recovery. for all of us.

I am pretty sure my recovery is going amazingly well. My surgical wounds are practically fully healed, and I am moving really well.
All in all I think this is slowly receding in terms of the physical impact. I think sleep is key. I have had to get substitute teachers for my classes a lot, and I don’t like doing that because I really enjoy my classes and enjoy the feeling of continuity that is created when the teacher and students show up regularly for practice together. Subbing classes disrupts the vibe. But I am grateful to the teachers who stepped in for me. So grateful. Wanting to bake them all muffins grateful.

The day after the surgery we got out our “It’s Not the Stork” book and went over the relevant section on fallopian tubes, pregnancy, what have you. It’s a great book and I recommend it if you want a book that doesn’t heavily gender-ize boys and girls and which points out the similarities between boys and girls/women and men as often as the differences. It leaves room for the ambiguous truth of human sexuality. Or maybe I should say it leaves room for the unambiguous truth that human sexuality is not easily boxed up and tidily categorized. And yet it’s very clear and very practical and doesn’t add anything.

My son seems to understand what happened pretty well. He seems calm about it, and his questions are very direct and we answer him with direct facts about the pregnancy and the surgery.
While I cannot know all that he thinks and feels, I do think he is doing well. I notice he is protective of me, and I am trying to show him how strong and how healed I am. He doesn’t want me to lift things and is really careful of my physical being. The other day I had no choice but to try to catch Laila as she was falling from the monkey bars (I was 1 week post surgery) and he was beside himself with worry about that. He was actually on the verge of tears as he yelled, “MAMA! You shouldn’t DO THAT!” Poor sweetheart. So now I am pointing out all the good things my body is doing and how healthy and strong I feel.

My daughter is having a little more difficult a time processing all that happened. Given that she is only 4.5 years old, this is no surprise. While she is less squeemish about cuts and stitches, she is more of a mystery. Harder to read.

For example, we were sitting in a private area of a busy office the other day. I lifted my shirt to look at the incision above my bellybutton because it was irritated. Her eyes got huge and she quickly pushed my shirt down as if I might be seen and that would be a bad thing. Now, Laila is not one to worry about exposure of any body part particularly. So when she refused to tell me why she had done it I was concerned. Later she told me. I am still concerned.
She said, “I am afraid that someone will think you did that. On purpose to yourself.” I asked her if she was afraid someone would think I hurt the baby. She nodded. Then she said, “Like maybe you did it when you were a little girl. Because you couldn’t keep your good feelings inside so you did that…”
What I hear in that is that she feels some kind of personal involvement. Like she has big emotions about this that she has internalized and has begun to attribute some part of the loss to her own actions. Or she is afraid that I am to blame and that someone might find out that I did something to cause this loss. Or these wounds.
So I scooped her up closer, held her and kissed her. And we talked about how the body sometimes just makes these mistakes. That it’s no one’s fault, and especially not hers. What a great big sister she would make if we ever had another baby. We talked about what exactly happened again. And we talked about how we all feel the loss and we all love each other very much and how we all love her very much. And it’s not her fault.
Yes, I see how huge it is. What she said was huge. So the plan is to keep the conversation flowing, keep gently talking about it, leaving the door open for her to comment, ask questions, anything she needs or wants.
*sigh*
Anyone who doubts that children are as deep, complex, and emotionally vast as any adult is clearly not listening.
*sigh* again.
I love these kids so much. They are incredible teachers.

rain for me

it’s raining. it’s actually pouring and it has been for hours. somehow i can’t cry anymore. the grey day is very calming to me, making me feel at once small and yet timeless. appropriate. like my body is conducting my soul toward a meeting set years ago. i feel the storm is endless.

if i can’t cry tears anymore, then maybe i need to write this. tears have, so far, been the most helpful of all my remedies. though my noisy pile of blue plastic homeopathic vials have also been useful.

IMG_5899

it’s just over a month since i knew in my heart that i was pregnant. nearly 2 weeks since the doctor confirmed. i may have said 5 weeks along…did i? but it can’t have been more than 4. before the pregnancy, there was fear and curiosity about what it would be like to have another baby who would be another child and if it would be “ok”, and endless other questions that could only be answered by experience. you can’t plan for everything, after all. sometimes you have to just jump. all of that disappeared, however, when i felt the baby’s presence. an answer: yes. it will be ok.

and yes, just cells by then. but cells organizing themselves to become the 5th member of my family. instantly my body made room. i was nauseous. i was sore. i was tired. i cut out my second cup of daily tea.

the mountains of disbelief (did i say that?) that had been months of decision making about a 3rd child were pushed aside like so much meaningless fluff. the concerns of money and space and family dynamics answered by the thrill of a new life. there was no question. well, there was one question, actually. why was i bleeding?

then thursday what was an ache at 10am was by 10:15 a bold pain. by 10:20 i was on the floor in agony. the mother held her belly and told her 4 and 6 year old she would be ok. they looked scared. she called her husband who was rushing home, 25 minutes away. they stayed on the phone so she wouldn’t pass out. her kids went to the basement and drew her pictures and stuffed them in her pockets for “love” and because they were so worried. kids are helpless in these moments, and this was what they could do. what a beautiful gesture. the mother kissed them both and promised it was going to be ok.
the next hours were just pain and more pain. an ultrasound that was excruciating.
a drive the ER while the kids asked sweet, nervous questions from the back seat. The most difficult kiss goodbye to each child she had ever had to give.

then she was sitting alone in the ER waiting room when it was finally ok to break down.  sobbing while strangers looked away. she didn’t have to wait long because the ultrasound report was sent and it said she was hemorrhaging. and she felt it.

then a rush of doctors.  3 different doctors with 3 different opinions, until finally one took over.  she was hemorrhaging so they needed to act right away. they couldn’t tell her for certain that the baby was dead, but they asked for permission to do immediate surgery and, if needed, a D & C while she was out.  she had to decide. life or death for both of them. her husband was with her as he has been the entire time, holding her.

a surgery bay was being cleared.  it’s almost time.

as she waits for the surgery she can no longer take a deep breath because the pain is so intense, like knives across her abdomen.

at 3:15 she finally gets a dose of dilaudid, after dealing with the incredible pain for hours by breathing and chanting. dilaudid. it makes her feel like she’s made of lead. at 4:15 she is taken to the OR. the last thing she remembers thinking is that she wants to see her kids again.
she awakens in the recovery room. the doctor is there, but the mother is so groggy. 3 incisions, only an inch long each.  laparoscopy.  she can go home to recover.  the doctor shows her a picture the fallopian tube they removed. it’s purple and swollen and not at all healthy looking. inside it is the baby. both are gone now.

the recovery nurse gives her apple juice and discharge instructions.
her husband drives her home, takes care of her, puts her to bed.
her friends keep her kids overnight. they have a wonderful time with their friends. it’s their first overnight!

grief sets in. trauma takes hold. every time she tries to sleep she wakes up reliving the hours of pain. the mental picture of the twisted purple tube that held the baby makes her curl up in agony again. but it doesn’t last.

that night i realized that gratitude would be my lifeline through the grief. the baby is gone. the baby is gone. and a part of my body went with him. and i am so grateful to be here, to have my kids to hold and my husband to hold. i am so grateful i have the friends i have. every single one of them has recognized the loss. every single one of them has offered to help. every single one of them has sent us their love. i feel so incredibly grateful for this. it makes my heart swell with love and it makes our years of wandering and looking for a home feel well spent because we have found home. that’s huge for me. and i know they all will forgive me if i continue to grieve, even so.

 

tell me a story. no prompt.

finding a boy in the woods
by S

i was out one time, with my family and they didn’t actually want to have a child. but one came which was me. and still they did not want a child so they built me a home in the woods. they built it against a home in the woods.

it was a brick home who someone lived in it but put a sign out that said for sale. and then you guys bought it.

and then i decide to wander out into the woods. i meant go around the house. and i i actually found elsa (laila) and she took me inside to warm up. and then that’s my story.

that’s just my story but what really happened to me was when i was inside i did not know what what everything was. i didn’t know what a fire was, I didn’t know what warm water was, or a picture or what a tomato was.
at first some wild beasts actually caught up to me but i came to no harm because i told you i was training to be a ninja. i was an honor ninja. but the wolves cannot climb trees…can they?
and i could climb a tree with one hop. one hop to a big thick bush.
i i found a magic ring lost in the woods. a magic invisible ring. it could shoot lasers at people and they would pass out but they wouldn’t die. they just pass out.
that’s my story.

a story by L:
well my powers froze everything.
hickory dickory dock. the mouse ran up the clock. the clock struck one and down he run hickory dickory dock.

i’ll tell you my story. about me.
um. so like this: i just found this little home in the woods. my mom and dad put some decorations on it. and suddenly i found some bushes that were growing. so the boy that somebody found (i don’t remember…well never mind about that)
and um about my home. they…my home could change into different things.
and about this: i had too much cups. so i had to give some wolfs some to eat. they would just have a mouth full of prickles.
just like baby dragons. baby bearded dragons. and i found a creek that looked just like this and i decided to jump up in the sky get a parachute and jump back down into the pool then i caught my cat in the pool and then i picked him up with my parachute and i flew up into the sky and i landed on one of the clouds.
and um. um. and. and.. i flew to my own house with my cat sitting in my lap then i landed back into my bed in my dream. then my teeth ran out of my …one tooth of mine found a little pool in my mouth. she jumped in she swam and then she told all her other friends. they all jumped into the diving pool they all held hands and spladoosh. then they saw big hairy giant.