I had a couple posts in mind for today: one on the two-week wait and how I'm so over it, I feel like I was never under it; one on Suor Angelica, the opera I heard on the radio this afternoon as I was returning home from teaching (an opera about a woman who learns her child has died-- and also the opera I coincidentally went to in the week between learning we had lost the m&m and my d&c). But instead I'm going to write about something happy and something surprising.
I've blogged before about my best friend--let's call her Doctor Lady--and the complicated emotions sparked by her conceiving so quickly and giving birth to her son in January. There's joy, there's sadness, there's even some bitterness, and there's relief that she lives 3,000 miles away and the baby isn't a constant presence in my life.
Doctor Lady and I have been best friends since we were 11 and are truly kindred spirits. In some ways, she's my soul mate: that one person who shares and understands everything. We shared our life experiences, like awkward junior high dances and first crushes and first kisses and first boyfriends all the way up to choosing a career and slogging through grad school and finding men we wanted to marry and deciding we were ready for babies.
We also share a host of intellectual interests, particularly in terms of literature and history (thought she leaves me far in the dust on science and math and I can write imaginative literature, which she cannot). And we have a love of the same movies and music and plays, a fondness for the same kind of joking wordplay and absurdities.
She was already in her third trimester when I miscarried. She was preparing her home and her life for her son, and I was gearing up to start over and trying to make sense of what I'd lost. And while she was always there for me whenever I called, with inexhaustible patience for my sadness, we also discussed her pregnancy and baby plans more than I wanted to then, a fact I sometimes stewed over.
Now, nearly six months after the miscarriage, we talk about the baby, and her and her husband's upcoming move, and how she copes with being back at work so quickly (she's in the Navy and could only take 8 weeks of maternity leave). We talk about my graduate studies, Lawyer Guy's work, our families, my birthday party, my summer travel plans. And sometimes we talk about the miscarriage or trying to conceive or jealousy. But not always. Not even, these days, often.
At times, I've resented this: her--and my--ability to focus on other facts, to pretend that this isn't the single most significant aspect of my life right now, to pretend that everything is normal. "Can't she tell how much I hurt?" I've wondered. "And if she can, why doesn't she ask me about it?"
But today I realized: she calls. She calls me every week. Sometimes twice a week. Even with the time difference, and the work schedule, and the 3-month-old baby, and the fellow doctor husband, she calls me far more frequently than I call her. Far more frequently than any of my other friends do, babies or no babies, jobs or no jobs.
What's that we say we want our friends and family to do for us? To be there. Not to make our problems the center of our lives, not to fix them, not to grieve and mourn like we do, but to be there.
She was there all the time and I didn't even realize.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
11 months ago