I have been treading water since my mom died. There was sort of a tacit agreement between me and Mr. O that we had to get through the memorial and the funeral mass (which were a month apart) before we could really start thinking in the future tense.
The last few months have been perpetually interrupted by trips to visit my family. If I am being very honest, I do this to be supportive of them. It has little to do with me, which is okay (in theory.) The truth is that there isn’t a lot of room for me there– room for what I’m feeling, what I’m going through, the very basic fact that I’m currently building a human. The collective grief is too big, and there is almost an expectation that I will be there to protect and to serve, and that’s about it.
Every time I return from a trip to my family, I need to spend the next several days in an emotional coma. If possible, I would sequester myself in a yurt and not talk to anyone. But alas, I am expected to be a functioning adult so I do my best.
All of this has made baby planning really difficult. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but there is a SHIT TON I don’t know about babies. Having them, rearing them, daycaring them… But I was putting off thinking about all that because… well, I just couldn’t handle it.
With everything that has happened in the last few months, I’ve found it hard to be happy about being pregnant. To be clear, being “happy” about anything has just felt awkward. I’ve felt numb, raw, sad, and angry. Happy? Meh… That has not been in my emotional repertoire.
Now that all the formal grieving is over and I’m not expected to hop on a plane every other week, I have the mental space to think about what’s happening. On Friday night, I was sitting on the couch and just spontaneously started to cry. These were not happy tears or sad tears. They were “Grasping the Enormity” tears. I am having a BABY. A BABY. From this point on, I’m responsible for another person besides myself. Though I wouldn’t say that this made me happy, it did feel good.
The next day, Mr. O and I went to get our hair did. He needed a trim and I dyed my hair. (Blue. Yes, I dyed my hair blue and I realize this probably has something to do with my feelings of mortality, loss of control, assertion of self, blah, blah blah… Whatever. I dyed my hair blue, and now I look and feel like Wonder Woman. But this isn’t the point.)
As I was sitting waiting for the dye to set, Mr. O popped out to run an errand which turned out to be going to one of our favorite bakeries. When we got home, he showed me what he’d got: a small cake with “Little Chick” written on it.
It was the first moment of true celebration that we’ve shared over our pregnancy. And it felt wonderful.