Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dreaming In Color

Grief is not a linear path. I recognize the inverse relationship between my blogging and my happiness.

I wasn't writing very often for a stretch--things were going well. I was meeting people who might be a in a position to give me a job. I was spending time with AFF and other friends. I was "doing stuff." I still am...on all counts...but things are not going well.

I blame the holidays. I blame the neighbors' stupid floodlights that shine into my room and have chased me to another bed most nights. I blame the all-too-life-like, Prozac-induced dreams I have each night. They are crazy and vivid even though almost exclusively still in black and white.

In the early days I didn't want to go to sleep because I didn't want to wake up. These days I don't want to go to sleep because I don't want to dream.

Last night I dreamt of a positive pregnancy test I kept hidden in a linen closet. When I woke up in the morning I really didn't know that I hadn't woken up in the middle of the night, peed into a paper cup, saw two blue lines, and learned that I was pregnant. Once I figured out it wasn't true, I didn't expect not to be a in sort of funk all day. I just didn't expect the funk to keep deepening as the day wore on. Now it's almost time to go to sleep, but I am fighting it, and I am tired but I am sad and I am angry.

My grief is anything but pure today. It is so much anger and frustration it is rage. I am irritable. I am belligerent. I am hopeless and depressed about the other crap in life. I am brittle, unpredictable, and utterly inconsolable.

I blame the babyless-ness.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Baby(les)'s First Christmas

I don't know why I shouldn't have expected Christmas to be a tough day. I just hadn't thought much about it with Blue. I'd thought about missing him on Thanksgiving, I'd thought about missing him for the family ski trip in February, but not really on Christmas.

My sisters and brother were with in-laws this year, so the annual brunch guests were mostly friends and neighbors. That was a relief. I spent the morning attending my Sitto (grandmother in Arabic) while her regular Sunday caregiver went to Christmas service. Sitto hadn't been feeling well and she didn't wake up once from nine until noon. She is 94 and has Alzheimer's, so I was a little relieved to not have to answer the same questions over and over about what I've been up to lately. I was also a little relieved to not have to be at my parents' house helping my holidays-stressed-out mom get ready for guests. But I was very alone on Christmas morning. I looked around at Sitto's decorations and photos and holiday cards...there were my niece and nephew, there was my one-year-old nephew...and there was a missing card of a missing newborn great-grandson.

My sister called and asked me how to modify a cake recipe. She did not ask how I was doing on my babyless first Christmas. I thought about SS and how it was Christmas and he wasn't going to call, about how he never called, not once since I left. And it was just so fucking sad. We shared nine months of our lives together, we shared the greatest tragedy of our--my life anyway--lives together. And nothing. A G-chat. I'm so sad I was so committed to this person. I am so sad I almost gave my son a father like that.

I returned home in tears with my parents asking what happened. Nothing. Nothing happened. I went out into the yard and sat in front of Blue's tree. I whispered to the branches, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, sending energy from my heart, through Blue's tree, to the core of the earth, through Blue's tree, up and out into the universe, back through Blue's tree and back to my heart. "You're always with me, buddy." I looked up at his blue sky, I leaned over to kiss the skinny trunk of his tree.

I stood up in damp and dirty yoga pants, went inside to change into something suitable for guests and for Christmas. I drank two glasses of Champagne before I ate anything for the day. From then on it was easier to pretend there was nothing wrong.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Public Pregnancy, Private Miscarriage?

The Daily Beast ran this article on Friday about the Duggar family's public miscarriage. Here is the comment I posted:

"The Duggars had a public pregnancy, yet they should have a private miscarriage? It's a shame that this very important message--that miscarriage and stillbirth and medical terminations happen sometimes and it's not a dirty secret--is lost among the criticism of the Duggars' family size. Memorializing your dead baby may be "creepy"--until it happens to you. It's normal. And beautiful. My heart goes out to the Duggars." 

Do I agree with their choice to have 20 children? Who cares? 

I've been secretly hoping that Beyonce would miscarry or have a stillborn. Eccchh...really. I wouldn't wish it on my WORST enemy, actually. But I feel like the public could use a wake-up call about pregnancy loss, especially after the first trimester, and neonatal death. I am truly saddened to hear the ignorant comments from readers and even professionals about the "publicity stunt" pulled by the Duggars. From the article:

 “It just seems too public and almost seems like, ‘OK, we’re stars, everybody wants to know abut us,’” said Susan Newman, a social psychologist who has taken the Duggars to task for continuing to procreate in two columns for Psychology Today. “From what I know of parents who have lost children, it’s horrific. It’s not something you want pictures of..."

Who are you, Susan Newman? Here is her blog and here is her email address: snewman9@optonline.net.

She will be hearing from me. Let her know what you think, too. Respect and integrity are always in order. But do you think it would be okay if I send her the pictures of Blue?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Therapist Two Out of Three

Therapist B says all the wrong things. I can't get pregnant again soon. I can't date. I can't have sex. I have to be on birth control (um?). I can wait to meet a man. I can wait to have another baby. I have to get a job first and foremost. I have to attack my demons. I just want a baby!!!!!

I saw a local psychiatrist (Therapist C) last week for a new Prozac prescription. About 30 minutes into the session I considered asking her for another doctor so that she and I could be friends. I sensed that she spoke not just from clinical experience, but from personal experience, when she reassured me that I had time to meet someone and plan a family. I asked if she had a loss and she nodded, but did not elaborate. She wondered why I wanted an unplanned pregnancy; why I wanted that in the first place, and why I still wouldn't mind its working out that way. I knew where she was going, and it wasn't pretty: no one would ever want to plan a baby with me. I'm not good enough for a man to want a family with me.

I thought I'd slayed those low self-esteem dragons years ago. Okay, I hoped. Maybe it's just self-preservation, but I think it's not just low self-esteem. I think I don't want to have to choose. I want something to just happen to me. Clearly I suck at choosing. At choosing men anyway. I am not so confident in other decision-making areas of my life. I feel like I have so many choices, too many choices, that I am paralyzed into choosing nothing. What do I want to be when I grow up? Well, gee, I'm 34, shouldn't I know this by now? Where do I want to live? I really love it in Colorado, it really suits my lifestyle, the weather is great, I need to be outside...New York is so awesome, I love the culture, the food, the people...I want to live abroad for a time...my hometown isn't so bad after all, and I have friends here...I've always thought Portland would be a cool place to live. I mean, enough!

So I think there is a part of me that just doesn't want to deal with all these choices. In the same way that I could be happy living in a wide variety of places--I lived in a 10,000 person tourist town for two years, then spent more than three years living in NYC with 10,000 people on my midtown block--I could be happy with a variety of men. Just somebody hand him to me already, I'll make it work! The problem is I seem to prefer to make it work with men who will abuse me. Not physically. Not in the obvious after-school-special kind of way (at least, that relationship did not last long). But emotionally. Subtly. A cool withdrawal here, a mild punishment there...and soon you're wondering "what's wrong with me?"

In case you were wondering, AFF is still extremely attentive. He's pretty awesome. I'm worried I will do something to shove him away. I'm also legitimately concerned that it's just too soon. I realize I met him one week after I left SS. It's really true that I never missed SS. I missed Blue, and leaving SS drove it home that my baby was dead. But I never missed his dad. I missed the opportunity to try again. I missed the love and support that I needed. I needed SS, and he wasn't there. I guess I need AFF too. He is attentive and loving and supportive. He kisses my blue star tattoo. He looks at me knowingly when someone in the room starts talking about babies. He cries when he imagines what it might be like to lose his son. He is truly the antidote. But then I wonder: is he good enough just like all the other guys were good enough, because I just want to meet somebody already? Is it possible that the first guy I date after my baby dies will be the guy I want to be with for the rest of my life?

Therapist B would probably say no. But I hate her.