So I haven't felt much up to blogging lately. I actually haven't felt much up to do anything, but I thought that I'd have all of this time of not being able to do anything that would give me the chance to catch up on my blog. Obviously that is not happened since I'm feeling in a rut with this whole blogging thing. In fact, I'm wondering if I should do it at all.
Soon after I started my blog, I knew that there was more to it than just a chance to document the goings on of my family. I realized it was an opportunity to share my testimony about the gospel of Jesus Christ and my belief in the church that I belong to, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder M. Russell Ballard reaffirmed that when he spoke about the importance of blogs and using our voices on the internet by saying, " You have a great opportunity to be a powerful force for good in the
Church and in the world. There is truth in the old adage that “the pen
is mightier than the sword.” In many cases it is with words that you will accomplish the great things that you set out to do."
He went on to say, "Now, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the
Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms
the message of the Restoration. Most of you already know that if you
have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin
sharing what you know to be true. You can download videos from Church
and other appropriate sites, including newsroom.lds.org,
and send them to your friends. You can write to media sites on the
Internet that report on the Church and voice your views as to the
accuracy of the reports. This, of course, requires that you understand the basic principles of the gospel. It is essential that you are able to offer a clear and correct
witness of gospel truths. It is also important that you and the people
to whom you testify understand that you do not speak for the Church as a
whole. You speak as one member—but you testify of the truths you have
come to know."
That is what I've tried to do. I've kept my blog public for this reason. As I hit the greatest trials of my life, the loss of my sweet little Gabriel....and then my little Reese, I continued to keep it public. I was very open with my heartache over their losses, but I've also tried to share that I have a strong testimony in the Plan of Salvation and that I have no doubt in my mind that I will see my babies again. It has been very therapeutic for me to get out my feelings. Rereading over those feelings I wrote when Gabriel died have helped me get through losing Reese so much. I've always felt that if my words helped just one person, even a stranger, then I was helping. When that one person was me, I was so thankful that I had written it all down.
Now my blog is not my personal journal. I have one of those that I keep and record the things that I have found much too sacred to share with very many people. Without sharing too much, I will say that without a doubt in my mind, I have felt my babies, literally felt my babies, by my side. I know they are there when I most desperately need them the most. I have known people that have lost loved ones and prayed for this kind of experience and yet have never received it. I feel incredibly blessed to have had these sacred experiences, but I will leave it at the plain and simple truth that my babies did have spirits that continue to still be a part of our family....now and forever.
When I lost Reese, actually while I was in the very middle of my excruciating and heartbreaking labor with Reese, I got a text from someone I considered a good friend. It said, "Don't let this define you." I was just blown away at those words. I still think of them every day and hurt. How could I not let these experiences define me? I know that they are not all that I am, but they are such a part of me. I am daughter of my Heavenly Father. I am a daughter of my earthly parents. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am a mom to babies in heaven. These are all things that define me....now and forever. I have now been pregnant 7 times....3 times in the last 2 1/2 years. I have 4 living children here. How could almost half of my children not being here not contribute to defining me?
Knowing what people expected of me, even these good friends, I've tried to put on a good face. I've tried to "get over" this, to move on, to be strong. I know it will never happen. I know I will only get through this. A friend of mine recently wrote on her blog about her own miscarriage, "Sometimes moving on implies forgetting, but we definitely haven't forgotten." How can you forget and why would you ever want to? Of the three babies I've lost, I've held two of those sweet perfect bodies in my own arms. I've marveled at their tiny features, their 10 little fingers and 10 little toes, their resemblance to my living childrens' & my husbands' features, and I've just loved them, just like any of my other living children. I love my babies. I truly, truly do and every day, every single day, that I can not be with them is heartbreaking. I've learned enough with Gabriel's loss and the separation of time from it, that it won't always be completely excruciating, but because they were part of me, they will always be a part of me. I don't expect to ever be "over this", even at age 80. I expect, just like Emma Smith, the wife of a prophet, at the end of her life, to eagerly be anticipating the reunion with my babies soon.
I know I've made people uncomfortable by being so open with my grief and my love for babies that they would just like me to just forget about. I've actually seen people go out of their way to avoid me...like crossing the room kind of thing. People don't talk to me anymore at church and running into someone is always uncomfortable. Some of the people that were closest to me in my life before Gabriel died are now only acquaintances at best. Some of my heroes before have now proven that they aren't worthy of that title. This doesn't make them bad people, just people that I can't allow to hurt me anymore. It's sad, but it's okay too. I have been able to realize who my true friends are and who will be there for me and honestly, that has been a gift.
So here's the point, I'm thinking about going private on this blog because the fact is, I will continue to write about my babies.....all of my babies. I will continue to ache for the ones not with me and I will continue to let them contribute to defining me, because they are part of me forever. People don't have to read it, but someone is reading it. I have at least 50 page views a day according to my stats. I get all sorts of unwanted spam comments and because my comments have to be approved, it's annoying. I rarely get comments from friends anymore so I don't even know if friends are reading or if it's just complete strangers or robots or whatever. Are you reading friends? Do I even have friends anymore? On the other hand, I worry that maybe there's a stranger out there that is reading my blog and has felt validated in their own feelings of loss. Or maybe there's someone out there that has been touched by my testimony of the gospel, despite my trials, because I can truly say that I believe it with all of my heart. Maybe when they hit a life-changing trial, they will know where to turn for peace. Strangers, are you out there too? Am I helping anyone?
I'm asking friends and strangers alike to comment on this post. I won't publish any comments at all. I just want to know if there is anyone that is getting something out of this blog staying public? If not, I don't see the point in even doing it anymore, except doing it privately, where I know that the people I approve to read won't judge me. I've wanted to help someone and I know I have done that, even by helping myself....maybe that's all that needs to happen anymore.