Jenny’s Story

Site created on May 10, 2018

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Journal entry by Jenny Gruslin

It's awkward to have people tell you that you're an inspiration.  I mean, maybe if I was saving orphans or rebuilding hospitals in Haiti, maybe, then.  But I don't know what to say in response to just surviving my life.  Now, if you've said this to me, don't fret.  I get the sentiment and I know what you meant. And I appreciate it. I do. At the same time, it feels inauthentic to have all of this... STUFF.  I'm being made into superhero status while my grieving took a back seat to a different kind of grieving.  I'm just trying to figure out WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?  Everything and nothing, I think. 

First I was grieving for 5 years over not getting pregnant, which gave way to elation when the 25 pregnancy tests that I took just kept coming back pregnant and even more pregnant-er.  (Those lines get darker every day, did you know!? You should know this is not an exaggeration, there are pictures.  I dried them all on the driveway on a hot summer day and stuffed them into a Ziploc that was harder to throw away than you could ever imagine.)  Everything that I longed for was finally happening.  I almost couldn't remember the 10 cycles of heartbreak and the $15,000 long-ago spent. I couldn't wait to get round and to feel the baby move. It was all going to be so perfect and amazing and worth the wait.  But the wait was a short 6 months, and I wasn't round, it wasn't perfect. But he was amazing. I grieved the loss of my pregnancy while celebrating the birth of my son and my motherhood. Feeling grateful and cheated all at once. I shouted orders from the gurney in the OR.  "Milk the cord as much as you can! More than 5 times. As much as you can!  I want my placenta, I shouted." 

And I took control and from my recovery bed as I called the lactation consultant on a Friday night demanding to know what I could do right now, while the boots on my legs squeezed; I squeezed whatever control I could muster. The kind nurse who made it her duty to ensure my placenta was kept safe.  The tears I sobbed when I saw what they had done to it - hacked it into strips.  I wanted some connection to his birth and my birth as a mother. I wanted to see what kept him safe. I wanted them to lower the drape so I could be a part of the birth, but they wouldn't.  I wanted a clear drape, but they couldn't. I didn't see them hold him up. I didn't see him for several minutes or hear his cry. (But he did cry!) I was so angry and heartbroken.  Then I felt burdened by shame and grief for not simply being grateful and happy.
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