That’s how my brain works. It is all over the place.
Alternatively, I could title this post: A Proustian journey through my brain.
Wouldn’t that sound so much better? Except, who am I fooling? I commented a while back on Julia’s blog that I post in order to cleanse my head (and my guts). I do not form pretty sentences, I just come here and vomit all over. Then I feel good, wipe the remaining spit off my face and I feel I can get on with life again.
So, without further ado, I present you, oh-brave-ones! with my innards… …
Staying in the present is hard. Those Zen masters who sit so still and do not bat an eyelid and simply utter, “Here. Now. Breathe. In. Out. Here. Now. Present.” Well.. I would like to bat their heads a few times and pour ice-cold water down their necks. uh-huh, I do. Staying in the now… is very hard. It’s tough. I try. I really do. I breathe in. I breathe out. I repeat my mantra of Now, Now, Now. Be HERE. Stop running away, stop turning back, stop craning forward. Get here now, and stay.
But, everytime I step into the room for the ultrasound, I shudder. I make myself look into the technician’s face. Look at her, she is not the same person. LOOK. She. is. a. differenet. person. It is NOT the same all over again. I make myself look around the entire room. Look, it is different. Not the same room. This is smaller, see? But as she lowers me down and dims the light, it feels as if she’s putting me into a time capsule, and there is no way to run. The door is closed. I make myself look at the screen, which, unlike that time, is not turned away from me. Look, look at that. There’s the baby. She’s moving, can you see? Look at that heart beating, hear it. Every single time, I wonder, will the heart stop beating justas we are all gazing at it?
We each have our little silent horror movie. I have, for a long time, wanted to ask R, especially after an ultrasound, what exactly did he see on that fateful day. The screen was turned away from me, but he could see. I looked at his face but he was not giving anything away. All I saw was a focussed look and a neutral face. When I asked, what do you see? He said, they are taking measurements. I wanted to ask him, what does a deadbaby look like on the screen? What does a still heart look like? Is a baby with no more amniotic fluid around him a horrifying sight?
But, I never asked. I think, if I do, he will answer me honestly. But, I never did ask. I did not want to tear open the wound again. I have wondered if it may lighten his burden a little to talk about it, to share the terrible details of it all… but somehow I feel it would only be all the more traumatising. So, I always swallowed the question. We will each have our own little horror movie that we play silently to ourselves, over and over.
Names. I looked into books with names of all sorts. There was this entry:
Panda: Resembling an animal that eats bamboo leaves.
Very funny, really. Very funny. Except I am not sure if I am more appalled or more shocked. Or just plain incredulous. Panda. Pppfff. Indeed.
And Val, her head in Fairy-lala-land these days, came up with some suggestions.
I told her: erm, I don’t think I like so much names that ends with nini’s or lala’s or similar such sounds.
She said: Oh, ok! But, these are great fairy names, with wonderful meanings, you know? Didn’t you say the meaning is more important?
Yes, yes, I did say that. But still….
And, when I look through the book of names… I will come across familiar ones. Some that belongs to babies whose parents are missing them so achingly. And I will whisper that name, over and over, asking in my head, “Why? Why did you not come? Where are you now?” And I will bow my head and remember, and names and faces form and swim in my head and my heart throbs.
“Please” is not a magic word. I don’t know who started this, who taught this first, but let me tell you this, I do not believe for a second that “please” is a magic word. NO.
Some weeks back, I overheard R asked Val, after she asked him to do something, “What is the magic word?” and I immediately stood up, got in the way and said to him sternly, “Please is not a magic word. What are you teaching her?!” And I turned to Val, “You remember, right? Please is not a magic word.”
“Yes, mom, I remember. We use it because we respect our friends, because we want to be polite, but it does not mean it will get you what you want.”
But, I have been using that p-word a lot.
When I gaze at the image on the screen, I plead to the little one, please please please, stay with me. Please do not die. Please live. Please come to me. Please. Please. PLEASE!!! I know, this world is just absurd, ridiculous and sucks in many, many ways. I will not argue with that. But I promise you, there are good things, beautiful things, delicious things, and I will show you them all. I will give you all the chocolates you want. But please, please come. PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE!!!! Please do not die. Please do not change your mind about coming to this realm. Please, just come, please be born alive and stay alive. PLEASE give me a chance to be your mother. P L E A S E.
No, it is not a magic word. It will not get me what I ask for. But I use it anyway, I ask anyway… what else is there for me to do?
Futile battle. As the days flit pass, and the leaves quiver and flutter, I feel as if I need to prepare. But exactly what? I don’t know. Battle?
I polish my armor till they blind. I sharpen a quiver of arrows, and I spit and polish my sword sharp and good. I prepare myself mentally, telling myself not to flinch if I need to draw a line of red around my enemy’s throat with the tip of my glistening sword.
But, what battle is there? Who am I fighting?
Nobody but myself. Nobody but the demons I have unleashed myself.
Those of fear and doubt and doom.
I manufacture them in my own head, release them into the room and then I have to strike them all down.
I wear myself down. This has to stop.
Put me in a padded cell. For a while, I had a post in my Drafts folder that had that title- put me in a padded cell. I titled it but did not write anything. It was just how I felt, weeks back. Like I am going nuts. Then a few weeks back, I deleted it. I felt I was in a pretty good place. And then, now, I think, yes, put me in a padded cell. But, don’t forget the creature comforts either.
With each passing day, I watch the stakes get higher. Anxiety level fluctuates, and her heartbeat, her activity level, they fluctuate too. I cling on to the shreds of hope. Then I let go. I surrender. I know where I am in this whole grand scheme of things. If you squint and look really hard, I am one of those dots. I repeat to myself: Don’t Expect, just Accept. Life is big, Death even bigger. I cannot fathom the Mystery of it all. I keep wondering and demanding the answers. Why me? Why Us? Why these babies? What is the reason?
But the answer… it sounds like chance. It sounds like the randomness of Life. It Just Is. I was not hand-picked. Well, maybe I was, but I will never know.
So, I decided, I will stop wondering, and stop demanding for the answer. I will surrender, give in, accept. I will Marvel. I will do my best and trust. (Although that is damn freakin’ hard.)
I feel as if we have made it a long way… but the last time, something went terribly wrong in the last weeks. Exactly what, and exactly when, we do not know, and probably will never find out. So, I do not know what I can do this time to alter the outcome. The thing is, I am not the one in control. I wish I am. I wish I get to flip the switches and navigate and map out the route. Maybe I get a small, tiny measure of say, somewhere, without even knowing it. But for now, I need to let go… of my ego.
We’ve been reading this book for bedtime, this book called The House Above the Trees. At one point, this little girl, Hepatica, who is sp special she can see the Forest People, she was running with this Wind Creature called Cloud. She could not keep up, determined though she was, and Cloud told her, “Let go.” and she let go of his hand, and stood and sulked. But, what Cloud meant was, You need to let go of yourself! Do not try to keep up with me. Do not be afraid that you cannot keep up with me. They tried again, and this time, she let go, not of his hand, but of herself, and her fears, and then she began to fly along, the speed of the wind, weightless, fearless, limitless.
I need to let go of myself too.
Many people on my mind. People who have come into my lives via all sorts of channels and means. People whom I never expect to meet. But, I think of them.
Today, I am awaiting, breath abated, for news that a little one had indeed arrived. Safely. The mother, a friend I have never met. Like me, she lost her previous little one at full-term, after a 12-week miscarriage. We have been walking together, me watching her back all the time. Last week, she wrote, I am afraid, I am going for a planned induction. I have never done this. What to do?
Talk to the baby, I told her. Talk to her, she will listen.
Soon after, she has lost her mucous plug. She wrote me she is going to take a walk in the woods to center herself. No internet access at the hospital, she said. If all goes well, I will write you Monday. Today is Monday. My heart is hanging in the air. Please. I repeated in my heart and in my head. Please come. Please let the news come to me fast. Good news.
Thank you all, for walking along. My heart, it is battered, but still warm, throbbing, and daring to hope.
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