Tuesday, August 27, 2013

6 months

I had originally intended to post monthly.  It's funny, during pregnancy, you know that things can change at any moment and not to count on anything going according to plan, but it feels like that should resolve after giving birth.  I should be able to plan out my time and do things in the order I prioritize them, especially without a newborn interrupting me, yet life has continued on just as messy as it was before.  I will have a thought pressing on me to blog about, but I'll do it after the kids eat.  Oh wait, after I pump.  Shoot, I forgot to reply to that e-mail.  Someone's calling me.  All littered with the ping of Facebook and requests for another sippy cup of milk or help on the potty.  The only consistent time I have at home without kids needing me is after they are in bed, by which point I am often not in the right frame of mind for writing.

I got hung up on feeling like I needed to explain why I was pumping before I could discuss many details of it.  This was a mistake because I don't think I can ever really express why, and now I've missed out on sharing much of my journey.  (Although really, part of me is skeptical that many would find it as fascinating as I do.)  I have documented it all with photos and logs, but it's not the same rebuilding it later and I groan at "and a great time was had by all" writing style.  I might try to catch up on at least some of it later, maybe...

In my process of self discovery, I have realized just how private a person I am and that I am actually a bit shy.  Now my mother has always bemoaned my private nature, but it didn't make sense to me because I am naturally an extrovert and rarely is there a topic that I shy away from.  I have no qualms speaking in front of a small or large crowd.  But when it comes to the topics close to my heart, I definitely shield myself.  I deal with it in my own time and space and not outwardly.  Unlike with multitasking or time management, where I'm hopeless navigating on my own unless I have a listening ear available.  On issues where every word and intonation counts, I prefer writing over speaking since I have a backspace.  I can pause and let my mind wander before coming back to where I was, to finish grasping at the thought floating out of my reach.

Why am I explaining all that?  Because I know there are many in my life still concerned and wondering about me, who are watching me for cues.  They see me introduce myself to someone else and not mention Naomi.  Meeting new people is always a little awkward, because I don't want Naomi's story to be a prerequisite to getting to know me.  I don't want anyone thinking I am in denial or ignoring my thoughts about her if she is not on the tip of my tongue.  It's more like I want to wait a bit, to have sure footing before bringing forth something so special and personal to someone who is a stranger.  (This is where the shyness comes in too, I don't like unloading such a huge emotion on someone moments after meeting them, because it's so much direct attention on me.  And the idea that they might think I am seeking that kind of attention makes me queasy.)  I am 100% fine with people referencing Naomi by name, asking me questions, or checking up on me.  Mentioning Naomi won't be a painful reminder because I never forget her.  Emotional support from friends and family is not something I am lacking by far, which I am grateful for.  I find comfort in the silence, knowing the support is there even though I'm not expressly calling for it.

I still trip over the question of "how many children do you have?"  I feel like I "should" say three, but technically I only have two with me.  I don't HAVE Naomi, that's the whole problem.  So, still trying to work out my pat answers to questions like that.

I remember learning about grief stages and such pre-Naomi.  I knew grief took a lot of time, but for some reason I thought it would be like one more thing on the to do list.  1) Fix breakfast, 2) shower, 3) cry for 20 minutes, 4) get dressed.  It's not like that at all.  It's not one more thing to fit in the list but an undertow pulling in all above it.  It's not a new independent thing to struggle with, it takes all your normal struggles and intensifies them.  So if you're lazy, you will be lazier.  If you overeat, you will eat even more.  And if your executive functioning skills are the equivalent of a monkey on a typewriter, your house will look like mine right now.  At least, this is what I'm telling myself when I think about how I haven't deposited any of the checks people mailed me for The Shepherd's Crook or how I still have last winter's outgrown clothes in the kid dressers.

"They" say that the worst point is six months out.  I feel like around four months was worse, so I don't know if that happened earlier for me or if I'm just in a lull.  Sometimes having a heads up on something isn't helpful.  I do often wish that I could just STOP the clock and freeze my kids and just have TIME to deal with stuff at my own speed.  To saunter through the condolence cards waiting for me, to carefully choose pictures to print and hang, or to catch up on posts in some of my support groups.  But time and I have never gotten along too well and try as I might, it just keeps passing against my will.