Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All Strung Out

I'm typing this one-handed. I've perfected this technique to the point that when Caleb saw me doing it recently, he claimed that I may type as fast as he does two-handed. So, thanks, Baby, you've upped my skills so I could use them to impress a boy.


I'm feeling a similar unrest now to the weeks following Jack's birth. Of course, there is this overlying theme of "rest, take care of yourself, heal" when anything life-altering (positive or negative) happens. But what about the very human feeling of "ugh, aren't you done with that yet" that also hovers until life gets Back to Normal.

And I feel like I'm all talked out, all journaled out, all "feelings"ed out. But worse, I feel like You are too.

With Jack, I knew I wanted to rest and take care of him in those Kodak ways that smell like baby powder and dreams. I was afforded that possibility because Caleb was home for winter break and my mom was around because she is excellent. But, I rarely took the chance, because I felt like his birth was an ellipsis in my life instead of the exclamation point it actually was. I never really took the opportunity to decompress everything that was going on into a bite-sized morsel that my brain could comprehend. It was Being Productive and Getting Things Done, Becoming Supermom and Continuing excellence. Things have contorted now to a comfortable lull, where I end and Jack begins. It's lovely, and I don't know at what point I actually accepted him as valid punctuation to my everyday living. And to be honest, I can't remember an existence when I actually showered at the same time every day. Things were foreign, and now they're common.

A week after the ultrasound and the ultimate prognosis, I feel that same hurry up and live theme. This time there's nothing to foster this, except my own expectations and the advice I google. Websites that say "take time to grieve, but put yourself out there for people to give you support" are numerous. I can't take time to grieve if I commit to a dinner here, a playdate there; leaving the house is counterintuitive to me. And yet, I'm double-booked on Friday, double-booked on Saturday, potentially double-booked on Sunday. Hard-wired Get Things Done isn't easy to shake. And how does one grieve with nothing to bury? Nothing to create in memorium? I taped the pregnancy test to cardstock, wrote my thoughts the best I knew how, and slid it into a scrapbook. Is that grieving?

My lovely (thoughtful, brilliant, AMAZING) boss, Pam Baird, wrote to me:

I have a philosophy about these things (if you’d like to hear it, that is). I think that childbirth is one of the true miracles of life and is just such a joyful, amazing experience. There’s nothing like a new baby. So it is natural, I think, in the law of opposites in all things, that the reverse is also true. When a pregnancy doesn’t work out, the sorrow is as deep as the joy is great when babies are born. A lost baby is a uniquely sad experience.
Only this has helped me feel like I can do it. Highest high, lowest low.

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