I’m sorry for the radio silence these days. I’m having trouble putting where I am into words, because I can only find so many creative ways to say that I miss my baby, because my due date this week feels like the changing of a season and I don’t know how to dress for the weather, and because there are so many versions of me right now that I don’t always know which one is sitting down to type.
We’re part way through our first monitored cycle since pregnancy, preparing for an IUI. The whole thing feels so achingly familiar…the pink numbers that you hand over to the ultrasound techs as they call in order, the cheerful blood draws, the rushed doctor. Reminding every single person that I’m allergic to latex before every single ultrasound (all of those treacherous condoms). Asking questions about my uterine lining. Knowing how big my lead follicle has grown on any given day, trying to time a process that I don’t control at all. I’ve been here before, I keep thinking. I’ve done this. Why must I do it again?
I expected to feel a certain amount of fear as we started to try again, and I do. I concentrate on my follicles because it’s easier to think about getting pregnant than about pregnancy itself, and all the creative ways in which nature can snatch away your children. I’m grateful that (for now), I don’t feel especially stressed about my ability to get pregnant, nor am I starting out with the belief that it will happen the first time.
What I actually find surprising is the little flares of hope. There’s still so much grief that it catches me off guard. Hope sneaks up on me in the clinic waiting room, or while we’re driving in the car. (Interestingly, I feel the least of it at work, which is another post entirely). Contemplating what should have been my son’s first Christmas, I have the capacity still for so much sorrow, and the tears have been coming a bit more easily of late. At the same time, I have these flashes of feeling like myself again, and I find them almost as disorienting as I did the sudden sadness. Feeling like myself no longer feels familiar.
I imagine that we’ll spend December steeling ourselves for the difficult and leaving some room for the hope. If it’s not this cycle, it will be another one. These first, hardest, holidays will pass. I will remember my son with pleasure as well as with pain. And we’ll keep figuring it out as we go.