After you died, all of a sudden there were all these places I could never go again. Like restaurants. Not just a couple specific restaurants in particular. All of them. Restaurants were for celebrations, and after you died, I was clearly not in the mood for celebrating. When I was pregnant with you, we went out to eat to celebrate all sorts of little occasions. To celebrate telling your grandparents we were expecting. To celebrate the beginning of the second trimester (and my first full day without puking in about five weeks!) To celebrate hearing your heartbeat at the doctor's office for the first time. To celebrate finding out you were a girl. To celebrate the fact that we had officially reached the point of "viability" at 25 weeks. To celebrate...just because. So seriously, for at least two weeks after you died, I refused to step foot in any sort of eating establishment. Take-out, I could do. But the inside of restaurants were totally off-limits.
Grocery stores were another one. Dad or my mom or my friends would have to bring me my breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday for the first few weeks. The first time I tried to be brave and do some quick grocery shopping with Dad, I just about had a mental breakdown. Dad would say, "do you want some cottage cheese?" and my eyes would well up and I'd say, "I can't eat that! I ate cottage cheese for Stevie!" He'd try again and say, "do you want to get some ice cream?" and I'd freak out and say, "I can't eat that! Stevie loved ice cream!" After this went on for about half the items in the entire store, Dad finally said, "okay, what can you eat now??" "alcohol and raw fish and lots of caffeine," was my short answer.
I couldn't even go the mall, one of my favorite places in the world, for weeks after you died. I couldn't buy new jeans, because that meant I no longer needed my maternity ones. I couldn't buy new tank tops and t-shirts because they would easily fit over my flat belly. I couldn't buy a purse because I wanted to be buying a diaper bag. I think you can see where this is going...
Now, over nine weeks out from your death, and I've tackled most of the places I thought I'd never be able to go again. I've gotten over my fear of (most) restaurants. I can go grocery shopping without going crazy, and I can even purchase and consume (most) of the foods I ate while I was pregnant with you. I enjoy spending way too much money on clothes and purses again.
But there are still a few places I haven't been able to face quite yet. Of course there's the obvious (Babies R Us and every other baby store in the world, whether I ever shopped there or not). Then there's Subway. The fear of Subway is really limiting my workweek lunch choices these days, but I just can't stomach going in there. I ate at Subway like four days a week throughout my pregnancy with you. I am just not ready to go in and not have to say "oh, and can you please double-heat my meat...I'm pregnant," while rubbing my belly and ordering my turkey and ham on wheat.
Or Ikea. I don't know that I'll ever be able to go in that store again (which Dad will probably appreciate!) There's just no way I could effectively shop there for an economically priced dresser or table or couch right now; I'd be too busy remembering three days before you died, picking out all your nursery things. I'd be too busy crying my eyes out.
Or the gas station by my office, where I went for my daily instant mashed potatoes and Sprite fix during weeks seven through 10, when you were making me super sick and nauseous. I hated feeling so sick, but as I'd tell everyone, "at least it assures me that obviously something is still going on in there!"
I guess I am proud of myself for coming this far, even if I still have some fears left to conquer. Who would have thought--I'm not afraid of needles or getting tattooed or being on TV, telling my sad story in front of thousands of people.
But I'm too chicken to walk into Subway and order myself a sandwich.
Oh, Baby, I sure miss you today.
3 hours ago