je ne vais pas bien.
je ne vais pas bien.
how is it that i am still here?
(written for Nick Drake)
(read part 1, dreaming, i was only dreaming…)
the next round of the special dreams arrived a few years later when i was temporarily back in the States. in the first dream, i saw my friend Tanja with a large, obviously-pregnant belly. she and i had been very close when i was an exchange student at her German gymnasium nearly a decade earlier, but we hadn’t seen each other or been in touch in at least five years. the dream caught me a bit by surprise…i hadn’t thought of Tanja in ages. it’s almost always an unexpected pleasure to run into old friends while wandering Morpheus’ realm, though, and i just enjoyed the little swell of happiness the dream brought with it instead of thinking too much about whether it meant anything
two months later, i had another dream about Tanja. in this one, she was smiling and bouncing a baby on her knee. this was enough for me to put pen to paper. “did you just have a baby by any chance?” i wrote in the letter that i sent to her. she never did respond, but ten months later when i was visiting friends in Europe before heading off to the Peace Corps, i did get to see Tanja. yes, she’d gotten my letter, but she’d been too busy to respond. her ten-month-old daughter was smiling and babbling at me from her high chair as Tanja acknowledge that it was a pretty strange coincidence. Continue reading
so why did i come back after all this time? why did i return to this strange little cyberworld that i’d completely abandoned nearly two years ago? i suppose you could say that a book brought me back. to be more precise, L’instinct de vivre a book by Laetitia Lycke, another woman who belongs to the club that no one wants to join. if you can read French, i can’t recommend this book highly enough.
but the story of my return to the babyloss blogosphere (and of how i even came to read the book in the first place) is a bit more complicated than that. it actually started with Skype. Continue reading
the 5th of June was supposed to be a special day… not as special as the 5th of December, but a day to celebrate, nevertheless. the idea came from my aunt, a lover of literature like me. she called it an “unbirthday”, a word she stole from Lewis Carroll, and every year on her children’s unbirthdays, they got to choose something special to do. there were no cakes with candles or party hats or presents, but there were always smiles and laughter and (i imagine) the warm feeling of being a treasured member of a family. Continue reading
the last birth control pill (ah, the irony) has been taken, and now we’re just waiting… waiting for me to bleed so that i can begin slapping on the estrogen patches. waiting to hear about our donor’s response to the meds. waiting to see if all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.
it turns out that the international fertility clusterfuck has been resolved by the two clinics, and now we’re just waiting to see how much it will cost for us to have sperm from little sun’s donor shipped to Spain. even though i’ve said that i’ll be okay if we can’t use the same donor again, i find myself really hoping that we can.
i’ve been missing little sun even more than usual lately…if that’s even possible. sometimes Froggy and i talk about him and smile or laugh. other times i find myself sobbing, overwhelmed by flashbacks from the hospital, from his birth and from his death and from nearly every second of every minute of the 36 hours that lay between them. my arms and my hours are too empty. all i can do is keep waking and keep walking.
things are beginning to bloom here. the dried brown witch-fingers of the winter trees are almost gone now, suddenly replaced by soft greens and pinks and yellows. it’s hard not to hope with all these signs of life surrounding me. i just have to remember to keep eyes open and my head tilted up.
there’s nothing left. just sadness and rage and grinding isolation. it’s been one year, one month and five days since i said goodbye to the little boy i’d only just said hello to. his loss and his absence are killing me. that eternally optimistic, hopelessly naive girl i once was is gone forever. she died in that same sci-fi hospital room where my son took his last breaths. i know the score. life owes me nothing…not a child who lives, not friends who stick around and weather the storm, not the even a tiny sliver of happiness. hope feels like a word i once heard but no longer understand the meaning of. once a week, i have to pay someone to talk to me in my own language. otherwise it’s just me, alone in my head fighting the despair, the anger, the desire to just give up. friends, family…nearly everyone has disappeared from my life or simply forgotten.
but this happened: Continue reading
and so we start over. again.
for the past five nights, i’ve gotten the tools out: pen full of expensive hormones, check; bottle of alcohol, check; cotton pads, check; sharp little needle tip, check. i assemble the parts, dial the pen to the correct dosage and stab myself in the belly. i repeat this ritual nightly for seven nights, my motions mechanical and sure. Continue reading
going back to work was as i expected it would be….hard. i’d taken a melt-under-your-tongue anxiety pill before i left the house, but it did little to prepare me for the barrage of memories and awkwardness that was to follow. Continue reading
i haven’t worked in over a year, and for much of the last nine months, the thought of going back to teaching has been enough to send me into a sobbing, hyperventilating panic. once we got into summer, i realized that i had to go back when the Autumn semester started, and i was slowly getting myself mentally prepared for being back in the “real” world….a rather frightening place, to say the least.
Friday the director of my school, my boss, called to tell me that my first class would be the following Monday….that is to say, today. i’d talked to her a week earlier, and she’d had no idea about when my classes would start or how many hours i would be teaching, but she’d mumbled something about it being around the beginning of October. i expected to know more at least a week or two in advance. instead i get three days notice.
in about an hour, i’m going to leave the house and go back to face my colleagues and my students. i’m dreading the awkwardness that awaits me in the office. the administrative assistants who smile at me with pity in their eyes… the silence surrounding little sun. i’ll also be teaching some of my former students, so it’s possible that one of them may say something to me about my pregnancy or little sun. i still don’t know what would be worse, having people ask about him and breaking down when they do or having everyone pretend that nothing has happened.
it’s just one class to teach tonight…. i hope i survive without needing either of the two packs of tissues in my bag.
at least i’ll be home too late to see the streams of parents and babies emerging from the crèche next door…. maybe soon enough i’ll forget that i should be one of them.