Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Emerging from the Depths

It has been exactly one week since my sister announced her pregnancy and I officially dove off the deep end. Diving is perhaps not the verb to use. Really, it was more like a belly flop. Designed for maximum impact, searing pain, and the general discomfort for those around me. I can see the anxious looks on everyone’s faces as I emerge from the water.  Awkward. Well, I’m alive. Still here, still kicking.

I attribute three things to my quickly surfacing from what was certainly one of the darkest, deepest mind fucks of my life:

1)      J, who went miraculously from being baffled/annoyed by my grief to the most amazing, supportive, understanding husband ever. I don’t know what happened. I’m not sure I care. I’m just incredibly grateful and more in love than ever.  I have loved J deeply for the past 10+ years and he has been there for me through this whole fertility business. But this never-ending miscarriage plus familial pregnancy boom combo has been the moment where he’s proven himself as my partner and constant champion. I never needed him to “prove himself,” but my God has he done it.

2)      My girlfriends, who reached out, listened and affirmed that I had been dealt a shitty deck and that a mental breakdown was entirely warranted. Hearing that things are as just bad as you think they are and that your behavior is permissible is somehow very comforting. Despite the fact that they’re sprinkled across the country, I feel like they’ve been emotionally spooning me this whole time.

3)      The state of Wisconsin. Well, not the whole state. Just the southwest corner. This past weekend, I dragged my very sad and angry ass up to my parents’ cabin to half-heartedly celebrate my friend Vlad’s 32nd birthday. Maggie and Vlad are our very best “couple friends.” They share our love of escaping the city for the wild farmlands of Wisconsin and do so with us as often as possible. While I initially decided to go through with the weekend for the sole purpose of avoiding lying on the couch and crying for two days, a strange thing happened. I actually enjoyed myself. What’s more, I felt like myself. I remembered that my life was made up of more than a series of tragic ultrasounds and the relentless, tiring pursuit of pregnancy. It was a tremendous relief to simply relax and laugh for two days. I got a brief reprieve from reporting my condition to my mom on an all too frequent basis. I refreshed.

On the way home from the cabin I called my mom. She has been endlessly supportive throughout this rollercoaster. She sprang into action when I fell apart at the seams last week. And then she said one thing, one simple thing last Wednesday that made me furious at her. It doesn’t even matter what it was. In grief-addled mind, I think I felt she had it coming. Who did she think she was, this formerly Fertile Myrtle creating one equally fertile kid and one reproductively-challenged misfit?!? I didn’t express my anger that way nor did I conceive of it as being  that ridiculous. It felt very real and well-reasoned at the time. I thought she was choosing my sister’s elation over my pain. She wasn’t. She was being a mom. She was trying to take care of us both. Having two kids can at times mean having your heart ripped in two different directions. This is one of those times.

So at any rate, the call. The sweet Wisconsin dairy air cooled down my blinding anger and lifted just enough of my sadness that I was able to call and apologize. We both cried all over again. Once again and as always, my mom was wonderful. She let me explain what I could and said she understood. Last week I could not grasp how someone so sad could participate in a family that was bursting with so much new pride and happiness. I’m still not entirely sure how though it appears that my family is willing to figure it out with me.  It feels sad to write that. Never in my 30 years have I felt such a disconnect from my loving and sweetly co-dependent family. Regardless, the gulf is lessening. I'm feeling more and more human and therefore inherently hopeful.

I write to you on a second tear-free day.



  1. So happy that you made it through two days free from tears AND that you were able to escape. Sometimes getting away and coming back has that kind of "clean slate" effect on everything. No, everything isn't all better, but it's easier to look at it with a freshly relaxed state of mind.

    Also so happy to hear your husband, friends and mom are being so supportive. No one will truly understand how you're feeling, but the fact that they're willing to try is so sweet. And us over here in blog-ville, we know all too well.

    (P.S. - I replied to your email, not sure if you got it? Technology doesn't always work for me either. If you escaped to an email free place, I totally understand. Been there... done that.)

  2. That has to be so hard on your mom and quite the delicate balance- one daughter pregnant and the other miscarrying. I'm glad that you were able to talk it out with her. I'm also glad that your husband and friends are providing lots of support. Take care of yourself!