Thursday, February 28, 2008

I guess you would call this an update

I hate going a week between posts. The good news is that I am fine. The bad news is that my work laptop is not fine. It is as dead as a doornail. Hopefully, the tech people can save my files - yes, I am the idiot who hasn't backed up her files to the network since she started back to work. Oy.

We are well into toddlerhood here in our house. I am amazed each day at the changes in my boy. He has likes and dislikes (mostly likes, thank goodness). He is thrilled to discover new things almost every day. His poops really smell (thanks, solid food).

Is is getting boring for me to say that I still can't believe that C. isn't here? His life and my soul shattering grief feel like a distant dream. Then it all comes rushing back at me at the strangest moments. And because it moves away from me so often, the attack of grief it so unexpected that I almost don't know how to respond. For example, the other day I was reading through a list of current clients and happened across a person who share's C.'s name. Not really strange, considering that his name has been a traditional English language name for centuries. I have read his place in dozens of places in the past 3 years. And yet this time it almost levelled me -almost starting a torrent of tears that I wouldn't have been able to control (or explain, if someone walked into my office). And, as so often is the case, I sat there in bewilderment at the depth of emotion that I have trained myself to set aside for the majority of each day.

I am enjoying the PBS* series on Masterpiece showing film versions of the complete** works of Jane Austin. She has been my favourite author for years - I reread my collection at least once a year. This go round I am struck by the maturity of situation that I see in Persuasion. Simply, the main characters have a romance when they are young, are separated by well-intentioned meddlers, and have a second chance at love eight years later. I think this concept of the second chance is what I find so appealing. Anne, our heroine, now has the life experience to seize her opportunity at love without bowing to the expectations of others. She had to suffer greatly to gain this steadiness and resolve. And it turns out happily in the end (how could anything else happen in such a novel?).

I don't see particular parallels in my own life, other than the obvious suffering-one-dead-child-but-having-the-extraordinary-luck-to-raise-a-glorious-second-child thing (which I don't see as the same, what with not really getting a second chance - C. will always be dead, after all). I think what draws me to this story is the idea that we all should get second chances. I like that idea.

In her typical satirical fashion, Austin writes in the opening pages of the novel that if her character Anne had been afforded the chance to travel, meet new and interesting young men, and follow a happier life that the one she led in the intervening years, she would have forgotten her first love. The romantic in me (and admittedly, the bereaved mother in me) prefers to think that Anne would love Captain Wentworth eternally, regardless of situation. I like the idea that love, once nurtured in the soul of a human, can never be fully extinguished.

I am no scholar - so maybe my interpretation here is off the mark. But it is what I felt and experienced when I watched (then reread) Persuasion this time. And that has to count for something, right?

P.S. Isn't Rupert Penry-Jones (Captain Wentworth) delicious?

* I cannot explain why all of Western Canada has PBS Detroit included in cable TV packages, but we do.
** of course, the lesser early works aren't included

P.P.S. I can't comment on your blog, complicated mama. Wordpress hates me. Email me, okay?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ah hah!

Well, here is one of the reasons for all of the melancholy of late: 'tis that time of the month, ladies. Apparently, I am not entirely stable when all hopped up on hormones.

This cycle has been a real pain in the patootie - nothing where I expected it to be. I used 3 hpts this month - knowing that they must be negetive, but doing them out of complete puzzlement. I chalk it up to nursing, but wonder why I had a number of completely normal cycles when nursing more, now this crazy one when nursing less.

Work is getting me down, too. I think part of the problem is that we have had a number of bank holidays, etc. recently (and more coming) and it feels like I don't have a good routine.

I had one day this week where I stormed around, furious at everyone, because C. died. That was unexpected.

Grief is so unpredictable. Friggin' frusterating.

I just want to hold on to every moment with BB. I really think that I am living in the moment with him. My time with him is so precious. I don't want him to be older and I am not feeling like I missed his babyness. Well, maybe a little, but it is something I can accept. I am happy with him right now. I don't want more or less from him. For now, he is perfection. There are times when I don't want to put him down for the night.

His wonderfullness:
- sleeps through the night, falling asleep on his own
- started signing a bit
- talking more
- all toothy grins
- hilarious sense of humour
- still snuggly (though in a squirmy-boy way)
- loves to mop and vacuum

Okay. Crappy post. Nothing profound here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pneumonia? Nope...

Can you take a sick day when the thing that is wrong is that you are emotionally disabled today? When the problem is that you just want to go home, crawl back into bed, and cry your face off? Because you know that would be the best way to deal with this huge lump of emotion that you are carrying around.

But, since that is just not an option, and because you know darn well that "heartbroken" really isn't a valid reason to leave work, you push it all down inside to that chamber of hurt. Instead of dealing with it right now, you will have to deal with it another time, in another place.

Putting off the pain is a healthy way to deal, isn't it? No? Well, I guess no one told The World. Because that is what you are expected to do.

P.S. There are too many pregnant women coming to playgroup all of a sudden.

Friday, February 15, 2008


What do k.d. lang and stillbirth have in common? Nothing, as far as I know.

Except that her Hymns album was released sometime near those dark, dark days of 2005. I love the album; in some ways, I think it saved me. I listened to it that often and it made that much of an impact on me.

When my iPod shuffled its way on to those songs today, my heart went right back to that place, barely noticing the time and space between now and then. It is easy - too easy - to find that dark place again.

Sorry k.d. As beautiful as this album is, and as much as I need it in my life and will keep listening to it, it just isn't happy for me. I know that isn't what you had in mind.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

For Sale: One Green-Eyed Monster - well used

I have an almost unbearable jealousy for all people who "keep" their first baby. As in, that ugly green monster that lives in the recesses of my gut is clawing at me, trying to tear his way out and do irreparable damage to those around me.

In the past year, three of my cousins have had their first babies. I can barely stand to be in the same room as someone who is talking about these babies. It eats at me whenever I think of it.

I just want the jealousy to leave me alone. I am tired of it. It isn't fun to feel this way. And there are only more first children coming in my future; that's life.

Up until this point, I have allowed room for my jealousy. A normal part of grief, I rationalized. Understandable, I thought. But I am tired of it!!!

I know that we need to accept and embrace our emotions, etc. etc. yadda yadda. But doesn't there come a point in time when we need to let go of what hurts us and re-enter normal life? Is that totally impossible to do? Do I have to accept that I am damaged beyond any hope of repair? Do I have to accept this is my new reality? I know that it isn't possible to turn back time to the point where I didn't have this horrible envy. But shouldn't there be some way for me to heal enough?

Do you have any suggestions? Have you stumbled across anything that makes your equivalent hurt easier to deal with? What can I do with this emotion that I don't want and I want to get rid of?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Type A

I feel like I am directionless. I have no goals. Sure, I dream of a perfectly clean and tidy house, with precooked meals in the freezer and all the laundry neatly stacked in drawers. Who doesn't? But those things don't happen and they certainly couldn't be considered life goals.

That is what I feel is lacking. Direction. We have some random purchases that we have talked about making in the near future (we need a new car seat, for example). We have booked an RV site for July. Also not life goals.

Through the course of my life with my husband, we have always had direction. We were getting to know each other. Then we were getting married. Then we were trying to have children. Then anticipating the birth of our first child. Then trying to survive tragedy and cope with trying to get pregnant again. Then waiting those agonizing months to bring home our perfect little boy. Then learning to become parents.

Now that we have settled into a groove, I wonder what our direction is. Or, perhaps more to the point, what my direction is.

I work a job that is okay (as far as jobs go), but that I would not cry tears over losing. Perhaps it would feel a little less random if we had some financial goals that we were working for. When I got up in the morning and got ready for work, I could remind myself that it is worth it because it will allow us to do _________.

Personally, I am without any real direction. I just finished my degree. Now what? I don't do anything with it. I have no plans to do anything with it. The subject matter is the passion of my life, but I have no plans to continue my study. What is the point of it?

Maybe this is all just mid-February blues. I think not, though. I think I need to get my feet under me and set some more goals. And I think that this need is a sign of maturity in my grief; a desire to plan for the future is something that I am just getting back, three years later.

How do you set goals in your family? Do you talk it over with your spouse? Do you struggle to find common goals? Are you a "goals" person at all?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

To admit

In an email today I made this admission:

I have started telling strangers that BB is my only child.

How sucky does that feel?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Barely treading water this week. Behind at work, my husband is sick, etc. etc.

I am really trying to avoid any news regarding this story. I was avoiding it, then made the mistake of listening to CBC Sounds Like Canada when in my car, heading to the grocery store. I was nearly sobbing. They were babies. Just babies.

Not to mention the 7 month old abandoned in Toronto.

I am going to think about kittens now.