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Friday, January 16, 2009

All Dressed Up but My Mascara Has Run

There is a big part of me that would love to just skip to the end of this week. People are right, it has been a rough week for me. Too much going on personally to feel committed at work and too much going on a work to have the energy to deal with the personal.

Thank you for all your kind and amazing words regarding yesterday's post. I was a little stunned; not sure why. I think maybe because that post was a letter to him that I had been composing in my head for days and needed to be voiced "aloud". This is my real voice and I'm growing more comfortable using this space to exercise it. IRL, I wear my heart on my sleeve but only to those who know me well. Others will just see this young woman who seems to have it put together. They can't see beneath the layers. They don't know that I've been a wreck these last weeks, months (YEARS?). Maybe it's better that way. At least I have here.

Tomorrow is Alex's EDD (estimated due date). The day I would have first understood the miracle that is motherhood. Known it and held it tight. I would reflect on many things tomorrow but a party of all things, will keep me away.

It is our work "Holiday" Party. We have been celebrating in the New Year as it is less busy and more people can make it. This year is different. For the first time we're holding it in a banquet hall. We've outgrown our President's home and we went to a restaurant last year. But tomorrow, it's almost 60 of us.

I'm on the Social Committee and it's been our task to plan the party. With my Event Planner hat on, I had the fun of designing the decor. We had to be careful not to have any sort of Christmas or other denominational references since we have a diverse crowd and not everyone celebrates these events. So I came up with a very neutral but fun "Winter Wonderland" theme. Colours are black, white and silver. We have feather trees and fake "mercury glass" hurricane shades with pillar candles and glasses holding beautiful overturned ornaments. It's a vintage winter theme. I had a lot of fun dreaming it up.

But the excitement has died this week. I know I need this party for my own morale. It's semi-formal and we get to dress up. I'm wearing a beautiful gown that I've never worn that I got years ago for $30.00. I intend to look and feel like an glamorous "Old Hollywood" screen star. But tomorrow will just another sad day in a week I can't seem to get over with fast enough. The two don't seem to fit in my mind.

Despite my negative rumblings, I have to say I enjoyed writing yesterday's post. For the simple fact that I got tell you all about this amazing person I knew and loved. I laughed and cried over those funny and tender sibling moments I conveyed. For a moment, I could feel peace in it.

How do I do that tomorrow? How do I bring myself to feel happiness over a life that never had the chance to make me laugh. Just cry tears. With Alex, I thought was pregnant and then thought I was proven wrong by a negative hpt and the arrival of my favourite monthly friend. Except that my intuition was right and I was pregnant. AF went away but I kept spotting for something like 10 days. By that 10th day I was convinced I was actually pregnant but also miscarrying. Dr. Google helped me figure this out of course.

I never told the story here of how we went to R's grandfather's 80th b-day on the May long weekend throughout this spotting. Here I was losing my baby (or rather going to) and we were celebrating. I actually had a good time. The biggest hitch to everything besides how I was feeling physically was that R's cousin's wife announced she was pregnant. My heart stopped. I never did hear how far along she was or when she was due. I didn't care. I couldn't care. It was too painful.

We came home and I went to my Dr the next day. He sent me for blood work immediately. He said I was probably miscarrying. The next day I was in so much pain that my manager took one look at me in the elevator on the way up to the office and told me to do what I had to do but to go home. The next day, I had to go down to my Dr's office for the test results. My hcg was 431. I was pg. But the cramps had brought along the bleeding by that point and I knew it was over. I never had the chance to even see a positive pee stick.

The loss of Alex confuses me in some ways. I miscarried naturally and it was incredibly painful (although not as bad as Kenneth but that's another story) but it had happened so soon into the pregnancy that I was confused about how I felt about it. I was so angry and sad and terrified, that I couldn't make sense of things. I bleed for two weeks.

At one point on my days off, Ryan and I had a nasty argument. It was the classic, "he doesn't know what I'm going through and is being insensitive" phase that often happens with miscarriage. I remember yelling through a flood of tears that I was the one who had to feel and watch the life of our child pour out of me. He brought it up in our second counselling session after we lost Kenneth when our marriage was having problems. We were having problems. When he recounted the exchange to our counsellor I broke down and cried. He held my hand with one hand and rested the other on my knee as I leaned my head on his shoulder, tears soaking his shirt.

Even now I can feel the anguish from that memory as I type. So very raw and angry and uncomprehending. We waited the month that we were supposed to before trying to conceive again. We were ready by then though. It was almost as if for both pregnancies that the length of time I was pregnant was more or less the time we needed to feel ready to try again.

Alex would have been 40 weeks today. But it was never meant to be. I know that but it doesn't mean that I don't wish it could have been different. But it's not and that's okay. In a way Alex had truly prepared me for the concept of motherhood. With Kenneth it was a given, but that first realization that I could actually be a mother was Alex's gift to me.

A most amazing gift that I hold on to tightly.

Tomorrow will be a sad day but also a festive and fun day too. If I don't go and enjoy myself, I'm sure the kids will harass me for it later so I'll be good and try to let the sorrow go.

Pam commented on yesterday's post by saying, "I understand those heartbreaks we carry with us. I often have to hold onto what Khalil Gibran said -- that the deeper sorrow carves into our soul, the more joy we can contain."

If what Gibran says is true (I think it might be), then my soul is a cavernous canyon awaiting to be filled. It most assuredly has known joy over these years but I think it's about time that the balance shifted from the one I've known more of, to the one I'd like to get to know better.

I feel it's my time. Would it be too arrogant or selfish to say that maybe, just maybe I'm derserving of it?


Melissa said...

i must have missed that quote, that's beautiful.

i really hope this year is the year that you begin to fill up those crevices with amazing things.

:) ((Hugs))

WiseGuy said...

Yes, I think you deserve the happiness.

It is ironic that you would be forced to be in a party tomorrow, when you would rather stay home and grieve. Well, life is so hard. I am so sad for all this. And yes, I wish I could have gone to the pee stick level atleast, and not come to know of things through cramping and extended bleeding and uterine spews.

It is so very sad. I could perhaps shout it out a thousand times - life is so unfair...

Meg said...

This post is so genuine and sheds light on the crux of losing your first child, regardless of how long you knew they were on their way. My heart breaks for you and you deserve to get your chance more than anyone I know.

Kim said...

These two posts about your family's loss are so beautifula dn graceful. I will be thinking about you this week and hoping you receiving something to fill you up and lift your spirits, you do deserve it.

Another Dreamer said...

Yes, you deserve happiness sweetie.

My Reality said...

You deserve happiness, and it doesn't make you arrogant to say it. I hope it comes to you soon.

surpriseofunfolding said...

Such a heart breaking week for you. I hope joy comes to fill up that cavern soon.