It has become very clear to me in the past three and a half months that I will never look at things the same way again. Everything is different. Nothing has stayed the same. One thing that has changed the most is the way that I interpret people’s comments, whether spoken or written. Just because I look at things differently doesn’t always mean that it is a negative viewpoint. I just have a much different view on life than ever before.
I saw a post on Facebook this morning regarding having children. The post expressed the author’s happiness at having children when he was younger. He pointed out that raising children, especially newborns, is the “most time consuming hardest thing in the world” and was glad he was past that. He is the same age as me. There were a mix of comments, some agreeing and some stating that they were glad they waited until they were older. I commented with, “Rodger and I were married 7 years before we had kids. Wouldn’t trade it for anything! Keep in mind, too, that not everything goes as planned.”
I quickly learned that my interpretation of “not everything goes as planned” is much different than the general public. A few of the comments that followed referenced having more children then were in the plan. Someone referenced a comment back to me saying that their family didn’t go according to their plans, almost as if they were agreeing with my “not everything goes as planned” comment. It didn’t even dawn on me that someone would read my comment and connect it to failed birth control, or lack thereof, hence having more children than they had planned on. At first, I wanted to respond with an explanation of what I meant by my comment, then I decided against it. Knowing how sometimes comments can be taking the wrong way via text, I didn’t want to offend anyone or make them think I was upset by their comments because I wasn’t. I just clearly knew at that point that my point of view is very distorted these days and that most people don’t hold that same point of view.
When I made the comment that not everything goes as planned, I was referring to how our plan is not always God’s plan. We can have this master plan for our lives, but guess what, it doesn’t always happen that way. In fact, I think anybody would be hard pressed to find someone who can honestly say that their life has turned out exactly the way they wanted it to.
Rodger and I had the Five Year Plan in place when we got married. We didn’t want to have children right out of the gate. We got married really young, although we would not have admitted it then. If we waited five years, we would have time to enjoy the early years of marriage kid free, yet still have children by the age of 30. At that point in our lives, thirty seemed forever away and kind of old. Remember, I told you we got married young! Well five years came and went and no baby. It wasn’t because we weren’t ready. We were, God wasn’t. He made us wait two more years before we had a child. Those two years were filled with ups and downs and a lot of heartache, including one miscarriage. Seven years after we got married, we delivered a healthy baby boy. We were both 29. A second miscarriage occurred almost a year and a half later. Then, our second baby boy was born two and a half years after his big brother. We learned a lot during those two and a half years, the most important thing being that it’s God’s plan, not ours. That lesson has stuck with us and has helped us many times during this journey of losing Kyleigh. Having a third child was definitely in our plan. Her death was not.
Compassionate Friends posted a picture on their Facebook wall today that reads: You will never truly understand something until it actually happens to you. We have all heard this before, or at least something similar. It wasn’t until later today that it hit me, I read things differently now, I see things differently now because of what happened to me. Nobody else can understand that except me. Even those who have lost a child will still see things differently then I will, although they will certainly have a better understanding than most.
Nobody was going to understand my comment today for what I meant it to be because they have not walked in my shoes. For me, it meant that my family has not gone as planned because three out of five of my babies are in heaven. Yes, I would have had children at a younger age too, had I gotten pregnant when I wanted to. It didn’t happen. If all of my children would have been born alive, I would have five children ages 6, 5, 3 ½, 2 and 3 ½ months. For someone else, her family has not gone as planned because she planned on two children and now has five healthy children here on earth. This is not a bad thing by any means. I can tell that she loves her children more than anything and goes above and beyond to be the best mother that she can. Let me make this clear, I am not upset by any of the comments from today. What upsets me is that my understanding of life is forever changed. My view of life is forever changed. I look at everything differently. I look at everything from the perspective of a mother who has lost three children. I don’t expect too many other people to have that same perspective.