Got my first period since August yesterday. Almost 6 weeks after the d&.c to remove infection and retained placenta from delivery two and a half weeks earlier. I wasn't as upset as I thought I would be, nor as relieved (makes Ash.erman's less likely). Just my body, moving on. The sensations are confusing, reminiscent of all that happened in the wake of delivery, and the ensuing infection, recovery from the d&.c. Mild cramps from early pregnancy. I can tell now I'm going to have a lot of body issues, at least for the near future.
Had another great phone call last night with my sister who I'll call A. When we were kids, my parents jokingly called us daughter #1 and #2. Since she's older, A, of course was #1. Can you tell this whole thing is bringing up a ton of old family and emotional dynamics for me? Stuff I thought I was done with, that we had worked out, together and individually. (Thank you, therapy.) When I was pg, it felt like that stuff was out the window, since not only was I successfully pg first, carrying our parents' first grandchild, but I was carrying twins. Ha. Universe slapped me down for that one. Of course, we lead very different lives and so trying to compare doesn't really work anymore. Except.
So I did give my father his first grandchildren. And his first dead grandchildren. It killed me to see him cry. To tell the grief counselor these were his only grandchildren. Because it wasn't enough for him to lose his wife to some rare vicious cancer, and have his daughters struggle for years to have their own families. He was SO excited. His girlfriend would tell me, "he's over the moon." He came to visit the week before, and was absolutely silly with joy. He got to hear their heartbeats. At least there he got that. And now, he'll get his living grandchildren.
Except. That pure joy will be gone for him, just as it will be for my sister. She is amazing in her ability to consciously focus on enjoying every day that she's pregnant. It took her 5 years to get here, and she knows, really knows (as she said), that anything can happen. But, as she said last night, assuming today's ultrasound goes well, when she tells our dad, his first thoughts will be of me. And that's not right. A is philosophical, since so many things have not gone as they should, and I appreciate that. But I hate that I'm a reminder, another case of things not going as they should. Taking away from that naive joy. (I don't believe that I've ruined anything, I know I haven't. It's more like...the bummer factor. A negative reality check.)
And there are all these events and milestones to navigate. The family party for my Dad in April, which I will not attend. The bridal shower for my brother's fiance at the end of May (don't want to go anyway, don't like her). The wedding in July, which A will likely not attend due to her condition. Will there be a family baby shower for her? Right now I think attending that would probably destroy me. And she would never expect me to attend if it would be too painful. She understands. As much as she can, she understands.
Except. I want to go. I want to enjoy her good fortune and the prospect of being an aunt to my sister's children. I want to go to all these parties and enjoy our new relationship, sisters the way sisters should be. Finally. I want to talk on the phone with her about how she's feeling, how things are progressing. I want to share in it the way I should be able to. But as good as our conversations are, and as healthy as we are in talking about the challenges we face, it still takes me a day or two to recover from these phone calls.
Because my babies are dead. I was part of the club for a while. The mommy club. The mommy to be club. And now I'm not. I got thrown out. I am the small dirty child with my nose pressed to the window saying, "Please, please, let me back in."
I'm a member of a new club that no one talks about. That no one congratulates you for joining. There is comfort to know that there is a community, a club of supportive, intelligent, surviving women who are getting through this together. Perhaps I am a fledgling member. I am not as strong as the other members. I see how smart and good and giving these members are, how they certainly deserve memberships in better, happier clubs.
I don't know how to do this. As I tell people when then ask me how I'm doing, every day is different. Today is one of those days I wonder how I'm going to get through this. How I'm going to live with out my boys. One of those days the tears will not come quietly, but with cries from deep inside.