Sunday, October 9, 2011

What a difference a year makes

When I sit and think about it, I can actually feel the sensation that went through me that day, last August. We came into the darkened room so excited and full of hope. Then, the next few minutes suddenly became tense and strange. The ultrasound technician was so silent, and I began to try and hone my face reading skills. Nothing. I saw no expression on her face. I realized in that moment, that this was a skill she had honed. A flash of heat went from the tips of my toes through the top of my head. My stomach began to tighten, and I kept looking at hubby, trying to read his expression. "This is not good," I said. Several people came in and out of the room, peering at the screen. "This pregnancy is not viable," were the last words I remember that day.

Okay, so I know that paragraph was a bummer, but I swear, this is a positive post. I have been thinking a lot about how differently I feel now about our miscarriage, struggles with infertility, and prospects in our future, a year after our loss. In August of 2010, I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Although hubs always kept his optimism (his ridiculously reliable optimism), I was consumed by pain and sadness. I literally thought that the feeling of emptiness would never end. However, in the last couple of months, I feel as though I have turned a serious corner with my ability to keep humor, perspective, and hope, while we continue to try and have a baby.

One example of this is being able to actually focus for more than a few minutes on something other than the status of my menstrual cycle. Until recently, infertility and TTC literally eclipsed nearly every waking (oh hell, and sleeping) moment of my day. It was a constant layer of static in my consciousness. Shopping? Nah, just trying on clothes while thinking about a forum post about PCOS. Having a drink with a friend? Nope, just trying to stay focused on the conversation, while being preoccupied with wondering who will get pregnant next. I might be exaggerating a little, but I have had a lot of guilt about this. I felt like I was not very present in my own life, and in my relationships with others. I have always considered myself to be a good friend, and this problem messed with me. But somehow, with time, I have been able to make a huge amount of improvement with putting TTC out of my mind for longer chunks of time, and being more "in the moment" with whatever I am doing. It isn't perfect, but it is a work in progress, and it is gaining momentum.

Another biggie for me has been getting used to the experience of pregnancy announcements and being close to mommy friends. Several people in my life have had children in the last two years. I think it is pretty easily understandable that this was initially tough for me. Balanced with my excitement and joy, was also mourning and jealousy related to my own desire to be a mommy. However, it is so much easier now than it has been previously.

Mommy-to-be: "Guess what? We are having a baby!"
Me (inner monologue): "Great for them. Why not me?"

Mommy-to-be: "Guess what? We are having a baby!"
Me (inner monologue): "Great for them! Someday, I hope it is me!"

This is quickly followed by the intense urge to babysit and baby hold as much as possible. Hubby started calling this BHT (baby holding time). I also want all the gory details. I want to know about pregnancy symptoms, birth plans, ultrasound results, birth stories, and hopes for the future.

I am lucky to have many supportive friends, some mommies and some not. Being close to a few BFF babies, and being an active part of their lives, has tremendously impacted my ongoing recovery. I don't even think they are aware of it. Some women in my position avoid being near children as much as possible, and also avoid pregnant friends. I feel the opposite compulsion these days. Being around them actually makes me feel better, less isolated even. Maybe it is because I work with children every day. Maybe it is because I deeply love the feeling of holding a newborn. Maybe it is because I see my friendships as life force. Whatever it is, I really don't flinch anymore when hearing about the experience of motherhood from close friends. Sometimes the details are funny (poops gone wrong, forgetting strollers at the mall) and sometimes they aren't (postpartum depression, a baby's health issues, developmental challenges). Either way, I just want to give back some of the support they have given to me.

I guess the point of this post is really to say that I finally feel okay with both where I am, and where my mommy friends are. It might have taken a while to get here, but I have nothing but love and joy for them.

Now, fill me in on how that teething is going...

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! It is real, honest and truthful... I admire the strength you have gained from your loss, and I'm truly sorry you had to suffer a loss. I have felt much of this and find myself transitioning into different ways of thinking in order to make it through all of this. I'm so excited to follow along with your journey -Cry's


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