Lately I’ve just been going through the motions and I find myself feeling detached from myself and it’s pretty strange to note this feeling.
Since I started my new job I feel like things have been going pretty well.. Although it was a little overwhelming at first, I have been adjusting well and I don’t feel the panic and dread I feel while I’m at my other job which is a definite plus. Last week I came home from an ordinary day at work and I just cried. Not because of anything that happened that day, but just because. I still find myself battling in my mind the future that could have been and I so wish that our baby was with us. I think I will always have those moments too. Simple, ordinary days seem to be the worst for me. A day that could have been spent taking care of our daughter is now spent training at a new job. It’s not necessarily the worst thing either, I have been very grateful and happy to have a new beginning at my new job, but nothing will ever trump filling the role of her mother. I think it’s hard to admit, but to find happiness and purpose at work is not just great for me, but also hard for the part of me that was happy to have been planning on staying at home with our baby. I think it’s also hard to feel like I am keeping my by girl a ‘secret’ since I wasn’t able to really talk about it in the interview and in that way it does feel a lot like living a double life.
On the weekend, we watched the movie Collateral Beauty and it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would, given that Will Smith’s character lost a daughter in the movie. It actually kind of made me feel like it wasn’t written by someone who lost a child, but someone trying to reach out to people who have lost children to cancer, etc. I felt like it didn’t really hit the nail on the head when it came to how hard things really are when you lose a child. I get that it was a movie and they probably didn’t want it to be a display of emotional ruin, even though it was an attempt at one; but maybe too it’s hard for me to relate a baby to a seven year old child, but I think it would be harder and easier at the same time. Easier to lose a seven year old because you have substantial memories of them and know their personality. I think it’s so different in the time that you got to have with them and having gotten the chance to know who they are, but harder at the same time. I feel a lot like I’m playing devil’s advocate too; grief constantly pushing you back into the bargaining stage of things. I remember being in labour at the hospital and saying that I had wished that if we were going to lose her after so long that we had just lost her earlier on; more so because I was terrified about labour and I hated that everyone knew I was pregnant and that I was going to have to tell SO MANY people. I HATED that I had not only lost my daughter but I had also lost my privacy in so many ways, among so many other things. I hated that we didn’t get that joyful moment where we all became a family, but rather as parents we felt it would be too hard to hold her knowing we would have to let her go and didn’t fully get to enjoy those brief moments with her. And now I’m so grateful for all the blissful time that we got to spend with her while I was pregnant and I hate that I would even think that or have wished any minute with her away. The months spent deciding on her name, deciding on nursery decor and every little baby item; sure, I felt like I was crazy (just hormonal) making shopping lists and taking inventory of baby clothing and items. I feel too, disconnected from myself in that aspect too. In the way that I will never be that same person that I was when I was expecting Lucia. I was already cautious and worried about everything; constantly researching the best parenting methods when I didn’t even have my child in my arms. I’m not sure I can ever be pregnant again for that reason, not that I physically couldn’t and I’m sure things will change, but for now I am terrified of being pregnant again. Terrified because my worst fears became my reality even though I didn’t fully believe they had any merit since I was doing everything correctly on my end, but sometimes these things just happen – you lose the lottery of life and become the 1%.
We also watched the movie Fences last night and I didn’t think it would be a trigger for me. I won’t give any details into the plot, but there was a baby girl in the movie. There was something about the way he looked at his daughter and sang to her that really made me cry. I feel like now, when I don’t prepare myself for potential triggers I am unable to deal with them. I feel like there should be ‘viewer discretion advised: may contain scenes with newborn babies and expectant mothers’ before movies for myself. It broke my heart so much to see that bond between a father and daughter. I hated that I didn’t get to see my husband fill the role of our daughter’s father. I just know that he will be such a great dad one day. It also brought back fears I had of dying in labour, which I am sure only seemed logical because of the grief cycle. Since it felt like the doctors and nurses were hiding from me during labour (they were really just giving us space), I had felt like they were keeping information from me in order to ‘protect me’.
I feel so detached from myself in the fact that I feel I am split between two worlds. One world where I am a mother who lost their baby 34 weeks into her pregnancy and the other where I am just Nicole: married, working, finishing our basement and doing regular things without a second thought. I have realized that this is my way of coping and that these two worlds are separated for now until I can learn how to live successfully in both. It feels like an alternate reality that I am not prepared to live in or even address until something triggers me and I am thrust into the world of being a mother who lost her baby, somewhat like Alice going down the rabbit hole and everything looks the same but it feels wildly different. I have this inner monologue like Alice talking to the Cheshire cat and somehow it makes everything make sense in that reality.
The weirdest thing is that I wasn’t actually 34 weeks pregnant, I was technically 33 weeks and 3 days pregnant. That’s not the weird thing, but ever since Lucia passed away in October I constantly see ‘333‘. I mostly see it on clocks and it’s funny because sometimes it’s not even the actual time, but a clock will be delayed and I will see it. I once mailed a letter to another mother who lost their baby before birth and the postage was $3.33. Just little moments where she is showing me that she is here with us, just in a different reality.
And of course, just like how I am feeling lately my post has been a little bit all over the place as my thoughts have been a little all over lately. I do hope that one day my two worlds can merge and I can be able to cope with the loss of our daughter, but for now it seems daunting and I feel the need to keep the two separate – to live in one reality. Perhaps I have it all wrong and it is really only ONE reality, where I am Nicole: married, working, finishing our basement and surviving after the loss of her child.