Friday, April 5, 2013

Bring it on vs. Not just yet

I'm missing my baby tonight.  Supposed to be 10 months old right now, not 10 months gone.  Or, if all had gone smoothly, almost 8 months old.  That's when babies typically learn to crawl you know.  And believe me, I am blessed to know these milestones because I am a mother.  4 pregnancies, 4 babies in 4 1/2 years...that defines the mom in me.  It's what I've been doing for the last 5 plus years, having and raising babies.  And they've been the hardest and best of my life.  So, yes, I know when children are supposed to be rolling over, smiling, sitting up, crawling, standing, walking, self-feeding, sleeping better at night, and on and on.  I don't know everything...that's not what I am trying to convey.  Rather, the largest part of me is being a mom.  So it is impossible to switch off the "Ethan should be crawling this month" or the "Ethan should be running by now" thoughts.  They are ingrained in me, as natural as filling my kids' milk cups in the morning.  Much about being a mom is habitual.  Habits die hard.  Harder than it was for my son to die, I guess.  God, how awful is that...

Generally I've been feeling OK.  Typical caveat here.  I am never OK.  But I am learning to simultaneously live while grieve - a tricky feat many days.  We have adjusted beautifully to our new home and community.  I am surrounded by many loving people.  We hosted Easter and it was wonderful.  Full of the lively Gray moments that define our blessed chaos.  I've been working hard on our yard, getting it ready for Spring.  Even given some thought to planting a lilac bush to remember Ethan by.  The beautiful lilac blooms carry sweet memories for me, and bring about smiles.  Maybe we'll plant one once we can afford it (I have no idea how much they cost yet, and am still paying off medical one day I guess).

Spring is here, in the New England way.  This week we had a flurry of snow flakes and today was almost 60 degrees - with Monday hoping to reach 70.  I've always loved Spring, but this year I feared it.  Because Spring brings May, and all of the shit anniversaries along with that month.  Poor Josh, his birthday is in there too.  Mother Nature offered just enough snow and power outages to override my fear of Spring approaching with the anticipation of warm breezes and playing outside.  It's April now, May is less than a month away.  Sometimes I say "Bring it on May, bring it on."  Other times I say, "not just yet, not yet."  Time has a funny way of not listening to me, of doing its own thing anyway.  Very similar to my toddlers actually.

My grief remains tidal.  I've been living in the low tides lately, and that's been appreciated.  But some high tides are rolling in, I can feel them.  The sound of the surf is getting louder, and the erosion is stronger on my soul.  A good friend is about to have her baby this week.  I'm so happy for her, and her family.  Yet I can't stop myself from wanting that for myself.  Not just wanting a healthy pregnancy and baby, sure - that's part of it.  But wanting to live in that world where babies don't die again.  To be able to anticipate the birth of a child, without the real fear that a tragedy could await.  And if I am honest, I still get jealous when friends announce the healthy births of their babies.  And the leaving the hospital with their babies in the car seats - that one kind of kills me.  Tears automatically come when I send a note of congratulations to them.  It's unavoidable.  Also this week, my close friends' twins (born 3 months prematurely) are likely being discharged from the hospital.  A glorious day.  I have been praying for this day to come for them, for a billion reasons.  One of which is so they don't have to feel the pain I breathe.  And this day is fast approaching.  I am scared that the wave will knock me down.  My Major Depressive Episode is well under control by now, and I am scared that the next month or two will take me out again.  I know much of it is out of my control.  All I can do is keep up with my self-care regimen.  But it's scary.  To think of feeling so awful again.  I don't want to feel like that anymore.  It was really, really bad.  I'm crying as I simply reflect upon my depression during the first six months after Ethan died.  It was bad.  I know I am strong enough to do it again, if I have to.  But I simply don't want to.  So here I am praying that I grieve without being triggered into another Major Depressive Episode.

God help me, please.

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