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.
Anyone who doubts that children are as deep, complex, and emotionally vast as any adult is clearly not listening.
I love these kids so much. They are incredible teachers.