I’ve been sick and stressed. Going gently…
This means sleeping in. It means Rose taking a morning off work to hold me while I cry, and read me back to sleep, and coax little bits of toast and water into me while I try not to throw up. It means sobbing hysterically into my keyboard. It means my sister brings me cups of tea. It means nightmares about being homeless with a newborn baby. Blinding headaches, and body aches. Sitting on the bed with Rose and a perfectly laid out set of clothes for a 6 month old. Talking about Tam again, daily, feeling their loss keenly.
We’re trying to conceive again and my cycle is weird. Apparently this is common following a miscarriage. I thought we might bypass it – we’ve waited until all my levels are normal again, I’ve lost that little bit of weight on my tummy and feet, my body feels like a pre-pregnancy body. But no, things are still weird. I’m currently on day 8 of testing as being ‘high fertility’, when I’ve only ever had 2 days of that result, at most. I’m spotting, which is really unusual for me, and could mean anything from implanting, to not ovulating, to ovulating, to endo messing around with me. Having a weird cycle is kind of worse than having a normal cycle and just not getting pregnant. Today I’m going for a blood test for progesterone levels to see what they’re doing. It’s like being all geared up to turn a corner or fall over a cliff and having the trip extend just a little and then a little more so you stay in that tensed up state and the bottom doesn’t fall out of your world just yet.
On the plus side, we’re getting a lot better at doing insems quickly and easily. We’ve ditched our original syringe method and moved to the cup method, which is a lot more comfortable and portable.
Death is in the background constantly, again. My friend Leanne is in my mind a lot. I find myself sobbing for friends I know who are struggling, fearing they’ll kill themselves, feeling helpless in the face of loss. I find myself carrying Tamlorn’s name around with me like a scar, like a precious relic, like a secret. I remember you, love, I remember you. Some days it feels so close, the baby feels so near that all we have to do is keep the faith. Some days those dreams feel like mirages that recede as I think I’m nearing them, and all my hoping becomes an empty, gasping, darkness. I fall into it, and the world goes on brightly without me. People mouth platitudes at me and they become knives that fall from their lips and cut right through me. We can’t know anything, and anyone who pretends otherwise is turning their face from that brutal reality. Life is not fair and love is not enough and dreams are essential but often unrewarded. Those of us who choose not to know this walk on paths made of the bones of slaves.
Lastly, there is this peaceful place. Down in the bones of the world, where I can sit at the balance point between life and death. I accept my powerlessness and the risks and wounds of love. In that place I can let be. What will come, will come. I do not rule the world. I am old enough to know that dreams must be abundant, like sperm, like tiny sea turtles, like thistledown on the wind. Because most will die. This is the nature of the world, and it hurts, every time. Here, in this dark place, Rose and I sit and lay out the baby clothes. We weep and laugh and count our blessings and number our dead. We sleep and dream of children. We hold hands and we cry in our sleep. We hope, which makes our hearts and faces shine. We hope, which makes our hearts bleed. Going gently. Breathing in and out, the beauty and the nightmares. Faces pressed to the rich, rank earth, living deeply. Loving greatly and accepting the cost.