I get frustrated with myself for feeling a pang every time a new pregnancy is announced or I watch the growing bellies of friends. I don't WANT to feel that pang of jealousy and anger, but I do.
Yesterday the neighbors heard Lucy screaming and told me they figured they knew what was going on. Sometimes I want to talk about how hard it is and others, I want to pretend she is normal. When people ask how things with her are going I sometimes lie and say, "great!" because I know things could be so much worse and I should be thankful that they aren't.
Bottom line is that I still have a daughter who will deal with her body's nacent failure to recognize how to develop correctly for the rest of her life.
My brother Nathan told me that he heard a guy with brittle bone disease tell how, after he had fallen down a flight of stairs and broken his nose and all of his limbs, his mother said, "This can either make you bitter or make you strong. It's your choice."
I long to be that parent, the parent of whom people say, "She is just so strong! She just never complains! Wow, what an amazing mother!"
If I am suddently that person, then the knife of my authenticity ceases to hone instelf on the dull edge of the sadness that has become a crucial part of me. I have to continue to fight, to be honest, in order to change and to grow.
A friend and I were talking today about how people deal with grief. What is the correct way to deal with it? Is it unbiblical to be sad; to live with that sadness all of your life? In a fallen world, I tend to think not.
I feel like my body failed her, on a mitochondrial level. Of course, in the light of day, I know that "things happen", and "it wasn't my fault", and I believe these things - at least on the surface of them.
But when the authenticity knife scratches that surface and the hurt comes slithering out like snakes, I'm facing it again: the raw underbelly of helplessness.
I sat across from a friend yesterday at Costco. I have two friends I meet at Costco, and I almost feel like I'm cheating on each one of them by meeting the other there as well. Secret's out, ladies. Churros and Diet Coke: the best therapy ever. Yesterday, I pondered telling Lizzie I couldn't come, because my hair was greasy and she always looks cute. (Damn her.)
I poured it all out to her. She said,
"There's a fine line between being sad about it and letting it turn into something else. But it's OK to be sad."
And I have to agree, and that little comment made me feel so much better. Right now, I am vulnerable. I am raw. These past few months have been HARD. I realized that the miscarriages and the sadness about Lucy are intertwined, and anything pregnancy-related drudges it all back up. I shoved it down after she was born, and it has resurfaced. I have to deal with it.
My mom was a little surprised at how I seem to understand grief, at least on the base level. "You haven't had all roses with your children, and I think you just 'get it' more than most," she said.
I'll never be the girl with the carefree pregnancies and the anatomically perfect children. I lost luggage during the journey that will never be replaced. I have to be OK with the grief, with not explaining it away or being embarassed when someone sees me wear it and does not understand why I don't take it off.
Old scars die hard, especially when you are reminded of them every four hours, here 'til eternity.
Some days I am happy and some days I am sad. And right now I really, really need to shut off my Facebook account. I can do this, I can. I can do this.
Through grateful tears, sad eyes see glimpses of redemption -
even if it's only for three hours and forty-five minutes at a time.