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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Life after Rocco

After something like that happens, life becomes a series of time lines. First it was this time a week ago, I found out he died. Then it was this time a month ago, I found out he died. The 7th of every month was like a black cloud of reliving what happened. As his due date drew closer, I had a hard time keeping it together. My sister was getting married and when I went for the fitting, the dress was for someone that was nine months pregnant. I had all this baby weight but no baby. I left the fitting shaking and crying. I worked out more than I had ever worked out in my life so that I wouldn't have to look at pictures of myself looking pregnant but not or looking like I just had a baby when I had no baby.

I thought it would be a good idea to go on a girls' vacation (that trip could be a post in itself...we missed our cruise ship because our flight was delayed, just to give you an idea) and it was a complete disaster. I thought I could go and morph into someone else. I'd drink and laugh and be free so that I could for just a short time forget who I was but then I'd see myself in the mirror and think, Nope...still there...still this broken, sad person. I avoided mirrors after that which wasn't good because there were pictures where to me, I was unrecognizable. I spent that whole trip with my iPod and sunglasses on, crying. It became painfully clear that I could not escape myself. I know I brought the others down so I spent a lot of time alone so that I wouldn't ruin their trip. Just like life does or Murphy's Law or just bad luck we ended up sitting at our table on the cruise with a woman that was 5 months pregnant. I could barely get through the meal without breaking down. Being in the middle of the ocean with no way to get in touch with Leo, who was my rock or my kids, who I couldn't stand to have out of my sight was a terrible idea. I thought by going away, I could run away from myself and what my life had become but no matter what I tried to do, I was trapped.

After that trip, I was so lost. I knew I wanted a baby so we did another IVF. Even as I write that, I can't believe we did another cycle. I was exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically. I don't know where we got the money. I think Leo didn't know what to do to pull me out of the terrible depression I was in. I'm sure he just wanted his wife back. IVF is hard in the best of circumstances but after burying your baby, there is no way to describe the pain. Every time I had to have a blood test, I would think, I shouldn't be doing this. I should have a baby. The ultrasounds were the worst. To see an empty screen reduced me to tears every time. I remember thinking that I couldn't do it. I was tired. There were times when I had to do the shot and I'd look at my stomach and it looked like a pin cushion with bruises all over it. I wasn't surprised when most of the embryos had CF or that I only had 1 to put back. I felt cursed so again, I wasn't surprised when the pregnancy test came up negative. We toyed with the idea of using an egg donor but it was too expensive and seemed too extreme when we already had three kids. Again, I felt at a loss.

I went back to therapy and joined a prayer group but honestly, I was just going through the motions. I felt like I was beyond help. I was stuck between wanting to crawl in a hole and not come out and having to be a mom and wife. I wanted to pray to God but I couldn't. I wanted to believe that He was a good God that loved me but how could I? First CF and then the baby died. I couldn't help but ask, "Why?" I racked my brain trying to find out what in the world did I do to be punished through my kids? Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a rule follower (to a fault) and where did that get me? I wanted to break every rule that I had for myself (of course, I didn't) and shove it in the face of God. I wanted to scream that I was sorry for whatever I did but please stop taking it out on my kids.

I did not know what to do with myself and since the twins were going to be in school all day, I went back to work. I started subbing in the kids' district. It was a big mistake. I should have known I wasn't ready when I had to get a physical and broke down in the doctor's office. I subbed a few times but mostly said no. I would get the kids off to school, Leo would go to work and I would crawl back in bed and stay there until a half hour before the kids came home. It was the darkest period in my life and I didn't see any light at the end of the tunnel. There was but I didn't see it yet.

There is a song out right now that reminds me of Leo during that time:


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