The time has come. I am currently 40,000 feet in the air, about 2,100kms from Melbourne, a further 5,200kms to Bangkok.
I had so many grand plans and ideas go through my mind to fill in my spare time over the last couple of weeks, yet nothing came to fruition. I was going to do a bit of sightseeing, I was going to finish setting up a new blog for my travels, and I was going to set up a new Facebook page and Instagram account to go with the new blog. I was going to spend time with everyone who mattered. I was going to get super excited about my trip. I was going to get myself sorted.
I managed to get myself sorted. I managed to spend time with many who mattered, but not all. I managed to start feeling a bit better about myself and almost started to feel excited about the trip.
There are moments when I’m looking forward to what I’m about to do, what I’m about to see and whom I’m about to meet. But they are still few and far between. The most emotion I experienced was yesterday afternoon saying bye to Emma and the kids. Jordan (now 8) was very emotional. He didn’t want me to go as he wouldn’t see me for a long time and got a bit teary. I was doing well until seeing his little face, his cheeks and eyes red. I did get through without shedding a tear, but it got close. (I’ve been assured that he was back to his usual happy self this morning – how quickly he forgets!)
The airport drop-off this morning was quick and un-emotional. Mum asked me this morning if I was excited, and I responded that I was a bit numb to be honest. I still am. There isn’t a big burst of emotion going through me. I’m not sure what I am feeling or even what I should be feeling. Nervous is probably the closest and most frequent of my emotions and I really don’t have any reason to be.
I boarded my flight no problems, I sorted the last minute issues with access to my savings, I have my Vietnamese visa and I’m a responsible, mature person. I’ve travelled before and know the main gist of how things go. I’m not as shy as I was ten years ago when I last did independent travel so I should be able to make friends easier and faster. I’ve got nothing to be nervous about.
I guess I’m worried about how I’ll be in two weeks time. Numbness may have set in for self-preservation and may stick around for a while yet. I had my last appointment with Fiona nearly two weeks ago and she signed me off. Told me to have fun and lots of sex. Easier said than done! I’ll try my best but have no promises.
She did ask me again what I had planned for the due date and asked a few questions, prompted me to work on a ritual. Write down some words and release them, along with the life that could have been. All I know is that I’ll be in Sihanoukville in Cambodia, a beachside town and I just want to sit and contemplate. If possible, I’d like to release a lily into the ocean. I hadn’t thought more about the ritual. So now I feel like I should be planning more, or at least feeling more.
I told Emma about releasing a lily, and also mentioned that I might get myself a tattoo. I don’t have any and had never been serious about getting one. But as I still have ‘Lily’ on my mind, I thought it might be nice to get a lily somewhere. I then feel doubtful, apart from now no longer having the option to use Lily for kids I will – will – have in the future, do I want to put a permanent mark on my body for this one loss? What if I have another miscarriage? Will I have to get another flower? Why do I need to put so much emphasis on this baby?
The loss of the baby and the loss of my relationship have been hugely significant for me. Why not mark this with a visual reminder? I won’t have to look back sadly on this, but rather reflect on how I managed to survive and will continue to survive. If I do have another miscarriage, I’ll survive that and can mark that as well.
I am about over my grief. I have somewhat accepted the miscarriage. Of course I still wonder about what may have been. No longer about what should have been. Rather what could have been. The lily can be for survival and hope.
I caught up with Manda a few times – she makes me happy. We just get each other and I was telling her about the afternoon I’d spent with my niece and nephew. Logan asked me if I had a baby in my belly. It came from nowhere – Emma said it was likely due to her sister-in-law being pregnant and her telling them about it. Logan then wanted to give me a bunch of marbles for my kids. I said that I didn’t have any and wouldn’t for a little while yet. He still insisted – we finally managed to convince him to look after them for me until my kids would be old enough.
I didn’t feel sad when Logan talked about my kids. It knocked me a bit, but I coped. Manda reassured me that I will have kids. The day will come and I’ll get those moments. She said it’s bloody hard, but then there are the moments when you wouldn’t have it any other way.
I spent a day with Jodie, Tanya and their daughters. Jodie was about ready to pop with her second baby and I didn’t feel any sadness. I did however sit there and watch the girls, their interactions with each other and their mothers and I just knew deep inside me that I do want that. I will have that. I want and deserve to be a mother and there is a perfect baby out there waiting for me just as I’m waiting for them.
I briefly saw Jodie again last night – she was off to the hospital for final preparations; she was so excited for me and my trip. I was excited for her and her next journey. I did feel myself starting to get emotional, thinking about her going into labour at any moment and bringing a new life into the world. I didn’t experience jealousy, but I did reflect and momentarily wanted that for me in the next two weeks.
As I was leaving, Tanya again asked me how I was, if I was okay. I honestly don’t know. The numbness is getting rather odd. I want to feel, I want to experience big, deep feelings again. I’m glad the deep, gut-wrenching sadness has gone. But I’d like something other than slight anxiety and numbness to replace it.
The time is here. I have left my friends, family and home behind. I have adventure, excitement and travel ahead of me. Perhaps a tattoo, perhaps some love affairs. But definitely some truly me time. I hope I find what I’m looking for. I hope I start to feel again.