Today's prompt is meant to encourage the sharing of those things we have left unsaid about our grief. Those things we've kept locked up for fear of judgement or to keep others from feeling uncomfortable.
I share a lot. And I share pretty openly. I journal privately less and less because there's very little I'm afraid to say here. But the truth is, I've also left some things unsaid for the very reasons I mentioned above. This month of awareness, this challenge to "capture grief" is about openness, though. It's about feeling the freedom to admit out loud what it feels like to grieve a loss like ours. So today, I am committed to discussing at least one thing I've left (mostly) unspoken.
It's no secret that grief has played a role in my pregnancy. I mean, it's because of my grief that my doctor will be inducing us early. I've written about my fears and worries. My unscheduled trips to the hospital. Grief has given me fear. But it has given me more than just worries that something "might" happen.
It has convinced me that something will happen.
And because of that, I don't want to be pregnant anymore. I want him here now. I don't want to wait however many days it is until my doctor thinks I'll be ready. I am ripped apart by the utter selfishness of just wanting it to be "the day." And those desires are robbing me of my promise to cherish every moment. I cry when I leave the OB and find out I'm physically not much closer to bringing him earthside. Because in my mind, every day I don't deliver, is one more day he could die.
And I've felt this way long before these last few weeks. It's been there the whole time. Nagging at my heart. It's what has encouraged me to pick up books and read to him. What has made me rub my belly and sing him Baby Mine.
"Lay your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine."
It's more the fear of losing him than a desire to bond that has me reading and singing and holding on to him.
In June we bought a glider. It was a totally over the top, spur of the moment purchase. Something I had wanted with Ryan but "couldn't justify" needing. But strolling the aisles of a baby store one day, I saw it. And Rich, amazing man he is, encouraged the purchase. I cried leaving the store. When he asked why I was upset I replied, "It just feels so irresponsible to spend that kind of money when we don't have a guarantee we'll even need it."
Yesterday I was watching a TV show where a woman had a baby and the whole family was there, mom in the hospital bed, fresh baby on her chest, everyone "ooo-ing" and "awww-ing" over the little one. And I sobbed. Not happy tears. I cried because in that moment I genuinely believed I'd never get that moment.
Here I am, barely weeks from that moment, baby squirming relentlessly and reassuringly inside me, and I am in total denial that it will happen.
Can the baby feel that kind of darkness?
This "home stretch" of my pregnancy that is supposed to be filled with nesting and cherishing moments has this pretty heavy dark cloud over it, and it's scary. It's so scary. And every day I try harder and harder to do the cherishing thing. I've lovingly packed his hospital bag. Except that just yesterday as I was going over a checklist I realized, I hadn't packed a "coming home" outfit. Who forgets that?
Someone who worries this baby won't be coming home.
But I took a deep breath and laid out some options. Coordinated hats and mittens. Tiny little socks. Even a matching blanket.
And maybe if I fake-believe that he'll come home with us, I'll start to really believe it.
This can't be easy to read. Because I know it's not easy to admit. And that's why it's been left unspoken.
But maybe, just maybe, by finally admitting it out loud, I'll find it in me to make the most of whatever time we have left of this pregnancy.
And then it'll be time to bring him home.