• Uncategorized

    The Gray Zone

    We’ve reached Friday. Another week of winter is done. Another week of the school year is done. One week closer to summer vacation and as my body confirmed this week, another week that I am not pregnant.

    It’s been three months since the miscarriage and I feel frustratingly torn by my emotions. It’s a weird state of desperation to get pregnant again and a simultaneous feeling that I’m not ready to be pregnant and perhaps, never will be. The last statement isn’t meant to garner “yes you will!” responses about faith, resiliency, and optimism. I know I can get pregnant. Three pregnancies have proven that. What I am concerned and struggling with is whether or not I want to be and if so, when?

    I’ve always envisioned myself with a lot of kids. Two was never my intention. Hell, it was only my beginning number. Three was a definite. Four was a maybe. Five would have been a dream.

    Now…I’m wondering…

    I’m questioning…

    What if I’m not meant to have more?

    My children are of an age of independence. They can dress themselves. They entertain themselves. They can get their own drinks. Not for nothing, but they can get me drinks- coffee and wine included. They’re two years apart and have an unshakable bond. They’re each other’s best friends. How would a third fit into that? Would they? No matter how joyous, a third baby would disrupt their lives. Throw a wrench in our routine.

    Our lives are settled and stable and now I question whether or not I truly want to start from the beginning again. The sleepless nights, the bottles, teething, the toddler temper tantrums, potty training, diaper explosions, smelling like spit-up for a year. I’m so far removed from the trenches of parenthood. Do I want to crawl back in and exchange my structure for chaos? I think I do, but every passing month that I’m not pregnant, I wonder if it’s foolish to try and be.

    Furthermore, the last three months have caused me to unfairly judge myself as a mother. My children are sweet, creative, imaginative, kind, intelligent and empathetic. I feel as if these two adorable, evolving individuals are the way they are because of the environment they’re in, the amazing father who gets on the floor with them and builds LEGOs, their compassionate teachers and their extended families that nurture them to no end. I feel, as of late, that I’m a lackluster mom. Someone who is a shell of her former, fun self. My patience is low. My kid-centered creativity is nonexistent. I feel like a taxi driver, a book reader and a perpetual nag for them to brush their teeth, get on their clothes, clean up their messes and eat their dinners.

    I’m not, once again, seeking some type of “you are a great mom!” response because yes, I know I’m a good mom at the end of the day. Rationally, I know I’ve helped shape them into these amazing little people, but if I were actually thinking rationally, I wouldn’t be writing this.

    I love them with everything I have which is a true sign of a good mom, but I question if I’m enough. Enough for them and enough for another baby. If motherhood were a job, I feel like my boss would be having a very awkward meeting with me about my “declining performance” and my “uncertain future.”

    Babies were always my kryptonite. I’d melt around them. I was the creeper in Wegmans staring at your baby, waving, playing peek-a-boo from across the aisle. Now? I feel despondent towards them. They exist. They’re there. Sure, they’re cute, but they’ve lost their luster. It’s like that Marie Kondo phenomenon: do babies spark joy within me nowadays?

    No.

    That makes me sad.

    I’m jaded, there’s no doubt about that. I’m healing, I’m aware of that. I’m a little broken, I get that. But how the hell do I fix all of that?

    Don’t tell me that it takes time.

    Don’t tell me to see a therapist.

    Don’t tell me I’ll get pregnant soon.

    None of these are cures. They are people’s default responses to an awkward conversation that, by the way, people are over having with me. It’s safer, easier and more acceptable to just shut the fuck up about it. Part of me doesn’t talk about it because I feel as if I should be stronger and be “over it” already. The other part of me doesn’t talk about it because I don’t want people to judge me for not being over it already.

    A new baby isn’t and shouldn’t be a band-aid for my miscarriage. A lost baby isn’t something that you can replace with another one. It’s not a goldfish. It’s not a pair of shoes. But at one point, babies were a source of happiness for me and now, I’m indifferent.

    Indifferent towards babies that are not my own and indifferent towards babies that could be in my future. I hate that feeling.

    That feeling of being in the middle.

    The gray zone of life.

  • Uncategorized

    Run down on the Run

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve falsely convinced myself and others that all is well and that there’s nothing more to note in this space. However, we all know that shit isn’t true. I’m just really super good at covering up reality. Way better at covering up my misery than I am my hormonal facial breakouts, but whatever.

    The truth is that I sometimes feel a little lost. The world has certainly resumed its spinning which I knew was going to happen. My personal loss is not the loss of others. It is not a shared misery. However, I didn’t expect the physical feeling of abandonment that I do right now. If life were a race, I’d still be at the start line, crying and confused while everyone else has lapped me numerous times. My apologies for the running analogy, but it brings me to today…

    A few weeks ago I registered for the Buffalo Marathon in May. Not because I love suffering through five hours of running, but to keep my mind occupied. Marathon training forces a very disciplined lifestyle– a rigid running schedule, long Saturday morning training runs, dietary restrictions and general busyness. Work, kids, a husband, family and friends were not enough. Let’s factor in a marathon.

    Today during the first stretch of our 14-mile run (ugh), I unconsciously separated myself from the group. I was alone with my thoughts and allowed myself to sink deep into those thoughts. It wasn’t pretty.

    Everything I’ve been avoided crept its nasty, sneaky way into my head.

    Everyone around you is pregnant and you aren’t!

    Everyone who is pregnant seems to complain about it a lot! That must make you pretty pissed.

    Everyone around you has a baby that they seem to resent. Sucks that you won’t have a baby.

    No one cares much about your dumb miscarriage anymore.

    You probably wouldn’t have handled a third baby well anyway. Look at you. You can’t even handle this.

    You did something wrong. Even though the doctors said you didn’t, you know this is your fault.

    You’re not going to get pregnant again.

    You’re only here running because you’re NOT pregnant anymore. YOU lost your baby.

    As the miles progressed and time went by, I felt more and more enraged by life. I’m not here to suggest that my problems are the worst. I know firsthand that people have and have had it much worse. Cancer, death, illness, injury– all terrible and all, in the grand scheme of life, far more damaging than my pregnancy loss. I get it.

    I am here, however, to bitch about my own problems because this is my damn blog. To me, my miscarriage was like a knife to my life plan. She was perfectly planned and profusely wanted. She is no longer here. There is a void in my life that I’m frantically trying to fill. 2019 was predestined to be her year and now it’s a ginormous haunting question mark disguised as a giant middle finger to my life.

    There’s a certain level of muteness I feel as well. Last week at a work meeting, I told a colleague that I missed last month’s meeting because I miscarried and I might as well have told her that I had a highly contagious strain of smallpox. It was awkward. Not awkward for me because I clearly don’t have a problem discussing it, but others don’t want to. I feel shy about my honesty and embarrassed by my prolonged pain. Society seems to dictate a certain mourning time period for this and I’m passed that. Now it’s taboo to speak about it. Another example of how I’m left in the dust.

    They’ve lapped me yet again in the race.

    Once we got back to the running store, I felt pissed. This shit card has been dealt to me and here I am trying to ignore it like an idiot. I don’t want to run, I want to be at home rubbing my belly and joking about prenatal hiccups or something. I don’t want to be drinking wine every single night, but I am because I’m really fucking pissed and despite what psychologists say, wine solves shit. I don’t want to be logging my daily calories to lose the pregnancy and mourning weight I put on, but here I am scanning barcodes and counting how many Tostitos I ate. The whole thing is SHITTY and I hate it.

    I sat on the sidewalk of the store and felt some internal rage fill me. As my friends stood above me to discuss the next phase of our run, I just wanted to cry.  One of those hard, lengthy, scary, uncontrollable cries, but that wasn’t the time nor the place. Screaming felt appropriate, but I didn’t. Punching someone or something felt justifiable, but there’s no one or anything to truly blame.

    Today was the first time, in a long time, that I just wanted to cry. My friends were thankfully there to ask if I were okay and to encourage me to keep running. Force the small talk, think and talk about anything else, I kept reminding myself. We ran for another hour after my mini-meltdown and I felt remarkably better. The physical pain of running helped with the emotional pain of my crap circumstances.

    Like I told my best friend today when I recounted the story, I am rambling. Nothing makes sense other than I know need to get back into my therapist and keep working on myself and my outlook. If this whole thing has taught me anything, it’s that I’m not alone despite how I may feel. With that being said, I’ve started writing a book. Like one of those things that you pick up and read. Those things, yes. It will probably go nowhere, but it’s healing to give a voice to the pain. If it sits on my computer for the rest of my life without anyone else reading it, I’m fine with that. Right now, it’s another outlet to fill the crack of my life’s foundation.

    Apologies if this is a rambling post that makes zero sense. I’m listening to a sad playlist and am on my 2nd (or 3rd, WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE) glass of wine and am racing to post this before my kid’s show is over.

    Time’s ticking, life is moving and I’m trying really hard to be apart of it.