Things have been mostly okay in the Sloper household the past few days, other than the wicked head cold I'm fighting and the snoring it has unfortunately produced. The worry is always there, of course, but it's been like a little pebble wiggling around in my shoe rather than a massive cinder block crushing my chest. My boobs appear to deflate and grow less sore: pebble of worry. I have a sleepgasm (seriously, what is up with those things?) and wake to intense, if momentary, cramping: pebble of worry. I think about the shower that my best friend said she and her mom will throw for me or decorating the nursery or having a baby nine months from now: pebble of worry.
But at least I am letting myself imagine those things, just a little, even if I always immediately qualify them in my mind with a disclaimer: "WARNING! Idle Daydreams to not constitute a guarantee of success. Fantasize at your own risk."
I don't think I fully realized how traumatic losing the m&m was until this week. I knew that I grieved very hard for that pregnancy-- the months of sobbing in parking lots and at family gatherings and on my couch (not to mention the over-eating) were testament to that. But I thought that over the past, let's say, nine months I'd processed and accepted and put it behind me and moved on.
I said to Lawyer Guy this morning that I feel like we both have PTSD. It reminds me of the months following 9/11, when we would jump at every loud noise and when something as simple as getting on the subway or a city bus felt fraught with danger (I stood several feet away from every subway trash can out of worry that they might contain an IRA-style bomb). LG works downtown only about ten blocks from the Trade Center, so he saw/heard/felt some incredibly disturbing things that day, including the deafening impact of the second plane hitting. And it took him *years* to not automatically panic at certain similar sounds.
Despite the obvious differences in scale and significance and national importance, this feels very similar. I feel like I'm reliving everything terrible that happened 14 months ago, and I'm a little paralyzed by it all.
But I'm trying to get better.
I mentioned my best friend (Doctor Lady, whom I've written about here before). I spoke to her on Sunday night and told her what is going on. She's not only a great listener and extremely sympathetic, she also has a detached, rational response to things and medical expertise that make her really great to talk to in situations like this. She never blows smoke, but she can be reassuring and factual at the same time, and she doesn't get whipped into hysteria even while she feels for me. So I'm really glad I told her.
We have not told any of our parents (or anyone else outside the ALI on-line community, for that matter), for several reasons. For me, the most important is that I desperately want to be happy and excited when I tell my parents this news. I didn't get that last time. I told my mom and dad about the m&m after our first ultrasound with no heartbeat, when things were looking worrisome and my doctor gave us a 50-50 shot. There was a lot of crying and comforting over the phone that night. That's so far from how I dreamed of the experience of telling my parents they're going to be grandparents, and I want the experience of my dreams. I want something to be normal in all this. If that means I have to wait until I'm 12+ weeks to tell them, then that's what it means.
The other issue--and this pertains more to my mother-in-law, despite the fact that I adore her--is that I am not ready to let anyone else into this space Lawyer Guy and I are sharing. I'm not capable of dealing with someone else's worry or excitement or expectations other than ours. I'm trying to take each day as it comes and deal calmly with all my fears. My mother-in-law is wonderful, but she can't keep her mouth shut. I'm partially worried she'd tell people about this before we were ready, but I'm mostly certain that she would call to check in on me and tell me I need to be calm and want to talk to me about this a lot and I JUST CAN'T HANDLE IT RIGHT NOW.
This is a source of some tension between Lawyer Guy and me. He thinks of his mother as his best friend (other than me) and he's been struggling, too, with worry and fear. He really, really wants to tell his mom. I really, really don't want him to. He thinks I'm being selfish, and he's probably right, but I feel like this is something I need to stick to my guns on. I'm just not ready.
This turned into a much longer post than I intended. Thank you so much for reading along with me and e-mailing me or tweeting at me with your encouragement over the last few days. It truly sustains me right now. And to my friends who are struggling and perhaps hurt by my inability to feel the joy that must seem so appropriate to this situation: I am sorry. I need to be honest in this space, always, but I know how hard it is to read things like this when you would give anything to see two lines yourself. I completely understand if people want to stop following along or take a break from commenting, and I won't be hurt.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
8 months ago