Stream of Consciousness……

Life and Death……so many people I know living life, contemplating life, celebrating life, and yet there is death.

It’s the way this world works, no?


I stepped out of the shower tonight and looked at myself in the mirror. Do you ever do this? Look at yourself. See yourself. What do you see? Do you see all the imperfections? Do you see the strength? Do you see the beauty? Do you see the years of love given? What do you see?

I saw a shell. I saw a home that has lovingly carried 10 babies, birthed 6 of them, with 5 of those living, laughing, and loving.

A week ago, on Saturday March 2, I woke up and I was almost 12 weeks pregnant…’s been a rough start to 2013. I’ll say that much. I was so looking forward to telling everybody about this new little life that we had been gifted. When we finally crawled back into our bed on Sunday morning around 3:30am…….I was empty, no longer “full” of life.

I spent the past 3 months, in shock, sleeping, gagging, barfing and stressing…..probably most of all stressing. I’ll say it again. I’ve had a really rough start to 2013.

Backing things up, 2 days before Christmas, we had what you might call a “condom malfunction”. 17.5 years of marriage and it’s never happened……no matter – there is NO WAY we are pregnant. That “NO WAY” turned into a very amazing and completely shocking positive pregnancy test on January 3rd. To say we were surprised is putting things very mildly.

Six kids is a lot to handle. Heck, 5 is a lot to handle. How could we possibly do this? How were we ever going to be able to handle this……financially, time wise, energy wise and well, just how the heck were we going to do this.

I had just started anti-anxiety meds just a little over a month before and honestly, that was the best Christmas that I remember. It was SO less than perfect, but I wasn’t stressed out of my mind and that made it absolutely blissful.

I had to stop taking those meds, in the best interest of the baby and while I was totally willing to do so……I WAS DEVASTATED. Those two little pills that I took before I crawled into bed in the evening had made such a dramatic difference in my life and I was terrified to walk away from the very thing that seemed to be enabling me to cope with difficult situations, especially when I was facing a very difficult situation. I’d been pregnant 9 other times before this one and only 5 of those pregnancies resulted in live births……not really great odds. Mind you, I’d had 2 live births since all the deaths and maybe, just maybe the string of deaths was beyond me.

It wasn’t. Long story short……I’m no longer pregnant. I’m walking around so caught inside of my own head that I’m not sure how to work it all out. My mind keeps trying to figure out ways that I can have another baby, but it’s not going to happen. We are done and yet, I don’t want to let go of that.

This body of mine……this shell has tried to house and attempted to nourish babies almost continuously for the past 16 years. I’m not even sure what to do with myself now that the door has close on that section of my life. Who am I? What do I want to do with myself? With my life?

I still have a 2 year old and a 5 year old, a highly needy 12 year old and two amazing daughters who also need their mother so much, but I feel so lost. I need to find out who I am aside from just a mom and yet…….I don’t want to. It feels like I’m losing something else! I’m walking away from this huge part of my life and walking towards………..what? WHAT????? I don’t know. I’m sure it will be fabulous when I get there……when I figure it out, but right now….It’s scary. It’s open……..My whole life is ahead of me and all I want to do is go back and be pregnant.

I want another baby. I wanted another baby. I want another baby so bad and yet……I stuff the feelings. I choke back the tears. I internalize the sobs and hope that I don’t break down and totally lose it. Lose WHAT? I don’t know, but I’m scared by the depth of these emotions. I’m scared that if I let go…..if I really acknowledge these deep, dark, horrible, scary feelings that I may not be able to reign it all back in……I think I’m even more scared that once I let it go that I’ll be lost. That I won’t know who I am or what I’m supposed to do, once I let go of this grief, of this dream, of this time in my life.

I could “do” so many things, but who am I and what am I “supposed” to do. What do I want to do? I don’t know. I don’t KNOW. I DON’T KNOW!!!!!

What I do know is that I’m sad. I’m sad that I no longer have something that I wasn’t even sure that I wanted before I was given it. I’m sad that I was given something and then that amazing something was taken away. I’m sad that I’ve not even really cried yet…’s like in all of this I’ve not even really paid tribute to this sweet life who was taken from us.

Holding my brand new nephew tonight was amazing and yet so tough. I will never have that again. That dream of once more holding a little baby……my little baby……. I don’t get that any more…….ever. That chapter of my life is gone, closed, finished…..and yet I rejoice for my sister and my brother and my nephew….. that they could welcome a wonderfully perfect baby and he is so precious. I can see that he is not mine and I can compartmentalize my grief and my joy and recognize that I can feel both at the same time. Recognize that maybe I can feel so much joy and wonder at this new life because I know how difficult the opposite is….and yet I run from the grief……I only allow small tiny bubbles to roll up. Is it healthy? Most definitely not? Do I feel equipped enough to handle all of this right now…..maybe not….but will I get through this? Yes.

I’ve gone through so much. We’ve had so much death, so many hard times, so many difficult “life lessons” and I know I “can” handle this. I just don’t want to…..I had really hoped that these dark, difficult days were behind us, but they are not…..and so we carry on. We put one foot in front of the other and we carry on.

We live! We laugh! We love! We carry on!

I will process this……I have no worries or concerns about that. maybe that’s why I’m not beating myself up too badly. I will deal with this. I know I will…..I’m just not really dealing with it yet….It’s too much….too soon……too much to feel….mind you, it’s really too much to carry too……..and so soon…..someday soon…….

Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

4 thoughts on “Stream of Consciousness……”

  1. Patti, I’m so sorry for you, I can’t imagine how difficult this is to go through. I love you and will be praying for you. If there’s anything you need, please let me know!

  2. Dear Patti You have been on my mind so much I have wanted to see you,I even had Grandpa changd his appointment time with Dr. Irving I know you have school classes in the morning but I thought maybe I could do something for you til noon. But I didn’t do it. To -night my heart is aching for you and I am praying for you. I love you so much ,Grandma

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