Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's the final countdown

52 weeks ago my dad finished painting A's room.
51 weeks ago, sometime after my morning appointment with my OB, Dr.Best, A died in my womb.
52 weeks and 2 days ago Monkey had her first piano recital. Her third one is this coming Sunday.
I am waiting for a call from the scheduling lady at Dr.Best's practice about my first real appointment for this go-round. It might be next Tuesday, 52 weeks to the day.

I am melancholy these days. Going day to day. Classes start next week. In fact, classes start on the 30th. Thankfully, I don't have to teach that day, or on the 31st. But I do have to teach on Friday, the 1st. A year after we left the hospital. I hope I can muster some enthusiasm for my how not to write papers or what to look for when you read one talk.

I can't figure out how my current condition is affecting my feelings about the anniversary. I thought it would make it easier to face if I was pregnant or in the middle of a cycle when it rolled around, but I may have been wrong. I am apprehensive. I can't imagine, so far, a happy ending to this particular pregnancy. I am not against it in any way, you understand, just can't picture it. I can't even think of the fetbryo as a baby. Maybe it's because I spent most of the last two weeks helping Monkey deal with her feelings, but the thing I am thinking about most often, if I am to be truthful, is that if this ends badly, it will mean another delay, longer time for Monkey to wait. Cold, I know. I named my blog what I did partially to remind myself to not shut down when the time came, but I am finding now that I have to give myself a little more time.

Randomly, the last couple of days, I have been remembering things. Parts of labor. Right before I left the house to go to the hospital. Right before he was born. Right after. JD holding A. Very vivid things, and yet somehow muted. I know they are not happening now. But I know they happened. And it feels like yesterday. Shortly before six months I wrote "Turns out, six months is no time at all." Seems a year is not much longer.


Caro said...

Oh Julia.


It'll take as long as it takes.

Beruriah said...

A year is not very long at all. Shockingly short. I feel like you wrote the 6 month post just yesterday.

You have to have these moments - I'm sorry. But they come and keep coming.

I'll be thinking of you and A nonstop these coming days.

Good luck with those students - I love those days.

niobe said...

I can't begin to imagine how hard these anniversaries must be for you. When I see how much other people suffer at these times, I feel selfishly grateful to have been spared that particular pain.

I hope it goes as easily as it possibly can.

Karen said...

no, a year is not long. I'm glad you are taking it easy on yourself.

Tash said...

Nothing to say but: yup.

Snickollet said...

All these dates, all these important and emotional things happening all at once. I'm thinking of you so much.

meg said...

A year is no time at all. I can tell you that, for sure.

I'm thinking of you, JD, Monkey and A. Lots.

S. said...

I think it would be hard, either way, this anniversary. It's just different flavors of hard, in the end.

I'm thinking of you.

Magpie said...

I'm sorry for your melancholy. And the hormonal nature of your current condition is probably not helping.

Thinking of you.

wannabe mom said...

no amount of time will ever be long enough. ever, ever.

thinking of you, sending you lots of hugs.

charmedgirl said...

god it's so scary to think that time is not going to be the magic bullet. it's also scary every time i read it from a dead baby mom who's pregnant again/had a live baby after. nothing will help. CRAP.

Aurelia said...

I'm here, and I'm listening. Big hugs to you, my dear.

Lori said...

I was pregnant for my first anniversary too, and it was complicated. It made it hard for me to immerse myself in my grief, and yet the grief was unavoidable at the same time. I felt like I had no choice but to set the new baby aside for a little bit while I focused on my memories of the two I lost. I didn't really worry about it. I knew I just had to do what I had to do.

I am praying that somehow this time will pass peacefully.

Casey said...


Mandy said...

A year can pass in the blink of an eye. I can only imagine how these anniversaries hurt. Take the time to surround yourself in the things and people that bring you comfort at this time.

Thinking of all of you.

Rosalind said...

It's so hard to hear that even after a full year this is still going to be my life..That after everything i'm doing and going through there will never be 'a happily ever after'..

Take care hon and hang in there

Cobblestone said...

Because I wish someone had said it to me... when my husband died {I know it isn't the same thing by a long shot but it might be parallel in this respect} I felt very similar in the "final countdown" weeks.

What nobody told me, was that in some ways the second year can be tougher because of two things - (1) you are out of the year where society is taught to at least provide lip service sympathy to your loss, and (2) your energy is no longer so focused on brute survival. The result being {for me, and other widow/ers} the next couple months are surprisingly tough because it is sort of the first time going through those months consciously.

For better or worse time is relentless, and six years after the death of my husband I spend hours or days instead of weeks being crushed. It changes, it is different, but I'll *never* be the one that says that time makes it better.

I hold you and your family in my heart this week and wish for you genuine laughter, cleansing tears, and the secure knowlege that you are loved.

c. said...

"...but the thing I am thinking about most often, if I am to be truthful, is that if this ends badly, it will mean another delay, longer time for Monkey to wait."

This is a sentiment I can completely relate to. I feel I have waited, and made my children wait, for years now. This isn't how I wanted our story to unfold. I've learned that I have very little control over the overall shape it takes, it seems.

PS Thank you for your comments on my blog. Turns out, you are the reason I found this deadbabycommunity at all; when I was trying to halt the painful engorgement after I lost C@llum, I stumbled upon your site. Thank you. I, too, am very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine a year passing. I can't imagine feeling this way for that long. I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

The year of firsts will come to a close, but not even a lifetime will be long enough. Thinking of you.

BasilBean said...

A year ago, in the days leading up to the one year anniversary of William's birth/death, I was experiencing something similar--I found myself frequently thinking "a year ago...(fill in with vivid memory)"

I did find the days leading up to the anniversary to be much harder than the day itself, though. Now that I am heading toward the second anniversary I don't find myself having those thoughts again. It is hard to explain, but it is different.

I can imagine that it is hard for you to have the added layers of your new pregnancy as well as helping Monkey with her grieving. I think you are right to take it day by day, give yourself time, and allow yourself to react to things differently than you might have anticipated.

Amelie said...

Thinking of you. I'm sorry that it must be so hard.

kate said...

No, a year is not very long at all. Sometimes it seems an age, other times just a blink.

I am thinking of you...

kate said...

Oh, PS to commenters above -- the best quote about time & grief, i think, is from Rose Kennedy:
"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone."

She's right, it remains. But it does scab over, you know? It becomes part of the fabric of your life. There is joy again too, eventually.

passingwindows said...

Time is very elastic, especially when we are mourning someone. Good luck with going back to teaching and with the ultrasound.

christina(apronstrings) said...

it's too bad that you have to keep going through this. but there's just no other way.
my depression, since i got pregnant, has gotten worse. and i have zero reason to be upset about anything. so, your current condition is likely a double edged sword.
i know you'll make it through this. one day at a time. one foot in front of the other.
i cannot even fathom how difficult.
know that lots of us out here are thinking of you and wishing you some semblance of peace.

Antigone said...

As early as it is for me - I'm already thinking hard about the next pregnancy. I'm sure I'll face every trip to the bathroom with dread, cry with every unknown abdominal twinge, cower at each ultrasound, and generally just expect it all to end in heartbreak. And it probably will.
Okay, now I'm being the depressing one.