Monday, January 12, 2009

Because I can

It's the time of year when many friends and family very quickly learned to say to themselves, "Here she goes again". After three years, I definitely felt like I could not freely offer to people, who had been through Ella's birth and death with us, how I feel around this time of year. By then, as well, we had the LGBB. And boy, wasn't I encouraged to feel like an ingrate for not just focusing on the baby I do have rather than the one I don't. Their sentiments, not mine.

So I am grateful for the places (like here) where I can and do mention how very much I miss my girl, moreso during the months of January and February of every year - I daresay this will continue until the day I die. I am quite sure Steve feels the same. Every now and then, over the past week, we've just looked at each other and know. One of us visibly deflates, an actual dropping of the shoulders and a sigh out as the other says simply, "I know." For what more is there to say when you are the only people, united, who could possibly truly know what that time in our lives was like? There are no words, so often.

Ellanor would be turning five tomorrow. That's a pretty significant birthday in the life of a little girl. With each year that passes and I watch the LGBB grow and comprehend more, I am forced to realise how it might have been with Ella and how much, once again, she will never experience. That bit really hurts hard.

Now that I've done this four times, I can say that I am in a place this year where I'm not bitter towards these people. I'm not focused on them. I'm not focused on remembering how we've been treated, Steve and I, as a couple during this time. I'm not even bracing myself for the stuff-ups the usual suspects are likely to make again this year. Let them. My armour is on. I've remembered it this year and worked out how to put it on. It's strong and genuine, not fake and unconvincing.

This doesn't mean I won't be pained. Of course I'm hurting. But I can't be hurt by people this year.

The memories are all there but they're not as raw. This year, something different is opening up in me. I am reminded, by her and by tuning back in to my memories and initial realisations around the time of her life and death, what I was like five years ago. How newly open and trusting of Universal process I was, no matter how all-consuming and insurmountable it all felt. Of course there is sadness, wistful remorse, chest-pulling angst that simply has one question - Why couldn't it be different? - but there is far more purpose surrounding my memories and celebration of Ella's birth day this year.

The one thing sticking with me and making my chest feel hollow today is the fact that she was born on Tuesday 13th. I went into labour the night before, the Monday. So I gather all day today it will be rather difficult to think past the fact that, on this very weekday five years ago, I was at work, being told I looked like I was going to have her tomorrow. Ha ha ha! said my co-workers. I guess I had the last laugh?

I've written about this in my book:

“You sure you’re not having that baby today?” Sean joked.
“No, no, still got at least a couple of months to go yet,” I replied, laughing politely at his suggestion that I was getting about very slowly that day.
I had been working in this temp position, helping out in the pre-Christmas frenzy, and they had asked me to come back during the first weeks of the new year while they were still on minimal staff. Each morning as I parked the car, I had become used to not feeling ridiculous as I said out loud, “Now, Boo, you won’t hear me very much again today. I’m working and won’t be talking so often. But I still love you." I would reassure my belly as I patted it and hobbled out of the car.
Looking back, it is rather comical that I felt the need to do that, as if the baby growing inside me was not also the presence who had been feeling like she was there at my side for over the past year. But this is how separate the two were in my head. Even though I realised they were one and the same entity, to me it was easier to speak to the growing baby as any expectant mother would with her baby. The way I communicated with Ellanor telepathically was still on a very different level to that and I never worked out during the pregnancy how to join the two. Indeed, I now expect this is because I was not supposed to.

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