Sunday, October 24, 2010
One month ago
Yesterday was the one-month anniversary of the baby's birth.
In all, it was a pretty good day. Sure, there were a few moments of tears, terrible flashbacks and remembrance...dusk the night before was all it took to take me back to that hospital room exactly four weeks earlier and remember the frustration and despair at the sun setting on a day when all the horrible stuff should have happened, but it didn't. We had been in the hospital since 8am that morning...no one expected it to still be happening when the sun set. And yet it was. I was only half-way through. I never want to feel that pathetic desperation again.
Mostly though, I was amazed to be able to look back on how I felt four weeks ago and compare it to today.
I feel better.
My head is slowly clearing and the whirring merry-go-round making an ugly blurred rainbow of my emotions is gradually slowing.
Gradually. You hear of people describing emotional and physical scars from a trauma and they are really the best description.
Physically, I stopped bleeding almost two weeks ago - finally - and the occasional jarring pains in my abdomen have ceased completely.
I had exactly six days of blood-free bliss when I started again. Embarrassingly, I called the doctor, a little worried, and was told it was my period.
Right, well, my system seems to have corrected itself mighty quickly then, hasn't it? I would, however, like someone to explain to me how I can bleed for three weeks after a birth and still have the lining re-form, only to bleed again after a week's break. So, what? I have two wombs now?
Emotionally, I am still yo-yoing, but I feel like those particular wounds have sealed themselves with a bit of fresh crusty scab. No, not an overly nice description, and not an overly nice feeling this, but it is progress.
I can't remember if I wrote about this earlier, but T and I wanted to include our family in a memorial for the baby, even though they live all over the country.
So yesterday, being the one-month anniversary, we nominated a time of 4pm and let everyone know that we would be at the beach at that time to say another goodbye to the baby. Our family could do anything they liked from spending a moment thinking about that little life to lighting a candle, but at least we would be unified in thought and in farewell.
We went to one of our favourite local beaches with my auntie and nan, who placed flowers in the water among the rocks, as the tide was coming in. T, Jay and I stood slightly to one side and held each other...kissing him, thinking again about the baby and crying. It was windy, but beautifully sunny. Then we had a few beers and some fish and chips as the sun set and the most spectacular orange moon rose up over the ocean, between the pines.
The week at work was strange, nightmarish, great and exhausting.
I was completely freaked out at the thought of heading in there again. Why? Well, I realised as I pulled into the car park that the last time I was there, I was pregnant.
Minutes earlier, on the drive in, I almost lost it. I almost pulled over, called T and told her I couldn't do it. I felt so afraid.
But I shook myself alert, took a few deep breaths and kept driving onwards.
Frankly, after what happened in the first half an hour, I should have walked out the door and driven right home. It was freaky.
I open my diary with another deep breath and some anticipation about returning to work-type things to deal with, to handle, to fix, to deliver.
There on that day's date was a reminder about a 4.45pm appointment with our OB/GYN to discuss our 18 week scan the previous Friday.
Then, I decide to clean up my desk. There are a stack of papers on top of my computer and I lift them up, noticing something stuck to one of them. It's a toy dummy someone had given me to congratulate me on the baby.
Then, I am clearing a pile of three weeks’ worth of Financial Reviews...stacking them up one by one to make sure nothing is hidden in between them, and my eye stops on one edition and one only. Which one? The one from the date the baby was born.
Then, I am clearing the 4,277 emails that have accumulated in my absence and there are about five from people I know emailing about work stuff, but each one alluding to my pregnancy...”hope the bundle is growing well” etc. I email them back to tell them what happened.
I see four people in the office from other departments who I sort of know. They all ask if I am feeling better...well, not really. They all thought I was sick, I explained to a few of them and manage to make it through without crying.
Someone else asks me if I enjoyed my holiday. "Go anywhere nice? Hope you got some sun..." Sigh.
Obviously I really need to improve my marketing of this blog! It does all the talking for me. The feeling, however? That I have to do on my own.
Couple all of that with demanding phone calls and further emails, the inevitable work-related catastrophes, sitting in front of a computer screen for hours all day and even the light-hearted small talk with colleagues...and it was all enough to have me requiring immediate horizontal-ness every night. Throw in my "Period: Back With Avengeance...And This Time She Means Business" and I was a fricking mess.
I normally get a little moody at a certain time every month, but this was ridiculous. I had horrible, hot bursts of rage, severe annoyance at the tiniest thing (bananas facing the wrong way, T putting the butter back in the fridge when I needed it etc) and moments of panic that something bad was going to happen to Jay.
Oh, and Jay decided that 5am would be a fabulous time to get out of bed every day last week. Every day.
Thank the lord I do not have to do that week ever again!