I am finally starting to feel better. Today is a week since I was released from the hospital and after a visit to my family doctor on Thursday and four prescriptions later I am starting to overcome the flu and bronchitis. My house and bank account have definitely suffered for my illness. The house is a complete disaster and we only have clean dishes because by the Grace of God I managed to run the dishwasher two days ago. I’ve come to realize, as well, just how expensive fast food and pizza can be as we ordered in or got take out the entire week when I was too sick to stand and cook. Thank goodness I’d had a little extra stashed back in hopes of paying the car insurance early. That won’t happen now, but at least we’re not behind because of all of this.
I also found out a few things since my last post. The day I went into the hospital, March 6 (the 8 year anniversary of the death of my cousin who was like a sister), we had quite a storm come through. My mother-in-law was involved in a car accident that day that totaled her vehicle. She is fine, but was left without wheels for a day until the rental company came through with a car for her. The following day my sister-in-law’s vehicle went into the garage for inspection and she didn’t get it back until late in the afternoon. While this doesn’t let them off the hook for the way they treated and then proceeded to ignore me and my family after I was out of the hospital, it does explain why they weren’t in to see me. The thoughts from my first post still apply though, and I’ve set my boundaries and I’m sticking to them. In fact, I’m quite proud of myself when my sister-in-law told me she needed a letter for her husband to get out of jury duty and I told her she would have to bring the paperwork he was sent over here and then I would write it for her. I’m not going to try to take information over the phone and make a guess as to what needs said. That was three days ago and she hasn’t shown up with the papers yet. She’ll probably show up a week before he has to report…hope I have time to do it then.
Okay, update finished. There is more on my mind right now, of course, than the petty soap opera that runs throughout family. For the past 7 years this month has been about the death of my loved ones. Eight years ago my cousin, who just three months younger than me was more like a sister, was killed in a car accident. The following year, less than a month from the first anniversary of her death, I lost my baby. I hate that phrase. I lost my baby. I didn’t lose my baby. It was exactly where I put it (sort of). My baby died. It was and remains the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life. Being molested and abused and losing my childhood as a result doesn’t compare with the pain I felt and still feel over the baby I never had a chance to hold and love. Dealing with my mother in her various stages of addiction and self-destruction, while stressful, does not even come close to the anguish that haunts me.
I think part of the pain comes from that phrase. When people say “oh you lost the baby” it assigns blame to the death. I blamed myself for a long time as well. I played the “what if” game. What if I’d stopped smoking before I’d found out I was pregnant instead of waiting until I was pregnant? What if I hadn’t let my daughter’s friend come over the play? What if I hadn’t ignored those cramps I’d had in church instead of thinking I was just being dramatic? I know now that no matter what I had done differently, that baby was not meant to live. But the combination of that destructive “what if” game and the blame placing phrase put me in a bad place that I seem to revisit every March.
My thoughts this year are also centered around death for other reasons. My husband lost his father last year on February 9th. His step-brother this year on February 9th. Two very painful deaths for him. We just had the funeral for his step-brother on March 5th because he died in another state and it took that long to get his remains back home and have things arranged. That funeral made me realize that there was never an official goodbye for a baby who had never been born. That makes me sad all over again. Just because she never took a breath (my belief that it was a girl, not a confirmed fact) doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be remembered and mourned like any other dear person gone from us. I said goodbye to her in a poem a few weeks after I miscarried and I shared that poem with my husband at the time. Neither of us can read it, even now, without crying, but it doesn’t feel like enough. https://invisiblescars.wordpress.com/poetry-2/holding-you-in-my-heart/
I’ve never been a big believer in visiting cemetaries and crying at tombstone. Does wanting some kind of memorial for my baby make me a hypocrite? Maybe. Do I care? Not really. At this point, I want something tangible to remember her. I want her very short life to be known and appreciated, even if her life never included drawing a breath. I don’t know how to accomplish this though. I don’t want it to be something morbid and depressing either. The few short weeks she grew inside of me brought me great joy. Knowing there was another life inside of me made me more euphoric than I can imagine any junkie with a fresh needle could ever have felt. I need something to celebrate that joy she brought to me and something to show that I feel her death and mourn her.
On a side note, my baby rat (Temptation) has brought me many smiles and happiness. She does seem to be fulfilling a need to have something to nurture and care for. Not that I don’t nurture and care for my children, but it’s different somehow. My children are also enjoying caring for her and playing with her.
I’ve rambled enough for one post I think. More later.