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Acknowledging fears

I lost a child already.

When I was 21, before I met Peter, I miscarried a baby that I hadn’t even known that I wanted until the moment the choice was taken away from me.  My first instinct was to get rid of that baby, that I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t prepared. I spent days planning to make this inconvenience go away.  Then the clarity came that I might never BE ready for a baby, but I had one now and I was going to do my best to be a mother.  I told the father.  I cried when I told my mom.  But I was sure I was making the right decision.

Three days later I lay in the hospital, as the child I was just starting to anticipate was lost to me forever.  I cried tears from a place inside me I never knew existed. I mourned the baby that was never to be in my arms.  I spent weeks laying on my bed, unable to make myself get up, move, bathe, want to live. I felt the most incredible guilt I think a person could feel because I knew in my heart that I had wished that baby away in my days of uncertainty.  And now it was gone.

I spent years waking from dreams of a crying baby, me wandering halls, searching frantically for that child.  I spent months unable to even bear looking at a pregnant woman or a baby snuggled in its stroller.  My best friend had a newborn and I was angry and resentful that she got to have her baby.  There aren’t words to describe how I felt after my miscarriage: devastated, destroyed, incomplete.

And this was a child I’d never even seen. Let alone cuddled in my arms.  I’d never stared into its eyes, felt it’s silky skin against mine, soothed its cry with the touch of my lips to its brow.  I still grieved for that child with every fiber of my being.

Each pregnancy with my three beautiful children was faced with fear. I would hold my hand over my belly and beg for movement.  I would lay awake at night and cry out of fear.  I would still have those nightmares of crying babies, only there would be multiple cries.

With the birth of a healthy baby, the fear would subside and I could move into just loving and being a mom.  The nightmare had gone.

Until Peyton was diagnosed with cancer.  I guess a part of me never even fathomed that once I got my baby into this world that there was anything that could steal her away.  In the way that you know there are car wrecks that take lives, accidents that happen, diseases that kill…those happen to OTHER people. It would never happen to us.  It would not come to THIS house.

It did.

I’ve met incredible people who lost a child and through the pain made incredible things happen from the loss.  I’ve watched friends wage the day-to-day battle to find a reason to continue after their child’s death. I watch and am in awe of that, because I fear that if it were to be us, to be Peyton…to be me who had to get up and find that reason to go on, I wouldn’t.

I can tell myself that I would. I have two other children who would need me and a husband who loves me and a family to keep together.  I want to believe that I would be strong enough to let my faith carry me into healing, that my love for them would sustain me.  I see the examples of the person I want to be confident I would be.

But I fear that if Peyton dies, I will die with her.  The parts of me that are good and loving and whole will be gone with her.  Does it make me a bad mom because I can’t say that I know I would persevere for the sake of Nathaniel and Rachael?  Maybe. I wish I could do better. I have seen the struggles of the friends who have buried their children this year and it has echoed inside of me, brought back that grief buried inside me.  Grief I didn’t know how to deal with then and don’t know how to deal with now.

Now that grief transfers into fear for Peyton. The incredible, unstoppable Peyton.  A baby that captivated me from the first moment our eyes met, whose tiny lips exhaled angel’s breath into my heart. The Peyton that twirls in frilly skirts, begs for perfume to be spritzed on her wrist, who hugs with her whole body and reaches out her hand in her sleep to hold mine.  This little girl who lives life with an infectious giggle and a smile that lights up a room, who leaves laughter in her wake and wraps hearts around her pudgy little fingers.  Can I live without her? Without that?

I don’t know.

I pray I never have to find out.

16 Comments on “Acknowledging fears”

  1. #1 Alyson
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Wow, you did an amazing job voicing some deep and difficult feelings. I can’t imagine.

    Alysons last blog post..Blind Leading the Blind

  2. #2 tracey
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 12:20 am

    I’m so sorry… NOBODY should have to find out if they are “strong enough” that way. NO ONE.

    Praying for Peyton and your family…

    traceys last blog post..How to get insomnia 101

  3. #3 Melisa
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 6:46 am

    You are such a good writer, to be able to transmit your feelings like that. I can’t even imagine your level of fear, but I definitely got little twinges reading about it. My hope is that your worst fears are never realized. xoxo

    Melisas last blog post..If Baby #2 Is a Girl and They Name Her Melisa, I Will REALLY Freak Out.

  4. #4 Amy Nasworthy
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 7:36 am

    If you aren’t strong enough, let all of us that care about you hold you up. Let us be a shoulder for you to cry on and laughing until we cry. You are not alone in your fear my friend. That fear is what makes me a better person.
    love you!!

    Amy Nasworthys last blog post..Update on Grandma

  5. #5 Tim Young
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 8:17 am


  6. #6 Kelsey
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Your writing is just incredible, you are so talented. God Bless you! We are praying!

    Kelseys last blog post..::What Happens When I Turn Into Martha Stewart::

  7. #7 Queen of the Mayhem
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I pray you never have to find out either.

    I don’t think you are a bad mom, at all! I think you are being honest and that takes a lot of courage.

    As much as I hope you never have to find out if you could handle it…..I know that God will bring you through whatever challenges await you!

    Queen of the Mayhems last blog post..BURG ROCKS!

  8. #8 always home and uncool
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Must you my heart out with every post!?

    always home and uncools last blog post..Double Your Pleasure

  9. #9 Beverly
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing…

    It’s so easy to live in a bubble, isn’t it?

    I have to say, though, that the way our lives have become so enriched after the bubble popped is nothing short of amazing.

    Still…a bubble would be nice!

    Thanks for sharing your stories and feelings…

    Beverlys last blog post..Wishes from the Trenches

  10. #10 Sarah Clapp
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Words escape me. You’re writing really get’s to the heart and soul of your reader. As always, enjoyed your post!

    Sarah Clapps last blog post..Last Few Day’s In Pictures

  11. #11 Evon Mease
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    You have a true gift Anissa! You have a way of making us feel what you write! And it takes courage to bare your soul to everyone so openly as well!

    Peyton and all of you are always in my prayers sweetie! God will get us through whatever we have to face…but I am praying that is one fear you will never have to come face to face with!

    This is not a commonly quoted scripture but it is one that comes to my mind a lot lately….if Jesus prayed this for Simon…would He not for us also?

    Luke 22:31-32
    31″Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you[a] as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

    Much love and prayers,

  12. #12 We are THAT family
    on Aug 5th, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Your post moved me. I think this is every mother’s fear. Most just worry about it. You are living it. I can’t imagine for a moment the road you’re on. I just know that you aren’t alone. God is with you.

    We are THAT familys last blog post..Guest Post; Product Review; GIVEAWAY!

  13. #13 Tropic of Mom
    on Aug 6th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I’m tearing up.

    I don’t know what to say, but I pray for Peyton, you, and your family.

    Tropic of Moms last blog post..Sunrise on Elliott Key

  14. #14 Lori
    on Aug 7th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Hey Anissa,
    As so many have said, you have a way with words that truly touches people…
    You likely already KNOW that your fears are totally normal given the circumstances. And actually, even if Peyton NEVER had cancer, we all seek to hold fast to those we love and when the dark thoughts sneak in, we seek to reassure ourselves. “Not US” we say… There but for the grace of God go I…
    That is where faith comes in I guess. When we are at our most vulnerable, even in the darkest of nights, God can find us and will come to us and lead us toward the light.
    Try to stay in the present (GOTTA be hard to do with the day to day stress of cancer) –and let us walk with you all into the FUTURE!! Hugs and prayers, Lori

  15. #15 You CAN make a difference!
    on Aug 12th, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    […] I would have to learn to live a new normal, one without my baby girl.  I know that a part of my heart and spirit would die with her. The rest of my life would be a lesson in coping and healing.  Many of those days would be a […]

  16. #16 Acknowledging Fears | Blog Nosh Magazine
    on Nov 5th, 2008 at 5:00 am

    […] serious – her blog is often laugh out loud funny, and one not to be missed. Read the original post here. Subscribe to her site feed here so you never miss a […]