If you're just getting to know me here, you might think I've always been like this: indignant and self-pitying, angry at the world. Some of you might think, "she's never going to attract a baby into her life with an attitude like THAT." Some might even think that I'm such a hateful person, I don't deserve a baby.
Well, I haven't always been like this. I struggled, but through three and a half years of failed fertility treatments I remained largely hopeful for myself and generous towards others. I tried to be the kind of person that deserved a baby. I believed in positive thinking and karma and that whatever you put out into the universe returns to you. I recited affirmations as I walked on the beach and visualized holding my baby in my arms. I offered my experience, support and encouragement to other infertile women in an online forum. I donated money to every charity that asked, especially anything having to do with children. Gave double to the Children's Miracle Network because hey, it has both Children AND Miracle in the name, and that might bring double good luck. You never know.
As the failures piled up, I faced each disappointment with my head held high and a fierce determination to try again. I believed things happened for a reason. I believed things would work out. I looked for the bright side. Because that's the kind of person I am. Or was.
This miscarriage, however, has shaken me to the core and left me deeply sad and angry, hollow and confused. Somehow I feel both empty inside and full of explosive emotions. I don't know what I believe anymore. I've gone through the looking glass and nothing's making sense and I don't like it one bit.
But I'm working on it. I'm coming around. I really am. I'm slowly starting to feel like myself again. The fog of despair is lifting, I'm less angry and I even did laundry for the first time in a month. (My sadness is like a magic wand with the power to turn household clutter temporarily invisible. I managed to be utterly oblivious of growing mounds of dirty clothes for weeks even as I hopscotched around them to get down the hallway.)
Yes, I am still drowning my sorrow in baked goods. Maybe I did wolf down half a dozen devil's food cupcakes while they were still warm, but I also made it through an entire hour-long TV show with an especially detailed subplot following a pregnancy from ultrasounds to afterbirth without cursing or crying or feeling bad about myself, so...progress.
I feel like I'm getting close to getting over it. Until something hits me and I have to admit I am so NOT over it.
I was in the grocery store yesterday and realized that I was casting a petulant, resentful gaze not only at pregnant women and young mothers with little ones in tow, but also at college girls, whose burgeoning fertility I desperately covet, and senior citizens, who possibly have not one but TWO generations of offspring to love. It felt like everyone in the world either has kids, could have kids, already had kids, or is just about to have one. Except me. Never me.
I read Jaycee Dugard's memoir, A Stolen Life, over the weekend. It's exactly as heartbreaking and gut-wrenching as you'd expect: there she is, abducted at age 11 and held captive in a backyard tent by a delusional sadistic pedophile rapist for EIGHTEEN years. She gave birth to the first of his children when she was only 14 years old. Can you imagine giving birth to the child of the man who kidnapped and raped you? The sheer horror of having a baby so young while terrified, alone, with no medical attention and imprisoned in a backyard tent?
But God help me, some ugly and irrational part of me thought, "well, at least she gets to experience motherhood."
That's seriously messed up.
That's not me.
I still have some work to do.
(PS - You should buy a copy of Jaycee's book. You will be blown away by her resilience and ability to live through hell and come out shining.)