Walking through the underground with a friend yesterday the topic of children came up as it inevitably does among women my age, especially those of us who have been married for a few years without them. Society, however progressive it may claim to be, does not look well upon those of us who don’t have kids within a year or two of marriage. So there we were, one friend trying to get used to the idea of trying and one friend trying to figure out how to try again.
I’ve been thinking lately about why I’m open to the move we’re contemplating and I’ve finally figured it out. I was already losing the baby when we moved in here. I love this house but I look around and I think, "this is where I fainted", "this is where I layed at the end when I didn’t want to go back to the hospital", "under this window is where we huddled trying to understand." Moving seems like saying, "Enough of this." I had been kind of going on to my friend as we idly inspected some shoes, how it seems ridiculous I can’t just get over it since on the 6th of next month will make a year since my due date when a thought revealed itself to me that actually struck me silent. I don’t know how to get over it.
I’ve kicked this subject around with some other girlfriends over the last year and considered other theories that have surfaced in those conversations. The most popular theory by far is fear. But I don’t think I’m afraid. I’ve thought about it alot. I know how tough I am. I know I could do it again. Lately I’ve been saying that I feel about kids the way I did before I was pregnant. That is, I could take kids or leave them. I’ve never felt that earnest desire to be a mother that other women have – I don’t need a child to fulfill me. I think this is still true but probably not as true as before. Fo purports that I am still grieving, that I have to take the time I need to honour the grief. No matter how long it takes. "Everyone is different," Fo says.
Yet, I realized as I turned to my friend and said, "I do not know how to get over this," that I had never really grieved at all. I dealt with this the same way I deal with everything which is to stamp it down with my foot into a tiny corner of my heart and NOT DEAL with it. I, like everyone else in my family, have raised internalization to an art form but I’ve finally met my match in this. This will not stay in the corner that has been designated to it.
My friend suggested that perhaps I should consider getting counselling and I felt enormously sad as I accepted that as sound advice without putting up a fuss. Maybe that is the way to get unstuck. There’s no point talking to moms or aunts or doctors about it because I don’t need to hear that it’s a natural part of life and very common and obviously there was something wrong with that baby anyway. I know that but it doesn’t help.
After work I went to the book store and special ordered a book. It’s rather out of character that so much time has gone by since it happened and I haven’t even bothered to read any books about miscarriage or dealing with loss. Truthfully, it didn’t occur to me and maybe that proves how not okay I have really been all this time while I’ve been reassuring everyone that I’m fine, perfectly fine. The guy who rang me in looked at me with such excruciating pity I almost felt it necessary to comfort him:
"Don’t worry, this is change. This is hope."