August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Baby… you’re everywhere.
I miss you. I really do. Time moves forward but my heart is scarred.
I think about you when I look in the mirror, when I wake up in the middle of the night. I cry when I drive past the cemetery – I can’t help it. I think about you when I look at Taka; we think of you when we hold each other. I think of you when I have good days, and when I have bad days – you are everywhere.
I’ve finally felt physically fit enough to get back into exercise. I started kickboxing training. I think about the anger of losing you when I smash the Thai pads. I think about you giving me strength when I’m in the burning last seconds of a 1-minute plank. Your name sticks out of my hand wraps and I channel everything you were and continue to be every time I clench my fist. You give me strength.
I started swimming again and when I’m in the water, I’m in heaven. I missed swimming when I was pregnant with you – doctors had given me mixed opinions on swimming in the first trimester, so I had opted not to swim. I’m pushing myself every time – more laps, more intensity. I’m getting stronger.
The other day I bumped into my mate at the pools. I hadn’t seen her since the funeral. We hung out in the deep end, catching up. Her sweet six year old son took the opportunity to ask me, “Aunty… your baby died, aye?”, I paused but responded “Yeah, he did…” He continued, “how come your baby died?” and I said, “I don’t know… no one knows, sometimes babies die… it’s sad.” He agreed, then continued splashing around. I couldn’t wait to put my head under the water after that confronting, honest interaction. I love the way children ask questions. But it just reminded me, baby – you’re everywhere.
August 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
I got our baby’s name tattooed on my right hand – an indelible mark and a reminder that he changed my life and I will never be the same. I love seeing his name, and saying his name… remembering him, and remembering the struggle and all the love that enables me to be OK.
I’ve been to the cemetery twice since I got the tattoo. I like going there. It’s peaceful and settling. But always sad. The tears come from nowhere as I walk up the pathway towards his grave. My abdomen convulses in quiet ripples and my eyes start to sting in a mess of watery mascara and smudged eyeliner. I’m usually filled with filmic replays in my mind of the birth, the first sight of his little body, seeing my partner’s heart break before my eyes as we saw he was a boy. I remember the moments I spent sitting in my car with him in his casket, before the funeral service began. I remember the pain of his loss gushing out of me like a tsunami. Then I remember the peace… my partner and our bond. The life we have built with the pieces that were blown apart after our loss. And I think about the future. I’ve enjoyed the process of understanding death, and feel so comfortable at the cemetery now – it feels so human to experience loss and to mourn.
I went to the cemetery yesterday, by myself. I wanted to gather strength for an important presentation I had to give, and I knew being there would give me perspective and strength. I crumbled again – in tears. I spoke to Rèmy, in whispers. I sat for the first time on the concrete next to his grave and I recounted the things that had happened since my last visit. I thought I would feel more mad, but it felt right.
At the event I was presenting at, my delivery went better than I had expected – I found a new confidence in my voice and I enjoyed it. I went outside afterwards and met a woman who had enjoyed my speech. I had seen her and her children sitting in the audience wearing memorial t-shirts for a young man. I said that I felt comforted seeing them, because I had just come from the cemetery as I visit my baby on Sundays. She told me she lost her son, only last month. The family were on their way to the cemetery after the talk. We hugged and connected, in grief and confidence – to move forward, to keep building, to support and sustain those around us and the effort to take one day at a time. I was so moved.
I had my follow-up appointment with a gynecologist today to discuss the test results from the placenta and blood tests. As suspected, there was a bit of infection and blood clotting. I have more tests to do to find out more about the clotting, but the doctor seemed to encourage us to try again, in good time. Getting pregnant again scares me so much – being pregnant again scares me. Enduring another tragedy scares me. Being aware of what could happen every second of every day for nine months will be exhausting. Trying to be positive that whole time, will be hard. Really hard. Trying again, fear and intimacy are all things that we’re juggling as time moves forward.
I guess it’s just one day at a time…
August 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
The fucked up thing about coming from a culture with a high birth rate is that every second day, babies are posted on your Facebook timeline. Every second day, I read the most loved up, joyous expressions of how life will never be the same, how much everyone loves this new baby, how he/she has a name so important, so loaded with love and history, responsibility and connection.
My partner keeps trying to tell me to just be happy for the friends and family who are blessed with new babies and successful pregnancies. Clearly, so much easier said than done. I tell him that its hard to put someone else’s happiness ahead of my sadness and that I can’t help how I feel. It’s not the pictures, the pictures are undeniably delicious, it’s the written expression that hurts the most. Because I know that what we went through was the exact polar opposite of that joy.
It has been a month since we buried our son. I’m getting a tattoo next week with his name. I feel bad sometimes when I catch myself remembering what we went through, losing Rèmy and then I realise that I’ve moved on, time has moved forward. I haven’t forgotten him, but you just build on the grief and life goes on. I haven’t had a tattoo in the past year because I’ve been pregnant for over six months of that time. I felt the other day that the time was right to get a new one.