Thursday, April 23, 2009

A little angst

I have to admit that when I hear of someone who has experienced multiple losses, I just don't know what to do.  When the losses are the babies of my cousin and his wife, I know even less.

In the past two + years, my cousin's wife has miscarried three times that I know of.  I put it that way, because who knows if these things make their way through the family grapevine.  Now she is halfway through another pregnancy and further along than she's ever been.  She is working with a specialist, taking hormones; all those things so many of my blog friends have done.   All seems to be going well.

Before I heard of this pregnancy, I had already bought some lovely merino superwash yarn in celery green and chosen a sweet little cardigan pattern in case they ever had a successful pregnancy.  I don't usually put that kind of energy into knitting something to give away; you have to be special to me to garner anything over and above a quick little hat.  But I felt like this new little life would be one to celebrate, if it ever arrived.

Fast forward 8 months; now she is pregnant and due in October.  At first I was so happy for her.  But then I started to feel weird about the whole thing, as her Facebook status began to focus on this new baby.  It wasn't that I was no longer happy; it was that I was starting to feel....  incredulous, maybe?

I feel a little bit stunned that, on Facebook and in every face-to-face conversation I have had with her, she assumes that the danger is over now that she is past a certain point.  Now, I realize that we all deal with this postdeadbabytrauma in our own way.   She maybe subscribes to the notion that if you believe in things hard enough it will make them come true.  But it makes me feel uncomfortable.

I think there are two reasons for my discomfort.  Firstly, I know how stupendously wrong it can go at any point.  I can't imagine how she would cope if the worst happened.  Secondly, it makes me feel (yet again) like some sort of pariah or freak.  Because everybody knows that once you get past the first trimester, its all sunshine and rainbows and nothing can go wrong.

I get so frustrated with that prevailing notion of our culture.  It makes me feel that I must have done something wrong - either physically, that damaged C. in some way, or in some karmic sense that I deserved to face this heartache.  While my brain tells me all of that is entirely ridiculous, that how my cousin's wife reacts in this subsequent pregnancy is in no way personally related to my loss of C., it is very difficult for me to separate those ideas.

No doubt about it, though.  I still hurt to the very core when I see a pregnant women, even someone that I like/respect/admire.  That sensation was minimal when I had my own little baby in my arms; but now my baby says things like "what's in there?" and "play cars, Mommy?"

I don't know if we will ever have another kid; that is a decision we are struggling with.  So all this may have more to do with me having more grief to deal with, and less to do with Facebook belly pictures.

Well, I don't really feel like doing the cardigan anymore.  Maybe a quick little hat.  I am planning a super-awesome-vest-for-me with the celery superwash.  

Don't you just wish this grieving thing had an end point?