The old me was extremely extroverted and normally I was the loud one in a group of people. I loved meeting new people and I wondered about what having a baby would do to my identity.
After Matilda died I didn't want to see anyone for a long long time. And once I could no longer hide my pregnancy with Max I didn't want to see people either. It was something my husband worried about because it was such a huge departure from the person I used to be. But now I can feel that part of me coming back. The night before last the neighbours invited us over for a barbie with their brother, wife, and kids that were staying. It was spur of the moment and I was about to say no but thank for asking as I've been doing for the last 18 months when I realised I didn't really have a reason to say no and it sounded like fun. And it was. So it was nice to feel that part of me returning. But there's still something that's been taken away, some confidence that's missing. Before if I emailed people and they didn't respond I never really thought about it but now I always find myself thinking 'was it something I said'. The same in a group if I say something and it all goes silent or there's a pause before asking. I guess it's that I often feel socially awkard in a way I never used too.
I find meeting new people far harder than I used too. There's always the decision about whether I want to talk about Matilda with them. And then if I don't and the conversation swings in a certain way it becomes difficult or just plain painful. Like when people start talking about their 'awful pregnancy' because they had morning sickness and were uncomfortable at the end. In my books, if that's all you've got to complain about and you are complaining, then you've really got no idea. Or I do mention Matilda and they don't even acknowledge it.
As for wondering about what a baby would do to my identity. I've spent the last 18 months hoping for a baby to define my identity so that's not something I worry about anymore. Maybe I will in time but right now, I'm just so happy I have be defined as a Mum by other people and spend my days at home marvelling at Max alive and growing.
I'm more emphathetic and also more selfish. This seems to be pretty common among us BLMs.
I'm crying more lately than I have in a while. I'm not sure why. If it's approaching our second Christmas without Matilda. If spending time around families means I see girls about Matilda's age more often and I look at them and wonder what she would've looked like now. If it's every time Max does something new it's a reminder that I'll never see Matilda do those things. If it's that her birthday was not as hard as I expected due to being so caught up in caring for a newborn that it's catching up with me now. If it's because now Max is here everyone thinks I'm fine again - I'm sure even my closest friends would be shocked to find out that I still cry most days.
But despite all that life is good. The sun is shining. My Mum was here week before last and we've booked flights to see them at the end of January. We have a Christmas Tree with presents underneath it in the corner. Max is asleep in his cot and this afternoon we're going to Mother's Group this afternoon. It's just that someone will always be missing and missed.