Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Minute to Breathe

Right now I'm nursing a wicked headache that started with blurred, or rather, loss of vision and is finishing with nausea. And also deja vu, as I had this same headache at the end of the day on Mothers' Day. Yay.

I have been really slacking here. I mean, I know that no one's waiting around their Reader for BING! A new naptime confessional post to pop up, but it's that whole continue-what-you-start thing.  Baby O is a hugger, he needs to be held, quite a bit. Which is delightful, but not conducive to typing, or, well, cohesive thoughts. C and I have started a strict no-computer-after-kids-go-to-bed policy. And every other free minute I have is devoted to cooking, or cleaning, or running, or boxing, or yoga, or maybe even sleep.

But there's been a bit going on, you know? I've been sharing a lot of grief talk with my therapist, who walks me through. It feels a bit indulgent--HEY! let's talk about me me me!--but necessary.  I still can't believe, some days, that this is my life. In the past few weeks I've run into two separate people from my old life. Neither of whom I'd seen since I was pregnant with Calla. And it was  . . . okay? With one I didn't get into the story. She said, "Oh, is this the baby?" And I thought to myself, "Well, he's A baby, but not the one you're thinking of!" I let her do the complicated math in her head. If I see her again I'll explain, but it was in a doctor's office and it wasn't the right time.

I saw the other friend in the park. I was packing the giant double stroller into my trunk after running with the boys. Both of them were already in the car, and she spotted me from across the road. "Hey!' she called to me, "what did you end up having?"

Um, my worst nightmare come true? A year from hell? Two babies, one live, one dead?

So I waved her over and told her the story. Her daughter is my age and pregnant with her, well, I'll say second baby, but she's had miscarriages since her first. Oh. This pregnancy thing can be so fraught. Anyway, she was sad for me, but she understood. She told me of her best friend from years ago who had a full term stillbirth, how that friend, earlier in the day at her baby shower was uneasy, who had the operator interrupt her phone call and was hysterically sobbing on the line, calling from the hospital.

You don't get it I guess until, sadly, you do.

I talk with my therapist about all the little things that, to maybe anyone else, would seem stupid, or whiny, or ungrateful. Like how the frilly Easter dresses make my heart leap into my throat. How the tiny dancers in pastel tutus in the dance recital leave me crying in the dark auditorium. How the mother with her boy and girl, older than my children but spaced how E and Calla would have been, takes me out of the present and into my head. How any number of seemingly insignificant, material, impossible things in any day litter this path, sometimes shoving mountain-sized hurdles in my way.

It's all those woulda-shoulda-couldas. The what-ifs, and what-nows. The bullshit no one wants to hear when you have two beautiful, healthy, happy, wonderful, living boys in your arms. You have all this and still you want more?

And sometimes, when I can be brutal with myself--or maybe it's kindness--I do look at my life and wonder why it's not enough. Because, truly it is. My boys are enough. C is enough. I have everything I could ever want.

Except. I want my little girl too. And for that I will never, ever apologize. I don't care if that's selfish. I don't care if it's greedy. It is not ungrateful.

So. I'll end with this thought. Without rehashing, last year sucked. I look at pictures of myself and every one is the face of anxiety. I was a nervous wreck nearly constantly. But you know what? Baby O is as happy as I was anxious. He laughs and smiles at everything--big belly laughs, too. And he thinks E is the  best, saving his loudest laughs just for him.

I am so sad, and I am so happy, and I am so devastated, and I am so lucky.


  1. I could write a long comment dissecting all the things that resonated with me in this post, but I'll just make it easy by saying: yep, yep and more yep.
    And a big hug for you as well.

  2. I connect a lot with what you say here...thanks for sharing a bit. Sending loads of love.

  3. That last line sums it up quite nicely. Somehow living in that place where all those emotions co-exist is what defines being a babylost mama. Sending you love.

  4. It's so unbelievable the way the triggers just hit us. It doesn't make any sense even sometimes because it seems to trivial, but then Boom! out of nowhere something attracts our attention, and we are sent into waves of emotion. I'm so sorry that you have those feelings...and I wish that your little girl was with you here on Earth. There is absolutely no way you should feel guilty. Calla should be a part of your life here too..that's the way life "typically" is. That's why you hurt then...and why you continue to hurt now. Sending you hugs.

  5. Whoa, who would think you selfish? Jerks! But, duh, of course you get into how she SHOULD be here. She creeps up in my thoughts more than I thought she would, just as a missing piece, a feeling not quite right. And then sometimes I just get mad and sad again,and think, dang, it is just so WRONG.
    Love you girls.

  6. You hit the nail on the head. I feel the same way. Lucky and unlucky, Happy and bitter, and I could go on and on. I don't think we should have to apologize for wanting our girls too!