Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bump Reveal!

I thought it might be time for a happy post. Because I just wrote a brittle, angry post but saved it in drafts because it just feels wrong right now. Even if it's true and it's how I feel sometimes. Um, focus...

Mr. E and I went to the Jersey Shore for two nights last weekend. We didn't have the best beach days, and the waves were really crappy, a violent thunderstorm kept us homebound and up half the night on Saturday, but it wasn't hot so that's pretty much all I cared about. Obviously not. I just wanted to have a few beach days before the baby. This was our last chance! We went away twice to the beach this summer and twice it freakin' rained! OK, anyway...happy post quickly degenerating into whiny post. I think my blog is usually mostly not about happiness. Forgive me while I type out loud...I'm trying.

Ah, let's just skip to the photo evidence.

Here I am!
This was taken August 25, which was 2 months exactly from my due date.

And here at home a few days later. And in my PJs. I didn't leave the house like this or anything. I just posted it to all the world (because my blog is sooooo popular) on the Internet.

What I'm really showing you is that I just got a hair cut and my hair looks awesome when it's straight. Because it's not. Not ever. And it's so curly right now that it winds around itself and I look like Shirley Temple.

I'm going to eat some ice cream now. Hope you liked the pics. And the happiness. :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

And the Days That Follow

Saturday morning I sighed and told Mr. E, "I'm so glad Blue's birthday has passed." Yes, it's a huge relief.

But now I realize I am still swimming in last summer's aftermath. The crushing weight of the sadness, the dearth of support from those around me. I went on job interviews within weeks of Blue's stillbirth. I went to the shore for three or four days (mistake, actually, all pregnant women and small children) and my ex talked about how luxurious my life was because I could go sit by the ocean for a few days. If ever I dared sleep past 9:00, whether because of an extra sleeping pill or extra grief the night before, I could expect to hear about how I wasn't pulling my own weight.

I have over 365 days of perspective now, and it is really painful to look back on those days after, and realize that I had no way to protect myself. I thought I needed to be with Blue's dad. I thought I needed to put back the pieces that had broken for other reasons. Even my parents, who a few weeks later would literally drive four hours to DC one day to take me home, told me I should be with him. When I told him that--you know what? His name is Chris. His name is Chris Hughes and he lives in DC and I'm not going to keep his identity secret anymore like something I say here might hurt him. He is tall with green eyes and he kept gaining weight when we were together. He is very smart and very lacking in empathy and I think he technically qualifies as being a sociopath.

So anyway, when I told Chris that my parents told me to be with him, but what would they say if they knew how he was treating me (we were fighting then but it wasn't like he didn't know he was being pretty shitty most of the time), his response was, "Low blow." Said calmly with venom on his tongue and hatred in his eyes. I never understood that answer.

I am having a hard time now avoiding these thoughts, these thoughts about how bad it was but why didn't I see it then? And I know why. I know why I endured the abuse, just like I endured the all-but-first-two-months of our stupid, shitty relationship: I didn't think I had a choice.

And I couldn't possibly see how bad it was. I was in no shape to be objective. Logical. Reasonable. I was a childless mother.

Now I can see how bad it was. Surviving the sadness. Being with Chris. Trying to function when there was nothing normal, comforting or routine about my life at the time. Maybe the fact that I tend not to like routine, that I tend to seek new places, is what saved me. Because I don't know how I lived. And that makes me so sad all over again, to see, objectively, that I was sad enough that I wanted to die. That I wanted the pain to stop. That I could make it stop if I wanted to.

It's like I have PTSD from my own depression. Is that possible? I think of myself a year ago and I feel so sad for her, the woman that I was. When I read or hear about other people who are just really depressed,  or who actually commit suicide, I get so sad, thinking, I know. I know what that's like.

I know, right now, I will not feel that again. Until I start to freak out about something happening to Sprout. Then I imagine. And imagining is worse than reality. Except sometimes when it's not.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Grief Week Days Four and Five

Blue's birthday. One year ago today. So strange. So strange how much can change in a year. And how much can stay the same. I think I'm in chronic pain mode now, with occasional acute flare-ups. Today was hard, but like many days that carry significance, not as hard as I might have imagined. (But didn't imagine, because I already know this is true.) I changed my profile picture on Facebook back to the plain blue sky. I wrote there:
One year without Blue. Immeasurable joy lost, immeasurable pain displaced and endured.

I never publicly grieved there. So I shouldn't be surprised that there haven't been many comments. The important people know, or would know if they saw, what I mean.

My secretary took a vacation day yesterday but she sent me flowers at work. I hadn't cried all day until I saw them. I knew they were from her when I read the poem on the card. And I was so good about not thinking, "why didn't anyone ELSE send me flowers?" Except I guess I did a little bit. Things have been pretty good with my sister and sister-in-law lately, especially since I got pregnant again. Strike that, ONLY since I got pregnant again. But that's been a while now and I guess I just forgot that they would forget that today is Blue's birthday.

Which leads me to wonder if the ex remembered what today is. I thought about that a lot today. I thought about how he went back to work the next day. I thought about how he once called Blue "a corpse" and not "my son." And I thought, for my sake, for my sake and not even his, I hope at some point he found some compassion. That he had some sort of breakdown, and he realized that HIS SON DIED. For my sake. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, so I'm still angry. But it's not acute and it's not even chronic. It just flares up every now and then. 

I also thought today about how happy I am. I have a wonderful husband. When I need to talk about this stuff, the sadness and the anger, he listens. And he talks too. He wants this life with me. I'm expecting another baby boy. We're having a baby boy. We want this, both of us. And my job is good and I'm really starting to like it here, this place that I used to think was a fine place to grow up but that's all, thank you. It's not the same place where I grew up. And I like it. I didn't forget all that today. Because I don't know where I'd be if I weren't married, if I weren't expecting, if I weren't finally working, if I weren't living here now. I can guess, but I'd rather not.

One year later...I love Blue as much as ever, I miss Blue as much as ever, but I like my life. A year ago today, that didn't seem possible.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Grief Week Days Two and Three

Today came the break down. The pain not as acute as ever, but more than before. Today was double-whammy day, because Blue died on August 8 last year then was born on the Wednesday of this week last year. There's not a lot to say. I just closed my door at work for a while and emailed my secretary (I know! I have a secretary!) that it was a sad day. I told her ages ago that I had another baby, but he died. And she shared too. Two miscarriages as she tried for one more child, neither one especially late nor especially early. Today she asked me if I was sad about my son, and I had settled down temporarily but when she called him my son I just welled up again. Of course he is my son. But not everybody knows that.

I am staying up too late every night and that doesn't help with coping and stuff. And it's about to be midnight again and my eyes are open. Today I remembered when I didn't want to go to sleep because I didn't want to wake up. It's not like that now, but it makes me sad to think that it ever was. And when I think of those things the pain is acute again. I was telling Mr. E that. His shirt took my tears, like it always does.

(And I need to go to sleep now.)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Grief Week Day One

Well, today was fine. I wore the blue star necklace that Mr. E gave me for Christmas. Work was busy and then there was lots to do after work. And also this beautiful sunset.

This is where we live. I told you it was crappy. But it's working out. Well, except for the fact that I rang my neighbor's doorbell at 6am on Saturday. I am not exaggerating. Let's just say it's all OK and I wasn't mean because it turns out her two young sons are both autistic and her husband bailed and helps out only two days a week and life sucks pretty bad for her so I shouldn't get upset about being woken up by loud, reverberating bass notes emanating into my apartment at 5:45 on my days off. But I digress.

Today I didn't feel sad until I took off the necklace, telling Mr. E that I was going to wear it every day this week. Something about the ritual...I don't know. It reminded me of the early days when little things meant so much and I really wanted them to be a certain way or I assigned a lot of meaning to something very small. We made some plans for Friday night, Blue's birthday, so I won't be spending it curled up on the couch. I mean, that's the plan.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Grief Week Overview

How did I make it this far? It's the week of the anniversary of Blue's death and birth.

The weeks and days leading up to this have somehow made me tell three people at work that I lost a baby about this time last year. Which is probably a bit confusing since I am more than six months pregnant and married to a different dad. I guess I just want people to be gentle with me. I want to not be myself and not have people think I'm being myself. My boss tells me I can take a day off. Though I think I'd rather not. Last year I wanted the distraction of work so badly, but didn't have it, so I don't think I could pass it up this time around.

I think it took a year until I could feel that Blue's dying was "just so, so sad." Or to think, "I can't believe this happened to me...but it did." So much has changed in my life and I wonder if, horrendous as it was in the short term, in the long term I am actually better off. "It" being the shitty ex and the no job thing and the nowhere to be and the no one to be there for. Blue's brother will be his half brother, his brother minus the shitty ex part. So I wonder how much I'll wonder how similar the two would be? Yet I hate to feel I'm somehow better off that Blue died.

And how do you mark the day your baby died? If he died on August 8, but wasn't born until August 10, which day is it? If he died on the Monday a year ago tomorrow, does that mean tomorrow is the anniversary of the day he died? Or does it just mean this whole week is Grief Week, and I better strap in for the ride?