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Stop the Train, I Want to Get Off

16 Jul

So I’ve been away for a few days. I’ve had a lot going on, and I’ve had a lot of thinking to do. It started on Monday, when my reaction to those test results were so visceral, that Shmerson confronted me about it. He told me that we can’t go on this way, that we need a break from trying.

That got my head spinning. I immediately said “No way in Hell.”

Then on Wednesday my therapist pointed out that perhaps my career has stalled because I’ve made making a baby my career. Which is an awesome way to not deal with my real issues, because at least there, failure is not my fault. I’ve spent the last few months feeling like a failure. A failure in my career, a failure in my pursuit to be a mother, a failure as a person in general. And the only failures I’ve truly been acknowledging are in the mommyhood department.

And all of this kept on coming up with everyone I was talking to. Maybe I’m trying to do too much. To keep too many balls in the air. Why do I feel the need to run so fast anyway?

It’s like pushing down the gas peddle when the car’s in neutral. All it does is waste energy, and it gets you nowhere.

So I took some time. I talked it out. I thought it out. I’ve made some decisions.

Shmerson is right. We can’t have another month like this.

My therapist is right – I’m ignoring everything except the baby thing.

Shmerson is right again – our problems won’t magically go away when I give birth to a baby.

On Tuesday night, PM gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. The next day, I came to the labor ward to visit her. She was exhausted. Her husband brought the little one out. He was this little miracle. This beautiful baby boy. And she had made him. I started crying. Not because I was sad for me. It was because I was truly in awe. You see, PM is the first person who I’m close to who has given birth while I was around. I was out of the country when my nephew was born, and didn’t meet him until he was 6 months old. I was too young to appreciate it with other people in my life. And PM is my first friend to become a mother. My first close friend. ย I was just plain in awe of that little thing who was less than twenty four hours old. Who I had felt in her stomach less than a week earlier. I held on to his little fingers and I saw a flash of the future, 17 years from now, at some random dinner, with her kids and mine, when I see that kid and jokingly tell him “I held your hand when you were 15 hours old”. I was filled with joy at this little miracle.

PM was surrounded by family, but we had this little bubble moment. You know – the kind that happen sometimes between old friends, when you’re surrounded by people but communicating between each other in codes. And one message came from PM to me loud and clear: she is terrified. Yes, she is happy. Yes, she is in love. But she is scared out of her wits.

This moment gave me a new sense of perspective. PM pretty much has her shit together. She’s got a decent job, her career is right where she wants it to be, she and her husband have already moved into the nice apartment, they’re pretty much set for the near future.

I have spent the last year letting all of my ambitions and dreams slip through my fingers all in the pursuit of a baby.

And by doing that, I have given myself more reasons to be terrified. Having a kid is scary enough. Do I really need to be scared of all of this other stuff too?

So I sat down with Squish and talked. I sat down with Shmerson and talked. I sat down with Marie and talked. And with a bunch of other people who I love and trust.

And then I did some thinking.

During our talk last night Squish asked me why the hell I was in such a hurry. She was the fourth person to ask me that in a week. It wasn’t the “just relax” bullshit. It was genuine concern. Because my hurry and my stress is doing bad things to my well-being. Why does there have to be a time table for this baby to come? Since when is this a race?

And if PM- this very together woman who has far fewer hard decisions to make right now- is terrified, how terrified will I be when my baby comes if I haven’t dealt with the rest of my issues?

The answer is – at this rate it will be heart attack levels.

So it’s time to get off the freaking race track.

I have decided that we will be taking a break. We will use that break to either remove or permanently block Ole’ Righty, so that when we go back to trying, there will not be that extra question mark. I will use that break to start making some decisions about where I’m going, and what I’m doing. For myself, not for our future baby. Because I matter too. That decision, as hard as it was to make, as much as it has made me mourn the fact that I probably won’t be pregnant in the next few months, has also made me feel an incredible sense of relief.

And when we jump back in, hopefully we’ll have one question mark down in terms of my body, and several question marks down in terms of my future, my goals, and my ambitions.

Then when the baby comes, I’ll be terrified, but hopefully only about the baby. Because really, that’s enough to be scared about, don’t you think?

****

On a completely unrelated and far less heavy note – I was away from the blogoverse, but not away from writing in general. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, go check out my full series on the first 7 films on keypulp. They are filled with snark, bitter, lists and photoshop (in other words, all of my favorite things). Hope you enjoy!

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39 Responses to “Stop the Train, I Want to Get Off”

  1. Dawn July 16, 2011 at 02:01 #

    You’ve made a very important step in your role to motherhood. Once that baby is here, your focus will be entirely on the insane life changing experience it is. Use this time now to be what you want, to do what you want and to get your “house in order”. I know it’s irritating to hear from mom’s like me when we complain…but even a morning shower like today with 1 baby screaming at my feet and 1 toddler throwing my make-up in the toilet is my norm. Go take a bath, go on a trip with your honey, take care of yourself, take a nap.. do it for you… and do it for me! xoxo

    • Marie July 16, 2011 at 08:36 #

      Oh God, she’s doing it to you now, too…

      • Dawn July 16, 2011 at 17:08 #

        Ha! I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Marie July 16, 2011 at 18:20 #

          I gotta say, I really like the image of Andrew throwing your makeup in the toilet. Obviously, he’s just trying to tell you you’re pretty enough without it.

          • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:35 #

            A) you guys funny me
            B) marie’s right
            C) I love you guys
            D) thanks Dawn!

  2. Prairie July 16, 2011 at 02:32 #

    I needed to read this today. I’m coming to the end of the latest post-surgery pause and am filled with more hope than ever before (ok, except for those first few TTC pre-m/c, pre-there’s a bug problem here months). Yet i’m also filled with fear and dread. Thank you for helping me see it and start thinking about why.

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:23 #

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Christina July 16, 2011 at 02:50 #

    “I will use that break to start making some decisions about where Iโ€™m going, and what Iโ€™m doing. For myself, not for our future baby. Because I matter too. ”

    Girl- You do matter! I’m so glad you came to this realization! I know it must have been one of the most difficult choices you’ve had to make, but I think a “break” will do wonders for ya’ll. Even though ya’ll won’t be trying, you have to make sure to keep writing and letting us know how things are! Heck, maybe you’ll just be one of those women who just falls pregnant while “not trying” and everything works out!

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:25 #

      Thanks Christina! Alas, because righty is messed up we don’t want that to happen ๐Ÿ™‚ but hopefully the break will let me get righty in order

  4. eggsinarow July 16, 2011 at 02:50 #

    So, we haven’t tried the way you have, but everything you wrote in this post spoke to me. I so get it. I truly do. I wish we could go out to drinks (let’s be honest, wine is needed here) and remind each other that there is a whole world out there.

    Thank you, MO. Thank you for reminding me. I’m so sick of saying, “Once we have a baby…” It’s almost like the years I spent saying “Once I lose weight…” or “Once I get married…”. When is it “once?”

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:27 #

      You are so right! The “once”s are what kills the present. You owe me a drink! ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

      • eggsinarow July 17, 2011 at 06:24 #

        I’m on the way! ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

  5. Esperanza July 16, 2011 at 02:59 #

    Wow, I’m really impressed. I don’t think I could have done that while I was TTC but I probably should have (read my post and you’ll know). Mi.Vida and I have decided that we need to postpone TTC#2. I won’t be taking off a year if we do have another baby (that has always been a dream of mine but our financial realities make it impossible) and now we won’t be starting to try again when I’d hoped. But maybe, like you said, it’s for the best. We need to focus on each other because frankly, we’re not doing too hot. Maybe if I rush into it we won’t be able to handle the consequences and having two kids will do us in.

    Last night I had a dream that I was TTC#2 and I lost the a pregnancy in the second month of trying. It was two months after that and I was going to POAS and I was terrified that it would be negative. It felt so real. I don’t think I realized how hard TTC#2 would be. I thought having one baby would make it so different, but maybe it’s partly who I am that makes it so stressful.

    I think one of the reasons we (those who have struggled or experienced loss) want it to happen NOW is because we want to know it’s going to happen. Or if something bad is going to happen we want to get it over with. We don’t want the uncertainty, we want to know. But the thing is, there will always be uncertainty and just getting pregnant or having a healthy baby doesn’t take that away. I wish I had realized that.

    I saw that you read my post. I’m glad it was helpful, if even in a small way. It seems quite a coincidence that I put it up just moments before you put this up.

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:28 #

      I guess we’re on the same wavelength ๐Ÿ™‚ this is why I love this community so much, we can learn from each other. Thanks for your post!

  6. Port of Indecision July 16, 2011 at 04:01 #

    Sounds like taking a break and kicking RIghty’s ass is a good decision. I totally agree with Esperanza that the reason we want it to happen NOW is because we just want to goddamn know if it WILL happen. The perpetual not-knowing is torture.

    And FWIW, I think the terror at having a new baby probably hits everyone, but it probably hits women who have had zero bumps on this road harder. Parenting (so I’ve heard) is a learn-as-you-go adventure, and you know what? We KNOW we can survive to hell and back, we KNOW there will be stumbling blocks and things that don’t go right, and we KNOW we don’t know what to expect. None of that cloud nine, blissful ignorance bullshit for us.

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:29 #

      That’s the thing with PM. She had a loss, so she gets it. I think that’s why her reaction got to me so much

  7. Kristin July 16, 2011 at 04:29 #

    You sound very satisfied and content with your decision to wait. It sounds like it will be the best thing possible for you.

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:30 #

      Thanks hon, it’s funny how this is the calmest I’ve been in ages

  8. JM July 16, 2011 at 07:25 #

    I know a decision like this can’t have been easy to come to. I wish you the best in getting to a good place in your life with work and everything else, and know that you will come out the other side in a fabulous position to bring new life into this world.

    On another note, I’ve given you the Versatile Blogger Award! Come over and check it out!

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:30 #

      Thanks so much!

  9. Odyssey to Hope? July 16, 2011 at 07:31 #

    I had to give myself a massive kick up the patootie to stop obesessing over the fact I can’t have a baby and I don’t know if I ever will. Now I feel as though I am in a better place mentally and physically to cope with the idea a baby will happen when/if it happens. Welcome to the club Mo. I hope you enjoy the membership. You seem as though you’re happier with your path at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:31 #

      ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks hon

  10. Cattiz J July 16, 2011 at 12:30 #

    I’m glad you have such lovely friends, and of course your husband, to talk these things through with. It’s such a relief when a decision like this is made. Do what you need to do for yourself now. And enjoy the summer!

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:31 #

      Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. bloggingreluctantly July 16, 2011 at 15:25 #

    I just stumbled upon your blog, love it! and this post made me cry. Good luck to you, I wish you all the best! Keep us posted on your journey ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:32 #

      Welcome! And thanks!

  12. Slackie O. July 16, 2011 at 18:01 #

    Oh YOU and your sensible, responsible logic! I’m so impressed. Not being snarky either. This sounds so healthy.

    Another of my favorite bloggers made a comment once: A child should be icing on the cake, not the cake itself. This is now my mantra – reminds me to focus more on myself, my husband and the life we already have.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:33 #

      I love that quote. Thanks for sharing it!

  13. Flowergirl July 16, 2011 at 18:09 #

    That all sounds really sensible. I know I challenged you a couple of posts ago, but the above sounds like you’ve done some good thinking and will take some steps to put yourself in a good place, keep that up. Much as we are focussed on making babies, we have to look at the wider cost, are you going to be happy if you have a baby and no husband, or a rubbish job. I know that I’ve had to compromise on some areas to make sure my relationship stands this – I want my other half’s child, not a child, and also I want to have a career that challenges and excites me, rather than putting that on hold to get the baby that may never come, which perhaps might leave me bitter and twisted. I’m getting from your post that you’re moving to a similar place. Whilst I can’t gurantee that will give you what you want, it might help you to live better in the present.

    wishing you all the best
    FG x

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:34 #

      Thanks FG! And you know I always appreciate you honesty

  14. zygotta July 16, 2011 at 18:53 #

    Mo – I admire your decision. My best friend went through a very similar experience – 4 m/c over the past 2 years (including a burst tube due to the docs missing out on the fact it was ecto). She is also on a break right now – she went on a diet, lost 14 pounds already, is enjoying the summer and the TTC pressures for now.

    Using her as an example, I would only say: there is a risk you will immensely fear trying again. After enjoying a worry-free period, going back to the emotional roller-coaster is terrifying. I don’t know how to prepare for this – perhaps something you discuss with Shmerson or your therapist?

    Good luck!!!!

    • Mo July 16, 2011 at 20:37 #

      I’ll never have a calm pregnancy. I’ve pretty much made peace with that. Hopefully when we’re ready at least I’ll be in a better place. Hopefully.

  15. starfishkittydreams July 16, 2011 at 20:32 #

    I loved your post. I too have been feeling like a failure, not just at baby-making, but at other areas in my life. I fell into the trap of “once we have a baby life will be better”. I think repeat loss can put distorted lenses over our eyes that may exaggerate how bad things are in the rest of our lives. I can’t imagine going through repeat loss and not having really hard questions and doubts like this come up. With each loss I find myself re-evaluating my life and wondering if I am spending my time well, making the most of my career, living the best life, etc. Some of this thinking is healthy and productive and some can just drive you into circles feeling hopeless. I am TOTALLY on board with taking a break and wish you and Shmerson some time to just relax and be together.

    • Kelly July 17, 2011 at 01:37 #

      This is a great community! I came to the same point last year when we found out about MF problems. DH reacted really poorly, so I took a contract in the big smoke to get back to work. I also wondered if I wasted 2 plus years trying. Now it’s working, enjoying life, spending time with the dogs, friends, relaxing, and sports (biking, running, yoga etc.). Waiting for my lap surgery (tubes) as well, and just chilling out. it is weird seeing friends that started trying after us, and are on kid #2.

      Happy for you Mo’, it’s hard to get off the train, but I do look forward to hearing some stories about projects, the puppy, and adventures with the new place and fun trips!

  16. Kristen July 17, 2011 at 00:14 #

    I think it’s wonderful that you are taking a break. And that you seem to be at peace with it. I can totally relate to neglecting everything else…my career is coasting, and I’m supposed to be trying to make it as a writer (4 books in various stages of done-ness), but I find it pretty much impossible to write (except for blogging) while all this infertility stuff is going on. I keep thinking: ‘I want my life back!’ I wish I could take a break, but I’m 41 and for me, if I’m going to be a mom, it has to happen soon (that’s just how I feel for me personally, not a judgement on anyone else’s feelings or timetable.)
    Please keep blogging while you’re on your break! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Sherrie July 18, 2011 at 00:46 #

    I’m so excited for you Mo!! ๐Ÿ™‚ You deserve a break and some “me” and “we” time with Shmerson!!

    This whole TTC journey can be so difficult, it’s impossible not to think of all the “once we have a baby”‘s…. because you just never know when it’s going to happen…

    living in the present is a constant choice we have to make and remind ourselves to make… And I think a break will do you guys good – you can get ole-righty sorted out and that’ll make your future TTC efforts less stressful.

    All the best hun – thanks for stopping by to check in on me! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Missing twitter like crazy – but the hiatus is helping me stay in the present moment!!

    Thinking of you!!

  18. jjiraffe July 18, 2011 at 07:10 #

    So many brilliant comments! I think a break is a good idea. You can build up your reserves, and spend some fun times with Schmerson.

    I LOVED your Harry Potter series. You are so good at writing about pop culture.

  19. teejay July 18, 2011 at 20:48 #

    This must have been a very tough decision for you guys to make. I’m proud of both of you. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s never easy to take a break from TTC. We all know how much a baby would mean to you right now so the fact that you are taking a small step away from the craziness is admirable. It also shows that you’ve grown and are starting to think about “life after baby” instead of just focusing on the getting pregnant aspect. Like you said, babies don’t fix everything. It some cases just the exhaustion of a newborn can compound problems beyond repair.

    Take some time and get your tube issue resolved, however you decide to go about that, get yourself together and then you will know when you are ready to get back on the crazy baby makin’ train again. I hope you still post regularly, I would miss you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What Nadav Taught Me: Live Life « Mommy Odyssey - March 9, 2012

    […] my lame attempts at self-improvement and “living for me” during the break between loss #2 and loss #3 weren’t for ME. They were for “a […]

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