What Women Want

well, Christmas and New Years are over. this was a hard year for me. not only am i grieving my recent loss, but since i’m fund raising for the leukemia and lymphoma society in my sister’s name, i’ve been mourning her death, too. double whammy, i guess.

sobbed all through Christmas Eve service as i was already pretty raw and then the message was about the innocence of children. i just kept chanting in my head, “i’m supposed to be 6 months pregnant right now, i’m supposed to be 6 months pregnant.” my grandparents were supposed to be able to show off my nice fat self to all their relatives and i was supposed to get those sly smiles and winks from great aunts and uncles who have been there before themselves and so want to simultaneously cheer you on and warn you about the joys and perils of parenthood.

that was supposed to happen. but, of course, it didn’t.

and then all that week i was nauseous and achy and all those hopeful symptoms of pregnancy (which, BY THE WAY, is pretty sucktastic on its own- that you’re praying and begging to feel like shit for months on end),once again utterly and totally at a gut level CONVINCED that i had conceived, but the red devil arrived on New Years Eve at about 10pm. fortunately, good friends and booze got me through that night, but i still found myself crying in the bathroom alone when i should have been playing euchre w/ the rest of them. argh.

i felt bitter. sad. like i couldn’t survive another disappointment. or another 30 damned days of waiting. of psyching myself up for probably nothing. too hard. too much. that’s it! i decided. we’re going to give it up for a year and then resume play once i’ve got my mind on straight. maybe consider adoption or stealing one from the grocery store…i just couldn’t do this anymore. my only experience to date with making a child was total heartache. and as of that night, it had officially been 1 year of trying.

then a few days later we spent an evening w/ good friends’ brand new baby boy. it wasn’t as awful as i thought it would be to hold him. but i was on the verge of tears all night and i’m surrounded by insightful, empathetic people, so i blabbered all over my mom, the baby’s aunt and grandparents a little….but it was ok. they didn’t seem to mind too much. and the endless pregnancy, birthing, and nursing stories that come with the territory were tolerable, too. the poor baby mama went through a 30 hour hell of a labor and delivery experience and yet never felt for a second that it wasn’t worth all that struggle.

so i came away from that whole week with a sore heart and i felt a little (a lot) like i was loosing my mind. but i felt God pushing me back up onto my feet, so i turned to Him and to robb and just started talking. i’ve been talking about my crappy feelings and even, with some hesitation, my hopeful feelings. and recognizing some unhealthy things i was doing to myself like feeling shame, guilt, and failure…and so i’ve been trying to work those out like a snarl.

and i’m joining an infertility/miscarriage support group through my church. first meeting was snowed-out today, but i am actually looking forward to this. i used to think women who were obsessed with procreation were single-minded and weak, but the more stories i hear (people are always willing to share their pain with me), the more i realize that women have such a huge capacity to love and give that they are willing to lose huge pieces of themselves to the effort. many of the women i’ve talked to have had 4 or more miscarriages or have spent 5 years and every available intervention unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant. and yet, still continue working on it. with some last beam of their structure still intact, they stay standing. it’s like take my body. take my hope. take my future. take my heart. it seems impossible that there would be anything left to mother with after sacrificing so much just to procure a baby in the first place. but i’m sure i’ll learn more about this characteristic of women later when the group meets.

and now after all that, i don’t know how we’re going to handle this ‘whole baby thing’ into the future. i don’t know what tactics i’ll manage or how far i will go to make this happen, but i do know i can make it another 30 days. and that anything this valuable is worth a struggle. and i think my tears have dried up. for now.

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