Also, I haven't really been in the writing mood. I try and nothing comes out. I have about twenty drafts saved on my blog dashboard that are little more than main ideas with little to no sentence structure.
Part of it is stress related. Work has been crazy lately and I've been working a lot of overtime. It is good to be busy, but it is also exhausting.
The other part is more emotional than anything, and just makes me sad. For the last three weeks, I've been counting down the days…until today. October 8th was my due date.
I went to a wedding over the summer, and one of my mom's friends took me aside and asked me how I was doing. At first I didn't know what she was talking about, and I was all, "I'm fine!" Then she confided that she, too, had a miscarriage decades earlier.
"How are you doing? How are you doing really?" she asked.
I paused. This was back in June when - honestly - I was still a wreck. Physically I was experiencing frequent heart palpitations and inexplicable weight gain, and emotionally I felt hollow. Like a complete failure and waste of space.
"Does the pain ever go away?"
"Not really, but it does get easier. You will never forget, though. Whenever you see a child celebrating a birthday around the time yours should have been born, you will remember. You will imagine how old they would have been, milestones they should be reaching, lost teeth. And later, when you are my age, you will think of them at graduation ceremonies and weddings and the birth of grandbabies. There will always be little reminders. But with time, I promise, they will sting less. Although, the ache...the ache will never truly go away."
So much of what she said resonated with me. Since the miscarriage, there hasn't been a day that I haven't thought about where I would have been in my pregnancy. Symptoms I would have been experiencing. When I hit what should have been the 37 week mark, I started thinking about whether or not I would have gone into labor on my own, scheduled a C-section at 39 weeks or insisted on trying for a VBAC. I've stared at other women's pregnant bellies with a combination of misplaced resentment and longing.
It's been a very difficult 28 weeks. I have so many more white hairs now.
But here we are: D Day. If that little boy hadn't died in my womb, he'd be here by now. And yet...it is just another Wednesday in October.
Things have gotten better, though. Really. The heart palpitations now have an explanation (benign heart murmur and PVCs), and that random weight I gained disappeared - literally - overnight in late July. I had complained to several doctors about the 10-12 pounds, and not one of them took me seriously. They just told me it was most likely because I was getting older or eating more because I was still depressed about losing the baby. No one would even consider that it was hormonal or water-related, which was crazy-making. I was oh-so literally running until I bled trying to get it off, and borderline starving myself. I had all but given up hope, and then *poof*. The water went away, the PVCs all but stopped and I finally felt like my body was starting to get back to normal.
Emotionally, though, I still have plenty of moments.
…Trevor and I became Godparents on September 21st, and Banner absolutely adores his God sister, Abby. Banner and I have taken her to the Arboretum on playdates, and he loves to push her stroller and check on her. One time, at lunch in August, she was fussy with reflux and red faced with tears. Banner wanted so badly to help her feel better that he covered her infant carrier and feet with stickers. Since then he asks frequently to go see "Baby Abby". He will hold her hand and smile at her, and Abby will stop crying and smile back when she sees him. It melts my heart to see them together, and I can’t help but tear up when I think that he was supposed to be a big brother by now.
…Back before Banner was born, my mother bought a newborn Santa outfit. Ban was supposed to arrive before Christmas, but was stubborn and showed up nearly two weeks late. When he finally arrived in January, it never occurred to me (blame first time parenthood) to shove him in the tiny little outfit for a photo before he was way too big for it. Something I’ve always regretted. When I found out I was pregnant back in January, one of the thoughts that made me happy was having another opportunity to use the never worn Santa outfit. After all, the timing would have been perfect with the holiday’s right around the corner. Maybe an announcement photo? It is a silly thing to be sad about: an unused Santa onesie. But I am. I tear up when I think about it sitting in a bag in attic with the tags still attached.
Maybe tomorrow I'll find my words and finish one of those drafts on my dashboard.
Here's to hoping. Here's to tomorrow.