my moonwalking bear
Watch the clip first, quickly. Go right in, don't think, just do it.
Today - after a goodly break - I was smacked in the gut with the understanding that I had a miscarriage, and what that means. A baby, a baby, our baby, the baby that we so wanted - it came and went. It, I guess, died. I guess it died. It had begun living. That's pregnancy, right? Living thing, right? Died, then. Stopped living.
I ran into a dear friend today who is teaching Pilates out of her home, and I told her that I'd love to take classes with her. Later I was telling Dave about it and I began to say casually, "I think Pilates would be great as a healing thing, with the miscarriage, to strengthen that-" and I was going to say "area" but that's when the gut punch came in and I began sobbing. I was talking so casually about healing, forgetting that it's actually really true that I need some.
Where has it been? Where has the grief been? That's what the clip up there is alluding to. The baby we lost is the moonwalking bear of my life. I can't see it every day. I see Finn and his needs, and I see our new house, and I see everything we need to do to settle in properly, and I see writing, and I see the present moment because I'm trying to see it - the present moment is like the team in white, passing the ball. It's my self-imposed assignment. It's a good assignment, seeing the present moment.
But where does the grief go? Where does it hide? Where was I stashing it? I honestly thought it had left. No. I still have some.
Maybe it reared up because we had been planning to try for another baby again in about a month, and I decided a couple of days ago - on my birthday, actually, which was a strange birthday* - good, ultimately - I decided that I am not ready to try again for another baby. I'm not feeling it. I'm just feeling the idea as pressure. The idea of letting go of another baby for the time being was so freeing, so appealing. What if we only ever had Finn? What would that be like? Oh, the places I'd go! As Finn gets more self-sufficient, I can go here and do that and take this class, and oh! The relative freedom! Sounds like riding in a convertible with the top down on a sunny day on a tv show in the 1970's, with my big shiny Breck hair flying behind me and a silk scarf fluttering around my neck and a handsome man in a white suit driving us to a cocktail party at a penthouse apartment with thick white carpeting and a view of Los Angeles.
I met a baby, today, too. A baby girl. Miss Nora Somerville Jorgenson. Approximately six months old. Soft and silky and smiley. Milky silky translucent skin. Little dimpled chin. It's not nothing to meet a baby girl, after all my Oona business, after all my imaginings. I met her at a reunion brunch for my old sketch comedy group, and I borrow and transpose a line from an old local news parody sketch of ours here for you, entertainment/human interest division:
Thanks, Ian! Ian, I am over here by this BABY and I have to tell you, this baby is shooting up FROM the floor, all the WAY up TO the ceiling, and it really is an amazing sight, just really something, and I think I can speak for everybody here near this THING, this BABY when I say that nobody here thinks that this is not nothing. Ian?
In the actual sketch, the baby was a wall.
But yes. To meet a beautiful little baby girl had to go shoveling into some of my deeply packed emotional soil and loosen it up a bit. That's a good thing. It's good. And it's nice - Finn and his rockin' wee friend Miles were digging in the garden with little shovels today at the brunch. Thanks, buddies. You were doing a little ritual for me just at the right moment, concretizing it all. It's good to get access to the grief. The not feeling of the grief felt eerie and also weirdly irresponsible. Like it's irresponsible not to be aware of and feeling the sorrow of your lost child, however briefly they were yours.
And I was really getting comfortable with the idea that maybe I didn't want another child. I thought maybe the miscarriage killed not only the little life form but also the wanting, like the wanting was an innocent bystander in a fatal drive-by shooting who was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead along with the intended victim. But maybe the machines are starting to beep and boop a little for the wanting.
We're in intensive care. We'll see what can be done. I don't know about heroic measures, but if there's life in the wanting, there might be other life that wants to follow it.
*I was going to have a small birthday party, and I invited people, but then I called everybody a couple of hours before it began and called it off. I'd been weeping all day with no rhyme or reason. And...thinking here...I post about being on edge and snapping and crying. Just how subterranean did I think this grief was? Just because it doesn't come ringing a bell that that has an "I WAS YOUR BABY" flag on it?! Moonwalking bear, all right. Now it's hard to miss. But you really can miss a lot if you set your mind to it.