Everything reminds me of my pain. Reminds me of what I desire but do not have. Reminds me of what I had but have lost. Reminds me of my overwhelming grief.
- Water – because what’s the point of drinking so much when all it does is remind me that when I am pregnant, I should drink 64 ounces a day; but now I’m empty, so who cares.
- Coffee – we’ve been off caffeine for a year and a half now, but what’s the point anyway?
- Vitamins – why take them when they don’t seem to be helping my body.
- Clothes – I put off buying new clothes, new bras, even new underwear because I am always getting pregnant and thinking “soon I will need a different size anyway”… and then never do.
- My arms – because they are covered in scars and bruises from all the various needles that have recently penetrated my veins.
- My body – because the pooch reminds me of what I had, and the lack of belly reminds me of what I don’t have.
- My face – the break-outs that show my hormones are once again going nuts.
- Going to the bathroom – that doesn’t need explained, right?
- Food – I am not ever hungry anymore, but I am always thinking, “oh I need to eat because of the baby…” and then remember, “oh wait, no I don’t.” And then there’s the list of things that I avoid while pregnant, and can’t stand when I’m not: tuna, sandwich meat, soft cheese, caffeine, alcohol…
- Friends – because everyone is pregnant or cradling a newborn.
- Church – ditto.
- Bible study – we’re studying biblical womanhood & right now the subject is “woman as life giver.” Need I say more?
- Photographs – remembering who I was pregnant with in various photos, remembering who “should have” been in various photos, noticing how small a family photo looks with only three people.
- Holidays and special occasions – wondering how to celebrate in the midst of such grief.
- Laptop – I never hold it on my lap when I am pregnant. It feels weird even now.
- Cell phone – I get a chill when it rings, because the contrast between the nurse’s grave voice and my mother’s sweet “hi, pregnant lady” stuns me even now.
- Our car – for Gabriel’s 2nd birthday we turned his carseat around like a big boy. And I always wonder if we will ever have a reason to get a bigger car. Dreams of a minivan or Suburban are diminishing in the distance.
- Nursery – realizing that Gabriel is getting too old to be in a baby room. Realizing that I can’t emotionally handle redecorating it, or moving him to another room & letting it sit empty.
- Basement – where all the baby things are being relegated; the swing, the carseat, the toys, the clothes; all the things we expected to need again. Now thinking we probably never will.
- Garden – where I (alone with my thoughts) plant seeds and they grow. And I wonder why peas and zucchini and tomatoes don’t miscarry.
- Herb boxes – where the basil I planted grew a little and then stopped. Reminding me of my babies.
- Making dinner – trying to figure out how to cook for only 3, and thinking that I may never have to learn how to cook for 5 or how to cook for 7.
- Washing diapers – knowing these days are soon coming to an end. Wondering if they’ll ever return.
- A full night’s sleep – desperately wishing that I would be woken up every 2 hours.
- Toys – packing away all the infant toys, wondering if I should give them away or save them. Feeling like saving them is clinging to a vapor.
- My bed – where all this grief ultimately began. And where I cry it out every night. And where my dreams haunt me.
- The shower – where I can not hide from my emotions, my body, my emptiness.
- Books – they all seem to be either about grief, faith, or womanhood; all of which sting the wound.
- Bible – somewhat comforting, somewhat harsh, but always a reminder.
- Prayer – wondering if my prayers “avail much” or not. Because they don’t seem to from my limited perspective.
These are just the first things that popped into my head. It’s not a complete list. There is not a time of the day when I am alone without my thoughts. No matter what I do, they are with me. Why can’t I turn the switch to “off” now & then? It would sure be nice. To get away from my grief. To hide from it for a while. To feel like I can smile and celebrate without it being a facade to make everyone else around me less uncomfortable.
Someday I would like to look back and think that these things are all redeemed. That they will become glorious and bright instead of gloomy and dark. Pleasantries instead of grievous.
I’m not holding my breath, but I am seeking God’s grace.