I don’t know how to start this. I’ve kind of had a lot on my mind lately. I’m working three jobs, I have a three-year-old with a busy agenda of her own, and I’m working on cooking this baby, which leaves me feeling tired and emotional and hungry all the time. I’m not saying so to toot my own horn. This is not a “Look at me and everything I’m handling!” moment. This is one of those moments where everything kind of comes together. When things in my life that never made sense are clear(er) now.
I work in the library at the church. The woman I work with is a more amazing, more resilient, (only slightly) older version of myself. We are at the very core kindred spirits. We were talking about this and that, she was asking me about my jobs, how things were going, and asked me a question that nobody has asked me yet. “Okay. I want to know something. Why do you really do it? I know you are paying your debts off and that you like to keep yourself busy. But you don’t have to, you know. You’re young enough that there’s not really any pressing need for you to be doing it right now. What’s going on with you?”
And as so often happens, it just came out of me. I do it because I would rather be stressed about work than stressed about this baby who in the deepest recesses of my heart, I feel I will never meet or whose time in this life is going to be cut short or be nonexistent. I stress about having a child with severe disabilities that limit my ability to parent or limit her ability to live a good life. I would rather stress about spreadsheets and editing personal statements, CV’s, and resumes, and getting in my required number of articles each week than the fact that I’m still fairly confident that my body is going to fail me again.
If you were around during my second miscarriage, you know how awful I was. I honestly felt that the things I was thinking about, the evil thoughts that kept me up most of the night were going to get me sent straight to hell. I was afraid of dying because I knew I wouldn’t like where I went afterwards. It was pretty terrifying and I went back and forth and back and forth about talking to my Relief Society president about having someone come and help me a couple hours a day so I could just calm down by myself and maybe get some legitimate work done. In the end, I did send her a message on Facebook and immediately wished I hadn’t because my email was never acknowledged. Just the check mark. Your message was read. (And as a side note: Nobody cares.) I felt at the time like it was because God hated me and hated my babies and wanted me to figure it out on my own. I know.
I was embarrassed by how poorly I dealt with it. I was humiliated by having to break down and ask for help and more embarrassed when my desperate plea for help wasn’t heard. I acted like a psychotic person and I am embarrassed by who I was. I am embarrassed to admit that I had lost hope. I sold, got rid of, or hid in my parents’ basement every baby item I had been holding onto. I knew that after the things I had said to people, the thoughts and feelings that had stirred around in my brain and in my heart, God had burned that bridge that connected me to Him. I knew I wouldn’t have a baby. I’ve gotten a lot of flak for that. Selling everything. So I feel that should be explained. I guess I just didn’t think I had enough storage space to hold onto a crib and a bunch of baby stuff for a baby I knew would never come.
So I’m counting the weeks and as the moments creep me closer to January 21, I feel more anxiety than anything. I feel embarrassed still that when I get a chance to, I still feel grief over my losses. I feel embarrassed that I couldn’t let that second one go for eight weeks before giving in and doing the D&C. I feel grief when Ophelia asks if she has a brother and I say no and then feel bad because maybe she did. I feel and see the baby’s movements regularly now. I remember now that the sensation I once described as similar to a goldfish swimming around, occasionally swimming into the sides of the glass bowl, is kind of awesome but also really creeps me out. And I get back to work. Because if I’m busy doing something else, like being a mom to my child who is actually here with me—who I can keep an eye on and actually help keep alive a little better, who I know for a fact from moment to moment is still alive—and like working, and feeling stressed about work, then I’m not stressing about the fact that I’m still not entirely sure my body isn’t going to fail me at some point.
So that’s my explanation. And that’s why my baby has nowhere to sleep, and might not until the day she is brought kicking and screaming (hopefully) into the world. And that’s about all I have to say about that.