Yesterday was weird for me.
It was a good day mostly — I had a friend come by for a few hours for lunch before we both headed off for our support group. We stopped by wal-mart on our way to group and picked up ovulation predictor kits . . . laughing because it would be clear to the check-out girl that we both just wanted to get “knocked up.” It felt good to be carefree for a little bit, to laugh and to think about getting pregnant again without sheer panic.
I told her, “Wouldn’t it be fun if we got pregnant at the same time?!” We both agreed that it would be fun, but deep inside, we knew the potential for how painful that could be. What if one of us loses our baby, and the other goes on to have a healthy baby? A pretend innocence can only last so long. I had to add, “Well, it would be fun anyway if we both had healthy pregnancies, and healthy babies that we could keep.”
Yesterday was also good because I was able to figure out our vegan meal plan and go grocery shopping, as well as run some other errands in the morning/early afternoon. It was nice to be productive earlier in the day. The check-out girl at Fred Meyer told me she wanted to come eat at my house because we eat healthy. I laughed — but honestly, I take a certain amount of pride in filling a grocery cart with produce and very little else.
Overall, it felt like a very good day.
But I also felt kinda weird yesterday.
My friend and I talked about our losses a lot. It’s weird that your baby’s death can become normal and natural conversation. But as we talked — and later at our support group — I felt like I was talking about Olivia and our loss in a very cerebral way. I just couldn’t feel emotional about it. I actually felt far more emotion for my friend’s experience yesterday than I could for my own.
As we drove to wal-mart, I thought, I just wish I could put this whole experience in a box, shelve it and forget about it. Just move on, and completely forget this chapter in my life. I want to pretend again that the idea of getting pregnant isn’t terrifying. I want to pretend like I’d never experienced a loss, and that life was normal. And not a “new normal.” Just NORMAL.
At our group, this was the first meeting where I just didn’t feel like I belonged. I was feeling very disconnected from my own feelings. In the past groups, I always could relate to the feelings others shared. But this time, I really just felt like a spectator.
I saw people there that I really cared about. I saw girls that I now consider friends. And one that I have “talked” with over FB and our blogs, but hadn’t officially met yet. But deep inside I wondered . . . Does this lack of emotion mean I’m over it? Is this part of an early loss . . . feeling this way after only 3 months? How long will I come to this support group? When will I be moving on?
When I got home, I found Ryan working on his post to tell his side of Olivia’s story. I curled up next to him, tried not to read over his shoulder, and eventually fell asleep to the sound of his fingers tapping across the keyboard.
As I lay there in my almost asleep state, I realized that I could never box my loss up — tempting as it had seemed earlier in the day. To forget my loss meant to forget my love. And the truth is, I had loved Olivia with all my heart from the moment I knew she existed.
The problem is that thinking of my love for her hurts. It’s easier for me to be intellectual about my loss. It’s a lot harder when I think about my love for her.
Even as I know I couldn’t do it — boxing up everything and pretending to be the old me still sounds pretty tempting.
I got up early this morning and read Ryan’s post (which is still just a draft, in case you try to look for it). Reading his side was very eye-opening for me, and yet, very hard. Our loss of Olivia has impacted our marriage and family in such a huge way. I felt yet again that I just can’t deny that we had this experience. If I did, I would not just be denying my love for her, but I would be denying my husband’s grief too. He grieves for a lost baby, but even more, for his family that would never, ever be the same.
Have you ever felt like boxing it all away, and pretending your loss, and your grief, didn’t exist? If you did box it away, what was it like?