Heartbeat.

10 Mar

I’m often trying to convince myself that it’s okay to still be grieving.  I pretend that it’s just my way of defending my grief to others…but if I’m really being honest, I’m pretty sure it’s me trying to defend my sadness to myself.*  Last night as I was laying in bed, I was devising yet another way to convince someone/myself of believing that my grief is real.  That it deserved the attention I had no control over giving this past year.  So I started thinking about the heartbeat.  On June 28th, 2010, I saw the heartbeat of my baby.  I saw the beautiful flicker of life that gives most future mothers a sigh of relief of a thriving life inside.  When I remembered that flicker last night on the screen as I was trying to go to sleep, my heart sank.  I had life in me.  I…we…gave life to another human being.  And just as quickly as it came, my body took it away.  My body stopped it because it didn’t think it belonged there.  I had a baby with a heartbeat and then I didn’t. It wasn’t just a collection of cells, a mass of tissue…it was life.  That heartbeat was supposed to continue to beat long after mine stopped.  The being with that heartbeat was supposed to smile at it’s parents, learn to walk and talk, breathe the air in these hills that we love to breathe.  And then all of that hope that so many people take for granted, was taken away 10 days later.  My baby’s heart stopped beating. I’m allowed to grieve for that.  Why can’t people understand that?  Isn’t this enough?

*Except, right now, it is both me trying to convince myself as well as a few others.   I’ve spent a good portion of this past month defending how I chose to grieve this past year to someone, and in my head, I’m always trying to make my case.  Why do we have to do that?  Doesn’t that just seem backwards?  How are we not all compassionate?  To ourselves and to others.  It’s not right.

Okay…stepping off soap box…

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18 Responses to “Heartbeat.”

  1. mommyodyssey March 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    That was beautifully written.
    You know – I can only imagine how painful that must be. I never got to see a heartbeat with either of my babies. And I know how painful their losses were for me. The “heartbeat” was always my marker for “then everything will be ok”. I honestly am in awe of how strong you are. In some ways I almost feel lucky that mine never made it to the heartbeat. Does that make sense?
    And Court – grief is not something that needs to be explained or justified. Whoever doesn’t understand it can go fuck themselves. Seriously.
    Love you. *hugs*

    • bodegabliss March 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

      It makes total sense. Although, I never got to see the heartbeat of the one before that, and it was just as devastating. It’s just seeing the heartbeat made it that much more real, you know?

      Thank you, Mo. *hugs back*

  2. Hope March 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    So sorry you are going through this. Grieving takes it’s own pace. No one should have to defend that to anyone else. (((Hugs)))

  3. Marie March 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Who’s telling you what is and isn’t acceptable vis-a-vis your grieving process?! We will rally and kick their ass like you all did for me last week!

    I am constantly amazed by the strength I see here, from all of you. Reading some of these stories makes me consider myself lucky: I had ONE miscarriage with NO heartbeat, and look what it did to me. I can’t even imagine surviving what you have so gracefully survived.

    I know it’s off topic, but thought it might make you smile: my friend/”sister”, Dawn, was lurking on your blog one day. I know this because she told me – I think “bodega” attracted her, because her family has their reunion up there somewhere every summer. And she was telling me this, about Bodega being near their cabin on the river, and said, “She’s beautiful, by the way.”

    Of course, she meant pictures, but I’m going to take it a step further and say you are beautiful overall – to have been through all this and come out the other side and to still be upright and writing and making friends with cows… It’s pretty amazing. Don’t forget that.

    And as for whoever’s questioning your right to or methods of grieving… Fuck ’em. What do they know about it anyway? ::hugs::

    • bodegabliss March 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      You should come for the reunion next time!

      Thank you for everything you said. It means a lot. And it’s just so nice to know you guys have my back.

      • Marie March 10, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

        I can’t come for the reunion… I might have had a fling with one of Dawn’s cousins in my slutty college phase, and it might have ended poorly. (Once again, more importantly this time, Dawn is not ACTUALLY my sister.) So I’ve banned myself from the reunion.

      • bodegabliss March 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

        Well, shoot. Also: glad you reiterated the not really a sister thing. Hehe. You can tag along and then hang out with me instead of going to the reunion. Just saying!

  4. Elphaba March 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    I agree with what these other girls have said, and want to say, don’t defend yourself. You are not required to. If your “friend” doesn’t want to accept their grief then that is their problem. If they can’t understand then they are significant people in this process and their opinion doesn’t matter.

    Grief is never to be judged or defended. It is your and only yours.

  5. Elphaba March 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Sorry “your” grief, not “theirs”

  6. jjiraffe March 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I hate how our society thinks grief should not be visible after some ridiculously short period of time. The Japanese do the whole grieving thing much better, it seems like, at least in terms of miscarriages.

    I saw the healthy heartbeat as well, and I know exactly what you mean. (((Hugs)))

    • bodegabliss March 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      I’m so sorry. It’s just….well, heartbreaking. Not sure how else to say it.

      • Sio March 11, 2011 at 8:21 am #

        I would be heartbroken too. Is that something that ever really goes away? I was heartbroken for so long after my first love and I broke up. I am sensitive. What’s so wrong with that? Why do people have to be so self-righteous in deciding how others should and should not live their lives. Why all the judgy mcjudgersons in the world?

      • bodegabliss March 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

        Yay! You commented! I think even though you can’t compare the two heartbreaks, they are very similar in that regard. For those true loves that you have in your life, you never get over them. And just like those, this will never go away. Stupid judgy mcjudgersons. 🙂

        love you! xoxo

  7. Megan March 13, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    I don’t know how you feel, but I do remember that day so clearly. I was so sure everything was fiiine and then it just wasn’t and I felt like I’d been kicked in the gut. I can’t even imagine how it felt for you and you shouldn’t have to apologize for how you’ve handled everything. You had to do what you needed to do to SURVIVE and while it might have hurt people’s feelings, I’m assuming that everyone is just glad you did survive. I know I am and I’m glad you’re doing whatever you need to do now to keep on keep’n on. If anything I’m just sorry I can’t share this more with you….if that makes any sense. It feels strange to have a friend that I’ve shared so much with who then has to go through something that I just have no concept of. Like J’s Dad dying – I can understand some because of my own grief over the situation (like my grief for your losses), but as of right now I can’t fully understand. I’ll probably never understand because my Dad is old, not young and vibrant like hers was. Anyway, that was quite the digression, but I’m just thankful that you (and J) are doing whatever it is you need to do to be here and be healthy and be my friend. I love you! You are so strong and amazing and I’m just so thankful you’re here and making progress working through your grief even if you feel like you aren’t. You are and I’m just so thankful,

    • bodegabliss March 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

      Thank you, Megan. For everything you just said and for being there for me over the past year. i can only imagine how, in a strange way, it was difficult for you to continue on without me. Obviously you were elated, but I can only imagine how I would’ve felt in your shoes as well. Like I have said before, I’m happy (bad word there…glad? still bad. okay?) I was the one that had to go through this, and you got to continue on to have W. If one of us was going to have to go through this, it’s okay that it’s me. I never want any of you to know what this feels like. I couldn’t be happier that you have W and that you guys are both okay. Although, if it’s okay with you, I’d like to be done taking one for the team. 😉

      Thank you for still loving me throughout this all. Love you! xoxo

  8. cowellkids March 15, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    I’m a little late to the party, but wanted to comment anyway. Grief is real..and time doesn’t heal crap. It’s only through the hard work of grieving that we can begin feel whole again…if that’s even possible. Anyone who says otherwise is emotionally stunted. I’m just sayin.

    Sending a big hug!! OH! And I LOVE love LOVE your new header! ;o)

    • bodegabliss March 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

      Hey thanks! For both the comment (it’s never too late!) and for the love! I think you’re the first to see it. 😉

  9. Jen March 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    UGH..I always forget to log out of my CowellKids account before publishing…THIS is me.

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