Friday, October 26, 2012

Funeral of A Dream

We're in the middle of In Memoriam Forest, burying our precious dream. There's a glass coffin right in front of us. A beautiful glass coffin with some leaf engravings on top and at the sides, the patterns of which matched the kind of wedding ring that we liked but never made. There are flower bouquets everywhere and there are nobody else there except us. The coffin looks empty, but it's actually filled with so many memories-cum-possibilities-cum-hopes-that-never-happened, the things that IF has robbed from us. 

We can hear this song at the background, accompanying us to say goodbye to this dream...

We're saying goodbye to these nonexistent-memories-cum-possibilities-cum-hopes:

- Taking HPT test and then feeling the rush of excitement and unbelief when I see two lines and then running to show it to hubby and then shrieking happily while squeezing hubby with all my might. "I can't believe it, I can't believe it! You're gonna be a dad! I'll be a mom!" I probably won't be able to sit still the whole day and it'd be close to impossible not to tell anyone else right away.

- The joy and excitement of both grandmas and uncles and friends when they find out about our good news after our tough effort to stay silent for weeks.

- Going to the gyno together and hearing your heartbeats for the first time. I'll probably shed some tears while your daddy's smiling calmly beside me.

- Feeling you kick for the first time and then excitedly telling daddy about it and while daddy's always so calm about anything, I bet deep inside he wants to feel it too and he'll get plenty of chances to feel your kick as time goes by.

- Feeling tortured during nausea period and during my back pain period as you get bigger and bigger inside me. Having trouble sleeping at night and I can't wait to see you, but at the same time I don't want you to get out too soon. I worry about you and try to do my best to eat healthily and avoid certain things that aren't good for you.

- Excited and scared while waiting for your arrival. After all, I won't be able to deliver you in this village, but I have to go to Rovaniemi (about 1,5 hours by car from here) and I don't want to deliver you in an ambulance just like what happened to a friend of mine.

- After hours and hours of pain and agony, finally you arrive. Welcome to the world, kiddo! There are so many people waiting for you and ready to shower you with love.

- Your hair is dark. Darker than daddy's, but less dark than mine. Your nose is exactly like daddy's. Your eyes are the combination of ours. You look so small that I'm afraid I'm gonna squash you if I hold you too tightly. I never know that holding a small baby for a long time can really make my arm numb...daddy and I have been exchanging glances and our hearts are bursting with so much awe and happiness. We can't believe you're finally here!!!

- Now the tough time really starts...sleep deprivation and total chaos in the house, but that's all right. I may get grumpy sometimes, but I still love you anyway. If you're as feisty as I was when I was a baby, maybe you'll bite me if I breastfeed you and then you realize that there's no more milk. *chuckle* And then I'll have to do what my Mom did with me - pinched my nose so that I'd breathe through my mouth, releasing her of the pain that my gum had caused her.

- You keep on growing so fast and learning so much. First tooth, first words, first step...We take so many pictures and videos of you over the years. I can't believe how occupied I've been with you. I long for some adult conversations in peace every now and then, but I suppose your grandma would be willing to take care of you for a few hours so that we can have some quality time or I can enjoy some adult conversations without you.

- At home I speak to you in English and you speak Finnish with daddy. I want you to be bilingual because that's going to be helpful in the future. 

- Then when you're old enough, I'll tell you so many stories: our love stories, how we met, how we fell out of love, how we restarted our love, stories of your grandmas and grandpas and so many other people you may not even get to know. But these stories may help you learn life lessons. 

- I can't believe how many questions you're asking me these days. What is it? What is it for? Why? Why? Why? Thank goodness there's the internet 'coz mommy can't possibly answer all your questions without it. 

- And then you start testing the boundaries and power struggle begins. Mommy and daddy have to stand our ground and be united to discipline you. But at the end of the day, even though we're sometimes at our wits' end, all the troubles melt away when you hug us with your little arms, kiss our cheeks, and say, "I love you, mommy. I love you, daddy." And gosh, you look like a perfect little angel when you're asleep. *chuckle*

- We both grow older along with you and now you've started mingling with other kids. It feels as though only yesterday you were a baby and now you're already as tall as me. It hurts us to see you hurt, but real life is tough and you've got to learn some things the hard way. Whatever happens, we want you to know that we love you despite your mistakes and our limitations as parents and we hope that we can help you become an independent adult and human being who has compassion towards others.

Now hubby and I squeeze each other with all we've got, tears streaming down our cheeks. I sob and choke...the rain is pouring down hard upon us, as if the sky understood and cried with us...

- I can't believe how tall you are now! As tall as your daddy and you're now ready to leave us and start a new life in another place. Tough as it may be to let you go, I have to remember that you've got a life of your own and it's time to spread your wings and fly. 

- Maybe you'll grow up to be a rebellious person like me or maybe you're an easy-going person like your daddy or maybe you're a people-person like my Mom and your uncle. Maybe despite the rebellious years, you'll turn out OK. Or maybe you'll never ever be a troublesome kid at all (like your uncle) and you'll be one of those kids that don't give their parents a headache. All those maybes...all those possibilities...we'll never know, we'll never know...We're sorry we've never met you. 

Goodbye, darlings...Just know that we love you and we miss you and it really hurts to say goodbye this way but we know that if you had been there, you would have wanted us to let go of you and move on and be happy with our life together.

And after the song is finished, with our soaked clothes clinging to our bodies, we look at each other and realize that the rain has stopped...and the sun has started to come out again. 

Yes, "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." -Psalm 30:5

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Too Close To Home

I've just realized how "distorted" my view is when I'm dealing with my friend's miscarriage despite my efforts not to mix her grief with mine. Just today I realized that my IF glasses had blown up some of her words and made me hear sirens in inappropriate places. She got confused about some of my responses because they weren't relevant to her situation. GAH!!!

I don't know if I can take off my IF glasses completely or not, but next time I'm going to be extra careful not to project my own experiences with hers. After all, each loss is different.  I've also tried basing my responses on some of the miscarriage stories/blog posts I've read, but again they may not be relevant to her situation. Oh well...all I can do is just try my best.

This is the first time I've felt that my IF glasses truly backfired against me. It's weird 'coz in the past I have also met some people who miscarried, but this one hits too close to home, I suppose. After all, at one point in time we were supposed to start TTC together, though she and hubby postponed it until later. I need to really separate myself from her experience. Thankfully I have this blog to let out anything I want to share.

Let's see how I fare next time. Another lesson in learning to forgive myself, I suppose... 

Additional note: Come to think of it, I'm thankful that we didn't TTC at the same time (or almost at the same time). It could've been so destructive if we had tried almost at the same time, esp. during my darkest IF moments. *shudder*

Thursday, October 11, 2012


The other day somebody commented, "You two look happy."

I smiled and said, "Thank you." 

Then she asked, "Are you having a baby? You look like you've gained weight lately."

I chuckled and said, "No, no, no baby. I look bigger also because I'm wearing my back warmer." (lifting up my jacket to show it)

FYI: It's true that I've gained some weight ever since I started working 2 years ago.

Then she said again, "But I meant what I said. You two DO look happy."

We just smiled and said nothing in return and the topic quickly changed.

Mind you, I have nothing against her because I know that she isn't being nosy. She genuinely would love to see our child. At one point in time in the beginning of our TTC journey she had said in a very excited tone of voice that she would even knit something for our child. And no, the person isn't my MIL. She knows better not to ask such a thing from us. However, she's not that close, either, so we're not divulging more details.

I must admit it felt a bit ironic when we had just finished the conversation. Ironic because it crossed her mind that the thing that made us look happy was probably related to pregnancy. What I decided to do, though, after the short conversation was to bask in her words on our happiness as a couple instead on dwelling too much on the irony. :-) 

Life isn't perfect and each of us has our own scars and problems to deal with, but we just have to make the best of it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Lack of Closure?

I've been wondering about something ever since I heard that one friend of mine had a miscarriage. I can't help reliving my IF journey or moments whenever she shared some things that resonate with my IF losses (or moments of losses) and I have to really stop myself from getting "sentimental on my behalf" on my emails to her. I've been bothered by this 'coz I wonder why on earth I feel this huge force to "relive" the moments whenever I read about her emotions concerning this current experience of hers. I felt "selfish" for having averted focus on HER grief and instead turning inward towards my own, even though my loss did help me understand her grief, too.

Last night I was browsing online for grief and I found this blog post entitled "Is This My Grief or Yours?". This is the paragraph that hit me the most and made me nod in agreement.
When I first began to do my inner work with my own grief it was “an unknown” part of me – it was in my shadow. Other people’s grief, if it was resonating at the same frequency as my own unconscious grief, would trigger my grief. Kind of like tuning forks on the same pitch setting each other to humming, only in this case, we are speaking about emotional resonance rather than pitch resonance.
So that's it! :-)

Then I started thinking about how many times I
"relived" my own happy moments when I saw other people's wedding pictures 'coz it reminded me of my own wedding day. I guess my friend's grief has the same sort of effect on me, except that the emotions it brings out are the direct opposite of such a happy memory. It's not that I cried over my own loss, though. I cried for her loss, but at the same time her loss made me remember the hollow part in myself that will never ever go away. If I have to describe the feeling, it's probably like hearing a low thud or echo on the hollow part. I'm not in pain, but there's this uncomfortable feeling of being reminded that it's there.

Then I started thinking about losses in general. What about my IF loss that is different than other losses? If I compare it to my Dad's death in the beginning of this year...if I hear about someone's dad's death, I think I won't really feel as "hollow". But why? Why is that so? Probably because with my dad's death, I have had closure. Even though I wasn't able to attend his funeral, but I'd had the best kind of closure ever. Not long prior to his death, I called him on his birthday and I could tell him verbally how much I appreciated him as a dad. And Mom told me that the morning before his sudden death, he had told Mom that he was satisfied with his life and he was happy to have kids like us. I couldn't have asked for a better closure.

When it comes to my IF loss, I'm unable to say (at least yet) that I've had closure, even though we've decided to surrender to life without kids. One big reason is probably 'coz we've never really had a chance to "say goodbye" properly. There had never been a positive HPT. No due date. No anniversary date of the loss.
NOT that I want to experience a real loss of a baby/fetus. It's not that. I suppose her loss just reminded me of how "hollow" mine sounds and that makes me feel sentimental. I suppose her loss made me realize even more than ever how "disenfranchised" my grief is. 

*** Additional note (22.10.2012): One possible reason for the sentimentality factor was that I felt I had been robbed of the opportunity of showing hubby a positive HPT, of being able to see the joy in his eyes. 

I've also been wondering why her grief has a different impact on me than others, 'coz there are others who've told me about their miscarriages as well over the past year (thankfully, though, they've gone on to conceive again and they seem to be doing OK now). I think one reason is because this friend is a very close one and we've been sharing our lives in details with each other whereas with the others, I'm not that close.

Anyway, it's nice to sort through some jumbled mess in my head that's been bugging me for a while. :-)