I’ve always been a self-reflective person. Much of my mind is occupied with replaying life’s events and evaluating. Did I make the right decision? Was I productive? Did I waste time? Was that worth the effort? What could I have done differently? How did it go? I do this multiple times a day and often reflect on the same thing over and over again. You can bet I’ve reflected on the days leading up to and the day of Maya’s birth and death thousands of times. So, this being the end of Thanksgiving weekend, I find myself reflecting – How did it go?
Overall, the holiday and the weekend were fine. On Thanksgiving day, I spent the morning watching the parade and helping my mom. When the rest of my family arrived, I felt joy from interacting with my nephews. It was nice to see everyone. I sat down for the meal and felt the strength to make it through. I really wanted to. My family has a tradition of going around the table and saying what we are thankful for before we start eating. I pondered this for about a month before Thanksgiving day. Every time I thought about it, my eyes welled up. I AM thankful for Maya, but I wish so badly I could be looking at her smiling and laughing as I said it. We rounded the table and as my turn came up, I started shaking and my eyes welled up. I wanted so badly to say what I had planned to say without losing it. And I did. I said that I was thankful for my family, Hackie, my mom, my dog, my new job, and my little angel that sits on my shoulder and gives me strength to carry on through life. At that point, I knew I would make it through the rest of the day.
I think another thing that helped was that I was slightly distracted. I had myself fully convinced that I was pregnant. Yesterday, it was confirmed that I am indeed not pregnant. I was pretty devastated. I cried a lot and threw a nice pity party on myself. Then I felt guilty that I spent Thanksgiving thinking about being pregnant with my next baby rather than properly grieving the baby I already had who was missing from the table. It’s very frustrating to have such conflicting emotions, but I realize that grief is complicated and unpredictable.
As I reflect on the weekend, I’ve decided that the anticipation of Thanksgiving was far worse than Thanksgiving itself. There is so much pressure that comes with holidays – whether you are hosting or not. Pressure to be happy, pressure to socialize, pressure to ‘celebrate’, which feels impossible at this point. It was an emotional weekend, but it wasn’t so hard to get through. I only removed myself from a social situation once and that was mainly because it was getting late and I was tired and needed to wind down. While it will not go down as the best Thanksgiving ever, it was a milestone in this journey called grief and I am proud of the way I lived through it.
Today, I woke up feeling motivated. Honestly, I’m pissed that I am not pregnant. I thought I would be able to get pregnant right when I wanted to and it frustrates me that it still hasn’t happened. However, there is nothing I can do about that right now. It’s something we have little control over. So, I have to keep on living. I have written down a list of short and long term goals for this month. I have some strategies for dealing with Christmas and the holiday season. I’m finding that I’m not as bothered by the music and decorations as I thought I’d be. I have a feeling of general numbness when it comes to the holidays and that’s OK.
So, on this night, as I reflect, I am feeling content and pleased with myself. I made it through the weekend just fine, and I feel excited and motivated for the month ahead. I’m chugging along as I continue to climb. I know I will still have my setbacks, but after this weekend, I feel I’ve made some progress.