It's astonishing the things that slip through. I protect myself by avoiding certain things (like, baby sites, like stories with happy pregnancies, people who suck, etc), and I try to be forebearing and find grace.
You know, last night I watched FlashForward - which I LOVED and highly recommend, btw, which may doom it to cancellation, but it's really awesome - and there is a pregnant woman shown, with the possibility of seeing a lot more of that. It didn't phase me at all, except to make me roll my eyes a bit at the unrealistic portrayal of of a couple of things.
But doing expense reports? That made me cry. I was approving expenses and came across a very odd one - supplies for the lactation room. It was actually listed as 'breast pump parts and supplies' and I thought it was funny. I showed it to a coworker and we chuckled over it and over the accounting coding used for it. And then I went back to my office and it hit me dead in the chest . . . that is the lactation room I was supposed to use this spring, those are supplies that I should be using. Except I will not get to breastfeed Gabriel. I only got to go through engorgement and drying up and leaking and all that crap.
Why that? What is it about seeing a receipt with breast pump supplies makes it feel like someone has reached into my chest and squeezed my heart in a vice?
For DH, it was Easy Mac. I ate a lot of Easy Mac between 7 and 12 weeks when morning sickness was at it's worst, it's one of the few things I could stomach. I haven't had any since then that I can remember. Months have gone by since I ate Easy Mac and he knows that, but he teared up in the store in the middle of the aisle because he saw it.
It's what you don't expect, what slips through the careful defenses you construct, that leaps up and reminds you forcibly (not that you ever forget, of course) 'You have a child, and that child is no more' . . . you have no idea how much that fucking sucks.
It's just one more side-effect that is awful and terrible and, for lack of a better word, unfair. Like the engorgement and morning sickness that in the end was not, in fact, worth it, and the bleeding (during pregnancy and now, still, over a month later). Like all the baby crap sitting in our house, waiting to be used. Like the medical bills I apparently have to pay, despite having nothing to show for the costs incurred.
I told DH this afternoon . . . it's like some really awful outing. We get together with all these people and we get to go on a picnic. Only instead of a nice meadow or pretty stream, we get stuck having to climb a rocky mountain trail with rocks that make you roll your ankles and poke your feet through your shoes. And when we finally get to sit down and open our picnic basket, it turns out that instead of this great gourmet meal, we got stuck with the vegetable sandwich - with brown sprouts, wilted lettuce and overripe tomatoes, salt and vinegar chips, and no drinks. And a note that we have to return the picnic basket and pay for the pleasure, while everyone else gets to keep their basket.
Basically . . . it sucks. It's not just losing Gabriel, it's losing all the experiences we thought we would get to have. It's taking away from his pregnancy and from the things we have left. Fuck it all, it sucks so much. And I hate it. And it just pops up to punch you in the face all over again when you least expect it.
Target receipts for breast pump supplies and Easy Mac. Who knows what is next. I assume at some point, that sharp, stinging pain will become less sharp, less stinging and there will be fewer random things, or it won't matter as much. I can't make up my mind whether that is something I long for or never want to happen.