The One With That River in Egypt

21 May

Before I write anything else, please head over to Belle’s blog and show her some love. She found out today that Pip doesn’t have a heartbeat. I am heartbroken for her.


Today marks 3 months since we lost Nadav. I didn’t mean to acknowledge it in any way, but the truth is that I’ve been feeling really down the last few days and I only yesterday really understood that there’s a correlation.

On Friday Ababaderech came over and we had a really long talk. He has a tendency to reach the truth with me when we talk. It always happens that within the hour he has me confessing my darkest fears and feelings. Friday was no exception.

Our conversation brought a lot of feelings up to the surface that I’ve been suppressing.

The fact is that I spend most of my days in denial.

I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for most of my life. Through all of that time I never contemplated self-harm. Not once.

Not once until these last few months. And that scares the crap out of me.

I very rarely let myself linger on Nadav. Wondering what he would have looked like. Wondering what kind of person he would have grown up to be. I don’t let myself  linger on it, because it’s too painful. Because it leads me to darker places than I’ve ever been before.

But sometimes, those thoughts come. With them, comes the weight of the last two years. The fact that as much as we’ve grown, here we still are: Two years later, one stillbirth, two ectopics, one blighted ovum, 40 pounds heavier, 3 surgery scars, one tube removed, a bruised uterus, a mild dependance on, and empty arms.

Holy crap that’s depressing to write. No wonder I get overwhelmed when the weight of it hits me.

So I don’t let it. That’s kind of my point. I spend every single solitary day ignoring it. Throwing myself into work. Obsessing about this cycle, planning our vacation. Doing anything but thinking about it.

I promised myself a lot of things after we lost Nadav. The truth is, I haven’t kept up with all of those promises.

Yes, I am living my life more fully. I am making a bigger effort to reach out. I am doing my best to appreciate the life that we have.

But I am still obsessed with bringing resolution to all of this. Whether it’s by giving birth myself, surrogacy, or adoption, I need this to be over.

I think I have a lot of unprocessed grief about losing my son. Sometimes I feel guilty about not processing it. Sometimes I feel like I’m lying to myself by continuing on the path I’ve been on.

But sometimes I think it’s the only way for me to get through this. That I know one day the weight of all of this will hit me fully. I know that one day I will truly grieve for my son.

But today is not that day. Tomorrow will not be that day.

The day I will truly grieve is the day we have resolved this. Because if I let myself grieve any sooner, I will break into tiny pieces and I won’t be able to put myself back together again.

So I let myself forget. I let myself escape into cycle days and pee sticks and lolcats.

Because anything else would be unbearable. Until my arms are full, I will do my best to ignore the growing emptiness.


28 Responses to “The One With That River in Egypt”

  1. Esperanza May 21, 2012 at 16:40 #

    Oh Mo. This brought the pricklies to my eyes. I wish I had something constructive to say. I guess all I can do is acknowledge that I’ve heard you and that I understand, in the incomplete and stunted way that someone who has not gone through such immeasurable loss can understand. I guess all I can say is I’m here, bearing witness.

    And forewr abiding with you.

    • Mo May 21, 2012 at 17:06 #

      Thank you.

  2. Cristy May 21, 2012 at 16:59 #

    Mo, it amazes me how your posts constantly guide me to self reflection. Hon, you are doing what you can. No human gets through this process in a direct manner, meeting every single goal they set out along the way. Because it’s too hard. It’s too hard to grieve and fight. So instead, we fight. We fight to build the families we so desperately want and deserve. Only when we reach a place that we are no longer fighting can be truly begin to grieve. And sometimes it’s a process that takes quite a bit of time.

    You ARE keeping your promises to Nadav. I’m certain there are days it doesn’t seem like it, but you are. I wish I had words of wisdom about the dark thoughts, but those are something I battle on a daily basis now too. Just know that you are not alone. Holding you in my heart, my friend.

    • Mo May 21, 2012 at 17:07 #

      I hadn’t thought about it as “fighting” before. Framing it that way actually does make me feel a bit better about how I’m handling things. You are amazing. Thank you.

  3. roligrolig May 21, 2012 at 17:01 #

    Denial is a defense mechanism.
    it’s not a bad thing on his own.
    and you have some good reasons to use it, you need it in order to continue your journey.You need it to defend your self. simple as that.
    It has a price, you know, but you will have the strength to deal with it later.
    you are the strongest person i know.
    I’m sending my love

  4. JM May 21, 2012 at 17:45 #

    God knows none of this is easy. Can you imagine if it were? We’d then be berating ourselves for letting it be easy, because surely that meant that the journey, what we went through, didn’t matter or mean anything.

    It’s hard, it’s awful, and it’s crap. You are doing what you need to do to get through to the other side. I think Nadav would be proud of you, for remembering him and simultaneously moving forward towards yours and Schmerson’s goals of building a family together. You ARE dealing with it- by moving, thinking, acting.

    Grieving isn’t the only way to process grief. You’re doing good- and we love you.

    • Mo May 21, 2012 at 21:34 #

      Thank you hon. Love you too.

  5. Amy May 21, 2012 at 18:13 #

    I totally get that, Mo. That isn’t the way I have dealt – I’ve been mired in daily grief for getting close to 10 months now, some days light, othe days dark. Very dark. I haven’t detailed any self-harm in my dark times, but it’s looming as a contingency plan if the bottom of what remains were to fall out. I was just thinking of it this morning on my drive to work.

    I guess my one bit of self-hel advice would be to watch that. We BLMs are at increased risk for PPD. I thought I – the one who’d been clinically depressed and medicated for 7 years in the past – was keeping a good watch on myself, only to be diagnosed at 6-months post-loss. This PPD thing can sneak in, screw with our minds, and then suddenly bite us on the ass.

    Hugs, always…

    • Amy May 21, 2012 at 18:14 #

      Stupid iPhone. Sorry for the typos.

    • Mo May 21, 2012 at 21:35 #

      I’ve been keeping an eye out. Thank you. Sending lots of love your way.

  6. Rebecca Pallack (@RPallack) May 21, 2012 at 18:45 #

    I hope your arms will hold a baby next year.

  7. teejay May 21, 2012 at 18:56 #

    I think we all have our limits and knowing what those limits are is how we cope. There is no “right” way to grieve. And you are grieving…in a way that’s right for you. Whether you cry from time to time or whether you go out of your way to laugh, it’s a process that you are working through. Just because you feel you are in denial doesn’t mean that you are. You are obviously working through some things and trying to put the pieces back together. Making an effort to not think about it is not denial, at least not to me. It’s a decision to not let yourself go to the bad places in your mind. I think it takes a lot of strength to be able to do that. Many people crumble under the pressure of grief and it ain’t pretty. I’ve seen it. Now, I’m not around you every day but from what you write I think you are processing everything in as healthy a way as you can. I am always amazed at how put together your posts are…even the ones where you are talking to yourself. 🙂 I’m always thinking of you and hoping for good things.

    • Mo May 21, 2012 at 21:35 #

      same to you, dear friend.

  8. Kate @ Infertile First Mom May 21, 2012 at 19:04 #

    There is no time frame or rule book on how to grieve. Everyone experiences it differently. Your loss was huge. Your grief is exponentially bigger. You will deal with it when your heart is ready to, not sooner. If that’s the day you bring your baby home, then so be it. Thinking of you today and hoping for happyness and healing.

  9. Kristin May 21, 2012 at 19:47 #

    Mo, Never doubt that you are keeping your promises to Nadav. There is no set road map to follow when we are dealing with grief. Sadly, this is one trail we all have to blaze on our own. You know what you are capable of handling and if making it through all this requires full grieving to be delayed,well then it gets delayed.

    But, hon, don’t think you would have to pick up the pieces by yourself. There are a lot of us out here who love you and I for one know I would gladly help gather the pieces if ever you needed me to.

  10. SRB May 21, 2012 at 20:03 #

    Mo – I was thinking a lot about grief yesterday, and how fucking long it takes to process it all. That we are surrounded by an explosion of items, each one too hard, too heavy to pick up and put away. That we slowly, slowly pack it into a box, and then slowly we close the box, and then we tape it shut, and then we label it, and then slowly we put it on a shelf. But we never throw it out…

    There is cedar chest upstairs at my parents’ house. In it is everything that remains of my brother’s. They never open it. But I do. Last night, I showed Brad everything that was in it – I have never shown anyone. Everything. I took every last thing out. Some of the items… they just make it feel like it was 14 years ago in a split second. Some of them made laugh too. It is easier to put them back now, easier to close the lid. I still look at the box, talk to the box. I always choose that bedroom when I visit.

    All you can do is what you are doing. Pick up an item. Put it down. Pick it up, hold it, put it down, Pick it up, move it somewhere else. Pick it up, put it in the box. Take it out again, look at it, put it back. And sometimes, you are just going to sit there, surrounded by it all and weep over what a fucking mess it is and how there will never be order again. And then, you can pick up the smallest thing, and move it just an inch closer to the box.

    • Mo May 21, 2012 at 21:34 #

      This has got to be one of the most beautiful things anyone has ever written to me.
      Beautiful, heartbreaking, and comforting all at once.
      I am bawling.
      Thank you.

  11. Mina @ Fertility Doll May 21, 2012 at 22:50 #

    I read your post a few times while at work. I’m heartbroken for Belle. That was such sad news to read. As for you, I barely know you but you’re a heroine in my eyes. You’ve been through so much and yet have such brilliant humour. You show such strength – even if you feel you’re a moment away from crumbling. I think that’s incredible – that you’re incredible and if lolcatz help .. I’ll make one every week to distract you.

  12. Her Royal Fabulousness May 21, 2012 at 23:25 #

    You have been through more than any human being should ever be asked to endure. Despite the frailty that this shit has left you feeling, you are stronger than anyone I know, just moving through each day. I am sending you so much love.

    This is a truly beautiful post.

  13. Kat May 22, 2012 at 00:59 #

    I think I understand you. It seems a lot of times we’re encouraged to feel everything, and while I understand that that is better than repressing everything, sometimes you can really be too fragile to fully process an event, and you may not be ready to do so for a very long time. I just hope either way, whenever you’re able to process, that you get through, somehow, and I hope you don’t find it too difficult to hang on until then.

  14. Daryl May 22, 2012 at 01:11 #

    I think that by not falling to pieces every single day you are honoring the promises you made to Nadav and to yourself. It may feel like you’re not grieving the “right” way, but there is no right or wrong. And there may be days when you feel his loss like a freshly opened wound, and days when the scar tissue seems to have healed that wound. I know that the day I hold my baby in my arms for the first time, I will feel the loss of my mother all over again. That mix of joy and heartache might be hard to process, but you can’t truly know one without the other. I’m sure that Nadav would be proud of how you’re getting through each day, and I’m sure he’s eagerly awaiting the arrival of a sibling just as much as you are.

  15. Emily @ablanket2keep May 22, 2012 at 02:07 #

    Your post always make me think and make me face things that I have been pushing aside. It’s a really good thing so thank you for that hon.

  16. jjiraffe May 22, 2012 at 09:46 #

    This is one of those times where I dare not sully the beauty of such a post with my banal remarks.


  17. marwil May 22, 2012 at 18:04 #

    This really resonates with me, focusing on moving forward, not allowing myself to grieve, or not thinking I’m grieving the right way or enough. It’s so individual and you can only do what you are able to do at the moment. No-one else can know what’s best for you right now. xoxo

  18. skytimes May 23, 2012 at 19:28 #

    Sending you much love. Give yourself as much time as you need. I took the very slow grieving train – took me 4 months to even look at his picture. If denial and a dependency to whatnot is what it takes to get through these months: so be it. Take care, love. (((((you)))))

  19. Kristen G. May 24, 2012 at 05:46 #

    Huge hugs to you. I think people deal with things when they can and right after is often not the time, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Three months is not very long…you are so brave…

  20. Hurricane Laura May 25, 2012 at 01:00 #

    I’m new to this – I just had a miscarriage two weeks ago – but reading your blog the last few hours has made me feel sane for the first time in a while. If it helps at all, thank you from a complete stranger for writing this. You gave me some courage and a sense that I’m not alone.

  21. pjsarecomfyn May 29, 2012 at 23:56 #

    Obviously I don’t really know what you are going through, but I can imagine I would have to deal with everything the same way you are.

    I can sort of parlay a similar grieving situation though. When my mom died I delved into school and work with everything I had. I never allowed real down time for contemplation. It wasn’t until 3 years later when I was finally done with grad school and just working full-time that the full force of my grief hit me.

    I had felt bits of it here and there during the previous years, but suddenly I was breathless thinking ‘wait, a part of my heart is really missing’. I think I needed to postpone it. It sounds like you do too.

    My hope is that a baby in your arms will help soften the blow of the grief when you start letting it in. I think it really will.

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