Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Big Girl Pants

So first and foremost, I will admit that I am a total bonehead. Flying was totally fine and I lived to tell about it. I totally over-reacted. Did I like flying? Absolutely not. Would I do it again? Yes, but only with the proper medication/intoxication. : )

Anyway...big girl pants. There is a saying I was introduced to several years ago by a friend & former co-worker (miss you, Jenn R - it's been too long!). She used to tell me to "put your big girl pants on and deal with it." This became a favorite joke between several of us at work, and we even bought matching t-shirts that sported the phrase. Those of you who go to my exercise class have probably seen mine! She would use this phrase whenever something came up that I thought I was too young, inexperienced or not strong enough to handle on my own. Truth of the matter is, it wasn't that I couldn't handle it; it was that I thought I couldn't. I didn't have confidence in myself or my abilities. When I stepped up to the plate and "put my big girl pants on", I generally dealt with whatever it was and came out fine. I just needed a little push and the strength to believe in myself. Whenever I put that shirt on, I remember that I'm only as strong and as confident as I push myself to be.

I still can't believe the events of my life the past two years. I've done so many things that I would have said ten years ago "I can't do it", "I couldn't survive it" or "I would lay down and die first." But I put my big girl pants on and dealt with it. And lived to tell about it.

Tonight I registered Addison for 4K. She was so excited to meet her teacher and play with the other kids while I filled out some forms. There was a spot on one form to list "other siblings" and another that asked "Is there anything else I should know about your child?" I stared at that page for a long time, wondering if I should tell the teacher about Tyler & Ethan, since Addison talks about them a lot. A year ago, I would have left them blank, too afraid to talk about the brothers I never brought home to her and too afraid of the questions that would undoubtedly follow. But today, I put those BGP's on again, and wrote "none living*" in the "other sibilings" blank, and the following asterisked comment in the "anything else we should know?" blank:
"We lost our twin sons in April 2011 due to pregnancy complications. Addison talks about her brothers, Tyler and Ethan, often and we encourage her to be open about this."

This was a big step for me today. I've been fighting this fear of sharing Tyler & Ethan's existance with people I don't know well, and today, I felt like I finally made progress. I feel like I can handle the questions, educate people further, and continue to break the silence around infant loss. Tyler & Ethan are not my "dead babies" that no one should talk about. They are my sons and my angels, and I will not pretend they didn't exist, even if I don't know you well. Go, BGP's, Go!!!

Thanks for reading!
Jen "Feelin' Sassy" Walker

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Time for Me to Fly

If you know me well, you know I'm terrified of airplanes. I've avoided flying at all costs my entire life (thank you to my bosses over the years for understanding!). But this week, I'm boarding my very first airplane for a trip to Vegas. My husband booked the tickets as a surprise with 7 of our good friends, and so I am committed. But I am terrified.

If you're not afraid of flying, you're probably saying "what's the big deal?" Well, it's time to step into the head of a crazy person because I'm going to rationalize it for you. For me, I think it's a trust issue. How can I trust the pilot, a total stranger, to take me tens of thousands of feet in the air and land me safely across the country? How can I trust all the people checking the plane over to not miss a fatal flaw? I can't, even though most rational people have no problem with this. Next some people will say "God has a plan; when your time's up, your time's up, no matter where you are." But the problem is, it's not dying itself that has me so terrified anymore. I have two beautiful little boys waiting for me in Heaven, and that has changed my outlook on death significantly over the last year. However, I have one beautiful little girl here on earth who needs me, and I can't bear the thought of her having to go through life without her parents. It brings tears to my eyes just to type the words. I know grief all too well, and I don't want her to experience any more grief than she has to.

When I say this, I also feel guilty though. I feel like I'm favoring Addison over Tyler & Ethan because I want to stay with her more than I'm willing to be with the boys. It sounds terrible, but I just feel like she needs me more. This life is hard; she has so much to learn. And I truly believe that the "better place" Tyler & Ethan are in contains nothing I need to protect them from or teach them.

But back to this trip...I'm committed. There's no backing out. I have to learn to trust; trust the airline system, trust our family to take care of Addison, and trust God to make it all work out in the end. I pray that everything goes as smoothly as people keep telling me it will, but I still feel like in order to come to grips with getting on that plane, I need to be ok with the possibility that I could leave this world permanently. Morbid, I know, but that's where I'm at with this fear. To get myself into that state of mind, I've turned to God. I'm going to trust Him to make everything right, whether that means I make it back safely or not. I will trust Him to take care of Addison, Tyler & Ethan always. And I will trust Him to give me the courage I need to do this.

With that being said, it's time for me to fly. Pray for me. Seriously. :-)