Right Where I Am: 6 Months 4 Days

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I have noticed a shift in how I feel over the past few weeks.  Since becoming pregnant a mere two months after our first child's death and stillbirth, numbness has ruled the day.  There were a few brief days of joy and excitement, but they were soon replaced by . . . nothing.  I couldn't cry and my laughter felt cold.  I couldn't grieve my daughter, and couldn't be happily expectant of her growing sibling.

But these past few weeks have been different.  It began with physical changes.  I feel achy, run down.  I am utterly exhausted all the time.  In spite of the exhaustion, I sleep poorly.  I feel ill, but am not ill.  My morning sickness is making a comeback, and I am vomiting more, a rare thing for me in pregnancy.  I have no energy for anything more than cuddling up under some blankets and hoping that the day will be over soon.

And then there is how I look.  This week I moved my desk and computer into our bedroom, and it just so happens that when I sit at the desk I can see myself in a nearby mirror.  One day, while I was blogging away, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror -- and froze, aghast.  I looked old.  Haggard.  There are lines and hollows on my face that didn't used to be there, even though I am dutifully gaining pregnancy weight, and I feel like my eyes are sunken.  I have also been finding new gray hairs.  Even my therapist mentioned that I look different, although she did not say it was due to aging.  But I think that's what it is -- that Eve's death has aged me, is aging me.  That this rainbow pregnancy is diminishing me where Eve's pregnancy made me glow.  I don't know who I am, and I don't recognize that exhausted, aged woman I see when I look in the mirror. 

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The best change I have noticed is in my emotions.  Yes, I am exhausted.  But I am also sad.  I feel sad!  I feel!  I cannot express what joy this is (albeit a somber joy).  For months I have wanted to continue to grieve my daughter, but have been unable to because my emotions shut themselves down.  But now, I can!  I can cry, and I cry often.  It is hard, but it is also good.  I had been so worried previously, because I felt like an automaton.  No more.  I am grateful for this.  But the feelings of fragility, of utter brokenness, that come along with the resurgence of feeling are less comfortable.  I feel that I could shatter at a word.  I wonder if I have not already shattered.

I am also afraid.  Every day takes me closer in this pregnant to the gestation that Eve died at -- 31 weeks.  Only twelve weeks to go now (where has this pregnancy gone?!).  When I think of being at that gestation again, I feel physically sick to my stomach.  I expect that the physical stress I am feeling will only increase until we pass 31 weeks -- and even then, I don't know how I'll survive those last couple of months, when I know how easily, how quickly and silently my second baby could join his sister in Heaven.

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In a word, I suppose that I am tired.  Devastatingly tired.  I just want it to be October, to be holding our only living child in my arms (please, God!), to cry with joyful gratitude for his life while simultaneously mourning the life that we never got to share with his sister.

I am so tired.  When can I be done?

Linking up with Right Where I Am over at Still Life With Circles

How are you, right in this moment?

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