Yesterday was my birthday. I told Dave I didn't want to hear "happy birthday" from one person because it was most certainly not a happy day. With the loss of Miriam just 11 days before, there's no way I could feel happy about it being my birthday.
Despite the fact it didn't feel "happy", there were some moments of joy and peace. The kids climbed into bed with me and requested tickles. I couldn't not smile when hearing the contagious laughter of my kids. We even went on our first family walk in over a month. I had to keep asking Dave to slow down, because it seemed so hard, but it was nice to be outside for a bit. I also didn't end up going to the loss support group I planned on going to because I found out they don't meet anymore, which turned out fine since Dave managed to convince me to go out to dinner with him while my parents watched the kids. It was a really nice dinner.
Based on those accounts you would think I would be doing "better." And I will say the grief has slowly been changing. I feel less of the stabbing heartbreak of the week before that required hours of crying at a time along with the feeling that I would never be anything but empty and grief stricken. Now the pain is more settled in my heart than gripping my whole body. But, it's settled deep within and it follows me. I cry whenever I climb into bed, make a phone call, or remember anything from the past 3 weeks. But, I don't cry all day. I suppose that means I'm feeling "better."
Home feels safe. I feel like I can function at home. Outside the home there is a whole lot of fear and anxiety. I'm not myself and I don't know how to interact with people. I don't know what to say or how to say it. I don't know how to respond to people. We went to the pool on Monday with the kids and I saw a mom I had met just 3 weeks before when I told her we were expecting a baby in January. But, when I saw her Monday fear gripped me. What if she asked me how my pregnancy was going or how I was feeling? I just knew I would burst into tears in front of the dozens of kids and parents playing at the pool. I quickly left and went back home where it was safe again.
I wonder if I'll ever be able to talk about Miriam or being pregnant without bursting into immediate tears. Part of me feels like I've returned to my previous infertile self who avoided anything involving pregnancy and babies (including tv shows) due to the pain it brought. But, I'm not that old self. I'm a woman who carried a baby for 21 weeks and knows the pain of giving birth and losing her. I can't pretend everything is like it was before. I can't pretend this is now normal. Miriam is and was real. She lived and she died and I don't know what what kind of "normal" my life is now supposed to look like.