5 months

I’ve been in such a foul mood these past couple of weeks. Not every moment or every day, but certainly often. It makes it hard to write, because really how often can I restate how sad and angry I am that Natan died? How often will anyone want to listen as I complain that sadness overtook me as I went to sleep, or because my apartment is too silent, or because heavily pregnant women and babies make me painfully jealous? When will I forgive the relative who told my husband two months after Natan died that he expected we “must feel all better by now” and chided him for being slow with his work? And who wrote to assure me that his doctor friend told what happened “means nothing” about my ability to have children? Or the other one, who visited but never mentioned Natan or what happened to him? I don’t fixate on these two, or think of them often, but we can’t avoid them and certainly, absolutely cannot discuss it with them.

Yesterday marked 5 months since Natan was born and died, according to the Gregorian calendar. In the beginning, though I thought of time as passing in weeks. Wednesday would arrive and I’d think about how we’d made it through yet another week. For months I was thinking if he were alive, we’d be visiting him in the NICU. Now I think about how if he’d survived, we’d probably have him home by now.

I am not sure exactly how being pregnant again helps, but I think it does. My anxiety level is through the roof, of course, and I feel bad for this baby that I’m still very much grieving Natan. And I feel guilty when I feel happy to be pregnant, because it complicates my pain over losing him. And I worry, of course, that my body wasn’t ready because it happened so fast. Dr. K has assured me that’s not a concern, that I’d healed physically, was overall very healthy and should be fine. While I wish I could have had a c-section to save our son’s life, I’m strangely grateful that at least I didn’t have to lose him and be sliced open. I’d hardly give the section another thought, I’m sure, had he’d just survived. We’ll never know though, I suppose, what would have happened had I not gone into distress. It’s surreal to be wishing for lesser stages of trauma. Oh, if I’d only gone into preterm labor but not almost died….Why don’t I spend time wishing I’d never been in that terrible position in the first place?

None of that, obviously, relates to how being pregnant again helps. Of course being told I can always have other children wouldn’t help. Of course I don’t think of this baby as a replacement for Natan. As impossible as it would be, I want them both. But there is a part of this pain that will be relieved if I can have other, living children. There is a part of this pain that would have been relieved had we had other children before. The pain that is the terrible and complete silence in our house, that is the fear that not only will we never see Natan grow up, but that we might not see any children of our own grow up.

I knew women without children when I was a child, and while they might have been perfectly happy, I knew I didn’t want to be them. I wanted to be a mother. And I want it soon – I don’t want to have to wait until we’re “stable” and able to pay all the costs and satisfy the requirements of an adoption agency. Being pregnant again gives me some hope that none of those fears and concerns will come to be. Even as it adds the perhaps worse fear that we’ll have buried two children by the time this year is out.

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12 responses to “5 months

  1. Thank you for your honesty about how you are feeling. I am beginning to be able to relate to that sadness that comes from an empty house. Yesterday David and I visited a house for sale that was just about the coolest house I had ever seen, but not at all kid friendly (ladders and tight spiral staircases everywhere). I thought about how we could live there if we never had kids, and it just made me feel so sad and empty. I hope your house isn’t silent for much longer!

  2. Sara- I hope you never feel as though you can’t write about your ongoing grief, anger, confusion, sadness… over losing Natan. For one thing, this should be your place to do just that. And for another, I know there are many of us who read your words, even if its for the hundredth time, and nod our heads in silent, heartfelt support.

    I related very much to your wondering why instead of wishing for the better outcome, you don’t simply wish for the perfect outcome. I remember thinking that about my twins. Why instead of wishing they had been born one, two, three or even four weeks later don’t I just wish they had been born at full term? But of course, in the end, the wishing doesn’t change anything anyway.

    I continue to hope upon hope that this baby comes home to you safe and sound. And I also continue to be so sorry that Natan didn’t.

  3. Of course we’ll listen if you want to talk about your sadness and anger.

    I know I sometimes feel like I have nothing new to say about how I feel, but then I realize that I don’t have to say anything different because there’s really no reason to feel any differently.

    I feel sad every day because my babies are dead every day.

  4. Thanks Em. I want to know where that house is – if you think about it we also couldn’t live there if we were old. So it’s just not a house for the long haul.

    Lori, Thanks – I don’t really feel like I can’t for my readers’ sake – maybe I mean that I’m sick of these feelings. Especially the jealousy – that’s perhaps the most abnormal part of my grieving personality – I was never one to be jealous.

    Niobe, you have it exactly right. I hate that you have to understand these feelings, too.

  5. Sara- I just wanted to say that I understand and also hate the SILENCE!
    I work from home, and its terribly painful to hear silence in our house, even turning on music does not help, it is a sound of silence to me.

    I appreciate your being so open and honest, not for us readers, but for yourself…you are amazing and strong.

    luv, Erin, Birdies Mama

  6. Sending some hugs your way. Hang in there with all you’re going through. I’m willing to listen via blog or in person to whatever you need to say.

  7. I know. It’s like how many times can I write about bad dr appts during this pregnancy? The mix of emotions is okay, and maybe sometimes it’s good to hear that you’re not doing anything wrong – by grieving or by being happy.

    I’m jealous too of the women around me that are having innocently happy pregnancies and go on to have happy chubby babies. But I don’t wish our sorrow on them. I just wish for armloads of happy chubby babies for us.

  8. Your post is very similar to the one I wrote today. Of course you were much further along when you lost Natan than when I lost my unnamed baby.

    Time does not make everything better, my grandmother still grieves for the son she lost before my mother was born. I don’t blame her either. We still talk about him and what he might be like today. Of course I believe time has changed the way she grieves and I hope to experience that some day too.

    Any time you feel like venting her, I’ll read it.

  9. Write away, and I’ll still read.

    You need to be able to talk about this, and think about it, even now while you are pregnant, because of course, the loss is still very fresh in your heart.

    Take care today.

  10. Boy, do I get it. I am mulling over a similar post that I will try to get out tonight.

    I agree with Niobe– it doesn’t have to be different. But I also get how you don’t like the way you feel. I am away now, working in a camp-type deal. There is a speaker tonight, in a couple of minutes, in fact. I was looking forward to going, until our admin very innocently said this morning that we need to make sure the speaker gets some food before her talk because she is pretty far along. Brick wall, Julia. Julia, brick wall. I had the whole day to think about it, and I am still not sure whether I can go. I don’t know this woman from Adam, and am afraid I will concentrate on her belly instead of what she has to say.

    Hang on.

  11. I agree so much with what Lori wrote about this being a place for you to write about your grief and all of its forms. And I also read your words and find myself nodding.

    And I understand being sick of the feelings, but I do think that getting them out is helpful.

    Ah, the quite house. Even though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at the time, it was something that I started noticing the summer before we decided to start trying with William. Now the silence–the emptiness–just breaks my heart. There will always be an empty space where William should be. I do pray that someday another, living, child will make our house noisy and messy. I used to think I wanted two, Mr. C always said he wanted three (and I most likely would have been persuaded). Now to have even one living child would be such a blessing…

    I’m so sorry Natan isn’t here, too.

  12. I cannot envision my life without having children, whether I adopt or finally manage to carry to term and get a take home baby. The pain I feel when I realize that may never be is so intense that no amount of morphine would ever relieve it. As Niobe said, I feel sad everyday…

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