I’ve finally reached the point where I can read and pay attention for more than a few sentences at a time. I’ve been reading a book called Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby. As hard as it is sometimes to read it, I wish I’d started it earlier. More than anything, I think reading it would have made me feel less crazy than I have a certain times, and I could have used the suggestions on how to safely express anger (although I can certainly still put them to use).
One of the suggestions for getting anger out is vigorous exercise. One of the things that has really been frustrating for me has been my inability to go to the gym. Going to the gym is the biggest stress reliever for me, and if I’m having a bad day, I always feel better after exercising. It sucked not having that outlet when I needed it the most. I finally got back there yesterday, and it felt so good to do it. My doctor’s office told me to take it easy at first, but I didn’t listen. I had so much that I needed to get out, and on top of that, I had to keep trying not to cry, which made me work out even harder. I didn’t feel any pain (well, physical pain) while I was working, so I don’t think I did any damage, but I’m paying for it today in soreness. It feels good to be moving again.
I was a little emotional because I kept thinking about the fact that I was 24 weeks pregnant the last time I worked out, blissfully unaware of what would be happening just 48 hours later. That was hard enough, but the Empty Cradle book is what kept bringing me to the verge of tears. I was reading a section about feelings of failure, which is probably the thing I’ve had the most trouble with, aside from guilt and missing Jillian. It’s hard not to think that I’ve let so many people down, most of all, Dave and Jillian. Dave has assured me a thousand times that I didn’t let him down, but my body’s inability to carry this pregnancy longer is the reason we’re where we are. I know I couldn’t have controlled it, but there’s still a part of me that feels like I should have known something was wrong.
The sentence that pushed me over the edge was “do remember that whatever happens, you are a mother.” I needed to read that because it’s hard to feel like a mother without a baby. I have to remind myself that Jillian didn’t stop being my daughter when she died, so of course I’m still a mother.