Friday, March 30, 2012

Fewer Posts=Happier Me

A very good friend pointed out that my posts have been sounding angry lately. I agree. My therapist says that's because, as the grief softens, the other feelings emerge. The things you didn't deal with "back then." So I guess I am okay with that. It's hard to write about the happy stuff, the things that are happening everyday without your noticing because it doesn't suck. And that is totally reflected in the frequency of my posts. Fewer posts=happier me.

As it turns out, I do have a Good News Alert: I've been off Prozac for three weeks now. One more week or so and it will be gone from my system. And I feel really good!

I am more sensitive. I am a little quicker to cry. Sometimes about things that are not crying things. Like today, I listened to one of my favorite Kathleen Edwards songs, one that (admittedly) used to make me cry. Today I started crying as soon as I heard the intro. But the thing that made me cry about the song? It's not happening anymore. It's never going to happen again. And maybe I cried as I let that go.

The song is called Copied Keys and the lyrics start out like this:

This is not my town and it will never be
This is our apartment filled with your things
This is your life, I get copied keys
Try and force a little smile hold it a little while for you

These are your old streets and you know them well
One way shortcuts all the way downtown
But your favorite find is just my secondhand secret
Try and hide a little pain for the things I can't explain to you

When I first heard it I had moved from Steamboat Springs, CO to Boulder to be with the first man I really thought I would marry. I was about to turn 29. I had wanted to stay a few more months in Steamboat, but the thought of being apart from him seemed worse. So I moved, and I moved in with him, and I got copied keys. He had a drawer full of them.

I loved Boulder and I made it my town. I even moved back for a summer in law school. But that took awhile, and in the meantime I'd needed his help, but he didn't understand what was so hard about moving (Try and hide a little pain for the things I can't explain to you). The end of the song says "This is your town and it will never be ours."

It took only two weeks before I realized the relationship was going to fall apart. He didn't want to have sex with me. He seemed annoyed I was there. He let on that there were things that had bothered him from the beginning. He thought if we lived in the same place, those things themselves out? Go away? He made me move for him! Oops, Anger Alert. But really, it's unforgivable.

And about a year and a half ago, as I drove home from a beautiful day of rock climbing in the Gunks, I cried to this song. I was thinking how this guy had stolen my opportunity to settle down when I felt ready to settle down. How if we had worked out, I'd have a few kids by now (by then, age 33). I'd have a husband, probably a decent job, possibly not as a lawyer. I had been dating a series of New York assholes--not that Colorado assholes were any better--and I felt...left out. Left out of the life I wanted.

Fast-forward about six months, and I'm pregnant with SS's child, against his will. (Except now I feel better about the guy from Boulder, because I'm forming the family I was worried would elude me before it was too late.) A few months later I'm moving into his apartment, picking up my copied keys. Fitting into his life like a missing puzzle piece. Except I don't fit the space available.

Deciphering the parallels between these two guys was...disappointing. How could I make the same mistake twice?

But now, nothing is the same. I have a say in my future with AFF. AFF wants it that way too. We will choose our own place together, and it will be ours.

. . .

I realized something else recently. It's quite obvious, but it helps explain to me why I feel like other people don't understand (and why they actually don't). I see how Blue released me from a horrible life with SS. I think some people think I was lucky to "escape." And they think that not having your sick baby provides some sort of relief, when in your mind your baby was always perfect, just like their babies...until the terrible diagnosis. But, no matter who my baby's daddy was, no matter what life we would have had, I never loved my baby any less. And I think that's hard for people to comprehend. You don't stop loving your child because now he's dead and his dad is an asshole anyway. In the beginning I felt like other people thought I didn't deserve my pain. Because I didn't deserve to be pregnant and happy about it at the time. I'm not absorbing that anymore. Instead I'm absorbing my love for Blue. There is so much of it. I don't care if you can't understand it.

. . .

Back to a sweet story. Around Christmastime, I laid a wreath on the ground at Blue's tree. A family friend made it, a BLM whose daughter lived for 19 days with Trisomy 13. A week ago my dad asked me what I was going to do with the wreath, suggesting that I should remove it, with its dried and brown boughs and all. I picked it up and moved to to a corner of the yard until I could decide to fully remove it. Where I laid it, next to the water hookup to the house, grew a patch of clover. And my eye went straight to a clover with four leaves. I left it in the ground, but I walked away happy and hopeful. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Step Off, Beyonce!

You may recall that in a bout of inhumanity a few months ago, I wished upon Beyonce a stillborn baby. Not really. But I wanted someone public to suffer what we've suffered, to bring attention to miscarriage and stillbirth and medical terminations. So that didn't happen to Beyonce (thank god), but I've still got a bone to pick with her.

Yeah, I'm a little late to have heard the news. That she named her baby girl Blue. I named my baby in August. I just want EVERYONE to know that.

Because you know what else? She named that baby Blue Ivy. And I have had the name Ivy for a girl on my Top Names list for at least a year. And it is was a unique name, but also cute and pretty and not too immature. Now I can't probably shouldn't name my future daughter Ivy Blue. Dammit!

And just how long will it take for Ivy to explode to the top of the names for girls charts? I don't have a lot of time to get to work on having my own little Ivy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Parents Are Not "People"

So could they please stop being idiotic, thoughtless, and awkward at times about my baby loss?

Really this is for my dad. I happened to be in the room in an inopportune moment--as he was telling someone on the phone that he had 5 1/2 grandchildren. I walked out saying "6!" When he soon found me to apologize, in a sort of I'm-not-sure-I-get-it-why-are-you-so-sensitive-but-I-guess-I-can-use-other-words-next-time kind of apology, I asked him who was the half? Blue? Or the baby my sister-in-law is carrying? And he meant hers. So then I asked if Blue counted as 3/4, since he lived for 11 more weeks past her current gestation. And he said "this is awkward." Like I was telling him that he wasn't permitted to talk about SIL's pregnancy. So I got to finally scream at someone, "I'm sorry that MY baby died and THIS is awkward FOR YOU!"

My mom understood. She's made her own...misstatements, shall we say...but nothing like this. She said, "People just don't know what to say." But you know what? My dad is not people. He has been witnessing my grief everyday. And he should know better! I know! It wasn't said out of malice. But I can't just forgive your insensitive, thoughtless, inappropriate comments just because you didn't mean it.

And I'm just tired of it. I'm tired of my family acting like this is awkward for them. My mom said my SIL asked how I was last weekend. That's nice, but how about calling and asking ME how I AM? My sister? Lost cause. I don't have it in my heart to put her at ease.

So, AFF to the rescue again, and I soaked his shirt with leftover tears.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Please Stop Posting Ultrasound Pictures on Facebook!

Just when I think it's safe to go back on Facebook. I've "unsubscribed" to anyone known to have a new baby or progressing pregnancy. I've unsubscribed to women of child-bearing age who may or may not be married and may or may not find themselves pregnant.

And then some GUY posts his wife's 20-week ultrasound picture. Or says something like, "I know the sex, but Wifey doesn't. Should I tell?" And invariably these same guys show two small children in their profile pic. And I just can't help hoping that one of these babies will not make it! I am a horrible human being! I say I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy--and then I secretly wish it on some half-friend I once knew and once bothered to "friend."

At the same time I know two people--one half-friend I once knew, and one real friend--who lost a younger brother last week. And they both seem to be finding solace in their FB communities. So I feel a sort of obligation to be present there, to be there for them. And the fact is, I kind of like having returned to FB-land. And talking about non-kids things. Talking about myself. I went to Craft Night at a friend's house a few weekends ago and I must have been the only "childless" woman there. All they did was talk about their kids. And I guess I was just supposed to chime in with my own anecdotes, because nobody asked me any questions. Eventually I left my blue star watercolor to dry in the basement and went upstairs to talk to the host's husband.

. . .

It's been seven months since Blue was born. Seven months! Exactly today, March 10. It still feels a lot like two steps forward, one step back. Actually in the beginning it was more like one step forward, three steps back. Which felt like progress anyway. My relationships with my sister and sister-in-law remain strained, though I'd be surprised if either one of them has noticed. My relationships with my brother and brother-in-law are close to non-existent, but not much is different there. I don't really feel left out because I realize how much better I am doing without thinking about them and the ways they have avoided my pain. Because when I do think about it, it hurts all over again.

Today my dad asked me how I feel about my sister-in-law's pregnancy. Today. I've know about it for two months. He's known about it for one month. Thanks, I guess. There is more to the story about my sister-in-law, her pregnancy, and how she didn't talk about it with me, even after she knew that I knew. Her (lack of) words/actions were hurtful, insensitive, but not necessarily unforgivable. I will get over it. I guess.

. . .

Tomorrow is the last day of snowboarding at the mountain where I work. I am so grateful for the work, for the opportunity to meet the people I met, to have spent my time outside, engaged in physical work. I am not sad. Instead I look forward to seeing my co-workers again, at one's minor-league soccer game, at another's wolf sanctuary, and many others next year on the snow.

As one thing ends, another begins. The metaphor is so obvious, there is nothing more to say.