Where I Am Right Now – 11 Months Later

The flashbacks are like a movie playing in my mind most days. 3D has nothing on my memories. I’m taken straight back to February.  11 short months ago. I remember what the cramps felt like. I remember curling into a ball in my bed begging the pain to stop. I remember my best friend calling and telling me that she thought I was in labour. I remember the look on the doctor’s face. I remember the look on my dad’s face when I got off the elevator after the ultrasound confirmed my worst nightmare (the thought is bringing tears to my eyes as I write this).  I remember wailing for her, and apologizing to everyone for being unable to do what a mother is supposed to. I remember not wanting to tell anyone what had happened. I remember holding her tiny 5lb1oz body for the first and last time. I remember them wheeling her crib out of the room, knowing I would never hold her again.

11 months seems like it has passed in the blink of an eye, and crawled by, all at the same time.

When I found out I was pregnant again, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy nine months. Between worrying about people’s reactions (because contrary to a lot of opinion, this pregnancy won’t ‘fix’ me) and constant concern over what’s happening inside of my stretching stomach, it’s been extraordinarily draining and stressful. And I still have 21 weeks to go.

People tell me it’s going to be ok. They’re trying to be reassuring; they tell me to think positive. But it doesn’t help. I got a lot of “this Christmas will be hard, but next Christmas will be different”. But how do they know? It’s hard for my mind not to wander to that dark place. Because in my experience, when I’m pregnant,  the baby dies. I don’t know what a happy ending feels like.

Everlee is a big sister. These words make me weak in my knees. So many emotions. More than I am able to express in any sort of tangible way. I am so excited. But I am so incredibly scared. What if it happens again? What if something goes wrong? What if people forget about Everlee? That’s the big one – The fear that I haven’t been able to put into words. That’s the reason I haven’t been able to write much. My excitement is overwhelming, but my heart aches from missing my little girl.

While there are no guarantees, no promises, I know this baby is a gift – My very own rainbow. My rainbow that deserves its own excitement, of hopes and dreams.  I have been repressing all of my excitement out of fear. This baby deserves better than that, and that’s not how I want to remember Everlee either, with fear. Not everyone gets a rainbow, and I have to be thankful for that, thankful that my little girl gets to be a big sister.

Happy 11 month birthday, beautiful little girl. 

Life, Revisited.

Every time I’ve sat down in front of a blank screen this week I’ve been at a loss for words. With Before-Rhonda that would be shocking. With After-Rhonda, not so much.

My words are lost somewhere between my heart and my fingers. I rarely write here with my head. When I started this blog I knew it wouldn’t mean anything if I wasn’t completely honest and raw as a writer. I write first and think after most of the time. It gives me some catharsis then. A release that, no matter how hard I try, I can’t find anywhere else.

After my last entry, Darcy looked at me and said “You know, your blog entries are incredibly self loathing”.

And he’s not wrong.

I see that when I write, but more and more, I see that when I look in the mirror. And I know that’s what I need to change now more than anything. I can’t bring my daughter back. No amount of hoping and praying nor well wishes from others will ever give me what I need most. I used to love myself, every little bit of me. I loved who I was and I loved what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I wasn’t ashamed of who I had become. But that was Before, and After-Rhonda needs to fight her way back to that spot, if that sacred piece of ground still exists. Maybe it’s somewhere in a new place.

When I started this blog, I started it from the very depths of my own hell. A hell I have barely begun to inch my way out of. I’ve lost track of the stages of grief. I’m not sure I’ve ever really gone through any of them fully. I’ve always been the type to do things my own way, anyhow. Why should this be any different? At least that part of me hasn’t changed. But Darcy is right, that fun-loving side of me is gone, those shiny blue eyes that could look in the mirror and love what they saw are dull, and weary and tired. At least for the moment. Maybe forever. Who knows? But I’m working so hard to get that spark back; To try to find a little bit of joy. Right now I would settle for being able to face the world without being medicated half the time.

Every now and then I get a glimpse at what my life was like Before. It’s so alien. I’ll see my own photo and I’ll not recognize myself. I want that feeling back. I want to feel like tomorrow is promised again. I don’t want to face my own mortality like this. I don’t want to feel death so close anymore. I don’t want to be heavy with grief. But I am. And I look at those pictures it’s like life, revisited.

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Ive started beating the crap out of my body with exercise. Eating right wasn’t working fast enough. I have just over 15lbs gone in the last 5 weeks. It hurts to move, but at the same time the ache reminds me that I’m still alive and that I’m still breathing even though most days I feel like I’m merely existing in my own little world. I’m trying to learn to love it. I’m not there yet, but I know it will make me healthier and stronger for Everlee’s brother or sister.

It’s easy sometimes for me to hide behind my screen and interact with people this way. No one has to see the sadness in my eyes or hear the cracks in my voices. No one has to watch my eyes well up and my body recoil as I learn to live with discomforts of being this new me. It’s easy to type “:)” or “haha” to fool other people. I do it every day. That’s why I love social media so much. You can create a persona and no one is any wiser. But here, in this space where everyone sees me as who I really am, I don’t have to hide. And although my blogs are honest, and real and sometimes painful and self loathing they’re who I am right now. But readers I want you to know, that no matter how far down I am, I will always be fighting to get back to that place where I can smile and feel happy again. Because here, I’m Everlee’s mom, and I’ll always fight to make her proud of me.