I don’t even know how to start this post.
I was driving home from a play date, through one of the prettiest areas near our home, and a lump started to form in my throat.
It was a rainy day, drizzly and misty. As I drove the winding road, Seth dozing in his carseat, I thought, “this is going to be so pretty in the fall. We’ll have to take this drive a lot in the Mustang.”
And just that quickly, I was so sad. I had already pictured our family of four cruising the back roads of our neighboring farmland this fall, the top down on a sunny October day. (And yes, I would have taken a two-month-old out in an open convertible. That’s what blankets and hats and car seat covers are for.)
But….it will just be our family of three. Apparently perfect to the casual observer, but in reality: fractured with a piece missing.
As the weeks count down to Duncan’s original due date, it is getting increasingly difficult to keep my chin up. As tired as I’ve been, running around after my wild child, I’d still welcome the fatigue of the last month of pregnancy. Four times I’ve conceived, and I have yet to experience that last month. I was invited to a baby shower this weekend, and a huge part of me wants to go, and make some new friends, but I know better. I know it’s a bad idea to surround myself with the very items I no longer have an immediate use for.
Lying in bed earlier this week, I felt a bonafide panic attack rising. I couldn’t get the obstetrician’s voice out of my head – it was an unending loop: "I’m so sorry, there is no cardiac movement. I’m so sorry…. I’m so sorry….. no movement…. I’m so sorry…. so sorry…. sorry…. sorry.” In the stillness of the night, I could feel the anguished sob clawing its way out of my chest as sure as it did that awful Saturday. I had to get out of the bed and go into another room so that my shaking wouldn’t wake Jim.
I actually feel this grief anew in my body. I am weaker, physically, than I have been in the last six weeks. Lifting my arms overhead to condition my hair, bending to place Seth in his carseat, standing at the counter to prep veggies for dinner….it takes more out of me than I like to admit. I am hoping that as September 5 comes and goes, it will take with it this lethargy and melancholy that has settled on me like a heavy cloak.
Can I use this opportunity to ask you for something, reader? This has kind of been stuck in my craw for a couple days, and this seems like the right segue.
If you, over the course of the last months, told me “I’ll call you,” “I want to take Seth off your hands for an hour or two,” “I want to get together,” “I want to have you over for dinner” – if you told me any of that, and if you MEANT it, and if you haven’t yet done what you said…..I just want to let you know, I heard you. And my heart is waiting.
(For the record, MB, this isn’t directed at you; I know we haven’t had our chicken conversation yet. ;) And Nestie readers, this isn’t directed at you, either. Your love still abounds.)
I know that so often people just don’t know what to say. I get that. But let me tell you this: it’s better to say nothing at all that to offer a promise that you aren’t going to follow up on. Because when those offers fall short and become hollow platitudes rather than loving support, it just compounds the hurt. It confirms that the world indeed has moved on, when you haven’t yet gotten your feet back under you. It reinforces the niggling fear that you may be taking “too long” to “get over” the loss. It makes one question the sincerity of a friendship that may have appeared rock solid before the “AFTER” happened.
So, again, let me take the opportunity to let you know that if you still want to reach out – in any way, be it a call, a card, a babysitter, flowers, food – it will be welcome. Too much time hasn’t passed. It won’t be awkward. You won’t be reopening a wound. Believe me, it’s open.
I am a mommy whose son isn’t here. One is; one isn’t. And once in a while, I need others to recognize that and validate that and remind me that they haven’t forgotten, either. Yes, it’s been 10 weeks; but there is still another 6 to go. Maybe then, the healing with accelerate. But for now…..I still need TLC in a big way.