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Thanksgiving Up Side the Head

November 28, 2008

It all started last weekend. A friend of mine invited me to his annual pre-Thanksgiving potluck. Since Magic and I aren’t invited to many parties, I figured we better go! Turns out I knew most of the people there, and their kids. It was great seeing everyone, but I was not prepared for the effect of seeing the little ones on me. It brought up another wave of grief which surprised me in a way. I thought I’d moved beyond that, or at least, wanted to believe so.

As the actual day of Thanksgiving neared, I dreaded it. I knew there would be more small children and I didn’t want to go through the same thing I did last weekend. I worked late Wednesday so I could spend less time with Magic’s relatives, and avoided the kids that night. I was dreading going to my SIL’s all day yesterday. When I had arrived, I saw two baby carriers. No one had warned me that my SIL’s friend with the twin infants would be there. I braced for an internal meltdown.

Instead, I leaned into it. I asked to hold both of the twins at one point. I successfully held one of the girls for about five minutes or so, to the amazement of both parents, as this girl apparently doesn’t like to be held by anyone but her mom and dad. They made having twins look easy.

One of the things that has to happen before I transfer my frozen embryos is that I need to be ok with twins. When I first saw those twin baby carriers yesterday, I thought the Universe was being cruel, but upon reflection later, maybe I was being pushed in a direction I wouldn’t have chosen to take otherwise. I call these “spiritual 2 by 4s”, as in, getting whacked upside the head by one. I think if I had known that there would be twin infants at Thanksgiving, I would have stayed home. I’m glad I didn’t know. I actually think I needed a whack to get me out of the funk I’d been in the last day.

One other observation, the panic attacks are lessening. The trauma therapy seems to be helping me. My session on Monday is what really tipped off that wave of grief. I did not specifically work so much on my loss, but this awful feeling I have gotten since a child in a recurring nightmare. I don’t have the recurring nightmare anymore, but I get the same feeling from the nightmare in conscious life now. I have never figured it out. We just worked on regulating my nervous system in the session, and not the content. The content isn’t the point in trauma therapy. It’s all about the nervous system, or as my therapist would say, nervous system calisthenics. I’m learning how to move back and forth between focusing on a happy memory, which makes me physically feel relaxed and calm, to touching into the trauma or unhappy memories. It helps me not get stuck in the trauma or negative feelings. I can’t say I regulated very well yesterday, though I did recognize that I was stuck. I was obsessing on the negative.

I’m not ungrateful. I actually am more grateful now since my tragedy than before. I have regrets and a lot of grief still. I’ve been able to make some progress with forgiving myself, but it can be hard on days like yesterday. I was sick and in a completely different place back then. I can’t change what happened, but I can learn from it and hopefully move on.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Seriously? - Erin permalink
    November 28, 2008 1:22 pm

    Here from ICLW. It would have been nice if someone warned you what kids to expect so you could be prepared. It sounds like you handled it well!All the best with your upcoming cycle.

  2. Lost in Space permalink
    November 28, 2008 2:18 pm

    Wow, Phoebe. I seriously am amazed at your strength on a regular basis. You make me want to be a better person for myself. Thanks for sharing your journey and continuing to inspire.

  3. Stacie permalink
    November 28, 2008 4:00 pm

    I am glad that you were able to enjoy the holiday!Happy belated Thanksgiving

  4. The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) permalink
    November 28, 2008 11:13 pm

    Oh, beautiful Phoebe, every time I think about your grief and that period of intense pain for you my heart breaks. I can identify so much, and the fact that you didn’t get the help and support you needed–it makes me ache. I know what it’s like to be there, and no one should have to go through that. I am so impressed with how much you’ve moved through–and holding the twins. Wow! Amazing progress. I am sending prayers and hope to you as you contemplate your next steps. Peace, friend.

  5. Duck2 permalink
    November 29, 2008 12:11 pm

    BE PROUD, like super amazing, where is your cape honey proud. You held a twin (for the record, I’ve never ever held a baby ever, I can’t do it, not yet at least, not until I have my own). You did well. happy thanksgiving.

  6. Duck permalink
    November 29, 2008 12:12 pm

    oh and I have a blog again…

  7. Geohde permalink
    November 30, 2008 1:24 am

    It takes real guts to face miltiple infants at once. I’ve done it from both sides of the IF fence, and I think you did amazingly well,K

  8. Mo and Will permalink
    November 30, 2008 5:51 pm

    Phoebe,I’m glad you were able to take what might have been an overwhelming experience being faced with the twins and somehow manage to turn it into a triumph. You have a lot of strengths. I hope you are able to realize this! – at least from time to time.Mo

  9. geeksinrome permalink
    December 3, 2008 4:34 am

    it took an amazing amount of courage to keep walking into that house after seeing a double wide outside! I can only imagine how shaken you were. And again — what courage to ask to hold the twins. you really should be proud — jumping into the abyss! But I think it’s a terrific sign that they didn’t even cry even tho they were famously fussy. I think it’s a sign they could feel some inner peace deep inside you!

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