The "Reorientation and Renewal" chapter of Hannah Lothrop’s book Help, Comfort, & Hope: After Losing Your Baby in Pregnancy or the First Year begins with the quote “I felt as though I had awakened from a deep sleep.”
The feeling that this is the beginning of the upswing started last week, triggered by not being as concerned about my marriage and getting a promotion at work. Even my therapist happily commented on how I’m getting better.
The months since the baby died really have felt like being asleep; I haven’t been truly conscious much of the time (I have no idea why I was given new tasks at work rather than being fired). It’s wonderful to feel like doing things again, and it’s intimidating to see all that has been left undone since last November.
The silent moments are still fearsome though. I’ve been waiting for the nightmare to end and even though I’m waking up and re-finding interest in life, that choking feeling remains quietly present and if the world becomes still enough I get dizzy.
Then the realization that, irrationally, impossibly, I have been waiting for Toren to come back. Surely this has been some kind of test! Surely this can’t be reality! Despite the progress it is still so hard to accept that this is how it is. He is gone. He is dead.
I didn't want to wake up here! I’ve been waiting to wake up on the afternoon of October 31, 2007. After hearing the baby’s heartbeat and having an encouraging talk with the midwife perhaps I just dozed off, drugged by progesterone, in a chair in that tiny, cozy alcove while waiting for the ultrasound. Any moment now my husband will gently nudge me awake when it’s our turn and a minute later our baby will be seen floating and moving in amniotic fluid on the ultrasound screen. The radiologist will confirm “it’s a boy!” and will measure him, marvel at his progress and health, and give us new ultrasound photos of our son to take home. Then my husband and I will dive back into our busy day: eating dinner, passing out play doh and candy to trick-or-treaters, and heading out for the evening where he will dj and I will wear my new velvet empire waisted coat in a fashion show modeling fancy masks.
That day feels so close. That day almost happened and a whole different life from what I have now almost followed.