First, the obligatory update. Today is cd 8. I started the opk's today and the scheduled sex will commence today. Beyond that, there isn't much to report. I finished the soy last night. I had some major hot flashes, including a really bad one today at Target, and there are some twinges, but that's it really. Not much to say.
As for the poll, the results were:
20% CD 17
30% CD 18
30% CD 19
10% CD 20
Cheers for the anovulatory vote, and as for the rest - well I hope it works out like this. DH and I have a little side bet going.
Other than these things, there isn't much to update. My birthday was low-key and quiet. It was lovely to spend time with my mom and I had a lovely nap. I think it worked out much like the scary anniversaries do for me - when it looms, it's a little scary, when it arrives, it's not that bad. I just sort of struggle to realize that I'm 30 and have no living children. It's just so wildly different from how I expected my life to go. But aside from that, there is something exciting about 30 - a new decade, a new age. An age many people tell me is the most enjoyable yet. Bring it on, I say!
But really, where my thoughts are currently headed is my new blog. DH and I started a private blog to keep friends and family up to date. I'm not always the best about making phone calls or even remembering to bring my phone inside the house at night, and I'm not on Facebook much and my parents have said they wish we corresponded more. And of course, my brother will be going to Afghanistan in June, and blogs can be easier to keep up with. And then DH's family rarely has a lot of insight into our lives.
One of the propelling forces was that I have long felt that Gabriel wasn't terribly real to them. They weren't involved in the pregnancy at all - they didn't hear his heartbeat, or see me or even know much about everything that was going on. I suppose I could send them the link to our individual blogs, but, well, I don't want my family or his reading that much detail about our sex lives or my cervical fluid. Nor do I wish to go back through the archives and delete anything that might be unflattering. If they stumble across me and piece it together, so be it. But why invite trouble? But I hope that the blog, which both of us contribute to, will allow both of us to talk about a future pregnancy and allow us to share more. A way to keep everyone in the loop and involved.
So it's live, and we're sending invitations to the appropriate people. So far it's been pretty light-hearted, but I know that I need to address Gabe soon. There is a lot that has never been addressed with Dh's family and a lot that I want to clear up about what happened and about future pregnancies. And if nothing else, I want it to be clear that Gabriel remains a part of our lives, an active part of our lives and that we love to talk about him and love to have him remembered.
DH's family has never really spoken to me about him. I was shocked when I said something about him at the seven month mark on FB and my two SIL's responded. Shocked in a good way, that is. I think they are amenable to a certain level of discussion about him, and I think the blog is a good first step towards that.
But I don't know quite how to break it all down, or quite what I want to say. There is so much I want to say. But it's hard to know where to begin, and how to go about it. I wish very much that there were some sort of instructions on how to talk about your dead son with people who are uncomfortable, but alas.
So I've sat here in front of my screen for awhile, cursor blinking as I type a few words and then delete them. At first, I tried a list. It seemed sterile and cold. Then I tried to write about him, and it seemed choked. Nothing is quite right yet. Maybe I'm forcing it, and it needs to come more naturally, like it does here. I write about him when I want to or when I need to. Maybe on the anniversary of his birth. . . Sigh.
Seven and a half months out is an odd place to be. He's been gone longer than he ever existed and I am largely reconciled to the continued absence of him from our lives. Many people expect that we have moved on and are pleased to see us laughing and happy, trying again. Which is fine. Our lives are not one giant masquerade of sadness, but it exists and I welcome it. I guess I still feel like we ought to be sad sometimes. But it gets harder and harder to express the more time that elapses because I feel the weight of other people's expectations on us. Expecting that we will have moved on or be over it, hoping we won't need to mention it anymore. Who knows whether that is real or simply my own fear of inadequacy as a mother?
So it's difficult. I can easily say to strangers "I have a son. His name is Gabriel. He died shortly after his birth, due to extreme prematurity." But my own family? My friends? Not so easy, because it's so much more than that, and yet less than that too. Our grocery store has had an option to add on $1, $3, or $5 to your purchase, to go to March of Dimes. They regularly have these things, for various causes that change throughout the year - the foodbank, school supplies for underpriviliged children, breast cancer, research, veteran's causes . . . every single time I've been in since it started, I've donated to MoD. It's a cause I support, in Gabe's honor. The last time, the clerk thanked me and I shrugged and said "My son was premature. It's important to me to donate to them when I can. Thank you all for doing this." She smiled and asked how old he was. I said, easily enough, "Oh, no. He passed away shortly after his birth. He was too premature to be saved. But maybe someday . . ." and I trailed off. And she said, "My son was early too, but he's alive. Maybe someday. I'm sorry." And I smiled at her and she smiled at me and there was a moment of understanding between us.
Why so easy with her? Why so hard with them? I am at a loss for words with the people I most want to share my son with. It's uncomfortable, really, to have to struggle to describe how we are to them. To explain all over again what we've learned about his death and how it will be prevented in future. To say out loud what everyone knows but is generally kept secret - yes, we are trying again. To invite questions into how it is going for us.
I think, perhaps, this is why we've not done something like this before now. I've enjoyed the distance that geography has given us previously. And closing that gap electronically is opening us up to something I'm not sure I'm ready for. An invitation into our daily lives and a scrutiny I'm uninterested in. But then. . . they're family. How can they be a part of our lives and how can they be involved if we don't make the effort to let them in? Perhaps if we'd done better when Gabe was alive, this wouldn't be so hard now.
Maybe this will end up being a better thing than I can imagine. But still. I wish I had the words.