Thursday, July 8, 2010

Emotional Baggage? I Carry Mine in Boxes!

Today is July 8th and I'm going to choose to be happy.  8 is my favorite number, i like the month of July and i had the evening off...therefore, I'm happy.  Sounds easy enough!  Right?  NO?  Hmmm....  Let's think about this....  

Is happiness really a choice?  I've heard so many times that you "gotta let things go", that you have to "stop dwelling on the past", "turn the other cheek", whatever cliche fits your situation, whatever you need to do to CHOOSE to be happy....I've actually (mostly) bought into it.  I've always thought to myself, "You gotta get past this ol' girl.  Don't let this get you down!" and I've been able to take whatever emotion it was that I was dealing with, put it in a little box, slap a lid on it and put it up on a shelf to be dealt with later or forgotten completely.  ((I believe this method is known as compartmentalizing???))  And it's always worked out just fine for me.  

Until recently.

If you've read this blog, you know at this point that we (darling hubby and I) have had a pretty rough six or seven months.  For the most part, I've held it all together.  A few crying episodes, two or three temper tantrums, several angry prayers (forgive me Big Guy, you know I didn't mean it!), and that's it.  I'm still happy (mostly), and chipper (usually) and I'd like to think an overall pleasure to be around.  There are just these random times now and then where something miserable will jump into my's like some scary, creep blobby monster jumps out of nowhere to remind me of lots of crummy things and I can't help but get the blobby gunk all over me before throwing the creature into his box (cage) and slapping the lid closed!  

Let me explain a bit more...  Unfortunately, when we found out we were pregnant in December, I immediately and foolishly went out to a few magazine sites, paid for 18 months of subscriptions, created an account on a baby site for tracking our pregnancy and went completely overboard all in the first week.  I assumed we would NOT be one of the thousands and thousands who miscarry.  So very naive of me, I know.   So, every month, not once but twice a month, we get a magazine in the mail telling us how to either calm our screaming infant or what to apply to my enormous belly - that is only getting enormous because of the sacrilegious amounts of food I'm shoveling in my face lately - to avoid stretch marks!  I don't think I need to tell you how rough that can be sometimes.  However, I will say that after the first month of receiving those (after having completely forgotten all about them), and the subsequent recovery period needed, I have handled it very well.  I've taken to looking at them as training materials, reference guides for our future, if you will.  The emails are a different story.  

Each week, I get a reminder of what my baby is up to now that I am 18 weeks pregnant, 24 weeks pregnant, etc.  Too bad none of it's true for our baby.  I've tried unsubscribing to this email, I've sent emails to the website, I've even gone out to the site and deleted my account....two weeks later, I got a new one reminding me to eat this or that since I was xyz weeks pregnant.  It's very infuriating but I will say that even THIS has been something I've handled with ladylike grace that even my Great Grandma would be proud of.  I don't read them, I just delete them immediately and go on with my day.

Now that I've rambled on and on, I'll get to my point.  I recently decided (for some unknown reason) to figure up how far along I'd be at this point (since I've spent, oh you know, the last seven months avoiding that topic at all costs) seemed the thing to do I suppose.  I basically realized that we'd be in our 8th month and if we were still "with child" at this point, we could have actually already had a baby.  Something about that shook me to my core.  

Our house seemed a little quieter that day.  Work was a little less interesting, conversation wasn't really luring me into it's embrace, the food I ate had no flavor....I was just depressed all day.  

So, I did something I never do.  While on the phone with one of my girlfriends, I decided to extend a hand for a little support, to reach out instead of looking in and boxing things up for the upper shelf.  Very few people know about our situation, so I don't have a ton of people to go to in this situation.  Anyway, back to my story, I said, "Well, I realized today that I'd be 8 months along right now if we hadn't miscarried," and she replied after about half a second, "Yeah, you'd be all fat and miserable too.  Probably on bed rest after all the work you do on your feet!" I was surprised, but not completely shut down so I said, "Yes, probably....but I'd be happy at least" (yes, I was feel very sorry for myself!)...and she simply said, "Happiness is a choice girl!" I just sat there, holding the phone, tears in my eyes.  I didn't know what to say, so I just got off the phone and lowered the metaphorical outstretched arm for support.  I waved my white flag on the day and crawled into bed for the rest of the evening.  

It wasn't her fault.  I wasn't upset at her or her comment.  She has had little ones, no hiccups, no problems, easy as pie.  She doesn't understand what it's like to lose a child (thank God).  I know that....but it was one of those moments in my life that I'll always remember.  It really made me think about how I've always handled things in the past.  Boxing them up for later, until I had either gotten over it and no longer cared or forgotten to be upset about it altogether.  

Even now, with the job situation and how my previous employer did me, if it creeps into my mind at night when I'm almost asleep, I literally say to myself, "Oh no you don't!  We are NOT going to think about THAT!  We'll be up all night long, next topic!"  It's like it's easier for me to shut it down and move on instead of spending days and days thinking about it, getting depressed, etc.  I'm CHOOSING to be happy instead of upset or sad.  But in this situation, I don't agree with or recommend that method.  It's not working.  I don't FEEL like putting a lid on it, I don't feel like avoiding it anymore.  

I am upset.  
(There....I said it.)

I'm pissed off that for whatever reason, we couldn't keep our little baby boy/girl.  Regardless of why, how,'s upsetting and I feel like I DESERVE to be upset if that's what I need to do!  I don't agree that in this situation "happiness is a choice".  It may be an outcome, or a destination I'm trying to get to, but I can't just close the lid on this one and move on.  

That was going to be our son or daughter.  Someone that we were going to chase around the yard.  Someone we were going to teach funny jokes to at an early age so they could make the old folks laugh.  Someone to share a zillion memories with!  We were going to adore this child and raise him or her with all the love we could possibly muster up.....and I know we weren't pregnant for long, but dangit it was long enough for me to know that I was going to be a mommy and long enough for me to see a different life stretched out before me, and it included a baby...THAT baby.   So yeah, I am upset.  I miss the little stinker that will never be.

BUT, I am going to be happy again, and I am happy most of the time, but I'm here to say that I will not, CAN NOT, choose to ignore the little life that we were going to share with our child just so that I can "choose to be happy".  I'm going to honor what was, hope for what will be, and pray that God will grant my sweetheart and me another shot at parenthood...and if in the meantime, there are times when I am not so chipper, not so talkative, and not so jovial, I'm going to sit down, have a good cry, talk to someone who will listen, yell if I need to, and work it out until I get to my happy place again.  

I will get there....

Thanks for reading and helps so much.



  1. I know what you mean about holding it in. Sometimes I could hold it in for a while but then it would just come out as I laid down to sleep. I would cry myself to sleep, yell at God, or think of ways I could change my situation. I was not happy. I wrestled and debated with God. I'm sorry you are in that place. I would not wish anyone to go through that.

    Never apologize for mourning over you lost child. That was your child!! No one would ask you to ignore the fact that your grandmother or mother passed away so why should you have to ignore the fact that your child passed away. Just think, our babies could be playing together in heaven right now. I'm sure they would be friends, telling each other goofy jokes.

    Never forget that God loves you and He doesn't want you to live in a place of unhappiness. He has plans for you and Rik. It may include a household full of children. It is hard, I know, but God's timing is perfect even if you can't understand why He is making you wait. While you wait you can cry on my shoulder, yell at me, or I'll take you out for chocolate or wine.

    We are here for you. Don't forget you have friends that care.

  2. I LOVE YOU JEN & PAUL......Period.