can get some work done because in the evening there’s dinner, and bath, and bed and that baby wants to make up for those snuggles she didn’t get all day.

Its bringing her into bed with you because even those hours she is asleep are so precious. You want her to wake up and know you’re right there – because you spent all day thinking about how she wakes up at daycare disoriented, and missing her mom and dad.

Then she doesn’t sleep all night because she has a cough, or a tooth, or whatever other reason babies choose to torture their parents. The next morning is your midterm and now you’re doing your midterm on 3 hours sleep. Here comes another 70..

You’ll notice that nowhere in here did you see me mention all the other “stuff.” I still have to be a wife, and a friend, and whatever else I’m expected to be in my ventures.

What about working out? HA. Okay. Maybe if I squeeze it in at 3am ill have 20 minutes before the baby’s next wake up.

What about having a social life? … Laugh with me moms.

Sometimes, it takes every last ounce of my sanity to make it through the week.

I know i’m not the only mom in the struggle. It’s time we understand that we are ENOUGH. Even if our babies eat toast and peas for dinner, and we only get a 75 on that test we studied for, for TEN hours we are enough.

Even if we are only giving each job 75% we are giving 150% of ourselves and leaving absolutely nothing in the tank left for us. It’s OKAY to not be a perfect mom, or student, or employee.

As moms, we give it all — and then we give more.

Pregnancy After a Loss

So, I haven’t really outed myself to many people in my “real life” and don’t have much intention of doing so, so let’s hope they don’t still check here on an even semi-regular basis.

After the turmoil that was my late-abortion in May, I am now 13 weeks pregnant with a baby that so far, looks perfectly fine. I found out I was pregnant somewhat by surprise, actually. I hadn’t yet returned to a regular “cycle” postpartum, and had some odd stuff happening so I tested on a whim one morning while my husband slept off his night shift. I had been convinced it would be negative and when I looked back 4 minutes later there was a line.

You would think I would be happy, right? Well, unlike normal non-loss moms who see that pink line and think “Oh my god! I’m having a baby!” it looks more like this: “Holy fuck, what if this one dies too.” Cue hysterical tears, and me shaking like a crazy person crumpled on my bathroom floor.

I proceeded to take one of these tests everyday until I was 7 weeks pregnant. I’m not kidding. You could not convince me that I was pregnant. The scan in which we saw a blob and a beating heart solidified that there was in fact a baby in there.. but still, what if it dies?

At 11 weeks pregnant I went for a follow up with the geneticist at the high risk hospital I delivered at. She said there was a very high likelihood that my husband and I carried mutated genes for the disorder. Its incredibly rare, and there are only about 48 cases reported in medical literature in 28 families. So, not very well understood, and fuck me right? It could still be a fluke, sure, but she put our recurrence risk at about 12-15% (but it was 25% every time if we were in fact carriers- which could not be confirmed unless we had a recurrence). This is one week before the scan that would show us if our baby had normally developed and mobile limbs (and whether or not this baby would die, too).

I spent the next week convinced I’d go into another ultrasound and see a baby with fixed limbs and eerie, terrifying stillness. I hadn’t considered what I would do if the news was good. I got up on that table and just wanted to cry. I warned the tech the possibility was very real. As she scanned, she told me baby was moving around so it could take a couple minutes but not to panic. Wait, what? My baby is doing what? Moving?! I couldn’t believe it. When she turned the screen toward me and showed me a rolling, arm moving, back arching, leg kicking baby on that screen I exploded into tears. I hadn’t prepared for this but it felt so damn good. Baby’s neck measured great (was way too large with our angel) and baby had an already visible stomach (something our angel did not have). AND THEY WERE MOVING. She got my husband from the waiting room and when he walked in I said through tears “our baby moves!!!”

When we got to the clinic and confirmed that baby looked fabulous and it was time to live in healthy pregnancy world I couldn’t believe my luck. I will honestly stick this up there as one of the best days of my whole damn life. The one and only time I’ve ever sat 6 hours in the hospital and not been even a little bothered by it.

I now look at the ultrasound pictures everyday and try to remind myself “Your baby is fine. This is a different baby, different pregnancy.” My point is, this stuff is not for the faint of heart. I spent weeks battling my thoughts and wishing I could be the mom who was on pinterest gathering nursery ideas and parenting tips. Instead, I’m the mom who avoided all talk of pregnancy, corrected peoples “when the baby comes” to “if the baby comes” (for the select few that knew), and made plans for how we’d build our family if this baby died too. I did this all while trying to grieve the loss of my son.

Even though I know that this baby doesn’t have what our son had, I still think about the fact that there could still be something wrong at the anatomy scan. Most would think this is negative, but loss moms get it. I won’t purchase any big ticket items until after that scan. When baby is fine at that scan ill move on to terror about stillbirth. Its an absolutely terrifying way to live I will admit, but I’m willing to do what it takes to have the family I’ve dreamed of. Loss included.

Ill correct the whens to ifs, field questions about my pregnancy with awkward, short responses, live with incredible anxiety in the time leading up to each appointment, spend nights wondering if my baby is still alive inside of me, and feel guilty at every good scan for this baby because my son never even had a chance.

I really am starting to believe this baby may come home with us – but some days the “what if they die” takes over and thats okay. Ill keep plugging through and hold the hope that this baby will live.

The Aftermath — To The Mama’s In The Early Days Of Loss

I’m sure 9 weeks out from my loss does not seem like very long, and it certainly isn’t in the grand scheme. However, 9 weeks feels very different than 9 hours, 9 days.

There is a myriad of emotions that comes with losing a baby, and even more emotions that come with making the decision to end your pregnancy. Walking out of that hospital felt like a knife to the heart. Packing up your bag, putting on your clothes. Leaving without your baby. It feels like a terrible, terrible nightmare. Except it isn’t, and there’s no moment where you wake up and sigh a breath of relief for the fact that it was all a terrible, terrible dream and all is right in the world.

As a matter of fact, the next time you wake up after this it will feel like your heart has been ripped right from your chest. It will probably feel that way for days, weeks even. You awaken and have a brief moment of that serenity. For a moment, everything is okay. Until you realize nothing is okay. You feel for your stomach and find it flat. There is no baby crying, needing to be fed. There is an empty nursery across the hall, and no hopes of it being filled in the near future. This first morning after might be what makes you question whether or not you want to even continue living. This place without your baby is so dark. The sun is shining outside the window but you’re stuck in a hole, and can’t imagine you will ever be able to claw your way up from the darkness. The sun feels like a personal insult. How could the day be this beautiful when I was suffering so much? I had these feelings. I questioned on more than one occasion if I would make it. I thought more often than not that I was going insane. I cried all day, all night. I slept with the tiny blanket we got to take home. I looked at the picture of our son more than was probably healthy. I couldn’t focus, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t do housework or cook or eat. I was living in a nightmare I would never wake up from.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look at my flat stomach in the mirror and hate what my life had become. I was full of self-loathing. My body failed me, it failed our baby. I wasn’t able to do what most women did so effortlessly. I was angry. Women do terrible things while pregnant. They give their babies away! I was angry at myself, at the world, at women who had healthy babies. None of it is logical, but it is normal. Grieving over a baby you never really knew is so unique. You grieve  for the little life you imagined. You create an image of the perfect child and forget to include the nights you would be exhausted, fed up, and just wish that your baby would sleep and STOP CRYING! Would this all be worth it? These sleepless nights? Oh hell yes. But never experiencing them makes the grief that much more intense. To top it off, your body will betray you. It couldn’t carry and grow a healthy baby but it still produces milk. The baby your body failed is the same baby it tries to prepare to feed, except there is no baby. The physical reminder is so unfair. The emptiness is tangible. You can literally feel the emptiness in your belly, and in your arms.

While you experience this physical and emotional turmoil, women walk around pushing their strollers and coddling their newborns and rubbing their big, swollen bellies and remind you Every. Single. Day. of what you were not lucky enough to have. It is a really unique kind of torture and I’ve likened it to being stranded on an island, dehydrated and the only source of water will most certainly make you violently ill. There is no escape. You’ll despise these women and that’s okay. One day, you won’t be filled to your ears with envy when you see a swollen belly or a newborn or an ultrasound picture. But for now, it’s okay. I haven’t made it past this point yet. I still despise them and I still feel the need to turn my head in the other direction because it still hurts too much to see someone with the very thing you want so badly. The thing you were so close to having before it was ripped away.

The grief will come in waves. Some days you will be great. You will really feel like you have made it through. You miss your baby but you can get on with your days and even go a few hours or maybe a whole day without remembering what you lost.

Then some days you will wake up and feel like you’ve lost all your traction and you’re right back at the bottom of the hole you worked so hard to try and claw your way out of. It will feel like someone pushed you back in and you got snagged on branches the whole way down. It will bring you to your knees and you’ll cry harder than you ever thought possible. These days pass. The one thing about time is that it will inevitably pass. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Just maybe.

For now, feel the tears, the pain. The only way to heal is to trek right through the lush, thick forest of grief. Boots full of mud, while the rain pours on you and branches slap you in the face. The forest will turn to an open field of flowers, grass, and the occasional thunderstorm eventually. I’ve found the field. The field is beautiful. But the forest is still where I live on those dark, stormy days.

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