Today is an especially hard IF day for some reason. Not that every other day has been a walk in the park as far as this goes, but somehow today it registers more clearly. The signals are strong. Up until this afternoon, I was in a fairly good mood. The weather is bordering on perfect, my dog who was lost overnight on Wednesday is now home safe and sound, and I have a good weekend in front of me filled with an arts and crafts fair and planning Ms. S's 30th birthday party for next Saturday. So it should seem counter-intuitive that in the middle of all that, my heart is beginning to ache. More than ever I see small children and feel a knife in my chest. I was walking into a store earlier today and spotted a three year old and automatically thought, "If I had gotten pregnant within the first year of my trying, my child would be that old." *sigh* I wonder if after January I'll start to think obsessively about the new babies surrounding me, that my baby would have been that old had he/she survived. I guess the fact that I'm already thinking that answers my question.
Part of me guesses that this more pronounced melancholy has to do with Mr. S's upcoming party. I love parties, don't get me wrong, and I especially love throwing them. I'm excited about his and have grand plans to not quite recollect parts of it, but it calls to mind memories of the 30th birthday party that was supposed to be held for me in June. It was months in the making, a right of passage, and the first birthday party I would've had since I turned 18. Almost everyone I invited RSVPed 'yes' and I was so excited to be surrounded by my friends, all in the same space. I would have been almost 11 weeks along, so we figured that my not having one of our heaven-inducing margaritas in hand would have been highly suspect, so we planned to tell people we were pregnant at the party. Of course, silly me, I scheduled my 10 week ultrasound on the day before. Friday the 13th. Quite fitting. All of the ominous things that one would expect of this day came to fruition...no heartbeat, straight to D&C. So, as I stand near the day of Mr. S's celebration, the same celebration I so looked forward to, it brings it all back for me. As if I needed reminders anyway.
We cancelled my party and I didn't even think to reschedule. But now I look back and feel as if in the wake of being denied the one thing I wanted in the world, I sort of stopped living. I still feel that now. I wouldn't change the fact that I was pregnant and carried our baby for the short time I did, but I can't deny that the loss has changed every fiber in me and lately, not for the better. In a society that is so puritanically hushed or dismissive of miscarriage, I had no idea what to expect. Now I know, and I'm pissed. Why didn't someone tell me? Why is it such a secret or a 'non-issue' because somehow the baby I carried was a 'non-person'? Now as I sit, the agony I felt from IF is only strengthened. The absense of what could have been and what might not be is so palpable, it literally sits in the bottom of my throat on a daily basis. How can I walk into a party, something I have always loved, filter in and out of everyone, smile cordial smiles, and hide this thing that is right below my skin? Every breath I take is a reminder that I am not yet whole, as a result of IF and loss. I'm working so hard to repair this, but in the mean time, I am not an active participant in my life. I'm not sure I know how to be yet.
Mr. S and I had a discussion the other night that ended in tears. My tears, of course. I'm not sure how we ended up on this topic, but the question was raised to me: "Could you ever be happy if you never have a child?" Before sharing my answer, I should clarify that 'having' a child includes adoption. My answer: "no."
This stunned and shocked Mr. S. I suspect he took it personally, as if my life with him was not enough, somehow not up to par. I know that he makes maintaining my happiness his personal job description, so in essense, he felt I was telling him that he had failed. That could not be farther from the truth. Minus the kid factor, I have a great life and I count my blessings often. He is the main component of what is right. But how does one reconcile loving the life they have and yet feeling as if one of the biggest parts of life is missing? I can imagine the message this sends and the contradiction is too much for me to explain at this point in time. The truth is, if I were to live the rest of my life never having parented a child, I would never feel as if I truly lived. That is why I will fight to bring whoever is meant to come home, home. I will happily shove needles in my gut or have social workers comb through my sometimes-spotty credit report and messy cabinets. While we left any resolution for another day, I suspect we have more to discuss. I'm just not sure how to make a muddy pond clear.
The culmination of the upcoming party and the showdown the other night are making their way into my psyche. Add in the fact that the country seems to be going to hell in a handbasket around us (Fannie May and Freddie Mack, for example) and I'm sure I'll be huddled under my comforter come Sunday. But probably not. Because even in the face of all that lives inside this skull of mine, I still manage to get up, smile a real smile, and move forward. I'll take what I can get.