Monday, August 20, 2012

Halfway Normal

Today, I felt halfway normal.

I say halfway because I don't know what "normal" is going to be.  In recent months, my life has shifted seismically twice.  The first shift occurred when I found out I was pregnant.  I remember telling my husband that life as we knew it had changed.  And it did.  He did the grocery shopping and cooking, I slept.  We were indescribably happy.  This first shift was so great that I don't really remember what life was like before I got pregnant.  I remember what the day to day motions of life were, those probably didn't change much.  But, I don't remember what I was like before, or what Chris was like before.  Those people are gone.  The second shift occurred when our baby died.  The other day, I looked up at our wedding photo that hangs over the fireplace.  Those people had no idea that five years later, they'd be so copletely and utterly heartbroken.  If they did, their smiles wouldn't have been so big.  They wouldn't have read the hand ceremony at their wedding because loving and raising children figures prominently in that reading.

Anyway, I digress...

Today, I went to school and sat in on an expert panel on stillbirth.  And despite the topic, I managed to feel normal.  Despite being a reproductive epidemiologist, this was not my project, and I was not there to lend my academic expertise.  Unfortunately, I was labeled as an advocate today.  I was one of several first hand experience experts.  Yet, I still managed to feel normal.  Though I specifically asked if I could attend this event, I thought it would be a hard day, and purposefully chose a seat near the door. I was pleasantly surprised that today was like any other day at school/work.  I think I may have been more vocal than usual with suggestions, but it was a regular day.  I thought about our experiences in Morgan's delivery and death, but I didn't instantly tear or blubber or anything like that.  In fact, I did none of that.

I've wanted so badly over the last three weeks to be normal.  To not be "that" woman with the dead baby.  Though my new normal is shadowed by grief, I now know that I will, piece by piece, be able to construct a new normal.  Today was the first step in doing so.

Don't get me wrong, I know that the grieving is far from over.  Yesterday (and yesterday's post on the "what ifs") is proof of that.  But, I know that the crappy days will eventually be outnumbered by good days on the score board.  So, chalk one up on for the good days

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