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Thursday, March 11, 2010

When a Friend Disappears

Hello, Guests and Regulars!

First, the good:

I had several great, productive days in a row - the kind that feel as though I just applied some kind of cosmic dental floss to my life and cleaned out the dark, disorganized corners. The kind that Real Simple magazine makes look so damned easy if only you follow their bulleted lists of tips-n-tricks. Check this out:

1) Got caught up, for the most part, on grading essays. Wow. That never happens.

2) Windexed the sticky, coffee-stained top of my desk at work AND filed a bunch of papers. Wow. That REALLY never happens.

3) In a spurt of love and wifey-ness, took it upon myself to do what is ALWAYS Kevin's job and not mine: paid the five or six bills that had been quietly stacking up on the table for a few weeks. And I even recorded all payment details in the checkbook register! Wow. That most DEFINITELY never happens.

4) Dutifully went into every room and watered the houseplants, which I've known for the past month are probably dying slowly of dehydration. For some reason, even with that knowledge, I couldn't bring myself to water them.

Yup - feeling organized and on top of my Martha-Stewart game.

But look: we wouldn't have "good" if we didn't have "bad," would we? Life can't all be fun-n-games, a spirited Karate Kid montage of getting inexplicably hyper-organized! Oh life, complicated knocked-down life. I am continuously amazed at the weird, long-lasting after-effects of dead-baby-motherhood, how one's dead-babyness goes away for a while, then resurfaces in the oddest and most unexpected ways. It makes me wonder how it'll manifest itself next year, five years from now, ten or twenty. Will it shrink into a lump of coal in my psyche, only to balloon out into a cloud of all-consuming gray dust every once in while, a melancholy triggered by god knows what? Will I think of Zachary while I'm old and white-haired, swinging on the porch of the elderly-folks home where nurses feed me Jello?

Case in point:

After all that joyful and twisted organizing of home and workplace, I went out with C and N - my Baby Lady friends - to our favorite pizza joint for our regular girls' night out. Then, I came home and plopped down on the cold front steps in the dark for a few minutes, rested my head on my hands, and allowed myself to feel melancholy. Not melancholy from being with them, but from being without.

I'm pretty sure I've talked a lot on this blog about the strain a pregnancy loss puts on a friendship, particularly when one co-prego friend goes on to have a healthy baby and leaves the KuKd loser behind like uglier, less coordinated one who didn't make the talent show. Your uterus, your genes, your luck, your something just wasn't good enough to make the cut - sorry, kiddo.

C and N, well, were those friends. We were a trio with due dates all within weeks of each other, back in autumn 2007. And of course, I didn't make the cut. I sort of dropped of the planet for a while after that, not really able to interact with them as I had in the past, for obvious reasons. And miraculously, simply because of their stellar character and amazing capacity to let go of me while never really letting go, we remained friends at a more-or-less distance throughout it all.

Now, being 39 weeks preggers: we've been back in full swing. Suddenly, the topic of babies is allowed to come up, the unspoken rule of "we don't talk about babies EVah" now obselete. It's like this weight lifted off all our shoulders, and as my belly gets bigger, we've been hanging at the pizza joint with correlating increased frequency, reliving - in my mind, sort of - that shared fantasy of "what's to come!" that we had back in 2007. What's to come! Parenthood, the three of us! Together! OK, I'm a bit slow to catch up, but here I am, coming into the finish line!


The melancoly: N'S MOVING HALFWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY. And she's moving few weeks! For good reason: job opportunity for her really hot husband. Honestly, I'm happy for her. I get it, the need to move in search of better things. Kevin and I have done it countless times in our nearly 8 (!!!) years of marriage.

Oh, I know. It seems so trivial and who cares: N's moving. Big deal. She's packing up all her things, her 2.5-year-old son who was going to be Zachary's first experimental gay lover, his little baby sister who came later, all the chipped dishes and books and toys and pillows and clothes in their house. was supposed to be, finally, OUR TIME! If I were to revert to my 10-year-old self and blubber woefully to my own mom with my lower lip quivering, that's what I'd say! Now was supposed to be the time when I finally catch up to N, the time when we both have kids in unison, when the imagined future that we always talked about could finally (albeit in a slightly different form) come to fruition. These were the golden days, coming up! The N-and-Monica-special-co-mommyhood friendship I'd dreamed about!

But it really, oddly stings somehow, losing - in a geographic sense anyway - this treasured friend. She's not just a friend: she's a huge, hulking piece of my KuKd story, that black second half of 2007, the swirl of sadness and disappointment that year represents. She's a character in my life, a major player, one of the many large reasons why losing that baby hurt. It meant losing a friendship, a certain type of friendship that was loved and wanted. She and that achingly cute son of hers are so intertwined in my head with my own achingly cute son, the boy he would have been, that to have them both disappear is just...unnerving somehow.

JUST as I near the edge of this new baby-having cliff, off she goes. To Chicago, of all places!!!!!!

I really have this urge to grab her arm and beg her to stay, but what good would that do. Like I said, I'm happy for her. I wish her well.



Anyway, to bring this full circle, back to flossing junk out of my life. This weekend, perhaps I'll indulge in another uncharacteristic organizing spree. Time to channel my selfish friend-hoarding energies into something...presumably...selfless! Something like cleaning the house. Kevin will love it.


Sonya said...

I can't believe I get to be the first one to comment on a post. It's really awesome to hear happiness in your voice and imagine you sitting on your back step, in the cold, all full of pizza and baby. I'm sorry your friend is moving just when you are re-connecting.... This all looks good on you Monika. The baby, the nesting.. I bet you have baby within the next 10 days!

Sharon said...

Hey Mon
39 weeks already! Holy SHITE where did the time go????
As for your friends, all I can say is its been my experience that we never catch up.
Enjoy all the organzing, must be that nesting thing that so many people talk about!

Keepontrying said...

I hear ya on the friends. I had two friends pregnant with me last time. I have not seen them or their babies much once I miscarried. It’s amazing how different our lives are right now. I can only hope to follow in your footsteps and reunite with them once we have a baby. Thanks for sharing your story. Enjoy the next couple weeks and the new baby! The baby will be here soon!!! Can’t wait to see photos!

Tina said...

Just catching up here Monica. did you get to 39 weeks already???? I am sorry your friend is leaving, I totally get what you are saying. it was finally time when you could be friends again in the way you used to be. It sucks...I don't know what else to say. xx

Reba said...

i so know what you mean about suddenly the forbidden topic of babies and kids is not only un-tabbooed, but it's like the hottest topic.

i am so sorry your friend is moving away just when everything was about to finally be "set right."

39 weeks? i'll be thinking of you.

Schae said...

nesting! enjoy!

sorry your friend is moving. now you have more excuses to holiday in Chicago? do people do that?

AnxiousMummyto3 said...

Yay for 39 weeks!!! Can't wait to see that beautiful baby :)
I'm so sorry your friend is leaving. You must be feeling totally robbed, now that you won't get to have that special time together where you share mommyhood.
Hope cleaning the house cheers you up :)
PS. Love the book cover. Is it being released in Australia?

B said...

this makes me feel that there is hope for the future.

i was two months ahead of my best friend. now she's 23 weeks pregnant and i am, well, not. and i've suddenly realised that now she has a bump and is feeling her baby move... well. i can't bear to be around her.

so hearing that you've come out the other side... well, i hope i do too, one day.

39 weeks? wow. glad the nesting is going well ;)

Curls O Fred said...

I'm impressed with your ability to knock off things from the "never-do-I-do" list. I'm having a hard time doing my own normal stuff, and I'm not 39 weeks pregnant (or preggo at all). All that to say, hoping these next days and weeks go as hoped for. You'll be in my thoughts.