May will be hard. I have been working hard to figure out how to re-integrate myself into daily life and I fear May will bring back to the beginning. It might break me.
May brings work.
I’m scheduled to go back to work in May. When I originally set the date as May 1, it seemed so far away. It felt a little like pinning the tail on the donkey. I closed my eyes and just pointed at a date. I knew I had no idea how I’d feel at that time, but I figured I might feel readier. I suppose I felt some sense of self-imposed expectation. I would have been going back around then if I had a baby at home. I often feel guilty because it makes sense to want to stay at home with a baby, working on bonding and breastfeeding. But I don’t have a baby at home. Sometimes I feel like I should be going back to work much sooner because there’s no little person keeping me at home.
I pushed back the start date by two weeks. Again, I picked the date blindly. I just don’t know how I’m going to feel. Perhaps the anticipation is the worst part? I don’t know. When I return to work, I do know this. I need to go slower. Probably slower than I even think.
May brings babies.
I have two family members who are due in May, my sister and a cousin . This is going to hurt. It’s something I should be looking forward to. I don’t know how I will be told about their births. I dread it. These children will be celebrated by my family, over and over again. As much as I will love these babies, I am not in the mood for celebrating. These children will forever be reminders of Mabel. In years to come they will be the age she should have been. It pains me that I can’t share the joy right now. I have chosen a career and a lifestyle that usually celebrates these events, so being so dark is foreign to me. Why did my baby have to die when these babies live? Why are they fortunate to have two babies and I none? Why my baby? What did I do? How is this fair? (please please don’t think I want anything to happen to these babies. I just wish things turned out differently for mine)
May brings Mother’s Day.
There is already a video going around facebook entitled “world’s toughest job.” I watched it unaware that it was a tribute to mothers- working as a chef/accountant/manager 24hrs/day, 7 days a week, on your feet with no breaks, unpaid. It’s the toughest job in the world. You know what’s tougher? Wanting that job and being rejected. Choosing the moment your baby will die. Watching others bring home a baby from the hospital while you don’t. Burying your daughter. When that video got to the part where they announce that this near impossible to fulfill job description turns out to be the lifestyle of a mother, I shut it off. Chris was watching with me and was silent. I think he was caught off guard too. This is the start of what the next weeks will bring, constant reminders of the upcoming day.
Let me be clear- I love and appreciate my mother and the work she did raising five kids. Mother’s Day is about her too. I have always valued the day- I even used to send cards to other people in addition to my mother- my godmother, my grandmother, my friend’s mother who was like a second mother to me. I get the day. But this was supposed to be my first Mother’s Day.
Yes, many people tell me “But you are a mother.” Yes I am a mother but I have no child to hold and make me feel that way. According to Wikipedia a mother is “is a woman who has raised a child, given birth to a child, and/or supplied the egg which in union with a sperm grew into a child. ” I am a mother by definition- I have supplied the egg and given birth. When do I get to raise her?