I technically have baby brain, no other way to describe it. This weekend I have triple booked us and only realised in my 5am lucid dream Saturday morning my mistake. That meant at 7 am when everyone else was up I had to do some apologetic texting and speedy schedule rearranging to minimise the damage. To further the damning testament against me, I add to this that I managed to de-virginise our brand new car. I fender bendered myself.
It happened like this Your Honour; I was attempting to reverse out of the shopping centre car park. Putting the car into reverse as you do, I turned my body around to be able to physically see, with my own two eyes, what was behind me instead of relying on the two other forms of collision avoidance system; the reversing camera and the reversing sensors that escalate in a noisy “Notice me” beep beep beep!!! when you get too close to things. Ignoring both of these things and relying on my eyes – My eyes failed me and I didn’t see the downpipe that extended out from the side of the complex. Next thing I know, bump. Our poor car. I’m mostly upset because I will have to ring my husband Mark up and tell him I’ve been love tapped in the back bumper by a near invisible foe, and I feel guilty because I swore infront on the kids. Oh boy, I stuffed up; I already told the universe I don’t need this shit right now.
Next exhibit is the brand new expensive knife block set my husband had decided to buy a few weeks ago. I was happily in the kitchen innocently cutting up a big ripe Apple for our daughter, when the little paring knife jumps out of my hand with no warning like a thing possessed and breaks clean in half on the slate floor. I call to my husband and as he entered the kitchen I silently point at the offending object as it lies on the floor; I announce “It’s framing me! It jumped” . He looks at me with suspicion and I look at the knife with contempt. We both agree it’s best I use the older duller knives from now on.
So it is safe to say that my brain is only running on half power at he moment. So it seems are my hands, I am consistently dropping things. I know I did this a lot in previous pregnancies, but it seems to have developed earlier in this pregnancy, just like the various veins, constipation and extra weight.
I start to get in touch with two local branches of still birth organisations. I email my interest in information about upcoming meetings or organised events, both got back to me quickly. One by email offering a phone councillors service and the other actually phoned me twice to ask questions and offer services. It was very nice I thought but I’m not in need of crisis counselling and once they were convinced of that they let me know the other services they offer, like meetings.
I inform them I am interested in attending meeting but because I already have children I cannot attend at the times they have arranged. With a husband that works away any evening meetings are a ‘no go’ as babysitters are not something I want to organise and I rely on only a handful of family. They are busy so evening meetings are not an option for me.
I have navigated my emotions (reasonably) well after Claudia’s death and with a lot of family support I never felt the need to seek out other avenues of assistance; however I thought it might be good to have extra support whilst I’m pregnant in case my mental fortitude takes a rapid dive. I’m not scared of being pregnant again, well, not yet anyway.
Being a mother is already full of self-doubt and emotional roller coasting, from both myself and the kids (My youngest has just had a tantrum for half an hour because her milk was in the wrong cup, go figure!) and being pregnant is a constant lesson in trust, you have to trust that your body will do its job for 9 months – to have had a stillbirth on top of that you (and I) may assume that it would add to that overwhelming worry that something would and could happen to your child or your pregnancy and up to a point it is true.
It is still a worry for me but not as much as I thought. My worry is tempered with the overriding thought of “I had the worst happen to me and my family all got through it, we all still love each other, all still care for each other”. My doctor said having a stillbirth can take the romance out being pregnant and I think that sounds true to me.
The experience of even having to see any dead child, let alone having to deliver my very own dead child scared the shit of me and rightfully so, having done it – the feeling was not of fear, it was a feeling of sadness and disappointment, not in myself, but just in the entire situation. Again it’s like being the woman no one would want to be. The lady quietly put at the end of the maternity unit, a rumour.
Some things are not a choice, and when it happened I had to suck it up and get on with the job ahead because no one else could do it for me. And I did it. Claudia may not be here; but I am and I can choose to keep her memory a positive one.
I don’t look back and think of anger about the situation or bog myself down self guilt, I cannot sit and cry “why me!” I have no idea why me, the doctors couldn’t tell me why either; but like the cause of Claudia’s death it is a great unknown and I cannot waste what’s left of my precious sanity on questions that only lead to more questions, not answers.
So I have begun to put the framework in place for any possible roadblocks ahead, I am interested if there are any groups that support women who are pregnant again after a stillbirth, but I haven’t found a local one yet. I’ll keep looking.
Finally for now I offer another worrying symptom of my possible detracting mental health state is my newly formed habit of instagraming photos of food. A sure sign of impending mental breakdown I feel; Just ask any normal functioning human being, of which I clearly am deviating from rapidly.
All I know that a lot of random people in the world really like pictures of cheesecakes.
Oh, and by the way I managed to brake the front door lock just by looking at it and I have to get a locksmith to come out and fix it, She strikes Again!!