Inside out.

Here’s what we tend not to talk about much about regarding IUDs (Intra Uterine Device): they stop implantation, not fertilization.

For most fertile women, that distinction probably doesn’t mean much – it still accomplishes the goal of preventing unplanned pregnancies. For those of us, though, who:
a) feel every single GODDAMN hormonal twinge and change under the sun, and/or
b) wish they were planning a pregnancy, and/or
c) suffer from anxiety,
that distinction is hell.

I’ve just had another not-exactly-a-miscarriage – that is, a pregnancy that was, but wouldn’t live to be. It’s two weeks. Two weeks!
Nothing, in the grand scheme of things, nothing, to any and every woman who has ever tried or wanted to try becoming pregnant, nothing, to the duration and intensity of a full-term pregnancy. But to me – being in the a) and b) and c) categories – everything.
Especially this time.

Sleeplessness. Aching back. Nausea. Hope. Financial worrying. Marital worrying. Dreams. Cramps. Sore ligaments. Hope. Bloating. Shape change. Sleepiness. Planning. Sore breasts. Bliss. Sensitive skin. Dry skin. Increased thirst. Peace. Decreased coffee. Fear. Increased blood supply. Hope. Waiting. Hormonal crash as the body rejects the barely-even-an-embryo.
Despair.

I’ve spent five years fearing another pregnancy. I’ve spent five years wanting one. Thinking it’ll never happen. Thinking it shouldn’t happen. Debating which outcome is more selfish. Selfless. Convincing myself of all the beautiful and amazing things a child of mine would be, despite the genetic history of mental illness I’m likely to pass on. Convincing myself of all the strengths I have as a mom that offset all the hardships of the mental illness I have, or that a child of mine might develop. Shoring myself up for the inevitable physical toll any future pregnancy will take on me.
I’ve spent five years in limbo, waiting for my husband to decide whether he’s ready to face the reality of another pregnancy, another baby, on a wife who’s already overstretched and a son who’s already overstrung. Ready to take on more. Ready to gamble genetically. When he knew he wasn’t ready the first time – without even knowing any of this then. Neither of us knew how pregnancy would affect my mental health; neither of us knew how strongly it ran in my family; neither of us knew what it would be like to raise the next mental-illness-prone generation.
Now we know.
So… it’s been five years.

Dearest and I agreed, quite some time ago, that this Christmas is decision time. I don’t have to be pregnant by then – but I need to know what our decision is on the topic. Including on whether we’ll go the fostering/adoption route, or the one-child-family route.
This not-knowing is hurting me too much.

It’s difficult timing, though, since Dearest and I are currently healing the biggest rift our marriage has ever suffered – when I came home from Iqaluit in August to a seething, roiling, not-particularly-mentally-healthy-himself husband who essentially placed depression medication and pregnancy on an ultimatum teeter-totter. I’ve never known such rage, disappointment, and loss of trust. He didn’t intend it to be an ultimatum, but that doesn’t change the fact that I saw it that way, and therefore, that’s what it became. In communication failures, intent doesn’t tend to matter – fallout does.
We’ve made it through to the other side now, I think. I hope to never have to go through anything like it ever again.
But, the silver lining is: if I can survive that, and still stay married, I sure as heck can survive another pregnancy (and hopefully, so can my marriage).

Until then, I’m trying to keep my balance. Find my focal point. Breathe. Become comfortable with uncertainty. Ground myself in all things art and music and light and love. Practice patience. Come to terms with the things I cannot change. Become nimble enough to seize change when it does come. Become strong enough to stay myself throughout it all. Be brave.
Hope.

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2 comments so far

  1. Lynn on

    Just catching up on your blog…and wanted to say thanks for sharing such a powerful story. I hope you find the right answers for you and your family…no matter what you decide together, you’re an amazing mom right now and a beautiful person!

  2. moosilaneous on

    Way to put it out there!

    I wish for you for the kind of balance that lets you ride the waves, since I have found there’s nothing that can smooth them out.

    Ride/write/right on, sister.


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