emotions are dumb

new doc during intro session: “And how many times have you been pregnant?”

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impending doom

Our theme today is impending doom. Quite nice for a Friday, don’t you think?

1. This article aims for a historical look at the quiet and slow breakdown of democracies as compared to the actions of the current Bush administration. It makes me want to do something, but I don’t quite know what. I’ll throw it out to you and welcome comments and suggestions because I’m still processing. Thanks to Chad for pointing it out.

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps
From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.

2. Speaking of impending doom, it’s Another Baby Shower! This little girl was born the week of our due date.  Last fall we were all knocked up and here we are with four (five? six? I’ve lost count) new babies with baby showers to match! Oh the social anxiety! The painful memories! The screaming envy!

What does one wear for the occasion?

how many pregnant women can you fit in a room?

Home sales parties.

I like to buy things at friends’ homes. It means I can carry around a beer or glass of wine while shopping, and last I checked, it’s still not acceptable to do that at the mall. Tight asses. I’d shop a hell of a lot more if there were cocktails involved. And I do – some things at these parties are far more expensive than they would be if I’d just head to Z.ellers, and I always buy more than I need (candles anyone?) but again, Z.ellers gets uptight when I BYOB.

So there I was last night at another home party, and I walked straight into a mingling crowd of giantly pregnant women. The doorbell would ring, and another would hoist themselves through the door. At one point, I was actually wondering how many pregnant women could actually fit in Brigid’s house before we’d have problems with structural integrity of the wall they were all leaning against.

Braxton hicks, morning sickness, skin rashes, the never ending fight to keep the eyes open even with 10 hours of sleep the night before – it was an amazing nightmare conversation. I’d finally talked to the first pregnant person only two weeks ago without having a complete breakdown, so I tried to look at it this invasion as humorous to keep my emotions in check. I thought about hiding all but one brownie, then watch them fight to the death for it. I arranged them mentally by height and by belly size, contemplated them from the back under the old wives “if ya can’t tell she’s knocked up, it’s a boy!” and predicted we’d have a overflow of blue themed baby showers in the next few months. I studied them as they’d drop appetizers on the floor, staring down with brows furrowed, mentally rehearsing maneuvering their new bodies to get all the way down to retrieve it. I heard my voice become more high pitched and my eyes wider as the evening progressed, trying to tune out details, tune out comparisons, tune out grief.

It’s still there in the back of my mind – approximate due date July 15. The Amazing Tectonic Baby stopped growing normally while confined in my wee fallopian tube and from final measurements the surgeon couldn’t tell an exact gestation age, so they do what doctors’ often do best: guess. I wish I knew the date so I could hide away for a day or two rather than looking to the summer in fear that I’ll fall back down that dark hole for a month of “would it have been today?”s, dreaming of holding our child before the peak of summer, fighting jealousy for longer than I already have. I have some peace from the Silent Hopes service, but I wanted to yell “July 15!” while the ladies last night were comparing due dates. Somehow, I don’t think they’d have appreciated my talk of a lost pregnancy while they glow in theirs.

So very jealous.
So off my “normal” self.
So full of sad.
So full of regret.
So full of wishes.

And with reason or not, so full of hope.

tomorrow the ashes hit the ground

The wide prairie field, the warmth of the sun and spring breeze evaporating my flowing tears, dog running with unbridled exuberance, my feet still, my eyes to the heavens, my heart so broken.

Was her heart still beating when they took her away?

Did she have a soul?

Does she miss me as much as I miss her?

Where did my hope go?

Will this ache ever go away?

Will I ever be whole?

Am I ready to say good-bye?

four more sleeps

Saturday is the internment of The Amazing Tectonic Baby’s ashes.

It snuck up pretty quick, didn’t it?

So… yeah.

I’ve booked Friday off from work because I was kinda weepy (and by kinda I mean drooling nose blowing head holding) every morning over the past few days and I can’t imagine it getting much better before Saturday. This week, those tears are of sadness and of joy as I hear from people, re-read supportive emails and notes, turn down yet another offer to be accompanied to the memorial. An amazing friend of mine who I’ll call Brigid has also contributed to the tears by being so loving. She offered first to come with us to the internment then, seeing the greater need, offered to host friends and family so that we would have a safe haven to come to after the service. I became frozen- I couldn’t make a decision on where, what, or who I wanted because my emotions really are pushing aside my logical brain, and all I could do was stare at her, wide eyed in panic. I wanted a safe place afterwards where I can be myself, have a beer, hug lots of people, hoping for laughter and warmth, but how does one do this and who do I invite and what about the “friend” jerks I don’t want to invite and what if I can’t handle seeing people afterwards and what if…? I was flailing so she, with complete permission, took control.

Brigid made up the wording of the email invitation, offered to phone those who don’t use email, suggested the local people to invite and validated me on my reasoning for those I didn’t want to invite, arranged the location and booked a private room, and arranged the timing to be sure that it was short enough to not drag on but long enough to comfort us. And she booked it at a licensed foodie paradise to boot with a plan for a quiet gathering at her house later that will have as many or few people as we can handle to ask along, and also she gave me a type of permission to just go home to bed if that’s what I’ve gotta do.

I daily re-read the invitation she put together to express what I poured out to her when I was flailing and it makes me thankful for the people I have in my life. It also makes me realize that I’d be even more of a nutcase without the love and support I’ve received so far. The road may be long but it’s easy when I’ve got great company to walk with me. Thanks in advance for thinking of us in the coming days. And I really think Brigid should be doing this professionally – she was the perfect balance of thoughtful, sentimental, fun-loving, and hopeful in organizing this occasion.

It also makes me see that the internment is not the end but a checkpoint. I have changed, The Husband has changed. We have different relationships with each other and with others now, and as much as I mourn those who I thought were friends and turned away from us, I celebrate the deeper friendships and family relationships I now have. I celebrate escaping yet another crazy body badness that tried to kill two but claimed just one. We see life in a new light and say “Why not” more often – which we thought we’d been doing regularly before but now we let even fewer restrictions guide us when I’m strong enough. Some days I’m not strong enough and sit alone in my pity party, and I know now that that’s an ok reaction too. Losing the Amazing Tectonic Baby also brought about the right time for us to open our hearts to Voodoo The WonderMutt, a dog we’ve talked about having for years but never acted on it. I think that we are kinder people, even more honest, and we definitely laugh more.

We laugh more. How’s that for a twist of irony?

rituals

I received a beautiful invitation in the mail in response to registering for the upcoming memorial service.

Something has changed within me because I have not an ounce of dread – in fact, I can’t wait to go. It makes me feel cared for that someone somewhere crafted this beautiful invitation:

Memorial Service
May 12

The ending of a pregnancy can cause much sadness and leave you experiencing a wide variety of emotions and reactions. Some in our society may not recognize the significance of a pregnancy loss and therefore deny the validity of your grief especially when the loss occurs in the early months of pregnancy. For many the loss of a pregnancy means the loss of a baby… the loss of hopes and dreams.

To acknowledge this unique loss, the Health Region Pregnancy & Infant Loss program would like to invite you to the Silent Hopes Memorial Service. This service will include the internment of ashes from ended pregnancies. The purpose is to provide a meaningful ritual to recognize your pregnancy loss and the impact it has had on your life experience. We hope that this program will provide you with comfort, healing, and inspiration.

We would like to invite you and your family and friends to participate in this service.

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Clarifying update: I’m in no way sayin’ I’m aok with this. I still wish the reasons I need to go never existed for me or anyone else that will be there. I still skip group therapy regularly, and I chicken out of grieving most days. I continue to be too tender to maturely deal, but this memorial service – it’s something I want, something I need, something I look forward to. I just hope I’m not thinking it will be the magic wand that makes me “all better”…