Two days ago marked Sylvia’s five month birthday. I cried, a lot. I worked that day which I don’t really ever know if it helps to be busy or not. On one hand, it prevented me from sitting on the couch and crying all day and on the other, I had a near nervous breakdown in our staff bathroom which resulted in Carlos braving our very snowy, icy roads for emergency drop off of Xanax. I also finally moved from night shift to day shift this past week which has been fantastic. I really didn’t even realize how terrible I felt working nights. Physically and emotionally, I was exhausted beyond what I even could feel. Now on days, I truly can feel a little more pep in my step. To come home and have dinner with Carlos, to go to bed with him every night…I had no idea just switching shifts would have this much of an impact on me. No, I don’t feel better regarding anxiety, sadness and my grief, but I do feel different. I do feel more awake, I feel more connected with my job and I also feel lighter and my breaths are easier. The heaviness of night shift was something I didn’t even realize was a thing. But it was, for me.
My final shift of working nights I had a meltdown once I got home. Looking back, I think it was a cumulation of the final sigh of going to day shift and anticipation of that, cabin fever as we have had tons of snow here resulting in a huge lack of anxiety busting outdoor time for me and also another month that I am not pregnant again. In a sobbing panic state I texted our doctor’s nurse concerned I was going crazy, that I was infertile and that something was very wrong with me and my body ability to carry a child. Calmly, she addressed my concerns and suggested I come in to see the doctor. Carlos and I went in for an appointment their next business day and already I felt a little embarrassed about my dramatics. I had got some sleep, calmed down a bit and recognized my furious texting was the result of an anxiety attack, which had been happening more and more often. Logically, I know the facts of our situation surrounding our very healthy conception and pregnancy of Sylvia. Logically, I know there was nothing myself or our doctor could have done. Logically, I know my body did its job, but something out of our control happened and her heart stopped. Logically, I know we are healthy and most likely very capable of conceiving again. Logically, I know my body knows what to do and when the time is right for it, we will be pregnant again. Logically, I know all this. But grief and panic are not logical. They are fear driven and irrational. They are scattered and overwhelming. They interrupt and startle, they bite and don’t let go. They plant weird little seeds that grow at insane rates, multiplying, branching out, grabbing on to other trees that have already taken root, blocking out the sunshine that maybe logic needs.
At our appointment the nurse and our doctor dismissed my apologies for my theatrics, assured us that this is not only normal but probably going to happen again and that we can call or come in any time with concerns. They are seriously the best. Then they told us exactly what I needed to hear in the most therapeutic, kindest, most loving and gentlest way…
‘Teresa, chill the hell out.’