Thursday, October 1, 2009

layers of exhaustion

I am really tired.

It's not the kind of tired that sleep can fix, as I've learned. I sleep 12 hours a night on my days off and I am still exhausted.

To most people, it is fairly one dimensional: I am tired because I am pregnant. And it's true, my body is working so hard, and has been for more than a year now. It seems impossible that I ever had an existence that did not revolve around growing tiny bodies.

To me, it's obvious that there are layers to this exhaustion. I am tired from harboring the weight of everything that has happened this year. I am tired from missing my daughter. I am tired from bearing the guilt that comes with having had to let her go. I am tired from the tears I still cry much more often than anyone knows. I am tired from walking this emotional tightrope that I can't quite define as hormonal or just consequential of the circumstances. I am tired from falling off more than I'd like to. I am tired from moving, gathering what remnants of normalcy I can manage, and attempting to put my life back together. I am tired from constantly pulling it all back in, burying it under the surface, and pretending that I am okay--even to those who would hold me up if I wasn't. Even to myself.

Maybe I am okay. Maybe I should be. But why, then, do I feel like I am constantly teetering at the edge of a proverbial line? One more thing, and I could tip into the yet-to-be-defined abyss of unimaginable despair. Why is it that the tiniest thing gone awry can send my entire day into a downward spiral, or at least into hysterics that are undeniably inappropriate for the situation? Because suddenly I am not crying about that tiny thing that happened, but because my baby died, and I have no idea who I am anymore. Still.

I have sadness in my eyes that I catch in glimpses sometimes, when I am surprised by my reflection. There is heaviness there, and it's making me tired. I wish I could explain it better to those who can't understand. I didn't even know her after all. It's been almost nine months. I am having another baby! Her little soul is fine. I made a loving choice.

Even when I can get okay with all of that, when I can wrap my head around it in such a way that I can feel the goodness that came from it (and these moments are rare), there is still my life to consider. When I got pregnant the first time, everyone told me my life would never be the same. They had no idea. I feel like I have been mentally, spiritually, and physically uprooted, tossed around, and left staggering in the dark, trying to find my path again. I am still completely lost in my life.

Sometimes I question the timing of this subsequent pregnancy. Did we rush into it? It certainly doesn't feel like the ideal time to have a baby sometimes, grieving a daughter and struggling to put a life back together. Not to mention the physical, mental, and financial strain it has created on top of what already existed. But at the same time, I am terrified to think of where I would be otherwise. He gives me purpose again, and even in those times when I am sure I have crossed that line, that I am going to be a mess forever, there he is, kicking defiantly. Hey, remember me? I am the best thing that's happened to you in nine months!

I just really need him to be okay.


Hope's Mama said...

Aleina, I'd been wondering about you just today. You hadn't posted in a while and the new pessimistic me, still shaken to the core from my loss more than 12 months ago, was worried. I'm so glad to see you've posted.
I relate to all of this, as always. Tired because of course I should be tired - what 31 week pregnant woman isn't? But then the tiredness goes deeper than that. It is much more extreme. It is not just because I am growing new life again. It is because I am heavily mourning the life that came before.
I too was always told "you have no idea how much your life is about to change". Nope, I didn't. But turns out, they had no idea either.
So glad our little boys are thumping away in there and giving us purpose again. Like you, I hate to think where I'd be without him right now.

susan sagle said...

Speaking the words that are in my brain, once again. Thank you sweet lady, Susan

Abigail W. said...

I hope you know how much comfort your writing brings. I don't know if I've ever told you that, when things are too bad to deal with, I just go back and read what you've written. So much love to you. And your family. All of it.