A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

That Girl; or, This Girl

I've double-checked that my Ob-Gyn records arrived at the RE's. I've booked a (desperately needed) bikini wax. I've reordered my prenatals (possibly for the last time, since I think the prescription officially expires this month). And I've printed out 17 charts--the record of almost two years worth of my body's reproductive efforts. Late and early ovulation. Long and short cycles. Temperatures and fertility readings and spotting and periods. One positive pregnancy test followed 30 days later by a red dot.

I look at that first chart from November 2008 and the age listed at the top (28) and I think: I am not that girl.

That girl who thought if she read the right books and did the right things and planned and predicted and started early and left nothing to chance she could win at having a baby just like she'd won at everything else that mattered.

That girl who was both so smug and so scared, but mostly smug. Who whispered to herself awful things like "I'm not fat, so I won't have any problems" and "I have a regular cycle, so I won't have any problems" and "I'm starting nice and young, so I won't have any problems" and thought that just saying the words would make them true.

That girl who told her friends, "We're going to start trying to get pregnant now!" and thought it meant, "We're going to have a baby." That girl who thought that making the decision to try was the hard part.

That girl who figured out her first potential due date (thinking it would be the only, not thinking it would be the first) months before she even ovulated. That girl who planned for the "perfect" month to give birth in and the "perfect" way to break the news and the "perfect" labor she was sure to have.

That girl who wondered if she was ready to be a mom even as she cried over her very first negative test.

One year to the week later, we found out the m&m was dead. Twenty-two months later, we're visiting the doctor bearing stacks of paper dotted with little eggs and hearts and acronyms and numbers.

In September of 2010 (age: 30) this girl doesn't bother with the books any longer (thanks for nothing, Toni Weschler). This girl doesn't bother with the thermometer and barely bothers with the charts.

This girl doesn't want to know what her potential due date is. This girl assumes due dates are only and always potential.

This girl doesn't call her friends to talk about another failed cycle, another peak reading, another hopeful or hopeless two-week wait. This girl has watched her friends gain so easily what has come so hard and taken so long. More than anything, this girl wants to be left alone.

This girl has realized there's a depth of jealousy and anger and frustration in her heart that she never could have imagined. This girl has watched it poison relationships from the inside out, wondering how to make herself care when everything feels so bleak.

This girl has discovered sources of incredible empathy and support that she never thought she would.

This girl has fought her own heartache and won. This girl has been defeated by grief and sadness over and over and over again.

This girl doesn't know what comes next. This girl is incapable of prognostication, and finally admits it.

This girl knows that one day in the future she'll be "That Girl" again, unknowing of her destiny, ignorant of the choices she'll make, unaware of the happiness in store for her and the steps required to reach it.

This girl is afraid to hope.

But this girl hopes that day comes soon.


  1. I think we all know THAT girl well. I love her for her naivite and blind faith that everything will happen as it should. However, this girl is much stronger, braver, and will soon get what is so deserved. Hang in there...hope the appointment goes well.
    Oh, and most REs don't care too much about charts so don't be offended if he doesn't take as much interest in them as you do! He'll have his own tools and diagnostics and come up with an awesome plan to get you that baby.

  2. The RE is going to get you knocked up Slopie. And you'll be whole new girl. Hang in there. One more day til some answers. xo

  3. I remember being That Girl. And I resent women who never have to meet their own This Girl.

  4. I remember my version of That Girl very well. I look back at my first charts and feel a combination of irritation, anger and sadness. I want to be That Girl again, but part of me is kind of mad at her.

  5. I hate that you've felt all that, and I hate that I can relate to it all, too. I hope it's over soon. Good luck at your appointment!

  6. Twenty-two months???? I would be a raving lunatic. Your "This Girl" kicks my "This girl"'s ass.

    So, if it isn't too obnoxious, I am going to give the scoop from the other side (fingers crossed! don't want to assume anything!), where I assume you will be joining me shortly. Some of the lingering effects of my year of barrenness and loss have stayed with me. The compassion and empathy (good things!), as well as the permanent change to my face (older, sadly. Not physically in terms of wrinkles, but in the eyes-- my eyes will never regain that innocent exuberance when I smile, I fear). BUT, a lot of things have reverted. I am no longer sad and bitter. I am, instead, happy and contented (if worried sick, but I can live with that). I'm not saying that to be annoying (I'm really sorry if it is), but because when I was in my darkest depression about not being able to reproduce, i had started to wonder if even getting pregnant would make me happy again... it does.

    I can't wait for this to be the case for you. I am sorry that you have so little hope at this point, when I personally am so excited and hopeful for your RE appointment, but this is truly a new step, and things WILL work out soon.

  7. I hope so, too, Sloper. You deserve to have that appointment and to be on the way to both baby AND that girl. You deserved to get there before the appointment.

    It changes us, that's certain. I think - as your post suggests - some of the changes are permanent, but some are specific to this stuff we're facing. I have such high hopes for your meeting with the RE.

  8. Wow, this is so well written. I think we all struggle with being This girl and wishing we were That Girl.

  9. Beautifully written Sloper. I hope you find "That girl" again very soon. She won't be exactly the same of course, she's been through too much, but the main parts of her are still there, somewhere.

    So you know, most RE's don't even look at your charts, but just in case you should bring them with you. Good luck and hope you finally get some answers.

  10. That was like reading a post inside of me. I want to be the old girl but don't think I ever will be again. Really lovely post. Keep onto the hope.

  11. Such a great post - very well said, Sloper!

    I hope that you discover a new version of you that comes after all of this - the one that comes when you get your baby and you have all of the knowledge and compassion from this journey and the happiness that comes from your little one.

    best of luck tomorrow <3

  12. 22 months from now, you're going to be a completely different girl-- a mom.

    I am giddy with excitement about your appointment tomorrow and Thurs and can't wait to hear all about them.

    So much love and so much hope, C.

  13. Thanks for this post. You've very nicely summed up the change in all of us. How relaxed and confident we were, only to have it erode over time. The frustration. The desire to be alone so people will stop telling us to relax or have a procreation vacation or do accupuncture. (Where were you people the first 3 years I was trying? You didn't know I was trying because I was relaxed and, btw, with the same results as those later days when I "just need to relax."

    Best of luck on Stage 2 of your journey, assisted (emphasis on the "ass") reproduction.

  14. You should also proudly say, "This Girl is one hell of a good writer!"

    It sucks that you've had to get to know This Girl. Life would be a bowl of cherries if we didn't ever have to meet These Girls. But, just as you say, some day you'll again be That Girl, but with a twist. You'll appreciate being her.

  15. So beautifully said. I look back over the past two years and I have NO idea who I used to be. I feel so different. You put this into such perfect words. I hope your appointment goes great.

  16. Achingly beautiful. Best of luck at your appointment - can't wait to hear about it!

  17. Great post. I was definitely THAT girl in the beginning, too. If there's one thing this IF mess has done, it's to kick another big chunk of my naiveté out the door. That's probably a good thing. Well... someday when I have my healthy baby in my arms, I'll think it's a good thing, anyway.

  18. you're gonna be a whole new girl after dr L is done with you!! i firmly believe it with every fiber of my being! i'm hoping the time passes by very very quickly for you until doc can work his magic :o)

  19. Wow, this post was like looking in the mirror. You summed it up so well for all of us!

  20. Such a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing it.