I've been reading a lot of blogs written by amazingly strong women who have lost babies, and in doing so I stumbled across an essay on what the definition of normal is after you've experienced such a loss.
I found it at Butterflies for Alexandra, but the author is unknown. It made me think of what MY new normal is - some of these are from the essay, and some of them are my own.
Normal is having tears hovering behind every smile.
Normal is wishing that all pregnant women and babies now have a "Trigger Warning" sign flashing above their heads.
Normal is reliving his birth and death continuously.
Normal is waking up every morning, wondering if this was all a nightmare.
Normal is wonderful dreams where I dream that I have a happy baby in my arms, and being crushed when I wake up to realize that I'm living the true nightmare.
Normal is knowing that something is missing from every holiday and family gathering.
Normal is looking at every baby who looks like he is my baby’s age, thinking of the age he would be now and not being able to imagine it...then wondering why I even try to imagine it, because it will never happen.
Normal is no longer taking comfort in statistics. How can you, when you were part of "less than 1%"?
Normal is deciding how to honor my child’s memory and his birthday and how to survive these days.
Normal is catching a glimpse 0f your no-longer-pregnant self in the mirror and hating the sight of it.
Normal is my heart skipping a beat when I see something special that my baby would have loved, but then remembering he is not here to enjoy it.
Normal is having some people afraid to mention my baby.
Normal is making sure that others remember him.
Normal is realizing that after the funeral is over everyone else will go on with their lives, but I will continue to grieve my loss forever.
Normal is listening to people try to compare situations in their life to my loss, but unless they too have lost a child, nothing can compare.
Normal is trying not to cry all day, because I know my mental health depends on it.
Normal is realizing I do cry every day.
Normal is wondering what you did to deserve this, because you have to blame something.
Normal is wanting to punch that pregnant, smoking teenager in the throat.
Normal is second guessing every decision you made and wondering if doing something differently would have changed the outcome.
Normal is wearing a mask and telling people you're okay, when you feel like you are going to break apart at any moment.
Normal is wondering how to answer the question, "Do you have any kids"?
Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years.
Normal is knowing you will never be excited about a pregnancy in the same way again, and that you will never be able to let your guard down until you have a healthy, living baby in your arms.
Normal is wondering whether you'll ever feel like yourself again.
And last of all, normal is hiding all these things that have become “normal” for me, so that everyone around me will think that I am normal.