Friday, July 28, 2006

I am not

Usual...Normal...Most...Low risk...Routine...Common

The more time that passes the more the weight of this is getting to me. I feel more freakish as each day passes, rather than less. I'm not healing, but feeling more and more like fresh layers are being painfully peeled back until there is nothing left of me but a bloody mess.
Two nights ago I listened to music for the first time in months. Music is generally off limits for me because it allows room in my brain to think. This was particularly bad because I sat on my bed and looked at my boys' pictures on the wall while I listened. I started to cry and would have fallen apart completely if Sam hadn't come into the room to ask for help with the DVD he was watching.

Yesterday morning I was contemplating the imminent arrival of my period and thought to myself, "I can use tampons for this one....Oh God....I just delivered another dead baby less than three months ago..." I nearly fell to the ground and wept.

Everywhere I turn...everywhere I go...there are reminders of what is not. I talked to a client I haven't talked to since just after I hurt my ankle. He innocently asked, "Are the kids making fun of you?" I just said, "Yeah," without thinking. He replied, "Yeah, they love to pick on mom and dad." I hung up the phone and sat here shell-shocked for several minutes...unable to think or even move. I'm assuming he doesn't even know that Alex is dead. And I don't think he even knew I was pregnant with Travis. How did my life get this fucked up?

Time just keeps ticking past and people move on without me. Babies are born, old people die, a million miracles and tragedies take place all around, and I am on the periphery of it all...observing, but not really feeling any of it.

Today I might have been a mom of two beautiful living boys. Or I might have been a 32-weeks-pregnant-(and ready to start talking delivery options)-mom of one beautiful living boy. But I am neither of those things. I'm the mom of one beautiful living boy and two dead boys....with little hope for anything else. Two beautiful and perfect boys who would be here if not for a malfunction within my body. Nothing wrong with them. They were normal. But me?

Not usual...Not normal...Not like most...Not low risk...Not routine...Not common.

Normally (there's that word again), I would embrace my uniqueness. But on this scale, it is just too much. Too heavy. Too big. Too complicated.

Simple conversations become difficult. "How are the kids?" is an unanswerable riddle. The normal progress of time reminds me how far away I am from my boys...from that place and time when I was totally happy. I am on the verge of tears at every moment. I long to remember and forget all at once. Perhaps the roots of insanity are planted when the mind is in contradiction with itself...unable to accept reality as a single constant truth. Like this.

Unusual. Abnormal. Unique. Freakish. Uncommon. Bizarre. Out of the ordinary.

Everyone presumes there will be a future. Everyone naturally looks forward and wonders what I will do. There is no making decisions...there is no power left in me to do that. It's done and today is all there is. The time for planning for the future is long past. This is it. No forward and no backward. Just here...right now. And I HATE this here and now. I'm trapped without the dream of ever being able to escape.

It was hard enough thinking of all the missing might have beens with one. But two...let me explain what that is like...put a plastic bag over your head and try to breathe. That's what it's like.

My arms ache for my boys. I still dream of those anticipated first moments holding them...but alive. How sweet that dream was. How beautiful. But not for me...not now. Instead, I have nightmarish images from those first moments. The physical trappings of soft skin peeling away...sunken emptiness where there should be big beautiful eyes making a connection...the grey palor of the dead...silence. It all plays in my brain and won't stop. And I can't breathe. It's all there. It's just all wrong.

There is no trust anymore. No belief that things happen in a certain order or for a reason or with any measure of predictability. Our lives have been tossed around like yahtzee dice. No pattern. No understanding.

I can't stand anything. I can't stand myself. There is nothing attractive about me. I have nothing left to offer that is even remotely feminine. My basic innermost soul is tainted...sick...deadly. I dress myself each day with less enthusiasm than one would have for a dentist visit. Yesterday while standing on the sidewalk waiting for my ride home I saw this pretty young woman walk out of the tanning place across the street. She was wearing jeans and a fitted t-shirt. Her hair was up in a less than fancy hairdo. But she had that confidence...that I used to have a lifetime ago. But I have none of that left.

It rings in my ears like some sort of childish taunt. You're broken...diseased...empty.

Not usual...Not normal...Not like most...Not low risk...Not routine...Not common.

I very tired.


kate said...

This 'uniqueness' of yours is one that nobody could possibly embrace. And i don't think anybody can heal from such a thing in the very short time that it has been since Travis died. I think you are doing remarkably well considering the hand that you have been dealt. And you know that by 'well' i don't mean 'getting better' or 'moving on' or 'looking toward the future'. I mean you are grieving what you have lost -- which is unimaginable -- and you are making it through each day. I don't think you can ask for too much more than that.

I wish i could help you more.... (((((((((hugs))))))))

Sherry (Hallesmom) said...


Kathy McC said...

I wish I could wrap my arms around you and just make all of the pain go away.

I thought of you last night and my heart ached for you...I wish so many good things for you, Catherine. I hope those good things come to you very soon, whatever they may be...

One Mother's Journey said...

You wanna borrow that sign we talked about that I made for myself yesterday?!?

(Just trying to make you smile.)

I am so very tired as well.

Aurelia said...

Normal is an ugly word. Usually used by people who want to make us feel worse. But it's just a word...I really don't believe there is anyone "normal" anymore. Be gentle with your self, be good to your self, have patience with your sweet kind wonderful self. Life does become brighter after some time has passed. Have a cheesy internet (((HUG))) on me.

Shinny said...

I don't think that there is any such thing as normal. You have been through hell and are still a warm, funny, caring person. You amaze me. I know for a fact that I would not be nearly as "normal" as you are if I would have had to go through what you have been through.
You will regain your confidence in YOU, you are on that road now, whether you know it or believe it. You wouldn't be putting yourself out here if you weren't confident that you are loved by an online community that wished that things like this never happened and that we were all living next door to run over and give you a big hug whenever you need one.

We also believe that if you could you would provide a hug for us in our times of need if we were neighbors.

Don't rush yourself and know that we care. And that girl from the tanning salon is just asking for leather skin in a few years. ;) You don't want that.

R said...

I love you!

Joie said...

I just followed a link here. This is the first time I read your blog, so I hope you don't mind a comment from a stranger after you just poured your heart out. I just need to tell you how terribly sorry I am. I can't imagine the pain you must be experiencing. I know there is nothing I can do to take that away, but know that there is someone out in the blogosphere thinking of you.

(I signed on through blogger, but my real blog is

Sarah said...

Hey... I'm so sorry you're feeling crappy... even though it is understandable. I hate it that you are hating your body so much right now. I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you that you are a beautiful person. I hope that you feel that way inside again sometime.

Not that I expect you to be better soon. I just wish you had days that weren't as hard as this one sounds.

bella's mom said...

I've been reading your blog and I just wanted to say I'm so sorry that you have to feel this pain. Your beautiful writing and honest words have been really helpful to me in dealing with the loss of my daughter, who was stillborn at 38 weeks this past march. I know there are no words to make any of this better, but I hope you find some of the comfort that you have given others.

Erin said...

Not Normal... I think that's how so many mothers who've lost babies feel. I know I do, though my case is very different than yours. But when there are no clear cut answers as to what caused the problem, we revert to blaming ourselves - mothers are just prone to guilt I think, being the "incubators" we assume that it something we did, or something just innately wrong with us.

I don't have a thing that I can say to make you stop feeling that way (wish I did, I'd have used it myself already) but I hope you know that with all you're going through, and all you're feeling, you're not alone.