I did a bad thing today.
I swore that the next person that asked if I was pregnant would get an earful…I would put them in their place. I had my chance yesterday. A random guy in Baltimore asked me if I was expecting…and I just didn’t have the heart to tell him off. It was obvious that he had special needs and he was only trying to be nice by offering me a chair. I just said, “No.” And the poor guy was beside himself with guilt, asking, “Did I offend you?” in a voice loud enough for the sharks in the aquarium across the street to hear. I cried to my friend in the restaurant, right in front of everyone. If it wasn’t so sad, it would have been funny.
I cried some more that night on the phone with my friend, Lindsey, and then some more when John got home. I told him that I was giving up. Screw the gym. No more food diary. Make baggy sweatshirts my new uniform. I would hide behind my clothes and try desperately not to stand out or draw any attention to myself until, one day, I would emerge all shiny and new like a butterfly from her chrysalis. I let myself mope around about it and feel sorry for myself. In addition to these lovely comments from random strangers I have been receiving, I had been letting an article I read recently really get me down. Thankfully, however, today when I woke up, I felt refreshed. I looked in the mirror and saw all the progress I have made instead of all I have left to go. It’s only been 11 weeks for goodness sake! I should not compare myself to her or ANYONE else. I realized that woman has NO IDEA what it feels like to go through what I’ve been through and her black-and-white attitude was really not going to work for me (and I’m guessing many others). She has some good points, but if she was trying to encourage women she really missed the mark. Today, I realized I have to take care of me, and only me. And the only voice that really matters is the one I hear within myself. Looking in the mirror, I felt proud of myself and couldn’t wait to go to the gym to keep it up. I look good, yeah girl!
After a great workout, I got to the car and checked my messages. And there she was again…the evil robot, calling for the FOURTH time “on behalf of B.G. Cornely” to see if we need financial assistance. What, did my hang-ups and ignored messages not get through to these people??? All those shiny good feelings I had woken up with went flying out the window and I could feel the rage and heartache coursing through my veins.
And that’s when I did the bad thing…
I called that robot back…
…and I unleashed the fury and the sorrow and the anguish that I have been storing inside for so long on a poor unsuspecting operator on the other line. Poor girl had no idea what was going to happen when she picked up that phone, defenseless and unarmed. I told her off for the unwanted phone calls. For all the people who asked if I was pregnant. For the feeling of having empty arms and a big hole in my heart. For all the unused baby stuff sitting around our house collecting dust. For the unfairness of life. For everything.
I’ll leave our conversation between me, God, and the customer service agent for the Evil Robot company. But rest assured, that they will NOT be calling again. As good as it felt in that moment, in the end it didn’t help me at all. It left me feeling bitter, spiteful, and then later, guilty. I usually go out of my way to make people have a good day…not a bad one. I am not proud of what I did, but also not ashamed. Grief can make you a little crazy sometimes. Moving forward, I have decided that I am going to enforce a strict one-hour wait time before calling anyone back about Callie (unless it’s our social worker from Children’s…she is awesome!). That will give me time to cool off and handle my problems in a more respectable manner. Also, I have developed a comeback to anyone else out there that wants to ask if I am pregnant. I will look them in the eyes and say, “No, I am working on losing the weight I gained with my baby who went to heaven a few months ago.” Short. Simple. Answers the nosy question without being a you-know-what. Like a friend in my online support group says…it will make them uncomfortable for a few minutes, but I have to feel that pain for the rest of my life. They can deal with a few moments of discomfort. Not that causing discomfort is my goal…but, I have to have a way to answer that question that will leave me feeling dignified instead of taking care of someone ELSE’S feelings. It is not my job to protect them from the truth that is my life. They ask. I will answer.
Here’s hoping all my hard work in the gym will mean I won’t get that question ever again…that is until I’m actually pregnant again with our rainbow baby one day. But if it comes, I’m ready. I pray that the Lord will give me the strength to get a tough skin and the ability to not compare myself to anyone else. My goals are short and sweet. Stick to my plan. Try not to take my problems out on other people. And above all else, be kind to myself. I think I’m going to paint that on my bathroom mirror. ;-)