Making More of Myself

Posted on | August 25, 2016 | 2 Comments

If we’re being honest, I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to make sure I’m not depriving my son of anything. Inordinate. And I’m not sure if it’s because I work outside the home, or because I was a single mom, or because his biological father is not a current part of his life… whatever the reason, I spend a lot of my time outside the office trying to provide memories and experiences and handfuls of magic.

And for the most part, I thought I was doing a pretty darn good job. I mean, he seems well-adjusted and happy… so how bad could I be doing? But then the other night, as I was putting him to bed, I realized I’d neglected one really important aspect of raising my son.

We were talking about his birthday dinner and he asked if I’d ever had one of the “Happy Birthday” chocolate signs that came on his brownie. I told him I’d had a “Congratulations” one when I went to the same restaurant for a bridal shower and he looked confused.

“I don’t remember that,” he said, and I smiled.

“Well that’s because you weren’t there, kiddo. It was just me and some of my girl friends.”

He thought for a moment and then shook his head.

“No. You don’t go anywhere without me or Daddo.”

At first I wanted to laugh because it was sort of funny that he thought that… and then I wanted to cry. Because somehow my son has reached seven years old and he doesn’t think I have a life outside of him and Banks. Somehow, I’d neglected to show him that I am a woman outside of being a mother and wife… that I am worthy of dinners with friends or pedicures alone. I have, instead, placed him in a world where Banks goes and does those things but I do not… I stay home out of some sense of responsibility or duty or some other nonsense. I have created a life for him where my only identity is as his mother or Banks’ wife.

And that, my friends, is SO not okay.

Because if my son doesn’t see me as a person… if he doesn’t see the primary woman in his life as more than just a housekeeper/attorney/wife/mother/cook/etc… then how will he view the women around him as he gets older? If they have vibrant social lives, will he frown at them? Will he think their place is in the home? Will he wonder why they aren’t busy tending their children, because his mother was always home… too tired after a long day of work to tend to herself?

I can’t have that.

It’s hard enough to be a woman in today’s society without making the mistake of raising yet another boy to believe that a woman’s place is in the home… tending the hearth, baking the cookies. I owe it to the future girlfriends, wives, co-workers of my son and those around him to get out of the house, to go dancing, to stay out past … gasp… nine o’clock.

I know we’re tired. I get it. I’m exhausted after a work week. And most of the time, I just want to curl up with a good book and ignore the world outside my home for a while.

But if going out on the town once a month does nothing more than gives my son the expectation that women… even and especially wives and mothers… need time out of the house without their children and spouse?

Then it’s time and effort well spent.

 

Loving the Moments

Posted on | August 22, 2016 | 2 Comments

6381_542327070484_5757269_nI’ve stopped and started this post so many times that it feels silly to start again. The truth is, my words are stopped up; choked into the space between my heart and throat and filling me with the strangest feeling of fullness. Because, well, I am full today. Yet I can’t seem to find the words to express just how overwhelmingly good or maybe… dare I say it… great… that today is.

Because, you see, today is my son’s seventh birthday.

Seven.

My lucky number since I was born. The number I tucked onto soccer jerseys. The number I write not once but three times, every time I write my birthday. My lucky number.

And J? Well, he’s my lucky number, too, isn’t he. The piece of me I never knew was missing. The wide-eyed, startling truth of a boy who made me a parent and re-makes me into a Mom every single day of the year.

It’s hard to believe that seven years ago I didn’t know this amazing person who shares space in my heart and head. It’s hard to imagine what the landscape of my life would look like without sharing his lopsided, over-eager, tender-hearted vision of the world. He is everything I ever wanted to be and so much of who I already am and I couldn’t love him one small smudge on the clear glass of his space in my heart more than I already do.

I have several friends and acquaintances who are just starting out on the adventure that is parenthood and more often than I used to, I have to choke back the “enjoy it while it lasts” that inevitably comes to the back of my tongue when they talk about babies or toddlers or pre-schoolers. But, oh my friends, please try to enjoy it. Even when it rips away at the very soul of your being. Enjoy it when you can’t tell where your tears end and the leaking drip of your breasts begin. Enjoy it when you want to strangle and prod and spank and scream.

Because it passes so quickly. It all speeds by in a whirl and tug of birthday parties and swim lessons and baseball games. It flashes past in a montage of never-ending days, one more push on the swing, one more nuzzle of the soft fuzz of new born hair.

It pains me, it does,  to tell you to enjoy the late nights, the aching body, the frazzled mind. It pains me because I do remember those sepia toned days when the world was hazy with exhaustion and every hollered “no” echoed through my body like the sharpest of nails driven into my brain again. and again. But time paints and glosses and mends until the memories that stand the brightest are the curls and hugs and “I yuve yous.” Time waits and hands you a snow globe of the life you’ve molded, pressed and ready to view again and again with a smile at the images that peer out: first steps, spit prunes, puppy snuggles.

And before I know it, he will be even taller. Even older. Even farther away from the reach of my arms.

So today, on his seventh birthday, I remind myself to breathe in the sweaty boyness of him. I remind myself that these storms of attitude and anger and sadness will also pass. And in seven more years, I will look back on the memory of him now and wonder why it all changed so quickly and why I didn’t spend more time enjoying the multicolored moods and intense love of my long gone seven year old.

So it is with great joy and a touch of sadness that I wish a very happy birthday to the best person I know. May we both learn to love the moments as they come… every single one of them. 14066292_10100380721558184_3313450542525228686_o

Fathers

Posted on | June 20, 2016 | 6 Comments

Father’s Day brought out a whole mess of emotions this year, this first year where we have a stepdad and husband. There were obligatory pancakes and sausage and gifts and cards. There was a little tennis, a little playground time, and some shopping.

And then, as evening rolled around, there were tears.

So many tears.

See, something I haven’t written about on here is what’s going on with the other “dad” in J’s life… the one who helped give him life, the one who changed diapers when there were still diapers to change. Around this time last year, maybe a bit later in the summer, that “dad” decided he needed some time off… a little break from being a once a month visitation “dad” and time to be a “Not even a phone call” kind of “dad.”

Mostly, J has handled this turn of events the way he handles everything in his life… with a sweetness and understanding that surpasses his years. I told him his “dad” was sad… that he was trying to get his life together and needed some time to do that. I told him that dad just wasn’t at a place in his life where he could take care of J, so I decided he wasn’t able to see J right now. And J has nodded and asked pertinent questions about what he can do to help his “dad” feel better. Because he’s a great kid. Because he is as tenderhearted as he is strong.

Deep down I think he knows that I took the blame… but he lets me.

He gives me this burden to shoulder.

Maybe, even at six, he knows that I gave his “dad” an out… a way to step back in later with a smile and a “sorry.” A way to smooth over the hurt he might have caused our little boy.

But even if he knows, I still maintain that burden, that blame, that sadness. Because it’s what parents do… we shoulder as much of the hurt as we can to protect the little ones we love.

Oh but last night, we reached a breaking point.

J has seen his biological father twice in the past year, both times for less than two full days. He hasn’t seen him since Christmas. I can’t recall the last time he spoke to him on the phone, though I believe it was at least four or five months ago.

Yesterday was Father’s Day. Yesterday, after he loved on the stepfather who adores him, J asked to call his biological father. The phone rang less than twice then the voicemail kicked in. A brief message was left, and the moment the “off” button was pressed, my sweet, strong, amazingly wonderful child threw himself in my lap and sobbed a mountain’s worth of tears.

“Why doesn’t he want to talk to me, Mom?” He asked between sobs. “Why doesn’t he miss me?”

And honestly, though words came out of my mouth, I had no real answer. This isn’t a puzzle I can piece together. This isn’t a booboo I can tape a bandage across and watch heal.

This is a heart wrenching, gut kicking, horrifying hurt and there is not one thing I can do to fix it.

So I did what we do as parents, when we don’t have an answer. I called for Banks. I held J close. I rocked him. I cried with him. I promised him that this isn’t his fault.

And then we both leaned into the arms of the man who is here every single damn day trying his best to love us both back to whole. We leaned into the strength of this amazing man who isn’t perfect but who is here, throwing the ball, answering the questions, reading the bedtime stories, and drying the tears of a child who isn’t of his blood but who is so much of his heart.

Because that’s what real fathers do.

The Hard Road

Posted on | June 16, 2016 | 1 Comment

“You’re an idiot.”

“I hope one day you learn how to use your brain.”

“What is the MATTER with you people?”

“I hope they die in a fire.”

“This country is in a sad state of affairs when this person is a candidate for President.”

“Criminal.”

“Bigot.”

“Asshole”

“Bitch.”

“A bunch of liberal morons.”
“Republican dumbasses.”

The quotations above all come from a variety of different Facebook posts and comments written by a variety of people… some I know, some I don’t. I’ve collected them over the past few days and weeks because I think they’re important. With the exception of a few, I can promise you that you can not determine with any accuracy which political party the speaker is talking about, or which presidential candidate’s supporters the speaker is talking to. Know why you can’t determine that? Because we are all saying the same things about each other.

Let that sink in for a minute.

You aren’t the only person thinking your neighbor is stupid.

They think you’re pretty stupid, too.

And to me, that was a pretty important realization. Because if the people I think are stupid are also thinking I am stupid, then either both of us are right, or both of us are wrong.

I’ve determined, hopefully, that both of us are wrong. Or on some days, that we’re both right.

See, I have a lot of dear friends who think about politics differently than I do. I have a lot of acquaintances who think about politics differently than me. And I’ll be the first to admit, that when several of those friends and acquaintances started sharing their support for a candidate I didn’t approve of, or their disdain for one I love, my knee jerk reaction was to say “What an idiot,” and dismiss them and their opinions.

Surely they are under educated. Clearly they are blinded by something. Obviously they are complete morons.

And then I took the time to read the posts on their page and the comments they made on other posts. And I realized they were and are saying the exact same thing about me. They believe that I am blinded, that I am an idiot, that I have no clue about what it takes to be President of this nation right now.

What that says to me is this… We have all stopped talking to each other and resorted to talking at each other. We’ve stopped listening and started yelling with our fingers in our ears. We are all, every single one of us, guilty of keeping up this ugly, ugly cycle of blame and inaction. We are all to blame for the continued divide in this country. Because until we stop calling each other idiots, and LISTEN to each other, ask each other what it is about a candidate that garners support… NOT what is it about the other candidates that doesn’t… then we can’t expect our politicians to work together. Why would they? Their voters aren’t working together. Their constituents are embracing the divide, creating the drama, making real the concept that there is no way a Republican and a Democrat and an Independent can ever work together in this world.

Except, listen to me carefully here… I’m living proof that there IS a way.

Because here’s the real deal: I’ve been called a bleeding heart liberal MANY times in my life. And I am married to a Republican. Some people can’t process that concept, but you know what? We agree on a ton of things. Do we always agree on politics or politicians? Nope … sometimes, but not always. But we do agree that deep down, people are good… they just need to be reminded. We agree that nothing in the world is better than hearing a child’s belly laugh. We agree that killing people is stupid, that homosexual rights are no different than heterosexual rights, that all the news is biased because PEOPLE are biased, that this election cycle is awful, and that at the end of the day nothing is better than watching sports while having a beer with friends.  We agree on what matter most… we love each other. No matter what.

It’s easy to say that the other side is stupid.

It’s easy to say that anyone who supports ______ is an idiot.

It’s so freaking easy to wash your hands of friends who support this or that person or idea.

But don’t take the easy way out, America, don’t do it.  The fact is that there will always be people who disagree with you on how to govern this country. Always.

The trick is to find a middle ground.

And if WE can’t do that as voters? Then we can’t expect our representatives to find a way, either.

I know it’s hard. I know that the rhetoric and shaming and hate is strong and to spend time around it may make your skin crawl. I know that it’s easier to shut the door, pull down the blinds, and hold on to the people around you who think and feel the same way.

It’s really easy to condemn each other in this political climate.

It is so much harder to love each other, even through our glaring differences.

Oh, but try… try to choose love, even in the midst of this madness.  Choose to meet each other in the spaces we currently hold, even if we don’t understand those spaces, even when we are afraid of those places. Until we understand what brought us to the places we hold, we can not understand how to change them.

Don’t condemn… love.

Be the change… hold on to the hope and belief that this whole country, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green Party, Independent, and Abstainers, will one find its way back to a place where we can love and respect each other…

Not in spite of our differences, but because of them.

 

I Won’t Give Up

Posted on | June 13, 2016 | 2 Comments

I have been turning the events of Saturday night in Orlando over and over in my mind. I have wondered where we go from here. I have wondered how we recover, yet again, from yet another explosion of violence. I have wondered, more than once, if there’s a place I can bundle up my husband and child and run away to… somewhere safe. Somewhere I won’t wonder, every day, if this view of a car pulling away, or of a backpack disappearing is the last time I’ll have that rush of knowing my loved ones are safe.

I have wanted to run away, you guys. I’ve wanted to run as fast and as far from America as I possibly can. And not because there’s violence here, though that’s part of it. I’ve wanted to run because we take violence and we make it political. We make it an example of why we should hate or why we should vote or why we should do anything in the whole world other than grieve that this horrific thing has happened and work together to find a way to keep it from happening again. America has made violence into a sound bite… a way to push a platform or a politician.

And this morning, as I scanned the news of “our” politicians making statements about the violence in Orlando, I can tell you with 100% certainty, that I wanted to leave this place that I love so dearly. Because, I wondered, how do we recover from this. When does it stop? When do we say “this is enough” and put our collective foot down? It seems like “never” is the only answer we seem to get.

It seems like we will never change.

And America will continue to shake it’s collective head and cry it’s selective tears, and move on to the next mass casualty because it’s just what happens. Because “Mentally Ill” or “Illegal Immigrant” or “Muslim” or “Angry.” Or just “Because.”

This morning, I wanted so desperately to live somewhere else. To be somewhere else. To open my eyes in a country that isn’t so politically divided that it can’t see that we all want the exact same thing: to be safe. To feel free. To raise our children to believe in that safety and freedom.

We all want the same thing but somehow, it’s easier to blame each other than to work together to find it. It’s easier to blame liberals or conservatives, than to blame ourselves… to take responsibility and then work towards a solution. We’d all rather just look the other way, run the other way, blame the other guy.

But running away? Running away is easy. It is easy to pack and clean and nod and wave. It is easy to not vote, to not read the news, to pretend that none of this happening. It is simple to put down the pen, to refuse to participate, to ignore the polarizing nonsense that BOTH sides are shoving down our throats.

We don’t need a wall.  We don’t need isolation. We don’t need rhetoric and slander and anger and pointing fingers.

We need, quite simply, to remember what it feels like to love each other.

We need someone to say “America, you are so broken: politically, religiously, racially. You are broken but just like with every other broken thing, we have two choices… we either throw it away, or we fix it.”

Throwing it all away is easy. Starting from scratch is easy. The hard job is to stay and to fix… to refuse to give up on the dream that this country can be a place where we all forget that we look, pray, eat, speak, and love differently, and remember that we all live here for the same reasons: freedom, safety, stability, and love. I know that this country can still be that place because I see it there, hiding in the sweet, clearness of my son’s gaze. I see that he doesn’t care about Republican or Democrat, Black or White, Gay or Straight. I see that he just loves… indiscriminately… the way we all should.

So no, Orlando, I will not do you the disservice of running away. I will not slander the names of your victims by ignoring what happened, yet again, or by turning it into a platform of any kind other than this:

I will not give up on what this country should be.

I will not give up on the ideals and foundations of freedom and friendship and love that I believe it was founded on.

I will not give up on MY American Dream: that one day, my son will shake his gray and aged head in disbelief that there was ever such a time in America as this.

*Hat tip to Jason Mraz for the inspiration on this one.*

Finding Accomplishments

Posted on | June 10, 2016 | 3 Comments

“I have a girlfriend,” my six year old son told me one day. I sort of rolled my eyes, because he’s six and him having a girlfriend is ridiculous. But then he said something that made me pay attention.

“It’s okay though,” he shrugged and grinned. “She’s pretty.”

It was the “she’s pretty” that did it.

I sat him down at the table and had the first of what I’m sure will be a number of talks about boys and girls. Because, as I told him, boys and girls should always strive to be people of accomplishment. And boys and girls should also strive to date people of accomplishment: funny, smart, kind, good at sports, a good writer. Any number of things come to mind… things that are accomplished through hard work, practice, good study habits. Things that show that a person IS something.

Being “pretty” is not an accomplishment, I told my son. Because it isn’t. We either fit society’s ideal of pretty or we don’t… through no fault or accomplishment of our own. So why would I ever want my son to tell me first that a girl he likes is “pretty.” Who cares if she’s pretty? Who cares if she was blessed with an exceptional genetic code? That doesn’t tell me anything about who she is. Just the same as having someone tell me my son is handsome isn’t exactly what I want to hear. Don’t get me wrong, I think J is adorable. But who really cares? What does being adorable say about him as a person?

The thing is, I want my son to aim higher than “pretty” or “handsome”.  I want him to aim for “Kind”. For “Funny”.  I want to hear him talking about a girl he likes because she’s “smart” or “clever” or “well-read”.  I want to teach him to aim for something that shows worth, for someone who shows diligence, who reveals a love of something more than the skin they were given. All too often I catch myself saying “Oh how adorable!” when I meet a little girl or boy for the first time. All too often, I hear myself tell J that this or that person is “cute” or “looks handsome” or “has great hair.” And there’s nothing wrong with those things… but man do I wish I could go back and compliment the important things just as often.

“Wow that kid is funny!”

“Hey she’s really smart!”

“He’s an exceptional reader!”

I want to teach my son to view “pretty” is an afterthought, that a woman is more than her face and figure, that HE is more than his face and figure. I want to teach him to ignore the surface and search for what’s beneath… to embrace the talents that make us all unique.

So I’m changing the way I talk about people… especially myself. No more “I look awful.” No more “I am fat.” No more off-handed comments about anyone’s appearance. Because it starts with me, I think. It starts with me saying “Man, you were really smart at work today” instead of “You look really nice.” It starts with me complimenting another attorney’s theory of the case, not her handbag or haircut.

It starts with me. Recognizing that I am more than my face and figure. Recognizing that I am smart and kind and funny. Recognizing that I am a person of accomplishment regardless of what size I wear or how my hair frizzes up in the summer.

I looked at J carefully to be sure he was listening.

“Never have any friends, boy or girl, if all you have to say about them is that they are pretty or handsome,” I told my son. “And never have any friends, boy or girl, who don’t have anything to say about you other than that you’re handsome. Because how you look isn’t something you’ve worked for… and it’s the things you work for that make you who you REALLY are.”

I honestly don’t know if it sank in. This time.

But I know that I will continue to remind him, again and again, that “pretty” isn’t an accomplishment, until the day I first hear him describe a new friend with words that tell me more about his heart than his face.

Porcelain

Posted on | May 16, 2016 | 1 Comment

Last week felt like some sort of “survive and advance” week.

Just get out of bed one more time.

Just get dressed one more day.

Just get to work one more morning.

It was as though if I could just get through that one week, everything would be okay.

I pasted the pieces of my heart together, shellacked them shiny and pristine, hoping not even I would spot the cracks and crevices where some pieces were irretrievably lost in the initial collapse of hopes and dreams.  I pressed on. I did the work. I cooked and cleaned and smiled as though everything was just peachy damn keen, and I didn’t need one single thing, thankyouverymuch.

When last night rolled around, I felt pretty good. I mean, I’d survived a week and a half. The worst was over.  My heart was back together; one complete, though mended entity, and I’d made it through. Everything would come up roses, now, right?

Only… that’s not really how grief works, is it.

I woke up at 4am this morning with an ache that started somewhere around the empty of my uterus and spread up and outward to my head and heart. I sat up in bed, feeling that everything was inexplicably wrong in every single possible way, and maybe this past week I was so proud to have survived, was really just… numbness.

Maybe now the real hurting begins. Now… after the flowers have died and the condolences have stopped pouring in. Now, after everyone else has moved on with their lives and I’m still here, empty-armed and teary-eyed.

Maybe I’ve done all this wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have pushed through last week. Maybe I should have let myself curl up in the smallest of balls and cry the loudest of tears. Maybe then the pressure in my chest would be less, the tightness at the back of my throat easier to bear.

Or maybe this is just the way it works… two steps forward, one step back… until there’s a moment when I won’t see an expectant mother and feel the tell-tale crack and ache of my pasted-together heart, shattering all over again.

 

 

One Week Later

Posted on | May 11, 2016 | 2 Comments

It’s been one week.

One extended ache of a week since I casually walked to the restroom, the sway of my hips proudly announcing “expecting.”

It’s been one brief and endless week since I was able to rest a hand against my abdomen, smiling that secret, all-knowing smile of a woman in love with someone she’s never even met.

It’s been one agonizing week since a slash of red blurred and crossed my vision, blinding me with a series of question marks and broken dreams.

My stomach is a little flatter today, softer against the press of my palm; there’s no more hardened rise of life to greet my hand or eye. Yet in what seems to be a total betrayal of self, my clothes are still snug, pressing against the weight of my sorrow and leaving tiny indentations of memory pressed in places that used to house the flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood.

It’s only been one week.

One long and heart-breakingly slow week.

One week to think about the moments that might have been, the life we might have lived. The child, to have and to hold, that is no more.

But today, around the time I was checking into the hospital last week to wipe clean the slate of dreams that had smeared and ran the length of my cheeks, I will wait at the door of another hospital room.

I will knock.

I will tentatively push open the door.

I will smile at the dearest of friends through a curtain of my tears.

And I will clutch to my heart a tiny girl, brought tenderly into this world in the wee hours of yesterday morning. And though she is not flesh of my flesh, she is blood of my blood… a child of my tribe, a daughter of my village. And, yes, I will weep, of that I am sure. I will weep softly over the aching emptiness in my self and over the sweet newness of this child. But deep down, I will know… I DO know… that life continues.

Life moves on.

Life… simply moves.

And though today, one week later, life may move me to tears with the reminder of what might have been once… it will also move me to remember what can still be again.

Today, one week later, life will keep moving me forward… onward to the place and time when I will not simultaneously break and rebuild through the sighs and coos of a newborn.

 

 

Mis-Carry

Posted on | May 6, 2016 | 3 Comments

I’ve done a lot of thinking about why miscarriage is such a secret shame… why women don’t talk about it, why we don’t WANT to talk about it.

I’ve thought a lot about why it is we feel ashamed by our bodies, ashamed by our inabilities, ashamed by something that is often totally and completely outside of our control.

And it comes down to this… I think it’s time the English speaking medical community re-names this horrific accident that rips  women and men into pieces and leaves them shattered. Because “miscarry”? That doesn’t seem right to me.

See “mis-“, means “Wrongly” , “badly”, or “Unsuitably.”

And “carry” means “to have something with or inside you” or “to move something while holding or supporting it.”

If you put those two together, what we’re really saying to English-speaking women is “You carried this wrong.” “This was your fault.” “You were an unsuitable home for your child.”

Is it any wonder that no one wants to talk about it? Is there even a question as to why an English-speaking woman, ANY English-speaking woman, would immediately feel as though SHE did this. SHE caused this to happen. SHE carried her child wrong.

Can’t we rename this? Maybe “misformed”,”misattached”, “misgravidity” or maybe just “mispregnant”? Because semantics matter, you know. And when I hear the word “miscarriage”, what I hear is “your body screwed this up.”

And trust me, we women already feel like it’s all our fault, anyway.

Maybe it’s just another way our society, like to place the blame, and the shame, on the woman. Maybe it’s just another way the English language likes to beat up on the “weaker” sex. Because in French, it’s “fausse couche” or “false confinement.” In Spanish it’s “aborto espontaneo” or “spontaneous end to pregnancy”. It’s only in English that we place the blame on the woman… miscarried. Carried it wrong. Carried it badly.

Lost your baby.

Lost your pregnancy.

No, it wasn’t taken from you, you silly English women. This? This was YOUR fault.

The Faces of Pain

Posted on | May 5, 2016 | 3 Comments

I woke up around 2:00 am this morning.

Everything hurt and I couldn’t get the image out of my mind of that ridiculous chart hanging on the wall at the hospital. I lay awake for four hours before I got up to cry over a long-awaited cup of coffee, wondering how to circle the way I felt, wondering how I could characterize the feeling of curling in a ball beside your sleeping husband and weeping onto his shoulder until, even in his sleep he pulls you to him for comfort. I wondered how I would respond if someone asked me, on a scale of ten, what is your pain like? What does it feel like to rest your hand on a still swollen belly and know it is empty? What does it do to your heart to know that the plans you made for first Christmases and first birthdays are all gone in one brief instant of physical agony.

pain-scale

The whole time I was waiting in the hospital I just stared at that chart… because, how can you estimate the pain of loss? How can anyone point to any number or a face and say “This. This is the face I make when I learn I’ve lost someone I care about.” How do I quantify what it means to hear nothing where there should be a heartbeat?

The cramping was worse this morning than last night and I took one of the Ibuprofen they gave me, still refusing to numb any of this with something stronger. It feels dishonest, I guess, to minimize the pain of losing something so precious. It’s the same reason I find myself here, un-showered, and wondering if I’ll feel able to stand and wash away the remnants of the child that never was.

I don’t know.

I don’t know when I’ll not feel guilty for smiling, for sharing a laugh with my son, for showering away the weight of some of these emotions that just. won’t. abate. I don’t know when I’ll stop feeling guilty, as though it were something I did wrong that caused all of this.

And still I think of that chart. And I wonder if because my body is healing, it means I’m no longer a 10 on their faces of pain.

keep looking »
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