Eventful

This describes my life in the last month and a half. 

First there was the tooth crisis that is still on-going. The root canal relieved the pain for me but they weren’t able to finish the root canal in one day so I had to return a month later. I am still having soreness from this procedure I had last week.

Then there has been appointments of all kinds – doctor, hair, counseling, you name it. I saved it all for this summer and I have been busy!! 

All is well with baby girl. The 20-week ultrasound show no abnormalities. She’s measuring in the 95th percentile in weight and 4 days ahead so we may have another ultrasound to check her size in a couple of months. Due date is still set for October 23. Otherwise all is well and I’m so very thankful for this. 

Lastly, there have been ongoing issues with my in-laws. If you’ve read for a while, you’ll know there’s a history and a deep pain in my relationship with them following my miscarriage. I had made some efforts to resolve this and it was….. for a while. 

My mother-in-law didn’t seem to be very interested in this pregnancy and every comment was about how it related to her daughter’s pregnancy or the baby that was born just a week after my due date. I just want to be an individual. I moved to my husband’s hometown so he could work for the family business. When I go in public, I am always asked about my in-laws. To risk sounding selfish – it’s never about me, it’s about how I’m a part of this family that’s fairly well known in this community. I’ve fought for this pregnancy. I just wanted it to be recognized independently of any one else. So I let it get to my head and became a crazy mess (like really crazy y’all, ugly cray). Then my mother-in-law got very sick – either from her chemotherapy treatments or the cancer. She was in the hospital for a week and prior to my husband and I visiting (four days time), I hadn’t contacted her because 1) she was sick and 2) I don’t know the proper etiquette of texting or calling someone in the hospital. Well this was noticed by my father-in-law and I was given an ultimatum to contact her. This was actually after I had contacted her to see if she needed anything from her home, as we were headed to visit her that same day. So I became very emotional again. But I still went and realized the situation with her health was much more severe than my husband had lead me to believe. She slowly recovered and is now at home, preparing for another round of chemotherapy. 

Amazingly and fortunately, I had scheduled a counseling session for the next day after we visited. I had done this because I was still struggling with my fears and anxiety about this pregnancy, approaching the one year mark since my miscarriage, and the emotional episodes I was having due to my in-laws. Thank GOD I had this appointment. There are no words to describe how much of an impact this hour of my life has made on me and my healing in the last two weeks.

I filled her in and we talked about my expectations and how I act in certain ways with strings attached to these actions, expecting that his family will respond in a certain way. (Inviting his mother to our elective ultrasound was a big step in me mending our relationship. She didn’t go therefore I felt like she didn’t care.) And we spoke about my feelings of rejection due to their lack of support following my miscarriage. “Did they really reject you? Or is this something that you’ve made up in your mind?” Hmmmmm I had never thought of it that way. It had always been black and white – they had rejected and abandoned me when I needed them the most. But were they ever even capable and equipped for what I needed? I’m not excusing them from everything but I do think my feelings of rejected were self-perpetuated. They do care for me – they just show it in different ways than I show care for others (I get very nice gifts but not so much on the emotional front). So she talked with me about behaving in a way in which I have no strings attached to these behaviors. Do it because I want to and because that’s the kind of person I am. And because I want to do it for my marriage. These people are his family after all. 

So since this session, the healing has been amazing. I have been active in the family and I always keep in mind that I am doing it for myself. And I’ve taken the power away from them. It’s all about me and my choices. And I’ve chosen to be supportive for my mother-in-law. I’ve chosen to interact with my sister-in-law when she’s visited. I’ve chosen to hold my niece and begin bonding with her. She’s becoming a person to me. Not just a baby born a week after my due date. And I feel extremely peaceful and happy but most of all proud. 

I honestly never thought I’d get to this point. I thought I would never recover in my relationship with my in-laws and that it would always affect my marriage and my children. I didn’t want to be that person. And I’ve found resolution in a way that I will not be that person. 

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I Retract

Yesterday’s session with my counselor went well. I spoke with her about the struggles I faced this week and I told her I felt that I had taken 10 steps back. She pointed out that I didn’t have a setback, that this is normal for someone who is grieving. Duh! I think I sometimes forget that I am going through grief and it is unpredictable and it is normal to have those tough days. I appreciate these sessions because I’m allowed to be a griever.

Every one of us will face grief in some form in our lives. Whether it’s pregnancy related or through the death of a loved one, the loss of a pet, or just the end of a relationship of any kind. I made it 27 years without coming face-to-face with grief. And now I have and now I know what this is like. Now I am armed and prepared for losses I will inevitably encounter. That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt as much because I know it will. But I know that I will be able to allow myself to grieve and be messy and because of this experience I will know I’m strong enough to endure the pain grief involves. And this is my silver lining for today.

Oh and I got a job. And this is something I will not take for granted. I am blessed 🙂