Greetings, Guests and KuKd Strong Mommas!
First, a quick news update:
Some of you may recall my post from a few weeks back, where I questioned where loss lives once it's not just below the surface of your skin, when you're one-or-more years down the pipeline of time after losing someone or something you love.
After some very scientific research and careful consideration of others' feedback, I've concluded that loss is a grapefruit-sized, dark blue-gray blob named Quinoa, sometimes going by the nickname "Milo." Quinoa, aka Milo, oftentimes breaks into a series of smaller, disconnected blobs that float around in your body - similar to what you'd find in a lava lamp - existing in the shadowy cavities of your head and trunk. Sometimes Quinoa, aka Milo, coagulates into a singular, larger blob that drifts toward the surface. It's during that coming-together period that you become acutely aware of its presence, and start feeling like physical and emotional crapola, possibly even breaking into sobs over silly things like a Pampers commercial.
Damn Quinoa, aka Milo. I'm going to call it Quinoa, for the sake of simplicity.
Anyway, this very week marks the 1.5-year anniversary of that which, in the past, I've referred to as the Ultimate Shitty Event. I like to take stock at times like these points of chronological significance: step back and look around, peer down at myself from above, and assess the situation.
A word about the term, "Ultimate Shitty Event," which - even as I say/write it now - seems somehow obsolete, inappropriate, just plain inaccurate. I recall feeling, 1.5 years ago, that stillbirth was just about the cruelest torture that Mother Nature could ever put a person through. It felt just plain wretchedly raw and hurtful, even shameful, the hugest black dot weighing down my time line of life. Stillbirth so surpassed my earlier mishaps in the suckiness department, and was so much grander and more grown-up than anything I'd ever had to face (aside from the trauma of falling into an Uzbek pit toilet, but that's another story), that for me - at the time, and many months thereafter - it was THE most "ultimate shitty event" in the galaxy.
In the context of my basically damn good life, it was.
But let's be honest, and I hope I don't ruffle too many feathers by saying this: the great big stillbirth dot on my time line has grown smaller, more manageable somehow. 1.5 years later, I'm pretty darn sure that shittier things than the miscarriage-stillbirth-miscarriage combo can happen. That this, shittier things have happened to people, are happening to people, and will inevitably happen to me or you or anyone else.
This certainly isn't something I would have said even six months ago, but I'm just far enough down that pipeline of time to where I can say it now with moderate certainty, Quinoa the Loss Blob having dissipated into marble-sized blob-lets in my arteries.
Someday, I'll have to deal with some truly grown-up things that test my survival limits, like burying an adult loved one before me. Somebody like Kevin, my parents, my brother. A child I haven't had yet, but who passes away before me. Or my dog, even (don't laugh). I'm not saying we should all sit around and fret about future horrific events (I do this sometimes, and trust me, it really doesn't get you anywhere).
So now, with the perspective of a wee bit of time behind me, I'd say "Ultimate Shitty Event" is no longer the best term for my son's stillbirth. It just doesn't account for all of the other crappy things going on around the world. Perhaps I'll go back to call it "Zach's Dirth" - that is, his death-and-birth at once, or "Ultimate Shitty Event for Me," which grounds this dramatic term a bit more in truth, without making this grandiose claim that my loss is somehow worse than anyone elses' on this godforsaken planet.
Or I could just not worry about it and call it what it is: "the stillbirth." That's what Kevin would advise if he were lying here on the living room floor beside me, instead of snoozing in the bedroom.
Which brings me to my second "perspective" of the day:
KuKdx3 has turned me into an over-thinker. It just has. I worry too much, I think about things that aren't worth thinking about, I imagine shit that isn't there. So abrupt and surreal is shattering of reality that takes place with a stillbirth, that I still haven't totally figured out what's real and what isn't.
Take the fact that I still, STILL, get convinced every once in a while that there's a lump in my breast, or a tumor lodged in my pelvis, or that one eye looks smaller than the other, or that one bowel movement felt strangely different from the one preceding it. I have no evidence of anything being wrong, other than my own paranoid thoughts swirling around my brain and colliding into one another. It's not as bad as it used to be, back in the days of the frantic late-night calls to the consulting nurse with Kevin looking on, waiting for my bout of panic to pass. Like this one:
"Thank you for calling Group Health. May I have your Group Health ID Number?
"YEAH BUT HANG ON: I'M POOPING BLOOD! I SWEAR, I JUST TOOK MY MORNING DUMP, AND THE WATER IS TOTALLY RED! LIKE BRIGHT CRIMSON! I'M PRETTY SURE IT'S COLON CANCER, BECAUSE - "
"M'am? Did you eat beets with dinner last night?"
"Beets? Actually yeah, I did eat beets."
Silence on the other end.
"Oh, so that's it. Well, never mind then. Do you still need my Group Health ID Number?"
Those kinds of calls haven't happened in a while, to my credit.
More recently, take my sudden, irrational fear of getting pregnant, which crept up on me for really no good reason last month: Kevin and I were happily engaging in you know what (some people call it the Humpty Dance), when I suddenly burst out with: "Pull out. Pull out! PULL OOOUUUUUUUTT!"
I don't know where it came from, this weird fear of pregnancy. And I don't mean to make light of my infertility-fighting sisters' situations. It's just that, I don't get where anything has come from these past few years - the losses themselves, the foreign and confusing emotions that followed them, the cancernoia, the longing for a puppy, the obsessive quest to adopt a baby from Uzbekistan (that idea sort of fizzled, once I saw all the zeros in the adoption fee), the anything. I'm pretty sure I used to have a basic understanding of how the world worked, but everything I thought I knew before has gone out the window. I'm pretty sure I used to think logically about things like whether I wanted children, whether I wanted a pregnancy, but all of that logic has spread like Quinoa the Blob of Loss, and I can't seem to access it.
Coming soon - a third 1.5-year-time-line-perspective relating to my recent tavern date with the Baby Ladies. That is: N and C, my pre-stillbirth prego buddies, the lucky bee-yatches that went on to have their babies after Zach was gone. I learned something new about myself that night.
But you'll have to wait 'till next time.