It was a beautiful ten weeks. Ten weeks of having a secret between us, the joyous knowledge that a little life was beginning inside me again.
It was an exhausting ten weeks. Ten weeks of being so all-consuming tired, there were nights it seemed too much work to put on pajamas. Days when I would set my cell-phone alarm clock and literally try to nap in my car on my lunch break.
And it was a nerve-wracking ten weeks. Ever hopeful, cautiously optimistic, how do you not grow attached to a person who makes their presence known in increasing measure every day? I could relish the exhaustion, knowing that only a thriving little baby would be draining me so. Come on, little baby. Let's just get past this first dicey season together and then I'll more than make-up for this quiet time with you. You'll be my favorite topic of conversation, my favorite person to think about....but right now I'm trying too hard not to grow too attached.
Which is kind of silly, because you are already attached to me.
So we make our first trek to the doctors at ten weeks. I have learned a thing or two after last time, so Bill was with me, Landon was not.
And it only takes two seconds to see a stillness on the screen that settles in my core like a heavy, heavy rock. So heavy I cannot speak. So heavy I cannot cry. So heavy, so still. The nurse is talking and I am listening but already this heavy rock is filling me up and I am so, so weary.
So weary of the hope. So weary of the heartbreak. So weary of carrying this secret that was supposed to bloom into joyous news. It has sunk to the bottom of my heart.
There are only metaphors.
I feel like I am standing in the middle of a vast, empty space. The wind howls around-- I cannot properly hear, even those closest and dearest.
I walk around in a mechanical stupor, going through motions that pass for functional.
"I'm fine, thanks, how are you?" still works as a pat answer to a friendly coworker.
I talk. I chat. I chatter with the patrons. I can avoid awkward silences with my coworkers. I can converse with my husband about what to eat and who has eaten and what will we eat tomorrow.
But when I lay down at any time: morning, noon or night, all I want to do is sleep.
It is exhausting to hold together a broken heart.
It is a lot of work to compartmentalize when you don't have a compartment strong enough for pain so persistent.
It leaches out.
A patron asked me Saturday, "Are you ok?"
A sweet dad who has watched me for weekend story time for almost a year.
Putting on my game face, making it fun, knowing their names, and sometimes, earning my own Academy Awards for Best Actress.
Because I'm a professional.
"In a bad mood/having a bad day" goes in a compartment and the show goes on.
I don't have a compartment secure enough for "We've lost a second baby."
I don't have a buck-up, come-on-cowgirl pep-talk for the way fear and sadness rattle through me.
I wonder if I take time off work whether I will go into some weird hibernation mode. Wrap myself up in sleep like a cocoon. Emerge beautified and transformed.
Or pale and listless.
It's hard to say. Seems like a risky toss-up.
So I keep moving. Through the motions of a day. Into the night.
And oh, so very, very weary.