Or: All the Losses.
But that title feels too much like tempting fate. It's like when I had Cholestasis of Pregnancy, and so many times I wanted to say something like, "I have all the itchy!" except I'd read accounts which had shown it could get much worse.
Yeah, so I can be overly literal. What's your point?
I should probably explain where I've been for the last half a year? I wrote this post, everything not in italics, on March 15, 2014, but couldn't (or wouldn't) publish it yet, for various reasons. And then because we moved, as I mentioned we might in the post; a thousand miles north, and I was swamped. Also other things happened, and I was decompressing.
Sorry for the long silence here. It's been... interesting. A lot has happened. As is often the case with silence. This year has paralleled 2012 too closely for comfort.
In the ten Christmases since I graduated from college, nine of them since I married, most of those years I've wanted to send out a Christmas letter. I've never done it, for one reason or another.
In the last few years, part of it was working at a liturgical church. Christmas is the Crazy Time. It's not enough that it's such a big holiday, Easter is that, but isn't as bad. It's also the year-end projects, and all the things to finish before going out on vacation.
So surrounded by liturgical symbols and words about Advent being a time of quiet and contemplation, I'd work overtime every day, then collapse at home, too spent and exhausted for thought. This last year, on my last day before vacation I worked almost eleven hours -- which perhaps isn't so very bad, except that it's exactly double my official office hours.
After that I was silent because of vacation. We went to Texas to see friends, and it was wonderful. Truly restful for me, and finally, a bit of that quiet and contemplation I'd heard so much about. Space, at least, to reset and recover. We stayed through the beginning of January.
January. At first there was a lot of adjustment, coming back to work. A new boss, other things. Then I was simply silent because I'd fallen out of the habit of blogging. I almost posted again, but...
The last week in January happened. I suspected, then found out I was pregnant. We didn't know how we'd afford a second child, or how we'd make room in our little house. Somehow, we would make it work. Somehow. I didn't know how I'd make it through work with morning sickness, either. It was already much worse than the early morning sickness with Gracie (codename). Make it work. Somehow.
The next evening Gracie suddenly came down with a high fever. We gave her Tylenol, and Tylenol, and more Tylenol... not all at once, of course... and I woke every couple hours in the night to check on her and make sure her fever didn't shoot up again.
The next day, the last day of January, I stayed home from work to care for her. But later in the day John came home, and I was called in to work, to find out I was laid off and turn in my keys.
The next month came with big decisions. Which direction to go in. An opportunity which seemed like it would have solved all our money problems, but may well have created new sorts of problems. We turned it down. There are still more decisions, and we might move. Also there were family events, more development to the tragedy I can't talk about.
Towards the end of February I went in for my first ultrasound. Only to find out our baby's heart wasn't, isn't beating. A missed miscarriage. It's been about two and a half weeks now, and still my body hasn't realized.
In my next appointment, the follow-up a week later, I thought to ask, and found out that his or her heart must have stopped within a few days of the ultrasound. The machine measured its growth to the very expected day -- 9 weeks, 0 days. So within a few days -- the margin of error.
My mother continues to decline. More than I've let myself see, think about, or admit. I don't think she remembers my name; she certainly doesn't remember my daughter's, but she loves to see her. I should take her to go visit more often, especially now that I'm a stay-at-home mom. Especially before we move, if we do.
All the loss.
But no, I know it could be worse.
What's my point?
I don't know, how can I know yet? I've barely written since that last week in January, and I process through writing. But I'm in a time of waiting now, and I think I'm beginning to come back to myself.
I want to be honest, here at Quettandil. I want to be like The Actual Pastor, and "Living my life as is, instead of as if." Heh. If this update on my life is my poor man's version of a late Christmas letter, it must be the most pathetic one in history. Now, if I were actually like The Actual Pastor, this post would both be deeply honest AND super inspiring. Somehow. I... don't know how to do that, yet.
But here it is. Why I've been silent, and the frame and context for whatever follows. If we move, I may not have much time to post again for a bit.