Monday, January 30, 2006

A woman can only take so much

Over the past eight months I have tried very hard to be understanding and to not make people uncomfortable when dealing with me. I have worked hard to make my life about more than just losing Alex. I have really searched my soul to find the pieces of me that remain whole and untarnished...and build something that isn't bitter and angry and sad.

But as I sit here typing this, there is a screaming seven day old baby in the next office.

Now never mind that our LAW office is no place for a days old or seven months old. And never mind that the child is obviously unhappy about being here, for whatever reason. And never mind that I already gave them a baby present just to show how kind I can be (when a baby department/store is pretty much one of the most painful places I can ever find myself). Never mind that the endless baby-related talk is making me want to run screaming from the building.

Never mind all that.

Just tell me how much I'm supposed to take?

The parade of babies through this office is just too much. I was once a part of all of that...the happy anticipation and the shared joy of welcoming a new little person into the world. There was a time when I would have gladly oohed and ahhed over a screaming bundle of joy without one single nasty comment or thought coming to mind. But now? Now I'm lonely...isolated...afraid. My office door was closed before the screaming baby appeared...and closed it remains, despite the new father's obvious "announcement" for everyone to come out and meet the precious little one. I so desperately want to be a part of that again. But I know that if I open the door, I run the risk of falling apart...the risk that the tears will come uncontrollably.

I know what they all must think of me. I know because of the hushed whispers that stop when I come around a corner into a room. I know there is a combination of pity and impatience for me. Yes, I lost a child...but why can't I be happy for other people? Aren't I over it yet?

But I know too what they would think if they were witness to my immediate deconstruction at the sight of the kind of miracle that eluded me. Maybe there will come a day when I can look into the face of a newborn baby and not see the gaping empty hole in my own life.

But right now it's just too much. I'm not strong enough. I wish they would understand that too.


Oh crap. I was sitting here crying and daddy knocked on the door. (Doesn't a closed door buy you ANY privacy these days?) So I dried my eyes as best I could, took a deep breath, and told him to come in. To his credit, he didn't run away, but rather walked right in and introduced us. His son is beautiful. And I feel like I've been flattened by a truck. And I can't stop crying.

Why did this have to happen to me? to us? I want to know damn it!

(On the up-side...I guess I'll get to find out what happens when they see me fall apart.)


Daddy stopped by my office later in the day to tell me how sorry he was that I was sorry he was for everything I had to go through. He made me cry AGAIN. I know he meant well...and he was so kind (more than any mommy has ever been who hasn't suffered a loss). He really tried to comfort me...I have to give him points for that. He's a good guy and he'll be a great daddy to his new boy. And hopefully someday I'll look at his baby and not cry.


MB...I would have told your therapist to f*ck off too. rofl


Bronwyn said...

(((Big hug))) All of this is so unfair. I'm sorry you have to deal with such a situation at work. You'd think a law office would be a relatively safe baby-free zone...

Heather said...

It just seems like there are babies everywhere you turn, doesn't it? I am so sorry, Kate. (((((HUGS)))))

Julian's Mom said...

Catherine, I know it doesn't feel like it when you are sitting there crying, but I think you are incredibly brave. I think if someone walked into my office with a newborn baby, even though it has been over a year since I lost Julian, and even though I am currently pregnant, I would have to ask politely that they exit the room. I truly don't think I could handle it. I went to a work function about 4 months ago where someone brought their brand new grandson, and I had to turn around and leave. It was very disappointing that I didn't get to enjoy the work party like everyone else, but I couldn't bear all the happy baby talk, nor could I bear people looking at me and seeing my obvious discomfort and feeling sorry for me. It sucks, any way you look at it. I still don't think I can get that close to a baby that isn't my own until I have my own in my arms. So kudos to you for making it that far, even if a subsequent breakdown was required.

Anonymous said...

Sweetie, you are a human being. If that's how you feel, that's how you feel. On the up side, you are capable of showing emotions, and it's only through emotional (in your case turmoil), that the healing process will truly begin. Although you will never truly forget your loss, you are well on your way to healing and recovering from it. Continue to be strong, you can and WILL get through it.


MB said...

My new therapist told me I need to face those fears head on and get myself into those uncomfortable situations to deal with them. i wanted to tell her to fuck off.

Anam Cara said...

I don't know who is "right", mine or MB's therapist, but mine would have said you did the right thing for YOU by ignoring them and keeping the door closed. 8 mths is such a short time Catherine! I would NEVER have been able to deal with that 8 mths after my Thomas died. Even now, almost 2 yrs later, I don't like to be around newborns. Once they are a few mths old I am OK. But not newborns. How that dad could have knocked on your door is mind-boggling to me??? I am so sorry you had to deal with that sweetie. (((hugs)))

MB said...

And for the record, I think my therapist is wrong and I was not recommending you push yourself. What I tried to imply is that you need to do what is right for you and to this day, I don't like being around new babies or babies in general. I read Anam's comment and didn't want you guys to think for a second that I thought my therapist's idea was right. i don't.

Sorry if there was confusion.

Sweet Coalminer said...

Oh crap. That's so hard. And seven days old! Too young for office visits! Geez.

You did beautifully. It's just hard, there's no two bits about it. It is going to be a long time before you get excited about babies again. You're a really great person for trying.

the ockers said...

God Catherine that is so hard. I am so sorry.

holley said...

Hugs. I'm sorry you had to go through that. At least the dad was caring enough to come back and talk to you rather than ignore your feelings.

Jill said...

Oh Catherine:( I am so sorry you had to deal with that:( 8 months really is just the blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things and I cannot imagine reacting any other way so soon after your own tragedy.

It did give me some comfort to know that the daddy was not oblivious to your pain. I'm not sure if it was fair for him to expect your grief and his joy to cohabit quite so closely - it really is too soon for that. But at least he wasn't totally oblivious. Certainly misguided though. It seems like that has made it a little more bearable for you?

You sure are one tough lady Catherine ((hugs))

Sarah said...

I think my therapist would agree with anam's. She seems pretty laid back about the fact that I haven't talked to a good friend for over 4 months who is pregnant. She seems to think that you do what is right for you on your own time schedule. The problem is letting others know what your time schedule is so they don't push you to the edge unknowingly...

I'm so sorry to hear about your hard day.

Julie said...

I'm so sorry you had such a rough day. I'm so sorry Alex isn't here. ((((((((hugs)))))))

cat said...

Crap crap crap... as if dealing with all this is not enough. You have every right to walk out of your office and go straight home on days like this. If the world can't understand fook them. Sending you love.

kate said...

I'm sorry. People are just so insensitive and rude and self-absorbed. Christ, he just *had* to come in and show off. I'm glad he came back later to apologize... but really. I guess that is the best you can hope for, right? To ask people to get a clue, it is too much...sending you lots of ((((((hugs))))))

Yes, there will be a time when you can look at newborns and be happy for their families, but it is not going to be 8 months after your own loss. I mean, *really*. What was that guy thinking?!

deadbabymama said...

Oh crap, what a horribly complicated situation. I'm sorry.

Maybe next time someone brings a baby in, just leave for awhile. Go for a walk and let everyone do their thing and don't come back until they are done. Sod what they think, do what you need to do.