Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

That's kinda how it feels now. I was trying to articulate this sensation for C, but it's hard to put it into words.

For the last 10 months I've been living my life in increments. Stims, then, the two week wait, 48 hours for the repeat beta, another week for ultrasounds, two weeks. A month between appointments, waiting for NT results, waiting for amnio results, how many weeks along. listening to heartbeats. listening to silence. how many contractions, how many pads, how many doses of pitocin, units of blood.

Then, how long has it been. How many days, weeks, months. How many weeks would I have been.

Now there is nothing. No counting. No measuring. Yes, I will still count how long it's been, probably. But the duration of pregnancy has ended. The boys are far enough away now, and were when they were delivered, that I don't feel compelled to say, "they would be X months old." Just that they are gone X months.

I was going to say that I am sort of numb, sort of floating aimlessly. I need to focus on school, at least for the next few months. I need to re-establish my contribution to my department, make myself worthy of investing in, improve my value. (Yes, theoretically, they all believe I have value, but even my Chair said "well, you're still a plus, even if you're not as big a plus as you used to be." Tactful? No. Honest? You bet.) I need to find a way to care about all that work I have to do. C says that I still care about it, he could tell by the way I talked about my students' work in my class, but I don't know if that's enough. I need to find a way forward.

I was going to say that I was numb, but I guess I'm not. I had on the La.w & Or.der: S.V.U where someone's very hugely pregnant wife is in a serious car accident. Her water breaks, contractions began. That's where I turned it off because of the panic rising in my chest.

I've been a little weepy. Sad. Both my sister and my dad called yesterday to check on me and I had nothing to say. Sad. Angry. Too afraid to be hopeful. I want to hope for something good, but it seems that only the bad news touches me. Pleasure at someone else's good news is fleeting. Reaction to not-bad-news is not much reaction at all. I got the results from my blood work, and mostly it's fine. Don't really know what to do with it. I'll probably write about that soon, too. The idea of trying to have living children, I mean.

The memorial service made me cry. It made me sad, made me realize, again, that my boys are gone. But it didn't really touch me. The level (and choice) of religiosity in it distracted me. But even the last bit, when they read the poem, where the group (not me) said "we will remember them" after every line. It made me cry. It made me feel worse. I told my dad I guessed that I was glad that I went, at least I wouldn't wonder. Maybe in time I will be able to appreciate the service, but right now I just don't know.

I guess this is grief. Mourning. Lack of affect? No, I have affect. Right now, it's mostly sad, though last week or the week before I could laugh. I guess this is reaction to time and place. To Monday, and hopes unfulfilled. I guess it will get better. I have to trust that, that it will get better. That I'll find a reason to hope. And that fear and sadness will not eclipse it.


Thank you, everyone who commented, who came and checked in with me and with C. It means a lot to know that there are people who care and who understand. It's amazing what comfort a few words can bring. Thank you.


Antigone said...

I don't think I've gotten to the point where I can move past the increments of time. At least I'm past the living hour to hour in the immediate wake of grief. That was bloody awful.

I think that in some ways this is harder for those of us who aren't religious. For us there's no grand plan, no afterlife reunion, and less of a connection to the community of people who embrace God. We stand naked and alone facing the indifference of the Universe.

luna said...

I think what you're feeling is totally normal. of course, but it still sucks to live it. in some ways I felt lost when there were no more increments to measure, when the time and space between me and my boy grew... but then it became about anniversaries. and months until I could try again, etc.

I wish there were some words of comfort but sadly I have none. just hoping the days get easier for you and C.

btw, I found it really hard to give a crap about work after, still do sometimes, and I love my job. it's just that nothing else seemed to matter much...

hugs to you both.

Anonymous said...

hey there --
thanks for the comment on new kid. i've lost track of a lot of my one-time must-read blogs -- that's been one of the effects of my own grieving process; i wasn't able to face some things and people any more -- but every now and then s and i will check in to read you and c.

i found that due dates were the hardest for me, at least the first time through. now i don't pay attention to due dates and instead focus on the girls' "birth" days. s and i write them letters that we add to their scrapbooks. i cry my eyes out. and love the hell out of those missing little girls. all of which is only to say you'll eventually find your own personal way through this. and you've got some very loving people to help you get there, wherever there is.

if you're interested, since we're all nearish each other and muddling our way through some version of life in higher ed, we should/could/might try to get together. just a thought -- no harm if you're not interested.

take good care, c.

Busted said...

I hope that starting the rest of your life provides some peace at least. I'm impressed that you're able to do so. I still can't imagine not always counting out the time since we lost them, figuring out what things "should" be at such time.

And even if the memorial wasn't helpful to you (I would feel the same way, particularly about the religion and the amount/type), I think it's good that you went. Otherwise you might always wonder if it would have been more important than it was.

P.S. - I nominated you for a kind blogger award. You can see details on my blog.

Tash said...

Oh S, this is so hard, waking up the next morning and realizing this is it. And I agree with A., sometimes I wonder what it's like to have some kind of framework to work within. Other times, when I find people coming to my blog (of all blogs) I wonder if they don't feel they're getting swept under the rug by the verbage and pats on the head. It will never be ok. We just need to learn to breathe through that.


c. said...

I still live in increments. I don't know if they hinder my progress or not. I just know I've become rather dependent upon them to get me through.

The feeling that this IS it is such a hard one to accept. I was in denial a long time. It's not something that the head or heart can accept so easily.

Thinking of you, STE.

G$ said...

I think in many ways, I have lived in increments my whole life. It's such a familiar pattern for me that to be out of it is unsettling.

I remember feeling very numb after my due date came and went. And the Oh he's been gone this long, instead of oh he would have been this old... yah.


Mrs. Spit said...

I remember that feeling, after the due date. I remember that strangeness, that I wasn't quite sure where I was or what I should be counting. Gabriel would be 5 months, but really he should only have been 2. . .

It's a strange feeling. I came from feeling like I had been in time out of place and into some other time, but I wasn't sure which time. I'm still not sure.

CLC said...

I count days. Right now it's days until I can get the green light to TTC. But then it will be something else. It's too overwhelming to think of the rest of our lives. It's too painful to know that we will always have this sadness.

Ya Chun said...

I think there is so much with the dates. Look at the due date counters everyone has, and now you can get "since my angel got wings" counters. I really try to avoid thinking about these things. It helps that I am terrible with time and don't wear a watch and can't remember the date half the time.
I think you are going to be topsy turvy for a bit now, just passing your due date. It's hard. It must be harder than I can imagine.
My problem is that I always lived looking to the future, planning for what was next. Now I just don't know what the future holds.
Hang in there.
My husband and I think of you and C often.

Ya Chun said...

Because it is like a virtual hug, I nominated you for a Pink Rose Award on my blog. Please check there for a pick me up posey!

Kristin (kekis) said...

The milestones are the hardest. It just reminds us of the shoulda/woulda/couldas that we don't have. I'm not sure if they ever really go away though we wish they would.

What you have been through is inexplicably difficult. It has so many ups and downs, and you have to grieve and mourn before you can heal. Healing doesn't mean you forget, it means that you will always remember. Love and hugs to you both.

Julia said...

I am sorry to be so late to this.

Milestones are hard, especially the big ones. A was so close to his due date that I was still in the early stages when it came. It feels so grinding to have to march for months and months towards a day like this. The anticipation alone...

I hope you are in a calmer place these days, even if only by a hair.