Sunday, November 28, 2010

While my frittata gently warms...

Ok, so I have exactly seven minutes before my frittata is ready.

And don't think the irony has escaped me that I am about to blog about my body "image", for wont of a better phrase, while I am starvingly waiting for my lunch to cook. (Not sure how many grammatical/spelling rules I broke back there, but anyway.)

We had our last session w the counsellor last Wednesday. Well, last as in last for 2010 and last until we most likely call her again next year when we get pregnant again. (Not sure if I should have used "if" back there...told you my optimism had been dented by this whole experience of losing a baby.)

Anyways, it was a good session. Both T and I cried however. And there's nothing like therapy to make you realise how far and how not far you have come in one short hour.

Crying always takes us by surprise in those sessions. I know that sounds silly, but here is why. It's been two months since we lost the baby, and we do not regularly collapse as crying, heaving, sobbing messes into each other's arms while we are at home, during the normal course of a day.

The fact is there is just not the time for that. And I know that sounds weird. But there's Jay, there's work, there's the summer seedlings for the veggie garden to plant, there's that thing from that shop that I must pick up, there are deadlines, there's the Christmas ham to book, there's Medicare, there are Christmas cards, Christmas parties, oh, my, god, do, I, have, to, go, on?

But for one short hour or so each fortnight, we have been ushered into a small office out the back of the very hospital where, in Room 13 on September 23, I gave birth to our lifeless 16 week and four day old baby.

My grandma is looking after Jay when we go to the counsellor, I have left work at work and it's just us two and the counsellor in that room talking about one single experience and how it's affected us.

It's the only time we get to stop. To think hard about what it's done to us. Is it any wonder we cry.

This week it was more heartbreak for T as we talked about how deserted she has been by her parents (who don't condone our relationship - like I said, that's a whole other blog right there.) Tears, naturally.

Then there was me talking about how I had approached exercise in the preceeding eight days with the fervour of a Nazi Luftwaffe squadron leader: pretty intensely.

Problem was I had been sick with a head cold from hell at the same time - but I still went nuts bike riding, running, doing cardio exercise tapes any chance I could get.


The reason suddenly leapt out at me during our counselling session. I am desperate to get my pre-baby body back.

Now, normally you would associate that statement with someone who had gone full-term and given birth to a healthy baby. You'd purse your lips, turn them down into a mock frown and tilt your head to the side as you read something like that...sympathising that such a feat can be hard. Tough, naw.

But this is not some superficial Hollywood tabloid-type desire. It's simply about being a healthy weight.

Ok, so I am not obese. I get that. But my usual hover weight has been blown out of the water by this pregnancy cut short.

I am sure my own body is freaking itself out. I can imagine it going " I'm sure last time I looked we had a baby in here. Where the hell is it? What in tarnation did I do with it?"

I am also not known for my patience, and so I expected to regain that magical hover weight after eight ridiculous days of exercise when I should have been resting my head coldy head.

The reason I was so hell-bent on getting it back is because I want to physically erase what has happened. I want all the cells in my body to forget, to go back to the way they were. That way, we can start again...back at the same diving board we leapt from all those months ago.

Slightly unrealistic, granted, but can you blame me. A deep part of me feels let down by my body, the body that was pregnant for not long enough. I want to get rid of any trace of that body and start again.

I have since mellowed a little bit about the exercise, and have actually noticed old clothes fitting almost as well as they did...before.

They do feel different though. Perhaps they always will. I cannot ever deny being changed irreversably by this. Inside and out.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ferran's profundity

Ok so I cannot listen to Ferran Adria talk on SBS for much longer for fear of breaking into a spontaneous flamenco. Either that or experimenting with gelatine, a flame thrower, an espresso cup and ascorbic acid.(There is a crazy ass doco on his restaurant El Bulli on TV right now (isn't everything on SBS crazy ass?) and while I love to hear the broodingly mad Ferran lisp and loll linguistically...I have had enough now). Basta, Ferran, basta. And that's right, you young upstarts, loll was actually a word before it became an SMS-inspired acronym minus that jaunty third L. So there.

So, that's as sensible a lead-in to a blog I haven't hopped on to for ages as ever. I think. Really.

I'm fine. Thanks for asking. How are you?

Right now the house is quiet, Jay is in bed and T is working, so I thought I'd pay my respects (penance) to the Blogger gods.

T and I are continuing with our counselling sessions and they have been brilliant. We go every fortnight or so, and the woman we see specialises in grief. Frankly, I don't know when we will stop going...and besides, it costs us $10 out of pocket each time and we get a lovely cuppa and macadamia shortbread every time. So why not?

In the olden days back when I was a smoker, I would have used the analogy "$10 - that's just one packet of cigarettes" until I happened to notice the daylight robbery currently being committed in tobacco vending establishments these days. Christ! Those things are $17 now!! What??

I think we've been four or five times. I've lost count. To the counsellor I mean, not tobacco vending establishments. Those places and their novelty bar mats scare me.

I must say it's hard to put into words what I have learned...even though I know it is large and significant.

For the past few times, in the hours before our appointment, I have wondered if we need to keep going. Is it worth it? Are we cured now?

In the hours after our appointment, however, we often sit in silence driving home just absorbing the profundity of the past hour and a half. That's right, I'm bringing profundity back...even if it makes me think of the word fecund (capable of producing offspring; fruitful - huh, weird).

Melissa, our counsellor, has helped us process what we thought was unprocessable. She has given us a framework to hang our rampant, unpredictable emotions from and validation for whatever the hell we are feeling at any given moment. Frankly, in this acute phase of grief (which she says goes for 12 weeks) anything you feel is right, is normal, is perfectly reasonable. And my, that's nice to hear, when some of those things feel downright terrible/crazy/weird/wrong.

She has also helped me understand people...especially T's parents and their non-reaction to the whole shebang. That, dear readers, is a blog for another day, but the extra heartbreak it has added was initially devastating and is now just...them, and all we can ever expect from them. (Aim low and we will never be disappointed.)

She has opened my eyes to the greyness of life, and made me realise that black and white is what newspapers are, not people or beliefs or situations.

She has slowly helped me heal what I thought was an unhealable, festering angry wound. A few weeks ago, I used to think of this experience as a bloody great big samurai sword that sliced me in half, forcing everything that made me me to pour out onto the concrete. It was cruel and gory and fricking nasty, and I felt as though all of that stuff was literally gushing out.

There was panic at wondering if that stuff would ever be replaced; and if it was, what with? Would it make me harder, bitter, more angry, less able to laugh, what?

Shit, I don't know what's there in its place yet. I think I am still refilling. I have moments of bitterness, sure. I get angry and sad. But I still laugh, and I still cry.

Doesn't everyone?