Monday, April 30, 2012

Nine Months

it started happening a few weeks ago.

i would see new babies in the grocery store or in stroller on the street, and i would think to myself, these babies were newly conceived when nathaniel was born. zygotes. embryos. but they had something in common with my boy. they were on this planet, in utero, when nathaniel was on this planet, in utero and out.

this little generation shared the world with my son.

pretty soon, the babies coming into the world and the grocery stores and the strollers will have nothing to do with nathaniel. they will have been conceived after he was gone already. when he was here, they were just eggs and twinkles in eyes and other raw material, but not a unique entity with their one-of-a-kind custom mix of dna.

maybe it's happening already.

i went on-line and calculated gestation time from nathaniel's birth and death date. it's not a perfect science. nathaniel was due on july 8th, but he wasn't born until july 25th. i have a vague idea about when he might have been conceived, but no way to know when the real magic happened of sperm meeting egg.

and then there's this limbo of his due date and his birth date and his death date and the days we learned he probably wouldn't survive outside the womb.

but there's something there. there. in the sliver of this generation, from the children conceived or born starting early october 2010, to the full-term babies coming through birth openings about now. this is nathaniel's generation. children that crackle and burn at the edges when i look at them, with a painful, confused fascination. children that agitate an ancient, animal part of my brain.

they shared the world of gestation with nathaniel. maybe, somehow, they knew my son. know my son. maybe, somehow, they are his friends. would have been his classmates.

my hope and my prayer is that the sharp and pointy existence of this generation softens in time. i know, and love, too many people who have had babies in nathaniel's gestational group. babies i have never met, may never meet. i wish wish wish to cultivate a love for these little beings - an energy of love and lovingkindness that resonates through my heart and being.

i also hope and pray and wish that this new group of little ones, who will soon just start to be born, won't jab at the still-fresh wound that is the absence of nathaniel.    

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Number 4

three years ago, i quit my full time job teaching high school. i miss my job. (sometimes) i miss having a job. (sometimes) but this post isn't going to go down the rabbit hole of juggling career with the other roles we play. . .

most of all, i miss the other teachers. my favorite people in the whole world: teachers. funny. real. a bit crazy. in my last position, i shared an office with about 20 other teachers. we were all in there before school and after. awesome people. 

a few months after nathaniel died, i learned that a counselor from that school had a baby in the NICU. after a harrowing battle and two surgeries, he died.

yesterday, i learned that one of my favorite fellow teachers in the world lost a baby to HELLP in January. 22 weeks gestation. 

another teacher friend of mine had a baby a few weeks ago. she was born early, but not too early, and they thought she would make it. but she didn't. she died yesterday. i just found out. 

i shared an office with the last two losses. that's four infant losses that i know of in less than a year from a fairly small pool of humans. 

what kind of world is this?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

going down and coming up

recovering from a virus. slowly. my doctor - an older Chinese woman - diagnosed the cough that was keeping me up at night and did acupuncture on my shoulder. Gave me horrible, bitter tasting herbs, that have helped so much, and i have full mobility of my left shoulder for the first time in months.

celebrated a birthday - i'm 39 now, and my biological clock ticks so loudly sometimes i can't think of anything else. can i handle the stress of pregnancy after babyloss? am i ready for that? my body hands me clues of fertility. i do know that if i did get pregnant i would be beyond overjoyed, but it still may be too soon to try. and i may not be able to get pregnant if we do try.

i spent four glorious days in southern california. sunshine. sunshine. sunshine. four days away from the persistant rain. i sat for hours just looking at the horizon. i laid on the beach and listened, with my fingertips, to the waves crash. i watched the sun set behind the ocean every night. i breathed. i watched bad tv. it was the best thing i've done for myself in a long, long time.

starting to plan nathaniel's one year angel-versary. i must go someplace warm. by the ocean. sunshine. breathing. three and a half months away.

the pains of grief come and go in intensity. sometimes it's still too overwhelming to go out in public. i don't know when that will change, so i am slowly shifting my energy away from the bustle of errands and appointments and into things i can do within the square footage of my house and yard. imagining a life where i don't leave the property for days at a time. perhaps committing to a year of no driving. envisioning domestic projects and activities, both with a new little one, and without.

what i do know, and what startled me, is that i felt whole today. only for a few moments. i didn't want to nag it or question it or push it away. but it was there, in drawing class. not a nathaniel-never-died wholeness, but a new wholeness.

and so i touched hope:)