Suddenly, I was awake. (Since I’m feeling ok at this moment, I’m quoting “The Office”). I awoke briefly when my husband got ready for work, but of course I slept as long as I wanted to because today is a very important day for self care. Also I finally went to sleep at around 5:30 this morning.
I haven’t gone downstairs yet. I’m trying to be kind to myself and right now that looks like reading the news in bed. I will get up soon. Part of me wants to lay back down, but the motivated part of me wants to make coffee (yep, still drinking coffee) and hype myself up to clean my kitchen. The very large roast that’s defrosting in my fridge might be ready tonight and I think I’m up to cooking it, so I need a clean kitchen.
Here I go. Getting up. Come on, Bree, get up. Put your foot on the floor, go downstairs, say good morning to the kitties. Make your coffee. Watch YouTube. Think about your kids- no, don’t think about your kids. Wait! Think about this baby, but not the last one? Cry for ten minutes?
What do you do when you’re 3 hours more pregnant than you’ve ever been, and you feel fine? My water isn’t broken, I’m not in labor. Is it guilt? Just get out of bed, Bree. You’ll figure it out. Just start with one foot.
I’m waiting for my coffee. My husband texted me to say that we will be heading out to the family farm when he’s done with work. He probably wants me to DD for him.
So today’s priority- get in the damn shower! I’ve been having vertigo, nausea and vomiting for about two weeks, so I’ll probably have to take a sit-down shower. And my bathtub is an antique clawfoot. I love it, it’s beautiful, it’s the tub I bathed in growing up (my parents own our house), but I have short legs and the tub is tall. It’s been a struggle to get in and out. Maybe I should just wait until tonight and use my mom’s shower.
And the kitchen. What a disaster. You dont realize how depressed you’ve been until you come out of it and look around your home. I’ve never been a particularly clean person, but I’m really not very kind to myself when I snap back from that fog and see the damage control I’m forced to do.
So coffee, shower, maybe dishes. Or, maybe the dishes wait and maybe I take care of myself today.
I’m procrastinating my ass off. There are two things I hate doing. One is washing dishes. I already told my husband that he’s going to have to help me clean the kitchen, so today’s focus has to be something else. The other thing I hate is showering. I hate being naked, and I hate being wet. It’s not quite a phobia. It’s more of an aversion. But I really, really hate being naked and wet.
So I’m nursing my coffee, still, and cleaning up my Google photos. I just deleted 1,600 pictures from my account. Probably 1,200 of them were pictures of every pregnancy test I’ve taken since December 2018.
I have a problem. An obsession. But for now, that part of my life is over. I dont need the photos, they’re not serving any purpose. Those pictures are a reminder of the struggle we went through to conceive this baby. I don’t need them.
Last month, I threw away Terry’s medical bills. They were all paid by medicaid, so I was just keeping them as a record of how much his stay cost- about $250,000. It was a reminder of the fact that if we hadn’t been insured, we may have made different choices. The thought makes me sick to my stomach, and a month ago I was finally ready to let that go. Of course, they’re just sitting in a bag on my porch, waiting to go out to the farm for the burn barrel. One step at a time I guess.
So here I sit, waiting for the inspiration to hit me to finally get in the shower- maybe after this episode.
I’m clean! I’ve got laundry going, too. I wanted to have something beside a tshirt and yoga pants to wear to my parents’ tonight. And I want my husband to wear something that isn’t his stained gray cotton shorty shorts.
I have not done the dishes. My excuse at this minute is that Barry has finally gotten out of the bed and had lunch, and now he needs mommy to cuddle him. And since he has the cutest little face I’ve ever seen, how could I possibly tell him the dishes are more important than cuddling him?
So Barry and I will cuddle until I absolutely have to get up. I’m restless, and I’m jittery, and I’ve got that empty manic feeling. Like I want something, but I dont know what it is. So I will read the news, or clean up my email, or maybe try to have a conversation with my mom. But I do have to remind myself, not everything has to get done this minute. And maybe cuddling my kitty for a while is the self care I deserve today.
It finally happened at around 3:20, I lost it. I knew I would at some point today. I was watching a very emotional episode of a certain medical drama that involved taking a loved one off of life support. It was very sad, sure, but when they shut off the moniters and removed the breathing tube, that did me in.
When that finished, and as I sat on the couch clinging for dear life to my 1 lb kitten, I switched quickly to youtube, while I still had the momentum, and listened to a few songs from the playlist titled “Terry Bruce”. I ugly cried.
I mention the momentum because when I feel that grief about to hit, I’ve learned to lean into it, to cry for as long as I need to, to look at his pictures, and to validate my feelings as I go, reminding myself that he was my living child. A real person with a personality who could hear me talk to him, and I’d like to think, right at the end, looked up and saw me right before he went. One of his eyes did open during his last minutes. Probably from the stress of the chest compressions.
I spent 20 minutes in that grief, just me and my first son. I’m so glad my husband is at work today. I listened to the songs I’ve picked for my baby, and looked through my phone at every picture I have of him. I wish I had taken more, but I had hoped we would have more time.
I knew it was going to happen at some point today. And I’m glad it did, because once that grief attack passes, the relief from letting it out is just as overwhelming as the pain had been minutes before. And now that I’ve spent that time with Terry, I can turn my attention back to Raymond, who is here with me, physically, right now.
We are headed out to the farm. I’ve done my nails, hair and makeup. Neither of my parents, nor anybody else at the house, care what I look like. But looking good today was for me.
I dressed up a little, I’m wearing a dress and leggings- I don’t care how hot it gets this summer, I’m absolutely not shaving my legs. I can’t reach anymore. I just wanted to look good because I spent a good portion of the day not feeling great.
I talked for about an hour with a friend/former employer this afternoon. She wants me to return to care for my old home health client while her new caretaker goes on vacation for two weeks. I almost said no, but it will be really good to feel like I’m doing something.
We will be arriving at the farm in about 15 minutes and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, but not so much looking forward to watching other grown ups drink beer. I really miss beer.
This has been so complicated, trying to justify being happy about this pregnancy. It’s hitting me again tonight, hard, that this baby is still inside me and I just can’t bring myself to be happy right now.
I’m back in that first exam room in Des Moines when the doctor said he could save the next baby. And I’m back to the conversation I had with a girlfriend who told me to get pregnant again to feel better. And just feeling so intensely angry at people casually dismissing Terry because I can just try again.
I remember screaming that I didn’t want the next one, I wanted the one I already had. And of course I want this baby, more than anything- almost anything. I want both.
Will I eventually be thankful about the whole thing, since I wouldn’t have Raymond if Terry had lived? I get sick of that shit too. There are plenty of things you can say to a bereaved mother, and that really isn’t one of them.
So I come home from forcing a smile for my family. And I yell and cry with my husband about how unfair it is and how it hurts my body and my insides, and how I have to force food into my face because if I don’t I’ll stop eating. I wonder if it was fair for me to do this to myself, and if I was ready.
I cut myself off earlier because I was going to become hysterical if I kept writing. I thought I would have a cute, inspirational ending to today’s record. That isn’t going to happen.
I took a seroquel and ate a bunch of fries, I hope to God that knocks me out. The second half of this day was horrible and I need it to be over.