So what's that about, huh?
Hi. It's been a while. A few months since I've posted. Six months since our last and final FET. And here I am. Trying to catch up on life and thoughts and feelings. Always playing catch up these days. While I feel a bit removed from being active in the IF world, I'm still in it in different ways. Thinking about ways to change the culture of shame that permeates the infertility landscape, working with clients in my private practice, and showing THE FILM in different places (next up PALO ALTO on Monday Sept. 24 with pregnantish mag. GET TICKETS HERE and use promo code MAYA for cheap ass tickets).
One thing I have been very aware of these past few months is my body, and my wobbly transition from mentally/physically/emotionally preparing for a second pregnancy and child to embracing having one. Some days the word embrace seems to fit. Others... I'm totally convinced I'm P, because perhaps there is something that just doesn't feel finished to me.
I guess I can start with the declaration that I feel absolute gratitude for the incredible strong, healthy, beautiful child I have. She's 3 1/2. Wants to pick her outfits every morning. And reminds me that she is a "grown-up" daily. I am completely immersed in her and am often reminded of the sheer miracle of her existence. I have also totally accepted that she will likely be my one and only. And there are perks to that. I get a little frustrated with our culture's social norms that everyone has to have 2+ kids because if not you're somehow robbing the first kid of the experience of a sibling. Or that there is something inherently sad about being an only child because that kid will be lonely and have to take care of her ailing parents by her own self. Please. Just. Stop. Momo likes to do everything by her own self. She will be fine. More than fine. She will have things and experiences she wouldn't have if there were more mouths to feed. I don't worry about her wellbeing as an only child, but I do get sad sometimes seeing her friends welcome a sibling and I wonder how resolved I actually am about #2 not working out.
I think, like most things on IF Island, this is about adjustment. It's about having an initial expectation/hope/want and having to shift gears when reality hands you something different. The brain can do it faster. The brain can remind you how contained your life FINALLY feels now that you have a little person rather than a baby. Your brain can convince you that one is WAY easier and less stressful and tells you that you can travel now (we just did, check out my article about our Canadian adventure on POPSUGAR that came out today!) and DO THINGS! The brain can logically appreciate what you do have and move on. Your heart might have to play catch up, which is apparently my favorite game anyway. The heart is not as linear about these kinds of things. It wants what it wants and it gets triggered more easily. It sometime wallows in the what-ifs and the fears and the wants. Sometimes it just longs for what it wants and it doesn't feel the need to justify itself. AND IT IS ALL OK.
A person can be both grateful and accepting while still longing. And I think that's where I'm at six months out. I was really annoyed with myself the last few months where I was taking pregnancy tests (in secret) and just hoping we had beat the system, even if there was no real logical way that could have happened. The random natural pregnancy I had kinda messed me up in that I now know it is possible. Maybe. And as long as something is possible there is a little seed of hope. But I also noticed that when I realize I'm very not pregnant, I do feel ok, once I've acknowledged the disappointment. I feel a slight sense of relief because I'm just scared to be pregnant. And I give my brain and my heart a minute to try and get on the same page. It's messy sometimes. Easy other times, and that's how this is gonna go.
I think it's important for everyone on IF Island to give themselves a little space to wobble. When you have to accept a new reality it takes a little time and it's ok to feel all the feelings. It's ok to have longing and moments of envy and moments of relief. It's most important to treat yourself kindly and don't feel ashamed about your feelings.
Noah and I had a brief chat about whether we wanted to pursue any more ART interventions for a second child and the answer was a clear no. That chapter is solidly closed for us. Thankfully we are on the same page. So it's kind of up to the universe and how tired we are around day 9 of my cycle. And whatever happens happens, for now. This part I don't have much control over. What I do have control over is how I work to process and nurture my feelings and my one and only.
Sending so much Friday love to anyone on IF Island.