I’ve been in a lot of pain lately. All physical, pregnancy related. Normal stuff. I got tired of complaining about it last night, I knew I was being a pain, I knew it was annoying to hear, and I knew (and know) that there are so many more women in situations and circumstances during their pregnancies that put mine to shame. So I asked God last night for some perspective. I’m only writing right now because it helps me sort things out, I’m still a little numb, so bear with me.
I was sitting on the toilet for about the millionth time last night, squeezing out one tiny drop of pee with each trip, and I said out loud “Okay God, this sucks for me, but it isn’t the worst situation in the world. Help me be a better person and understand this.” I even mentioned how more than likely, there are 9-months pregnant women out in the world who are forced to work in the fields under the hot sweaty sun, right up until the moment they went into labor, giving birth only to be put right back into the fields. I just needed at that moment to be given some help with understanding that.
Early this morning, my father passed away. That was not the perspective I had been anticipating.
Background: My parents have been divorced since I was about 4 years old, my father has never really been a major player in my life, sort of a “see you during major holidays” father. I am, however, close to that side of my family, my cousins were like siblings growing up and I love them dearly. My dad was mentally ill and tried to commit suicide the summer before my senior year in high school. So, for the past ten years he has been living in an assisted living facility. I mention this so you may understand, not so you should pity me.
I’ve been crying all day, and the crazy thing is, I feel like I have no right to cry, because, I didn’t really have this typical father-daughter relationship. Grief is a funny thing, and I’m not sure it is what I am feeling. Do you have the right to feel this type of sadness, anger, disbelief, etc, if you don’t really know the person who died? I mean, of course, I knew my father. But, these tiny pieces of who he was before he was “crazy” don’t add up to a whole person. He was the golden boy in high school, they liked to tell us: smart, athletic, party-guy, handsome, a great hunter, everybody’s good ole’ boy.
Those are just descriptions. I have a few stories of how he was scared of the wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz when he was a little boy, my mom once told me how he was a very good artist and liked to draw. There is another story of him taking a trip on a fishing boat. But that’s all I know. 27 years of my life and I can tick off the good stories I know of my father on one hand. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I remember after my mom told me he once loved to draw, I bought him a bunch of drawing supplies for Christmas that year and whispered to him “Mama told me you once loved to draw, I thought maybe you could start up again.”
I never received one picture.
I wrote him letters, trying to gather any information from him, wanting to know a little bit more about him, wanting to know what qualities and attributes I may have garnered from his contribution to my DNA. I never really remember getting any straight answers.
My sister took the opposite approach. Her mindset was that he had never really done anything for her, so why should she reach out? I always felt she was the stronger one, and I wished I could be more like her when it came to dealing with our father. I was always sucked into wanting to develop some relationship that would never happen. Trying to make him believe I wasn’t angry or upset or sad about how we were never a priority until we were adults, living our own lives and no longer needed “daddy”. We are both dealing with our paths, with my mom telling us that none of our tears should be guilt-ridden, because we did nothing wrong.
I can’t help but feel a little guilty. Guilty because after a phone call from him a month or so ago I was just so fed up with the bullshit that I decided that I needed a break and I needed to distance myself until after this baby was born, because I was too emotional to go there right now. He called twice after that. The first time I was napping and Bill didn’t wake me. The second time, about two weeks ago, I saw it was him and decided I couldn’t deal with it. He left a message, telling us he loved us and there was no need to call him back, because he would probably be out on the porch and unavailable. I don’t know why I did it, but at the time, I didn’t erase the message. It’s still on my answering machine.
Bill wants to erase it and not let me hear it again.
I went to the doctor today. I decided to find out what the doctor said and if he said “induce” I would be okay with it, but I wasn’t going to ask. The idea of possibly bringing my child into the world on the same day they bury my father didn’t sit right with me. Or the idea of scheduling to bring my child into the world on that day was not something I was going to push.
I’m now 3 centimeters dilated, which means I have passed the early (or latent) stage of labor.
The doctor said I was “dilating beautifully” and if I haven’t gone into labor by next Monday, I should be at 4 centimeters. More than likely I will have a very easy delivery. This also makes me less inclined to push for the induction. If I stay pregnant longer, I will be in labor for a shorter period of time. I think the good outweighs the bad in this situation.
I’m a bit drained right now, I can’t focus on my feelings efficiently enough to finish writing about them, so I will leave you with that. Don’t worry, I know that I will be okay, and life will go on. I’m dealing with something foreign to me, so I’m taking it one moment at the time. It helped to write, even if it is discombobulated and a big mess.