Monday, February 6, 2017

One Word

It's funny how it only takes a single word to take you back in time.

As you know, I've been in counseling. My counselor is pretty flexible with how our sessions go. Sometimes he'll start the conversation by asking about something specific, but a lot of times, he just asks what's on my mind and we go from there. It's a pretty good system because it ensures that I get a chance to get out whatever is weighing on me that particular day.

Last week, I brought up something that has been on my mind for a while, but I've been avoiding talking about. Me and Steve's relationship or, if you want to get really accurate about it, my fears about the strength of our relationship to cope with losing a child. In the midst of our conversation, the counselor said something to the effect of not wanting to just be roommates.

With that word, I was suddenly thrown back in time to five years ago. Our marriage wasn't in a good place then. We were still together, but there wasn't a strong connection between us. We shared a home, a child and sometimes a bed, but we pretty much lived separate lives. We were basically roommates. Even though I was unhappy, I lived in fear of him saying he didn't want to stay married any more.

So I took a huge chance and wrote Steve a massive email spilling out my heart and asking him to consider something that probably sounded a little strange. And even though it was a bit off the wall, he took a chance in trying it. It made a huge difference in our relationship. Our bond strengthened. We started talking, really talking. I learned that I could be independent and still lean on him. DD has made us the couple we are today.

When I look back on these past few months, I wonder if we would still be together if I hadn't taken that chance five years ago. Losing a child can take a toll on a relationship and a lot of relationships don't survive. But we have. A bit bruised and battered, but we're still standing together.

Because we strengthened our bond and opened the lines of communication, I feel safe sharing my grief with Steve. Even though I get frustrated at needing someone to lean on, I know that I can lean on him. I don't think the woman I was five years ago could say that.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Still Going

I don't want to be one of those bloggers that just up and disappears, but these days I find it hard to put into words what's going on and where my head is at. So I'm going to take advantage of this being a day where I have some words to do a quick update.

I continue to heal physically and emotionally. I have to admit I sometimes get frustrated at how slowly I'm healing. Even though it's been a little over three months, I still have quite a bit of pain and fatigue. I'm also still fighting the cold that started shortly after I got out of the hospital. Even though I told the doctor that I'm prone to upper respiratory infections and was worried it was heading into bronchitis, she refused to give me anything for it so I've been taking over the counter cold medicine and hoping for the best. At least the Nyquil knocks me out so I can sleep. Otherwise, I'm awake for days until I'm exhausted enough that I can sleep.

Emotionally, I still have my ups and downs. Some days are okay; others not so much. Christmas was really hard. Then this week I had a bad day that resulted in a total meltdown. To make a long story short, I got in an argument with Steve, spent some time driving around in my car screaming at the top of my lungs and then returned home to drown him in tears. Thankfully, he understands that it's the grief talking and I'm not myself right now.

I started counseling last month. It has its own ups and downs. I like the freedom of being able to say whatever I want without worrying that I'm going to hurt someone's feelings or stir up their own feelings of grief. Some sessions are really rough though. I had one recently where I was so wrung out emotionally that I came home and went straight to bed. I just couldn't deal with anything else that day.

I was able to find an online grief support group. They have a few chats daily, mostly in the evenings. I've attended a couple so far and found it helpful. I was also surprised to find that there is a Facebook group for women who have had my particular complication (which is a rare one). While not all of the women in the group lost their babies due to it, it's nice to be able to talk to others that have dealt with it, especially when I have questions about the recovery process.

Steve's still enjoying his new job, although he hates the on-call aspect of it. There's been a couple days when he's got a call right after arriving home and he's had to turn around and go right back out. And of the course the middle of the night calls suck as well. Thankfully, it's a rotating schedule so he's only on call two weeks out of the month. The second week isn't as bad because he's not the main on-call person, just the backup.