- I am so proud of J for finishing her MA (with flying colors, of course). I’m blessed to have been at both her BA and her MA graduations, though this one was sad, as I was supposed to be hugely pregnant with E, and not having her there with me to celebrate her other mama’s accomplishment was heartbreaking. I loved spending this past weekend with J’s parents, though, and they both gave her the attention and praise she deserves (which meant a lot).
- Our IUI this month went very well. It was (we think) well timed, and we both somehow found it in us to be laid back about the whole thing. (This is unusual for us, but we’re going with it.) If we’re successful in making our next child this month, s/he will be due three days after the one-year anniversary of losing Emmett. At first this thought made me sad, but now I find it astoundingly lovely. That would mean that for exactly one year, E was our only child. It would bring our next child to us in the early days of 2012, and, as our friend L suggested, perhaps 2011 was just for Emmett. We are calm in waiting, but full of hope.
- I submitted grades this morning, which means that, other than commenting on a few papers that students want back, I can finally put this semester to rest. It was a struggle to keep moving every day. To see the same faces, to have the same routine I had when she was still with us, before we became these people. We have some things to get through first (going to Charleston to help J’s mom through surgery, being with my mom during some upcoming tests, working fifty hours in five days for a conference at our university next week), but after all of that, my summer will consist of research for an assistantship (thankfully in my field) and writing for my dissertation. I think this shift will be healing, as will the bi-monthly summer supper clubs we host and the crop share we purchased from a local, organic farm. Good things ahead, I hope.
- We went to a hematologist to get more answers about my Factor V Leiden, and he contradicted everything we’ve been told thus far about the relationship between FV and fertility. He was also enough of an asshole – and we met him at a sufficiently vulnerable time – that I thought my wife might punch him. He was very condescending. Very dismissive. Not things that J responds well to, though I have to admit that she’s adorable when she’s pissed off and protective. Anyway, I will look at this in…I don’t know, a year or so? There’s a lot more to process first.
- I’ve recently discovered a handful of blogs kept by women who’ve faced/are facing infertility. It’s haunting how much their words sound like my thoughts. I’m grateful for these virtual spaces, and the way in which they give voice to people who are vulnerable, and who are bravely willing to expose that vulnerability. I feel like we’re able to help heal each other. Some of these women call themselves “orphaned parents,” and I understand myself better in those terms. They write: “I am a mother,” and I feel less ashamed for thinking of myself that way. Of course I am a mother. I held my child in my body. In my arms. I kissed her. And even if I hadn’t – if I’d had her for even less time – she would still be my daughter. Why do I let that reality be discredited because she was so small, because she didn’t live longer? Some women have done research I haven’t brought myself to do yet, and they offer quotes from doctors about how procreation is one of our strongest instincts. They write about studies that show that depression rates of infertile women are similar to those of women with HIV or cancer. They’re angry at a culture that, because it doesn’t know how to categorize this kind of loss, simply ignores it, and expects women who suffer from it to do the same. When I read the anger in their words, I feel like I’m given permission to feel angry myself. Some six million people struggle with infertility. With child loss. With feeling like failures. A few of these women even post pictures of the babies they’ve lost in the second trimester. Their children look a little like E. It’s astonishing how much we have to teach each other.
- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t care how my children come to me. I don’t need them to be biologically mine. I’m devastated that my body probably can’t do this one, critical thing, but that grief is a separate thing, as is the still.terrible ache of not having our daughter with us. In addition to these things, though, there’s still this, and it’s like a hole going straight through me: I need the people I’m meant to parent. I need to know that they’re coming. I’m terrified that things will just keep falling apart, and I’ll never get to do this thing that I feel most called to do. I need my children.
- A friend of mine posted this on her facebook wall this morning: “It’s full speed ahead everyone. Mercury is now direct and the planets are aligned in our favor.” I have no idea how much power Mercury has over our lives, but if there’s a chance that some planetary shift might signal an end to the barrage of bad news that has been our 2011, then color me “full speed ahead.”