Monday, September 12, 2016
So, here we are.
I knew we would be here some day, but it's still a shock.
I'm fine sometimes. I'm a mess others.
Grief is not what I expected.
We lost my dad three weeks ago. Those words are still hard to write.
Right now, it's all I think about.
I've been more productive than I thought I would be. I have been more motivated than I expected. I don't spend hours crying. I miss him desperately. Sometimes I can't breathe because I feel his absence so heavily. We're getting through it though, and I almost feel guilty just for that.
We didn't know we were going to lose him when we did. He was sick and probably didn't have long, but we didn't know he was dying. I was there for his last seconds, even though we didn't know that's what they were. It was scary, but I'm so glad I was there.
The last thing I said to him was that I loved him. He told me he loved me too and went back to sleep. Less than an hour later, he crashed and was gone.
My best friend. My hero. My cheerleader. My idol.
The smartest person I have ever met.
I am struggling with the fact that there was so much knowledge packed into his brain that no one can access anymore. There are stories and facts and history and experiences. They're locked in a vault that's now in a wooden box under ground.
I love him and I miss him and I'm not sure how this is supposed to go.
We spend a lot of time laughing about things that he did or said. That's what he would want. We talk about him all the time, and we know his stories so well that I feel like he's here sometimes.
My dad was 48 when I was born. My dad was old enough to be my grandfather, and I was acutely aware of that throughout my childhood. I have a distinct memory of the moment that this occurred to me. I was five years old and sitting in our playroom. From that moment forward, I lived in near constant fear that he was going to die. Old people die, I thought. Those thoughts never left me, and I planned and considered and worried about it daily until he died in front of me.
You know when you plan for something for so long that it's hard to believe that it's done when the time comes?
That's where I am right now. I forget that he's gone and that I don't have to worry anymore. I still worry about him like we're going to lose him.
I talk to him every day. I pray for a response so that I know he's here.
We're getting through this, even though it's difficult. We're finding ways to cope. It's not all sad. He got to meet the baby. He held her and fed her. He sang her a song and rocked her. She was so calm while in his arms. I would have been too.
I miss him desperately, but he wouldn't want me to sit still. He would want me to move on and find my next happy.
He was my best friend, and I told him that shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer. He said that I was his, too. Then, a few weeks later, when I went to go home from a day with him, he looked at me and said, "You're my best friend, too. You should know that."
I did know that. I will always know that.
I miss him so much.
It's hip to be square, kids.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
When you deal with infertility, every conversation has the potential to be difficult. You don't think about the ways that it affects you globally. Or maybe that's just me. It affected me in everything. When friends announced their easy-to-attain pregnancies, it stung. When they assumed we weren't trying because it had been so long, it hurt. When I hopped on Facebook and saw someone's happy family, it was tough. When family members made new family members, I wasn't the excited cousin, aunt, sister, whatever. It was raw.
And that should have gone away now that we're on our way, right?
So why, then, when I found out that a friend-of-a-friend was pregnant after a few months of marriage, did I get that familiar and dreaded stomach drop? It wasn't as bad, and it went away quickly, but the jealously is still there. I'm still carrying the burden of a process that, for the time being, is on hold. It's not the center of my universe. We've moved on to better things. We don't have to focus on that anymore. To be honest, we never did.
But I guess the jealously of knowing that this will never happen by accident isn't ready to go away. And even though I go to sleep every night and wish our daughter a sweet sleep from just beneath my belly button, the grieving process isn't over yet. I'm not grieving a lost person. I guess I'm grieving time. I'm grieving stress. I unwinding from trauma.
So, we still get a twinge. It's getting better. It's going away. It happens less. I feel less attacked and overwhelmed. It's all getting better. But it still sucks sometimes. I know how grief and trauma work within the brain, and how it's not a linear process. I guess it just makes more sense when I'm talking about everyone else than to think that I could be subject to the same process.
I'm not exempt. I never was.
As always, it's hip to be square [and getting better!], kids.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
The last couple of years have been really hard. That's a given, and I've probably said it a million times.
I thought that once we got where we were going, all of the tough parts would be over. I think I expected smooth sailing. And while I intellectually knew that that probably wasn't reasonable, I never really considered that it wouldn't be all sunshine and roses.
Yes, we got pregnant. That's a blessing that I would never give back.
But the sun didn't just start shining again. And that has been hard to, well, not adjust to.
When the pee stick was positive, we were elated. Then, just as soon as that happened, we went to a constantly worried place. There was terrifying spotting, which turned out to be nothing but didn't go away for the entirety of the first trimester. There were concerns about eating and drinking enough because I felt so bad. There the worries that everyone has about losing the baby or telling people too soon. I was scared of doing so many things, and constantly googling what was safe. (The answer is basically nothing.)
Almost 5 weeks ago, my sweet husband gave me a cold that hasn't gone away yet. Our genetic tests were not as stellar as we had hoped, and there are a ton more tests to follow. We have no idea how those will turn out.
I feel weird in my own skin, and I'm so self-conscious. I don't have clothes that fit, but I'm scared to buy new ones because they're just going to have to be so big. Fertility treatments wrecked my body, and I don't even know what shape to call myself now. There is a tiny bump there but so much everywhere else. I'm not comfortable in this body. I knew I would gain weight, but I didn't know I would do it twice. I'm terrified to figure out how I will lose all of this some day.
My husband has to have another jaw surgery, and that means two to three days in the hospital. I'm terrified of going to the hospital considering how sick a cold made me. I still can't figure out how to make that work, and I feel like a jerk for even thinking that I won't be able to be there. Oh, and then there's the actual surgery part, which is scary enough as it is.
I was told that a baby shower was being planned, and I can't really even fathom attending a party. I've gotten shy and even more introverted than before. While I really appreciate the thought, it's kind of the last thing I want to do ever.
And I know all of it will be worth it. These anxieties and stresses will fall by the wayside when the screaming booger eater gets here. And they'll be replaced by new ones at that time. I just have to figure out how to survive them in the mean time. I just expected a happy pregnancy because the traumatic part was over. Some days I feel just as stressed and overwhelmed. It's just different now.
It's hip to be square (and overwhelmed!), kids.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Well, hello again.
It's been a long time since I've spent time in this space.
I didn't even check to see how long, but it's been more than a year.
I needed a break.
At first, I just ran out of time. I was working 2 full-time jobs, and making money was more important than my own meanderings.
At least, that's what I told myself.
In actuality, I was tired of myself. I was tired of having an excuse to talk about my feelings because I was feeling the same the all the time. It wasn't helping to talk about it or share about it because I just wanted to be out of it. Trying to start a family wasn't fun or interesting anymore. It was heartache after heartache. It became an actual traumatic experience, and I was barely holding it together. We took some time off, and I took some time off from thinking about myself. I was thankful for work that kept me incredibly busy.
In the past eighteen months we...
...sold our house.
...moved in with my parents.
...said goodbye to the puppy that my husband and I picked out three months after we met.
...closed one office and opened a new one.
...welcomed a new nephew. (More on this later.)
...accepted infertility as the reality.
...started fertility treatments.
...started the two year process to repair my husband's jaw. (More on this later, also).
...walked away from one house that we were building.
...built a second house that we love.
...kind of/sort of moved in to the new house with a bed and a couch.
Oh, and finally got pregnant after four years, fertility treatments, more tears than I care to rethink, and a lot of personal growth that I don't think I asked for.
Our lives look a lot different now then the did even a few months ago. I don't think I've stopped spinning yet.
I promise there is much more to come.
It's still hip to be square, kids.
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