Sunday, January 23, 2011

How others see me

I realize how much I’ve changed since losing Jacob, but I don’t realize how much other people see it and it is a bit of a shock when I find out.

The day that I had the hysterosalpingogram was the best day I have had in a long time. I felt more positive and hopeful than I have in a long time. My sister Laurie called me that night and we were talking about how relieved I am and how strong it made me feel and she said that she could hear it in my voice. I was at my Mom’s house that morning (before the test) and my sister Jessie was there as well. Laurie said that they both told her that they had noticed a change in me that morning too, that I looked happier than I have since Jacob died and they all talked about how nice it was to see that and how relieved it has made them too. We also talked about her pregnancy and she asked if she needs to hide it as much anymore and I said that she didn’t. She said that the last time we were together, she didn’t do it as much either (hiding her belly under a sweater or wearing a baggy sweatshirt) because she could sense that I didn’t need it as much. I told her how badly I’ve felt that I couldn’t be more involved and that I’m excited for her baby, but I just wasn’t strong enough to hear all about it. I also said that I can’t look at the video of the ultrasound she has because I’m terrified that I will forget what Jacob looked like on his ultrasound and watching the video of another might mix up the images I have in my mind.

I have strayed from how I started this post.

Today I had lunch with my sister Jessie. She is so sweet. She offered to treat me to celebrate my non-heart shaped uterus. While there, I mentioned how a few women have seen my blog and contacted me and we have emailed each other. That got us on the topic of my blog, which no one in family has seen (except Ted).  She said she has seen wall posts on facebook with reference to it, but never asked me because she figured I would share it if I wanted to. I told her that I didn't tell her, my other 2 sisters or my parents how to find it because I was scared that I would censor myself. I wanted to write exactly how I felt and not worry that they would read a post and worry, especially since I most often posted something on my blog when I was feeling particularly bad. 

She said that they always know how I am doing. They can hear it in my voice and they can see it when we are together, even when I am trying to act normal. She said she has known me her whole life and I can't hide these things...and that I'm a terrible liar :) I felt a little bad for not sharing it with her before, but at the time I needed to do it. I got back to work and emailed her the links for both of them. 

There was another time that I never wrote about when one of my sister's took me aside. It was at the wedding I went to in August, the day I miscarried my baby August but didn't know what was happening at the time. The wedding was on a Friday afternoon. As I got ready to leave work at noon, I had a big blood clot come out. The blood clot was attached to a small, beige-coloured sac. As soon as I saw it, I wondered if I was having a miscarriage. I stared at it for awhile. I had had a regular period and no pregnancy symptoms, so I didn't know if it was leftover tissue from my pregnancy with Jacob or a miscarriage.

Anyway, Ted and I picked up Lindsay and Brian and drove 45 minutes to the city where the wedding was. We got our hair done, got dressed at my other sisters' house and went to the church. After the ceremony, which was at the church where Ted and I were married and that is next to the garden where Jacob is buried, Ted and I went to the garden and blew bubbles around the garden. Laurie came over and joined us. The church secretary walked by and said how nice it was that we were blowing bubbles with Jacob. 

We went to the dinner and had dinner. At one point during dinner, Lindsay said something and I couldn't stop laughing. I almost cried from laughing, because laughing most often turned into tears in those days. I was faking being normal the entire time and thought I was doing a pretty good job of it.

When the dancing started, I was pulled onto the dance floor even though I really didn't want to dance. At weddings, my sisters and my Mom and I have always danced together and had a great time. I knew they would be expecting me to do it, but it hadn't even been 3 months since Jacob had died and I just didn't want to do it. I went up and tried for a few minutes but wasn't enjoying it. Lindsay grabbed my hand and pulled me away and said that we were going for a walk. We walked around the hotel 2-3 times (in shoes that hurt us both) and stopped on a bench for awhile and talked. She said that she knows that I am faking it, that I was doing an OK job of it, but she could see right through it. We had a deep conversation about everything and I loved it. She said she was worried about me spending so much time on the baby loss support boards, worried that it was keeping me from moving forward, but I explained how healing it was...how there is always someone there who understands. And that, at that point, I wasn't posting so much as I was leaving comments for people who had just lost their babies. I said how much support I have received from other baby loss Moms, and have tried to give some to them too. Somehow I ended up telling her that I considered killing myself twice (I didn't tell anyone this, not even Ted, for awhile because I didn't want them to worry), but the thoughts passed when I thought of how much pain that would cause everyone and there was no way that I could let that be Jacob's legacy. Lindsay got tears in her eyes, hugged me and made me promise not to do anything to myself and to call her if I ever starting having those thoughts again. I promised both things. We walked around the building another time or two and went back inside. That conversation did alot to lift my spirits and I did end up dancing a little and enjoyed it. I've been meaning to write about the wedding since August, but then the miscarriage happened and we moved and I just never did it. 


So, the main point of all this is that no matter how much I have faked it in the past, no matter how much better I thought I looked, those close to me could see right through it. I'm so fortunate to have people who love me and who can see what is really going on, no matter how hard I have tried to hide it. 

12 comments:

Angela said...

I am so glad you have family in your life who can see through your mask and notice your pain. I think that's all any of wants, for someone to notice the pain behind the smile. Family can make the loss of a babe a little easier to bear.

Elaine said...

I am so happy that you have such supportive sisters. They sound like a wonderful group of women. I can only imagine how much that support means to you and I know how nice it is to have a place where you don't have to "fake it." I'm glad you never acted on those thought of giving up. I've had them too but you're right, that is no legacy for our boys or for our families. <3

Violet1122 said...

What a blessing to have a family who loves you unconditionally, and who supports you 100%. I think the babyloss blogs are important, too. I have found my own blog is so helpful - it's the one place where I don't need to censor myself. And I've met some amazing women who are going through similar losses.

It's funny - I spent years telling no one about my problems. And while I functioned OK - people could tell that I had changed. They just didn't know why.

Losing our babies changes everything - it changes us to our core.

Your story of what happened at the wedding just broke my heart. I am so glad your sister was there that day to have a heart-to-heart talk.

Sending big hugs...

Melissa said...

Hugs, it sounds like your family is wonderful - I am so glad.

Jessie said...

We're guilty of it , too, I think. We would always notice you were sad and be thinking about you and Jacob, but wouldn't always say anything about it, for fear of making you more upset or self-conscious for pointing out that you were faking it. We were faking it, too, and I think you often thought that meant that we were forgetting, but it was just that we don't always know what we should say or do to make you feel better because we haven't been through it. But we know that you would be there for us, so that is what we try to do.

I often wondered/worried if you were having self-destructive thoughts and just hoped that you would tell someone or give off more dangerous signs if you were seriously thinking about it. I'm glad you told Lindsay then, and I'm glad you wrote it here now. I think that shows a lot of progress and self-confidence. You do seem happier and more peaceful but I know that that doesn't mean that you don't think about Jacob all the time.

Love,

Your sis

Drew's Parents said...

I love that you have such a strong and supportive family! They love you, Ted, Jacob, August, and Cub so much and are so watchful over how your are doing. It is hard to monitor our own progress. Half the time we feel lost in our own thoughts and emotions. It helps to hear from others that yes, we are doing better. You are so strong and truly amazing. You have never ceased to be there for your family and for your friends. I am sending you big big hugs and am so glad that you are feeling positive and hopeful! <3 <3 <3

Monica said...

This one just choked me up <3. I'm so sorry for the pain you've been thru. I'm so glad your feeling stronger and more hopeful and that you have such awesome support. I'm horrible at faking it too. I'm sure everyone knows. Hmmf <3

Olivia's Mom said...

I'm so glad that you have close friends and family that know you that well! While we try to fake it, it's good to know you have those that know you inside and out and are there to support you through it all. I love that you were able to have those chats with them, as not only could you get things off your chest, but you were reminded how much they care and are there for you. What a wonderful feeling!

Thinking of you and your sweet angels. Hugs!

Sheri said...

I never realized it at the time, but I couldn't have gotten through the last year without the support of family, friends and other baby loss moms. I'm so glad to hear you have such a strong support network that cares about you. It really does make it easier to heal.

Rhiannon said...

You are truly blessed, Dana. You are so lucky to have the full support of your family at your highs and your lows. And a family that can see right through you...that is really what we need in those times of suffocating grief when we are trying out best to hide it.

Thank you for all of the support you have given to me. It is has meant so much to have you by my side on this journey. Sending love and hugs to you and your angels. <3

cullensblessings said...

It is so precious to know that there are people out there who truly know you, and who care for you more than you know. love and light Dana...

Lindsay said...

I pronounced "kumquats" koom-quats. I have a predilection for pronouncing words I haven't heard spoken exactly how they look, as you may recall. I didn't know that you were so well versed in the pronunciation of South Asian citrus fruits. Normally this might have been embarrassing, but it was so great to see you really laughing for once, that I would have said it proudly in front of the whole room.