My daughter’s pediatrician tried to diagnose me with postpartum depression today. They use a generic screening form, one that doesn’t differentiate between the stress of being a new parent and other types of depression or grief.
Happiness is complicated when you’re grieving
Pregnant with my daughter after the loss of my son, life is often complicated. Sometimes I can’t sleep. Sometimes I write about it.
Many people told me I was “strong” when I was deep in grief. I think it’s meant as a compliment. It doesn’t help, though. I don’t FEEL strong. I feel broken. This life isn’t a choice I made, like running a marathon or getting a PhD. It isn’t something I prepared for and overcame. It simply happened.
There really never is an appropriate time to talk about tragedy. There really never is a time when the innocent are ready to listen. And that’s sad, and it’s also wrong. Because death isn’t the thing that only happens to other people. Tragedy isn’t the thing you can ignore and it won’t hurt you.
I remember those early days after loss, when I used to go to yoga just to cry. It was a safe, quiet space, and most people didn’t judge me. It was a release.
Two years ago, I was happily pregnant and sadly naïve. I had no idea babies could die. Today, I am pregnant for the second time, eyes wide open and hopefully dreaming.
I see her on the other side of the glass, and my heart breaks for what we both have that the other needs.
The Miranda from a year ago is dead. She died with Adrian. And that needs to be okay. It needs to be okay that I am a different person, that the things that used to make me happy are now different. Permanently. I’m not okay, and that needs to be okay.
One year ago today, I went in for my last check up with the midwives. My son was due one year ago tomorrow. They measured my belly, they checked my urine. They asked if I had any questions or concerns. Was this a formality? Because my questions were ignored, and warning signs were missed.
The city wasn’t originally my choice, but it’s where he was born, and now I’m forever tied to it. The birthplace of my firstborn child; the only place he lived before he died.
I feel unusual in the way that I’ve been counting. I’ve never kept elaborate timelines. My cousin’s wife reminded me when 30 days had passed. I was visiting, and her words took the breath out of me. It always feels like yesterday.
I fight against happiness. I think that if I let myself smile, I will lose sight of my grief. I will lose him. Again.
Dear pregnant woman in my office – people are starting to get excited. They threw you a baby shower, and things are starting to feel very familiar. I wish I could explain why I’ve started to dislike you. I wish there were some logic beyond jealously and pain.