We are still moving forward. It’s a weird time. Yesterday I hit 15 weeks, and I still don’t feel comfortable telling people. Currently I just look fat but soon it will be hard to ignore. Our immediate family and some friends know. Seeing me without my wine in hand makes it hard to hide.
But soon I’ll have to tell work. I feel guilty since I haven’t been here that long, but in a very detached sort of way. Like all this is happening to someone else. Though I’m thinking about being pregnant all the time, I’m not really thinking-thinking about it. It’s hard to explain, it’s not like I’m pretending I’m not pregnant, but just not allowing myself to get excited or go to the other end of the spectrum, cycle into the endless possibilities that end with another loss.
I just finished ‘An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir” (which I highly recommend) and the author said she wished she could give out a business card to new people to explain what she’s been through. I wish I could do that here. Or that past-me figured out a way to incorporate Nora into work conversation so it wouldn’t have to be explained now.
I mean how can people not know what happened to us? This is our entire life. It’s wrapped up in every action I take, in every situation I encounter, in every awkward introductory conversation I have just waiting to be asked if I have kids. Yet people don’t. I think maybe three people in my entire department know. I work across multiple large departments. Even if I sent out a massive email with my life history, it wouldn’t hit everyone. I mean look at my old job, when on my first week back, I was asked if I had Nora. HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW?
If I could hand out a business card, it would be closer to a scroll. This is what I’d say:
Is this your first baby?
No. Our daughter Nora was born last April and passed away shortly after due to complications from neuroblastoma. We miss her every moment.
You must be so excited!
Yes and no. I’m excited that we have this chance, but my fear overwhelms it. Please don’t expect me to act like a normal person. I’m not anymore.
Do you want a shower?
No. We are lucky to share Nora’ stuff with Dot. But to have to pack up any more stuff after a loss would break me.
Wait til you don’t get to sleep anymore/you’ll miss your old life/make sure you do x before you don’t get a chance.
All I want is this. I don’t need to think about what we won’t be able to do anymore. We’ve done too much of it already.
You’ll feel better once you have her in your arms.
I hope so. I can’t imagine feeling worse. But maybe all I will think of is how we didn’t get to do this with Nora. And how Nora would have been a great big sister, and how Dot doesn’t get to have the carefree, relaxed parents she would have had. Having Dot won’t negate losing Nora.
Do you think you’ll have another?
GTFO. Take a moment to think how hard this has been. Let us celebrate our successes without adding the weight of surviving this again.
And I’m sure there’s more. I bet I’ll be adding to the list as the weeks progress. I just hope they progress. I am muddling through until my next appointment, where I won’t sleep the night before, waiting with my heart in my throat, trying not to cry, to hear dot’s heartbeat or see her on the ultrasound, where I can go back to muddling until my next appointment.