Bobby’s mom hooked me up with some super-drugs… not feeling much right now, even when I try. I don’t know if I’m going to make it to Friday without actually miscarrying – already lots of cramping and misery that I can feel even through the Percocet.
What to say? I don’t know. There are so many thoughts racing through my head, but it’s hard to catch them before they slip away into the drug haze. The thought that perhaps I’m just not meant for pregnancy. That perhaps this was meant happen because I’m not ready to become a mother. That I have more to do before motherhood happens – psychological things like moving through the one-year anniversary of Mama’s death, and physical things like losing the weight that I’ve put on since last September so that I’m in optimal condition for pregnancy…. mentally and physically. That perhaps we weren’t ready financially… even though I know that we would have done anything to make it work. That maybe it happened too soon after the first miscarriage – that I hadn’t recovered emotionally or physically before starting the tailspin all over again.
I just don’t know. There’s no good reason for any of it. It’s very lonely where I am – knowing that there are no answers, and that I’m only left with myself and the facts with no answers. I don’t know why the little one’s heart was beating, then stopped. I don’t know why it’s happened twice, or even if it was the same problem both times. I don’t know if I have a physical problem and if so, if it’s fixable. I don’t know.
The last two years have been fucking shit. That much, I do know. November 2006, Mama’s rediagnosed. September 2007, Mama dies. June 2008, miscarriage #1. September 2008, miscarriage #2. And those are just the highlights. Does it get easier? I know I’m pitying myself. I’m wallowing. Again. There have been good things along the way… Maggie. Being able to quit my job. Buying this house that I love so dearly. Paying off our credit cards. I have much to be thankful for. But the selfish, human part of me just screams for more…. screams that it’s NOT ENOUGH. I want more. I want my mother to live a healthy life into her 80’s. I want my babies to live past their 6th week of life. I want my body to quit killing my children. I want, I want, I want.
I begged God not to take this baby. Not to allow this baby to die. I pleaded. Lot of good it did. But you know what? I’m not even angry this time. Well, maybe a little… but mostly, I’m just tired. I’m tired of feeling like I’m beating my head against a wall. I’m tired of disappointment and sadness and loss and feeling lost. But isn’t that just what life is? I know that sounds so negative, but it’s realistic – think about the saying “This too shall pass.” I’ve only heard it used in reference to grief, sadness, loss. But those emotions aren’t the only things that pass… so does the happiness, contentment, fulfillment. It ALL passes… it’s just what it does. Recurrent miscarriage. Infertility. Metastatic breast cancer. These are what’s handed out – randomly or maybe not – and we each deal with what we’re given. Do we handle it with grace, strength, elegance? Or do we melt into a puddle and become a pathetic, washed-out shadow of what we had the potential to be?
So the point is that there is no point. No big, overarching point, at least. We’re here, we’re dealt a hand, and we play it to the best of our ability.
In our Hospice grief counseling series, there was a poem in our booklet that the group leader asked Susanna to read. It was strangely ironic that the leader, who didn’t know us at all, would choose Susanna, who, several years ago, went to see Itzhak Perlman in concert with Mama. Mama loved listening to Sue play the violin – she beamed with pride when watching her baby in the classic black velvet dress and pearls play the first chair position in the orchestra. She was bursting with excitement about the tickets to see the famous violinist – and she and Sue dressed in their best and had a fabulous time. And since Mama’s death, Susanna’s violin has laid untouched in its case….
So as Sue began to read, her voice grew more and more strained until finally it broke, shattered into silent sobs that prevented her from going any farther. And Jennifer picked up the poem and finished it, because that’s what sisters do.
Playing with Three Strings
We have seen Itzhak Perlman
Who walks the stage with braces on both legs,
On two crutches.
He takes his seat, unhinges the clasps of this legs,
Tucking one leg back, extending the other,
Laying down his crutches, placing the violin under his chin.
On one occasion one of his violin string broke.
The audience grew silent but the violinist did not leave the stage.
He signaled the maestro, and the orchestra began its part.
The violinist played with power and intensity on only three strings.
With three strings, he modulated, changed, and
Recomposed the piece in his head.
He retuned the strings to get different sounds,
Turned them upward and downward.
The audience screamed their appreciation.
Asked later how had accomplished this feat,
The violinist answered.
It is my task to make music with what remains.
A legacy mightier than a concert.
Make music with what remains.
Complete the song left for us to sing,
Transcend the loss,
Play it with our heart, soul, and might,
With all remaining strength within us.
“Making music with what remains.” I can do this, surely I can. This week will be harsh, waiting for this pregnancy to be completed. But what remains? My Bobby. My sisters. My Maggie. My lovely little house. My loyal, dear loved ones. My talents and intellect and abilities that are not tarnished by the inability – temporary or otherwise – to bear children. I don’t want this inability to define me – to allow this to define what I am is to disrespect all the things that remain. And another thought – Perlman said “making music.” He didn’t say “making the best of.” Making MUSIC – taking what you have left and creating something beautiful, fulfilling, your “new perfect” that, while it’s not your original perfect, is just as beautiful as the original would have been.
I can do this. Of course, I’m completely doped up on Percocet, so I may feel somewhat differently in the morning after my drug-induced bravado has dissipated. For for now, I think I can handle it if I just do one day at a time. I know that’s a trite, overused statement… but it so often applies when more than one day is scary as hell.
I’m sorry that this post has been scattered and obscure. And thank you, Tiffiney, Flo, Amber, and Melba, so much for your kind words and thoughts.