Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Too much insight

It seems fate tries to punctuate those important days with what s/he must think is an exclamation point. Un/Fortunately, I have pretty much removed all surprise and amazement from my life, have learned to accept the possibility that ANYTHING can happen, and I just see yesterday as another comma in a rather long run-on sentence (much like this one).

Was it supposed to be funny that Alex's headstone was placed yesterday? Exactly five months after he was stillborn? That's sick, not funny. Was I really supposed to be impressed with the overly happy woman who called and left us a voicemail to tell us it had been set and we could "go take a look if we wanted?" Was the whole day...the whole exercise in raw emotion...supposed to bring me peace? Guess what? It didn't.

And despite our best attempts to discuss it, the future appears cloudy or hazy on a good day...and just plain dark on a bad one.

So here we are, with a big old rock with our dead kid's name on it, and no idea where we go from here...five months later. I am not a happy camper.

But today I figured out how to brighten the screen on my laptop when it's running on a battery...I did a load of laundry and washed the dishes...there was cold pizza for breakfast...there will be pork chops for dinner...I have one living son and a husband I adore...and I think the "puppy" and I have reached an understanding about her biting me. Not too bad.

It doesn't make up for that big rock with our kid's name on it, but I guess it will have to do for today.

I had a good day by myself the other day too, considering I spent it contemplating the meaning of life and all that crap. (Sorry I missed your call Julie.) The lake was windy and cold...but beautiful (that's Lake Erie, Jill, on the North shore of the great state of Ohio...not too far from lauralu and justinian and David). I marvelled at the sheer power of it all, life and death and the forces of nature that we can't control.

It was kind of funny that as I was having this inner conversation with the universe, these guys in hard hats drove their backhoe down onto the beach and started moving these giant boulders around, presumably in an effort to stop erosion from eating away the shoreline down by a relatively nice motel. I sat and watched them, three men that I would normally qualify as big guys, fighting the unwinnable fight against the power of the water and the wind and the tides governed by the moon. I admired their belief that they could somehow influence the forces of nature...but I also laughed that knowing laugh of someone who's been beaten at that game.

I walked the shoreline down to a bridge where, as illustrated in my photos, Jodi's love had obviously returned since 12-2-94 to revoke his/her grand statement carved thereon. It made me smile, and it made me sad. They had obviously, on that day, been so in love that they had planned to spend forever together. I wonder what happened to change their plans.

I saw the place where the water flows into the lake. It was strange, seeing the water flowing out into the waves that were crashing in. Despite the opposition in flow, the water just kept going, in both directions. It was oddly therapeutic to watch see the natural combination of opposing forces. To the one side of the bridge was the river. Looking at it, you wouldn't even know it was flowing. But to the other side was the spot where the waters joined, even when it appeared they were fighting for direction.

I want a baby.

Do I even bother to plan? Do I dare to try?

The thing is, I'm not infertile. Never have been. I don't have the issues that a lot of other women have. I had a decent pregnancy with Sam. I had a picture perfect pregnancy with Alex...up until the end. So I will have to live through the entire next pregnancy wondering. Everything can measure perfectly, everything can sound perfect, everything can feel perfect...and your heart can be crushed and your dreams stolen by a tiny bacteria. I know the doctors will do their best the next time, but there is no trust left in faith. There are no guarantees or promises.

I want a baby, but I'm terrified of losing again.

I know some people who say, "Whatever happens...happens." And that's great to say, when we're talking about OTHER people. But how do I protect MY heart? How do I create a baby that I want more than anything but not get too attached until it is actually born? I'm afraid that after losing Alex I will be even MORE attached to a baby in my belly...not less. More than anything I want that joy and expectation again. And I want that love.

I'm just not ready to go back and scratch my name off the bridge if I have to.


vixanne wigg said...

I don't have any answers for you. I think that if I had already had a living child it would have been harder to try again. For me. I don't know how you get over the fear. Maybe you don't, but you just do it anyway. I know that I am way more invested in this baby than Charlie. I think it's unavoidable. But then again some of the books say that many women are totally detached. I think whatever keeps you marginally sane.

I guess if I'm offering up crappy advice, the biggest piece would be to make sure you have a doctor or (even better) doctors whom you really trust and are really on your side. That really has been helpful for me.

Sarah said...

So not only do our losses have similarities (in timing of due dates, losses only a little over a month apart), but we’re in similar places. I have medical reasons not to ttc now, but don’t think I’d be ready if I didn’t have them. They are a nice reason to wait (although they will be the source of much worry in a future pregnancy) for now. Even though all of my sadness and pain over others babies/pregnancies, I know that deep down I really want a baby and I’m going to have to make myself get through the anxiety of another loss to get there. Not that I totally know how to do that, but it sounds like you’re in a similar place.

deadbabymama said...

I am attached to the sproglet, but it has taken me longer to be attached than it did with Strummer. That was the fear part, and really the pragmatic part too. Now I'm attached, but not overly so, and I'm afraid but also not overly so. I know that if this baby dies I'll be devastated, but I'll survive, and if I don't survive it will be because I choose not to. Sorry if that sounds awfully grim, but that's how I feel.

I have to say I'm glad we waited. We had medical reasons to wait but we also knew there were emotional ones as well and I'm very, very glad we took the time to be total messes and then work towards getting better. Getting through Strummer's first birth/deathday was a real turning point, a day when we grieved but also realized that we had survived what is hopefully the worst year of our lives; that made us feel strong and I don't think I felt strong enough for another child until I was through that.

When you are ready and you do get pregnant again (if that is what you want) you may be surprised that you aren't so concerned about protecting your heart, but about making your heart grow bigger and better to accomodate the new person in your life.

lauralu said...

i don't think there's any way to protect your heart. you just have to be brave. it sucks, but there it is.

and not that it matters since our computer has been destroyed, but since we have the same computer, in case we are able to get it fixed, how did you brighten the screen on battery???? that's been driving me insane since january!

Catherine said...

Press the Fn key and the arrow up key.

Bronwyn said...

Opening up your heart to another baby can really seem overwhelming at times. Even though we started trying again almost right away, it took me the better part of a year to feel emotionally ready (and I'm still fairly apprehensive about the whole idea). And ironically I'm now having fertility problems, even though I never had any before... Anyway, we may never again have the same blissful innocence regarding pregnancy and childbirth, but we will love and appreciate any new children we may have with a fierce awe that we might not of had otherwise. I bet you even hug Sam that extra bit tighter these days...