A lot of the time, I feel like I am treading water in the deep end of a pool. It is exhausting.
Everyday is a struggle in some way. Somedays, I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water and I constantly feel like I am danger of going under. I felt this way constantly in the early days after losing Jacob. Survival was a constant battle. I have minutes, hours and days when it still is. I've had moments of it today.
Sometimes I just want a break from the darkness and sadness that is always lurking. I just want a truly good day. I can't bring them back, no matter how much I grieve and how sad I am, so I tell myself that I should just be happy. Just recently, I have moments of feeling ready to rejoin the world, but when it comes to actually doing it, I can't. I don't know how.
The inner turmoil isn't always terrible and eating at me the way it used too. But at least once a day, and usually several times a day, I see something or think of something. I see a pregnant woman (in person, on TV or in a magazine) or a baby boy just about the age Jacob should be, I have a flashback or I think of the baby that should be kicking inside me right now. I see a mother and her son and I watch them interact and wonder what it would have been like. It's times like those that I feel myself weaken. I feel my head going below the surface of the water and struggling for breath. Sometimes I fight to get my head above water, depending on where I am. But if I’m alone, I give up the fight and I sink deep into the abyss and let all of the pain rise to the surface. I scream silently and I hate the universe for letting my babies die, I feel anger that comes and goes quickly in waves and then the overwhelming sadness takes over and I don’t think that I will ever be able to take a breath of air again and feel content, much less happy.
I feel like my life revolves around the effort not to drown. The amount of effort fluctuates throughout the day, but everyday is an effort.
One thing that helped was that I knew I wasn't alone in the deep water, in the struggle. I know that I'm still not alone, but it is starting to feel that way more and more. I didn't and don't want other people to have a reason to be there, but they do and they are and there is alot of comfort from sharing your suffering with others. Alot of the people who were with me have moved to the shallow end with occasional visits to the deep end. As they announce their pregnancies, have ultrasounds that reveal beautiful, moving babies, as they have new pregnancy symptoms, as they can rub their bellies and feel kicks and hear heartbeats and they start to feel the elusive happiness, it just makes me sadder that I'm not pregnant and having all of those experiences. I want to know that everything is OK in their world (and I can't tear myself away from reading about them....I am happy for them), that they won't need to come back to the deep water because of another loss, but it is painful to see their happiness and not have it myself. It is painful to see them all together, in the new club of babyloss pregnant women. I feel left behind. They have been through hell too, but they don't have to tread water as much as I do, or so it seems from my perspective. I know they have other battles because I have been pregnant after losing Jacob. I know what the fear feels like that something bad will happen again, and the effort not to make baby loss Mom's who aren't pregnant again feel bad. I know how torn they feel between being happy for the life growing within them and sad for the little one they lost. It isn't an easy road. I know they still make trips back to the deep end. I've felt those worries. But I know from experience that it is better to stay there.
Being in the deep end once was bad enough. Moving to the shallow end was a nice break. Being sent back to the deep end was terrible. I wonder how many times I will be sent back. Will I ever get pregnant again and move to the shallow water? Will I get to stay there? Will anyone still be there with me? Once they have their living babies, they leave the water. They are still within view, so I can see what that life would be like. Some come back from time to time, and some more than others.
I am happy for all of the baby loss Mom's who are currently pregnant and/or who have given birth. I just want to be one of them. Right after Jacob was born, I just felt sure that I would either have another baby by his first birthday or be in my third trimester. It could have been either, but I lost again and again. And now my cycle is weird again and hope is very low somedays.