Thursday, August 7, 2008

So what have you done?

I am feeling a bit desperate here. It's all I can do to stay awake. The depression, miraculously (for now), has stayed at bay this past fortnight, when I really did expect to be a heaving mess in some corner with the realisation of another baby on the way and all the months of worry that seems to come with carrying a baby whose health is unknown right to the end.

Add to this the most chronic pregnancy-induced fatigue I have ever had and I am really trying not to look into my near future, for more than just the obvious angst-ridden reasons.

So what have you done for extra support? Hands-on support? I have friends. I have oodles of friends with endless love and words that soothe. But they're spread out over the country, none of them are here near me. And even if they were, they too have young families. I don't have a mother to call on. My father is two hours away (and I don't have him to call on either, really, anyway). The sibling within reach is living his own busy hectic life. There are plenty of people around me who seem to say the right things, like the dearest SIL (married to aforementioned brother) you could hope for, promising to come around more often. But we all know how life gets in the way of those impromptu drop-ins. And they're just a tad too far away for anything that isn't pre-planned. Aside from this, it often doesn't take away from the pressure. It enhances it, if anything. At best, it is the pleasure of having someone else here to chat with for a few hours. But I wouldn't ask her over to put her to work in my home.

This is the part that always adds stress for me, not takes it away. Right now, I'd feel obliged to stay upright, explain myself (none of them know I am pregnant yet), stay in their company. I'd feel like I am dumping the LGBB on them. That people have to make so many things happen and drive at least half an hour to us (though we are far being "far out of town", we seem to be in a corner over 'ere - a beautiful corner we are blessed to live in, but an out of the way place that's sort of seemingly forgotten) also makes me feel very put upon to have things "just so" for when they do visit.

And the PIL *snort* Well.... let's just say a mum (me) who can't ask for help and a MIL who needs to be asked before she'll do anything as simple as make a cuppa for herself (ie. the help is never, not ever, offered out of her own unfounded fears that she'd do it 'wrong', despite me saying innumerous times in Lolly's first year that I wouldn't care that she did something differently to me, but just doing it would be blissful) do not a good match make. I could literally empty off dry washing from a clothes horse into a basket and hang out another full basket right in front of her while she's sitting on my sofa talking to me and she won't lift so much as a face washer. Is this typical? Would I be asking too much? It's a serious question, I honestly wouldn't know!

I am reminiscing about the conversation I had with Steve. The LGBB was eight months old. We were driving somewhere in the car and I said to him, in all seriousness, that I could not with clear conscience bring another soul knowingly into this world with the (lack of) support network we have. It would not be fair on us, on Lolly, on a new baby - I did not at the time believe I was fit to be around a baby, such was my state of panic and desperation. If this was how those familiar to us chose to "support" us, post-neonatal loss, I was none too keen to find out how much we'd be left to sink or swim if there was a next time, once removed from the shock impact.

It's not like I complain. I mean, I do to Steve on occasion. But I don't get out there and whine about "my lot" because, shit, I know very much how different it could be right now. I would choose this pickle over our prior any day.

But it doesn't change the facts before me right now. And how I am going to get through right now. I haven't had so much as a helpful neighbour. The first person who came and did anything useful, without even asking, was my brother's MIL. Bless her. She came over one day when Lolly was eight weeks old and told me she was going to bring in my washing and fold it. I sat on the couch opposite her and cried with joy. And all I had to do to repay her, apparently, was make a cup of tea. She couldn't have been happier to do it. But I am mindful not to ask too much of them. They both work and have busy social lives. They are our main babysitters these days, though we have only asked them a handful of times.

I am sure there are women out there in this predicament. Those who have neither mother, sister, brother, mother-in-law... hell, not even a friend close by ... who can relieve the burden just some of the time. It's funny to me (in a not so ha-ha way) how once again, even in this, Steve and I really do team up and go it alone. We get by. We just bloody well pick up and keep on moving. This is not me being woeful. This is me being rather desperate. I've already said to people that I need help. I have asked. But while I have had sympathy, I haven't received any real helpful help, not often (there have been rare occasions and I won't deny the helpers that). And certainly nothing concrete. Even when I attempted to set up a regular fortnightly morning for Lolly to enjoy her grandparents' company, they did not want to commit. What is with that?? They live over an hour's drive (one way) away. In the middle of nowhere and nothing. They moved there after the LGBB was born. Me bitter, much? That's not for here *rueful pursed lips*

So what do I do? What do others do? When you can't call on that mum, that aunt, that sister? Sister in law or friend. Who the hell does that leave??? I'm so damn exhausted already, I do not relish the thought of doing this over, now with added toddler. All the excitement and anticipation and hope aside.... I do not know how I will do this with my sanity intact.

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