The moment I said those words I knew that I was healing. The site of babies or another pregnant woman freaked me out literally. I felt so bad that some of my friends gave birth to healthy babies and I couldn’t congratulate them.....in my mind I was saying it, but the words just would not come out. I was secretly jealous and I am not afraid to admit it. I didn't know how to be there for my friends when I was still grieving the death of my son. I didn't know how I could celebrate the birth of another baby when my baby was dead. So I stayed away or made their posts on my Facebook page disappear. I didn't want to be anywhere near a baby. If a baby was going to be present, you could count me out. Would you believe me if I said I have not held a baby in over a year? It's true! I have not held, hugged, kissed or played with a baby in over a year. Now do you believe how serious it is when someone loses a baby? They lose a part of themselves. I lost that part of me that LOVED babies and would attend every baby shower and birthday party I was invited to. I lost the party of me that would be there for my friends no matter what. I lost a part of me that I wasn't sure I would ever get back. Would I ever be able to look at a baby again? I now know that I will never be the same Tamira again, but the Tamira I am now is growing to be stronger and wiser than before the death of Elijah.
Every Monday I Co-Facilitate a peer support group and one of the new moms that will be joining the group, came in to introduce herself and she had a baby in her arms. The amount of anxiety I was feeling in that exact moment was unreal. I quickly turned my head to took a deep breath. I turned back around and introduced myself and complimented her on how cute the baby was. I even went as far as asking what her name was! Shocked as ever at myself, but I celebrated that little bit of progress because that was not EASY! I have NOT been able to look a baby in their eyes and say awwwww she is so cute! I did it without tearing up, without crying, and without breaking down. I had to turn to the women in the group and say "I can't believe I just did that." They too were very surprised that I did it and was just as happy as I was that I made that step. While I am the leader of the group and I am helping these women move toward peace, I am very honest with them and let them know that I still have my days and there is stuff that I am still working on. They respect me more for my honesty and say when they leave on Monday nights they feel so much better.
I say all of this to say, its okay to celebrate the small things. Someone reading this may not understand why me being able to tell someone that their baby is cute is such a big deal, but man if only they knew where I was a few months ago. In life we go through things and put too much pressure on ourselves to bounce back to what we consider normal when we aren't ready. I wasn't ready to say it a few months ago but tonight I was ready and it felt good. What have you done recently that’s different from where you were a few months ago. Did you pat yourself on the back because of it? You should have! Every step toward a better you should be recognized. I will never be 100% but I will acknowledge my growth both personally and professionally. Who knows, I may even be able to hold a baby next :-). I am a work in progress and I promise to keep working and praying toward a healthier me.