Living in two zones

It’s been an interesting few months. I’ve been very quiet about some new developments because it’s something I once simultaneously seethed jealously over while feeling repulsed, and yearned for with every fibre of my being.

I’ve been expressing these confusing emotions on another blog, and that’s all I’ll say for now!

I’m living in grief for my beloved one who is gone, terror because of what I know could happen next, and happiness for what could be.

I still want to be quiet about it, which is why I’m only publishing this on WordPress and not my usual channels. But putting this out now feels right.

Thanks for reading!

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Le life, etc.

The wheels of life are turning. I have a few writing gigs popping up here and there. Not enough to make a living, but it’s a start, and I’m very grateful. To read my work, just pop over to my other blog.

We also heard back from Sainte Justine’s genetic counselor who has been following Henry’s case. According to blood samples they took from Tyler & myself, we’re absolutely not carriers of osteogenesis imperfecta. It’s what everyone suspected, but it’s a relief nonetheless.The counselor said there’s a five per cent chance of recurrence, but I know now that there are ample diseases, defects, and mysterious tragedies that can befall a fetus. So I’ll worry about those instead.

If/when we do have another baby, we’ll be followed by Ste. Justine. We’ll get an amniocentesis at around 15 weeks which will scan for any genetic issues (and will tell us if it’s a boy or a girl!). I had an amnio with Henry, right before we lost him for good. I kept my eyes closed the whole time, so I didn’t see how big the needle was, but apparently: HUGE! It didn’t hurt, surprisingly.

AAAAHHHH!!!!

AAAAHHHH!!!!

And if/when we do have another baby, it’ll be a mix of elation and terror. Time will crawl by. Every moment of the day will be fraught with worry, but also joy at the little bean growing away, all on its own, oblivious of the roller coaster his/her mommy will sit on for nine months.

Sheepish in the face of life

I’ve experienced deep, painful, traumatic things. Been thrown into deep emotional and physical trenches and clawed my way out. I see down the trench. I’ve grown, wizened up, and healed.

Why, then, am I so nervous for a simple skill-testing exercise that will help me find a job?

I imagined I would be beyond such worries, but I guess I’m still human, and shy, despite the events of the last year.

It’s not time to give up. I can do this. Hell yes, I can do well, even. But I’m scared.

Grief’s surprising physical effects / lazy Mel

One thing that took me by surprise is the lack of physical endurance I now have. Sitting on my bum without motivation to do anything has taken its toll.

I have rekindled my social life, and had a wonderful weekend seeing friends. One night, Tyler and I went for dinner then a game of pool with a wonderful couple. We didn’t park that far from the restaurant, but the combined walking, standing and pool-playing made me feel very tired. The next morning, my feet hurt, and I could feel it in my legs.

Seriously!

I’m finding it a bit funny that some of the effects of grieving is having a soft, mushy, weak body. In my pre Henry-loss life, I wasn’t athletic by a long stretch, but I generally walked a lot, went swimming occasionally, and spent drastically less time just sitting around.

I try to get myself out for a short walk once a day. I don’t always get around to it, but it’s always on my mind. I know exercise makes me feel good, but I find it really hard to get the will to interrupt my slow, comfortable day to exert myself.

I’m hoping that will change. Years ago, I was an avid jogger, was very fit and felt good, so consequently, I looked good! I hate jogging now, and I have to stop trying to convince myself that I’ll take it up again with the same fervour I once had.

I also know that exercise helps with stress, makes you sleep better, is really good for you, yadda yadda. And if a weekend without much physical exertion has me pooped, then maybe I should try harder to move a little more every day so that I can incorporate that into my new normal. Oooh, but being lazy is so much EASIER!!!!!!!! *sigh.

 

Ode to pottery (coping with clay)

Many years ago, I read a Stone Soup comic in the newspaper where one sister was teasing her younger sibling for doing a connect-the-dots picture. The mom was in the background and overheard the girls’ conversation. The younger sister was saying that life is unpredictable and uncontrollable, but with this connect-the-dots, she knew she was getting a dinosaur at the end – no surprises. Then you see the mom with a thoughtful expression, and in the next frame, the mom is doing a couple of connect-the-dots pictures with a satisfied and relaxed expression on her face. I’m going from memory, so I might be a little off, but it left an impression.

That’s how I feel about pottery. I can’t control the fact that my son was growing with an incurable genetic bone disease, but I can make a cylindrical cup with grooves or straight edges, or I can make a bulbous, round pot, or I can smash everything. To a degree, I’m in control. It’s one of the only things that has helped me feel like I can get a grip in the past month.

I was signed up for a fall pottery course and had taken my first class the week before our first ultrasound (the one where we didn’t get good news). I dropped out of the class, but thankfully, I have my own pottery wheel, so I can finish the pieces that I started.

My pottery wheel in my messy basement “studio”

One of the pieces I made in class without knowing – a simple little pot with a lid – will be Henry’s urn. I made it while I still had him with me, so finishing it up at home and carving in his name was a surreal experience.

Henry’s urn – with the lid tilted to display his name.

Pottery is my escape when I can’t handle whatever is going on at home. My wheel is in the basement, which isn’t a high-traffic area, so I am left in peace, and the whir and spin of the wheel helps me focus on the lump of clay waiting to be transformed. It’s a hobby I’m glad I kept up with.