Strands

26 Jun

Ok I’ll admit it: I haven’t been around because I’ve been wallowing. It’s been a hard week, between the due date and this freaking diet.

But let’s be honest, it’s mostly the due date. I’ve been doing my best not to think about it, but even when not thinking about it I’m pretty mopey. I’m really hoping this will pass soon. I’m sick and tired of feeling this way.

In AF news – there is no news. I’m finishing up the pills today and hopefully that will jump start things. The baby psychic  said July will be our month  (though granted I thought she meant last july). So here’s hoping my skepticism will be challenged this month, and that freaking psychic was right after all.

Seriously guys – I’m so over this.

Now to the point of this post. I apologize in advance if this gets rambly. I’m trying to figure it out myself.

So yesterday I was at the shrink’s.

It’s funny – since I decided to break up with her our sessions have been amazing. Just bringing up what my problems with her have been opened me up to actually talking openly again. I’m not saying I’m no longer considering leaving her. But for now – we’re making some amazing strides.

Anyway – a big revelation I’ve had about the way I operate is this:

I spend all of my time dealing with the day-to-day issues in my life almost to the point of obsession. Whether it’s pee sticks, or obsessing about a project – I think about the details of the present but never the big picture. At least not the present big picture.

I compare it to a ramble of thoughts swirling around a black hole. That black hole being who “I really am”, which is something I haven’t explored in a very long time, if ever.

The problem is that black hole. It’s not filled with things I love, because I’m not sure what I love any more. It’s not full of my dreams and aspirations, because I’m not sure what those are any more outside of a baby. It’s full of grief, loss, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and self-loathing, and that’s why I stay away from it.

When I try to put the pieces of my identity together I feel like I don’t have a strand to grasp. I feel empty.

This is not a new thing. It started before the miscarriages. But the miscarriages threw it into sharp relief, because before – at least I had strands.

Now I have nothing, and I don’t know where to start.

Last night, my shrink asked a question that would finally give me a strand to grasp on to.

The question was:

“What if you don’t have a baby?”

I answered: “That isn’t an option.”

“I know that isn’t a real option. But I want you to think about it as an imaginary option. What would happen if you decide tomorrow that you will never have a child – not through adoption, or surrogacy, or pregnancy?”

“Well that’s a damn good question.”

So I’ve been mulling that over since then. I even talked it out with Shmerson a little bit.

Living child-free has never been a realistic option for us. But talking it over made me realize how different our decisions would be.

For example – I’m not sure if I’d be considering going back to school right now. Maybe eventually – but not necessarily now.

What would I do?

I don’t know. Make a lot of money so we could take that trip to Japan, or maybe make a movie.  Take better care of my body, I think. Make sure to go to a lot more rock concerts.

I’m still mulling all of this over. I never thought it would be so hard to pinpoint my true core desires and ambitions. But the grief and the longing for a child have taken over so much of my life that there has been no room left for anything else. I’ve been going through the motions for so long that I have no idea what drives me any more.

Hopefully though, this question is the start of something.

It’s a strand I can begin to unravel, and I guess that’s as good a place as any.

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25 Responses to “Strands”

  1. Monica June 26, 2012 at 22:30 #

    I think you hit on something big when you say “putting the pieces of your identity together”. On your path to get pregnant – you got lost. This is something that doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. And with each loss, and as time goes on, it is hard to remember who you were.

    I was there (lost), too. I still am sortof. But I found that I can’t let IF or the trying to get pregnant define me. I needed to figure out the joys that make me happy. So, I’ve been running (training for half marathons, etc.) and doing work stuff to earn certifications. But enough about me.

    The point is – I think it is great that you are thinking about that imaginary question and I hope you can explore something from that. In a blink of an eye time passes and it just sucks if you couldn’t be yourself in peace and joy.

  2. Nisha T. June 26, 2012 at 22:49 #

    My back up plan was always to move to Africa and build houses for poor people or something. I remember being in the hospital during my miscarriage and looking Matthew in the eye and saying “promise me if we never have kids, we can leave, move somewhere like Africa and live a totally different life.” He looked at me like I was insane, but he agreed.

  3. Stinky Weaselteats June 26, 2012 at 23:17 #

    Have been having similar thoughts. Not so much on “giving up” but more that plan Z – the childless future. And like you, I also recognise something from before the loss and pregnancy hoo-ha, not quite knowing what I was doing or where I was going, but yes, pregnancy losses/last 3 years gave me a quick about-turn and REALLY turned everything on its head.

    “I never thought it would be so hard to pinpoint my true core desires and ambitions”

    This. I reckon, is half the battle. How can you work towards ‘happiness’, in whatever form/with or without baby if you can’t pinpoint exactly where your passion lies, what truly brings you joy? If you knew exactly what these things were then you could move towards them. Not knowing is just perpetual shadow boxing.

    Love to you and Schmerson, I know this week would be hard, it represents the what ‘should’ have happened with Nadav, not the actuality. And yes, this is non-pity love I’m sending!

  4. Amy June 26, 2012 at 23:45 #

    Wow, what a question. I’ll have to think about that myself.

    Last month I met with a local, well respected astrologer to have her read my chart. It was a mind-blowing exercise, and confirmed that I’m astrologically supposed to be a mother, but mother as healer, not necessarily mommy mother. Essentially, I’m supposed to have a career as some sort of healer by the time my career peaks at age 51 (that’s 13 years away!). She wasn’t saying I wouldn’t be a mother to a living child, but that being so isn’t the point for me…my obsession has been self-limiting.

    It really has made me think. At least I have until 2019 before I *must* have a sense of what I’ll do.

    Somehow, all of this perspective has helped me mellow out a little bit. That doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t wish my DH would hurry the heck up and agree to donor eggs already! :P

  5. pjsarecomfyn June 27, 2012 at 00:34 #

    This is very interesting approach. It is so hard to rediscover that grasp on your life. I know you will find the things you love once more and that black hole will become an overflowing basket.

  6. Daryl June 27, 2012 at 01:07 #

    This resonates so much with me. I’ve never experienced pregnancy loss (because I’ve never been pregnant), but I feel like I’ve lost part of myself to this intense need to make a baby. And the question about never having kids scares the bejeezus out of me, so I’ve never even attempted to answer it. I just avoid it all together. But even if you never want it to be your reality, it does seem like a good exercise for figuring out where you want your life to go on the way to getting that baby in your arms. I hope it helps you find your way back to you.

  7. Kat June 27, 2012 at 01:25 #

    I think it’s really crazy that your post included that what if no baby question. I’ve been thinking about this today and I have no answer because I don’t even want to give that thought a fighting chance almost like I feel I’d be betraying myself and joining all the people who these past few weeks have told me I should just accept childlessness, that I will never have a child and should move on. I know that it’s not rational to think like that and that I should consider the possibility but I just can’t. Maybe one day I’ll be able to. You are totally right about losing your identity that’s infertility making us forget about how before ttc we were productive fully functional human beings. I’m sorry I didn’t leave a more positive comment. I hope you know how awesome you are. I hope we all get to have our dreams of motherhood come true.

  8. @ErinHiscocks June 27, 2012 at 01:40 #

    I’m glad your therapist asked you such a specific question to steer you in the right direction in terms of “finding yourself.” It’s nice to have guidance.
    After reading your post, I want to examine my own answers to the questions your therapist brought up. I predict that I’ll be writing my own blog post about who I am and what I want and what steps I need to take to make it happen.
    I’ve been meaning to launch my own “project happiness” starting in July, anyways.

  9. Leslie June 27, 2012 at 02:28 #

    I am new to your blog. I am glad that you are making strides with your therapist. I have been debating our starting to see a therapist after our pregnancy loss at 18 weeks two weeks ago. I am very scared though. Your post helps me to think about how it could be helpful, which I appreciate very much!

    I remember my husband and I discussing that very question before we had our first son. When my husband mentioned living child-free, it was like a kick in the stomach at the time. It was not an option for me either and I kept hoping & praying it would happen. We kept trying and it finally did happen. We had our first son. I am hoping & praying that your time will be here soon too!

  10. Esperanza June 27, 2012 at 02:56 #

    This is a really fantastic post and a really important question to ask yourself. I really wish I’d asked myself the same thing before I had my daughter. Because what happened to me was that I didn’t ask myself those questions, I didn’t spend those years when I was trying to convince MiVida to build a family
    with me and then when we were trying I was so singularly focused, that I lost a large portion of myself. And since I had already lost a lot of myself before that, I really had no idea who I was anymore. When I had my daughter it filled a huge hole but it didn’t tell me who I was and by then I had so little opportunity to pursue what I wanted to be and to become, it felt impossible. I’m not saying if I had known I would have done things differently but I would have known what I was doing, I would have had an idea of what I was sacrificing and what I was getting in return. It’s been a hard realization, that a baby isn’t enough to be completely comfortable in my skin, to feel truly whole. If I had known before what I wanted to accomplish in life I think the transition would have been easier.

  11. Jenn June 27, 2012 at 03:40 #

    I’ve asked myself this question before and for the time being I just can’t imagine what life will be like if we can’t have kids. This year we took a break from treatments and did a bunch of trips, while they’ve been fun I’m thinking more and more about going back to IVF after originally thinking I wouldn’t.

  12. JM June 27, 2012 at 03:51 #

    I usually get my period on the fifth day after my last provera. But I think I’m longer than most. Good luck with that.

    Very, very interesting question from the good doctor… I’m with you- I can’t imagine a future for myself that doesn’t involve a child. It is still an incredibly meaningful discussion to have with the DH though- almost to keep you on track with what’s important in life while you’re still working on the baby part. Very interesting indeed…

  13. lrm1102 June 27, 2012 at 04:29 #

    I am new to your blog. I am glad that you are making strides with your therapist. I have been debating our starting to see a therapist after our pregnancy loss at 18 weeks two weeks ago. I am very scared though. Your post helps me to think about how it could be helpful, which I appreciate very much!

    I remember my husband and I discussing that very question before we had our first son. When my husband mentioned living child-free, it was like a kick in the stomach at the time. It was not an option for me either and I kept hoping & praying it would happen. We kept trying and it finally did happen. We had our first son. I am hoping & praying that your time will be here soon too!

  14. Rebecca Pallack (@RPallack) June 27, 2012 at 07:43 #

    Of late I’ve been thinking about my life and how it would be baby-free. I mean I’ve spent most of my adult life now trying to have a baby and failing miserably. J and I have talked about donor eggs. We might head down that expensive path early next year or we might take a different road. Well whatever happens to you I know you’ll have a strong support system. Wishing you all the best and hoping we both get pregnant soon.

  15. ablanket2keep June 27, 2012 at 08:12 #

    What a question! I have thought about that too. We would probably sell the house and get a condo. We wouldn’t need the extra room. We would travel a bit and spend our money on our hobbies. None of it sounds good to me though. I am basically doing the things I want to do with my life right now, except traveling, (cant afford it with spending money on treatments) but some of it does include things that get me ready for kids. I just can’t and don’t want to even think about not having any right now.

  16. SRB June 27, 2012 at 17:35 #

    Wow. What a question. It stopped me in my tracks – I can only imagine how breathless you must have been. If anything, it provides an interesting perspective point on what Mo wants for Mo’s life, in Mo’s heart. And it doesn’t mean that you need to think about living child-free at all, just what does life look like with that filter on. Very interesting. Ravenclaw’s diadem is needed methinks. Here for you, babe.

  17. D June 27, 2012 at 20:29 #

    I can totally relate to this post. I feel like I have lost my identity through IF/multiple miscarriages. I honestly don’t want anything in life right now more than I want to have a baby. It pretty much consumes everything I do and everything I think about. I have no idea, at this point, what I would want to do if I knew were were never going to have a child because nothing else matters at the moment. It scares me to think about that. Luckily I have started seeing a therapist and am going to group therapy now so hopefully that will help. I am glad you are able to actually start answering this question. You are farther along than I am!

  18. flowergirl June 27, 2012 at 21:44 #

    Honey, you must think of those wider goals about who you are, you don’t want to bear a grudge against your child(ren) or against yourself if you put everything on hold to have your baby, or not strive to who you want to be. I had this conversation with my counsellor, the decision I came to was that I didn’t want to bare that grudge, so I have continued with some of my bigger plans, in the knowledge that we will figure it out when it becomes my turn.
    FG x

  19. Anna June 28, 2012 at 01:10 #

    That is a good question. Very good. My entire life right now revolves around having a child. I don’t even know what would make me happy anymore because it’s all I think about.

  20. beruriah June 28, 2012 at 21:13 #

    Wow, so much to think about. I’ve found, that even though I’m now on the other side with no more pregnancies in the future, I’m still struggling to reconnect with my strands. To figure out what there is to me besides the pursuit of parenthood, now that I have that. Pregnancy loss, especially with it becomes “multiple pregnancy losses” is such a mind fuck, and it completely blew me over in ways I’m only now really coming to realize.

    I really, truly hope you don’t have to actually pursue this question your shrink threw at you, but I’m glad contemplating it seems to have helped.

  21. pcosbarrenness June 29, 2012 at 00:34 #

    That is a very interesting question. Whenever I am feeling negative, I usually want to get back into my career (which I left after I lost the triplets). I don’t miss most of it, but I really miss being good at something and feeling successful. It’s difficult because I had a lot of success in the working world early on and spent the last 8 years with that as my number 1 priority. It’s funny how quickly priorities and passions can change…

  22. Stephanie July 1, 2012 at 23:21 #

    I know this. I am this. I don’t talk about my a-hole uterus on my blog very often, but I’m in a similar place right now. My due date was in June (baby would have been one), and it hit me REALLY hard. (And it only hit me hard. No one else in the world even realized that this might be a hard time for me. My husband did, but only because I reminded him. Sometimes I feel like running up and down the street yelling “My little zygote counted! It did! It counted!”) Now I find myself wondering what my life will be if I’m never a mom. After more than two years, I’m really tired of peeing on sticks every month. And – like you – I don’t really know what else I want to do instead. I feel like a need a purpose, something to pour myself into. But it’s hard to figure out what that purpose is. In the meantime, I feel like I keep putting things off, just in case this is my month.

    Sorry, all this “me me me” comment was really just meant to tell you: I see you. I recognize your pain. I empathize with you.

    • Mo July 1, 2012 at 23:50 #

      No need to apologize, I always appreciate it when people share their stories. So sorry for your loss. Though I have to say you are way more talented than I am- I hope you give yourself some credit for the fact that you are freaking hilarious.

  23. erinmarshall71 August 30, 2012 at 05:59 #

    I’m back to post another comment just to tell you that ever since I read this post the first time I have been referring back to it repeatedly in almost every facet of my life.
    We had a therapy session last Thursday, and I told the story of how reading this post taught me something.
    Just now, I posted the link to think post in a comment on another IF blog, because my friend is having trouble getting through the waiting, and then waiting, so that she can wait some more.
    I just wanted you to know how much this post has affected me, and to thank you for writing it, because otherwise I might not be asking myself “What can I do for me that will help me grow as a person in the meantime? What can I do to ensure that if (when) I become a mother, I am a happy well-adjusted mother?”
    So, again, thank you.

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  1. Mommy Odyssey | Strands | Surviving The River Of Life - June 27, 2012

    [...] Reblogged from Mommy Odyssey [...]

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