My birthday was yesterday. I was bugging M. on what plans we should make for the past month. I was really anxious about what we would do. Our friends were having a party on the 15th which I was actively avoiding. Our neighbor who had a baby after Nora, RSVP’d yes and I just didn’t have it in me to see her or have an awkward encounter. I’m saving my awkward encounters for my friends who I’m not (as) embarrassed to be as awkward around.
So M. planned a brunch for me. I love brunch. It’s lazy. It combines day drinking and there are usually waffles or grilled cheeses involved. He found a place, booked the room and I immediately realized I didn’t want it. I kept going back to October 15th being ‘International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day’ and I just couldn’t figure out how I could be around people celebrating me when I just wanted to curl up and cry.
So we canceled it. We decided to have a pizza night at our house on Friday instead. This felt unrelated to my birthday and something we commonly do, so it worked. It let me see my friends and feel their support without doing something special. It was a really nice night, we grilled pizza (our s’more pizza was off the charts) and watched Hocus Pocus (one of my favorite movies).
On Saturday, M and I went to a brewery tour, met one of my best friends from college and his wife, and had a few fancy cocktails outside by a giant fire pit. It was actually really nice. We hadn’t seen them in a while and we were able to talk about Nora and our genetic appointments with minimal tears but it was really good to be able to share. It’s hard for me to talk about but it really helps that its not just all in M. and my head.
M. and I stayed after they left, we were one of the few people left by the pit and we lit a candle for Nora in honor of ‘Wave of Light‘. I packed a small candle in my purse in case we weren’t home by 7. I was really glad we were able to combine the day without making it an overly sad day. And Sunday we rested. Friday and Saturday exhausted us. We’re still getting back in the swing of activities that we used to do with no sweat.
Yesterday, I started the day trying out a barre fitness class. I was hoping the class wouldn’t crush me like a PEAK class would but still give me some endorphins to get through the day. (I am now very sore. Those tiny weights add up.) Afterwards I visited a new coffee shop with my friend for the blog. She gave me really thoughtful gifts. (A travel wine glass, like I said, really thoughtful- She knows me well, and fun fringe-y winter gloves) It was a perfect way to start the day. It kept me motivated and caffeinated for the rest of the day.
It was really hard not to zone out throughout the day and think of how we would have been celebrating if Nora was here. I would have been at my old job and we would have probably taken the day to do something as a family. I also got some really dumb Facebook messages telling my how ‘great I’m looking’ and how it looks like everything is ‘working out for me’. Clearly not from people that matter but it was still a kick in the face. I just wanted to write back in all caps ‘NO THINGS AREN’T WORKING OUT FOR ME. THINGS ARE SHITTY. GET A CLUE’. Instead I bitched to my best friends on a text and deleted those people from Facebook. Rather than focusing on those, I took a moment to really appreciate all the posts, texts and calls that showed I was on my friends’ minds and they knew it wasn’t going to be an easy day. One of my friends even went to donate blood in Nora’s honor.
For dinner, M. knew I wanted to stay in and when he asked what I wanted, I told him I felt like crab legs. He picked some up that were basically the size of my arm. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was a delicious monstrosity. I hope I never meet it’s crab brother in the ocean. We sat outside for a couple hours and just talked. It was a nice change from our normal dinner on tv trays. I’m going to try to do this more.
He did such a lovely job of keeping it low key but showing that he was thinking of me in a million little ways. From trying to keep it low calorie to picking up wine and hiding chocolate in the freezer in case I was ready to have a splurge. Tonight my best friend is taking me out to dinner. I’m looking forward to spending some one-on-one time with her.
This wasn’t how I expected to spend my 34th birthday but I appreciate all the kindness and love I was shown. I never knew how sadness and happiness could live together like this before. So I guess you celebrate what you can and just acknowledge what you can’t.