When I was a sophomore in high school, we had a foreign exchange student from Japan living with us. Ayumi was, and still is, awesome, and we learned a lot from each other. But I always remember the last Japanese words she taught me right before she boarded her plane home -
"Dameda, dameda! Godzilla ga kuru!"
Well, I think that's how it went. But that's exactly what it sounded like. My friend Matt had insisted she teach us how the Japanese in the old movies would say "Run, run! Godzilla is coming!" Somehow, in high school, this seemed extremely important.
This week, it's even more important. Because a scary monster has just crept ashore, and it's time to run.
For starters, I'm sick. Not flu sick, but just south of there, where all I can manage to do is get dressed in jammies in between hot showers and hacking fits. Sick enough that they gave preggo some strong meds. And during one of my crying jags brought on by chills and pain, I said to Mike, "I haven't been this sick since Carpenter died."
For a mom who lost her first son to an undefined infection, I am not comforted by the doctor's assurance that the undefined infection I have today will not hurt Matthew. In fact, that assurance just made me mad. Because this woman knows how quickly it can go from zero to sixty. So the fear and the grief and the pain all stare me in the face each time I blow my nose. ...which would be bad enough, but...
We've almost reached Carpenter's gestational age when he died. Carpenter was 23/6. Matthew is 22/1. So now I'm doubly worried that maybe my body can't handle this part of pregnancy. Or maybe it's the winter coupled with this gestational age. Today it feels like a deadline is looming. In two weeks, I know I'll feel like every day is living on borrowed time. My feet are never on solid ground. ...which is enough to freak me out, but...
It's almost Carpenter's birthday. Everyone always tells you that the days or weeks leading up are worse than the actual day. You apparently work yourself into a frenzy, worrying how the day will go, and it's never as bad as you can imagine. And I just want to skip February altogether. But I want a huge celebration. But I want to hide, and be alone. But I don't want anyone to forget. But I don't want to remember. So I'm being pulled under by the looming date. ...which is exhausting in itself, but...
The worst thing happened this week. A dear friend, who was due just a week before Matthew with her hopeful-rainbow, went into the hospital for contractions. After a lengthy stay and tons of rest, she went into labor at 23 weeks and 6 days. Her gorgeous son lived over 12 hours before he slipped away in the NICU. And just like that, I was slapped with our children's mortality once again. I tried my damnedest not to make her pain about me. I spoke to her as often as she wanted, and tried to be the support she needed. But I don't even think she fell for it. She told me yesterday she was sorry that this must be scaring me. I assured her, honestly, that my fears didn't matter, and she deserved support.
But I'm scared to death.
Last week, I was just sitting by the sea, looking out on the horizon, hopeful. This week, a huge, scaly fear-monster has emerged from the water, coming straight at me. Grief has reared its giant head and is reaching out with its claws.
And all I can do is yell "Run, run! Godzilla is coming!"