My first day back to work and I was fortunate that it turned out to not be a full day. I usually arrive at work around 8:30 in the morning and leave around 5:00 in the afternoon. I originally had an appointment at the cemetery at 9:15, so I went there first and then got to work late in the morning. Turns out the woman at the cemetery was sick and now my appointment is next Monday. Either way, I didn't get into work until a little before 10.
The other nice thing was that I had a previously scheduled hair appointment this afternoon, so that meant I got to leave work early as well (3:30). I didn't plan it this way, but I think it worked out well. That first full day back can be so difficult!!
I think what makes it difficult is because nothing has changed for the people around me. This whole time that I've been gone, grieving the loss of another child, undergoing surgery, and trying to recover from said surgery, everyone else has continued going to work, doing their jobs and carrying on as normal. I know my coworkers feel for me, they care for me, and they are sad that I have to go through this again. But I'm the one that has really had to deal with the physical and emotional pain of all of it.
So for everyone around me what is "normal" hasn't changed. But my normal has.
That's the most difficult thing about entering your life again. It hasn't really changed, but it has changed. And it is a strange feeling.
I didn't have a baby, so I'm not dealing with sleepless nights and a new schedule that involves dropping off and picking up from daycare. I didn't lose a child that results in a change in my regular schedule. On the outside, nothing has changed. Those people who I don't work with very closely, who don't know my situation, see no change in me, my family, or anything around me.
And yet, I feel like so much has changed. Expectations have changed; plans have changed; dreams of changed.
I went into work today and proceeded with my day almost as normal. I did it with an emptiness inside, but I did it. I think today started the new "normal" of my life.
My old normal was as a librarian who likes her job, enjoys being challenged by it, and enjoys the people she works with. The old normal was as a happily married wife, knowing she had two children in heaven and hoping she would have living children one day too. The old normal was convinced that two losses was all she could handle and certainly she wouldn't be put through another or she'd surely lose it. And then things changed ...
The new normal is still as a librarian who still wants to enjoy her job despite her desires for a family. The new normal is still as a happily married wife, but now with three children in heaven. The new normal now comes with doubts about the future family that is so much desired, despite knowing that she is not in a place to think about it right now anyway. The new normal is now trying to understand how she is still standing and moving on after three losses when all she thought she could handle was two.
So much inner turmoil and yet I made it through the day. I know things will get better as each day goes by. I know my physical healing will improve. And I know my emotional healing will take time but will also improve as well.
It's just getting used to this new normal. I was hoping for a different new normal, sometime around mid-December, not this one. But life is full of twists and turns and now is one of those twisty times. It may never make sense in this life, but one day, in another place and another life, I will get to see all three of my babies and hopefully it will all make sense then.