I've had so many thoughts running through my head during the last two weeks, and none of them even remotely coherent. But one thing that that seems to keep rearing its ugly head is how much it bothers me that all of this has taken the me from me. Starting with the first miscarriage nearly four years ago.
I know life experiences change you, even the happy ones. I'm a different girl than I was before I met My Beloved - but I like the way that changed me. That's the difference.
Four years of trying and failing and mourning has made me someone who struggles too much and has missed too much.
It's hard to explain.
The last couple of months have been mentally exhausting to say the least, so I didn't have the energy to do what I would otherwise have done. I didn't visit my mom and dad as often as I should have or wanted to. Days passed while I sat in seclusion waiting to miscarry or waiting to hear good news or absorbing bad news or having ultrasounds or making appointments. That's all I could deal with. It's all I could think about. And when I did venture out it took so much effort. I had to put on a good face, answer questions, reassure others, pretend the sky wasn't falling. Pretend to be the me I used to be before hell broke loose.
I haven't supported friends who needed it because it was all I could do to support myself. I missed virtually the entire summer that my sister was off. We had great plans and hardly did any, and when we did it was to distract me. It was always about me.
And I hate that.
I've been on autopilot for what feels like forever.
Somebody asked how I was doing a week or so ago, and I said it's like I'm not quite part of this earth. I can see the beauty in a sunny day, for example, and I can want to be part of it, but I'm outside that bubble of pleasure and joy. I can recognize that it exists but I can't partake in it. I can long for it but I can't have it. Not yet. And not because that's the way I want it, but because that's the way it is.
Multiply this by four separate losses, and this has been my life for the last four years. Obviously losing Thomas took the greatest toll - and still does. And obviously the out-of-body kind of sorrow that is most intense right after a loss hasn't plagued me relentlessly all this time, but enough for me to have intense regrets about what I've missed. About what I should have done. About the time that has slipped away while I've been mourning and healing and mourning again.
And then there are the people who have quietly slipped away while I've been dealing with my losses. Some family, some friends, all quiet as church mice and nowhere in sight. Not a word since I lost the twins - not a word since I knew I was going to lose them. Is it because they can't deal with this much repeated sorrow and drama? Is it because I haven't done enough to keep them part of my life? Is it because out of sight, out of mind is much more comfortable when someone appears to be as cursed as I do? Is it easier for them to wait for the storm to pass? Is it because this has become so routine for me they think I don't need them anymore - that I'm used to it all by now?
Is it because I really am as different as I think I am, and this is what happens when you change so much?
I don't know. Add it to the list of things I just don't know anymore.
So I'm trying to focus on taking back some control. I'm starting Weight Watchers again today, for one. I've gained back 14 pounds since the lap in March and I need to nip this upward trend in the bud. I need to regain control over the body that so stubbornly refuses to be a safe haven for our children. I can make it do this, at least.
And I'm trying to formulate a vague plan for the rest of me. I have some freelance work that should be starting up soon, with any luck, and once those projects are established I'll figure out what else I can fit into my work schedule. And look for more.
As for trying to have more children, I just don't know. I don't know if my heart can take any more loss, and I don't know if my body can take any more trauma. I've been lucky enough to survive two surgeries with frightening complications. Is it tempting fate to risk it one more time? I don't know. We don't know. Not yet. It's too soon to know that yet.
For now it's still about healing and trying to find myself in all this. One more time.