I just got home from my niece's second birthday party (husband's brother's child). She's very sweet and I enjoy spending time with her. It was mostly family, and I think I handled it fine. I put on my game face, and whenever anyone asked me "How are you?" with that furrowed brow of concern and oh-so-significant stress on the are, I just gritted my teeth and smiled and said, "Doing okay, glad the semester's over."
It's not that I don't appreciate people's concern, because I do. And it's not that I think I need to hide how I feel about my loss, because if anything I'm too indiscriminate in telling people and unloading my sorrow onto them. But this day was about my niece, it was about celebrating a living baby, and it was a gathering full of my SIL's cousins and aunts and uncles and whatnot--people I could barely pick out in a line up and people who do not need to know exactly how shattered I am. If I let my guard down, it would all come rushing out, the tears and the anger and the horrible self-pity. And I was just not going there today.
All of which is preamble to the fact that I'm tired, I have a headache, I cried on the way home, and I want to bitch a little. So here you go, 2009: The Year of Suck.
- I spent 7 months agonizing over not knowing whether I could (or would ever) get pregnant, turning what should be a happy time into something stressful and depressing.
- My dad spent two weeks in the hospital with a near-fatal case of double pneumonia in June.
- My dad has suffered from cardiac issues all year long (which didn't help the pneumonia situation)
- I have heard 10 pregnancy announcements from friends and family since we started trying to conceive in March.
- My husband didn't make partner at his law firm and was brutally disappointed.
- I felt beaten to a pulp by my teaching/course schedule all autumn--and this was before I got pregnant and started falling asleep at 8:30 every night.
- One of my closest friends lost her mother to cancer; another friend's father was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.
- I lost my baby, experienced the joys of dilation and curettage, missed two weeks of teaching which I had to make up at the end of the semester, and basically zombie walked through the last month of school.
- Yeah, I think I can repeat it one more time: I lost my baby. The baby I dreamed of for 7 months of TTC and for the two years prior that my academic schedule forced us to wait to start trying even though I desperately longed for a child. The baby I sang to in the shower and whispered to at night. I lost my baby.
I know that in the grander scheme of human sorrow and tragedy, this list is a blip. I know I have SO much more to be grateful for than to resent in my life, and I truly try to express that gratitude every day. I feel rather guilty even voicing my frustration with this admittedly petty list of disappointments.
But I felt those disappointments. I feel them. 2009 had a bitter sting that all my attempts at Pollyanna perspective can't quite remove.
So I write them down and send them into the world. Goodbye, 2009. Goodbye anger and sadness and dismay. Goodbye disappointment and depression.
Hello--something new. Maybe better, maybe not. But something new.
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