Thursday, January 28, 2010

Waiting Impatiently for Perspective

I was a melodramatic child; I cried a lot; I wanted to be an actress.  In my freshman year of college I worked my way out of a dark and terrible depression that had seen me clutching pill bottles in shaky fingers, taking foolish risks with strangers and huddling in bed with my body balled into a tense, tight fetal position sobbing into more pillows than I care to remember.  I vowed, at that point, that I would NEVER again sink into a depression like the one I had just emerged from.  To this end, I follow some simple rules laid out by my father, the master of common sense advice:  Eat well; get enough sleep and exercise; if you start to get lost in your own head, get out of there and into the world--connect with other people and stop thinking about yourself.  This simple advice has served me well; I tend to be a happy person, and I don't sweat the small stuff. 

In fact, if you want to know the truth, I find myself with little patience for people who have a hard time controlling their moods.  My husband is one of them, and while I try to understand what it's like to struggle with moods, I have a hard time really getting it.  Suck.  It.  Up.  is what I find myself wanting to say.  Get over it.  Accept the things you cannot change.  Your own perspective is the only thing you can control.  And you know what?  That usually works for me.  I can usually change the way I feel by changing the way I think about things.  And you know what else?  Lucky.  Fuckin'.  Me.  And la-di-da, isn't that nice for me most of the time?  'Cause you know what else?  It doesn't seem to be working for me right now. 


My sister is two years younger than me.  We were so close growing up; we shared friends, clothes, a bedroom, secrets.  I wanted that for my children.  In fact, I wanted twins for years, although I knew that was a long shot given that there are no twins in my family or my husband's family.  But I wanted my kids close together, so they could be best buddies.  I've always been a big believer in the whole: let's just get all the diaper years over with at once!

I bought a double jogging stroller off of Craigslist when my son was less than 6 months old.  I've been pushing him around in it for a year now, and when people ask where the other one is, I reply: not here yet! cheerfully, as if the next one is just waiting, around the corner, to be picked up when we wheel by.  The jogger was a good deal, and I absolutely knew, without question, that I'd be having another one soon.

I planned my children's summer birthdays in my mind, as if birthdays could be written on calendars before a child's conception.  I started trying in September, expecting a baby in June or July, almost exactly two years younger than my son.  Just like my sister and me.  Best buddies!

I always thought I'd have girls, since I come from a family of all girls, but once I had my son, I could never decide if I wanted a girl or a boy next.  A daughter?  Or...brothers?  Brothers sounds so powerful!  Being one of six sisters is such a huge part of who I am.  How could I not want my son to have a brother?  But then...a daughter!  In the end, I'd be happy either way.  I have a girl name picked out, and I have a boy name picked out.  I have a nursery decorated, chocolate brown and pale pink, in my imagination for my daughter, and I have a pair of bunk beds stacked in my mind for my boys to someday scramble and bounce on.  I have a yoga/drawing studio arranged in the attic of my thoughts if our boys share a room, and we keep our downstairs bedroom, and a new master bedroom for us if our little girl gets our room.  I have a family in my head, and there's only one thing missing: my next baby.


I started trying in September, and then in November?  I think I miscarried.  I say I think because it was early.  Very early.  I hadn't even taken a pregnancy test yet.  I thought, at first, that maybe it was implantation bleeding.  Even my OB-GYN said there was no way to really know, once it had started, whether it was a chemical pregnancy, or whether it was an early period.  But somewhere inside, I know.  It wasn't a period.  It wasn't anything like a period.

I picked myself up, and dusted myself off very quickly.  I told myself that I was lucky.  Lucky it happened so early, and not twelve weeks into a pregnancy.  That would have been devastating.  But this?  Just a small steppingstone.  I sucked it up, got over it, accepted what I couldn't change, and controlled my own perspective.  In December, my OB-GYN suggested I fully wean, since I was still breastfeeding once a day.  I did, and then in January my breasts began to ache a week after ovulation; I was nauseous all the time, and exhausted; I felt weird tugging sensations in my lower belly.  I wrote a story with a happy ending in my heart:  I had to wean; that's all!  I just had to wean and then it all worked out!  Except that it didn't happen like that.

The end of the story is still unwritten.  And I'm struggling with that.  Struggling with the tears that seem to be waiting, at the ready, behind my eyelids, as I drive to work in the morning after dropping my son with the sitter, when my office door shuts and I turn to look at my computer screen, when I close the bathroom door behind me, whenever I find myself alone, without an audience for whom I must keep it together.


I have a husband I love dearly (despite the dark mood clouds he carries into our home with almost predictable regularity; I've learned to sweep dark clouds from our sky like a cosmic housekeeper, and counter full-moon madness [a full moon pretty much guarantees grumpiness!] with micro-brew and good humor), a job that suits me to a tee, a house I'll be happy to grow old in, and a son I adore.  The rest of the story remains stubbornly unwritten right now, and it's only my overactive imagination rewriting the mundane into various tragic conclusions.  Suck.  It.  Up.  Get over it.  Accept the things you cannot change.  Your own perspective is the only thing you can control.

Except.  Sometimes.  When it's not.


  1. Sometimes it's hard no matter what.

  2. Oh Katy- hugs to you! Thanks for sharing this. I totally get ya girl. Hang in there. I'm sure you'll be preggers soon.... Love ya!