Monday, March 7, 2011

The List

On Saturday I grabbed one of the many small pads of paper we have hanging around to write a grocery list.  This particular pad was on top of the fridge and I hadn’t laid hands on it since last September.  How do I know?  The top page was a list of questions written for our first trip to the Ob-Gyn when I was pregnant over the summer.  And along with the questions were the answers the doctor gave.  At that appointment we did all the talking before the ultrasound.  So it represented the exact last moments I believed I was still pregnant and all the happiness and contentedness that went along with it.  As soon as I realized what I was holding I started crying.  When Z figured out what was going on he said that he knew it was there, but he didn’t know what to do with it.  Then he tore it off and threw it away.  I almost stopped him, but realized keeping it would only be a way of torturing myself.  It’s hard for me to let things go, even painful things.  But in this case it was necessary. 

I know I should believe in my current pregnancy.  I’ve made it to 15 weeks and all signs point to things looking pretty damn good.  But I am still bracing myself for bad news.  Even though I have felt the baby move I still convince myself it has died every single day.  The miscarriage was so devastating and somehow I feel we were tempting fate by reveling in the joy and delight we experienced with that pregnancy.  I feel like we were punished for our presumption that the baby we lost would be fine.  I feel like if I let myself be happy for a moment this time it will all be taken from me.  The small part of me that is still able to use reason knows my worries are total bullshit.  Sometimes really sad stuff happens.  I didn’t miscarry because I did something wrong or felt too happy.  There was something wrong with the baby and it couldn’t develop properly.  Yes, I know that with my head.  But mental illness means the head isn’t in charge.  I am not motivated by reason or logic, I’m motivated by anxiety and fear and I am trying to protect myself from further pain.  Unfortunately anxiety and fear do not do a great job as protectors even though they mean well.   

Emotionally my current pregnancy has been a nightmare.  I’m not OK.  Writing here at the blog was one of the most helpful things I did to get through the miscarriage, but I haven’t even been able to get it together to indulge in what I know is a great comfort very regularly this time.  Leaving the house has become an epic struggle, frankly getting off the couch has proven beyond my ability most days.  It has put a dreadful strain on our marriage.  When I am unwell I shut Z (and to be honest everyone else) out.  The only way he can spend time with me is to sit on the other end of the couch in silence.  Shockingly it drives him crazy.  On top of that I’ve let the little housekeeping I do go completely.  So Z is now providing for us financially, he’s our emotional glue, and he’s in charge of everything on the home front as well.  I am reminded why I worried about becoming a mother knowing full well I suffer from mental illness.  I wonder if it was fair or right and how it will affect T both in the short and long term. 

So last Thursday Z and I had our first couple’s therapy session.  A very good thing.  We both have been to this rodeo before and this time we were able to recognize we needed help dealing with my sickness right away.  I’m still in individual therapy, of course.  But my behavior is affecting Z in such a huge was that he needs to be a part of the therapy as well.  I’m thankful he is evolved enough to find therapy a useful tool to try and help get me better.  I’m thankful he is willing to play an active role in the process.  I’m still hopeful I’ll eventually be secure in this pregnancy.  I don’t hope for the joy we felt last summer, I think once you’ve miscarried that joy is always tempered, whether you are crazy or not.  But I do look forward to hope.  I already have hope I will get better emotionally.  Because whether it was fair or right or not I did become a mother.  And T is the strongest motivator I will ever have to get well.  I know I will fail him again and again, but I will always try to do better and not make the same mistakes.  I will always want to get well for him.
Yes, it is March 7th.  Yes, we got about a foot and a half of snow in the last 24 hours.  No, we are not amused.  

T was a little sick a few days ago, but he was still captivated by Ernie singing 'Rubber Ducky'.

His new favorite book 'I Love You, Stinky Face' was a Valentine's gift from his Aunt Sara.

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