It has been exactly 1 week since we left for my routine midwife appointment last Friday. I'm happy to report that we've survived! It's amazing to think of how much adversity we can actually handle-- I've been through my share in my short lifetime, and I always wonder how I am still able to breathe. Thank you, atonement. And a little friend I've recognized as DENIAL.
I thought I'd been handling our situation really well. I have a healthy eternal perspective and logical knowledge of what happened, which helps, but a couple of days ago I realized it may be because I'm not letting myself truly feel our loss. I've been thinking about this as if it happened to someone I'm really close to, or a character in a book I've grown to love and miss by the end, or a movie I've seen over and over again. It involves people and a situation I know very well and deeply care about, but not me. I feel upset and distraught, but not in a personal way. Then, randomly, we will receive a very thoughtful sympathy card, someone from church will stop by with flowers or dinner, or my mother calls at 10:00 pm "Just to see if I'm ok."
Why are we getting a sympathy card? Or a random call from my mom at night? Or flowers from people we've never met? There must be a reason.... And it sets in. There is a reason. That tragedy from last week.... ours.
And I'm "in it" all over again. I try to logic or spiritualize myself out of the sadness, but it still comes. I start to notice all the physical signs around me; things I'd somehow stayed oblivious to during the day. My breastmilk came in, which causes me a lot of discomfort. I feel crampy. Tape residue from my IV refuses to come off my arm. My other arm still has a large bruise from the blood pressure cuff I kept on for 2 days. It's not bad enough that I couldn't take my daughter home from the hospital, I have to see tape marks a week later?!?!?!
I went to visit Eleanor's gravesite on Wednesday and could see the ground raised and placed back down on top of her. Even knowing that she wasn't really there, I had a strong natural reaction to rip the ground away and bring her back up. I just cried and prayed instead. (Though I did touch the grass chunks just to make sure they were fresh.)
Nights are the worst; all day I find things to distract me, but at night there is no sunlight to walk our park path by, our friends and family aren't available to call, and I don't want to drive anywhere. I know it's only a matter of time before we go to bed and the only thing left to do then will be to think and wait to fall asleep. I hate being alone with my thoughts!
Luckily this back-and-forth of denial and reality (which really does bite) only happens a few times a day. Most of the day I'm still able to look to our many reasons to feel blessed and convince myself to be okay. I know I'll need to face this reality hard and fast at some point, but for now I'll take it little by little.