In solidarity and with love,
I was supposed to have a baby today. Instead of feeling a baby shift and move, instead of feeling contractions, I feel my ovaries stretching and yawning. Getting ready to ovulate.
Today was meant to be joyous and remarkable. A day to remember for all of our lives. Instead, it is a day just like all the others filled with jobs applications and empty errands.
Today was supposed to be it. The end of a painful journey. Little did I know that March was just the beginning filled with dark nights and darker days.
It was supposed to be today.
I’ve returned from the netherlands, otherwise known as Nebraska. I’ve been feeling quiet and contemplative in light of the funeral, and I’ve been trying to work through my thoughts and feelings on life and happiness.
Prior to hearing the news, Big Guy told me that I should work to disentangle my happiness from either starting a family or starting a career. First, I was angry. Since I have not yet reached enlightenment, I haven’t managed to figure out how to derive my happiness from outside the normal sources that everyone else gets to experience – so it seems. I’ve been in the mind-fuck of a lifeless purgatory for well over a year now, and trying to find and derive happiness has been tricky.
Trying to disentangle all of this has been hard. Right now I am frustrated. I’m getting ready to pop the fourth dose of Clomid for this cycle knowing full well that a dark veil of depression is going to fall on my shoulders in the next day or so. It is going to be a dark and lonely place for several weeks as I ride out the emotional effects of this drug. Just when I feel like I’m returning to an even keel, to a happier place, I’m going to have to do it all over again.
I don’t have any distractions. I don’t have any friends here. I don’t have a job or duties to perform. Trying to volunteer has been almost as hard as getting or staying pregnant. I tried to start a support peer-led support group through RESOLVE, but they won’t return my emails, either. Day by long day I am faced with my reality and everything that it is not. It is the first thing I wake up to and the last thing before I fall asleep. My days are long and slow, my friends.
I was the kid that took 20 credit hours in college because I wanted a challenge and I wanted to be busy. Without either of those I was stagnant. I lacked motivation, and I didn’t work to my true potential. Well, now I don’t have any challenges, and I don’t have much to keep me busy. Things haven’t changed much. Because of this, I lack motivation and am quite stagnant. This doesn’t help the happiness factor, either.
But then my friend’s mom died. She was 54. Once again I was witness to the true fragility of life.
I want to be happy. I would love to shake off the pain, grief and disappointment of the past 20 months. Or, I would love to be happy despite it all. But I’m just not, and I can’t quite figure out how to be. I want to be happy because this is my life. My one shot. I don’t want to look back and think, “Wow, why was I so unhappy?” More importantly, I don’t want to die suddenly and unexpectedly and leave memories of a sad, shattered, and disillusioned woman that didn’t manage to do much of anything.
That’s where I’ve been in this past week, friends. Mired in a pool of unhappiness and self-reflection. Clearly something needs to change. I don’t get to change the obvious things: career, family, location, volunteer activities. The Universe has consistently barred me from walking down any of those paths. The only thing I can change is my attitude. If I am to be my only source of happiness, well, that is a grim thought. This brings me full circle. How does one disentangle happiness from career, from family, from life events?
(That isn’t a rhetorical question. If you have ideas, please do share.)
I haven’t posted a substantive post in a while because everything feels a bit…slippery. I’m having a hard time focusing on any one thing. If I keep my mind moving doing nothing then I don’t have to think. I don’t have to think about the days, weeks, months and years that have gone by. I don’t have to think about how I should be 21 weeks pregnant. Or 7 weeks pregnant. I don’t have to think about how if we were one of the fertile ones I would probably have a six month old. I don’t have to think about how perfect that would have been given my unemployment. I don’t have to think about the past 12 months of unemployment. I don’t have to think about what a goddamn waste all of my hard work has been. I don’t have to think about my deteriorating self-esteem. My deteriorating confidence. My deteriorating happiness. I don’t have to think about any of it.
I wake up in the morning and I read my emails, then I read the NY Times, then I read the articles I link to on Facebook. I drink some coffee, and I read through my blog roll. At this time it is about 9 am. The entirety of the day is yawning ahead of me, and I don’t know how to fill it.
I don’t have any kids. I don’t have a job. I don’t have any friends here. Nothing. It feels like I have nothing. Like I have effectively been excluded from life.
If things weren’t so slippery I would do something. Perhaps work on publishing bits of my dissertation. Or begin knitting that blanket for my mum. Read a book. But, like I said, everything feels a bit slippery, and I’m having a hard time focusing on much of anything. Let me tell you, this malaise kills all motivation.
I won’t lie. I’m not in a good place, and I’ve given up on the thought that tomorrow will bring something good. Job? Baby?
No. Probably not.
Not for me.
That is the mantra that echoes around all the other slippery thoughts.
Not for me.
RE Nurse: We need to send you over to an OBGYN so they can give you a Rhogam shot.
RE Nurse (on phone): We have a patient here that needs a Rhogam shot. Can we send her over to you?
OBGYN Nurse (on phone): Is she having a miscarriage?
RE Nurse: Yes.
OBGYN Nurse: How has this been confirmed? Hands phone to me.
K: I’ve had six betas, the highest of which peaked at 410. My most recent was 32. I’ve been bleeding for five days. Bright, red blood. The ultrasound at 5 weeks 5 days didn’t show anything in my uterus.
OB Nurse: So this is your first pregnancy?
K: No, this is my second.
OB Nurse: Oh! You have one child?
K: No. I had a miscarriage in March.
OB Nurse: March of 2011?
K: No. March of this year. March 6th.
OB Nurse: And you are having another miscarriage?!
OB Nurse: OK. I think we can see you today. Can you come right over?
OBGYN: So, this is your first pregnancy?
K: No. This is my second.
OBGYN: Oh! You have a child?
K: No. I had a miscarriage in March. I was 9 weeks. They did a D&C and gave me the Rhogam shot.
OBGYN: It really isn’t that common to have back-to-back miscarriages.
(Five percent. Those are the odds. I don’t need you to tell me.)
OBGYN: So. You’ve just been spotting and you think your pregnancy might be at risk?
K: No. I had a miscarriage. This has been confirmed with betas and an ultrasound.
OBGYN: Well. An ultrasound that early may not show anything.
K: No, perhaps not.
(Lady, I’m not fucking pregnant. I understand you must cover your ass, but there isn’t a shot in hell. Did you even glance at the chart?)
OBGYN: You’ve just been spotting?
K: No. I’ve been bleeding since Friday. Bright red blood. Clots. Stringy shit. At this point, the bleeding has tapered off.
OBGYN: Well, was it bleeding like menstruation or spotting?
K: Bleeding like menstruation. Heavier than menstruation.
OBGYN: Oh, that’s too bad. Well now it’s time to do some more testing.
K: Yes. My RE ordered the karyotyping test.
OBGYN: Well, you are young and healthy. It will happen.
Hair Stylist: I love your hair. I was dying my hair bright white like yours, but I stopped.
(Oh, she stopped dying her hair because she’s pregnant. She set the conversation up like this so I will ask her why she stopped bleaching her hair. Everyone thinks that babies are a good conversation for women our age.)
K: Oh? Why did you stop dying it?
Stylist: Well, I found out I was pregnant and I was uncomfortable with all the chemicals necessary to bleach my hair. I thought I would rather be safe than sorry.
(I bet she is due in October when I would have been due.)
K: Congratulations. When is your due date?
Stylist: October 12th. You can’t really tell. I’m not showing yet.
(Right. A due date a couple of days behind me. How many weeks would I have been, 20?)
K: How many weeks are you?
Stylist: Hmm. I dunno. Nineteen or 20?
(That must be nice. You mean you don’t have an internal tracker that ticks the days off as you move towards viability. Huh.)
K: Halfway there. How do you feel?
Stylist: I’ve been pretty sick, but my mum was sick for the entire pregnancy when she had me, so that’s what I think is going to happen. Do you have kids?
Stylist: Oh, do you want kids?
Stylist: Maybe someday? They are a lot of work. This is going to be my only one.
K: Maybe someday.