Mark was recently asked whether we’d be interested in going to Disney World (or Disneyland?). Let’s think about this… A vacation to an overly family/kid-centric locale often referred to as the “happiest place on earth?” Hmmmmm… The answer’s, “No.”
There’s so much I want to write, but first, I figured it was time for one of these posts, because things have felt a bit scattered lately due to work demands and overall life busyness. It’s all disjointed, like, “Check out this alcohol ad being shot at our house and, oh yeah, we’re expecting our rainbow too.” So I apologize. Luckily work is slowing down (maybe), and I can now write about my current life, so I’m thinking these two factors might amount to me being able to post more frequently again. We’ll see.
Before jumping into it, I first want to give a huge thanks to everyone who read my last post. Also, thank you for your kind comments and emails and texts. Your support means the absolute world to us.
So onto other thoughts and happenings…
AB and I dream of escaping the throes of corporate America. We see one avenue as going on ABC’s Shark Tank and scoring a big investment (from Mark Cuban?) in one of our inventions. The problem? I don’t currently have any inventions. And AB’s invention is a bit sketchy. Apparently AB’s been selling horseshit organic manure on the weekends, and she has this brilliant idea to convert it to liquid form, bottle it up, and sell it as fertilizer. But she needs assistance from a farming chemist. Where do we start?
Speaking of AB, the other day at lunch she explained, “Christine, people here really do care about your feelings. They recently left you off an email announcing the arrival of Adam’s baby.” And I was like, “With that, AB, you just announced it to me. So thanks a lot.” I realize some would be offended by one making judgments on what news another can/can’t handle. But I’m not – the news relates to an acquaintance, not a family member or bestie, so I’d actually prefer not to hear it. Ever.
After my last post, I received a few sweet emails. A line from one in particular made me smile – “Know that I love all four of you, even Mark.” Hehe.
I was doing a passable job managing stress in these early pregnancy stages. I don’t have many symptoms (except for carb cravings and weight gain), so one effective coping mechanism has been to simply forget I’m pregnant. But all that flew out the window, when, at a recent appointment, our doctor took an eternity like a minute to find baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler. She eventually found it, but it still wasn’t enough for me to believe he was alive, so I rushed back the next day to have them confirm with ultrasound. I think this illustrates just how difficult this pregnancy after loss (PAL) journey will be…
To avoid a similar situation (having to run into the office for an ultrasound when a day-old memory of a successful Doppler reading just isn’t working for me) in the future, we purchased a home Doppler, just so we can confirm baby’s still alive periodically. (Though, later on, I’m guessing, the Doppler won’t be enough.) I’m scared to use it myself, so I let Mark search for baby’s heartbeat, and he located it. But I’m unsure as to whether I can trust Mark – he’s yet to find his own heartbeat with it!
I recently told my artist friend that I envy her mad skills, and she explained to me that anyone can do art. Like David Duchovny, who apparently lets his wife apply paint to his ass before he sits on a canvas. (She texted me this article.) And it made me smile. I think this friend has come to know me well through my random happenings posts. 🙂
Howie’s hoarse these days. I’m hoping he simply stressed his vocal cords while simultaneously attempting to jump through the front window and murder the mailman every day for the last 6.5 years of his life. (The postal service once left a “mean dog flyer” for us to display to alert workers a fierce beast occupies the premise, so Howie must sound pretty vicious.) But I’m also worried it could be a deadly tumor, because my mind constantly jumps to horrible places these days. We’ll get him to the vet.
The other day I had lunch with the recruiter I mentioned before (the one who offered like eight platitudes in one phone conversation), because, I’ll accept a free meal. And, as expected, he offered more , one being, “God never gives you more than you can handle,” to which I replied, “If that were the case, there’d be no such thing as suicide.” Crickets… Do you think he’ll invite me out again?
Though a few days following our lunch, I browsed the card aisle, looking for something appropriate for my friend’s daughter’s second birthday (and anniversary of death). What kind of card does one choose for this occasion? A birthday card? A sympathy card? Turns out neither feels appropriate. Though as I browsed sympathy cards I noticed one offering, “God never gives you more than you can handle.” It’s no wonder people say such stupid shit.
I played two games of chess against the financial service provider intern (the world class pro). And, as expected, I lost both times. But I think he was impressed with my skills. Though he could have been lying his face off. But we’re setting up a time to play again, so maybe he views me as a worthy opponent?
We recently received an email regarding a family reunion, and, luckily, we won’t be able to go (if all goes well). I’m currently wondering if I’ll want to attend a family reunion ever again. I mean, they’re so… Family oriented. With people all like, “It’s so good to see ALL the family here – let’s count our members!” These comments will always slay me. But I guess a lot of things will.
The other day I confided in someone close that I’ve been especially down lately (season changes are difficult for me), and he was like, “What do you have to be down about?” And I was like, “Ummmmm… I miss Matthew. He’s still gone.”
I’d like to inform my employer of my pregnancy, preferably, never. (I have reason to believe some will be less than supportive, unfortunately.) But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hide it, and, as such, I’ve been wearing some questionable attire – I recently wore this blue and white striped “shirt-dress” from Gap, which I didn’t realize looked like a nightgown until I returned home that evening. Whoops. If anyone has ideas on how I can successfully hide my huge bulge, I’m listening.
A few Fridays ago I joined a friend for February book club. We discussed Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson, which details problems with the American prison system, which is flawed today, but 10-20 years ago, it was atrocious – sad and sickening, really. Our conversation was, predictably, heavy, however, there were lighter moments too… I guess talk of the death penalty, plus apples and cream cheese dip, plus the right company was enough for me to almost feel like myself again for a couple of hours.
We’re scheduling fun things to distract ourselves from our grief as well as from the anxiety of PAL, so Mark recently purchased tickets to the Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors game in Memphis (fourth to last game of season?). The Warriors are on pace to break the record for most wins in NBA history, so this game could be important, though, I hope nothing happens to render our tickets worthless (like the Warriors losing their next five games). But I’m sure it’ll be fun regardless.
I find it comparatively more difficult to tell some about Matthew’s death. Like I told the strangers shooting the print ad at my house without crying, but I can’t imagine telling my hairstylist. This week, I had my yearly appointment with an I-can’t-imagine-telling-you type person, my neurologist. (I have a benign malformation in my brain called a cavernoma, which caused one seizure at age 25.) I’m so grateful Mark accompanied me, because, upon entering the exam room, I melted into a sobbing mess, managing only to choke out, “Last year, when I saw you, I was pregnant, and it’s traumatic to be back here, because he DIED!” Luckily Mark took it from there. Some things just don’t get easier.
I read many baby loss blogs, which has been critical to my healing and has allowed me to connect with some amazing folks from around the world. I recently stumbled upon one I like called One Pink Balloon, written by Rebecca, who lost her daughter Kenley three years ago. I found this post effectively and tragically and creatively analogizes some of the feelings from the earliest days.
Speaking of trying to put my feelings into words… I’ve been contemplating a post about where I am now. Like where do I sit with all my feelings currently? I’m asked frequently, so I’d like to summarize it. But everything’s so complicated that I’ve attempted to write such a post a few times now, and I have yet to finish it… So I figured announcing my intention here might give me the extra push I need to do it.
So our rainbow baby has a tentative name, which we’re not yet ready to reveal, but it’s awkward to keep referring to him as “the baby” or “the rainbow” in my blog… So what do I call him? I think for these purposes I’m going to call him “Jay” because we’ve picked a “J” name. And I also find it fitting because, as I’ve explained before, the blue jays I noticed so often on my fall walks with my dear friend seem to be a sign from Matthew. Though said friend agrees with Mark’s speculation that blue jays aren’t the most docile of creatures, noting they frequently fight in her yard… I guess leave it to me to pick an aggressive bird as my Matthew-sign, right?
But my friend’s two adorable boys recently used their handprints to create this amazing blue jay art for us. So the blue jay ship has officially sailed, my friends. 🙂