Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The emotion I don't want to acknowledge

Jealousy.

I assume it's natural (and my counselor tells me it is), but it still just sounds so fucking terrible.

I mean, everyone who has a living baby got what I didn't.
And what I expected.
I expected Lydie to be born alive.

And those living babies seem to be everywhere.  I'm still not even getting out much and yet every time I leave my house, there they are.  I swear, just like in Starbucks the other day, they get in my field of vision just to torture me.  They walk into the grocery store at the exact moment I do.  The universe cannot seem to cut me any slack.  Newborns are the worst, since Lydia should be just 2 1/2 weeks old.  Especially girls.  Any girl is hard, until the age of five or so.  Any of them.  Because Lydie should have been turned five one day.  And in five years?  I think the six year old girls will be tough then.

But it's not just that.

I am extremely jealous of pregnant women.  Who think that 9 months of a healthy, uneventful pregnancy results in a baby at the end.  A baby that's alive, that is.  Who have no idea what the statistics are for stillbirths, no idea that .15% of babies die from cord accidents.  Who are blissfully ignorant, imagining their future with their child.  Who complain about their baby kicking them.   Who hear their baby's heartbeat at every doctor's appointment.  And... who will most likely end up with a healthy baby at the end of 9 months.  Why couldn't have that been me?

I am jealous of mothers who had the privilege of giving birth to living, not dead, babies.  Who don't spend all of labor in shock and in tears and wondering how the hell this is your life.  Who don't scream out in complete and utter despair at that final push.   Who hear their baby cry after that final push.  Who got to immediately do skin-to-skin and breastfeed. Who have, you know, pretty normal birth experiences.  Rather than me, who had to give birth to my dead baby.

I am jealous of new mothers who get to show off pictures of their baby.  I have photos of Lydie - though I will always wish there were more - and I think two people have asked to see them.  I am jealous of those facebook photos, announcing that their baby was born... alive. 

I am jealous of women who plan maternity leave and actually get to take them.

I am jealous of people who have never had to make a quick decision about whether to do an autopsy on their child.  Never had to make another quick decision, while still in shock, to bury or cremate their child.  Never had to plan a memorial or a funeral for her.

I am jealous of people who get to walk out of the hospital with their baby.  Hell, I'm jealous of people who get to walk out of the hospital without their baby, as long as that baby is in NICU and is given a fighting chance.  

I am jealous of mothers who get to dress their children in all those clothes they bought for them.  Rather than Lydia's, which are hanging in her closet and sitting folded in her dresser, untouched.

I am jealous of people who know what both their children look like. 

I am jealous of people who don't have to worry about how to explain death to their living children, how to explain why everyone else's sister lives with them.  When Ben's sister is on an urn on our mantle.

I am jealous of people who think that deciding how many children they want to have is actually their decision.

I am jealous of people who never experience this kind of pain, this kind of deep, deep longing which I know will be with me for the rest of my life.  I am jealous of people who have intact hearts.   I am jealous of people who don't have to think twice in the response to the question, "How many children do you have?"  I am jealous of people who get to tuck in all their children at bedtime and kiss them goodnight.   I am jealous of people who think that potty-training their two-year-old or weaning their one-year-old is a huge problem. 

I am jealous of people who can function in the world, make small talk at the grocery store, be productive at work, drive without crying. 

So there you have it.
It's a complex thing, this grief, this yearning.

I hope there's a day when other people's children or their pregnant bellies bring me hope and healing.  But today is not that day.


4 comments:

  1. I stupidly signed my three year old up for a gymnastics class right after my daughter was born and died. I wanted to try to get him out and keep up with his energy. It was pure hell! In that class there was a little girl named Abigail,( my daughters name) 3 pregnant moms, and two newborn babies that would cry and nurse the entire time! And for some insane reason I kept going. I would literally drag my son to the bathroom to bawl my eyes out. Looking back now, watching Disney jr. all day would have been much better for everyone.
    I'm also crazy jealous of the baby that is buried two spots from my daughter. They got their girl for three days and I only got 18 minutes. I wish we all were still those naive moms who thought nothing would ever happen to our babies.

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  2. I'm still jealous too. I feel like we all really got doled the shit-end of the stick, ya know?

    I wish none of us got the shit-end of the stick. Every. Fucking. Day.

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  3. The jealousy is horrid. I still have it, but it changes. I went on to have two more children and now I'm not jealous *as much* of pregnant women. I will always be jealous of the women who go through many pregnancies like it's easy peasy. They get pregnant, celebrate and then have a baby. And celebrate again.

    Now, it's the jealousy of complete families and 4yo boys. I'll always be jealous of those.

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  4. Still jealous. It's the kind of thing that makes a black part on my heart. I'm jealous of do much. Pregnancy, naievity, living children, girls, who I was, jealous of those not living with grief.... So much it's exhausting. I try and just acknowledge the feeling. Ride it. I can't make it go away.

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