Wednesday, January 20, 2016

it was a baby to me

I miscarried.

God, it's hard to write that out. I've been avoiding that sentence since I first had to utter it, last summer. We had just told our families the week before and felt the joy of fulfilled anticipation and then I had my first ultrasound and then, and then, the ultrasound was empty. My blood counts started dropping, and within a week of that ultrasound I was in surgery, because even though there was no baby my body wouldn't let the pregnancy go.

As it turns out, there was never any baby, not at any point. This is what they tell me. Like some excerpt from a terribly written science-fiction novel I learned that my body was pregnant, but it was pregnant with a nothing. Six weeks in the nothing stopped growing, but my body stayed pregnant. Seven weeks, eight weeks, nine weeks along. Only I wasn't along.

One of Nature's crueler jokes, as it turns out, is something called a blighted ovum (or anembryonic pregnancy). Everything goes according to plan except that whole part of the process where a baby is made. Common, I've learned. Heartbreaking, too. I am not mourning the loss of a baby, but the loss of an idea. So I got the positive tests and the spiked blood counts and the growing uterus with stuff inside it and the weight-gain and the INSATIABLE HUNGER and the bigger clothes and the announcements and the planning and appointments and no baby.

But nobody died.

Nobody died. I pierced myself on this double-edged sword for a long time, and I'm probably still on it. On the one hand, that there was no loss of life is a blessing. It's a good thing, isn't it? Nobody died. I can't imagine the pain of losing a child at any stage past conception is survivable, and had somebody died, well, that would have been much worse. My grief over the loss felt and feels like cheating, because there was, not really, a loss.

On the other hand, I lost something. As it was explained to me, the positive sign on that pregnancy test immediately changes the lens on your whole life. Now everywhere you look, you see life through the lens of having a child. When you miscarry, it's as if the lens is stolen away, and without warning or preparation, you just have to deal with the sudden change of vision. Every time you encounter a view you haven't yet looked at through this scope, you have to adjust yourself. It takes awhile. That while and that adjustment hurts.

We are well into what would have been my third trimester. And I'm still sad. By instinct and without thinking I can tell you how far along I am, or would have been. Maybe not by week, because it would be too sad to count the weeks. But, generally. Generally, and also somehow quite acutely, I know. It's there like gravity, it never leaves. I wake up and fall asleep with the knowledge that I'm not adjusting my posture and I don't have any trouble standing up and I haven't had to pee in rather a normal amount of time. I'm back into my pre-no-baby jeans and I'm working myself up to run a 10k in the spring. And I wish I wasn't.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


There's something so beautiful about a new year, the promises as-yet-unfilled but oh, so present. Promise means everything to me, right now. Imagination, too. The daydreams and their rally cries have filled my head and heart.

And yet, it's January fifth. Five days in to the new year and I've not written a thing, except those first few sentences. I've been day-jobbing to the nth, organizing cabinets and laundry at home, and enjoying our rare winter sunshine as a method of escape from the first two. The pressure I put on myself to write every day is exponential; which is, perhaps, in a backwards way, why I don't.

Life is full, and priorities get mixed up in a bag of emotion. Sure, I prioritize writing, until my daughter walks in and wants me to craft with her, or chat, or play. There's not a moment's thought between what I was doing, and what I'm doing now she's here. When my husband comes home from work and offers me his thoughts on the day I run to him - nay, sprint - as fast emotionally possible. Computer? Processing? Those sentences can wait. It's time for our mid-week, post-bedtime, impromptu couch date.

So maybe this year will be more about the reconnect to earth, that fine balance of PRODUCE vs EMBRACE. Pausing is necessary, but so is work. I'm still on my "Inspiration as starting place is bunk!" bandwagon, though admittedly, my natural state is to wait for it.

There's something so beautiful about a new year, and the promises we tell ourselves we'll keep. Common commentary mocks resolution, points a funny finger at it, and laughs. But I say, make resolutions, conjure dreams, decide. Then, at your will: falter, sleep, and change your mind. Priorities, after all, are merely emotional. Who knows what this year will bring? Be in the moment, whenever you find yourself in one. Bring your whole self with you; be where you are. Excuse yourself to the sanctuaries of your productivity, but when you are finished, bring your works and you back out into the bustle of every day life. You're needed, even if you feel you haven't done a thing.