The Elephant

My older brother asked me yesterday, "If you had one wish, what would it be?" He said that he thought of this question and had been asking random friends and family. I never did answer him. I felt it was one wish, my only wish will always be to have my son here with me instead of only having pictures, a memory box, and an urn. And now onto the meat of the matter...

It wasn't until I made my first voyage home (well, a 3.5 hour drive anyway) that I realized just how isolated I had truly been. With my mom and my husband, Peanut was always talked about. But that bubble of comfort didn't extend much further than my home.

I decided that I wanted something, a change. What I really wanted was to have Owen to take care of, but as always apparent, that is impossible. So, what I needed to do try to find a new normal for myself. My husband wants to know that I am progressing in my grief before we go for Baby Cao #2. That is understandable. I feel that I cannot give myself fully to our future children until I grieve for Peanut. I told him that I will always mourn Peanut. There will never be a day that I do not think of him, but that I will be able to go about my day-to-day as usual. So, a step in the right direction is to try to find some work. I started to apply for a few jobs here and there and got some calls for interviews. I felt that at this point it was okay for my mom to leave this bubble I had created for us and return to her life.

I was excited to see my family for the first time in at least 2 months. Though, the closer it got to us leaving, the more anxious I became. I realized that this would be my first visit home since losing Peanut. The last trip home was for my baby shower. I remember some people telling me, "Next time we see you, you'll have the baby with you." It's amazing how wrong we can be sometimes. It wasn't a baby I brought with me, but an elephant. The whole week I was there, I felt as if I was being followed by this huge elephant. When people looked at me, they didn't see me, but this huge elephant behind me. "Poor sad" is the sort of thing I imagined people that knew what happened thought when they saw me. Of course they were happy to see me, we're a very close family, but it's impossible to look at someone whose suffered something so horrible without that horrible thing running through your mind.

It hurt so much that no one mentioned Peanut or asked about him when they saw me. I only got those, "How are you?" or "How have you been doing?" sort of questions with the inflection that told me they were referring to the loss of my son. It made me almost angry that there was this sorrow around me and people never mentioned him. As if not mentioning him made it better? He is always on my mind, and it makes me happy to talk about my pregnancy and to talk about Peanut because he was real. Not mentioning him or what happened does nothing. So, I decided if people were not going to initiate conversation about him, I would. In conversation, I would talk about when I was pregnant or in the hospital. That would start the questions and I would tell my story. I say his name as often as I can. It lets people know it's okay to ask questions.

My first attempt at a "job" was a temporary assignment - 3 days stuffing envelopes. I woke up and started to get ready. While doing my hair, I started to have an anxiety attack. I just couldn't do it. I don't know what I was afraid of, but I was afraid. I e-mailed the girl at the staffing agency and told her what happened to me that morning and she was very understanding. She said she suffers from them all the time and for me not to worry.

A few weeks later I received another assignment close to where my husband works. We carpooled and I worked 4 whole days without a problem. They even asked me to return the following week. It's just data entry, but it is perfect for me right now. I have to focus on the typing, so my mind is unable to wander away. I listen to music and just type, type, type all day long. A certain song may come on that reminds me of Peanut either because of the lyrics or because it is a song I would sing to him. I remember while cleaning the house or driving, I would have one hand on my belly and sing like I was at the Grammy's! I so looked forward to singing to Peanut while breastfeeding or while rocking him to sleep. I had imagined it so many times. I sang to him a little while I held him at the hospital, but it wasn't the same. I'll still sing those songs, and my performances are always dedicated to Peanut - my biggest fan.

p.s. i apologize if this one seems like rambling...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3/01/2012

    I was wandering Pinterest when I saw the necklaces and clicked on it hoping for a tutorial. What I learned was very different. I am a mother of two little girls. Anna is 4 and a big fan of movies. Up is one she enjoys. If you haven't seen it there is a scene in the beginning where the wife has a miscarriage. Anna is extremely perceptive and knew she had missed something when she saw me crying during the movie so I explained what a miscarriage was. Yesterday we were traveling to meet a pregnant friend when she began wailing tears. When I asked what had happened she told me she was sad thinking about the babies who had died. I started to cry too. I've never experienced the horror of my child dying Melissa. I had to write and let you know though that yesterday in the car Anna and I were praying for you, your husband and your Peanut. We prayed that God would comfort you and your family. Tonight I know God let me read your post so that I could let you know that my little peanut was praying for you and yours and tonight I will be praying one of her favorite things- that the love of Jesus would wrap you like a blanket. And on behalf of all the people who didn't say Peanut's name and just stared at the growing elephant- I am sincerely sorry. Because of your strength I won't be one of them. -Erin