blue jays and puke strategies
It’s 3:31 am. I just vomited up everything in my stomach, most of which was the lemon ginger water that I drink on the constant to prevent vomiting up everything in my stomach. I could not eat yesterday, nor sleep; I can’t sleep tonight. I’m trembling from the exertion of puking.
I can feel the baby moving. It’s early– I shouldn’t be feeling it– but I’m feeling it. Sometimes I wonder if this pregnancy is farther along than I think because Wyrm never died. In the emergency room, after I found out that I was pregnant again, I struggled to remind myself that this wasn’t Wyrm back, this wasn’t Wyrm. I curled up in the miserable gowns on the thin sheets over the cold ass cracked up plastic of the hospital bed and rocked myself and cried. This isn’t Wyrm, it isn’t Wyrm.
I know it isn’t Wyrm because Wyrm’s body was in my freezer for nearly two months. Now he has been cremated and is in an urn in my living room. C. and I were going to release his body to the Pacific Ocean; we were going to do a lot of things. We do not speak now. I puke, he fucks random people. We’ve gone our separate ways. How quickly everything we hoped for or had counted on so absolutely dissolves.
Sometimes I still have suicidal thoughts. Then I remember that really, I already died. I died and went to hell and came back and died and went to hell and came back and now there isn’t flesh anymore, there isn’t bone, there is only negative space. Burned clean of even the capacity to want. I may be able to write again, now. There is room.
This baby does not have a name. I cannot hear it’s name. The cranial sacral therapist told me that she talked to the spirit of my baby, the last time she was wiggling my ears and poking my neck on her pretty draped table. She said that the baby is the same spirit, come back through all the miscarriages. A spirit that I have known and loved in previous lives, as cousins, best friends, lovers, spouses. This spirit is so fucking happy to be with me again in a new way, she said, sans the expletive. They are choosing to come now because I need them, because I have died and gone to hell and died and gone to hell and now that there is nothing left but death in me, this spirit has come to fill me with new life.
She cried while she told me. I couldn’t cry, because there was still more death in me than the capacity for life. I don’t know what I think. She said that the animal I need pay attention to now is the blue jay. That whatever I needed the armadillo for, or the frog, had been resolved. We have strange conversations. Last time I was there while she was apparently talking to my baby’s spirit I saw all these asses everywhere, all over the ceiling, in my head; I saw mud fat with standing water, a red, red river sensuous with silt– the river I often dream of, a river I once fucked my boyfriend in when I was 15. (Which got real awkward, when some fisherman boated by.) I felt very uncomfortable having my ears wiggled while I saw asses everywhere. Especially when I found out that she had been talking to my baby. Did they see the asses, too?
She said my river was her blue jay. (I didn’t mention the asses.) That the question was one of courage, of autonomy. Do I sit in the mud? Or do I brave the sensuous seductions of the river, swoop in and just fucking take what I need, without shame the way the blue jay does? She said that I was making a very important decision, and that I need pay attention to the blue jay.
I don’t know what important decisions I am making. Frankly, life feels so unequivocally overwhelming that most of the decisions that I make are immediate, minute things, such as, should I puke before I shit– which end goes over the toilet first? Should I eat cereal before I brush my teeth and puke? Should I take my prenatal vitamin with breakfast or lunch; should I puke generic organic raisin bran or an egg salad sandwich? Most of my decisions right now are about my ass or my mouth, plus all the many yards of beleaguered, pregnancy-shocked gut between. They don’t seem particularly imperative. Egg salad puke or raisin bran puke? Spirit of the blue jay! Egg salad, goddamnit, now, without shame!
Spirit of the blue jay. When she said blue jay, I said, but they are so mean. Not mean, she said, they do what they need to do without shame. Like a pregnant person eats a whole pizza. (I have not eaten a whole pizza. But I have thrown up half a calzone.)
C. once said that I am more venomous than an adder. I don’t know how much I need blue jay encouragement. I do know that over the last many weeks, I have felt things that I am not used to feeling, like profound loneliness, a deep fear of being alone. Like longing to be touched by another human being. Like needing, actual needing, human presence and contact. Needing a hug.
Usually when people say, do you need a hug?, my secret inner thought is– ugh, why the hell would I want you to touch me? I’m not huggy feely. I don’t get how pressure and other people’s bodies can feel soothing. Or I didn’t, until now.
Sometimes I am so scared that I want to be picked up and cradled, I want to be rocked. I rock myself. Sometimes I ask someone to just sit near me, or lay their hand on my back, although I do not have many people around to ask. Sometimes I just imagine in it in my head, the comfort of another person’s palm laid warmly across my spine.
I try to breathe long and slow through these times, when I feel so small and wretched, so terrified and ill that I don’t know how the hell I am ever going to make it through this. I tell my baby, this is loneliness, this is sadness, it hurts, doesn’t it? But we are okay, we get through. We’ll just breathe real slow and get through this. Even when there is no one to hold you, to carry you, time will carry you through.
I learned that time carries when I was locked up for months as a teen in a place where we were “only allowed to blink and breathe without staff permission.” I have become very skilled at the simple arts of blinking and breathing. Of waiting without hope, without thought.
At least until the bran cereal decides which end it will make its arduous exit from.
I think I made my blue jay decision this morning. I ended all possibility of friendship or family with C. I cried all day. I wanted to run to him, to wrap myself around him, to place his palm on my belly, on my spine. I wanted him to feel my pulse, my tears, to rock me, to love me, to feel the baby move. To recant, to reclaim. I wanted things to go back to the way they never were, when I trusted him and we brought each other joy.
Instead I entered the river, unsure if I would swim or drown. The baby moves in me; the surface of the water is warm but the depths are cool, almost cold. Sediment and water moccasins ribbon around me. We are far south enough for gators to be a concern. Mud squelches between my toes, slippering my feet. I wade towards center. I look for the white horse I dreamed of once, the dead one. I wonder if the stress will kill this baby, too.
This isn’t Wyrm. It isn’t Wyrm. I will blink and breathe and fucking swim.