Friday, May 17, 2013

Just sad

A stream of profanities issued from behind the laptop--suspiciously from where my husband was sitting--while I sighed and shook my head, staring into my mug as though hoping to find the answer in my tea.

"This isn't fair!  This isn't right!  What happened?!?  What went wrong?!?  Grr..."

No, we were not discussing the loss of our daughter, but the loss of my last post.  Yeah, I kept hitting save... but Blogger was ornery I guess.  It just wasn't there when I hit publish, the post I'd made using the only current hours I have: the ones before and after midnight.  After I drank a coffee at 10 PM so I could be clear-headed enough to do it.  It stinks to only have time for one post this week, but you know, it's easier losing anything that isn't a baby these days. Not as bad as going through the worst months of pregnancy with nothing to hold afterwards. 

It has been acutely painful not to have time to write and to think this week. My babysitter had been on vacation, my parents have been busy, my husband's work continues apace, and I haven't had much opportunity to sort through this dull grey that seems to surround me. 

I fear I am being negative, huh? Well, on a small positive note, the loss has made organizing much simpler for me.  Puts things very much in perspective.  Makes cyberspace eating a nice writing session less painful. And now I can totally get rid of this extra teapot I've been hanging on to for, I dunno, in case I need to drink two gallons of tea all at once... could happen, right? :)  And I'll just write something else... Let's see...  I know I had included the following quote in my former post:

you grew in me
and I grew too
you were you
and I was me
but we were one
our lives flowing
entwined in each other
connected with love
with tissue and blood
in body
and soul
and then
the end.
how can it be that one
so young
so full of life
waiting to burst into this world
slipped out so quietly
over before even one breath
you slipped away in the night
you didn't even wake me
you left me there sleeping
left me there all alone
for what would never come

Those words were written by Stephanie Cole, in her poem "Untitled II," which commemorates the loss of her daughter Madeleine.  She was kind enough to send me a copy of her book "Still." While desperately sad, her writing and poetry captures the feelings well, so I find it oddly comforting to read them.  And yes, you may bill me for the tissues.

So the answer to, "Hey Katie, how are you?" is currently, "Hanging in there, thanks!"  I'm going through the motions of normal child care and driving to lessons and stuff, but you know that commercial where this little cloud is following you around?  Except I'm in the cloud.  But this isn't some plain old depression; it's just part of the roller-coaster called grief.  I'm strapped in for this ride for a bit... and yeah, I did hope I'd just be writing humorous posts on current events and witty moments of motherhood at this point.  But I'm kinda stuck here for now.  This ride is going around again... yay.  Thanks for bearing with me.  :)

There are still delightfully absurd moments of motherhood to enjoy over here.  Like when I last picked up my little ones from child care at the gym, I found Cecilia surrounded by all the plastic dinosaurs in the place, officiating a wedding between a brontosaurus and a T-Rex.  Because that's just her.  She greeted me with, "Mom!  It's almost my BIWTHDAY!" (mid-September) "Then I will be BIG!  Then I can dwive a BULLDOZER! And my cake will be wery, wery PINK!" 

Oy.  She's fun.  They all are fun.  But oddly enough, I usually have a hard time enjoying them these days.  Oddly enough, I'm missing the baby I would have had too much, sometimes, to listen clearly to the kid who is wailing about a broken crayon.  I would have been 25 weeks this Wednesday, as my pregnancy app reminds me.  That's just about viable.  No, I don't keep it to make me sad, but to remind me that it was real, that I programmed the app for her.  I think she deserves to at least have an app blindly and happily remembering what would have been.

On Tuesday, a mom's group friend of mine announced that she was having a boy on my erstwhile due date.  I am truly happy for her.  I'm just really sad for me, and my family.  Despite the fact that four seems like a vast number of children to have these days.  She's wearing maternity clothes openly now, while I try to lose pregnancy weight with nothing to show for it.  I'm still seeking to answer the question "How many kids do you have?" in a way that feels right and okay.

I'm making efforts to get more sleep, which will help.  I had a nap yesterday, unfortunately at the same time someone had driven out to try to drop off a meal I had completely forgotten about.  Sorry! :( I need post-it notes taped to my wrists these days for reminders.  Somewhere between the nightmare du nuit, and a recent trend where all children under five continually (after being put back in bed, yup) return to sleep in their parents' bed perpendicularly: feet in mom's side, head on dad's chest, and a zillion different combinations therein... somehow I'm not sleeping quiet enough.  It doesn't help that I seem to need about two hours to get myself to bed, trying to make sure I'm so tired that I won't be up thinking about sad, distressing things. 

Like on Mother's Day.  And I actually had a great day, thanks; hope you did too!  My sister and mom took me out to some beautiful gardens, and to lunch.  I spent time with my children and uncles and aunts and grandmother, who has been a mother for over 70 years now, whew! :)  I went to bed congratulating myself on getting through the day without getting weepy, then realized I was crying because--somewhere in all the rush and business--I hadn't made it to her grave yesterday.  And at 11 PM, that was crushing.

So on Monday, we went.  We brought sampling of every flower that is in her backyard, and from what would have been her playground.

Apparently we also provided Cecilia with the opportunity of carting off other grave decorations... I didn't notice she had done this till I looked at this photo later.  See that big bouquet she's walking off with?  Yeah, not ours.  Oh dear.  Where did it come from, where did it go... haven't a clue. :S  I will leash them next time I think... they love "Babyland" with all the pretty d├ęcor.  It really is a peaceful place, with lots of birds and butterflies, which I'm glad of.

I'm also grateful for the way my little angel has highlighted all the angels already in my life.  For all of you who are patiently praying me through this.  And recently, for the dear friend, after a full day of teaching school, who came over to watch my kids so I could go to a baby-loss support group.

Never been to those before, you know.  You'd think it would be depressing, but it is comforting to acknowledge the short lives of these children, and the love that survives them.

I had been trying to "talk myself out" of being quite so sad for a bit... like, it could have been worse, right?  I have heard stories of stillbirth and SIDS and losing children to cancer that would break anyone's heart.  But in the end, I find grief comparisons useless. To be extremely non-profound: it is what it is.  Losing a child at any stage is a loss to be acknowledged, processed, and grown through in ways as individual as each unique human heart. 

Today, I'm just trying to get through all this... hanging on to my faith in God, my hope for heaven, my love for my little ones.  Wishing both you and I a peaceful, beautiful weekend.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted,
and those who are crushed in spirit He saves." Psalm 34:18

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