I'll Stroke Your Hair

October 7, 2008

Okay, okay. Here I am.

I'm here.

Kind of.

Up until two weeks ago--with the exception of my wallet, keys, and five dollar bills--I had never experienced much loss in my life.

I lost my Grandma when I was 7ish and my Memere when I was 5ish, but in retrospect, I was much too young to understand the magnitude of their deaths.

I went on to lose my dear turtle Skippy sometime during middle school, and by that point in my life I'm pretty sure that I was able to process the heartbreak. I cried my eyes out as I hung my handmade "MISSING TURTLE: REWARD" posters up and down my entire block. I wanted to vomit as I organized my neighborhood friends into a systematic search party. And I begged...BEGGED...my father to keep searching under the deck loooooong after dark.

But I'll admit it--after a day or two I was relieved that I didn't have to spend $10 on a reward for that gimpy old turtle. After all, I was twelve and I had candy to buy.

My next significant loss came during my senior year in high school, when my self-centered-man-whore-of-a boyfriend whipped off his tear-away pants (remember, it was the 90's) and jumped into bed with one of my biggest track rivals in the state.

(See? I told you I've have an easy life...)

But I made peace with the boyfriend four years later when we shared a whirlwind weekend in Philly--on his dime. He professed his love to me, I professed my love to him. We kissed, we hugged, we wedding planned....and then I met Jared three days later. HA!

I won't lie--I sent him a wedding announcement.

As you can see, the losses in my life were minimal. Until two weeks ago.

When the ultrasound tech turned to me with a solemn, straight face, I already knew what she was going to say: I'm very sorry, but there's definitely no heartbeat.

And that was only the beginning of it. It wasn't until I'd visited my midwife, a running store, my midwife again, the emergency room, the labor & delivery wing (complete cruelty), and a funeral home that I really began to feel it.

I wasn't pregnant anymore. My winter baby had sprouted wings, and there wasn't a #$%^ing thing I could do about it.

It's two weeks later now, and I can't lie--this still completely sucks. Right now I feel one-half lost, two-parts depressed, fifteen pounds fat, and absolutely broke from a high-deductible insurance plan.

I'm also feeling very unmotivated in the workplace, but that's not out of the ordinary--I've always been a lazy sack of crap at when it comes to work. (I don't feel bad about it, nor should I--after all goofball, you're the one reading my blog from your desk!)

Other than taking my days one minute at a time, I'm really not sure what to do next. Should I run another marathon? Get another dog? Sew another purse? Have another baby?

Maybe eat another cupcake?...Cry another tear?

I have no freaking clue.

All I know is that I honestly--albeit naively--assumed that things would get a little bit easier every single day. And even though I'm in a general upward trend, I sincerely failed to anticipate the peaks and valleys that come with this kind of a loss.

Damn. Damn. Double damn.

Today I ran into the President of the Maine Counseling Association at a lunch joint--helluva nice guy. I kept the conversation light, asking questions like, "How do you plan to renovate your new building?" and "What type of marketing worked for you in your early days of private practice?"

But all I wanted to do...ALL I WANTED TO DO...was crawl into that gentleman's lap, wrap his well-dressed arms around my sad little shoulders, and say, "Sir? Would you mind stroking my hair for a while?"

But I didn't. I didn't do it...and I consider that a minor victory on my part.

Yay.

And that's that. My depresso post for the day.

I hope you're all having a better couple of weeks than I am. And for those who aren't, and unfortunately I know they exist--you are cordially invited to come and sit in my lap, because seriously, I'd be more than happy to stroke your hair for a long, loooong time.

46 comments:

Melanie J said...

I've watched this unfold for you with sadness. I'm sorry for your loss. Having gone through an insane series of losses myself somewhat recently, I can only say it does get better. Each day feels the same but suddenly a month goes by and you realize things really are better than they were a few weeks before.

I'd say, run a marathon. I'd think you're crazy but it seems like the kind of all-consuming craziness that might distract you and take those fifteen pounds off. I'm all for mutli-tasking.

Paula said...

When there are no words....
know that the silences are carrying the thoughts and prayers of all who love you.
dawn dais

riceagain said...

pet pet pet. yeah, cyber petting sucks.

Danse said...

Loss is never easy - I'd like to tell you that you'll feel better in a week or two, but it is hard. I really hope that your days start to get better and you begin to feel more like yourself again soon.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

Oh, and for what it's worth - I read this at home today, so I wasn't even slacking (there's a first for everything I guess).

TC said...

As one of those who is most certainly NOT having a worse couple of weeks than you--and despite being one of those who normally just watches here from the sidelines--do know that we wish we could hold you on our laps and stroke your hair for as long as you could stand it.

Or at least I certainly do.

Hugs.

Marc and Megan said...

Amy, your expressions of your pain and grief hit way too close to home. I'm so sorry that you're going through this... I think it's the only miserable situation I've been in where misery does not love company. I wouldn't want anyone to have to go through a loss like this. I hope you'll let me stroke your hair... say Thursday? :) And, if it isn't asking too much, maybe you could stroke mine, too. Still thinking of and praying for you....

Marc and Megan said...

Uh, just re-read what I wrote... sounds kinda creepy... I meant that in the most un-creepy way imaginable! :)

Mindy said...

Amy, I'm so sorry! I'll tell you that here I am, about 9 years since my last miscarriage, and that particular despair is very much lessened. It does get better, really. Don't feel bad if you DO have bad days though... sometimes people don't understand, but weep if you need to. Those people will get over it.

CDM said...

"Other than taking my days one minute at a time, I'm really not sure what to do next." As a reader going through the same thing, (I think we miscarried within a week of each other) I say do it all or do none of it. Do whatever you feel like each day. I was so proud of myself for being so strong and going to work and not crying and that didn't do a bit of good because here I am 2 1/2 weeks later and random things make me want to cry, getting to work is easy somedays and mind blowing the next, some days I don't want to eat, others I just want to binge. I think of exercising but everyday imagine myself making it through work and then losing my shit on the elliptical machine smashed between some tight assed marathon runner and a sexy, tan guy who watches me fall off the machine crying. I think minute by minute, day by day, do whatever you feel like doing whenever you feel like doing it. We may just make it :)

Keli said...

After I lost my mom, it was exactly 2 weeks that it really hit hard. And sure enough, it didn't just hit me, it hit all of us. I can say, it does get better. A little. Okay, maybe it doesn't, but that's okay, too. Have a little pity party, or a big one, and then have a better day the next day. It's cool. No one judges you. Just do what feels good. You have the rest of your life to do "the right thing".

hicktowndiva said...

I'm sorry, Amy. I don't know the right words to say, but I'm sorry for your loss and I'm sorry that you are sad.

Patti said...

So sad for you and your family. I hope you find some comfort in writing about your experiences here. Know that you are in our thoughts and many people care about you. Hang in there during this tough time...and have a cupcake!

Michemily said...

I'm all up for the hair-stroking. I am completely fed up with all the things that keep taking over all the time I have. It's just not possible to do it all. So here's my cyber hair-stroking to you. You deserve it more than I do.

Melissa Bastow said...

I say cucpakes, tears and hair stroking sound like a good plan. Maybe you can get a machine that can dispense confections, hand you tissues and stroke your hair all at the same time. I don't know where to find one but maybe your husband can fill in until I track one down for you.

littlebee said...

As you know, Amy, I've had an unfair share of shattering life experiences. You'll never become the Amy you were pre-miscarriage. Life will never be the same. But the pain will dull. You'll cry less. You'll find the resolve to make it through a day, and then another, and eventually you'll find yourself on firm ground again.

Through experiencing the pain of loss, you are crossing an ocean and you'll eventually land on a new shore. This new land will be amazing and full of wonders. It won't be like your homeland, and there will be people left on the other shore, but the people who matter and truly care and understand will make the journey with you. And life will become a joy once more.

Grandma said...

always thinking of you Amy. love,mom

chattypatra said...

I love you too much to sit on your lap, Amy. Runners need their legs. Thanks for the kind offer, though.

You should take up kickboxing or buy a punching bag. Just don't practice on Jared!

Seriously, though, keep writing. Some days after my mother died, I went to a Hallmark store and bought about a dozen of the most beautiful cards I could find. I then proceeded to write one to her each Monday, as if she were on the mission field. Then I'd seal it, number it, and put it away in a special box. I still have them. It made me feel better that maybe Heavenly Father would let her know what I had written. It helped.

Just find your own way to express your sorrow, my dear, and remember that the Lord truly knows your pain. Love you!

Laura said...

Unfortunately I know too well that there are simply no words that would ever really make you feel better. And it does get easier, but I'll be kind and not share how much time it takes for that. But you're not alone--at least not in cyber-world, and certainly not with Heavenly Father. Hang in there!!

Heather of the EO said...

Lady, I think your the bomb diggity.
(That was me just now, stroking your hair.)
Yeah, this whole thing totally stinks. It does.

Thankfully you've got two guys who rock the party right there in your own home. I hope they bring you cheetos often.

Heidi said...

Oh Amy. I would stroke your hair any time. I am sorry for your sadness. Hope to see you soon.

Amy said...

I recommend a children's book called "Tear Soup" by Pat Schwiebert--it helped me through my grief. Try it; you might like it too.

joolee said...

My BFF just lost her baby yesterday at 41 weeks. Life can be so incredibly cruel!!! You will be included in my many prayers for my hurting friend.

Hair stroking does have very cathartic properties. You're onto something. Maybe you could start up a little hair stroking business on the side.......Jared already has the perfect set-up. Maybe it could be the happy ending to an adjustment....????

loralei said...

My vote would be for cupcakes...

You do whatever you need to do to get through it. I'm no runner (remember, my vote was for cupcakes), but maybe if you thought about this journey that you are on like a cross-country marathon--highs and lows, exhaustion and energy, one step at a time...you'll make it--and you are going to be amazed at the inner strength you have. You are surrounded by people who care for you. You are blessed--even if you don't feel like you are 100% of the time.

(But you'll need energy...have a cupcake.)

Marissa said...

I love your honesty during this struggle.
You obviously have amazingly more strength than you think. You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Geothermal Energy Association said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iggy Bloggit said...

awww. so granted i've had a crappy day and have been crying for the past 3 hours, but your post made me cry (again). i still think it means youre a good writer even if i was a prime emotional candidate!

Aprillium said...

Wow. I don't know you, but I wish there was more that I could do than just comment on your blog.

I would MOST certainly stroke your hair. Till you fell asleep if need be.

That is one of the few truely calming and comforting things in life for me. I sincerely hope that you and your husband are able to bring similar comfort to each other during such a deflating time in your lives.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I've been there too. It really sucks. I am so sorry.

Minnie said...

I can tell you that you're on the right track with the cup cake and a pet...

All kidding aside, I'm praying like crazy for you.

nevadanista said...

Cyber ((((hugs)))) from a complete stranger.

Joy Through Cooking said...

I havent read any further than this but I MUST KNOW WHO THIS TRAMPY RIVAL IS!!!! I know it wasnt me ;)

Joy Through Cooking said...

OK so now I read the whole thing.

((hugs))

I dont have any words of wisdom but just take it one day at a time... one minute at a time... each is a success. And time will help you heal, eventually.

In the meantime, whatever lifts you and makes you happy even temporarily... be it cupcakes or running :)

Some more ((hugs)) for good measure

Heather said...

I'm sorry :( I'm continuing to keep you and your family in my thoughts.

Cheryl said...

Yesterday I had my first session with a therapist, after knowing I needed to see one for more than 20 years! If you feel the need to see one, I hope you don't wait as long as I did.
Cupcakes, a new puppy, running a marathon, and having your hair stroked are all good ideas, too.
More cyber hugs for you(((((((((Amy)))))))))

akshaye said...

Amy.. I probably cant say anything to make you feel better. Take care.

jkrunning said...

Thinking about you Amy. I have heard those exact words from an ultrasound tech and they suck. I agree that the L&D suite is complete cruelty & I concer with everyone who says that it gets easier. Never completely better, but easier.

Team Ayres said...

Amy keep hanging in there, it will get a little easier each day and some days are better than others and some days you don't want to get out of bed don't, they'res a million people that are there to help you. If you feel like talking DO IT and when you don't, DON'T and when you want a cupcake EAT IT and when you need to escape GO RUN, etc. Every day will be different. but don't let people tell you to try to have another baby soon and that will make this pain go away faster. It doesn't, you just end up stressed out obsessing about getting pregnant again and scared when you do that something will go wrong. give yourself time to feel like yourself again. We miss you guys so much back in Dallas. Wish I was there to stroke your hair!

Diana from Dallas said...

hug
life sucks sometimes - I don't know why, it just does

Caden and Carter's Mom said...

Oh Amy, you had this little person inside you for several months. It will take time to heal. Your little boy has left his mark on your heart forever. I will continue to pray that you find peace.

gina

LMack said...

Hey Amy...I know I have recently just found you on facebook, and we haven't talked for a looooong time (since track at Conard)...but I just wanted to say that I am deeply sorry for your loss. You have been in my thoughts the past couple of days after reading through numerous blogs of yours and I would just like to say that I know you are a strong person (with a great sense of humor I might add) and time will lessen the pain...Keep your head up Amy. xoxoxoxo

Lindsey said...

AIM, I haven't put this on my blog (and won't) but we just got bilked out of 175,000. Great huh? I feel ya. I can't blog about it. It hurts. I cry... A LOT. I know that is not ANYWHERE near as significant as your loss, but I want you to know, crying and being sad is TOTALLY ok... AND I would have another cupcake. (And did) Much love.

Kellie Buckner said...

When I'm really depressed I always want my hair brushed, not just pet. If I could I'd come over and brush your hair for you and give you a good scalp massage. It always helps me relieve some of the stress from being depressed.

Our Little World said...

I LOVE YOU AMY.

Tarin said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog for a long time, but I'm not a great commenter. I do really want to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Really, I know how hard it is and there are just no words. I'll keep you in my prayers...

Hilary said...

I'm sorry for your family's loss. Sending warm, healing thoughts your way.

Mommy Bee said...

I found you from Navel Gazing, and even though you dont' know me from anybody, I wanted to send you a big *HUG*. Reading this post took me back to the multiple ultrasounds I've had where the tech said "Just a minute while I fetch the doctor" and the doctor said "I'm sorry, there's no heartbeat..."
My miscarriages were in the 12-15wk range, so a little earlier than yours, but still considered 'late term'. I know what you mean about losing a child you had scarcely begun to know. I've written a lot about my losses and loss in general--I don't know if it would be cathartic or just overwhelming, but of course you're welcome to visit if you'd like. http://brightonwoman.blogspot.com/search/label/miscarriage%2Finfant%20loss