Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I know I'm getting ahead of myself as far as the story goes, but today is notable and so I shall make note of it. One year ago today, Roo was due.

Why on earth do they even give women a due date? I don't know anyone who's delivered on their due date. I knew Roo was going to be a week late, anyway, and she was, exactly. The fact that she really should have been six days late and not seven is something I try not to think about. I still remember how stunned my doctor was to see me on the morning of July 7th.

"You're still pregnant!" she exclaimed.

Figured that out all by yourself, did you? I thought. What I said, in between contractions, was, "Looks that way."

And she said that wouldn't do at all, and less than an hour later I was being wheeled into an OR.

But we won't go there just yet. One year ago was Roo's almost-birthday. The end was near, and I was gigantic. Here I am exactly a year ago with a waist only 7 inches less than my height.

I was hot, and I was miserable, and I wanted more than anything in the world to NOT be pregnant anymore. It felt like I'd been pregnant forever. One of the disadvantages of finding out I was pregnant early on in the process was that I'd felt every single day of my pregnancy.

I got back from Ireland last night (longest Tuesday of my life) and I hadn't realized until I came home how nice it was to be away from my house for a month. My flat in Athlone had no memories attached to it - it was just an empty shell, a place to stay for a while. My house ... my house is where my dad lived, and where he pretty much died. It's where I found out I was pregnant, where I grew Roo, where I brought her home, and where I came after placement. If memories were ghosts, my house would be severely haunted.

It was strange, really. Being in Ireland I felt worlds away, not just physically but mentally, from adoption and from Roo and from all of my emotions about that. And coming home, I felt the absence of Roo in the house, something I haven't noticed since the first few weeks after placement. The house seemed so quiet and empty and had I not been completely exhausted from being awake for some 36 hours, I think I probably would have cried myself to sleep. As it was, I crawled into bed and fell asleep in about 15 seconds, something that hasn't happened in longer than I can remember.

It hit me last night, actually, the reality of my situation here and what I've been through. I was standing outside Sky Harbor's Terminal 3, waiting for my mom to pick me up, and something about the stifling heat and the slight breeze and the sounds of the traffic and the almost-dark reminded me of going to the hospital to be induced, and of leaving the hospital with Roo, and of taking her to the ER that night at the end of August because she wouldn't eat (she was fine) ... and I cried as I stood there with my luggage, overwhelmed at both the baggage next to me and the baggage within. The three heavy suitcases at my feet seemed an apt metaphor for my feelings, and just thinking about it now makes my throat fizz.

I don't know if anyone else gets that, but when I've got tears working their way to the surface, my throat feels tight and I swear it fizzes.

But back to reality. Today is June 30th, and for the rest of my life the date will remind me of Roo, and how excited I was to be a mommy soon. I remember that for at least part of the day, I double- and triple-checked Roo's things - her crib with its sweet pink bird bedding, her tiny diapers, the wee little Onesies and socks. I tested the construction of the crib, pulling this way and that to make sure it was screwed together properly so Roo would be safe. I watched a little TV. I waited.

I waited for contractions to begin - I knew I wouldn't give birth that day, but I thought maybe I'd feel a twinge of something. I waited for a baby name to come to me, but none did. I waited for a decision to come to me. I was prepared for a baby but part of me wondered still if I was making the right choice to parent this baby. No decision was forthcoming. The idea returning from the hospital and not having a baby to put in the crib caused a physical ache.

I miss Roo today. I don't know if it's awful or not but when I was away I didn't feel I missed her as much. I guess I had so many other things to do, and places to go, and things to think about, that missing her just wasn't as high on the list. Is that awful? I even forgot to pray for her one night, and I woke up after 15 minutes and remembered and felt like the worst person on earth. How could I ever forget to pray for Roo and her family? Some nights when I'm extra tired they're all I pray for. And yet I forgot.

Being home, I miss her more. There's little to distract me - there's laundry and unpacking, of course, but I don't have any buses to catch or places to see or things to do. It's strange. I've been theoretically busy all day and yet I'm horribly bored.

I miss her. But I think it's okay. I think I'm okay. I can miss her and be okay. It's just a little harder thinking back to how things were, and thinking about how they might have been. I know I did the right thing for Roo. I've never doubted it. It's just that I remember how a year ago I was so excited to be a mommy.

And now I'm not a mommy. And it kind of sucks.


April Morgan McCoy "Auntie April" said...

Girl, it's like I'm reading my own thoughts in you right now. 11 years ago today I gave birth to my son. I was looking at my photo albums and reading my journal. I would have just gone into labor 2 hours ago. Brings back A LOT of memories. I also remember how fresh the pain was when I was where you are now and I feel for you. You look hot (in more ways than one ha ha) prego too by the way!

AubreyMo said...

The belly.

Wow. And ounch. And yeesh for the heat. You did do the best thing for Roo. I always look back on hard decisions and hear The Fray start singing, "sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same".

Sorry this comment is so sporadic. I just want you to know that I'm here, and I care. Hugs.

Lara Zierke said...

Occassionally, my husband or I will have to go away on a business trip. We are not good at being separated. We've debated before who has it worse - the person who is away or the person who is left behind? We decided it is the person who is left behind. Doing the things both would normally do together. Sleeping alone in a bed that normally slept two. The person who is away is distracted with work or family or whatever the reason for leaving. Things are new. They are unexpected. Experiencing them alone is natural because they haven't been experienced any other way. The person left behind, on the other hand, is constantly reminded that they are left behind. Alone.

This post makes me think of that. Maybe that's why you felt a little better in Ireland. No ghosts. For once, you weren't the one left behind.

Erin said...

I must say, I found this blog through a friend who just adopted a sweet baby boy, and YOU are a phenomenal writer. I'm so impressed by your strength. I can genuinely say that you are ten times stronger than me.

This may seem like a silly comparison, but I just recently lost the best dog I have ever had. EVER. His personality was almost human. He was like a son. (For people who aren't animal lovers, I know I sound crazy). But I loved him.

Like you, I think about the memories that all over my home. Our deck, our bed, his kennel that our other dog now uses, his leash, etc etc etc. It sounds dumb, but in a very real way, I hear you. I get what you're saying. I so hope things are easier :)