Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I had a discussion with my therapist this week about something I've been thinking about for a long time. Sometimes I wonder if I'm coping too well.

That sounds weird, doesn't it? Shouldn't I be glad that I'm doing OK? And I am, I really am. But sometimes I wonder if I should be feeling worse.

I'm excited for Christmas. We put up our tree this weekend, even though we're going away right around Christmastime. Andy was a little more skeptical about it than I was - he doesn't see the point when there are no kids around (this doesn't really have anything to do with losing Joseph - he said the same thing last year). But for me, it just would have seemed depressing to not acknowledge the season at all. Of course I think about how Joseph should be 7 months old at Christmas. I should have pictures of him in the little Christmas frame my mother bought me last year. I should be taking him to sit on Santa's lap. But even though I'm not doing any of those things - I'm not sorry that it's Christmas.

I don't mind seeing friends' babies or holding them or hearing about new babies. I get hit with random waves of sadness, like I did at the christening last weekend. I get annoyed at the friend who's a month ahead of me in pregnancy who ordered a glass of wine when we were out last night and went on and on about how she wasn't going to be paranoid. I wouldn't have cared about her doing it once, but she did the exact same thing when I saw her two weeks ago. It's her second child and I'm sure she thinks, "Well, I had one healthy baby so I don't NEED to be careful." I would never wish harm on her or her baby, but I do get angry at people who are blase about the risks. I feel like they're looking at my seltzer and thinking, "Yes, it's good that SHE's being careful since HER baby wasn't healthy, but nothing like that could happen to me." (Maybe I'm reading into this incident way too much. I don't know.) But even though I have moments like that, I can still get joy out of my friends' and families' babies.

I don't want to be defined by my loss. I remember one of the very first thoughts I had when the doctor told me Joseph had died was the fear that I would forever be known as the woman with the dead baby. I don't want to deny that it happened, that Joseph existed, that I am a mother. It's something that has changed me forever and I wouldn't wish that away. But I don't want to be JUST the woman with the dead baby.

I have moments when I have the urge to be that woman - when I want to bring it up in conversation, maybe just to hear the other person acknowledge it - but I try to resist that urge. Then again, sometimes it seems like a natural part of the conversation and when it does, I talk about it.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. I guess sometimes I wonder if I'm normal - if I somehow skipped over some part of the grieving process. Would it be more normal for me to still be bitter? To blame myself? To want to avoid everyone and everything? Because I've been through all of those stages.

It's not that I didn't grieve. It's not that I've forgotten my son. I will never forget him. It's just that six months later, I feel like I'm healing. I am excited about the Pad. He or she will never replace my baby; I'll never pretend that the Pad is my first child.

I hope Joseph forgives me. I guess if there is any part of him out there anywhere, he would want me to be doing OK, right?


At Wednesday, December 07, 2005 8:44:00 AM, Blogger Catherine said...

Everyone grieves in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to do things. You do what works for you. I'm glad you're feeling well. You deserve it.

At Wednesday, December 07, 2005 12:40:00 PM, Blogger AJW5403 said...

I understand your getting upset when people are pregnant and drinking and doing things they should not. It is very upsetting to people like us who know and understand how fragile life in the womb is. I have gotten so annoyed lately by somebody’s lack of caring for their Childs safety while in the womb I opened my mouth about. Yes I was mostly in the since this is not my child she is carrying but I just could not stand by and watch her do these damaging things anymore.

At Wednesday, December 07, 2005 2:33:00 PM, Blogger Mrs.X said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with you or the way you've grieved and feel now. It's you. How can what you feel be wrong? You'll never forget J or stop loving him. But I don't think you'll be defined by him either. There is nothing wrong with living.

At Wednesday, December 07, 2005 6:09:00 PM, Blogger lauralu said...

we each grieve in our own way, and much of it has to do with our mental health at the time of the loss, i think. i remember feeling much the way you described for a while. it comes and goes. i think any good mental health you have, you should hold on to it with all your might.

At Wednesday, December 07, 2005 8:54:00 PM, Blogger gabesmama said...

At six months I felt ready to move forward. I felt ready to live again and I think I would have if I didn't get stuck in a holding pattern and if my bad luck didn't continue. When you don't get to try, I sometimes think you get more desperate because you are only left with your saddness and no hope. I always felt better when I was trying. But now my happiness isn't dependent on trying. So a year out I am happy without baby thoughts. 6 months out I was only happy if I could have baby thoughts.

At Wednesday, December 28, 2005 2:33:00 AM, Blogger funkyjunkie said...

wow ... so many things you just said make so much sense to me. thank you.


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