Last night I had a new friend over from my pregnancy loss support group.
We gorged ourselves on yummy snack food (ok, I gorged … She politely ate) from Trader Joes.
And we talked about all the normal stuff when you have a new friend (how you met your spouse, why you chose the career you did, where you’re from) … And the not-so-normal stuff (did you name your baby, how you found out about your loss, and dealing with others’ pregnancies after your miscarriage.)
We had a good solid couple of hours to eat, chat, and pamper ourselves with a footsoak and facial.
Afterwards I stayed up far too late watching my new guilty pleasure Drop Dead Diva (thanks Sarah for getting me hooked). At the end of one of the scenes, one of the main characters goes to the cemetery for the first time after a loved one died.
And all of the sudden, I’ve got tears streaming down my face.
Sure, we’d been talking baby loss all night. Honestly I “deal” with it all day long. I deal with it every time I see some one else post on fb about a pregnancy. I deal with it every time I see little miss. I deal with it every time my period comes. I deal with it every time I look at my flat non-pregnant belly.
It’s not like I’m always consciously dealing with it. It’s just something I’m aware of. Kinda like knowing what day in the week it is. I don’t have to actively think about the fact that it’s Saturday to be aware of the fact that we are indeed in the middle of a weekend.
It’s just something I know to be true.
But every once in a while, there’s a trigger that can’t easily be ignored or waved away. And for whatever reason, seeing that cemetery brought so much to the surface.
I wondered what the personalities of those kids might have been like. I wondered if they would have been like Maddy at all, or completely (completely) different. I wondered how my story turned out the way that it did. And I wondered if I’m scarred forever.
Last night I dreamed that someone wanted to know what it was like dealing with other’s pregnancies.
[And I say “deal” because it’s really something you have to manage. Before our loss/infertility/whatever, I never had to deal with another’s pregnancy. I was always happy for them. It came quite naturally, and besides the occasional shower or baby announcement, their good news didn’t affect me too much.
Then came loss. And all of the sudden, you really have to learn to deal. Jealous and bitterness tip their hats to me, and say “Come. Stay with us a while. Be our friend.” And I have to CHOOSE not to go there. Or at least not to stay there. I have to make myself say a congratulations, and mean it. I have to choose happiness for them, while at the same time, I acknowledge my sadness for me. I have to learn to deal.]
Back to my dream. I asked this person (in my dream) to imagine what it was like to have a family vacation planned. Everyone’s going. You’ve planned it for months. It’s coming up, and everyone’s excited. Talking about excursions, and places to eat out, and clothes to pack.
And then all of the sudden, you find out there’s this mistake, some random fluke from the airline, and you can’t go anymore. You don’t have a ticket. The plane will leave without you.
And you’re still surrounded by everyone else making plans. They are sad you can’t go, but there’s so much to plan, so much to coordinate, that they still chat and talk about it in front of you.
It’s like that — except so much more complicated.
And so, today I really had to learn to deal. I opened my FB newsfeed, and the very first thing was a pregnancy announcement from a friend. And I don’t mean, like Facebook friend. I mean friend friend. It stung that I heard about her new baby on the way from Facebook. But it was also a reminder that I don’t tend to make it outside of my first trimester. But I was also really happy for her because I know she wanted this. Again — complicated.
Shortly following that in my newsfeed was a gender reveal. And after that, a birth announcement.
Lots of dealing today. Lots of emotions I have to keep in check.
How do you deal?