moving through the process

A lot of selfies in this post. I've become a teenage girl.

After my last post about my religious doubts (and renewed affirmations), I asked David if he thought I'd be shunned Amish-style at church. You know, like when they all turn their backs. I don't know if that's a real thing or only happened in that one Tim Allen movie where he and Kirstie Alley pretend to be Amish, but I kind of envisioned it happening. Of course, I expected and wanted him to say, "No way!" But in reality he said, "Yeah, maybe, by some people." Which made me really sad, but I'm glad he was honest instead of just saying what I wanted to hear. People have by far been very kind, including a half dozen who have contacted me privately to say they are experiencing the very same pains with being in the church and feel conflicted in many ways too but are afraid to voice any of those doubts or issues. I feel sad for them that they are afraid, yet I totally completely understand it, and am still happy that they reached out to me, because it helped me to feel a lot less alone. My real-life friends and ward have been very nearly 100% sweet and polite as ever (we will just forget that 1% nonsense), as well.

As for processing the grief of losing our baby, a lot has happened this week. Some was planned, some was not. It's interesting when people ask me if I am doing better, the same, or worse, I have to think in terms of weeks. Maybe because when you are pregnant, everything is measured in weeks? So I think, well compared to last week, or two weeks ago, how am I doing? And overall, I am better this week than last. I was better last week than the week before. I think the first week was just a whirlwind of shock and nothing was sinking in, just crying and going through the ordeal of delivery and burial. The second week contained the most crying. And now it has been six weeks. I still haven't had a completely cry-free day, but over the course of a week I spend fewer minutes crying, as time goes by. I have developed some rituals which help me to feel calmer. I am exercising more. Which means, much at all... sometimes at the gym, but as public places can be tough, often just around the neighborhood (when the mosquitoes aren't too rabid and it's not raining). Every once in awhile I run into a friend or a neighbor so it's nice to have a little chat. I listen to uplifting music or Mormon Stories podcasts to pass the time. I've also tried meditating. That's harder than exercising, but it feels good to try and control my thoughts longer and longer each time.
(it's nice that we live next to the river & a pedestrian trail)

Then this week I unexpectedly had to go to my ob/gyn's office. I had decided I was not going to do the typical six-week postpartum checkup, and my doctor had said it was up to me to do it or not. I thought going back into her office would be too much right now. But I got concerned about something and needed to be seen, so six weeks to the day (nearly to the hour) that we'd been there and seen little Desmond's still, silent heart on the ultrasound, we had to go back. Commence deep breathing and that 'roll your eyes up in your head to spread the tears around so they don't spill out' face.

Totally took this specifically for the blog. Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry...

It actually went better than I'd expected. Not to say it went well - at least, physically I am doing fine, she says - but there were only a couple of people in the lobby vs the usual dozen, and no one ogling their fresh ultrasound printouts. We were in a different exam room. And then we got to talk with her about things, about what happened and the burial and all that. Then she said something that was as if my own thoughts were coming out of her mouth.

A couple of days before, I had been just crying and crying at the dinner table. I can't even remember what set me off, who knows, but all I could think about was, I can't end on this note. For women, at least for this woman, childbearing is a specified period of my life, with a beginning and an end. An end I am much more acutely aware of on the cusp of turning 38. Somehow, it seems that losing a baby in the beginning or middle of childbearing years would be easier to accept long-term, but losing one at the very end seems all the more tragic. 

So a few days later, in Dr L's office, she asked if we were wanting to try again. We said that we really did want to, and she said, "I'm so glad. I hate to see someone like you end on a sad note." We discussed options and plans. We left feeling more hopeful and optimistic.

The other positive thing that came from that visit is that it finished up the Desmond-related visits. The next times I am there it will either be for GYN checkups or a future pregnancy, something totally unrelated to Desmond. 

Although after our crying in the elevator the last time, we opted to take the stairs as we left. 


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