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Archive for March, 2008

It’s funny how things come together some days.

Today I got in the mail this book  that I have been waiting for. I just need something like that, on top of a myriad other things that is supposed to satisfy my craving and desire for a calmer and more peaceful mind. For true and profound acceptance. For walking in grace. After Ferdinand died I decided to be a more spiritual person. This would be one of my daily dose of thoughts to get me going, on top of this kit. On top of trying to meditate regularly, and trying to slow my thoughts now. Be present. Be mindful.

Then I read what she wrote. It is inspiring to me. Yes, a loss like this turns our world upside down and we go insane with grief. It is a different grief from losing an old parent or life-long mate. Different because there is no reason we can fathom; hard-as-hell because we do not know how to go on when the future is taken from us. Add to that the questions that arise as to why would our children be taken from us and why would our bodies do this to us? We feel angry and shut our hearts down, and yet, at the same time, our heart softens. It cries easier and we feel deeper for others in sorrow. As she puts it, more sensitive to the light. More appreciative.

This arrived in the mail 2 days ago and the  girls adore him. Jizo, protector of babies and mothers; protector of lost babies in a different realm. I got it to comfort myself. As a symbolic hope that Ferdinand is looked after; he has guardianship, he has protector where I cannot be. I explained to the girls what Jizo is about and why it is standing on our altar table now. They wanted to touch it, stroke it; they cradled it like a little baby. Many times a day they go and look at it. I guess they also feel good to know that Ferdinand has a protector.

I hope to offer this to other mothers in grieve. All our children has a protector. They are not lost and hurting; and they are always with us. Jizo, also known as Ksitigarbha, is compassionate and will take care of all who needs that care.

**********

I flipped open the book I got today, to yesterday’s page and today’s page. seems to be what I would love to read and ponder:

Unfortunately, we do not recognize the empty nature of words and we become fixated on them as if they were something real. this is why pleasant words make us happy, and unpleasant words make us unhappy or angry. these reactions are a sign that we believe in the reality of words.  ~ Kalu Rinpoche

Words. Whispered. Written. Immediately dissolve. Such is the illusion of this world. But while we write it, it feels good. Good to let everything out to the wind, to blow away.

*******
Not causing harm requires staying awake.
Part of being awake is slowing down enough to notice what we say and do.

The more we witness our emotional chain reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain. It becomes a way of life to stay awake,

slow down and notice.  ~ Pema Chodron

I know I am not awake.

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dunno where or how I get the idea that “grieving” needs a job description. guess it’s because I wish I can get a hold of this slippery, slimy thing, in vain hope that I can ride it instead of it riding me down.

I guess I also wish I can then write a contract for it. Then I can choose to end the contract. Then I know what to wear to the job, what the hours are and really, exactly what do I do? I wish I know. Do i starve myself for 50 days and then stuff myself with chocolates for the next 50? Do I shave all my hair off, or do I rub dust into my hair and screech all day?

I wish there is a description for it so I can tell a newly bereaved mom, with confidence, “Don’t despair. This job only has a contract period of x years. Look out for that crazy gossiper at desk B and though there is no bonus on this job, you can leave within x months!” I wish. After our loss I thought maybe I will finally know what to say to someone who had experienced a loss as well. But no, I do not. I know now what bereaved mums do not want to hear, but what words will soothe them and heal their hearts? Most times I am just wordless. I sit in-front of their blogs and let the tears drip. I search my brain frantically, my fingers burning to fly across the keyboard finding just the right letters to string together, so i can send a potent antidote to grief and broken hearts.

But, no. In the end I just feel more defeated and I just cry some more.

**********************************

Help me out. What is grieving’s job description? Where do I find it? What number do i call, and whom do i speak to?

(Funny thing is, I already got the job without even applying for it.)

**********************************

I know now that grieving is a life-long thing. There is no end to it. Until your body turns to ashes and is scattered in the wind. It can look different, but it never disappears from your life.

Some days it feels like a full-time job with lots of over-time. From the moment you get up till the end of day you lay down exhausted, you’re working at it, mourning and weeping and pining. Some days it actually feels like you are doing it part-time. those days when you actually laugh with your kids or friends and then feel guilty about it. Everytime you laugh you are afraid people think that all is OK now; that the pain is forgotten and that it is all OK again. You are afraid that people think you have forgotten about your little baby. That is the worst thing that can happen.

And, how do you grieve for your little baby when you have older kids as well? You know, that SAHM vs WOHM debate? — how can you go to work and have a career and still be a good mum to your children? It’s kinda like the same thing here.– how can you grieve and still be a good mum to your living children?

In the early days of our loss, I did not know how to deal with the girls. Yes, we told them and we cried together and I let them talk all they want about it. I could see how lucky I was to have them both and that I need to treasure them and let them know that I treasure them. But there are times (which occur very often) when I. just. want. to. be. alone. I did not want to meet their needs. I still cringe to recall those early days when dh kept them away from me, telling them to be quiet because “mama is not feeling well.” Or when they come and hug me because “mama is feeling so sad again. It’s because Ferdinand died.”

For weeks we did not go out. Forget about park days. When we finally ventured out to the library, I wanted to go with a big bag over my head. I was certain when we walked in the entire little library is going to stop what they are doing and look at us and stare at us until we leave. I felt like a criminal when we go into stores. Surely they can tell that I did not keep my baby alive. They have stopped their Little Gym class for 10 months already. First we stopped because it was getting too hot to be driving around and also we were moving up to the cabin for the birth. And then we never go back because I could not face those people who knew we were going to have another baby. I did not want to have to tell them, “Sorry, but he did not live.” I dunno, sorry for myself, my family; or sorry you have to hear this bad news and not know how to react and will probably be putting your foot into your mouth? I actually wish they will change owner and the entire stuff do I do not need to explain anything to anyone.

So, i guess guilt is certainly a component of this job. I feel like the last year of the girls’ life it is just empty as we try to just survive. I seldom laugh with them and sometimes their joy is so bubbly and innocent and pure that I feel weighed down by it. I could not get myself up and fall into a heap and laugh with them. Guilt, guilt, guilt about letting them down as a mom and not being present enough the past months. Guilt that they have to live with this loss for the rest of their lives. Guilt about how they will feel if one day they decide to have children. Guilt that i cut off their social life because some days I am still too chicken to go out and face people.

Guilt, also, to friends and people who know me. Crap, I may imagine it but I can see how it is hard to be around me these days. Or maybe I just find it hard to be around other people. It is not that I expect every social encounter to be hugs and crying in heaps; but it is also not that I am all fine just talking about coin-slots (aka as buttock cleavage sheesh how did this find its way into a blog like this?!) and belly-dancing or whatevers. No, actually, some days I do want to just talk about something else, because I do have moments of peace and acceptance, but… … I guess indecisiveness is the other trait this job requires. You need to be really flexible and volatile.

To continue with above (like I said, my mind goes all over the place so beware when I am giving you directions to Rome, coz I may get sidetracked and end you up in Kazakhstan instead) guilt for not being a good friend to my friends. No, some days I am not even a friend. Just some human-like-form moaning and whining, full of myself. Someone on the loss forum felt like a fake going to her good friend’s baby shower and not joining in the choruses of ooh’s and aah’s over the gifts she received. I just think she is awesome attending her friend’s baby shower just some three weeks after her own loss. Me? Eight months after F died, and I still cannot even venture out to a Blessingway. That’s how wimpy I am. And yes, I feel guilty. But, unlike at a Baby Shower where you can hide in a corner, you gotta participate in a Blessingway. I guess I was a bit afraid that some of my bad luck would rub off of her so I stayed away. I conducted my own little Blessingway for her at home. Sniff.

And some days, I am sick of this job. Sick of framing everyone’s events in terms of my loss. Just a few examples: Oh look at her sweet baby! Poor me, my baby would have been about this big too… ….; Look how carefree that preggie is! I was too, oh I once am innocent… … ; Her fifth baby! Why can’t I have one too? Why… …

I want to just be happy for others. Just enjoy that ten-month-old baby without acting like I am going to snatch him away and run to the forest where I will raise him with the wolves. Just enjoy the beautiful weather now without thinking If only Ferdinand is here, we will be… … I want to just celebrate other women’s pregnancies without feeling sorry for myself. I want to just enjoy my girls without feeling pity for their loss of a little brother. Some days, some moments, I am actually “clean” and have only genuine concern and authentic joy for the people and events in my life. Some other days, some other moments, it still gets difficult.

Does this job get easier the longer you work at it? I trudge along… …

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spill

I thought I was not going to be writing for a while, but I’m wrong. The words keep multiplying in my brain like rabbits in spring, and I don’t keep words inside very well. At a party or function or whatevers you will not find me the center of attraction, my spit going up in fireworks discussing intelligent things or gossiping or talking. But in front of the computer, in my virtual little world, I let it all spill.

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TTC with intent is no fun. In fact, very stressful.

dh will beg to differ, but we have never TTC. OK, with dd1, we said we will start trying after the last champagne of the wedding banquet, but it did happen much sooner than expected. So soon that I believe a few of my friends suspect that mine was a shotgun wedding. (And to set the record straight once and for all, it was not.) And when I told my mum about my pregnancy she asked, “Gosh, don’t you guys plan?” My answer was, “Yes, and the plan is: ASAP.”

TTC means counting days and penciling in time to, you know, baby dance. Although I am the sort who likes to plan but fail to execute, this drives me nuts. It’s hard to get into an amorous mood when it is because the calendar says so. And dh complains that he feels like a sperm donor, like an animal brought in to inseminate, and at the end of the act, handed a folded-up five-dollar bill before he disappears for good.

There is also the issue of control. We feel, after Ferdinand’s death, that really we do not have control over many things, although that does not stop people (and us) from attempting to grasp some kind of control, even if only over small little unimportant details of our life. And TTC seems like we are trying to control something; and I guess we are superstitious that this will make it all fail.

Also. because we are consciously doing it, if we do not succeed, then I guess the fault and blame is on us. This is kinda crappy. Imagine our discussion if we do not see the double-line in a few weeks, or several months- maybe we did not do it enough; maybe your position was a bit off; maybe your swimmers were not, erm, good; maybe your egg was faulty; maybe you should not have eaten beets; maybe we should have eaten more _______. Maybe we are infertile.

I am stressed. And overwhelmed. Don’t know what to do with myself. Sick and sad that we have to do this because we lost Ferdinand. So in the middle of dinner I felt tears welling up and left the kitchen and went upstairs and sat in our closet and sobbed. dh came up in a few minutes, concerned. He asked if anyone has been an idiot to me during that day, saying insensitive or stupid things? Or what is it? I shook my head. It just comes, I said. Then he told me, “You know, I wanted to tell you… this morning I had a dream. I dreamed that I was delivering a baby… it was quite a fast delivery, and the baby was a happy one.”

I looked at him, and then I bawled even louder. Inside I had questions, I wanted details- the setting, the background, the time of day, how the baby looked; was he delivering for me??? But I did not ask. I did not dare to get more details and talk more for fear that I am going to jinx it all. I refuse to find out what that dream may imply because either way, I do not want to know.

*******************************

I looked at the calendar and realized we are nearing the eight-month mark. Inside my head the words formed, “Eight months down. Forever to go.” I said it. I don’t think I will ever stop missing and stop grieving. I feel as if someone signed me up for a “Grief Marathon” run without my permission, and there is no way for out. You are in and you keep going until you gasp your last breath.

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Sometimes, the more spiritual part of me finds light and wisdom and I begin to think I can indeed heal from this. And, during my yoga sessions (with my masters on DVD) I hear things that seem relevant. I am not sure if I hear them because I needed to hear those words, or because my mind just twisted them around to make them relevant to me.

This morning in Down Dog, she said, “Tightness at the back of the legs is indicative of one’s gripping, for fear of moving on. Gripping is a habit, just like fear is a habit.” She also said, “We need to let go, not dwell and move forth into the unknown.”

Well, the backs of my legs are tight. I do not mean, tight as in looking real sexy and firm and bikini-worthy. I mean, the muscles are tight. Gripping. Fear. Sounds right to me. And that unknown part? Gosh, it is 200% true.

These words I hear often on their DVD’s, but my brain always screams back and my heart squirms and hides– “Let healing happen, because it can.” “Remember, if you can feel it, you can heal it.”

I really want those words to be true. But I also know only I can make them come true.

*********************************

I got my first issue of Shambhala Sun. I am thrilled. I feel I need this magazine and its contents. Of course, the advertisements for retreats and classes make me feel like I have been living in the wrong part of the world. I see books upon books I would love to read. Actually, i want to just eat them up and hope they immediately make me wiser and a better person. I am not done reading it, but I can already tell it is going to be better than the Body+Soul magazine, and I am really glad i ordered it. In the section of letters from readers, I found the following, and I am truly humbled, and inspired:

I look forward to receiving each issue of the Shambahla Sun with great anticipation. I like the articles; I like the artwork. I am, however, troubled by the ads. Stick with me here- this is not the criticism of materialism you might expect.

I am a person of modest means. I live on Social Security Disability Insurance, I have few possessions, and I have to share a small two-bedroom apartment with a student to make ends meet. I will never be able to afford what is advertised in the magazine. But since I can’t, I have made the conscious decision to use the ads to strengthen my practice.

I read them all and I want it all. I pore over each ad, letting myself experience wanting in the worst way. I want to go to Ann Arbor with the Dalai Lama and to Vietnam with Thich Nhat Hanh. I want to attend a weeklong retreat at Spirit Rock, visit India for three weeks, and have that nifty T-shirt and a namaste ring to go with it.

Then I settle down on my cushion. I let all the envy, jealousy and grief consume me. I let it rip. I even throw in my frustration with having been in a wheelchair for the past ten years. And, like the Pu’u ‘O’o vent that has been erupting since 1984, I let the hot lava spill over and flow to the sea. I step back and watch it all.

I breathe in. I breathe out. And bit by bit I let go of all the wanting, the envy, and the unfairness. Bit by bit I return to this present moment, hear the doves out in the yard, peek out at the beautiful Hawaiian sunshine, and let gratitude wash over me. I am grateful for all the advertisers that make the Shambhala Sun possible, grateful that the American Buddhist movement is thriving, grateful that all the energy generated by those retreats is changing the world. Grateful.

Margaret Mann

Honolulu, Hawaii


Sometimes, too much of that “be positive” thinking gets to me, and it rubs me the wrong way and I get annoyed. But I do try to make a conscious effort to be grateful. At least on some days I search for things to be grateful about and feel, well, really grateful, and get out of myself and find my place in the world again. But some days I just want to wallow. This letter makes me see how I can practice; how to stay away from that negative downward-spiraling vortex. It is not always easy, but I endeavor to try. I try to remember that the girls look to me as to “how to deal”. Some days I am a downright bad model, but on other days I am inspired to try to be better.

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I think most people who knows me knows that I have a black thumb.  Except for that crazy luffa, that bullies its way through the garden even if you forget to water it for weeks.

Two weeks ago, we did some spring planting, and I thought to myself, “Hmph. I hope I only kill plants, and not babies too!” Black humor, yes.

Tonight I could not sleep and I thought of this old thing I wrote about a random garden.  I guess I need that reminder of trust and taking chances; of things working its way out, even if sometimes long and convoluted and a freakin’ big mess. Actually, one of our two plots is right now a random garden. It’s from those seed balls and I don’t recognize most of the plants growing there. But at least they are not dying. Yet. I added two heirloom tomato plants and two bell peppers. I hope they grow.

I also hope I grow a real healthy baby soon.

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Dear Universe,

I am confused.

You gave me a baby when I was not really ready; and then when we were all fully prepared for the baby you took it away.

If the Universe provides for exactly what is needed, then why did Ferdinand die?

Now, we really want to have a baby. A live one.

Is our intention and desire sufficient?

Crossed my heart and signed,

Me.

(Two hours later)

Dear Universe,

It is hard, but, I will try to surrender.

As they say, to surrender is not to give up, but give in. So as to allow for space for grace.

Did you know, to embrace with grace was my personal mantra? But it is hard to practise.

I will try.

I know all we can do is to step forth with our best and then step back to see what happens.

I hope you are not confused.

I still really, really, really, want a live baby. Thank you very much.

Crossed my heart, spat in dirt, and signed,

Me.

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  1. The girls still talk about Ferdinand a lot.
  2. He is “our little baby” with the “tiniest butt”.
  3. Sophia likes to draw him as the sun, or as a star.
  4. This weekend at the cabin I decided to clean up and came across: two drawers full of his clothes, meant for the four weeks of “babymoon” after his birth;
  5. his car-seat in the closet of the guestroom;
  6. boxes of Mother’s Milk tea in the kitchen.
  7. Yes, I cried.
  8. A lot of tears. Everyone was outside enjoying the beautiful weather.
  9. But I could finally sit in the rocker that was meant for rocking him in.
  10. I thought maybe we should sell the cabin because it has too many painful memories.
  11. I tried to ask Ferdinand to talk to me but he did not answer.
  12. I read this post and thought of something I want to write about, called “The Guessing Game”.
  13. In essence, I play a guessing game guessing what others are guessing what is on my mind.
  14. I think of how they guess what they should say to me. Should we discuss weather, G-strings, or dead babies?
  15. I think of how they try to guesstimate if it is safe or ok to talk about babies.
  16. I guess how they try to guess if I am back to “normal” and when it is ok to mention babies without me crying.
  17. Although, I have seldom cried in public, or in-front of people.
  18. I just cannot do that until I master a way of crying beautifully.
  19. Crying for me is private. has to be done alone, and loud; and ugly; and downright awful with no limits.
  20. So as to trying to conceive, R said, “We shall see… we shall see …”
  21. Well, I think my egg is dropping within the next 24-48 hours.
  22. Will we catch it?
  23. I can’t believe I am writing this publicly.
  24. But i guess I am.
  25. Lately from other mum’s blogs, I have discovered other blogs, written by mums who had experienced similar losses.
  26. I am overwhelmed.
  27. On the one hand, I feel there is one more person who may understand.
  28. (Because everyone grieves differently and is different and have different views.)
  29. On the other hand, I curse finding that blog, because now my world is made up of broken hearts and tears, tears, tears.
  30. Sometimes, I feel like the traitor who wants to abandon camp and run.
  31. Pretend that it never happened to me.Ferdinand did not die and I do not know what grief like this is like.
  32. Pretend that I do not know what it’s like to lose a baby.
  33. Sometimes that feeling is very strong.
  34. That betrayal. Or, that desire to say, “No, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.”
  35. But that is not possible.
  36. As they say, welcome to the club nobody wants to be a member of.
  37. This sisterhood where women understand, but wish they never understood.
  38. I imagine all kinds of things.
  39. Holding a baby in my arms.
  40. Holding a dead baby in my arms.
  41. Miscarriage. A lot of blood.
  42. Trying again and again.
  43. Never trying again. because R decided to get himself fixed.
  44. Being told I can never ever have a baby again.
  45. Telling the girls we are not going to have a baby, ever.
  46. I also imagine the things the girls will say in adulthood.
  47. I cringe to think when one day they become pregnant, if they will think of Ferdinand.
  48. They love him, but… …
  49. I hope they never ever understand this kind of grief as a woman/mother.
  50. I am willing to put my life for it.
  51. But of course, silly, what kind of control do i have?
  52. Their lives is theirs to lead.
  53. And I start to think, did I set a good example?
  54. I don’t know. Is there a good example to set as in how to grieve?
  55. A course in Good Grieving 101?
  56. I am trying to find my new “normal”; trying to evolve, spiral forward.
  57. And it is hard like hell.
  58. Some days I am very resolved though.
  59. because there really is no other way.
  60. Never in my life have I been so interested in knowing the future.
  61. “Please tell me if i will have a live baby.”
  62. Who to ask?
  63. Unfortunately, I can only know by trying;
  64. by taking the plunge.
  65. Deep breath of faith, and jump.
  66. Although, lately I think i do not have faith, but I have hope.
  67. Is that possible?
  68. I think they are two very different things.
  69. I need hope.
  70. I need to hang on to it till it totally runs out.
  71. I hope there is a big supply of hope out there.
  72. I start to think 40 weeks to be pregnant is a freakin’ long time.
  73. why can’t it just be 20 weeks?
  74. Or even eight?
  75. I am not sure I have 40weeks of hope in supply.
  76. Especially if it will take me some 40 weeks to even conceive.
  77. I actually threatened my body the other day–
  78. “Don’t you try!”
  79. I willed it to conceive now.
  80. What if I don’t?
  81. What if I get pregnant and things go wrong and I have to start over again? And over, and over again?
  82. Maybe the problem is, I think all wrongs are right when I finally hold a living baby again.
  83. But you cannot go back and erase what had happened.
  84. That loss has already become a part of us, and will be who we are going to be in the next minute, or second.
  85. Still, I wonder how long before I hold a living baby and stop feeling like a failure?
  86. Val asked if we will celebrate Ferdinand’s birthday?
  87. I said, yes, of course; how should we celebrate?
  88. How do you celebrate and grieve at the same time?
  89. I am thinking of the post I wanna write about Thich Nhat Hanh and his books and his teachings.
  90. I feel ashamed; reading his books, wanting to talk about them, and acting like this.
  91. He has a lot of wisdom but it is very hard to practice.
  92. At least, hard for me to practice.
  93. But in some moments I do succeed.
  94. I need more of those moments.
  95. I think I need to take a writing class.
  96. So I stop writing in bullet-form.
  97. Maybe I will even manage to wring a poem or two out of myself.
  98. Strange, how I feel i need to re-invent myself.
  99. to be a different person.
  100. Like then I can stop grieving.

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I don’t know if you have ever been stood up before. I know I have, though I cannot remember by who. A friend, I guess? You know how you are excited about a meeting, and you cancel everything else, shower before, get dressed, and leave the house early enough so you arrive at the meeting place on time?

And then, that person stood you up.

You wait, your make-up melting in the evening heat by the seconds. You wait, your shoes starting to pinch your toes. You wait, starting to feel self-conscious that passers-by are actually snickering at you, your uneasiness so apparent and it was naked that you were waiting for someone who chose not to show up. You wait, making up scenarios and excuses every second. You wait, trying not to get furious even though you feel like wringing somebody’s neck right there and then. You wait, even though you wish a hole will appear in the ground and swallow you up and save you from all that anxiety. You wait, thinking of all that time you have wasted preparing for this meeting. You wait, thinking maybe you should have gone to that poem reading instead.

I kinda experienced that stood-up feeling again last night.

We said we will try again. I am waiting for the egg to fall, and hopefully we catch it. (Of course that is just the beginning. A myriad other things need to come together and it will be another 9 months before the verdict is out whether you are indeed going to have a live, healthy baby.) The egg has not fallen yet, maybe in another 3 or 4 days.

But, just as I am gearing up, and thought that my dance partner is preparing too, I suddenly got pulled aside.

And i was asked the question, “Why do we want to try again? Have you really, really thought about it?”

What?!

Yes, he repeated. Why do we want to try again? That is my question. Why? Why do we want to put ourselves through this whole thing again? There is no guarantee of a positive outcome, NO GUARANTEE. I cannot take another loss; I cannot have that feelings of devastation and despair again.  I am still wounded and I cannot endure yet another strike. There is no way to replace Ferdinand, so why do we want to do this again?

I could not believe my ears. What is he talking about?! Is he mad?! Gosh, he even talked about getting himself sterilized. In other words, no more taking any chances. No more putting ourselves out there, right on the chopping board, and waiting for the knife to fall, or not.

At first I said, I want a fourth child. And he replied, I can understand this instinct that comes from deep inside of you. but have you ever thought rationally about it?

I blurted that the girls really want to have a baby brother or sister.

And he countered that we can get them a dog.   Not. the. same. thing.

Inside, I screamed, “Because I want to prove to myself that I can do it!! That it was just a freak incident and that I can have a healthy living baby that kicks and screams when he is born!! Because Ferdinand will come back in a different body! Because I long for a baby! Because I long to breastfeed a baby who is mine, mine, mine!!!!”

And I almost wondered if i am insane? Really? Do I want to live for 40 weeks in anxiety and in the madness of  not knowing what the outcome is going to be? What if we have another full-term loss?! Then what?

And what about the thought of going to live in a cave for the entire pregnancy, until I can hold a breathing baby in my arms again? (I have been seeing pregnant women around, people I do not know, and they seem to walk so carefree, showing their bellies to the world, yelling at their other kids that it is time to leave the park; and I hammered into my head this notion that I can never allow myself to be seen in public again while pregnant. Because getting out again after Ferdinand died was so difficult. I felt like a walking failure and bad-luck-cum-shame on two legs. I wanted to die just thinking people are going to ask, “So! Where is your baby?”)

Yes, why do we want to try again?

Maybe we are not numb yet? Maybe we can still feel? Maybe another loss will do us in for good and prevent us for good trying to add to the world population.

Why, why gamble? Certainly we are no longer naive. We have absolutely lost our innocence, whatever was left of it.

So, why try again? Why tempt Fate? Why go through it one more time, with hell in your mind all the time? Why live 40 weeks in anxiety, getting ready to mourn all over again any second?

I don’t know. Why?

I hate the thought of driving to the OB’s office and waiting forever in the reception area and then waiting again in the room, in order to be seen for 5 minutes. (And hopefully during that 5 minutes he or she would not have to tell me, “I am sorry but… …”) I hate that I cannot enjoy a pregnancy again. I hate that from 32 weeks on, I need to be monitored twice a week, so we make sure the baby has not died yet. I hate that every week for two times I await a sentence- yes, you are doing good keeping your baby alive! or, Sorry but you suck and your baby has died again! I hate that the girls are going to ask me, “Will this baby live? Will this baby die?” I hate that there is no longer any certainty for me. I hate that I have to stop taking things for granted. I hate that I have to know how this feels.

Where is there any good that will make two people crazy enough to try again?

When our lives will be in limbo; when we cannot go on certain vacations because, dang, this time we got to be extra cautious. For nine months, no brie and sushi for me. For nine months, not knowing at the beginning of each day if it is going to end in devastation and pain. For nine months, anticipating bad things to happen any second.

And, there’s more: if all goes well, a nerve-wrecking labor because now you know babies can die during labor too. (And of course, the OB reminded me, “Because of your loss. You need to be strapped and monitored. So, no laboring in the tub. it will be better.”) And, after baby is born alive, still live with a noose around my neck because now I also know that life is extremely fragile and can be heartbreakingly brief. Sometimes just an inhale and that’s it.

I almost talked myself into getting my tubes tied. Right the next morning.

So, at least we are limited to one heartbreak. Which is enough to last us to the end of our lives.

I don’t know what two heartbreaks will do. I really do not want to know.

But I cannot not try again.

Even though I want to wrap my heart many times over and put it in a box and tie the box in string and put it in a high and secret place to protect it.

I cannot not try.

I don’t know. Somehow I feel it is for Ferdinand. To say that I am not giving up hope. That this time I will try to do everything more right. To say that, yes, mama will brave it again and maybe your soul will come to me again.

I also think I am crazy and I am scared to death and am totally nuts and cranky just thinking of it, and I truly cannot think of a real good reason, but I am just compelled to try again. And hope very, very hard. And hopefully I am still sane at the end of it.

Almost 8 months after and still sore and raw as hell, and we are going to try again… …

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