Friday, December 19, 2008

51 weeks

Less than that, actually, depending on whether you count the date or the day.

I did it today. Dipped my toe in the cold waters to see how I could handle it.

Visited S and her baby, B, today.

And it was okay, mostly. Typing that, of course I want to cry now. I figured, pop a klo.nopin, make it short and it will be okay. Maybe melt down later.


Owing to various causes (her dying MIL, my own depression, her new baby) I haven't really seen S since August. She came by a couple weeks ago to pick up the mail we had been picking up for her, but it was a quick visit.

She and her husband have been on my mind a lot lately, mostly with the passing of his mother to a very, very rare cancer (like one mine had). So, last night, not sleeping despite an am.bien and the kl.onopin, I sent her an email -- just to drop a line, to say I'm thinking of you, and your family, and think I might finally be ready to meet your four-month old baby. So she caught me on gchat while I was supposed to be grading, and we made plans. A quick visit, then out to lunch (leaving B with her daddy).

Their wonderful dog, L, came running down (and up and down) the driveway to greet me, as she always does and I realized I had some random dog toy on the floor in the back seat. She greeted me a wet nose and bounded up the walk to announce my arrival, with a bark or two. L has this wonderful way of making you feel like you are her favorite human ever. Handed the toy to her, packaging and all, and she set to work opening it, while I hugged S hello. We made small talk, and S handed me a card, a gift of a round of obedience school to go to with her and L, who, she said, needed a refresher. It was a gift she had said she wanted to give way back when I first mentioned that I'd love to get a dog.

Baby B was still sleeping, but beginning to rouse, so we hung out and greeted her sleepy face, long, long eyelashes and fuzzy head. Gorgeous, this child. S played with her, had her "practice" sitting up, standing, smiling. The connection S has with her kids is amazing. She's not always a warm person, but she just exudes it with people she loves. I picked up the baby and bounced her around, and made a few silly noises, a couple of "pop!"s on the nose and got some huge toothless grins. Kissed her head. Baby head. Squirmy, I gave B back to her mother, who changed her so we could hand her off to B's dad and get going. Got a little squeeze of some luscious chunky baby legs and that was that.

My eyes are leaking.

S is so happy. She observed that she forgot how much she loves babies, and this feeling of love for her daughter. You can see it exude from her very being. "You should have this, you should be enjoying this" she said. "It's just not the way it should be. I can't believe how horrible it is. It's not fair."

She talked about how they are done having children (though they may adopt a child) and she described the sadness she's begun to feel, as she realizes she'll never have another. And quickly follows with something about a very small taste of that fear of never having it at all.

"You should have this. It's just not fair, you should be having this right now."

I held it together. There were only a couple moments where I fought public tears. We talked about other things, caught up a little, talked about losing her husband's mother. How he was doing. My experience, books that helped me. How it takes a long time. How it was with my mother, my family.

I told her about how it's been for me, as the numbness seemed to wear off this summer. How bad it was for me, and how much I wanted to go celebrate with her. She asked, gently, if we considered trying to have another child. I didn't have an answer. Instead I ranted about how I wondered if my body could do it. If I could be stable enough at some point. About how hard this has been for C.

And she said, "It's only been a year."

And I cry now, hours later, because she gets it. As much as she can. That it takes a long, long time. And I'm not fucked up because I'm still fucked up. And I can say to her, I didn't want to kill myself, but I just did not want to live. Not with this pain. Not with this. And it's okay. She is not horrified, she has cried for me, for us, herself.

So I don't have the meltdown, the one I was afraid of having because the baby. But I'm crying now, small black cat curled at my knee. I'm crying because I am so very sad, so very disappointed, traumatized, but mostly because my heart still hurts so much.


The last Friday I was pregnant I spent with S, looking through a box of maternity wear, and S gave me our first piece of baby equipment, a bouncy seat, that was gone by the time the boys were, along with that box of clothing. A year ago my dad was here making soup and lecturing me about drinking organic milk for the boys.

Tuesday is 52 weeks since my water broke. Thursday makes a year.

Only a year.


Antigone said...

She's right of course. One year is nothing. Especially not when loss is compounded.

I'm so glad she gets it as much as she does.

luna said...

I think you are doing remarkably well, sue, under the circumstances. a

and it's not fair that you heart hurts so much.

c. said...

Only a year. Yes.

I'm crying, too. For you. For me. I'm glad S gets it to some extent. I'm glad you don't have to pretend not to be...well, sad. Because it's only been a year and there is a totally different outlook to this deadbaby life and one year deathversary thing when the last time may in fact be the last time.


k@lakly said...

A year is a drop in the bucket. I am so glad she was able to reach out and understand your grief.
everyone needs a friend or more like that.
I hope the coming year goes easy on your heart, gives you some peace and more importantly, hope. Lots of it.

loribeth said...

How nice that she "gets" it! I'm glad you were able to spend that time with her.

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