Friday, October 12, 2007

Thinking more...

I kept thinking about my last post. I immediately wanted to put the disclaimer on it saying "I'm not sure when I got here and I reserve the right to fall back into complete misery at any time I choose." as I'm fully aware of the roller coaster of this pain.

I tried to pinpoint when I started feeling this way. I don't think it was just this night but it definitely seems to stick out in my mind. My best friend, A and me went to play poker in Canada. It was our "just get away from everything" night. She is suffering from secondary infertility and has been trying for years. After 20 years of friendship, you could say we know each other almost too well. She is the person that calls me crying because she's having a bad Connor day. She is the person that taught me I wanted people to grieve with me not for me. So I guess it suits that she would teach me this lesson too.

So we're playing poker and the guy next to me starts with the chit chat talk. No biggie at first..."I see your married" "yep" "Happily?" "yep". Brief silence where I turn to look at Ang and we have the understanding...it's coming. Sure enough, "do you have children" "yep". At this point, I have not looked directly at him, have not changed my response. Yet he continues "how many" "3". As I know the next question to come, so does Ang. She starts laughing. She can't stop. I hear her mutter "shut up or you're going to be sorry" while she can't stop laughing. Now I'm laughing while he asks "How old are they?" While laughing I had to say my first son passed away and my second was 2 and youngest was an infant. We must have looked insane. We're laughing while we say my son passed away but we couldn't stop. His questions stopped but I didn't notice his reaction. I never looked at him. I don't know if I got the look of horror. I don't know if he gave that pity face. I didn't care, I was too busy cracking up. I actually was laughing because the tables were turning. Instead of me worrying about how this random person was going to put me in a downward spiral, I was laughing because it was inevitable that he was going to ask and I was going to have to make him feel uncomfortable. I'm sure it helped that I knew no one there. I'm sure it helped that she started laughing and that always throws me into non-stop laughter. She knew I was going to acknowledge Connor and she knew this was never going to end (she gets the "when are you going to have another child question). The fact was I enjoyed that night. I enjoyed that I silenced him. I enjoyed laughing despite my reality.

I keep trying to think what released some of my fears of people's judgements. I do think that my 2 successful PALs have helped tremendously. I do think that being done with pregnancy (I'm not having any more) has helped. But I think it's more. Whenever I heard "it won't happen twice" to me during a PAL, I became extremely defensive for all the women that did suffer multiple losses. I took it as some sort of insult/judgement to them. So as I help my friend through her early pregnancy loss, I find myself admitting to feelings and reactions so that she doesn't feel alone. Why should I hide them? Why should I be embarassed? Doesn't that imply we grieving mothers are guilty? Because we're not. Our hearts are forever broken but that's not our fault.

Ok, this probably sounds crazy. I also know that this piece of acceptance does not mean I have many more issues to deal with and jealous responses to work on. Something in me just wants to scream from the rooftops "I have a son that is dead...he died inside of me...I'm not hiding anymore!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Truth that I'm going to admit

A statement was made on another blog and my response to her posts made me realize I want to tell an evil truth.

Part of my response to her entry: Here's a thought, it is just learning to embrace you or the life that you didn't choose. I've recently came to a place where I almost take pride in that I've suffered a loss. Not in that I am glad it happened but that I know truths most people take a lifetime to figure out and some never do. I've noticed the less that I seem to fight not wanting to be seen as different the less I care about the what the difference says to that person.

So here it is...Some days, I enjoy shocking people. I enjoy watching someone squirm. I enjoy watching the horror that comes across their face.

Let me explain before I get saddled with hate responses. At first, I hated these moments. I felt like a freak. They would trigger such pain that I always wanted to run and hide. The enjoyment I feel now is because I can stand there without a tear and say "My first son passed away" and no matter what the response, I survive. I enjoy that I've stopped giving people that power. I enjoy that I've taken control of these situations and they are on my terms now.

I know it sounds strange and if you had asked me even a year ago if I would ever feel this way, I would have thought you were nuts. I do feel a sense of pride now. I feel honored to be knowledgeable about this world of pain and know that occassionally I may help another grieving mother. Sure there are things I'm still jealous about but at the end of the day, I know the truths that people want to hide from. I know reality.

Yes, it's different. Everything is different. However, with that difference came a new perspective. I'm proud that I know the goal of childbirth is not sticking to a birth plan but taking home a breathing baby. I'm proud that I know asking a pregnant woman if this is her first is completely inappropriate question. I'm proud that I know you become a mother the minute you are pregnant and that can never change. I'm proud that I know there is parenting of living and deceased children.

Maybe my hope is that the isolation, the silent grieving will stop if grieving mothers take charge. I may have only been able to get to this point recently but I can say it's had a ripple effect in my life. I don't mind being social again. I don't mind being around moms/babies. The reactions I get now are different. Oh, I still get those "looks" but not as often. I don't know if it's by chance but I'm starting to wonder if it was because I gave them that opportunitity (ok, gave is a bad word in that I really didn't have a choice then but I do now). I wonder if it just comes down to the more confidence you put forth, the less someone questions it.

I wonder if I'm been able to get to this point because I've had 2 successful PAL, that the guilt or fear that I caused Connor's death is reduced. Hmmm...