Thursday, September 12, 2013

Collateral Damage.

So this is my sweet little Olivia. She is 7 years old and is full of life and silliness and laughter. She is also full of anxiety, stress, and worry. As I have run behind on the business end of things, this little sweet pea is who needs me more.

When I was carrying Isaac to term, knowing he would die, it was an extremely hard time for our family. Recalling that period of time in my life brings me to tears. My kids, Andrew, and I were desperate to connect with the baby, but also were full of fear over having to let him go. I really don't know how we made it through those days - by the grace of God, for sure - it was a special kind of hell we were living in. Loving a baby, but planning for his death. Making a birth plan, while planning his burial. Deciding what life saving measures we take for him, or not. Working, sending the kids to school, maintaining our home - - all with the knowledge that every second, of every day, there was a clock ticking off these moments of this child's life. Some of the kids had nightmares, some acted out, some held their feelings close to themselves. And then there was Olivia. My precious Olivia, she never left my side. I knew that she could sense the turmoil in our home and hearts, and she loved me - all of us - with a fierceness that I have not witnessed in a child before. She would love each of us, hold our hands, snuggle closely, tickle backs, touch our faces. She was a constant companion to whoever needed the love she was so willing to give. She is a very special kind of human being.

Isaac came and walked back home to his Father in Heaven. I watched our family fall apart, get back up again, stumble around, until we would walk again. Each of my children had their own set of griefs and worries. Each were concerned not just for each other, and also their grieving mother. It was a heavy burden for them to carry. I had three miscarriages back to back after Isaac died. We kept those secret as best as we could, and we marched through each day, until light and happiness drifted back into our home. Avery came along in 2011, and brought with him a healing wind. He was been so good for our family, he is our heart healer.

Olivia has struggled over the years to find her way. We have watched her closely, observing her peculiar behavior, crossing our fingers that the behavior would pass. Because mental illness runs heavily in our family, each of our children has a 20% chance of struggling in this way - we were pretty confident that she did not beat the odds, and truly, she has not. This sweet little girl has worried for years. Worried about life and death. She's worried over Avery dieing, her siblings dieing, her parents dieing. She learned as a young child things could go horribly wrong, that she was not immune. She has been desperate for comfort, struggling with separation anxiety. She struggles with social anxiety, and navigating the waters of friendship with her peers. She fears so much. It has been heartbreaking to watch her mind go to such a frightened place, it has broken my heart to witness her panic attacks. It has been sad to gently march on with her, knowing that these growing pains she is suffering are so terribly hard, yet marching on, we must. Olivia has begun therapy, we are finding there is a world of treatment options for her, and are very encouraged to see her trying to apply some of these techniques in her life. There are good days, and there are some horrible days. But just as she pulled me through my darkest days, it's now my turn to do that for her.

I have struggled with the decision to share - or not - but decided, because I have chosen to give much of my heart and life to other grieving women, it would helpful, to also be open about this part of my life. Not because it therauptic to share, but because I know there are many many women willing to bare this burden with me. Many of you, as I have not met deadlines have been loving and encouraging and incredily patient with me. I thank you for your love and concern. Baby Boards is not just me - - but it is Olivia, too. It's my husband, my living children, and our heavenly Isaac. Because of our family unit, we continue on doing this fantastic healing work that we do. It would not be possible without them, without Isaac, and without you and your precious children. Together we carry on.

All my love,

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