Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Thanks Be

I feel sad and grateful tonight. Sad for the loss, for all the years of slowly closing in on myself, and grateful for the light-speed opening that is happening inside me now, all the insights, all the awareness I've had lately that I am not alone at all but truly blessed in the world.

I am grateful for:

My dear friends, most immediately M~, who has been in my life since second grade and has never been more appreciated; L~ and L~, among others; and S~, who has been my bestest for a very very long time. I am listening to her sing as I write this. (Her name is no secret, really, because she uses it herself at myspace, where you, too, can hear her beautiful voice, and simulate the experience I had writing this post). The song is perfect for my mood: sad sad sad and lovely.

My incredible family, today especially my nearly eighty-year-old father, who drove 7 hours to spend the afternoon and evening with me, to buy me meals and early birthday presents and to simply be Dadness. "It's difficult for me to go to you with the pain of this," I told him the other day on the phone, "because it feels like it has its roots in my relationship with you." But then again, there is no better salve than his love.

J~, whose wife left him a week before A~ left me, under quite similar circumstances. We haven't officially met, though we will soon. Through the luck of the grapevine (namely, my brother, his co-worker), we've become a support group to each other by phone and email, sharing the internal reckoning, fighting our way out from isolation, exploring the great steaming gumbo of difficult emotions. And laughing. There is actually some laughing.

My coworkers at the clinic, who are so sincerely committed to caring for women in their hour of need, they move me to tears on a regular basis. I'm honored to be part of their team.

My guitar, which was collecting dust, but no more.

My readers, who keep me writing.

And finally, A~, (yes, A~ makes the list). He called me yesterday because he was feeling bad about how bad I must be feeling, wanting to know how I was doing. In a year of miscarriages and grief, I never got such basic, unsolicited care. Strange as it may seem in light of recent events and our continuing sure-footed movement toward divorce, our friendship might actually be improving.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Okay I Admit It

Ugh, the layers, the layers! I've gotten below the shame now and, surprise, surprise, I'm ashamed to admit what I've found. But for the sake of non-avoidance, I will bare my soul to you, good and loyal readers. What lies below is this humiliating truth: If A~ were to want me back, I would be so glad.

I deserve better than the relationship we had, and I would never settle for it again, but the fact remains, I wish he still wanted me. I wish the choice were mine. Don't get me wrong, I want the divorce. But I still fantasize that once we're fully separate, his relationship with K~ will quickly fall apart, he'll realize what an idiot he's been, and suddenly not only want to do the work it would take to be worthy of me, but be capable of it. Of course I, so much stronger and wiser, would accept nothing less. In the end, we'd live happily ever after. So much more happily than we'd ever have been if this hadn't happened.

I know, I know, believe me, I know what you're thinking. I know already. That's what makes this so embarrassing.

To those of you readers who are wondering, yes, I will eventually shut up about all this divorce stuff and get back to the meat and potatoes of fertility and miscarriage and abortion and babies (actual newborn infants, I mean, not baby ex-husbands). I've got a lot of new thoughts on those subjects too, believe you me. But for today, please indulge my obsession. And in the meantime, check out the archives. And don't hesitate to post comments to old entries. I read those too.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Speaking of Babies...

Lately I've been consumed with the seemingly rhetorical questions, "How could you do this to me?" and "What were you thinking?" A~'s response is that he wasn't thinking of me at all. No twinge of guilt, no fleeting anxiety, nothing.

"Then when did you think of me?" I ask. "Right after? The next morning? When you looked down at your ringing cell phone and saw I was calling?" After a moment's contemplation, he admits he doesn't remember thinking of me or the situation until the plane ride home, where he thought of nothing else. "I was in shock," he explains, still absorbing that this had actually happened. He didn't know yet how to handle it, or if he was even going to tell me.

So far, I've been able to accept the facts and grieve accordingly, but to admit to myself that A~ was so completely detached brings me up against a wall. In spite of all good and well-meaning advice to the contrary, what stops me is a sense of shame.

I see now how mother-child our relationship was.

Like a good son, A~ was polite and did his chores (going to work, hugging me, apologizing or offering reassurance of his love when asked). But when there was a chance that something he'd done or said or felt would cause me distress, he evaded my questions. It wasn't my feelings he was concerned about, but whether or not he'd get in trouble.

And like a good mother, I explained and taught and scolded when necessary.

He was so completely terrified of being without me, it wasn't until K~ came along that he even saw it as a possibility. (And he has said as much.)

What's behind this feeling of shame?
I ask myself. The response that comes to mind is this: It's a shame, really, that I put up with him as long as I did.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Reviewing what I wrote earlier today, I realize I didn't mention something important: that I'm not always miserable. That in fact, for sometimes hours at a time, I feel happy and hopeful and excited about the road ahead.

Right Now

Tomorrow, it'll be three weeks since my life blew up in my face.

I sleep between five and six hours each night. No trouble drifting off, but I wake up early and fully in the dark.

I'm eating, but nowhere near as much as I used to. (Not sure I'm eating too little at this point. I used to eat too much.)

Weighed myself at the gym a week ago: I've lost about fifteen pounds. To be clear, I'm by no means emaciated. I was edging into the overweight category at the beginning of all this, and I'm still on the high end of the Body-Mass Index "normal".

Nausea builds up periodically throughout the day. The only cure I've found is crying, but the tears don't come if I'm alone. When I find myself doubling over, beginning to tremble, I know I'm way overdue to reach out for support.

My phone is my lifeline. I looked at the accruing cell bill online yesterday: With six days left in the month, it was already 300 minutes (more than $100) over the basic plan.

I occupy my low-nausea spare time with divorce-recovery chores: Burning copies of his CDs. Long overdue shopping for clothing. Exercise. Writing lists of things to do next, people to call, questions to get answered, possible aspirations for the future.

A date is set for the sit-down with A~ and K~. It'll be Sunday, February 5th, not sure yet what time. Working on the location.

My husband left me for another woman. It's still sinking in.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Recently, between the anger and the pain, I've begun to have flashes of appreciation for A~ and K~. This, I'm sure, sounds crazy, so let me explain: I think that on some level, A~ and I have known since early on that we were not what each other needed in a partner. He was afraid to be without me, and I was afraid to be alone, and we clung to each other out of that fear. If we didn't have a strong friendship, and real love for each other, it would have been awful.

Though he did an exceedingly sloppy job of it, and though I got badly hurt in the process, I can't help but feel in moments that A~ was the brave one, and that in the end, I'm going to be much better off because of it.

With this line of reasoning, I can't help but appreciate K~ also. She was at least a catalyst. What role she takes in A~'s life in the long run remains to be seen. Will I be jealous? Will I pity her? Will I have more and greater flashes of appreciation? I don't know.

I understand many of you are concerned about my plan to meet with A~ and K~, and I thank you for it. I know you believe that I'm opening myself up to further hurt. Absolutely, this is true. But I'm also opening myself up to further healing.

When we sit down together, there are only a few things I will want to express, a few questions to ask. I have some hope but no expectation of good or clear or even honest responses. It's a reality check, that's all. And I'm not afraid to take the risk, not afraid to feel whatever feelings emerge, and absolutely convinced that whatever pain comes to the surface will be that much less I'll have to carry around with me.

If I was apprehensive, or gritting my teeth in order to do this, I would know I wasn't ready or that it wasn't right. But I'm actually looking forward to it because I'm sure, whatever happens will make me stronger.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Weeding the Garden

In his book, Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, Thich Nhat Hanhsays that within each of us is a garden. "Maybe in the past, you left it untended for a long time. You should know exactly what is going on in your own garden, and try to put everything in order. Restore the beauty; restore the harmony in your garden. Many people will enjoy your garden, if it is well tended."

Reading this paragraph, I had a flash of my own inner garden: all spindly and dry and overrun with weeds. It makes me weep to recognize how neglectful I've become of my own fulfillment, how much time I've spent tending to A~ and the dream of family to the exclusion of myself. But when I finish crying, for the time being anyway, all I want to do is get to work on me. I want to roll up my sleeves and start digging, start making repairs to the fences, planting new seeds. I'm very optomistic that there is something to salvage here, something beautiful. But in the meantime, I have weeds to pull.

How to do this? So much is obvious: the work, the phone calls, the reaching out and celebrating my changes for the better and building up the friendships I've been neglecting. But there is also grief and anger I must allow and encourage to pass from my body.

Another thing Hanh says is that it's natural to share joy and good feelings. "But you also have to let the other person know when you suffer, when you are angry with him or her. You have to express what you feel. You have the right. This is true love."

I picture sitting down in silence with A~ and K~, someplace private, somewhere neutral. It would be awkward and difficult for all of us. I'm sure I'd sweat and tremble. I'd probably cry, and they'd feel uncomfortable, but I think that's a good thing. I might be tempted to say something hurtful, but I'd resist this urge. Instead I'd listen, and talk honestly about how I'm feeling, ask all my questions, express my concerns for the future, because it's not about revenge or punishment, it's about healing.

So I told A~ my fantasy. "For my own health and well-being," I explained, "I need to forgive you both. To do this, I must face the reality of K~. And it seems only right that she face me, and that you face the fact that you've brought her into a very significant position in my life without my consent. Besides, she owes me an apology too." Of course, he didn't like this idea one bit. "Please ask her," I said.

Lo and behold, they have agreed to do it. It's just a matter of setting a time, choosing a place. In the meantime, I'll make a list of things I want to say, things I want to ask, and also, I'll line someone up whom I can run to afterwards for hugs and tissues and unconditional listening. And then dear and loyal readers, I'll blog all about it. It's going to be hard, but it's going to be good.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blog for Choice Day: It Happens

A~ cried in front of me yesterday, telling me he feels bad, very bad, that he can't believe how badly he's treated me, that he's ashamed and embarrassed and he loves me and he's sorry. He's called my mother and apologized, and plans to call my father too, my brothers next. But the bottom line remains the same: he doesn't want me anymore. It's over. And it still hurts like a knife through the gut.

Today is "Blog for Choice Day" and I'm supposed to be writing something about abortion rights, so I'll start by saying this, though I've said it before in previous posts: Thank God for those miscarriages! What if I had been pregnant when A~ came to his conclusion that he didn't truly want to be with me, probably never had in all the twelve years we've been together?

Like many of the most militant pro-lifers, I am someone who had an abortion and regretted it. But my militancy was only with myself: I was determined that I would never do it again. Luckily, I didn't have the power or inclination to pass a law against it; luckily I didn't jump to the conclusion that what was wrong for me was wrong for everyone. Because if I could've passed a law against my own right to choice, I would've. I never expected this was something I'd have to rethink. Just like I never expected I'd have to rethink my marriage. Just like I never expected I'd drop more than ten pounds in a week because I was so busy digesting the biggest, most jagged, foul-tasting one-word truth I never thought I'd have to swallow: divorce.

It used to be that a divorce was difficult to come by. Consensus had it that it was wrong, but gradually we've found so many exceptions to the rule that the debate is moot. Half of the marriages in this country end in divorce. It happens. And still intelligent women like me enter into them thinking we're immune. (I thought a great friendship and an almost eleven-year courtship did the trick, but what did I know?)

All I'm saying is, the same is true for unintentional, unsupportable pregnancy. It happens to the most conscientious birth control user, to run-ragged new mothers, to busy professionals, to the clinically depressed and the flat-out insane, to the resignedly premenepausal, even to the supposedly infertile. ("I was told I couldn't get pregnant!" Believe me, I hear that one all the time) Make no mistake about it, it happens to everyone with a working womb, and that includes the staunchest pro-lifers. Clinics all over the country fill up on Saturday mornings and weekday evenings with women fighting to swallow their own biggest, most jagged, foul-tasting one-word truth. Abortion happens, is my point, and everyone who has one is bravely taking care of herself in the best way she knows how.

For more of my thinking on choice, see the following back-posts: Jimmy and Jesus Don't Get "It", The Orcharder, Regret and the Right to Choose, and From the Trenches: Why Women Have Abortions. To access the archives and read my blog from beginning to end (or end to beginning) start at the home page.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Cutting my Losses

"It's a grieving process; it takes time. It's like a death," said my therapist this morning. This was the second time I've seen her, the second week since A~ left me. "It's the death of a relationship," she went on. I didn't respond at first. I was busy blowing a brain-sized wad of snot into a tissue. I think I went through an entire box this morning, crying my face off. It wasn't that she was saying anything revolutionary, but that what she was saying was so damned true.

"I should have a funeral, then," I told her, when I caught my breath. "Some kind of ritual to mark the occasion."

"That might be a good idea."

So I'm thinking about what I might do. I suspect it probably involves burning something.

I've been thinking about releasing A~ as though it were the process of pulling off a bandaid. I'd rather do it quick than drag it out one painful hair at a time. I want to devote the time and energy to getting him out of my system now, rather than mourning on and on forever. But I know this can't be rushed, and I know I've got to eat sleep work exercise laugh play too. Plus, there are layers that I will only be able to face as they come up, such as the other day, when I was supposed to write down an emergency contact person on a form, and was suddenly in tears, at a loss for a name for the first time in a decade. And then there was this morning before therapy, when I got a haircut I wasn't so sure about. I had no one to rush home to for a hug and reassurance that I was loved and beautiful just the same, and that really stings.

The good news is, I have friends and neighbors I'm not afraid to call on. D~ came over to serve as surrogate haircut evaluator. "Tell me truth," I told him, "I can take it."

"Girl," he said, shaking his head, "you look hot!"

Can't complain about that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


We're working it out. Not the marriage, but the end of the relationship as it once stood, and where we go from here. Besides the who-gets-what, there are a lot of mundane logistical realities to contend with, such as the fact that we share a cell phone plan, and that the car I'm keeping is registered in his name, and vice versa.

I did give him that hug the other night, but not before he took his heavy winter coat off. Though at first I wanted more connection, ultimately I was glad of the barrier. This hug was for his benefit, to show my enduring love and my progress toward forgiveness. But he had not earned my trust, nor the warmth of my body.

The next night (last night) when he came back to go over more numbers, I let him hug me again, but I didn't want or need it, and ultimately, I had to pull away. He had an unfamiliar laundry soap smell, and I imagined it was hers. I couldn't pretend it was okay.

Something -- part illusion, part trust -- has been shattered, and I'm standing in the aftermath as the dust settles, trying to determine how much, if anything, is salvageable of a long-lived love and friendship. The answer to this question remains to be seen.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Great Divide

In an hour or so, A~ is coming by to pick up some boxes, possibly go over some of the paperwork regarding the great divide (of assets, that is). We don't have much, so it isn't complicated: just some money in the bank, a stereo, some other random articles of joint ownership. I have mixed feelings about seeing him. On one hand, I simply want the boxes gone, no contact at all. On the other, I'm feeling so pleased with how well I've come through this rough week and so sure he hasn't been nearly as well supported, I almost feel like giving him a hug.

I'd like to imagine that he has suffered as I have, that he has been consumed by the hurt of losing me, but I know that's not true. He feels bad about what he's done to me, to be sure, and I don't want to make light of that. But it's not the same. He's in love, after all. His mind is elsewhere. So I slap cold water on warm thoughts such as these.

Friends tell me, "Just wait. Give him three or four months. He'll come crawling back."

To that I say: Maybe, maybe not. I may give him a hug or two in the meantime, but I'm not waiting.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Revisiting Miscarriage

After my second miscarriage, a dear friend suggested to me that I try to be with the situation in a peaceful way. "Everything happens for a reason," she said.

I got angry. I hated the idea that people who had miscarriages are subjected to this kind of seemingly easy dismissal. The true and only reason for my suffering seemed obvious. Because of some physical limitation in my body and/or his, baby-making just hadn't worked for us so far and maybe never would. Besides, I was in mourning. "I'm sorry for your loss," or "Is there anything I can do to help?" was about all I could take in terms of well-meaning support.

But my friend's point did not easily leave my mind. It seemed to beg the question, "Is it possible that deep down, you don't want to be pregnant?" After all, I had my doubts. At the time, it didn't occur to me that this might have had more to do with my partner than it did my desire to become a mother. I saw my doubt as weakness. Now I see that not facing it was the weakness.

It also never occurred to me that one day I'd be grateful for those lives that came into mine, with A~'s ambivalent consent but at my invitation, even though they only stayed for a short visit. It was better than never being pregnant at all. Because I no longer fear pregnancy, nor do I believe there's no fate worse than never having kids. (I could have been living proof of that right now, if I'd never miscarried.)

Friday, January 13, 2006

How to Get Through Hell

It's been just five and a half days since my world turned upside-down, and as hard as it's been and I'm sure will continue to be, there have been tremendous shifts for the better, physically, emotionally, mentally, you name it. Here's what I've figured out so far:

Get support from people in your life. Let the people who love you help. Let them touch you, especially if it makes you cry. Be alone only when it's good for you. Otherwise, at least get someone on the phone. Keep in mind: everyone wants closer relationships, closer friendships, people they can go to in a crisis. Don't be shy about calling on people you've never called on before in hard times. You're breaking the ice, which they'll appreciate, and feel honored that you thought so highly of them as to offer your trust. But then again, some just can't handle it, and that's okay too.

Take care of your body. It may be hard to eat and sleep (believe me, I know!), but do your best. Drink lots of water. Get a massage, fresh air, exercise. When it's just too damned awful to bear, pay attention to your breathing. In. Out. This too shall pass.

Get professional help.
Find a support group, invest in therapy. Whatever you're going through, others have been through too, and there are people who know what it's like and how to help.

Knowledge is power. We can never know what the future holds, but we can know our rights and we can know our options. The wild unknowns create an awful lot of tension. You have the power to tame them.

Trust you gut. If something isn't helping, it isn't helping.

Relinquish control. The pain you feel needs to move through you in order to get out of you. Attempting to control the situation or control others in order to lessen it won't help. Controlling yourself -- trying not to cry, pretending you're fine, running away from the feelings -- won't help either. It will do you no good to deny that it hurts as much as it does.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I'm Still Alive

First off, thanks to those of you posting comments. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it really and truly helps to hear from you, whether I know you personally or not.

Slept less well last night (about 2.5 hours), due to a long and fruitful conversation with my mother which kept my brain spinning. I learned a lot about myself, and about her, and about myself, or did I mention that?

There's been a little more nausea, a little less neck and shoulder tension, and in the last couple days I did manage to eat a bit, but still not much. This will have to change soon, because my body is starting to feel, though slightly less pain, a good deal more drain.

Today: massage therapist in the afternoon (first time ever I paid someone for a massage!). Maybe a walk, maybe (now this one's truly ambitious and I'm not being sarcastic here) a nap. I'm really hoping to summon the stamina to clean up the apartment a bit for the sake of my environmental sanity, piling as much of A~'s personal crap as I can into bags and boxes.

As always, I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Another Day

I'm at work and I'm alive.

That's the update.

I'm drained and exhausted, and I'm very sad, and still reeling, but somehow I'm also feeling better.

This is the kind of hurt I never expected to experience in my life.

But at the moment, looking back on the two miscarriages I had this year, I see them as a difficult blessing. The question of babies or not, at the moment, is answered with a whole-hearted "Thank God not!" At least for the time being.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


The past 74 hours

sleep total: 8 hours

food intake: 2/5ths orange, 1/2 cracker, 1/3 cup unsweetened yogurt, water and unsweetened herbal tea

nausea factor: ranges from bad to not as bad


talking to friends and family. (You are all amazing, by the way.)

checking email, and blog for traffic and comments (It matters. It helps.)

researching divorce law and my rights, first steps toward finding a lawyer.

8-hour not-all-horrible conversation with A~ when he came by (at my insistence) to fetch more of his stuff.

Chances of reconciliation

slim slim slim.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Plot Twist

I've slept less than six hours in the last sixty-two. In that time I've:

• run 5 miles
• walked 10 miles
• counseled I don't know how many pre-abortion patients
• cleaned my apartment in anticipation of A~'s return from a business trip
• cooked in same anticipation
• received my husband at his return, noted an unfamiliar smell on his clothing
• watched him eat dinner
• listened to him tell me he had sex with his co-worker and wants to continue to be with her
• listen to him admit, in less coherent terms, that he's stayed with me for twelve years, married and agreed to have children, without ever being sure that he wanted to. Because he was afraid to leave, to be alone.
• watched him cry about hurting me, and wondered if I was going to throw up.
• kicked him out of the house. (He's at her place now.)
• been nauseous ever since.
• begun planning the divorce

I guess figuring out how to have a good life, babies or not is not the point anymore. Now its babies and husband or not. It hurts like hell. I'm in shock. I'm every cliche in the book.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Jimmy and Jesus Don't Get "It"

Time to put an end to this month's drama: I got my period. On one hand, of course, I'm disappointed. I want to be pregnant. On the other, I'm relieved. I don't want another miscarriage, and I've been told to wait at least another month before trying again.

Time also to take a stab at articulating this month's thought on reproductive rights:

I heard Jimmy Carter interviewed on NPR recently, about his position on abortion and his thoughts about it while president. "I tried to think what would Jesus do," he said, or something along those lines. Of course he was thinking about what Jesus would do if he found himself president. Not if he found himself pregnant, say, in his sophomore year of college with no money and no reliable partner and a desire to grow professionally beyond check-out girl at the concession stand so that he(she) might one day have children he(she) might properly provide and care for.

It occurs to me that all our god-figures are male. All our presidents are male. But women posess the ultimate power of denying or bringing forth life. It's a huge responsibility, and a huge burden, either way. And it makes us girls awfully vulnerable, because we need help and support to make those difficult decisions, to do the hard work, and to not lose our identities, not to mention our lives, in the process.

In the clinic, I hear all the time from women who struggled with their decision to have an abortion because until they were pregnant themselves, they were steadfastly against "it." These are women who have trouble saying the word abortion in a first-person affirmative sentence. That is, until they face the crossroads themselves and realize that they'd be completely unsupported either way. The pregnancy itself brands them as bad, and once knocked off the moral pedestal, their thinking becomes a hell of a lot more practical.

Even more often then the converted pro-lifers, I meet women who have not told the "FOP" (Father of Pregnancy) that "P" existed in the first place. There must be an awful lot of men out there who remain solid in their anti-abortion stance, spared from the guilt and pedestal-crushing decision they didn't have to be part of, or the financial and emotional burden of fatherhood before they were ready or able to bear it, spared even any memory at all of that drunken fling after the frat party, or the time the diaphram slipped or condom fell off or the pill wasn't reliable thanks to the flu or her new, unfortunately not-right perscription.

A medical student in training (male, by the way) who once tagged along in a counseling session with me, later asked, what did I do when the woman reported that she hadn't told the FOP. "Do you feel some ethical responsibility there?" He was earnestly leaning forward as he said this, and I had to stifle a snort of surprise. I was shocked to realize this could even be an issue in today's day and age. It went without saying for me that though a man is still responsible for the actions of his sperm once they leave his penis, he loses claim to decisions regarding the fate of the life they spark whie still dependant on another person's womb.

Skirting the issue entirely in my response, I said that if a woman tells me she hasn't told the FOP, my concern is for her. I wonder if she's in an abusive relationship, or if she was raped and is ashamed to admit it, or if she will suffer from self-punishment, cutting herself off from potential emotional support. My attention goes to these possibilities, and providing guidance as necessary.

Of course I realize now that I was naive. The man's right-to-know issue isn't so black and white, and certainly not so well-resolved in the minds of others as it is in my own. They even explored it on my obsession of a show, Sex in the City, which shies away from few difficult topics but makes no conclusive statement about right and wrong on this one. "It seems like the guy gets the short end of the stick," one of the male characters said, in discussing a secret pregnancy that the FOP would have wanted to keep. I had to laugh when I heard this, because it seems to me a pretty good bargain to be spared from such a painful experience. The woman, it seems to me, gets a pretty short stick!

But then again, I started to get the point.

Men get an awful lot of long ends of the stick, but when it comes to having babies, they have very little power. They can say no by withholding sperm, but ultimately, it is always up to the woman to say yes (that is, unless we make "it", and you know what I mean by "it", illegal). Then again, men also have very little responsibility. No wonder they were the hunters and women were the gatherers, and no wonder there's never been a woman president, and no wonder we're so hard-pressed to visualize a female god beyond "mother nature," who, let's face it, is so very blue collar, the mindless goddess of (re)production.

Isn't this what it comes down to anyway, the whole woman's rights and equality of the sexes thing? The fact that we're not equal? In some very important ways men have the upper hand. Religion and politics can change most of these. But in a single, very major way, they don't. Religion and politics can threaten hell and jail and head-to-toe bhurkas, but even so, can do nothing about it. Women will always have the wombs, the Broadway/Park Place ultimate human life real estate. And because of this, whatever Jesus or Jimmy would have done, unfortunately, because they both seem like pretty smart and peaceful guys, is a moot point.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Not Yet

For Christmas this year, A~ gave me an extravagant, impractical gift, the first of this kind I've ever received from him: the complete six-season box set DVD of the HBO series Sex and the City. "I thought you deserved something fun," he said, and I promptly started to cry. It's been a rough year. Or haven't I mentioned that?

Through the past week of crap weather and flu-recovery, I've been plowing through those just-for-fun DVDs with a vengeance. The thing is, I've gotten to the part where Miranda has her baby, and I'm a crying wreck. Ah well, it's probably just PMS.

Yup. No period yet.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

It's Like a Drug

I have a confession to make.

I know I should get my period tomorrow, and I never doubted I would, because we didn't even try this month. In fact, we tried NOT to get pregnant, just to give me a little more time to recover from the miscarriage. But when the acupuncturist I spoke to on the phone asked if I might be pregnant now (and I told her it's highly doubtful) she didn't flinch. "You never know," she chirped. I insisted that it was really REALLY highly doubtful, but she would not be moved.

So now I keep thinking about it. Though there are no symptoms to reinforce the dream, and I've got that heavy-gut feeling I always get before I start to bleed, I keep imagining that I'm pregnant.

Of course, I know I'm not. I couldn't be.

Could I?

That's the thing about trying to conceive. It doesn't take much to get caught up in the hype.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year, New Hope?

After a late night of celebrating New Year's Eve, I slept in and woke to this first day of the first month at exactly 11:11 a.m. It was pleasing to see all these ones, because it felt like a sign of a new start. And I could really use a new start right now. Also, it was nice to recognize the silver lining of childlessness in the same well-rested moment: with a baby in the picture, I wouldn't be opening my eyes for the first time at such a late hour. Just goes to show: There's always a silver lining, though sometimes it's pretty darn thin.

By the way, it's also a new moon. I like that too.

One woman brought art supplies to the party last night, and shared her tradition of making drawings about the past year, in all its hardship and glory, which are then shared with the group (visually and verbally, if so desired) and then thrown into the fire. I sat with my blank page for a long time trying to think of things to draw before accepting that this was truly a year of a singlular obsession. So I drew a great big abstract empty womb. Around the edges I made symbols for the ocean and the woods, which were positive influences, and the people who've touched my life this year, for better and for worse. It felt good to recognize and appreciate some people. Others felt good to burn. And speaking of burn, while many drawings curled, flames progressing evenly from one end to the other, and one just lay over the logs toasting like an anorexic marshmallow, never burning at all until another drawing acted as catalyst, mine went up in a brisk, bright, glorious blaze. Everyone exclaimed at this, and I felt hopeful tears rising behind my eyes.

I've finished my ten days of sour forest-floor flavored Chinese teas, I'm getting close to done with my Christmas chest cold, and tomorrow A~ hits the road for another week of work, this time in Texas. My second period since miscarriage number two is due in a few days. I've made an appointment with an acupuncturist for later in the month, and am considering making the ultimate splurge: an appointment with a massage therapist, as well. The Christmas candy is just about gone. And tomorrow, if I'm feeling up to it (not still coughing too much) I'll drag my sorry holiday/flu-addled ass to the gym.

I don't know what the future will hold, if my two miscarriages this year will be just the earliest steps on an increasingly sad road, a turning point in a changing life path, or just a sad chapter in an otherwise happy tale. But I'm okay with it, whatever IT may be.

Goodbye 2005. It was nice, and sometimes hard, knowing you, but you've transported me safely to the new year, and for that I'm eternally grateful.