I thought that I could make it to work today. I thought that the distraction of having to keep 175 students on target would be welcomed. My students (Seniors) are aware that I am a surrogate and have been mostly up to date with the pregnancy since I have had so many appointments (they do not know anything about the IP’s, just general- “this is not my baby” info). I figured that if I broke down telling them the tragic news they would understand and being the amazing kids they are, we’d get right down to business and the day would fly by.
Perhaps it was a terrible plan from the onset.
Perhaps it was the blog post retelling before my morning started that brought it all to the forefront.
Perhaps it was the very sweet message my best friend teacher pal sent me.
Perhaps it was the frustrating call to set up the D&C before I walked in the building.
Perhaps it was a wicked combination of all of these things, but I made it up about 3 steps before I had to retreat to the empty stairwell cave and ball my damn eyes out. The sloppy messy snotty cry where you can’t talk and your body heaves. I wanted to collapse to the ground, but knew I needed to calm myself down and gather myself.
10 deep breaths, a quick, “you got this. You are fine. Settle down.” And I made it to the third floor and to my classroom.
Kids were already waiting and one said, “are you alright? You do not look well.”
To myself: thanks assface.
Out loud I replied that I had gotten bad news and would explain. She immediately hugged me. I immediately felt bad for thinking she was an assface.
After the bell rang, I weakly gathered their attention and it was then that they all saw the wreck that is Mrs. Whitsett (I realized in this moment I probably should have stopped in the bathroom before starting class to check my make up. Oops.). I got about two thirds into the sentence, “yesterday I had a doctor appointment and we got…” tears start welling and my voice begins to quiver “terrible news.” It was here that I straight up started crying and somehow stammered out the rest: “I need to have a procedure tomorrow and will not be at school the rest of the week.”
I took a second to breathe and settle back down. It took me longer than I wanted and I struggled to fully compose myself. It was there I realized I had made a mistake. I wouldn’t make it the rest of the day and no one needs to be forced to deal with my emotional wreckage, but especially not my students.
When I was calm enough, I explained that I needed them to continue reading Othello so we wouldn’t fall behind and that I needed to get sub plans together.
The amazing kids that they are did just that. They started reading. Someone even picked up my role of reading the stage directions, without being instructed. They would stop and ask questions for clarity and they worked together as a class for the period to struggle through Shakespeare. (My heart beams with pride as I write this.)
I was able to get lesson plans squared away, notify the powers that be, and make a quiet exit from the building. I feel better knowing my kids will be fine in my absence and knowing that we will not be terribly behind on Monday when I return (finals are just around the corner).
I decided to head to the doctor’s office to fill in paperwork and then head over to the hospital to do pre-op registration and get my instructions. All of which the lady on the phone, before school, instructed me to do.
It took about two hours but everyone was so sweet and helpful and answered all of the questions I had patiently and thoroughly.
I got home around 1.
I immediately started cleaning. All the interior windows have been cleaned. The surfaces have been dusted. The rest of Christmas was put up. And I finished vacuuming before bed. Apparently nervous energy makes me need to clean.
In the middle of the cleaning frenzy, there was a knock on the door. I could see before I even opened it that it was flowers. The most amazing arrangement I believe I have ever been given. I started welling up immediately. It smells heavenly as well.
The IP’s sent them with a beautiful note and I cried all over again.
I’m not sure how to express this complicated feeling. But in an attempt, I feel awkward and inadequate. THEY ARE SUFFERING. I should be sending them flowers. Their child is gone. I didn’t send them anything. I left them with grief and sorrow. I left them with tears and dashed dreams. I left them reeling and wondering what is next.
And they sent me flowers.
What do I do? How do I handle this? How do I navigate this confusing path?
Where’s the fucking handbook?! Anyone? I’m open to suggestions— seriously. I know there are some IM’s that follow this blog, how would you hope your surrogate respond in this situation? Please guide me.
This isn’t all about me. I’ve made it that way unintentionally but want to rectify that quickly.
All of this is terrible. So utterly terrible and now, on top of it all, I feel even more awful.