Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Normal, but not the good kind.


The normalness has settled like pollen all over our suburban 1960s mill house. It's a brick home, with pink azalea bushes out front and a flower pot on the front stoop that we use for an ash tray.

I spend a significant amount of time chasing dog hair tumbleweeds all over the hardwoods while he burns cardboard beer boxes and junk mail newspapers out back in the fire pit. The dogs have free roam of the half an acre of backyard that we mow semi-weekly. They nap in the sun next to the poison ivy we can't seem to kill. I paint in the living room while watching true crime documentaries. He smokes cigarettes under the car port. Life is, by all accounts, pretty fucking normal.

The times do not come without struggle. In fact, I'd say struggle is the standard by which we operate. I feel more shut-up than I have in a long time, having just had yet another miscarriage-- my first one, though, with him. He was there through it, rubbing my lower back as I doubled over in pain on the bed. I sat on one of those puppy potty-training pad things to keep the copious amount of blood I was losing from staining our newish green sheets. It made him uncomfortable to talk about it, though, at a time where all I wanted to do was scream: I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING AGAIN.

And then it was done. I ran out of pain pills and eventually out of blood, and it was over for everyone but me. For me, it's this ever-present, really huge thing that I can't shake, like when you're in traffic and there's a tractor-trailer in front of you and you can't see around it to know if you need to change lanes or not.

So I stay quiet.


I can't blame him, though. This was his first miscarriage rodeo and there is no playbook (though I could have written one by now.) I remember finding it strange that he didn't know about my miscarriage rituals that I had formed over the years, but how could he? He wasn't there for the first three, and how was he to know that sushi is what I have for dinner every time a doctor can't seem to find a heartbeat? He had no way of preparing himself for the distracted brick wall I became when my body felt like a walking coffin and the cobwebs were really thick up there. I don't think he was prepared for the passive-aggressive, morbid jokes that ensued or the sudden burst of manic creativity followed by days and days on the couch.

I was trying to stay afloat, and he was trying to have a leisurely day at the beach. It takes its toll.

To him, it wasn't really a baby. I get that. To me, it was a real baby, because I was gagging every time I smelled sandwich meat, and I was exhausted. My boobs hurt. I had to stop drinking coffee. I had to inject myself with blood thinners to protect my placenta from clots, you know, just in case. I knew that the probability of losing this child was high and that I needed to enjoy my time with that creature living inside me for as long as I was able. Spoiler alert: it wasn't very long.

I think I'm mourning mostly because I know that will be my last pregnancy. Ever. My body has let me know that it can't sustain life, and now it's my turn to listen. My uterus is an inhospitable wasteland where nothing can grow-- a graveyard-- and I'm tired.

So yeah, basically what I'm saying is that everything here is normal.... so very, very normal.

For me.