It's been nearly a month since Isaiah was taken Home. How are we doing? I don't really know.
Most of the time we're fine.
I'm pretty much healed from the delivery. This helps a lot, I think, with the fits of anger I had the first two weeks after he left us. My appetite, after an initial decrease, is back to normal. Unfortunately, my hair, which has just started growing back from my post-Charlie-pardem hair loss, coming back in wild wings in awkward places, is now falling out again. This is very frustrating, not to mention disgusting. I can't pick Charlie up from the floor without then having to pluck obscene amounts of hair from between her toes and fingers...sigh.
I am still very tired. No one told Charlie that mommy's body is recovering from chaos, and filling to the brim with excess hormones, so she's being the busy 10 month old she is, and I'm doing my best to keep up on about 6 hours of sleep a night.
Initially I had such a great perspective on this whole thing. The baby center we were in plays a little lullaby every time a baby was born, and as I labored to birth our stillborn son, I surprised myself with being happy for those mommy's who were marvelling over their new baby. I had expected to be bitter, but I was so glad that they were spared from my pain. I also surprised myself to discover that it's now that I'm bitter. I see pregnant women everywhere, and experience varying levels of jealousy, from slight (generally people I know) to extreme (strangers). I see people carrying newborns or playing with their baby boys and feel a lot of self pity. Why did this have to happen to us, is a common refrain in my mind.
I've learned the things that will set me off - some I can avoid (gazing at the baby boy clothes at H&M and thinking of what I would be buying had things gone differently), some I can't (pregnant women are every where. You can't dodge 'em.)
I often want to feel numb. I have a stack of cards and a dried rose from a flower arrangement waiting to find their place in the keepsake box from the hospital. Although the box is sitting in my line of vision most of the day, I dread opening it, and feeling the pain that, in a way, I've buried in it. As long as I don't open that box, see his tiny footprints, the notes from our nurses, the reminders of the son who went ahead of us, I can contain myself. I don't have to feel.
It's a really hard thing, grieving for someone who was such a large part of you, but whom you never knew. I don't really know how to do it. For 19 weeks he was growing in me, reminding me he was there first with cravings for salty foods, then spicy foods, then with the nudges that a mother can't get enough of. Then he was gone. In my arms for the briefest moment, then presented to me as ashes in a little wooden box. It's almost surreal. I told a friend recently that sometimes I feel like I'm recovering from a disease. I was hospitalized, sent home to recover, then sent a nice big bill as a reminder. There's no baby at my breast, no first smiles to wait eagerly for, just another bill to stress over.
Tim is experiencing this in an entirely different way. When he told his coworkers that we lost the baby, the reaction, for the most part was, "Oh yeah, I knew someone who had a miscarriage once. That sucks." and on they go with whatever work related thing they have.
To say "That sucks" to someone who actually held his dead child in his arms doesn't cut it. I watched my husband sob when the nurse sadly said, "A little baby boy," as she wrapped him up for us to hold. Tim clung to him, holding him longer than even I did, kissing his face, gazing at his hands, already missing the boy we'll never know. So, I'm beyond frustrated that his coworkers aren't more sympathetic, and even more so that some of them hold grudges over having to cover for him for those three days he took to be with me in the hospital and at home while we grieved.
Reading this through, it kinda sounds like we're a mess. Sometimes we (usually me) are. But day to day, we're doing really well. We have hope and faith that Isaiah is with Christ in Heaven, and that eases the blow of his loss immensely. It enables us to pull ourselves, or eachother, from despair. To seek strength in the Lord. To be better parents to Charlie, not taking her for granted. This post was written purely from my human response to my loss, but there's a lot more to it.
We have hope, and I'm going to tell you about it. Read on, friends.