Today has been a doozy.
The waterworks started when I came home from taking C to a birthday party and let the dog escape through our front door. This happens a lot. I can't really stop her since she is stronger than me, I suck at training dogs, and every time this happens there is a small child in the middle of the whole affair.
But, YOU try telling that to my husband, who seems to think I let the dog out for the sheer thrill of watching him chase after it. We exchanged some heated words in front of the house, made the neighbors blush, and then my eyes started to sting and I ran into my room to have a little cry. In Scott's defense, it is not very hard to make me cry these days, so it's not like he had to do much to encourage this result. But, if you happen to have any advice on NOT making your pregnant wife cry than please feel free to pass that along to him. As far as I can tell he must think making pregnant ladies cry is what all the cool kids are doing these days.
Anyway, I have been finding it harder and harder lately to recover from my sob-sessions, so it took me a while to get up and try to get on with the day. Scott had left for work, so I started to set up the changing table he had driven to get me that morning. I stocked the shelves with little boxes of cloth diapers, swaddles, and baby clothes, and while this was exactly what I wanted to be doing today, my feelings of sadness just kept growing and growing. By time time I was done it was like wading through quicksand.
On top of crying at every opportunity I have been exceptionally cranky and angry over the past couple of months. I've joked about it, but it's actually been a little bit over the top for my tastes. I find myself snapping at my husband and even at my son constantly. My temper is super short, and before I even know what is happening I'm raising my voice. Even out in the world with strangers I find myself losing patience quickly. The cashier at the grocery store feels stand-offish, the lady at the kid's thrift shop is judging me, the stranger on Facebook is making comments that compel me to start a fight. I don't feel like myself, because this isn't how I usually navigate the world.
At first I chalked it up to hormones. I mean, pregnant ladies are notorious for being cranky, right? But a few days ago I saw a quote that got stuck in my mind.
Anger is often grief that has been silent for too long.
First the sentence sat in my mind, then it simmered, then it sunk, like a brick, down into my brain and I finally got it. Of course I'm angry. I lost a baby. ANOTHER baby. I lost a fifth baby. And it hurts like hell, still, and maybe putting away all of those sweet little onesies and miniature socks forced me to face what is probably one of my deepest fears. The fear that it will never stop hurting - even when I am finally holding my rainbow baby in my arms the pain will still be there. The loss will still be there. My heart is just permanently cracked - and no amount of beautiful healthy babies can fix it.
I knew that, but it's one thing to expect something and another to experience its proof. I'm just a little while away from having another baby, and I should be really happy right now. I should be nesting and celebrating, and trying to enjoy the last couple of months of experiencing pregnancy. I should be relishing every kick, warmly chuckling over my discomfort, and basking in gratitude that this is FINALLY HAPPENING. But it's hard to do all of that while carrying this weight of grief around with me - especially when the grief has been disguising itself as anger.
I'm furious at my husband for not missing our other twin, Bebe, like I do. It's lonely to grieve all by yourself, and if he is hurting like I am he doesn't tell me about it. It isn't surprising, of course, the babies we lost never felt real to him the way they did to me. He didn't know them like I did. He didn't have a CHANCE to love them like I did. They were ideas and those ideas vanished. Loving an idea and loving another human life just isn't really the same thing. If I'm going to be mad at Scott for not grieving like I do than I should just go ahead and be mad at my whole family, the whole world. And maybe I am actually.
The only other person that I think really felt the last loss as intensively as I did hasn't even had his fourth birthday yet. I can't exactly lean on him for emotional support. He still brings up Bebe, and his random explanations to strangers about how he "used to have two sisters but one had to go back to heaven instead of being born" is a really great for ripping my guts out.
(Also great at ripping my guts out: questionnaires/pamphlets/receptionists that want to know how many pregnancies I've had. Why does EVERYONE want to know this?)
But Charlie is one step ahead of me. He acknowledges the loss, and how sad it made him, while I keep charging along determined to be happy no matter what. So while I was stocking up my bedroom for our newest addition it finally hit me (like a truck) there should be TWO co-sleepers. There should be TWO little bundles of onesies to fold, and TWO infant car seats to get a hold of. Seeing these things set up in my room don't make me as happy as I thought they would. Instead, they look lonely, because Bebe's half is missing.
Bebe is missing.
And people, I hate to admit this too, because I thought I was stronger than this, but I am scared. Like really, truly, irrationally, scared. The closer we get to the end, the more afraid I am that something horrible is going to go wrong, or be wrong. I'm scared that she won't make it at all, or that she'll be born way too early, or with serious health problems. I'm scared to death and it's getting harder and harder to push off the fear and find any peace.
So that brings me to a place where I realize that I need to lady up and accept that my feelings at this point are complicated at best. I'm taking the pressure off of myself to celebrate or happily prepare. Instead, I'm going to take a minute and grieve the losses that still hurt, lick my wounds a bit, and then try to re-group so that I can try and meet this baby with the joy she deserves to see from her mama. I canceled my pre-baby party, I'm taking a break from nesting, and I'm going to see if I can just focus on healing a bit more for now.
I will probably also find myself a therapist to try and navigate this whole crazy nut that just cracked open because mama can't afford to cry all day.
But first, one more bellyache. Why can't I just be a normal person?!! WHYYYYYYYYYYY????? WHHAAAAAAAA!!!
Ok, I'm done.