Third session was had today with my psychologist. He’s lovely. He’s such a gentle old soul and I feel afterwards a sense of calm almost like a part of his calmness has rubbed off on me. Hope it lasts a while. It’s a welcome relief.
He’s helping me make sense of everything that has brought me to where i am today. It’s complex but of course I’ve already physoanalysed these parts of me. I suppose he’s helping me gapsrein more clarity over it all. He’s helping me understand my husbands emotional detachment also which is helping me. I’m so glad he came to the first session with me as now my therapist understands a little of what I’m up against with him and help me find better ways to communicate or at least not feel so alone. I realise that statement sounds like I’m going into battle with my husband but to be truthful that how I often feel. We are exact polar opposites really and I feel as though we don’t express that we care enough to each other. He also thinks I had post natal depression that wasn’t addressed after my daughter 4 years ago. I never sought help for it putting it down to change of lifestyle stress and first baby shock. I feel like things have been a struggle for me since and exasperated after my miscarriage. I am hopeful I can get past these feeling and gain some peace.
He also mentioned that a lot of his clients are older women and that older women are having more babies then teenagers. He even said that I’m on the bottom end of 40 plus women bearing children successfully as he had some clients 45. He told me not to lose hope. That of course was like music to my ears. That old wall of self protection builds up again and I feel fear almost as simultaneously as hope. Old habits are hard to break.
I feel so lost. The tears that were flowing have turned to a feeling of emptiness, to confusion and bleakness. I feel a little numb. My head keeps trying to make sense of everything but the more I try the more confused I become. I feel foolish. I feel insignificant. I feel alone. I feel a sense of foreboding. My body aches as though my inner turmoil is being manifested outwardly. I plaster a smile on my face and get through the day. I reply in monotone when asked how I am.
I enquire as to others welfare. Sometimes there’s only a shallow attempt from friends to enquire about me. There are no words I know but at least try. I am not diseased I’m in pain. No there’s nothing you can do to make it better but you can be a friend. Just say you’ll be there and actually mean it. I don’t know if it’s me that’s making both my head and heart hurt simultaneously.
How’s this for timing. A year or so ago when I began on this IVF journey I said to a friend that I wanted to be done with it all by the time I turned 41. How ironic that the very day I turned 41 I had the phone call with news that our baby had a chromosomal abnormality. If that wasn’t a punch in the gut from the fertility gods I don’t know what is! Initially a few years earlier whilst we were still trying to conceive naturally I said I wanted to be pregnant by the time I turned 40. When that number came and went it wasn’t in such a forceful way as 41. Maybe it’s a sign to give this all up. I don’t know anymore.
Lately I find myself looking more intently at women who appear mature age with babies. I’ve taken to trying to gauge their age. I can’t even shop anymore as all I see everywhere is babies and sometimes seemingly older mums. A flicker of hope ignites in my belly. This is shitty
I didn’t start this blog with a plan to have it read so heavy. I use it as a release to all the emotions I’m feeling so I guess that’s just how it’s turned out. I know myself enough to realise it’s my way of working through things rather than talking out loud about them. Is that healthy? Who knows. The psychologist I’ve started seeing thinks that I haven’t worked through my grief in the past. He says I have a soldier on attitude and I avoid the grief by keeping myself busy. Handling it this way is just a short term solution as the pain will always reappear. He says that in the past I’ve used up all the cortisol in my body (stress hormone) by hitting the gym, running etc and he argues that wouldn’t it be better to not have to burn up that cortisol in the first place? Don’t you want to make life easier he asks? It’s hard to let go of our old habits isn’t it.
He seems to think my coping mechanism is a product of my childhood relationship with my mum which could be true. Anyways he’s chatting to me about my childhood to help me deal better with my grief which at the moment feels huge. He’s telling me that I need to take steps to change my reaction to the uncomfortable feelings that grief brings. I have to first acknowledge that grief is here, even imagine that it takes the form of something like a character or an animal and let it sit next to me. Then instead of avoidance I have to make myself be still in that moment and feel the wave of grief wash over me. Then I have to take deep breaths. Honestly to me this concept sounds torturous. Who in their right mind wants to sit with feelings like this. Apparently though it’s scientifically proven that applying this concept repetitively actually rewires my brain to respond differently and reduce the severity of the grief response.
So that’s where I’m at. I’m willing to try it as I’m at a loss with everything. It feels like a deep depression that I’m not sure how to even begin to lift from me. He had suggested an anti depressant which I’ve agreed to. I know I need the help and truth be told I’m holding out for them. I have to pick up the script today. At first I was concerned that taking medication would harm my fertility but then I thought to myself what fertility? We have no immediate plans with trying again. I can’t even place my hope and focus on that. I am truly lost.
I knew that news was coming. I had no warning as to what the news would deliver. I was out food shopping with my daughter when a number I recognised was calling on my phone. I answered and was asked if I could talk. Yes I could talk. She said ‘I’m sorry but the results have come back positive for Down’s syndrome.’ Anything else she said following that are a blur.
Everything around me slowed down. It was just me holding onto to the centre of the earth spinning out of control. I thanked her for the call and wheeled my shopping trolley with my daughter in it out into the car park. Meanwhile my daughter was crying that her chocolate surprise egg was melting. Real tears. I had to hold it together till I got in the car. I packed my groceries into the boot, packed her in her car seat with her tears constant. The centre of the earth was holding mine. I got into the car, reversed and then cried along with my daughter. My tears echoed hers at first, not real tears with depth but once i started mine were soul shaking. I felt like these sobs were coming from the very core of me, from somewhere primal seldom accessed by me.
Gut wrenching sobs continued on the drive home and I felt all my hopes and dreams for everything pass in front of my eyes and I saw them fall away.
My daughters tears increased in intensity to match mine and she started asking me questions. Why are you crying mumma? Why are you so sad mumma? Over and over again. A new avalanche of sobs came from me.
Have you ever had the very thing that scares you come to fruition? Have you ever thought to yourself ‘God surely wouldnt be so cruel to have that happen to me?’ Have you had these thoughts hold you together in your most trying times? I have.
It does something to your soul when even your definition of the unthinkable actually happens to you. There’s a sadness that my soul owns now. I can see it in my own eyes. I even look different. The light in my eyes have dimmed some what.
I rarely dream or at least if I do they aren’t memorable. Lately I have had many and some are disturbing.
I dreamt I was at the airport going on a trip with my husband and daughter but somehow I lost my bag. It was sheer panic. I couldn’t get on the plane without my bag and I was in desperation looking everywhere for it. My husband was cranky that is misplaced it. I was so upset wondering what to do.
I dont need a dream book to interpret my dreams as I usually know exactly what they are trying to tell me. This one my bag was a metaphor for my baby. The emotion was strong.
Another one I had featured a snake (my most feared animal). I was being chased around the neighbourhood relentlessly by it. I was terrified. It was my biggest fear come to actualisation much like my baby loss. I’ve had a few more with snakes featured in them but the details are hazy.
Last night i dreamt I was staying at my parents house and my brother was trying to kill me with an axe. He was festering in his room. I could hear devil music, smell marijuana and sense his anger towards my mum and I. We locked all the doors but he used the axe to break in through the walls. I think I woke up then. This dream was disturbing and I cant analysed it but I think it’s just the fear I feel, not with my brother but just fear itself. I don’t know.
I’m trying to welcome my dreams as hopefully they will help heal me regardless of them being nightmares. Maybe they are helping me process everything and I wanted to note them down here.
It’s funny but I feel I don’t want to miss a detail of this stage of my life however horrible the details are. I feel I need to chronicle it to at least pay homage to the enormous loss I feel. I feel I owe to it her. I can’t let it all become a blur of emptiness.
This heaviness is so constant. I don’t have a desire to do anything. Nothing holds any appeal. I don’t know where to start to begin rebuilding my life. I don’t know if it’s possible. I feel so alone and I fear that being with people will only make me feel more alone then ever.
My husband brought a new car and was excited. I don’t care. He talks about the new house and I don’t care. People at work talk to me about their concerns over their fitness goals and I want to shake them and tell them that there are bigger problems in life! I can no longer relate to anything. Everything seems so void of meaning and relevance. Everything.
I look across at my daughter and think of her as being the only relevant thing right now but I can’t engage as much as I want to. I just want to lay in bed her and snuggle and not have to do things like go out shopping and see mums wheeling baby prams around. I don’t want to imagine what a great big sister she would of been. I don’t want to go out into my garage to get my Xmas tree as I have to confront the mountain of baby gear in storage amongst it. I don’t want to do any of it. So instead I operate on auto pilot doing the minimum to get by each day. Somehow I feed her and myself and I put us to bed as early as I can so that reality leaves me for a bit.
I look at my body and I feel I should be compelled to take action. To get my pre IVF body back, pour my troubles into that but I feel powerless. My heart longs for my pregnant belly, the nausea. I dread Xmas when I have to meet 2 new babies that have recently joined the extended family. I dread going back to work where one of my friends has just given birth to a little girl. Her and her husband, my bosses and good friends don’t know what to say to me. I understand, what is there to say? Sometimes life subtracts.