Monday, October 11, 2010

A week of relaxation

This past week, Paul and I went to Sonoma Valley to relax and spend some quality time together alone and away from home. It was really good to get away. We spent Saturday night and Sunday day in San Francisco - touring Alcatraz and doing a sailing tour on the San Francisco bay - and then we drove to Sonoma Valley late Sunday afternoon. Our hotel was perfect. The room was large and comfortable - we had a nice bed, a nice tv with a dvd player, and a patio that had a view of the hotel's beautiful gardens, which were surrounded by the hotel, so it was really peaceful. It also had a pool and hot tub, which were nicely decorated with gardens too. It was the perfect place to get away. We spent the entire week in Sonoma Valley, wine tasting and just spending some peaceful time together - it was perfect.

I thought I was doing pretty well last week because I didn't really cry much while we were there. I had one big breakdown in the city park downtown when we went to their farmer's market on Tuesday evening and there were kids and pregnant women everywhere - it was just too much for me. I seem to get really upset around kids and pregnant women I don't know, but I'm fine around my friend's kids and pregnant friends, which is such a blessing. I would hate it if I got upset every time I was around my friends' kids or my pregnant friends. But anytime I'm around kids for a long time in public, I get upset. It happened on the plane rides too.

But otherwise, I was feeling pretty good in Sonoma, except for the constant headaches I have had for the past 2 weeks (I think I am clenching my teeth at night because of the strain on my body, mind, and emotions - hopefully that will stop after a little more time of grieving). Since we've been home though, I've been crying more. It's still only 2-3 times a day and it doesn't last very long, but it's definitely more often than in Sonoma. But I think that's good. I don't necessarily think I was repressing my feelings in Sonoma, but I was allowing myself to be distracted, and because I wasn't thinking about it, I wasn't allowing myself to get upset. I think it's good for me to face every day life and the things that are going to make me upset, so that I can cry and let out my grief.

Sometimes it feels so unreal that all this happened, and I can't even believe that I used to be pregnant for 6 months and went through labor and birth. And sometimes I feel like I have this hole in my heart that is so empty, I don't know if it will ever fill back in. It's just so bizarre the range of emotions I go through throughout the day. Sometimes I just don't know how I'm supposed to feel or act.

Last night, Paul and I watched "We Are Marshall", which is about the Marshall football team disaster in 1971. It was a very sad movie, and of course it was much sadder for me and Paul because it was all about how the football team (and others) died in a plane crash and how the town grieved afterwards, so we cried a lot. But I think it was good for me because I got to see how many people may grieve in a situation when they have experienced extreme loss. It was nice to see that there are all different types of ways to grieve, and you just have to figure out what works for you at each point in the grieving process.

So I'm just trying to let myself feel whatever I need to feel at each point in the day and let myself cry when I need to. I'm hoping that will eventually get the teeth clenching to stop, so that the headaches go away. On a positive note, my blood pressure is going down (130s/90), and the doctor said as long as I stay below 140/90, I shouldn't need to go on medicine, and that hopefully it will continue to go down over the next few weeks. I'm also exercising again and it feels really good. I am continuing to work on Brady's scrap book and collage photo frame, which I'm going to hang up in our upstairs hallway. We haven't gotten a chance to upload the video of the burial service yet, but I promise we will! Working on all of this really helps too. I really want to get some pictures of Brady up around the house, so that I can look at him each day, and I know that eventually looking at his pictures will bring me joy instead of sadness.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Grieving and healing

This week was somewhat better than last week, but still pretty hard. Paul had to go into the office to work, so our friend Steve came to stay with us, so that I wouldn't have to be alone during the day. What a relief. This week would have been so much harder to get through if I had had to do it alone. Steve really kept me distracted and from feeling so alone, and that was so critical for me this week.

In order to get through the week, I kept myself very busy. I ran a lot of errands, one of which included buying a pair of jeans since none of my old pants fit yet and the weather is getting cool enough to wear pants (and yes, Steve was nice enough to come with me to buy jeans :)). Another errand I had to do was to take my matron of honor dress (for my sister's wedding) to a seamstress to get it taken in because it is a maternity dress, and I'm not pregnant anymore :( That was really hard and made Wednesday a very sad day. After that appointment, I watched movies the rest of the day to try to make myself feel better.

I also spent a lot of time planning and putting together Brady's scrap book. Before we buried Brady with the journal I was writing letters to him in, I scanned the journal so that I would have a digital copy of it, since I wanted to put the original in his casket with him. So I printed out the pages of the scanned journal on nice paper and put them into the scrap book. I also printed out all the pictures we took of Brady and started putting those in the scrap book. There are a lot of pictures, so I still have a lot left to put in the book, but I'm really excited with the progress I have made. I'm really looking forward to finishing the book when we get back from our vacation.

Tomorrow we are flying into San Francisco and spending the night there. On Sunday we will go on a couple of tours in San Fran and then we will drive out to Sonoma. Monday - Friday we will go wine tasting throughout Sonoma Valley, and then we fly back home on Saturday. We're really looking forward to having a relaxing time in a beautiful setting with delicious wine and food. I think it will really help to get away and spend some quality time together. We have definitely missed each other this week, and I think that has made it a little harder to heal.

It's so weird for me to be able to do things now that I wasn't able to do when I was pregnant. This morning I was throwing the ball for Macho and I was able to bend over and pick up the ball easily, which I wasn't able to do at the end of my pregnancy. I'm also able to eat cold deli meat, eat canned tuna, stand in front of the microwave when it's running, and drink alcohol now, all of which I wasn't able to do when I was pregnant. It's so sad and weird for me to be able to do these things all of a sudden now and yet I don't have the benefit of taking care of a baby. That really leaves me feeling empty sometimes.

But I'm trying to remember that I still have so much to be thankful for and happy about in my life, like Paul, my family, my friends, my job, and so much more. And I also need to remember that I will have children one day - that this is just a delay and I need to be patient. On Wednesday, one of the movies I watched was Rudy. While watching it, it struck me that his dream was so important to him that he never gave up, no matter how many times he got rejected and no matter how many people told him he couldn't do it. My dream is to have children, and I have never wanted something so much in my entire life. So I need to be patient and persistent, and eventually I will realize my dream. It will just take time, and if I want it this badly, I just need to keep trying until I get it.

So in the meantime, I will be happy with the life I have and will look forward to the children I will have in the future. But I will also let myself be sad and grieve when I think about how much I miss Brady because that is normal and natural. I just won't let that sadness take over my attitude about life in general. So I ask all of you to help me remember the joy I have in life, because you are my friends and family from whom I derive so much of the joy and happiness I have in life. Love you all.