Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Muck and the Sadness

I love pictures. Anyone who knows me has probably had their pic snapped by me on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, like most modernists, I keep all of these shots in some digital universe, forever suspended and susceptible to loss (which has happened on numerous occasions). This year it is my goal to make actual physical copies (along with multiple backups).

The first step toward my goal was to arrange an album of Ripley's first year. I knew this would be an uphill climb. I took thousands of pictures that year. I had to pick favorites, arrange, edit, rearrange and edit some more. What didn't occur to me, was that I would be dredging up the bottom of the sadness pool. Once again revisiting pregnancy, hope, loss, pain, and the most supreme joy. What a fun rollercoaster to hop back on (all sarcasm intended).

Album decisions. Do I start with pregnancy? Birth? Do I include ultrasound pictures? How about belly pictures that say "twins". If yes, then do I add dead baby pics. A Mia page? What about excerpts from the mommy blog? A choice on whether to tell an honest account, or glaze over the reality, so whoever looks at the album doesn't have to start with the sadness. Hard decisions.

I decided to go with truth. Not simple or pleasant, but a part of us.

First page: all the internal pictures. Baby A, Baby B, growing together. Second page: preggo pictures, happiness and expectation. Third page: Mia. Full on dead baby page. And I feel like I need to add words, which I can't do yet, so I have skipped ahead for now.

Whew. After that was decided the pages filled themselves. So many cute and adorable pictures of the first months. Then smiles and milestones. Visits from family, visits to home. Somewhere in the middle I started to think of my childhood albums. One of my favorite parts of old paste albums is being able to lift up the pic and read the caption. So I went back through and started to annotate certain pics. Then I thought, maybe I should add memories from my thoughts at the time. Then I delved back into this blog and it stirred the sludge into a whirlpool of muck.

Le sigh. I am a happy mother. I am a grateful mother. I am so totally in love every day. But even with that I still get stuck. Sometimes I need to remind myself that even though sadness can weigh me down, my head is above water and I can feel the sun.