Thursday, 22 July 2010

random thoughts and painful questions

i have been doing expensive high-stress things with little time to sort them out if things go wrong.

normally i would be ok about this.

(that's a lie. even normally i would be stressed out by this.)

but today i am insanely anxious about it.

and glad i'm on the pills.

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there is a living newborn baby mentioned in the rest of this post. and for that matter someone else's living children. it's ok if you don't want to carry on reading.

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last night this post made me cry. my friend caroline talks about how she misses her children being babies. or more, accurately, she talks about how watching Toy Story 3 reminded her to treasure the memories, because children grow up so fast.

me? i miss knowing that i would be a mother to a living child one day. i miss imagining myself cradling a newborn. bre.astfee.ding. taking vids of my child's first tottering steps.

i miss wondering what a combination of me and D would look like.

it's not that i've given up on the dream. far from it. but that idyllic certainty that everything will be ok?

i miss it.

i miss knowing - knowing - i would be a mother. unequivocally. even to the outside world. not just in secret, in my heart, because noone else sees me like that apart from my similarly-shattered internet friends.

i miss the memories i fear will never happen.

and it hurts.

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tonight i went round to see my best female friend J. her baby was born on saturday lunchtime. i haven't been able to see her in a long time, and it was so, so good to see her again.

and it was indescribably lovely to hold her five day old baby and hear her little meow-ling cries.

i expected it to be bittersweet. but it wasn't. not the holding her baby part at least.

and it made me wonder.

is it strange that seeing my friend for the first time in five months made me cry, but seeing her newborn baby just brought a smile to my face?

is it odd that i could sit and hear about my friend's baby's birth and not have knives stabbing at my heart?

is it wrong that only eight months after losing my baby i have whole strings of days when i am my old self - cheerful and productive?

is it betraying my baby (or the memory of my baby) that i don't cry for him or her very often these days?

is it indescribably weird that today i don't particularly wish things were different?

(it is, isn't it. that last one is just wrong. i should be wishing i have what she has. i do. but... i can't explain it. it's not like i had a great day. work was stressful. but seeing her baby.... it was just lovely. i couldn't wish to change it. and if my baby were there it would have been different.)

is it wrong that today i'm more sad about the fact that i've not been able to sit in the same room as my friend for five months than the fact that i lost my baby?

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i feel like a bad person for even thinking these things.

i hope you all can forgive me.

i do feel that i need to be forgiven for these things.

i'm not sure how to forgive myself.

maybe it will help if you do it for me?

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these are rhetorical questions. but i'm still happy to hear any answers you may have.

and if you've read this whole post. thank you.

9 comments:

Angela said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with what you are feeling. As you said you had a wonderful moment with your friend's new baby and if your baby had been there everything would've been different. Hug the good moments close because the bad ones are so hard to get through. Sending as much forgiveness your way as you need. And as so many people have said to me (perhaps including you at one point) be kind to yourself. This grieving a dead baby thing is hard.

Miss Ruby said...

B - I sooo hope this doesn't come across as I'm afraid it might and from the word go, I want to say that I mean this in such a loving caring way....

You have not done anything to be forgiven for.

Grief is one of those things, that actions & feelings stemming from it never need forgiving. When your hearts weighed down by hurt and your soul has been fractured (which yours has), you're going to do and feel things that you normally wouldn't but it's perfectly acceptable to do so.

One of my close friends had a baby last year. I put off going to see her and him until about 3 weeks after she gave birth. She knew why and totally understood. The minute I held her baby boy, all my struggles re infertility, all my miscarriages were forgotten, holding him in that moment was all that mattered - nothing else. The minute I handed him back tho, my heart felt empty once again. When I left her, I managed to drive around the corner before pulling the car over and bursting into big sobbing tears.

I don't believe not crying for your baby very often is betraying him/her. I can go months without thinking of all my miscarriages and then suddenly on a particular day, something of nothing will trigger me and I'll become a sobbing mess. Grief will always be there but for survival, we have to take certain steps to make sure it doesn't take over our life, this means limiting how much time we spend grieving, it doesn't mean we stop grieving, stop missing, stop being sad, it just means we limit how much time it spends being the focus of our lives.

Lastly, your last rhetorical question....is it wrong that you're more sad about the fact that you've not been able to sit in the same room as your friend for five months than the fact that you lost your baby.

The two are similar but not the same but also kind of the same - confused? They're both a loss. You lost your child, that's going to hurt but then in the aftermath you also lost your friend for 5 months because (I imagine) she was pregnant and you struggled with that - again perfectly normal. So in the aftermath of losing your child, you lost a key piece of your support network, that's going to blindside anyone B. In time of stress and grief you need as much support as you can get and you didn't have a key player in that because of circumstance.

I think it's perfectly normal (my phrase for the day lol) to have grieved the loss of your friend for the period she wasn't in your life. You went into survival mode, keeping YOU safe and hurt free was the most important thing at the time and seeing her hurt.

I hate my body for the fact that it's made me lose 8 babies, I hate it for not doing what should come naturally to it BUT what I hate it most for is how it's changed ME. It's made me distance myself from friends I love because it can't do what it should be doing, it can't do what their bodies seem to be able to, it's changed my friendships and who I am and I hate it for it.

Again, I don't think you need to forgive yourself. I think you need to be more tolerant of yourself and your feelings and be kind to yourself. You need to be accepting of your feelings and allow yourself to feel them, no matter what they are, they cannot be wrong because YOU'RE feeling them and you feel what you need to feel when you need to feel them.

Oh dear I've written an essay again but it's something I felt I needed to say to you. I've been where you are now and I know it's not easy to move past it but you can, you just need to be kind to yourself in the process and give yourself permission to feel what you feel when you feel it.

Big hugs and I'm sorry if any of this came across wrong, it wasn't my intention.

biojen said...

Of COURSE I forgive you, even though there is nothing to forgive. Anything you need, always.

I've had the same types of thoughts lately. Not that I would lose Aiden all over again given the choice, but I am kind of satisfied with my life right at this moment.

I think it might be called healing. It kind of pisses me off.

I don't know what to expect with these things, I suspect no one does. So I just assume that anything we feel is normal, and justified, and what we need to feel.

Hugs to you - stop being so hard on yourself!

B said...

you all are amazing. i needed to hear all of what you all had to say. you made me cry, in a good way, and i don't feel so terrible or like such a bad person today, just for reading your comments. i'll hold them close, especially when the painful questions overtake me again.

B said...

oh and jen, you also made me laugh with the 'kind of pisses me off' comment - it does me too! why is the healing part just as hard as the mourning part?

Slackie O. said...

Sounds to me like what you are feeling is "recovery"... and there is nothing wrong with that. I certainly would not diminish the pain of loss, but while miscarriage makes us feel so isolated and lonely, it is really quite common. If every woman who ever miscarried was permanently devastated by the experience, the human race would be in trouble.

We have to learn to accept the loss, the pain, the grief and then accept the recovery.

Illanare said...

Miss Ruby has already said what I would have said and said it far more beautifully. So I will just sends warm thoughts and hugs.

biojen said...

I'm glad that helped. I am puzzled by that too - aren't we supposed to feel better when we start to heal? Instead we seem to find more ways to feel guilty. Aggh!

Take care, hugs!

Anonymous said...

B, we don't know each other but as an exiled geordie, I've followed your blog for some time, via the daily photo blog. I'm always moved by your posts and impressed by your writing, openness, and strength (I know you don't always feel strong).

I just wanted to agree with others that the confusion, guilt, ups, downs, lostness of grief that you describe is entirely normal, human. It also strikes me that have also lost part of your sense of self, your old identity, the future self and life you had projected. It's hard to tease apart these losses, hence the confusing feelings about feeling different, even ‘better’ some days. Part of you wants to hang on to what you’ve lost, part of you wants to move on as best you can (but not necessarily forget). That just seems to be the way we’re built.

Love, NL