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.