Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Sunday, August 17, 2008

This post is not totally depressing!

This post is really long and kind of purposeless. There are photos at the bottom though if you want to scroll ahead.

For my new position at work I’ll be working with another woman who has a similar position (her = make sure masters students graduate; me = make sure PhD students graduate). Since there is a lot a cross over procedure wise we’ll be tag teaming some of the work. A recent conversation:

Her: “Did you know I’m pregnant?”

Me – external voice: “No! Congratulations!”

Me – internal voice: “I hope I didn’t just noticeably flinch.”

It’s not that stinging, slap in the face anymore when I hear pregnancy announcements. Right now it hardly hurts at all, but I’m afraid there will be days when seeing her will be the trigger that turns a sad day into a very bad day.

How’s that for irony? More than having new tasks to do at work I was looking forward to having a new “life” (new meetings, new peers, new office) but the ugly pregnancy issues are quietly tagging along. Never before has anyone who I spent regular time with been pregnant and while I was pregnant I really wanted to find some other pregnant women to hang out with but never did. Now two friends and two work colleagues are expecting. Reminders of the precious thing that was violently taken away from me, and still remains out of reach, confront me regularly.

Being an insane bitch

How well I react to others people’s pregnancies (rather how little I react) depends entirely on the level of consideration they give me. I ask how they are feeling because it’s polite, and I expect some sort of reciprocation. This expectation is especially true for my friends who know I lost a baby. If I listen to descriptions of a physically difficult yet joyful and hopeful time in your life you better freaking ask me how I’m doing in the saddest, most depressing time in my life. I’m keeping score. The tally of points will be reflected in the gift I send to the baby shower (so far, in one case, I can justify a totally cheap gift!).


My therapist did a guided relaxation meditation with me last week in therapy. At the end she asked if there were any parts of my body that were difficult to relax completely. The muscles of my neck, shoulders, and back have forgotten how to unclench so she recommended getting a massage. This was close enough to a prescription for me (yay!) so now I have a new massage therapist and a contract for monthly massages for a year (they are pretty inexpensive if you become a “member” at this place).

I had been thinking about getting regular massages anyway since I have some body issues now. Sometimes I’m upset that my body couldn’t grow a healthy baby. Exhaustion from depression has prevented me from getting back in shape and losing weight so sometimes I hate how I look. Also (this may sound weird), my uterus has been depressed; it’s like my body mourns for the baby it was growing and craves completing the pregnancy. My mind and body are very disconnected and struggling with different, yet related, types of grief.

Since my reason for seeking massages is to aid my grief work when asked about what I was looking for out of massage therapy I blurted out “My son died” and immediately my massage therapist is hugging me, telling me how sorry she is, and telling me how she has a son – not as bragging but as a way of saying she is truly sad for me. In addition to a fantastic massage she gave me some therapy in the form of life and health advice. Even though she did talk about God’s plan and how God does not give us more than we can handle (which I disagree with, I can’t handle this, I don’t even understand how that statement makes any sense at all) she said other things that were interesting. Here are her recommendations for my health and healing:

1. On the day before my next massage I should consume nothing from sundown until after the massage the next day. This includes food, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine; consumption of water is encouraged. The idea is to help me feel empty.

2. She recommended only drinking or smoking when I’m having a good time so these will be things for celebration, not compensation.

3. When asked about my exercise habits I said how I was having difficulty getting back into a gym routine and she suggested I not get into a routine but be spontaneous instead. However I am to sweat for 20 minutes everyday, and sitting in a sauna counts.

4. She suggested I take fish oil supplements to help out the future of my spinal bones.

Being a girl (a normal, not crying in the bathroom kind of girl even!)

I spent the rest of the afternoon being a girl by going shopping. The kind of shopping that makes husbands regret marriage due to financial reasons. When I returned home though he actually asked me what I bought and sat through the emptying of the bags; he was probably waiting to see something that even remotely interested him but he was out of luck – I didn’t even get anything for him.

I got:

Hair stuff

Ammonia free hair dye, and Aveda’s black malva shampoo and conditioner. Hubby groans and rolls eyes at the sight of the liter of shampoo emerging from the Aveda bag since he thinks shampoo from the grocery store is just fine. But I pity the fool who interferes with my attempts at maintaining healthy, shiny, black hair. Hubby knows this is not the battle to pick.


Dior counter girl: “Black Out mascara is 6 times darker than other black mascara”
Me: “Wrap it up” - without even understanding how they decided it was 6 times darker but frankly not even caring.

Chanel powder (double perfection, vanilla, intensity .5), Aveda lipstick (cerise), and after years of searching, a red lipstick that looks good on me (I’ve been searching since Chanel’s Lucifer Kissed was discontinued) Mac’s Viva Glam I (yay! I’m so relieved to have the search over!)

And that is how to look like me! Then some more little socks, the kind that you can’t see so it looks like you are wearing shoes with bare feet. The socks are so small they get lost easily. And some fish oil capsules. And two blouses for work.

The garden today

This little ground cover looks so cute climbing up the rock!

Black eyed Susan's

The cats were waiting by the door when I came in from taking photos in the garden. They just look really funny especially Sasha kitty sitting in the saucer for a houseplant that is sunning outside for the summer. Such dorks.


Sara said...

Oh you got so much good stuff!

The advice from the massage therapist sounds really helpful.

AND, I have that same ground cover around the tree we planted on the baby's due date. It's grown so much on that side of the yard and died out completely on the other side of the yard...

debbie said...

Such an adorable post. I love the shopping details and the kitties! I'm sorry about the woman at work. That is a drag. Having so many of them at my own job, I know there is no way around it. Sometimes I'm fine with it, and sometimes I'm incredibly uncomfortable. I think the person behind the pregnancy can make it better or worse. Tell her your story, you never know, she could be a kind and compassionate person. If not, she'll just know to back off and keep some of the overly-excited baby stories to herself.
Wish there as a picture of you in all the makeup but I must say, the garden looks AWESOME :)
oh- and the kitties are too cute! I have two as well. They are the loves of my life!

Dulcemija said...

Your purchases sounded GREAT! I *love* great products . . . if Aveda makes you feel better, damn it, buy it for yourself. And I love walking past an Aveda store . . . the botanical smell brings me temporary bliss. As soon as I am out of nose-shot, reality comes smacking me back in the face again.

I'm also a fan of Mac products . . .:)

I, myself, plunked down a s***load of money on some things for me yesterday. I warned DH I was buying more expensive things for work this year, but I don't think he got how much more expensive than usual. I got two black Eileen Fisher dresses from Nordstrom, and two pairs of Mary-Jane-ish Ecco shoes. Black, too. And some black footless leggings to wear under one of the dresses from Banana Republic. All I feel like wearing is black. I even had my stylist dye my hair black the last time I was in . . . well, just a shade lighter than black, but dark.

And I related to the whole massage thing. Since I lost Michael, I've had three facials and a massage. I have another massage scheduled for our EDD on Sept. 22 . . . the advice you got was interesting. I'm going to keep that in mind when I go to mine.