I live in this weird place, what I refer to in my head as "between the land of the living and the land of the dead".
I delivered a stillborn son 18 months ago. He was dead, and then he came back to life. But his return to life, at first, only promised us another, innate, death. There was shock, a sort of disbelief, and much to mourn. I can relate to the mothers of stillborns. I understand, at least, their first hour. I stood there. I did that.
But then God, for some reason, moved me past that point. The mothers of stillborns cannot relate to me. My son is slap in their faces, I think. I did not finish that grieving process and so, in many ways, I am still dealing with it.
I was then promised a severely disabled boy. Cerebral palsy, seizures, blindness, a blank mind - all of these things were offered to me as options. So I can relate to mothers of special needs kids. I know about the fears, loneliness, and questions of worth and ability. I lived through the follow-ups, specialists, and therapies, especially in the first year. I stood there. I did that.
But then God, for some reason, moved me past that point. The mothers of special needs kids cannot relate to me. My son is a slap in their faces, I think. The odd thing is that with every thing that was given back to us - sight, a healthy brain, fine motor skills - it seemed to simultaneously make the load lighter and focus my grief more intensely on the things that were still missing. I felt like there was always another heartache, another thing to mourn. But I was pulled out of that, too, and so I'm trying to figure out how to grieve something that isn't gone.
I suppose I sound ungrateful. James, my little (alleged) miracle, was restored to me - like Lazarus to Mary and Martha. But I never let myself deal with these thoughts and feelings at the time - there wasn't time! - and so now I continue to find them bursting out of me.
Of course, you see, all of this is magnified and made much, much worse by my approaching due date. The things I had stuffed away as I told myself to stop crying are coming back and sometimes they leave me practically immobile. Probably hormones are, in part, to blame but I am also aware that there is much more to my frequent naps, sleeping in, skipping out on certain social events, and whatnot. I am emotionally and mentally and physically exhausted. My head hurts from crying, or from straining to not cry. I am sleepy, sleepy, sleepy.
And when I think about this labor I am terrified. I do not want to go into labor. I do not want to push this baby out. The last time I pushed a baby out he died. I don't want to have fetal monitoring because I don't want to know when her heart stops. I don't want to be in a hospital surrounded by people I don't know and procedures I don't care about. I want to be at home so that when this little girl is placed in my arms I can lay in my own bed, in my own house and cry over her still little body without anyone bothering me.
When I think about her future I do not plan her baptism but her funeral. With my other children I pictured their names on resumes and wedding invitations; with her I picture a tombstone.
I want some kind of closure but forcing it hasn't worked so I suppose I must just continue to deal with things as they arise. And so here I am, unable to spend much time or energy in "the land of the living" but shut out from "the land of the dead". I'm not sure who will relate to this - I seem to be alone in this situation but there it all is for you. I am tired, scared, and exhausted from mourning a long list of things that didn't happen.