It took about 12 days for me to begin to eat and walk around like a normal person again, but thankfully I'm there now. Maybe the some-random-stomach-virus theory is going pan out after all! But even though I feel functional now (despite having caught Big A's chest cold last week), I still have some sporadic abdominal and pelvic pain. So, I'm going ahead with pursuing the might-be-endometriosis theory with my gynecologist. Endo frightens me because of the cyclical nature of it -- the idea that I might regularly be in as much pain as I was two weeks ago makes me shake and cross myself. On the other hand, if I have another attack that starts just as period begins, at least the mystery will be solved, and we could finally make a real stab at treatment.
I have been feeling on edge and punk in the past month, but given the mystery illness, that wasn't terribly surprising. But it occurred to me that most of the anxiety focused around Little A. Since we are also sorting out her health issues at this time, I figured maybe that was also normal. Still, I didn't understand the intensity of my freakouts. Little A has been doing well on her new meds and there really isn't much reason to be anything other than optimistic about what lies in store for her. So why was my heart hurting so much whenever my little girl toddled by?
While folding laundry the other day I finally figured it out: This black mood had started the day I took the bin of 2T and 24-month clothes out of the garage and incorporated them into Little A's general wardrobe. It's those clothes. The ones Big A wore three years ago when I was pregnant with my angel baby.
I have a hand-me-down hangover.
Who knew that such strong anxiety and grief could imprint on little dresses and pants? There is one particular outfit that looks adorable on Little A (much as it did on her big sister) but every time she flits by wearing it, I'm hit with the knowledge that this was the play dress Big A wore on Christmas 2005, which was just two days after my pregnancy termination. It was all I could do to keep from hurling myself out the picture window that day, and most of the events of that time are thankfully lost to the fog of despair and vicoden. But oh, that dress -- that I remember all too well.
It pisses me off! Not only because Little A looks so adorable in it, but because now that I'm a SAHM, my budget doesn't allow for me going out and buying an equal-but-different dress for Little A. So I'm in a conundrum: do I suck it up and deal with the sadness over seeing the clothes again, or do I donate the old clothes, and hope that people give Little A outfits for Christmas?
Strange and arbitrary. That's what grief is three years after a loss.