Tuesday, March 24, 2009
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9:15 am: Positive home pregnancy test. It's a faint second line, but it's really there. I stare and stare. A sweat breaks across my lower back. I leave a message on J~'s cell:
I want to talk to you... about... something.
9:30 - 10:30 am: I post a photo of the test on this blog. I have some happiness, some trepidation about the demands of parenthood. Though I know it may very well happen, I'm surprised to note that I'm not worried about miscarriage.
So why this nervous shaking in my thighs?
10:30 am: J~ returns my call and I tell him the news. Our conversation is guarded – upbeat, but not ecstatic.
11 am: It's decided - I will ride with my bike club on Saturday, despite the cold I'm fighting, despite the pregnancy. I find myself having an imaginary conversation with an imaginary Devil's Advocate:
D.A.: With your history, I'm surprised you don't just crawl into bed and stay there for the next nine months.
ME: No way. I don't want it that bad.
My response catches me off guard. I don't?
4 pm: I have not veered from my original plans for the day – work (client design stuff, plus I'm preparing for an art show, only two weeks away and still lots to do), a walk, and a drive to the bike shop to pay for my new bicycle.
This is no small purchase. I've resisted for a year, unsure of my commitment to the sport, reasoning that if I were to get pregnant again, I would not be riding much. Last year, a fancy new bicycle seemed like a leap of faith in the wrong direction. But a year later I'm still riding, still loving it. And another pregnancy has not emerged.
Until today, of course.
Isn't this the way it always goes in the movies?
Okay, now I'm getting a little excited.
4:30 pm: I plunk my credit card down on the counter along with a patch kit, a spare inner tube, a few tools and accessories. The shopkeeper is chatting with her friend, commiserating about how, with young children, they no longer find the time to ride like they once did.
I resist the urge to blurt that I am pregnant, resist the pull to think about what they are saying. Resist also the desire to add an expensive form-fitting windbreaker to my purchases.
5:30 pm: Home again, I do another HPT, anxious to see a darker line. But it's just the opposite, fainter than the first test, almost nonexistent.
I feel completely deflated.
7 am: another HPT: Negative this time, no doubt about it. Damn.
9:30 am: Bleeding. And to think - my period wasn't even due until Sunday! If I hadn't done the test, I never would've known an egg had been fertilized. Bum egg, bum sperm, bum uterus. Who knows.
10:30 am: pick up the co-op order. I look at all the other co-op members. It feels strange, and sad, that no one knows.
1 pm: 40-mile bike ride with my club. Feeling happy.
Happy? It makes me nervous that I'm happy.
Another 30 miles with the club followed by a two-hour nap on the couch. Still feeling happy. I can't make heads or tails of it.
I'm troubled that I don't seem to have any lingering feelings about this miscarriage. I admit to K~, my friend and counselor, I may be more excited about my work and riding my bike at this point then I am about getting pregnant.
And then it hits me, and I start to cry.
It's been a long, hard road. It didn't lead where I had hoped it would lead. This was not the goal. I did not want to find myself here. But it's happened, and there's nothing to be done.
I've moved on.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Past and Future Ghosts, 11 x 17" gouache and ink on paper.
This piece will appear in an art show upcoming at Windham Arts Collaborative, in Willimatic, CT. If you're in the area, come to the opening reception on Friday, April 3rd. I'd love to see you! (Details here)
I began this blog shortly after my second miscarriage, which took place on a Wednesday night in November, 2005. I was at work when I knew for certain.
I worked as an abortion counselor.
I left the clinic early that evening, heading home to my hot water bottle and an empty apartment. (My husband, A~, was away on business.) Luckily, this loss was easier than the first - quicker, less painful. I could handle it on my own. The grief that followed was a hard but familiar terrain.
Shortly thereafter, my marriage shattered. After more than a decade together, it was a sudden and devastating break. I felt like I'd been run over by a truck: nauseous and heartsick and unable to breathe properly for months. At the same time, I felt freed of a great weight. A life I thought I could never endure (without A~) became a life full of promise. I wrote all about it on these virtual pages.
During this time, I was introduced to J~, who was struggling with a very similar life crisis. Three years (and, sadly, two more miscarriages) have come and gone. J~ and I are married - happily, to say the least. B~, my stepson, now in high school, is thriving.
Babies or not? It's still an open question, though it burns less urgently than it did when I began discussing it here.
Babies or not, life is good.