Its been such a long time since I’ve been in this space. In fact, until fairly recently, it was a long time since I’d been in any space at all (other than my bed). Lots of you have been checking in on me, which really sorta caught off guard. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful; just surprised. In an effort to keep things fairly light, many of you got one of my two ‘automated responses:’
1) that I’m hanging in; or
2) that I’m good.
Recently, I’ve been forced into some reflection and had to face one of my biggest fears: that, despite my greatest efforts, I am not in fact, alright and haven’t been for a while now. Coming to this conclusion has been a hard pill for me to swallow. Most people who know me simply assume I got ma shit togetha, rightfully so, because that’s the image I display. You see, I’m not really a complainer by nature. I much prefer to slap my game face on and keep pushing through and for 33 years, it’s been working. *This is now quite arguable* Sure, I’ve been told that not dealing with my emotions isn’t healthy, but dealing with emotions isn’t really my forte. Legal concepts, sewing and reciting the lyrics to my favourite songs are some of the things that I think I’m ‘good’ at, but dealing with my emotions… nah nah nah. Can we not?
Sewing served as a great distraction from my internal emotional wars over the last couple of years, but I haven’t heard the soothing sounds of my motor since last year! So here we are.
First strike? I’d say was the untimely passing of my brother-in-law, who was still faaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr from 40. This story isn’t mine to tell, so i’ll say no more about it except to admit that his death completely took me off guard and shifted something in me. For the first time in my life, I fully understood the phrase ‘life is fickle.’ I began looking at my own world and questioning my own life choices: wondered whether I had ‘grown up too quickly’, had been ‘too serious’, and whether I had ‘missed’ out on the good years of fun and frolic. I’ve always been pretty focused on ‘doing the right things’ which weren’t always the things that made me happy, at least not in the moment. I focused on my education, then my career, then my family and sometimes I feel like I didn’t have enough fun – just traded one responsibility for another. I remember my brother asking me once: “what else do you have to live for when you did it all before you were 30?” Hmmmmmm
If I died at 33, could it be said that I enjoyed my life to the fullest? Meeehhhnnnn I just don’t know. Then, I suppose ‘enjoyment’ is a matter of perspective. *shrugs
But, I digress. Before I had even completely processed and worked through those emotions, life took me for another round. Flattened me with a miscarriage.
Now, I consider myself a very private person and growing up where and how I did means that lots of topics are taboo and simply NOT talked about, under ANY circumstances. Plus small island life inevitably comes with the downside, that everybody wanna be up in yuh business and then turn around and judge you when they get the deets. The result is that very few people knew I had a miscarriage. In fact, most didn’t even know I was pregnant to begin with. I cried for a minute or two, and again pulled up my big girl drawers and kept it moving. Nobody likes being pitied, right?
After I had my daughter over 5 years ago, I was determined NOT to have any more kids. ‘One and done’ was the motto I lived by. After my bro-in-law died, it did cross my mind a couple times, mayyyybbbeeee I could have another kid. I mentioned it to my best friend one day, and she made a point of asking me whether I was ok? lol. Thought dismissed.
Then I got pregnant. TBH I knew something was up, even before I peed on the stick. I just felt different. Once I had confirmation, my feelings were mixed: very anxious on the one hand, and excited on the other. As I was coming to terms with the impending ‘new reality’ BOOM: bye-bye- baby. Just like that, the new life that was stirring in my womb, was taken away. The realization left an emptiness inside me and I could not comprehend why God would bother gifting me something I was not sure I wanted, only to take it away from me anyway. But, I trod on, because what other choice did I have?
When I reflect on it, I wish I could have identified others who had been in the same boat as myself; women who FULLY understood the storm brewing inside me. Unless you live through it yourself, you can’t possibly comprehend just how much it sucks. Its unimaginable that your body could be creating life one minute, and dispelling of said life in the twinkle of an eye. If nothing else, I’m hoping this post will help someone else struggling with the loss of a baby to open up, to talk about it, to break the damn stupid taboo!
Shortly after, I felt that funny tingly feeling in my being again. Something was off, but this time, I couldn’t put a finger on it. Then, for the second time in a short space, I found out I was pregnant. This time my friends, the feeling of anxiety washed through me like a tsunami, and I spent many a night googling ‘the likelihood of a second miscarriage following a first’. Every little cramp or unusual pain sends my heart racing and the anxiety I NEVER had with my first-born, surely is in full swing this time around.
So, my mind was unsettled, and my body quickly started betraying me. Morning sickness, more accurately described as everyday, all day sickness took over. I was helpless: I couldn’t work, could barely eat and drink, wasn’t much of a mom, or wife, and I looked a hot mess! I became the household burden and my bed and toilet became my best friends. I HATED being pregnant, and still do for that matter. Some of you may frown at this but juuuuuuussssst hear me out for a minute.
I am fully aware that there is a great, big blessing waiting for me at the end of this journey (should I be able to complete it). Sure, I am thankful for a second chance at creating life, because I know many others out there would kill for this opportunity, but the process is just so damn overwhelming. Hormones running wild, baby brain, fatigue, aches and pains and swollen bits and bobs, heartburn, excessive heat etc. etc. etc. Surely, you get the point! I’m just not one of those ‘lucky’ women blessed with glowing pregnancies, who enjoy witnessing the miracle of the female specimen. But who says I had to be?
As if that was not enough to deal with it, just as I was entering trimester number 2, my momma died. God, are you up there? This has gotta be a damn joke… but it wasn’t. The worst part of it was I wanted to scream, and shout, and cry, and roll around on the ground but I couldn’t. Why? Because the little human growing inside my tummy demanded that, once again, I HAD to keep my shit together, or risk losing another pregnancy. How f*ing unfair? I could not even fully grieve the loss of my mom, because something else, SOMEONE else, needed to be given priority. Sigh.
And here I am. A ball of raw, unprocessed, bundle of emotions just trying to make it from one day to the next with a smile on my face. There are a couple more months left in this pregnancy, and once I complete this journey, then, maybe I can deal with everything else! But for now, I’ll keep waddling around with my head in the clouds counting down to the end game.
By the way, although I’ve had nothing new to show you, and probably won’t for a little while longer, this IS still a sewing blog! If you made it to the end of this post, kudos to you: you obviously had nothing better to do lol. On the real, I felt like I needed a brain dump and since this is MY little corner of the internet, I figured why not here. It definitely wasn’t easy penning this blog, and opening up to complete strangers in this way. If I’m honest, its the hardest time I’ve ever written since law school, but if anything I’ve said has touched you and you feel like you wanna reach out, don’t be afraid to! Sew sisters are human too and there is much more to life than meets the eye.
Gotta luv ya and leave ya…
Until next time,