Over at Glow in the Woods, they have 6 questions posted. I’ve been trying to answer them for some time now. I’m still not sure I’ve managed to do that as well as I’d like. They are the sort of questions that beg to be revisited along the way.
1. In a word, how would you characterize yourself before your loss, and then after?
Before: Before losing Lennox? Dazed. After Lennox? Overwhelmed, shell-shocked.
Before losing Zoë? Cautiously hopeful. After Zoë? Destroyed.
2. How do you feel around pregnant women?
I tend to just let my eyes slide past pregnant women I see out in public. I work hard not to see them, not to think about it at all. If I let myself dwell on it, the jealousy would just completely consume me.
3. How do you answer the ‘how many children’ question?
I’ve spent a long time thinking about this one. So far, I’ve been really, REALLY lucky and not been in a situation where anyone has asked (there IS a good side to being totally reclusive and anti-social!) since all of the people I’m around already know everything. I think my response would be 1)setting-specific eg. Is this just someone I’ll never see again making small talk? In that case, I’d just say what I said before getting pregnant, that I have a step-son and leave it at that. Hopefully the next question wouldn’t be “Don’t you want children of your own?” 2)dependent on my mood and whether or not I feel like I can handle giving the details.
4. How did you explain what happened to your lost baby to your living children? Or, if this was your first pregnancy, will you tell future children about your first?
This is another one I’ve thought about quite a bit. Since we’ll have Lennox and Zoë’s garden planted within the next year or so, I imagine we’ll use that as sort of an age-appropriate starting point, since there will be regular visits. Certainly any future children will know of their big brother and sister and we’ll just try to do our best to address any questions as best we can.
5. What would another pregnancy mean to you, and how would you get through it—or are you done with babymaking?
Whoo. Another pregnancy will be loaded with all sorts of baggage, won’t it? I’m terrified at the thought of it. As I said in an earlier post, it’s part of moving forward, of accepting what has happened, accepting how that has changed us forever and taking our first, shaky steps towards how we want to live the rest of our lives. However, I worry that every single minute of it, every twinge of pain, every lack of pain, every sensation is going to be cause for fretting and worrying. My personal struggle and challenge is going to be to try to recapture some of the joy in the experience in the midst of the fear.
6. Imagine being able to step back in time and whisper into the ear of your past self the day after your baby died. What would you say?
Ah, see, this is tricky…I had two “Day Afters.” The day after Lennox died, do I warn my past self of what is to come? Do I say, “Spend every minute you can with Zoë before it’s too late” or do I simply warn against the idiots we encountered in those few weeks, and suggest doing everything I can to enjoy the good moments as they come? The day after Zoë died, that’s a little easier. “You are standing on the threshold of a hell you have never, ever imagined and while you may think you won’t, you WILL survive this. You will survive the assholes along the way. You will discover reserves of strength you never knew existed and experience acts of kindness like you never thought possible. It will be very dark for a very long time, but eventually it will start to get lighter. This wound will never heal, but there will come a time when it stops hurting so very much. Try not to beat yourself up or second guess your decisions. Remember those few bright moments and hold on to them as tightly as you can when the voices get to be too loud.”