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Monday, July 13, 2009

Two Years...And Why?

Greetings, Blog-o-Readers...

Reporting to you live from the thrilling environs living room! My dog is snoring; can you hear him? I'll try to talk over him.

Tonight, I had beers with three other dead-baby mommas. We met at a dimly lit tavern with rock-n-roll blaring in the background, and drank amber-colored beers while telling tidbits of our stories. We all experienced an infant's dirth (birth + death) at various times. Mine was the longest ago, I realized during the course of the evening: in August it will have been two years. This chronological fact hit me, or sort of sank into me slowly like bad Uzbek vodka made of fermented onions (I only know that beverage from intimate, unsavory experience), and three words dragged themselves across my frontal lobe:

Holy freakin' wow.

Two years? How can time melt away so quickly, propelling us forward (and memories backward) so imperceptibly? At one point during the evening, I distinctly heard myself using the past tense more than I used to, while the other gals were using more present. Me saying something sucked, them saying something sucks. As a writing teacher, perhaps I'm just more aware of things like verb usage than I used to be. Just a simple, subtle difference in grammatical choice, and yet - to me - a significant one.

I had this sudden, crystal clear sense of being not where I was a year ago, two years ago, even six months ago. Something has pushed me forward and away, dulling my sense of past loss. Thank goodness, really, our brains are designed that way. Can you imagine if we were all permanently stuck in Shitty-Moodville for the rest of our lives?

On the other hand, I felt that same magical, emotional whoosh that comes whenever I meet a fellow dead-baby-momma, that electifying sense of connection. It's how I imagine it must feel to be a soldier having just returned from the Iraq War, then to run into another fellow soldier in the sporting goods aisle at Wal-Mart. You look up and sense an instant, kindred bond: we both get it. As the evening progressed, I found comfort, as I have before, in hearing stories of realities that almost precisely mirrored (SEE? I just did it again! Past tense!) mine: the fear of personal extinction. The convoluted, mysterious nature of grief as an emotion, how it really isn't an emotion in and of itself - like happiness or sadness - but rather a term coined by someone long ago to encapsulate that big, messy ball of unpredictable mental and emotional glop that comes after a traumatic event.

It's just different from how it was last year, and the year before that. Death isn't such a big, heavy bowling ball inside me, but now broken up into tiny shards and absorbed into system, pricking me at odd times, changing me in ways that I can't define just yet. I mean, I can speculate on how KuKd has changed me, but it's all just that: speculation.

Then, during my uphill-but-beer-tinged-and-therefore-not-so-bad bike ride home, I began thinking about why I do this blog, two years later. Why?

Oh, it's a thought that's crossed my mind before. This blog won't/can't last forever. Those big-time bloggers who blog for the sake of...well...blogging? People like Stirrup Queen who create these immense blog-o-empires, again for the sake of...well...creating a blog-o-empire? I couldn't do that. I'd get tired of hearing myself talk, fed up with thinking of meaningful things to say. Kevin said it nicely during our sojourn in Idaho: "It's good we don't have Internet in this cabin, detracting us from just living our lives." Deep down, I know he's right: there comes a point when you spend so much time talking about living, that you cease to live.

So, this blog, and the question of: why?

I do this blog because the truth is - although baby-death takes up a mere fraction of the brain space it used to, it's certainly still in there, in me. The effects are long-term and mysterious, and I think worth dissecting and analyzing for the glorious sake of overthinking (if nothing else). Also maybe - just maybe - for the sake of reflecting some realities that are more common that everybody thinks, therefore helping somebody else feel less isolated and alone out there. If I can reach out and do that for a KuKd momma or two, then the whole dang blog is worth it to me. Honestly, I had trouble finding a sounding board that made sense to me back in the days of doom, when I really needed it. I sort of felt like a KuKd outsider, even being KuKd myself.

Just as a small, quick example of something I can easily and readily still talk about: marital relationships. I could do a whole post, even a series of posts, on how baby-death affects marriage in the long-term. Specifically, how it has affected my relationship with Kevin, brought us together in some ways and yet put a strain on us in others, and made us have to work harder than ever before at keeping ourselves intact (that very post will be coming soon-ish, because I'm actually curious to know others' views on this scintillating subject).

Sexuality, too. You KNOW I can talk about that 'till the cows come home.

So, my plan is to keep spewing out thoughts here until I'm dry as the Sahara desert. The time will come - I'm just not sure when.

Oh, and tonight I was greeted with the most entertaining comment on my blog guestbook I've had in a long time, second only to another post entitled "Jesus is Abled" (that's a whole 'nother post):

"My non-juicy tidbit is I really want you to get pregnant and have a live baby. Really bad."

For some reason, I just loved that comment. It seemed so innocently, unabashedly, purely hopeful and excited. And to have someone wanting you to get pregnant, somebody besides your near-retirement-aged-mother-who-doesn't-have-grandkids, well - it tickled my spirit. For the record, pregnancy: it's not out of the picture, just off to the side for a bit. Off the map. Off the Map of Hawaii, no pun intended.

I'm just hoping the person who left this guest-book post can come over to babysit from time to time, because given the hardcore caffeine and booze habits I've picked up over the past few years (and that I suspect would readily bounce back even after being a Good Pregnant Mormon-like Girl for 10 months of potentially doomed gestation), I'm going to need my nights out. Alone. Without a baby.

Oh, and hey - a few logistical announcements for anyone who cares:

1) If you'd like to show off your knocked-down hunk, e-mail me his photo for the next gallery: monica@exhalezine. It's a risk to have your hunk's hotness compared to others, I'll admit that. But look: I'm a firm believer in taking an already twisted and dangerous reality and making it even twisted-er and dangerous-er. And don't think I'm not keenly, achingly, resentfully aware that my OWN precious hunk is practically in last place in the current gallery. We're both dealing with that with the help of an expensive therapist and lots of hard liquor. As long as he has more votes than Mister Absolute Penis, then I'm cool.

2) For the Knockalicious Blogs list, if you have a blog or website to add - or a description of one of those, send that my way too. I'll be updating that after I finish watching the entire first season of The Wire. This isn't any kind of fancy or offical list of blogs-sanctioned-by-the-Mother-Virgin-Mary. It's just a way to spread the word and share the love, that's all.


angie said...

I, for one, am glad you are still writing. Your thoughts are insightful, funny and incredibly helpful, especially to us new on this scene. I mean, most of us sort of lack a sense of humor for quite a while after our child dies. Your wit and humor mixed with your insight gives us permission to laugh at ourselves, to gossip about the sex we are having, or not having, and to invent words. Plus, it helps to feel like, when we think this is never going to end, we can see how to exist with the tragedy without having tragedy completely define who you are.

Just sayin'

sharonvw said...

Its so corny but so true, time is the ultimate healther! I love your Blog Mon don't ever under estimate the comfort your blog gives to so many.
Hope you received my Hunk for the Knocked Down Daddies???

Pamela said...

It is remarkable how much time can pass isn't it? ... your post brought to mind the lyrics from a Jewel song:
Or am I standing still
Beneath the darkened sky
Or am I standing still
With the scenery flying by
Or am I standing still

This post helped me to jump start my next column for Exhale. Thank you, Mon. It will come your way sometime later this week...

Bluebird said...

Just wanted to say that I am glad that you haven't ran out of things to say yet. Your blog has made me laugh and made me cry and I have loved every minute of it.

Thank you...

Anonymous said...

Your blog helped - or rather, is helping - me deal with my two pregnancy losses. Thank you.

Monica LeMoine said...

ANGIE: Thank you, doll. "We can see how to exist with the tragedy without having tragedy completely define who you are." That's a gorgeous line; I hope that someday I really hit that balance.

SHAZ: Yup, I got your hunkalicious hunk. He's sitting in my e-mail inbox, begging me to jump in bed with him. It's tempting, I have to say.

PAMELA: Yes. Jewel herself annoys me, but those particular lyrics have always resonated for the reason you describe.

BLUEBIRD: OK, but I recommend not laughing/crying at the same time due to risk of snot inhalation.

ANONYMOUS: I like to know that. :-) So, so glad.

Michelle said...

I am with everyone else...Super happy you are blogging, glad I found you and hope you keep doing it for some time to come.

*~*Lis*~* said...

I'm glad you haven't run out of things to say yet!

Since my own KUKD-ness is in the past, I "use" your blog for the purely selfish reason of reminding me how freakin' lucky I am.

Oh plus your seriously funny and I'm hoping for more naked pics 'cuz your pretty hot too! ;)

m said...

Dear M,

I first found you here after reading the first issue of Exhale which came out just as I was dealing with my own shittest moments ever. I've been a fan of both ever since. Time is marching on, but I too still feel a need to read and write and try to figure out what exactly remains after all the things lost. I'm really glad you're still here, because I think I might be for a while.

m from (potential addition to your knockalicious blogs?)

Mendy said...

Well, I'll keep reading until the last post!!!

Yes, and I too REALLY want you to have a baby. Can't promise to babysit - I think GA is a little too far off.

Megan said...

I hope you keep blogging. I would miss the read...and I'm still waiting for the book too!

kari said...

I would babysit. Though I've noticed people don't ask you to when you've had a dead baby. Hmm. Anyway, I'd rather go out drinking with you, I think.

Anonymous said...

HI Monica , we virtually met a year go it has been a month since my baby, Nicolas had died. I remember how crazy and impossible it was for me to see me a year after... well its been a year and one month...the logistics of my healing process included aa divorce, leaving a job, traveling to two other countires, oepning up to everysingle individual who would care to listen my story, and ofcourse to found out te amount of women that have had this experience of loss... any how if you still have a regular meeting like I know you tired to have last year I would love to fianlly meet you and others. Thanks for still writting I´ve visited this site all year long on and off.

Brenna said...

I'm glad you still have plenty to say. I understand questioning the purpose of the blog now and then, that seems healthy to me and there may come a day when it makes sense to move on. But I'm so glad that day isn't here yet! You always make me think, your writing is so enjoyable to read, and your humor is uplifting. (I couldn't agree with the poster you quoted more, by the way!)

Cara said...

Man...wavelengths crossing or something! I just returned from a long walk/jog (where I walk WAY more than I jog!) and found myself at Emma's grave.

I can do math. But somehow it hit me that her dirthday is under 2 months away - again. Another year is up. Another 365 days of never-to-be-known possibility is over. I'm a bit numb at the realization hoping, as I do every year, that this year won't kick my butt as hard. But it always does.

She'd be 9 years old on Sept. 8th. Holy Freakin' Wow...indeed.

Tina said...

I lost my twin girls almost 3 months ago. It is so nice to hear your perspective and how you feel after two years. I like to think that I will be in a better place at some point, my heart not whole, but not as empty as it currently is. Thank you for continuing your blog, it is quite entertaining and real.

KuKd Chick said...

A few quick replies:

LIS - Oh don't worry, the naked pic gallery was so damn fun, that I can't imagine not crafting another one soon. Kevin's already got the camera ready.

M - Maybe Baby - OF COURSE you'll be added.

KARI - Did you say "drinking?" That's the magic word. Let me know when you're in the Seattle area.

The Gonzo Mama said...

I'm just tickled (in that good, battery-operated way) that I made your Knockalicious blogroll.

You are going to be missed in Chelan, darlin'.

Also, do you have a Great Outdoors story you want to recycle in my zine? I'm thinking I should have a new issue before the event, but find myself unmotivated in that regard.


Heather said...

Everytime I comment on your blog I want to say (in the voice of the idiot on the call in radio shows) "First time caller, long time listener" which is a lie in both cases, because I "call" a lot and have only been a "listener" for few months...being realatively knew to the KUKD world. Anyhow, I liked this post. But what I like about your blog the most (aside from the obvious hilarity and weird satire you bring to this "club") is that you have a 2 year perspective on being a baby loss momma. It gives me hope to think that maybe I'll be in about the same part of grief in 18 months. Past tense. Were things will have sucked, and not currently sucking. I'm getting there. I go back and forth in my tenses, aside from the fact that I am so grammatically challenged! But it gives me hope, your blog. Hope that there is life after loss. And if you quit blogging, things would seem a whole lot darker around here.

BTW, I recieved a comment on a recent post about Carrying On... that said "Go to "Knocked Up, Knocked Down", Monica may be able to help you!!! God bless you!" and I rolled around on the floor in hysterics! Do you hire goons to troll other blogs and advertise for you!? LOL! I'll take it, because though I know it isn't true, the thought cracks me up, and if laughing at your exspense is what I need today to help dry these blasted tears, well than I knew/know you wouldn't mind! :)

Heather said...

Oh, and because I don't have the balls to write about it, I'd appreciate you writting a blog on how sex has changed since being KUKD! :) Becasuse frankly I feel like an alien, and a freak who thinks about dead babies while she's trying to get off, and then tries to suck in the tears when the other half of the conception equasion gets flushed down the freaking toilet!

KuKd Chick said...

Gonzo Mama: can it involve getting naked? If so, I'll consider.

Heather: OMG, that cracks me up. GOD BLESS YA, DARLIN! And of course we can talk about sex. How intimate and embarassing do we want to get? Endless possibilities.

Being Me said...

Not only your blog but your commenters... so informative, so true, so GET IT!!

I do this blog because the truth is - although baby-death takes up a mere fraction of the brain space it used to, it's certainly still in there, in me.
This resonated with me the most. Just when ya think there's nothing else in there..... out it comes. I hear ya!