Given the emails/texts I’ve received of late, it’s clear that I need to post something to assure everyone that I’m still kicking and haven’t offed myself.
I’ve had so many things running through my head that I could write here but at the same time, being in a state of mind of wanting to keep those thoughts for me alone.
How am I? You know when we get a storm — it rains, and rains hard. The wind blows, there is thunder and lightening and it’s downright frightening and even sometimes makes the lights go out. I’m in the period after the storm. The sun is not out, the sky is still cloudy and threatening more storm, so you certainly don’t want to go out or at least not without a raincoat and/or an umbrella. The lights are flickering but are mostly still out.
Life goes on. The world keeps turning whether you do or not. I spent the better part of the first three weeks crying and laying on the couch. A strange form of agoraphobia emerged — leaving the house was monumental and I was a fucking mess. I was gently pulled from the abyss by good friends for a little scrapbooking time, another for some sushi, another for a shoulder to cry on and some hugs. Friends like those don’t come along very often.
I “fired” the first therapist because she didn’t understand the layers to my story — when I told her that I wanted to find someone who better understood the infertility piece, she said “I thought we were just going to work on the grief”. I would love to have “just the grief” to deal with — but it’s all tangled up together. I’m on to therapist #2, and while I don’t think she really understands infertility, I think she better understands the therapeutic process.
We signed up for a bereaved parents/infant/pregnancy loss support group — it starts in two weeks. Another club to be part of when all I really want is to organize a fucking play group.
I’m gradually rejoining the land of the living. Went to a movie with my husband and laughed. Got my hair done, got my lip and eyebrows waxed, went to see the Naturopath. I’m still off work — I’m so lucky to have sick benefits that pay me well to be off, and a physician who fully supports and understands the necessity of my emotional recovery before returning to my very emotional job. Now that I’m generally off the couch, I felt like I needed some time to do things just to take care of myself. I could be at work right now, but it wouldn’t be fair to me or my clients. I’m glad my physician gets that.
I’ve even survived my first public, unexpected condolence. For better or for worse, I’m not sure, but I wasn’t visibly pregnant. So the people who knew were either people who read my blog or that we had told. The general people I come into contact with didn’t know, it wasn’t posted on FB. So the woman who gave me her condolences caught me off guard because she must have heard of our loss through the grapevine. The point is, I accepted gracefully and didn’t dissolve into a pile of crying mess.
I have also played in the sand. A very dear and wise friend is trained in sandtray therapy. She offered me the chance to play before and it was so immensely helpful. She offered again and I readily accepted.
In the centre is a mountain. I feel like we are at the bottom of the mountain again. We had finally started to climb and make progress but then we lost our footing and tumbled down to the bottom — battered and bruised. The mountain has medical professionals and money and time ticking away and now it has Abby too. My friend pointed out that all of the stones in the mountain are a piece of me, of my story. I didn’t really think about it until she said that. Everything, every stone in the mountain is a piece of who I am — the good and the bad — it’s all part of the story. And now Abby, my pregnancy with her, my love for her is all part of the mountain. The loss, the sadness, the despair, the grief, the horrific memories — they’re all there. But Abby also gave me something else – hope. In the fleeting moments of light, her existence showed me that I can create perfect life with my husband.
More than what took place in the sand, my friend offered me some knowledge that has given me great comfort and has alleviated some of the guilt I’m carrying. She said in the Mormon religion (she is Mormon), they believe that the mother’s job is to provide a vessel or a body for the child/the soul. And she said that that’s exactly what I did and maybe it was only Abby’s intent to ever be only 17 weeks old. That’s all she was sent to this earth to do and she did it. She said that we mourn the future that we created for our child in our minds — all the hopes and dreams we had for her — but it was never Abby’s future.
So, there’s a glimpse inside what’s been going on for me. My life has been changed forever. I am forever changed.