I can’t believe it’s been more than a year since placement. Mackenzie’s now 15 months old.
The first birthday was rough. Actually it started a couple of weeks before her birthday with the news that she had her first cold. Now a cold is not a big deal. It’s usually not life threatening. It just tends to create a bit of misery while it lasts. But it was hard for me. I heard the news and just broke down. I felt like, “I’m her momma. I should BE there for her. Even if I can’t fix her, I should be there.” Add to that the fact that I knew her parents were going to be having 10 friends and family over for her birthday celebration and her birthfather and I weren’t invited. That was rough too. Looking back on it now I can’t see that I’d even be comfortable in a situation like that. But at the time, it was horrendous for me to have to think about the fact that I was being denied something as basic as celebrating my daughter’s first birthday.
So I suffered. Those two weeks between the time I learned she had her first cold and the day of her first birthday (even though her party wasn’t until the Saturday after her birthday) were the roughest time I’ve experienced so far in this placement journey. I thankfully had some very supportive friends (that I’ve met through BirthMomBuds) that were there when I randomly contacted them and also checked on me at random intervals. One of my friends was up with me all night the night before her birthday crying with me while she dealt with her own story. That was an amazing experience. I’m forever grateful for them…and BirthMomBuds. Without this community I would have never met some of the women I consider among my dearest friends.
Now for future times like this, I’ll have an “attack plan” of sorts. I’ll have friends that know exactly what I’m going through and that I know will be there to help get me through. I’ll also be able to remind myself that I made it through the first birthday. I made it through the first year with my sanity and emotions intact. It is said that “what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.” So this experience made me stronger. I have hope.
Is there anything special you do to get you through times of grief like birthdays or holidays? Do you have supportive friends to turn to?