It seems strange to say this, but things are starting to go back to normal.
For starters – I had my six-week postpartum visit at the midwives’ offices, and the midwife I saw said that my body is more or less back to normal.
My figure is also sort of returning to normal. Certainly there are lumpy and floppy places that didn’t exist before, but I’m definitely seeing movement in the right direction.
My biorhythms are getting back to normal. I’m sleeping at night. I’m awake during the day. I get hungry at the appropriate times.
For a while, it was hard to feel like things were ever going to go back to normal. There were too many people asking how I was doing, I was too disoriented, I had too many hopes and dreams with nowhere to land. It was nice to have so much support, but it was hard to feel normal with so much attention focused on me.
Now, there are no more visitors, no more cards and letters, fewer phone calls, text messages, emails, and Facebook posts. More and more, the people contacting me frequently are the people who have always contacted me frequently.
It feels a little lonely, sometimes – but only in contrast with how things have been the last few weeks. The alone time is replenishing. And the normalcy is refreshing.
So now – my activities are more in the normal range, also. I keep the house running. I keep my little projects and commitments running. I keep me running.
But not running too hard because – oh, yeah … I just had a baby.
Sometimes I forget that part. I’m so focused on the emotional trauma that I forget that my body has experienced a huge physical change as well.
It’s taken a while for me to be okay with any sense of “normal,” too. I thought that if I felt normal, it meant I was dishonoring Lauren or forgetting her or something.
But feeling normal doesn’t mean going back to how we were. That’s impossible. We can never go back. Normal just means accepting what has happened and integrating that experience into our daily lives.
For example, when we first came home from the hospital, I was so disoriented that I couldn’t understand that Lauren was gone. I kept thinking that I was pregnant, or that I’d never been pregnant, or that somehow she would come back to us. It wasn’t logical, but that’s how I felt.
Gradually, that feeling of disbelief became more a feeling of sadness or anger, this thought that she’s supposed to be with us now, and that it just isn’t right that she’s not.
Yesterday, I had this feeling that everything was as it should be. It was fleeting, but strong. If I had to try to put it into words, the thought would be, Well, of course Lauren’s gone. She was never meant to be with us for more than that time. For whatever reason, that’s how it is.
It’s an ongoing process, and I’m sure that there will be many more ups and downs, but that fleeting thought proves to me that we are moving towards rediscovering normal.
Whatever that means.