I'm tired. I don't feel like talking. I feel like I've already talked everything through with G, my parents, and K&L. I'm just tired.
I am angry. I'm really pissed. I was derailed. I was doing SO WELL. And then SHIFT. and then PSYCHE! SHIFT again. And now...
I was feeling better about myself than I have felt in years. I was healthy, strong, happy, and enjoying life on deeper levels than I had experienced in so long, I'd forgotten about them. I was excited to face each new day. I had my life back, my groove back, my Self. I was in touch, in tune, and in control, and what I couldn't control, I wasn't bothered by. It was an incredible three months.
Then, sometime in April, I got sick.
I thought I had some weird flu, or had become lactose-intolerant. All of a sudden my steel-cut oats, which I make with skim milk rather than water, were making me nauseous. Even my coffee, which I take with plenty of evaporated skim milk, made me queasy. I got headaches. I was heavily fatigued. I started taking naps in the afternoon, and switched to tea and toast with peanut butter for breakfast in the morning. I tried drinking lots of water, but I just had to pee all the time.
Three weeks I suffered through this! I would feel a little better for a few hours, then it would come back. One half-glass of wine at a party made me feel hungover the whole next day!
Turns out... I was pregnant.
Should have seen it coming, really. G and I had been "flying without a net" for six months. This was what was supposed to happen. If anything, I had been a bit nervous that it hadn't happened yet. Back home in Illinois, girls and women pop out babies every time they take a shit. Out here in the east, everyone has to have fertility treatments. I don't know what the difference it. It's not age - everyone from 15 to 40 is reproducing like rabbits back home. I have always imagined it's the toxins in the environment out here; in farm country where I grew up, everything's pretty natural. But who knows. I'm allergic to the earth, and I thrived in the toxic city, so I wondered if I hadn't become someone who would need medical help to have babies.
Nope. Knocked up the old fashioned way! And was I ever excited!
And I COULDN'T TELL ANYONE. Riiiight. How the fuck was I supposed to sit on THIS!? I told my parents immediately, and then told them THEY had to sit on it. I told Kristin and Lisa, and then immediately put out the disclaimer that, after age 35, there is a 25% change of miscarriage. So we were all feet-on-the-ground about this.
And then... yup. Miscarriage. Two weeks after I got confirmation of the pregnancy. The tests came back positive, and then two and a half weeks later, I was scheduled for a D&C.
I went for my first sonogram, and I was about 7 weeks along. The heart was beating, everything looked good. Two weeks later, I went for my second sonogram, and brought G with me. I was SO EXCITED. And nothing. Quiet. No heartbeat. The baby was gone. Just a clump of cells stuck in my uterus, doing nothing. Nobody home. the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.
So I had to go back to the office the following Tuesday for a D&C.
That was a surprisingly easy experience. My team of doctors is WONDERFUL. I didn't feel anything, I didn't even feel the needle when they gave me the IV for the anesthesia. The nurses, the anesthesiologist, my doctor, everyone, took such great care of me. My friend Jo came with me, and brought me back to her apartment to recuperate afterward. I spent most of the afternoon and evening sleeping. She made me some dumplings, and gave me lots of water to drink, and eventually, at about 6 or so, G came to pick me up.
I felt fine.
The next day, Wednesday, I went and got my hair blown out. The day after that, Thursday, G and I flew to Chicago for a long weekend with my parents and Kristin & Lisa.
In Chicago, I bled. I had been warned that would happen. I was prepared. It was like a heavy period. I had cramps, but I had plenty of Advil, and I had the antibiotics that I'd been given. Kristin and Lisa were wonderful, letting me basically dictate what we did in the city. They were the best medicine of all, keeping me laughing, making me feel loved, and wanted, being what family is supposed to be. My parents were wonderful too. We did a lot that weekend - shopping, restaurants, a great blues club, a Cubs game, a 50's music concert, and I even used the hotel's gym facilities in the mornings. I had the best support system a girl could ask for.
I was not sad about the loss of the pregnancy, not really. I was disappointed, but it's different... I was not crying hysterically. It did not feel like a death. the embryo had been "chromosomally deficient", meaning it was developing so abnormally that it just petered out. I never felt connected to a little person, never felt like a Mom. I was thrilled at the idea, knowing that was coming next... but we never got to that phase.
However, I did gain 13 pounds. I stopped doing Weight Watchers when I realized I might be pregnant. I had already slowed down my gym workouts considerably, since I'd been feeling so crappy for a couple of weeks. So altogether, my fitness and diet regime was largely abandoned for about 1 month. And during that time I gained back all the weight I had lost and more. And my flat muscular stomach that I was working so hard for? Now it's Flabby rolls.
It didn't mind. I wanted to be pregnant. I was ok with it. But... now... I have nothing. I lost my super-healthy body, and I lost the pregnancy. And now here I am. Starting all over again.
That was incredibly, amazingly, NOT FAIR.
I am SO ANGRY.
That was a really, mean, dirty trick. What am I supposed to learn from this experience? That I shouldn't bother trying to the healthiest person I can? That my drive for self-improvement was... what? Something I'm not entitled to? GODDAMN that's not right! I know what I can be! I deserve to be it! I'm still young enough to have a flat stomach, to be able to run, dance, lift, do all the things that I love doing. So I get pregnant RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT, when I'm feeling so great about what I can do for myself, when I'm feeling at the peak of my own power and ability, when for once in my life, I don't have to work, and I get to FOCUS ON ME.
NOPE! What was I thinking? Baby time!
YAY! Baby! I want that! I'm ready for that!
OPS! NOPE! PSYCHE!
but... wait... why...
What else is going to snatched away from me?
I'm back on Program, as they say in Weight Watchers. I enjoy it. I love to cook. So I'm back doing that. I'm back to the gym. I'm training again. I've gone up in all my weights. I'm doing 100 calories a minute worth of cardio.
I'm angry, and sad. I don't have the heart anymore.
I'm sure this will pass. But I am just... tired, and cranky, and unmotivated. The depressive part of me, the part that I am treating with Prozac, is getting very powerful. I feel it rising up inside me like a demon. It's dragging me to the couch, all I want to do is watch TV, snack, and sleep all day.
I REFUSE TO GIVE IN TO THAT.
I know life is never fair. I do not expect it to be so. But this experience, for all my wisdom, for all I believe I am prepared for, for all my acceptance of the world and the ways of nature, this experience has blindsided me, and left me reeling. I did not expect to be reeling from this.
G has been wonderful. But I know this is another dark tunnel that I must move through alone.
It has been a long time since I had to do this, the tunneling.
This afternoon, I lit a pink and purple candle for love and spirituality, and set my goddess statue next to it. I set a fresh, ripe, red apple on the other side of Her. She stood there, hands folded in prayer, eyes downcast, her hair falling over her shoulders, in her long robes, standing on top of the world, one pointed slipper poking out from under her dress. She prays for me, I thought to myself. She prays for all of us.
I prayed. I thanked Her for the blessing of fertility. I thanked her for my friends, my family, my husband. I thanked her for the experience of being pregnant, for those few weeks were empowering and enlightening to me, in ways I cannot yet put into words. I am so grateful to have had this experience.
I asked what lesson there is to learn? I vowed to remember the feelings, all of them, the joy, the excitement, the disappointment, the anger, the fear, the confusion, and my journey through trust. I will remember them all, for the same reason I remember all my past experiences with horror and joy - so that when I meet others who are going through the same thing, and they come to me, wanting to talk, with fear and confusion in their faces, I can understand them, and hopefully be guided to say the right things. I remember, so I can help others.
I do not want to be angry, but I am only human, and we get angry. I feel like a child whose ice cream cone has been blown out of her hands by a strong gust of wind, screaming and crying in disappointment and frustration. I know I can get another scoop. I know we will conceive again. But why did I have to go through this!? IT'S JUST SO UNFAIR.
I am a child, throwing a tantrum. So I turned to the goddess this afternoon, and I curled up in the lap of the great mother, and let her stroke my hair, and she comforted me.
It is not yet time for you to know the reasons why. I am sorry you are angry, and sad, and disappointed... you have every right to your feelings. You are a precious child, and you are loved, and you will be a mother someday, and a great one. I live in you. Let yourself cry, and heal, and sleep. Rest. You have been strong and brave, rest now, my Amazon warrior. Let me drive for awhile. Trust that I will not steer you wrong.
I tilted my head back to the heavens. I prayed to the father God, to the son and brother, to the sister and daughter. I prayed to the spirit of family, Thank you, as I cried, thank you, it was wonderful, I am so grateful, thank you, thank you, thank you...
The burnt smell of a too-long candle wick wafted to my nose. I heard my cat meow. I still have a life, a home, responsibilities. As the candle burned, I got up and fed my cat, and she ran to me, purring, this tiny furry life who is utterly dependent on G and I. My feline child, with her trusting eyes.
I communed with the spirit a while longer, then I thanked everyone for stopping by and being with me in my hour of need, and blew out my candle. And went back to my day.
I made an appointment to get my teeth cleaned. I made an appointment to meet with my local rabbi to discuss spiritual matters, something I've long been planning to do. I made plans with a friend to have a BBQ next month. I starting a grocery list. I showered and put on gym clothes. I called my client and got the first part of a challenging project finished, so we can move forward with it tomorrow. I had lunch.
I haven't made it to the gym yet. I don't want to go. I don't know if I will. Maybe. If I don't, that's ok.
I am going through the motions of my life, robotically. I feel empty.
And this too, shall pass.