Saturday, 20 October 2012

Re-entering the world

It never ceases to amaze me that when crappy things happen to you in life, the world does not just suddenly stop. While your universe does, the external universe continues to operate. Eventually, your universe has to catch up. The groceries still need doing, the floor still needs sweeping and the cat still needs to be fed. And yes, you even need to go back to work.

It didn’t start off too well as my first day back I had to do my job interview. My Manager and Director had been so supportive of me but I felt the people making this decision showed a total lack of compassion and consideration. I had the weekend to prepare but it was very difficult to get my head around it as I was over whelmed with anxiety of going back to work, and just trying to act normal. There was no real way to know how I was going to cope.

Luckily, I had organised to do a half day so I went in, did my interview, checked emails and then left to see the counsellor. I figured that was a far more productive way to spend my time, rather than feeling stressed over the fact that no one had bothered to do any of my work in the week I had off.

Seeing the counsellor helped but I was a little surprised when she asked what I thought I couldn’t cope with. I hadn’t thought that I wasn’t coping, or I wasn’t able to process my feelings. It was really about getting some tips so I don’t spend my next pregnancy in a total state of anxiety thinking the same thing will happen again.

She asked me what the worse case scenario would be. “If you had another miscarriage and found out for some reason you couldn’t have kids would that be it?” I confirmed it would be. She said “So that means you and your husband would be sad for a while, you’d have to process a lot of feelings around that, eventually you’d be ok and then you would spend the rest of your lives doing the things you love, while always feeling a little twinge that a child wasn’t there.” That pretty much summed it up but it didn’t seem so bad. She asked me to write a letter to Peanut to say goodbye as a way to wrap this segment of my life up.

It’s been interesting how I have slipped into my normal crisis response mode through this. It’s funny that I said I would treat it like a break up as that’s exactly what it feels like. But, I have given myself a week to wallow and I wallowed good. But then I reach the stage when I’m done with it because it doesn’t feel proactive to keep engaging in it. And I know all too well that spending too much time in wallowing can bring on depression which is far more longer lasting.

I’ve always been a pragmatist when it comes to these things. I reach the point when I say enough is enough and I just need to get up, do something and put the first foot forward to move on. I’ve realised that while this hurts, and it hurts terribly, I will survive and it will be ok. I can’t see through it right now but I know that’s what’s waiting for me.

The hardest thing I did this week was catching up with my friend who is due at the same time I was. Even typing the word “was” is hard, but I had to see her to let her know I was still happy and joyful for her pregnancy. And constantly keeping my fingers crossed that the same thing wouldn’t happen to her.

At the time, I didn’t realise how brave I was being. I certainly had to push myself but I knew it was for the best. Even afterwards, when I started to feel down about it, I still knew it was the right thing to do. However, I didn’t realise it was also the first step into a downward spiral for the afternoon.

It was just one of those times when one little trigger starts the avalanche. I was already feeling emotional as I realised I had felt a total disconnect with my pregnancy. I would see pregnant women on the street and couldn’t imagine myself looking like that or feeling like that. There was just no part of me that accepted I was going to look like that. As I thought about that, one of the women at work suggested I had taken the week off because I just felt tiered. She’s a total moron so I didn’t listen to her but it upset me. I assured her that I would have much preferred to be at work dealing with all her crap then sitting at home dealing with what I was going through.

As I walked out to go home, I suddenly had a thought of something I wanted to include in my letter to Peanut – you were wanted, and loved, and won’t be forgotten. Just that thought made the tears well up and I had to push them down. I didn’t want to walk to the train station as a blubbering mess.

I decided that some exercise might be a good idea just to help pound out some of the emotions so I got off the train a station early to do my 30 minute walk home. Around the corner from home the tears started flowing, but again, I managed to control them. But, by the time I got home, I was totally physically and emotionally drained.

I laid on the couch in a blank stupor. I felt so exhausted I couldn’t do anything. I watched television but nothing really sank in. My husband sat next to me and tried to make me laugh but it was to no avail. I loved him for trying though.

We decided to get ready for bed and as I brushed my teeth, the tears I had been trying to push away all afternoon came on. The proverbial flood gates were opened and I sobbed, and sobbed, and sobbed for the next hour.  Whenever I do this, my husband makes me lie in bed and just holds me and tells me how much he loves me. I’m very lucky to have such a supportive man be there for me.

I had a sudden burst of anger and told him I felt like our life was perfect and now it was shit. In his sane wisdom, he told me that our life wasn’t perfect before this happened and it certainly wasn’t shit now. He was right of course, and I apologised the next day for saying it. Again, luckily for me, he knew what I meant.

The next day I felt like a vacant husk. I felt like my body weighed a tonne and each step felt like I was wearing cement boots. I was on the verge of tears all day and had to use what remaining energy I had just to try and be normal. I felt like I was progressing with two steps forward and one step back. I hoped that eventually, I would catch up to myself.

I was somewhat buoyed by the fact my body my body was starting to show signs of ovulating again. It was a few days earlier than expected but to be honest, I really didn’t know when it would happen. I was told that it could take 4 to 6 weeks for my cycle to come back so that’s a wide window. No doubt, it would take my cycle a while to settle down. But, I also realised that my body, just like the universe, was continuing to spin on its axis. It bought a bit of sunshine into an otherwise gloomy day. It represented the chance of another baby.  But most importantly, it represented hope.   

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