I hate January

The first hits me like a deep kick in the chest. December 31st 2006 was the last night I had real hope, bleeding stopped, JJ and I prepped to relax in the hospital room over pizza and video games. I’d been moved to a room for more stable patients. But then right in the middle of pizza came more blood, and they said for staffing reasons, another new room. On the first we discovered Natan had turned again, to breech position, his feet in the cervix. Upon reflection, no one seemed hopeful anymore about reaching the ridiculously modest goal of 28 weeks.

I cannot stand being a prisoner to this grief. Natan’s death stands at the forefront of the bad things that have happened to me, not only because only it seems like something that will never cease to hurt, but because a part of me can’t tolerate classing it with or below other “bad things.” That comes up with me again and again because the other bad things include two of what we generally accept as the worst things that can happen to girl. And I think I struggle with thinking that I’m trapped by this pain in any way similar to that other pain. I have also had to let go of those things, and deny them the power over me, as part of my healing. And that’s not where the few brief memories I have of a child of mine should have to go.

But two years’ on, in some ways the similarities are undeniable. Lack of choice, lack of control over my body, intense physical pain, an inability to deny it and the constant reminders that come with forms at doctors’ offices.

I don’t think I have to spell out what I’m talking about but I want no search terms here.

I don’t want any child of mine associated with those feelings. Those feelings that make me feel like an alien in my body.

The signs of my alienation are too similar, though. A weird, unfamiliar lack of control over food. A need to stuff myself. I am 15 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. I know that’s not bad, but I seem seriously unable to control the food I put in my body in any other way than just not having it near me. I can feel myself trying to stuff a gaping hole. Especially this time of year. And I know the holidays are a generic place of blame for this behavior, but in other periods of my life, I haven’t liked those foods. You could put a million spritz cookies and donuts in front of me and I wouldn’t need to eat a one. Not now.

It’s time I realize that the portion of this grief that makes me hate myself needs to be cleaned out, boxed up, and stored away with the other bad things in my past.

13 responses to “I hate January

  1. Oh, Beruriah, I am so sorry. That’s a lot to deal with, in addition to Natan’s death. And I can only imagine the pain you must feel. I wish I had some sage advice for you, but I have got nothing. Just walking this road next to you and hoping that some healing comes your way in 2009.

  2. I hope you’re able to “clean house” and find the peace you are looking for.

  3. I struggle with Dec. for the same sort of reasons you hate January. And as a fellow survivor of one of those other worst things that can happen to a girl … yeah. It’s complicated and so frustrating.

    Thinking of you.

  4. I’m so sorry Beruriah. You know it’s not a question of “needing to realise” though. If only it were that easy. ((((hugs))))

  5. Oh Beruriah, I am so sorry to read this. When we have talked about these issues, you always seem so strong, and so together, I thought perhaps that you has dealt with it. But really, none of us ever completely do. It’s like 2 steps forward, and one step back I think. Traumas are terrible things to carry around. And the death of a child can absolutely do that to you, same as those other experiences.

    But can you try to separate out the trauma of his death from his existence as a person? As in, putting the trauma in that place with the other pain, and keeping the memory of his presence just as a normal memory. I know it might be too hard, but maybe it will work.

    And maybe then you can let go of the weight on your shoulders and your body. I think I’m still carrying my weight around because of many of the same issues. Time to work on it, for me as well.

  6. You know how I hate that there are things complicating the grief for you (or any other DBM, really). This is hard enough without all the other baggage encroaching. But I know you have to deal with what you’ve got.

    The thing, though… Natan’s birth was traumatic, but it wasn’t your fault. I know who I would like to beat the shit out of for you. But there really is nothing for you to feel guilty about. And yet I know that saying this till I am blue in the face is going to change absolutely nothing. So I will just say that I will be right here as you work on all of this.

  7. I’m so sorry, Beruriah.

  8. Here from LFCA. I just wanted to say how very sorry I am for your loss. So, so sorry!

  9. Happy birthday Natan. Lots of hugs and kisses sweet boy.

  10. Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of Natan today, and this week, and this month.

    And I don’t just hate February, I hate fucking winter. I do the same thing re: food. And just sitting, staring into space. Feeling the gloom. Clenching my jaw.

    Thinking of you all.

  11. Thinking of you and Natan. And I’m so sorry this still hurts so very much. It seems as a society we want to quantify things, but there’s no quantifying, comparing this.

    I lost one son on Jan 3 (close to midnight) and the other on the 4th, shortly after midnight. During a time that is supposed to be full of joy and expectations, the holiday, the new year, you have described it perfectly: a deep kick in the chest.

    After delivering, I was underweight, because I had HG, but am not well above my pre-pregnancy weight. One year out, I have given up caring, well, caring, too much. Most of the time I hate myself, too. This portion of grief? I hope you are able to be gentle with yourself, at least a little. This is what people tell me.

    I’m sorry to go on so long. All I really wanted to say, was that I’m so very sorry for your loss, and for all the pain you endure.

  12. Sorry, typo: I am NOW well above my pre-pg weight.

  13. I’m just so sorry- for all of this. The past trauma and then feeling as though the loss of Natan has gotten muddled in with that somehow. That would upset me too.

    At the risk of sounding annoyingly all-too-hslpful, maybe part of what you need is more time? I know that sounds completely lame and I hope that coming from me you know it isn’t intended to be some sort of generic, magic pill answer. I just know that I thought I had come a long way two years after the loss of my twins but I can look back now and see how much I was still really in the thick of things. Who knows? I may look back another five years from now and think the same thing.

    I’m just saying that while there is still so much pain over the loss of Natan, there is also love. That’s what separates it from all other pain. And as time goes on, the love will triumph more and more over the hurt.

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