Tougher

I ran on the treadmill last night, watching the moon rise and listening to old Metallica. I was trying, as much as I possibly could, to not think, zone out. I’m not especially good at this not thinking business, but I was trying.

When I came home on Monday (with 2 more interviews to go) I had already given 14 interviews. In an hour and a half. I gave enough interviews that I forgot about some of them until Mr. Spit found them in google. I was exhausted: wrung out and smelly dishrag heaped in the bottom of your kitchen sink exhausted.

I knew it was going to be hard to do. I was smart enough that when one of the media got the not-very bright idea to scrum me, I said no. When I started to get anxious about the fact that they were taking Gabe’s scrap book out of my sight, I had the communications person from the U of A stay with it. Even with those limits, it was mentally exhausting.

All day I have been listless, out of sorts, precarious if you will. I couldn’t quite figure out why. It’s not so much that I wanted to have a nap as I wanted to pull the comforter over my head and make the whole damn world go away. I hadn’t realized that there’s an almost percussive effect to re-living those memories.

It’s not that I gave about 17 interviews, it’s that I re-lived my own 8 days of hell. 1 interview at a time, 17 times. Don’t misunderstand, the media were mostly kind. They were remarkably deferential, but 17 times I had to tell the story of my son and his death, and that wears. deeply. It’s been hurtful to see the comments on the pre-eclampsia face book page, from women who didn’t like how I phrased things. It’s galling that the Pre-eclampsia Foundation, who asked me to do this, was so un-supportive and couldn’t bestir themselves to say thank you for my work.

Which is finally my point. I was running on the treadmill last night, and I realized that all of those people who have told me that they couldn’t do what I did on Sunday and Monday, maybe they weren’t just being nice. Maybe I should stop assuming that anyone could do this. Maybe I should stop assuming that I ought to do very hard things because someone should do them.

Maybe I am a lot tougher than I give myself credit for.

Maybe.

This entry was posted in Baby Loss, Feats of Wonder, Pre-Eclampsia. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Tougher

  1. a says:

    How could you doubt that you have a backbone of steel? We spend all our time trying to alleviate grief – to make it go away, so we don’t have to feel it. Not only did you relive that grief, you did it publicly, and invited everyone to inspect it. You opened yourself up to criticism from people who wouldn’t have the strength to put themselves out there. You even let yourself be subjected to bad grammar! 😉 If you didn’t feel like crawling into bed and hiding under the comforter for a week, I would think that you had just completely cracked under the pressure.

    You are very strong. You’ve shown it over and over. Don’t forget it.

  2. Heather says:

    I saw your interviews on CTV and I was so very proud of you. You were beautiful, graceful and intelligent, and your words brought pre-eclampsia to life for many people who have maybe never even heard of it. As a fellow Pre-E/HELLP babylost mom, I could not imagine better words spoken or a better representative for our cause. Thank you.

  3. Jane says:

    *hug* *sends comforter from the UK* It sounds like a very intensive, difficult day. And you were brave.

  4. Joanne says:

    Tough. Unbelievably. Just to have survived, let alone tell anyone, write about it, let alone talk about it on National TV.
    You came to see me compete in the CBC Poetry Faceoff. I marvelled at how strong you were then. It took me the rest of the year to recover from that one public performance contest, and made me sick when I heard myself on the radio. Poetry, by its very nature is deeply personal and emotional. I often feel that any public reading or publishing is like pimping the sacred, so seeing you give umpteen public interviews in which you expose your deepest, darkest, most personal pain…. I’m speechless. I want to pick you up and rock you in my arms. You have given a gift so precious and sacred. I, like many other women, am deeply grateful for your amazing courage.

  5. Dear Mrs. Spit, you are one tough lady. Very few people can relive memories the way you did, with such class and dignity. It is exhausting, mentally, physically and emotionally to have to relive via storytelling painful moments in our lives. Especially when we are not doing this telling once, but multiple times in a short period of time.

    For all those you didn’t say it, I say thank you and you did an amazing job.

  6. Birdie says:

    I really enjoyed watching the interview! I only wish they’d shown more of YOU! You did a GREAT job!! Very proud of my blog friend! 🙂

  7. Angie says:

    I agree 100% with what Heather said.

    “I saw your interviews on CTV and I was so very proud of you. You were beautiful, graceful and intelligent, and your words brought pre-eclampsia to life for many people who have maybe never even heard of it. As a fellow Pre-E/HELLP babylost mom, I could not imagine better words spoken or a better representative for our cause. Thank you.”

    Thank you for me and Olivia, too.

  8. debby says:

    Um. Mrs. Spit. Yeah. I’m a pretty hardy woman. However, if there was a competition, I’m pretty sure that you’d wind up taking the match.

    Your courage inspires me. And, from the sounds of it, many more. And know what else? People are very quick to criticize sometimes. But those people? They’re quick to criticize EVERYTHING…it’s not just you. And I’m not surprised that you’d hear a backlash from others who’ve suffered the same loss as you. Know why? Because their own pain is so big to them that they find themselves listening to your courage and thinking ‘MY story was more riveting, my pain more evident, she should have said this, or I would have said it that way…’ I don’t know why that is, but I’ve seen the same thing happen between cancer survivors. Once that spotlight is on you, you immediately become a target.

  9. HereWeGoAJen says:

    You are tough. Giving those interviews must have been incredibly difficult and draining. Yet you still managed to do a beautiful, thoughtful job.

  10. loribeth says:

    Holy cow — I think that giving 17 (!!!) interviews in a row (14 in 90 minutes??!) about ANYTHING would be totally draining, nevermind a topic so emotionally fraught as pre-ecclampsia & stillbirth. Reliving the worst moments of your life & trying your best to make people understand what that was like, 17 times over, in a single day — you deserve a medal, Mrs. Spit. (((hugs))) And thank you.

  11. loribeth says:

    Oops, I know Gabriel was not stillborn. But you know what I meant.

  12. Ya Chun says:

    Wow, that must have been grueling. It takes one tough lady…

  13. Reese says:

    You are strong. as. nails. Don’t let them crazies tell you otherwise.

    And how old of Metallica are we talking? Like Master of Puppets old or Wherever I May Roam old?

  14. Chris says:

    Yeah, ummm, you are tough. But in the awesome-est way possible. And thoughtful. And beautiful. And responsible for making the world a better place for all who are here.

  15. Needles says:

    It might still be hard to believe, but there is no maybe about it. You are one strong and classy woman. Believe it.

  16. Msfitzita says:

    You are VERY strong. And I don’t doubt for a second that you felt like a wrung-out dishrag after telling Gabe’s story 17 times. It wears me out when I tell Thomas’ story once to a new person. I can’t imagine doing it 17 times over the course of a few days…to the media, no less. Good heavens!!!

    You’ve earned a good rest and some pampering. Do something nice for your strong self. That’s an order.

    ((((HUGS))))

  17. Romy says:

    I think that you’re pretty amazing. You (and Mr. Spit) spoke with honesty and eloquence and your interviews have helped to bring awareness — which will save lives. well done, Mrs. Spit, well done.

  18. The boys and I watched your CBC video, yes, hiding your head under the covers, and letting the world go away would be very understandable.
    Thank you for sharing your scrapbook and precious photos of your beautiful son.

  19. Denise says:

    Hey there, I was checking in on what was happening with your blog and I’d like to chat about what happened with the facebook stuff. I hadn’t seen those comments and I’m sorry people were not responsive in the way they should be in the comments. I’d also like to talk about the response hon, I’d like to know who were were in touch with at the PF. I was not aware (at least didn’t make the connection when reading the article) that it was you, so I apologize for missing that.

    You spoke your truth and should not have to apologize for that. You lost something precious and that loss will always be there. You are courageous and by sharing your experience have done a huge service in spreading the word.

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