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

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

She's Up and She's Down; or, Reminders of the Lucky

I've been cruising along for the last month: running (a ten-mile race!), writing (a conference paper, part of a chapter, part of a novel!), working hard. I've loved getting to watch Smudgie label the world around him--saying "hot" to the humidifier going in his room (we'll ignore the fact that it's cold steam), asking "peeze" when he wants something especially much and requesting "encore" after we read his favorite books (his nanny is Quebecois and taught him that) . I've been making plans-- for a trip to the West Coast this summer for our family, to run a half-marathon in April, to visit lots of museums and parks and other fun places once the weather improves.
And on top of all that, LG and I were able to grab a quick four-day getaway to the Caribbean together in February-- just the two of us! We missed Smudgie, of course, but he was in great hands with my parents, all three of whom had a blast spending time together. And it was so nourishing to be able to spend time alone with my husband, relaxing and appreciating each other.

Things are still good overall. But those little intrusions of my worst self do keep knocking on the door. It's pregnancy season, you know, and I'm face-to-face with a whole lot of them. Most of them, I handle just fine. It's easy these days to rejoice over friends having first babies. Second-pregnancy announcements on Facebook, I admit, have a special sting. But giving FB up for Lent has helped with that, too-- if I don't hear about it, it didn't happen!

This week has been made up of a serious of little chisels chipping away at my contentment, though, and I'm feeling mopey as a result. Smudgie's been sick since Saturday with a bad cold and 103-degree fever, so obviously I couldn't send him to his nanny share--and thus couldn't really get any work done. Or go anywhere or do anything, with an infectious, cranky-as-all-hell seventeen month old on my hands. Today he was finally fever-free in the morning...and his nanny texted that she's got a fever and couldn't come in. And she already scheduled to take next week off for vacation, so now I'm really not going to get anything done. LG is slammed at work, so my plan for him to work from home on the day of my fellowship meeting doesn't look promising.

On top of that, plans for Smudgie's school/child-care next year are getting complicated and tough to juggle. He got into a great program...that costs way more than we want to spend, especially for only three days a week. But none of the other programs can give us a firm commitment yet. And we need to put down a $3,000 non-refundable deposit at the first program to hold our place this Friday! I hate the thought of spending so much and I also hate the thought of not having anything set up for next year.

That's all frustrating, but what's really got me down is my knee. I've been having pain around my kneecaps since my run last Saturday. I'm so worried I've developed an overtraining injury and won't be able to run the race I've already signed up for. Partially because I don't want to lose the entrance fee, but mostly because running is keeping me sane right now. I love the camaraderie of my running group, love the feeling of being outside and active, love feeling strong and fit. I love having time to myself that is already budgeted in the week and that I refuse to feel guilty about. I love having goals to look forward to that don't have anything to do with getting pregnant.

That's what I'm most worried about. That if I can't keep running, I'll revert to obsessing each month about pregnancy. I'll lose that little reassurance that getting my period doesn't matter that much, because I've got a race ahead of me.

So which of these made yesterday's pregnancy announcement settle so uncomfortably in my heart? Was it the stress of a week with a cranky toddler? The fears of my running adventure being put on pause? The fact that it was the third in the past 10 days? I'm happy for my friend. She's waited a while to get started on her family and I wish her only joy with this pregnancy. So why did I choose that dinner to finally tell her about my latest loss, after three months of saying nothing? I could see her growing uncomfortable as I told her how it all happened, the heartbeats that stop, and I realized that I might be scaring her (she's only 10 weeks along), and we sort of both changed the subject and didn't bring it up again. But why do I worry about shielding her from the reality that I've lived through, more than once? Why do I feel it was a selfish thing to do, somehow damaging to her happy news to bring up events so unhappy?

I think of trying to conceive so differently than I once did. I don't live or die by each cycle. In my heart of hearts I don't even feel quite ready yet to be pregnant now. But...I probably won't get pregnant anyway. And if I do, there's a chance I'd miscarry yet again. So I might as well get some of those wasted cycles under my belt before the "real" trying starts, six or so months from now, when we confront going back to the doctor.

I'm mostly sort-of okay with this most of the time. This is just our burden right now (one of them, so far) and bemoaning it won't make anything better. It could be worse. It has been worse. It might be worse in the not-so-distant future. I don't want to ruin a pretty good thing by grieving for something I do believe I'll one day have again.

But then those reminders come that it's not this hard for everyone. That some people would see six months or a year of trying to get pregnant and a collection of miscarriages along the way as a horrifying nightmare rather than a reasonable summation of the cost of doing business. Those reminders are pretty shitty. Not shitty enough to cry about it or anything. But still.

Shitty enough to make a day trapped inside with the cutest, funniest, crankiest toddler around just a little bit sadder than it needs to be.


  1. I read posts about my IF friends who still have the pains of IF and it hurts my heart. I knew before I got pregnant with EK that she was it for me, that I didn't want more, and now I'm far more afraid of getting pregnant than I am of not getting pregnant, which is weird. That being said, I still sympathize. Infertility sucks!

    And BUY A ROLLER! I took a week and a half off from running and then started back with my roller and I'm a new person. My knees were killing me from overtraining. Good luck!!!

  2. Hi, sloper! I've been wondering how you are lately. Loved to hear all the great updates - the vacation time with LG, how well Smudgie is doing, how awesome you're doing with running (I can tell you how much I've missed it through the treatments and now through pregnancy).

    I'm sorry that the latest announcement stung so badly. I'm with you that the number 2 announcements sting extra bad, but most of the time I'm just numb to them. I'm used to the fact now that this is hard for us and easy for others, but special situations sting extra bad. Like, my 40 yo Mom friend who took 4 cycles to get pregnant. Glad for her but it stings so much to know how crappy my ovaries are in comparison, you know?

    Hope your knee is okay and this next week is tolerable. I hope that a lucky surprise is just around the corner and there's no need to head back to the doc xo

  3. I'm so glad you've posted. I really appreciate your helping me cheerlead my way through some of my latest PhD stress. I am getting better about cheering myself along. (I'm still not sure if reply's to comments notify the commenter). I am the opposite, where second pregnancy announcements don't phase me, but first announcements - especially from my little sister's peers, sting. Here's to hoping your knee heels and you can keep running. We all need something to keep us sane.
    PS - Smudgie is talking so much! Isn't toddlerhood amazing.

    1. Agh! My comment got eaten!!

      gist: I am super excited to read your novel, and the vacation sounds awesome. I'm sorry about the unfairness-of-IF feelings coming back, in addition to processing your loss. It does truly suck. It is shitty enough to cry over, even if your amazing toddler makes it hard to weep constantly :) (rueful smile).

  4. I hope your knee feels better soon - running is so therapeutic. Number 2 announcements are a special kind of OW. It always seems so unfair when friends can be so blissfully immune to the worries and fears of what can go wrong.

  5. Ack - I didn't mean to suggest that anyone would wish poor outcomes for their friends or want their friends to worry about such things! That came out totally wrong.

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