The month of November was starting to come to an end, and I became completely enthralled by the thought of making this years Christmas meaningful. I wanted to have EVERYTHING centered on Christ. I began brainstorming ideas and decided I would have our Elf give a Christ centered, or very meaningful book or activity each day to teach the boys some sort of lesson. Once I had that all figured out, the last day in November, Andy’s mom sent out a little program she had bought called 24 Days of Mormon Christmas. I loved the program. It consisted of a song, scripture and activity of some sort that was Christ centered. I decided to put it together with our Elf and have him bring a note that told what we would be doing each night along with giving the book. The note of course had to rhyme and I decided to write one for every day in December.
I started doing my plan the very next day. This took up soooo much of my time, but I felt like I was doing something good for the boys and was excited about what they were going to learn. When we first started doing it, they were so excited. They loved finding the Elf, reading his notes and then reading the books he brought. We would do the 24 Days of Mormon Christmas part at night, before they went to bed, and they were really getting into that as well.
After about a week or two of working really hard on all of this, the boys started to get fidgety in the mornings while reading the books. One morning, the boys were riled up and weren’t listening at all while I was trying to read to them. It happened to be a Saturday so Andy was home. I got really upset at the boys and got up and said “I don’t know why I even try” and left the room. I was SO UPSET and I didn’t even know why. What was going on with me? I was feeling SO INSECURE. I kept thinking, I try and try, but for what? All I could think about was wanting to crawl in a dark hole and disappear. This is where the depression started to surface, the 4th stage of grief.
Before I get into that, let’s rewind a little. The 3rd stage of grief is bargaining. (if only…). I did this A LOT leading up to depression. Three weeks after having Lennon, I went to my doctor and she talked to me about the chromosomal tests she had done on Lennon. She let me know that all the tests came back completely normal and therefore they had no idea what could have made her heart stop. Because they didn’t know, she wanted to do a blood test on me to see if I had a condition that would cause risk for blood clots. So we took the blood work and I waited on those results. After hearing the news about Lennon being completely normal, I couldn’t help but feel the guilt that I did this to her. I am an extremely precautious pregnant person. I literally follow all the rules to the T. But I kept questioning myself like crazy. Did I do this to my poor baby? Did I drink too much caffeine? ( I never drink carbonated drinks, but did a couple times this pregnancy because of headaches) if only I would have warmed up my meat longer, could it have been that time I forgot to take my prenatal? So many awful guilty thoughts would go through my head. I had to constantly remind myself, that it really wasn’t my fault and that this was in God’s plan. I also had to really rely on prayer and strive to find comfort in knowing that it truly was not my fault.
Now fast forward back to Christmas. After I stormed off into the room, I felt so embarrassed and started balling. I truly didn’t understand why I got so offended. Andy got the boys busy playing in the toy room, and came to talk to me. He asked me what was going on. He felt like I was getting stressed out from all the note rhyming and that was what was causing the moodiness. Ha! ( it was a lot of work, but that’s not what was causing my behavior). I told him about how ALONE I was feeling. I kept saying “I just want to disappear” “I feel like there is nobody out there who knows the way I am feeling.” I then told him how hard it was for me to keep holding everything in. I asked him why he never talks about things with me. He then opened up to me, and I started to see his grief. He turned to me with his eyes full of tears and said. “I don’t like talking about it. It kills me to say her name. It hurts to think about her. So I just try and push it away”. At that moment, I felt like we were making a little progression. I know it sounds weird, but I liked seeing him “feel”. He had been pushing away so much, that it made me feel like he didn’t care. But, HE DID. Just like everyone out there. He was dealing with this the best way he knew how. After having a long discussion and a lot of tears, we had come to the conclusion that it really probably was better that we talk about things. Just a few days later, I received a package in the mail from some dear friends of Andy’s family. The husband is a jeweler and made and designed my wedding ring. They are some of the sweetest people I know. In the package was one of the most meaningful gifts I have ever received.
In the card they wrote of their experiences with losing a baby and that they wanted me to have something to wear to remember my “little diamond”. I broke down at the sight of this tiny diamond ring. How grateful it made me for their thoughtfulness and hard work. I felt like no matter what, I would be able to always remember her through something that I could wear forever.
As the month went on, Andy and I were planning our annual NYC trip with his company. We go every year around Christmas for a weekend. This year my parents and my brother were coming for Christmas and while we were gone, they watched the boys for us. I was really excited to have my family in town and felt like it was going to be a great distraction for me. As far as the NYC trip, I was a bit nervous about it. I was needing to be social during a time that I was feeling so very down. I started to have A LOT of anxiety and get extremely insecure about anything and everything. I was however still excited to go and very hopeful that it would help me get my mind off of things. The trip went great. I was able to spend some time shopping with the girls while Andy worked in the day and then at night, we played.
The last day in NYC, Andy and I were supposed to go look for some gifts for the boys together. We had planned that previously. The plans ending up changing a bit and we decided to go look at the 911 memorial as a group.We went and saw the memorial and we all really enjoyed it. When we were finished, I kept telling Andy that we needed to go get the boys presents. He kept saying we will. We then went to SoHo and everyone decided to do a little shopping. At this point I thought for sure Andy and I would go get the boys their gifts. Instead things got crazy and everyone split up. Andy then told me that he was going to run to a store really fast and meet back up with me. Somehow through all the craziness I ended up alone. Normally this would not bother me at all. I am fine shopping on my own and perfectly capable of getting around on my own. But it bothered me so bad that Andy left me. I felt hurt and disappointed in him, although the plan was only for him to go to another store for a bit and then meet back up with me. I still felt so hurt. My feelings at the time were that we didn’t have much time and that we had both agreed to find stuff for the boys, but he was instead “wasting” that time on other things and I was left alone to look for the gifts. In reality, Andy didn’t know I was alone and thought I was busy doing my own thing. He did what he needed to at his store and then called me. At this point I was so mad at him that I wouldn’t answer the phone. I kept thinking how “nutso” I was being and I didn’t get why I was so mad, but I literally couldn’t help it. Once we touched base with each other, Andy knew I was upset and was, as he should be, confused. After a good amount of silence from me. (yikes) We ended up talking about it. Everything came back to how depressed and insecure I was feeling. It was taking over my emotions and I couldn’t help how I was feeling. The depression at this point was really in full force. I had no idea this was what would happen to me.