Monthly Archives: December 2013

White Nights and Blue Days

November 7, 2013

I really need to begin this blog post with the end because the end was just so… fitting. And not in the best way. It started to snow. As I was walking from my carport to my apartment. And I did, indeed, say aloud, “Seriously? You couldn’t wait two more minutes?” And that just summed it up.

I’m still angry. And hurt. And so very, very sad. And I spent a lot of today crying. At work. While curled up on the floor of my office. (It was surprisingly comfortable with Sofia’s blanket tucked between my cheek and my arm.) And I know that I have a lot of friends who love me and are available when I need them and when I’m ready. But I am still angry. And hurt. And so very, very sad.

Some observations:

  1. The bathroom is still too damned far away.
  2. Each time someone asks what I’m doing for “self-care”, they suggest that I get a massage. This seems like an odd suggestion. Massages are incredibly intimate. I have known my massage therapist my entire life. And I don’t think I can stand to be touched for that long yet. Trust me. I will be getting massages when I can stand to be touched again. But you’d think they’d suggest something less intimate. Like, you know, taking a walk.
  3. Along the same line as #2, these same people are always surprised to hear that I’m a writer. Like really surprised. Like they never would have considered that I was a writer if I hadn’t told them.
  4. To all of the people who say Facebook is bad for your mental health, I want to ask, “Who the hell are your friends?” ‘Cause my friends are pretty awesome. I was feeling angry and hurt and so very, very sad, so I posted that I was having a rough day. And I did because I knew my friends would say things to help me feel a little less angry and a little less hurt and perhaps only very sad. Those people who say Facebook is bad for your mental health just need better friends.
  5. And related to #4, I love that the things my friends said to help me feel better were so… them. A friend who’s a runner suggested I go for a walk because the air is wonderfully crisp and fresh today. A friend who’s a homebody suggested curling up with a movie and comfort food. A friend who’s been holding my hand through it all asked if I wanted to get lunch and talk.
  6. Having a friend who’s been there before is incredibly useful. She allowed me to bluntly tell Borgess that it didn’t matter what they said, I would still feel guilty. She’s someone I can email in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep because I’m so angry and hurt and so very, very sad. And I love that she believes in better living through chemistry when necessary. (Current recommendation is Xanax. If I can’t sleep again tonight, I think I’ll try a few Calms Forte. They’ve worked for me in the past. If they don’t work, then I’ll consider the harder drugs.)
  7. A bit of normalcy has returned: my period started today. This does make me happy. This is probably the happiest I’ve ever been for my period to start. The friend in #6 said she felt the same. It’s normal. It means my body still works. It means my body is moving forward, so the rest of me should be able to follow.
  8. And the bathroom really is way too far away from my office.


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The Unanswered Question

November 6, 2013

The meeting was today. Finally. And they were very… compassionate. And we discussed the “what”.

The full autopsy report wasn’t in yet. But the preliminary report was. The placenta was small, first percentile. But Sofia was small, too. Not first percentile small, but still small. There was some hypercoiling in the umbilical cord. Why wasn’t any of this noted in any of my multiple ultrasounds?

And the meeting didn’t help. I don’t feel better. I don’t feel as though doing anything different would have resulted in a different outcome. Quite the opposite. I am angry. I am… so very, very angry.

I told them that I felt like I needed help when I was pushing. They asked what sort of help. What sort of help? You know, the helping kind of help. I don’t know what sort of help. I needed help. I knew it was taking too long. But I trusted them. So I didn’t say anything. At least not after the first hour. Or rather, I did say something after the first hour, and I was told that everything was fine, that pushing for an hour was normal. So I trusted them. For a second hour. And a third. And a fourth. And a fifth. Why didn’t someone say that they were concerned? Why didn’t anyone else say they felt like it had been too long?

Because, you know what, if the placenta being small and the hypercoiling in the umbilical cord both mean that Sofia might not have had the best circulation during the stress of labor, then doing something to help me deliver her faster would have helped. And I know. We’ll never know if that’s really true.

But what I wanted to hear was that there was nothing anyone could have done. And that’s not true. Sofia was perfect. She should be here with me now. But she’s not.

And for all of the “what” that they were able to give, that’s not the question I want answered.


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Much Ado

November 5, 2013

I will confess that I’m having a hard time holding it together this week. There’s a lump in my throat and a weight on my chest. Either of these things individually makes it difficult to breathe. The two together… Well… You can imagine.

But I have a different story that I forgot to tell you.

Last Friday there was a write-in to kick off this year’s NaNoWriMo. There was one table of young women who were, frankly, a tad obnoxious. Okay, they were downright loud. But they did make for some amusing/disturbing eavesdropping. Amusing for the eyerolling potential. Disturbing in that they make me concerned regarding the current state of education in this country.

“What does lith-ee mean?” one of them asked.

“Is that how it’s pronounced?” another replied.

Yes, they were discussing the word “lithe”. Not to be confused with the Lethe, the river in the underworld that makes you forget. Perhaps they had partaken of the Lethe and therefore forgot what lithe means…

But what broke my heart was their discussion of productions of Hamlet on film. One of them had been forced to watch the Mel Gibson version in her English class. (Oh, the humanity! There are far better versions than that!) But they agreed they really liked the David Tennant version. Because, you know, Doctor Who was in it. (And I just wanted to scream that Patrick Stewart was also in it. And was brilliant, too, as always. But what I love about the David Tennant/Patrick Stewart version is neither of those things. It’s Peter De Jersey’s brilliant portrayal of Horatio that won my heart.) And then one of them said something about the Kenneth Branagh version. There was brief discussion of the film before one of them spoke up.

“I couldn’t figure out why he looked so familiar, but then I realized he’s Gilderoy Lockhart!”

Yes. Kenneth Branagh, one of the great Shakespearean actors of our time. Famous for not only filming an unabridged Hamlet, but for his thrilling Henry V and sun-drenched Much Ado About Nothing. They only knew him from Harry Potter.

And if you, too, only know him from Harry Potter, do yourself a favor. It may be much ado about nothing, but it is delightful. Watch it. Now.

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Random Monday

November 4, 2013

  1. The bathroom is still too far away.
  2. Also, what’s the deal with all of these other people using the bathroom at the same time I’m there? (There are four stalls, for those of you unfamiliar with the 3rd floor women’s room at my office.)
  3. And relatedly, I cry a lot in the bathroom.
  4. I wish that Wednesday were over. Simultaneously, I don’t want Wednesday ever to come.
  5. My boss doesn’t care about productivity.
  6. My applicants do care about productivity.
  7. For that matter, I kind of care about productivity, too.
  8. I checked a couple of things off of my to-do list.
  9. One of those things was to schedule our accreditation interview in March.
  10. It’s kind of scary to think that I’m already planning for March.
  11. Today we picked out the spot for Sofia’s tree. It’s near Uncle Ed’s tree. You can see Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Ed’s house from where it will be planted.
  12. I cried a lot.
  13. People being nice to me make me cry.
  14. But the hugs are good.

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Home Alone

November 3, 2013

Today is the first day I’ve been alone at home since Sofia died. Yesterday doesn’t count. I went out in the middle of the day. Today has consisted of little more than a brief jaunt to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. During which time I was alone.

I opened the door to Sofia’s room yesterday. I stood in the doorway, on the threshold, in that liminal space. Today I walked inside. And I sat down in the rocking chair. And I looked at the empty crib. The empty bouncer. The decals my dad and I had used to decorate the walls. And it hurts so much. I miss her so much. I just want to hold her again, to smell her again. I’ve already forgotten her scent, that new baby smell.

And I know that I could have avoided these emotions. I could have taken my laptop to my parents’ house. But I have to go to work tomorrow. I just want to be home. I want to not have to put on real clothes, to stay in my pajamas all day if I choose. My mom said that it was hard to let me go this morning, but this is a step that we need to take. I need to be in my own space. I need to regain my balance.

I just wish my heart didn’t ache so much.

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Happy November!

November 2, 2013

It’s once again National Novel Writing Month. I’m not going rogue this year. Last year, you may recall, I was just a wee bit behind in writing blog posts. And so I used my NaNo-ing time to write blog posts. 50,000 words worth of blog posts. But I’m not behind in writing my blog this year. In fact, I’m ahead. I’m stockpiling. I don’t know what my next step is, so I’m letting what gets posted fall behind what’s been written. It might not actually be November anymore when this goes live.

No, this year, I’m returning to the spirit of NaNoWriMo. I’m writing a novel from scratch. Don’t get too excited. I’ve gone in for absolute whimsy this year. I don’t even know exactly what this year’s novel is about. It’s a palate cleanser, not a dish to be taken seriously. But there may be a book coming post-NaNo. I’ll let you know if there is.

I had initially thought to let my mom stay home tonight, but since Wednesday, the nights are again too long. I’ve been home alone most of the day. I met up with Sheri for coffee mid-morning, so that took me out. It’s the first we’ve seen each other since both of us delivered. She goes back to work on Monday. And it was a good diversion. And then I came home and worked on my NaNo novel. And that, too, has been a good diversion. I’d been wondering how I was going to manage being a single mom with a new baby and do NaNo, too. But instead it turns out to be something that I really need this year. A distraction. Something to let my mind imagine things other than why it’s my fault that Sofia is dead. And, yes, the rational part of my brain keeps telling me that, no, it’s not my fault. But in the middle of the night, my rational brain likes to sleep. But NaNo will give my irrational brain a workout, so maybe it will be tired in the middle of the night, too.

P.S. Someone set off the fire alarm. There’s no fire. I’m writing this as I wait for the alarm to turn off. It’s getting really old.

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November 1, 2013

I was doing okay. I was mostly sleeping through the night. And when I was awake, it wasn’t because I was sobbing so hard that it was difficult to breathe. I was finding that the earth was beneath me, where it belonged. I could let my grief sit in the chair beside me. I was sad, but I was okay. Until Wednesday night. Wednesday night, the scab over my heart was ripped off.

Rose Kennedy said that time doesn’t heal, but it does allow the wounds to scar over. This is why the wounds don’t heal. They scab over, but then the scab gets torn and needs to regrow. Over. And over. And over. I know the scar will eventually form, but I’m still in the scab stage.

And now I’m back to the crazy side of my brain taking over at night. The part that says Sofia’s death was my fault. The part that asks me why I didn’t insist that her birth was taking too long. The part that refuses to listen to the rational side of my brain.

I just want it to be Wednesday. I want to know what the autopsy said. I want to know that it said that we don’t know what happened. That we’ll never know what happened. I want that meeting to be done and over with so that the scar over my heart can start to regrow.

P.S. I have a list of roles that I want to play someday. When I’m old enough. One of them is Katisha in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado. “Hearts do not break. / They sting and ache / for old love’s sake / but do not die.”

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