*Disclaimer: Recent posts have been very personal. I know not everyone is comfortable with my decision to keep a public journal like this, but please understand that this is a very satisfying form of therapy. If you feel uncomfortable with the emotion I share, I will not be offended if you pass this over! It makes me happy, so make yourself happy :) *
My dear friend, Jessica, experienced a 23-week stillbirth with her daughter shortly after I found out I was pregnant. To be honest, her experience scared me. Obviously. Among other "sad stories" of friends' pregnancies, hers made me extremely concerned about the health and safety of my own baby. In hindsight I'm glad I felt that way, because it prepared me for the hardship we faced. I sort of expected it.
I didn't talk to Jessica much during my pregnancy. I felt awkward; I didn't know how to handle the situation. I didn't want her to feel guilty or jealous, I didn't want to rub it in that I was pregnant and ecstatically happy, so I avoided her and chose not to handle the situation. Well, she was one of the only people I called while I was in the hospital awaiting Eleanor's delivery. I knew she knew, better than anyone, what I was going through, and that she would understand my folly and be there for me. She was, and has been, every step of my understanding and grieving process.
I felt really ok after everything happened. Unnaturally so, in fact. I had (have) an amazing understanding of what happened and why, so I accepted our fate pretty easily. Jessica told me that she had felt the same thing shortly after losing her daughter. She was the one comforting other people! She said her saddness/ anger kicked in about a month later. She says she literally woke up one day and felt angry. Really angry. All of a sudden. Since I heard that I wondered if I would wake up and feel angry after one month.
It's been a month. So, how do I feel? Not really angry. Sort of angry, I guess, but mostly annoyed. What this experience has taught me is how desperately I want to be a mother. I won't get into the details, but that's what my complicated roller coaster of emotions and self-therapizing boil down to. I really want a child. A baby, even (I never really thought of El as a baby, usually as a teenager/ young adult, which is why I enjoy this self realization so much.)
What I find extremely annoying and unfair is not that I lost a baby. No, hers and our journey was meant to take a certain path, and it did. We fulfilled everything we were asked to do for her, so there is no regret, bitterness, or guilt. I don't necessarily want Eleanor, or my pregnancy with her, back. What is unfair is that I have to go through another pregnancy just to get a baby! After we get a medical "ok" to even try for a baby, and after however long it takes to become pregnant!
I have to go through another period of time when I worry about conceiving? Another weight-losing-heartwrenching-hormone-swinging first trimester? Another second trimester where my physical symptoms have gone away but it's still too early to feel the baby moving? For just one child I get to take home?
I want a child. I want to be pregnant because that is how you get a child. But I am not excited about another pregnancy. The sad thing is that I had actually really loved being pregnant. But I don't think I'll love it anymore. Unfair and annoyed.
And, yes, I did feel this way exactly one month after El's burial. Like a light switch.
But, hey, tomorrow's another day.