Saturday, November 22, 2008

On My Mind More Than I'd Like

1. My health.
A vague abdominal ache became full-on pain midway through class yesterday, debilitating enough to force me to hand over the reins to my TA and run to the nearest urgent care clinic. I felt 80% better a few hours and several bottles of water later, and 90% better today, but abnormal lab results will require follow up. Probably nothing to worry about, but still... worry.

2. Babies or Not?
Closing in on thirty-nine years old, the writing on the wall says: Not.

To be fair, I'm more focused on improving my overall health these days than on procreation, but the underlying fantasy is that I will become vibrantly healthy, have a child, and live happily ever after in mommy-land. Toward that end, I confess, I do occasionally find myself combing the internet for encouraging stories of recurrent miscarriers who eventually have babies, especially those that credit yoga, wheat grass, and positive thinking (as opposed to drugs and doctors.)

3. My work.
I'm a juggler these days, publishing a little writing, preparing for an art exhibition, planning for a commissioned painting, freelancing as a designer, teaching a college design course and pitching classes for future semesters. There are more projects in the wings, and some serious thinking to do about how I truly want to allocate my energy. It is so easy to gravitate toward the work that satisfies the ego, making me feel important and impressive and powerful (the things that look good on paper), rather than make time for the work that really feeds the soul. There is no ball in this juggling act that I don't value. But there are a few favorites that I keep dropping.

4. My stepson.
The situation, and my feelings about it, are so snarled and twisted I don't think I can tease out all the threads. But here are some of the contributing factors: Your typical teenage boyhood exacerbated by perhaps more than your typical social and physical awkwardness. An unstable mother/ex-wife who keeps backing out of commitments and then insisting she should be trusted with even greater commitments. A father/husband who works long hours away from home, and bends over backwards at times to keep the aforementioned parties happy. And me, the sometimes reluctant stepmother, trying increasingly to stay out of it, while working from home. Not that I don't care about the boy, not that I don't want the best for him, but it's hard watching what he gets put through, and there a times when, I'll admit it, immature as it sounds, I'd like to have my husband to myself.

5. My ex-husband.
I'd like to think that I'm over the whole cheated-lied-and-dumped caboodle , but in spite of three years and a happy remarriage, I'm not. Not quite. Not yet. Once again, the impending holidays bring up my nightmare worse-case scenario: that he is dramatically happier, feeling glad to be free of me and without remorse for how he got that way. Perhaps my underlying fear is that the problem is me, that I am destined to drive away everyone who attempts to love me.

Longtime readers may recall A~'s brief reappearance in my life (via email) around this time last year. Everything he told me then should have dispelled my fear, but apparently the wounds were still too fresh.

Just now I reread that old email exchange, which felt much more difficult and convoluted at that time than it appears to me now. Strange. And yet the fear remains.


Anonymous said...

Re: #2 ~

Hmm ... yoga, wheat grass, positive thinking? Eh. Who knows? Chance? Kismet? Here's my litany, in chronological order (24 years of reproduction): 1 abortion, 1 miscarriage, 1 baby born too soon to live; then my son (everything was ridiculously normal); 4 miscarriages; then I conceived twins, one of whom died mid-way though the pregnancy, while I carried my daughter to term; 1 miscarriage; then my younger son; 1 miscarriage.

I'd love another child (or two!). We'll see.

Through all of this the only treatment I underwent was to take supplemental progesterone during the pregnancies that gave me my two younger (living) children. Whether or not it would have been warranted in the earlier pregnancies isn't something I can know, as I my levels were never tested until I was pregnant with the twins.

Spontaneous conception and healthy full-term pregnancies *can* occur amongst and after recurrent loss. I am so hoping for a baby for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy, commenting for the first time. As a wheat-grasser and long-time infertile myself--I have often wondered when I checked your blog, why no drs/drugs?

We spent a fortune, did the most invasive procedures possible, and guess what? I have a 2 3/4 yr old little boy. He is the joy of our lives.

We will try again. I am 38 now. I know how low my odds are as I get older even with tons of money and needles. But without them it's hopeless.

And after 10 yrs infertile, the child we have now just makes my life. I know that I would have ended up a bitter, bitter 50 yr old without having gone to the mat and done everything possible to have my son. I have no regrets that we did it.

Sorry to give ass-vice. I've read your blog on and off for years. I just don't know why you're waiting for the needles.

Seriously, I do the major garden thing, buy only locally, by the way-cool plastic toys for my son ONLY USED--he's only eaten organic his whole life--he LOVES cauliflower!!!!

When he was 18 mos old, he was old enough to help me harvest raspberries (that we grow--I know they're easy, but still) and it hit him--he suddenly knew where his food was coming from--he said "I am EATING a PLANT" it was awesome--that moment made my life complete.

Again, sorry to jump on your blog and preach--but the experience of raising a child is worth the drs and needles.

Please think about it before it is too late.

L. said...

...beautifully written honesty.

Just me said...

You have been through much more than I, but I can totally relate to a number of your feelings. Not the least being those towards your ex.

I wish for apathy with my ex (and really want him to think that I'm apathetic- which obviously means I want him to think of me) but (as clearly seen in my last parenthetical) I'm not apathetic. We weren't together long enough to warrant this! And he wasn't even good enough for me! But there it is.

I think there is a mean part of me that wants him to be miserable.

Just found your blog and have enjoyed reading your archives. You are a strong, smart woman and I look forward to continuing to read your posts. :)