I haven’t written since Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
I just had two good days. I didn’t even cry once.
Then, I realized it’s just because I’ve been distracting myself, trying not to think about what happened.
Today, it’s been 2 weeks since my surgery, 2 weeks since we found out our pregnancy was ectopic, 2 weeks since we lost our baby girl.
It feels like it’s been forever.
Today, I also had my first session with a grief counsellor. I woke up dreading it. I knew it would all come flooding back. I cried all morning before I went to the session. And then, I was a puffy-eyed, red-nosed, snot-filled mess when I left her office.
She was kind and listened well. She sits on the Perinatal Loss Board at our hospital and offered to take my feedback to them. She also told me she doesn’t think I’m ready emotionally to go back to work. She recommended I take the full 4 weeks that the doctor allotted to me, and even consider taking more.
We talked a lot about my job. I don’t talk about it much on here, but it all changed since we got home from our IVF. My wonderfully supportive boss quit. The project I am on got postponed. I was reassigned to a new role. I don’t even know what my full role and responsibilities are yet as this transition happened 2 weeks before our loss. Although it’s a promotion, I’m dreading the thought of more responsibility and stress. I have a new boss. He knew nothing about our situation before my surgery. Since then, I’ve sent him two emails and had one phone call. I told him I would be off work for 2 weeks. Then, I extended it to 3. What will he think if I ask for more?
It makes me angry that grief is unrecognised or seen as weakness – or at least that’s how it feels.
Like I’ve said before, recovering from surgery is easy. It’s the broken heart that needs time to heal.
The grief counsellor let me borrow books from their library. Tonight, I read Still: A collection of honest artwork and writings from the heart of a grieving mother. It was written by Stephanie Page Cole, founder of the Sweet Pea Project.
On page 13, Stephanie writes, “People will tell you that time heals. Those people are liars. The pain doesn’t go away, you just build up your tolerance to it. It’s like lifting weights. If you try to lift 500 pounds, it is going to crush you. But if you lift it everyday of your life, it is going to get easier and easier to do, and eventually you are going to lift it without breaking a sweat.”
I guess that’s all I can hope for: continued strength and tolerance.
My to-do’s after counselling are to consider how I would like to approach dealing with my grief and decide how much time I need off work.
I have some counselling coverage through my health plan. I would consider going back to this woman. She has also suggested the local Miscarriage Support Group, but it only meets 1x a month. I would also like to work with my fertility coach again. My coach and I have a call tomorrow to discuss options.
As for the time off, I don’t even know what to do. Some friends say go back and relish in the distraction of work. I am not the kind of person to shove my feelings down and ignore them though. I’m scared of not being strong enough to lead a team of people right now. I’m scared of emotionally breaking down when the first person asks, “How are you?“.
I’m currently in the process of getting my short term disability claim processed. I have yet to hear from a case manager, but another friend recommended I should see what they say (meaning how much time off they will pay me for based on my diagnosis) before I make my decision and re-inform my boss.
If doing what is right for you is a sign of strength, why do I feel so vulnerable right now?
Am I just delaying the inevitable by taking more time off? Or do I rightfully deserve a break after everything we have been through since August? How much time would you take off it was available to you?