“How are you doing?”: My Very Real Feelings

I have been asked so many times, “How are YOU?” Often I don’t know how to answer this. I’m nervous to answer honestly sometimes. Usually I’m a little bit of everything I think. I’ll dive in to this in a bit but let’s do a quick rewind of my past almost 32 years.

My first 25 years was easy. No real drama. No real issues. Wonderful, loving parents, an incredible older sister who married a guy I love just as if he was my blood. An incredible husband who loves me and is devoted to me. I had a great childhood. I always knew how blessed I was.

I lost my dad in 2013, unexpectedly. I told his amazing impact of my life in a previous blog. I miss him every single day and it was so very hard losing him. In 2015, we lost our daughter, Sawyer, at 32 weeks gestation. This was a different type of grief than my fathers and to that point the hardest time in my life. I remained faithful throughout all of this with the help of so many. In 2016, our home flooded with most of the town we live in. I lived in one room with my 5 month old and husband in my mother in laws house. My marriage is rock solid but this was hard on both of us. Tension and stress were high as we desperately needed our own space. We made it through that too, of course. Definitely not easy, but we did it.

Now to today.

Toxoplasmosis. A new word to my every day vocabulary. Here is this beautiful baby girl that we prayed about for years. And in comes a word that completely wrecked me, deeper than I have ever been before.

How is this harder than what I have been through before? My baby is here in my arms and I’m still a mess? – These thoughts made me feel guilty.

Why am I questioning God for the first time in my life? Why is this happening? Haven’t I already taken my licks as a mom? She is so beautiful, why must she have challenges? – These thoughts made me feel angry.

Will she be able to see much of anything? Will she be able to play team sports? Will she be able to attend public school? Will she live independently? Will she be able to navigate this world independently? Will she be able to get married? Will she be able to be a mother? Will she need diapers forever? Will I have a “child” forever? Will she outlive me? Will I bury another child? – These thoughts made me feel fearful.

Look at her smile! She is cooing? She wants to eat! She is rolling over. She is responding to light! She is impressing her therapists! – These thoughts made me feel happiness, joy, excitement, relief, faithful.

All of these thoughts have entered my mind but you need to know that I do NOT allow any of the negative ones (guilt, anger and fear) to hold power over me. So I share this not looking for words of encouragement from anyone but more to just shed light on what parents like me may actually feel and help any of them not feel alone. And also, answer the question that some people may just be too afraid to ask.

I have talked to many other moms in similar situations and frankly, these thoughts have not only crossed just my mind, but so many others. I will say with every fiber of my being all of these thoughts make me the incredible, faithful and loving mother that I am. I firmly believe that I stand strong in my faith and I know that God will provide one beautiful story through Demi. I KNOW that Demi will continue to push through all challenges and not only get through them but soar right passed them. I KNOW that she is not limited by a diagnosis, a CT scan result, a lab result, an MRI or any other medical explanation. She is a child of God and she had a massive purpose in this world.

Demi has two very head strong parents who will be sure to allow her to see what accomplishments she is making along the way and not limit her by any challenge she faces.

So when you ask how I am doing… it’s quite possible that I could be anywhere in all of this at that moment. And by all means, I love being asked about me and my feelings through this because it makes me feel good to know I’m thought about too. It’s appropriate and considerate. Sometimes I’m just afraid of my own “word vomit” in that moment.

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