I haven’t lost much in my life, I guess.  I always seem to forgot how to grieve.  I have my own stages, like “Thinking I’ll Somehow Skip the Being-Sad Part.”  Or “No One Will Put Up With Me if I Don’t Skip the Being-Sad Part.”  Or “If I Somehow Replace the Lost Thing, Really Fast, Everything Will Be Fine.”

I got into an argument with my husband about cleaning the carpets which was really about money which was really about how scared I was that he would say hell no, we can’t spend another $10k trying for another baby.  Since parting with $300 to clean the carpets was just about to kill him, it was a valid fear.  But he is willing to try again, and maybe that’s why he doesn’t want to spend a bunch of random $300 here and there.

So, I’m off to the races.  Where will I find the right clinic?  Should we try the clinic that’s 90 miles away?  I can’t go back to the Bad Clinic that is the only one here in my PPO, what with the registered letters and lawsuit threats flying around.  (more on that another day).  Should I travel to one of the clinics that is supposed to be amazing, that people travel to, like Cornell or Oregon?  And there are a million other arrangements.

But of course, none of that is going to make up for the five embryos we lost, and the hopes we had for at least one of them, and the shock of preparing six weeks for … nothing.   And none of that is going to prevent the sudden, weak-kneed crumpled-face helpless sobbing that grabs me when I see the face of someone who gets it, or random moments when I think about another little boy like Daniel.  Or when I stand on stage, as I did Sunday, and sing “Lord I’m amazed by you… and how you love me.”  And I want to just stop and cry about how hard it is, because I’m in all the way with God and I do think He loves me,  and this is just how it is sometimes.  But I couldn’t cry (very much) then so I just kept on singing.

I thought I’d be “fine,” as in not too sad.  But I’m actually fine, because crying one day and being snappish and angry (my specialty) another day and being optimistic on the day after that, is how it is.  It’s like when  you take a bad fall, and people are standing over you asking are you okay, are you okay, and I always get up because I’m embarrassed, and nothing seems broken and everything is working and I say that I’m fine so everyone will stop looking at me.  Only after a little while do I realize that I’ve got a huge scrape, and my glasses are all bent, and I feel some bad bruises coming.

Sometimes I feel embarrassed because we “only” lost embryos.  In order to convey the loss I sometimes have to describe it to people who are kind of glassy eyed because they don’t know what that means, or maybe they have some kind of hangup about assisted reproduction, and I just can’t take it, so I don’t end up telling people about it at all.  And sometimes there are people who do get it, or are kind enough to walk in my shoes a little bit so they can get it, and I have a day when I feel okay, and then I feel like a fake because they were so kind and now I seem fine.

There’s nothing like feeling dumb on top of everything.  But I do!  People have lost husbands, and living babies, and babies at 20 weeks, and babies that were 17 years old, or never had a baby at all after so, so many tries.  That’s something to grieve about.

And… so is the five embryos and that whole part of our lives.  Gone.

Now that I’m reminded of what grief is like, this little-ish grief that I have to own, I remember how to do it.  How to drink more water, get enough sleep, go slow, and take care of the big scrape, and the bent glasses; and get ready for the big bruises that will be coming for a while.

It would be rude if you said I should enjoy the baby that we have, and how healing that can be.  But it’s true, and I do and cry five minutes after that and this is just how it is sometimes.