Sunday, September 09, 2007

My dirty little secrets

This has been like a pebble in my shoe and I'm going to try to shake it out here in a way that won't make me come back and delete this post later. I never want to regret what I write or what I say. But, for a while now, this has been a place for me to get the ugly out...and now it's time to take advantage of the space.

We were done. We had given most of the baby stuff away except for the stuff we thought might be "heirlooms" for Sam (or the stuff that had been recalled for safety reasons). I can't speak for Steve, but pregnancy was the LAST thing on my mind that fateful April Fools Day. Yes, April Fools Day was our conception day. Quite the hilarious joke, no?

I love this baby and have done my damnedest to "bond" with this baby. I dream of holding him (alive) and rocking him and nursing him and adding him to our family. But the simple truth is, this baby was not planned. This baby simplest accident. In fact, I think I might go so far as to say I didn't want this baby at first.

So when people tell me how "brave" or "strong" I am, I feel like a complete and total fraud. It wasn't bravery or strength that got me here...It was an accident of biology and timing. But I'm not supposed to say that, am I? I'm supposed to be sensitive to all the women who would love to be in my shoes...finding themselves unexpectedly pregnant (even facing an uncertain future). I'm supposed to honor the memories of my two dead babies...and be excited at the prospect of expanding my living baby's future by adding a little brother to his life existence. I'm not supposed to say that the thought of facing this pregnancy, on that morning when the digital said "pregnant," made me want to run in front of a very large bus.

Let me be clear...I never contemplated hurting myself in any real was just that feeling that ANYTHING would be easier (and more worth my time and effort) than another pregnancy. Also let me be clear that I never wished the BABY away. If I could have had a magic fast forward button to the finish line at that very moment, I would have pushed it without hesitation and welcomed this new baby without a doubt or a moment of hesitation.

But the truth is there is no strength. Just me accidentally pregnant and maintaining my breathing every day because I love my son and my husband and this baby in a way that means I have no choice. I wake up every day and check to make sure the baby is still alive, I do my kick counts faithfully every day, I stick myself with injections and lancets in an effort to "do something..." But there is no bravery or strength here at all.

In all truth, it hasn't been that hard. Maybe it's BECAUSE I didn't make the choice in this? Maybe it's because I figure I know how to deal if it all goes to shit? I really don't know. I expected to be a mental case by this point on this roller coaster. And I do admit to having my irrational moments. But for the most part, I have distracted myself with normal things like eating and shopping and actually dreaming about a happy ending.

Another blogger friend of mine wrote about her mantra during her subsequent pregnancy...

"Most babies live."

I've sort of taken it as my own and repeated it so many times I think I may have convinced myself that it is applicable to me. Maybe I'm just fooling myself and I'll wake up tomorrow in another nightmare. But for now, it's easier to live in the happy dreams. I have to wonder, though. What does that make me? I mean, in all honesty, I SHOULD be a mental case. History shows this is the risky part of pregnancy for me. But yet I go shopping and buy little baby clothes and talk about Thanksgiving as though things will go according to plan and this baby will be here with us...alive and healthy.

The doubts do creep in as I write this. As if I have some universal power to jinx things by simply giving voice to the thoughts in my head. I know better. But still...I might have to delete this post anyway.


Rosepetal said...

Most babies do live. Some don't. What happened to Alex and Travis were unrelated incidents except that the both happened to you and your children. It's hard to think of them as "accidents of nature" when it happens once, let alone twice to YOU and YOUR children.

I don't think of you as brave or strong. I think you won't take that wrongly. I think of you facing the future because you have to and as you wrote, it's love that helps you do it. Sometimes the love you have for others is the only tenuous link keeping you here and it's also that which gives rise to the hope that lets you buy things for Myles and imagine him making it out like "most other babies".

Hang in there Catherine.

Cass said...

I guess that I am one of those people that have told you (on several occasions, I think!) how brave I think you are. To be honest, I kind of assumed that Myles wasn't planned and to be even more honest, when you announced your pregnancy on SG, the first thing I thought was "Wow...and she's still standing?". Having just lost Peyton a few months prior, the only thing that I could think of was that you were stronger than I could ever be, because I probably would have been in front of that bus.
You know that I am rooting for you and Myles! (((((HUGS))))))

Hedda said...

I find nothing wrong with your brutal honesty. No one but you understands how you feel or what you are going through. All of us that have lost children pretend that we get you because we have lost children, but we can't truly get it because we are not in your shoes.

You are doing the only thing you can do. Putting one foot infront of the other every day.

We are all pulling for you and Myles.

delphi said...

I don't categorize you as "strong" or "brave", though those words may have some application to you outside of the context of this pregnancy. How do I think of you? As "real". And as "doing it, despite daunting circumstances". And as "warm" and "loving" and "loved".

Definately loved. By all of us.

Bon said...

i hope you won't take any offense, but i'm giggling a bit. because life - with all its twists and turns and the ultimate necessity of just keepin' on putting one foot in front of the other, for those who love us if not for ourselves - sometimes just makes me shake my head and smile.

thanks for being honest, Catherine. and don't delete the post. you've said nothing wrong, and nothing to jinx anything.

Brenda said...

Thanks so much for your honesty. You know you might not think your brave because you didnt 'plan' this bub, but your brave to have gone through all you have and not be pg now and hiding under the bed!


vixanne wigg said...

I don't know WHAT I would be feeling in your shoes, but I don't think you should beat yourself up about any ambiguous feelings you're having. Be proud of getting through it any which way you can. I really think you should be proud, accident or not.

Julia said...

I wrote sort of about this before, about how things people do or would call me brave for are just things I don't have a choice about.

Whatever is helping you keep your sanity, though, I am all for it. And I hope you can bottle it and send some my way if/when I am ever in position to need it.

Sarah said...

I don't think you've said anything too shocking... Maybe I just can't fathom doing anything other than putting one foot in front of the other and getting through one day at a time and so what you've written makes sense to me. Really all you are required to do is go through the motions right now... and you are doing that wonderfully.

Tricia said...

My second pregnancy after loss was an "unplanned" one. As my fear of another loss and the stress of a pregnancy was significantly greater than my fear of not having another living child, I know there's no way I would have my daughter today if not for the "oops" factor.

I tried to live in this fantasy world that this was a sign and she was meant to stay with me. Some days this was enough and others well, it wasn't.

I understand about the guilt of being "fertile". For me, it was a way to transfer how I wanted people who "just happened to have their baby with no problems" to feel. So for the amazing women that have problems getting pregnant, I wanted to apologize to them for being pregnant. Somehow I now expected everything about pregnancy to be difficult and that should include getting pregnant. When it wasn't, well, it was just one more thing to feel guilty about.

Oh and you are brave...not for being pregnant but for sharing your emotions and thoughts, as this helps others to feel a little less alone!

Hang in there!

kari said...

wow, what tricia said could've been me, except my oops pregnancy was after three early miscarriages and my daughter's stillbirth at term. i went thru the same thing, being annoyed with people for saying how strong i was ... thinking it was meant to be and the baby was meant to live since she was an accident ... resenting the pregnancy because it felt like i was replacing my lost daughter ... terror that i'd lose this one, too. i suppose planned or unplanned, it's insanely difficult to go through another pregnancy after such devastating losses. i know i was insane until she was born screaming.

cat said...

Make perfect sense for you to feel this way really. Pregnancy doesn't necessarily mean happy happy joy joy for you now does it? So why the hell would you WANT to be pregnant. That button that you push to fast forward to the end is the only way in hell we would consider trying that whole pregnant thing again. So no, your not necessarily strong in the sense of how they might be thinking it. But hell woman, you get up every day, live your life and don't run in front of a bus. I'd call that pretty damn strong.