Time flies when you are hiring new people and understaffed and get sucked into FY12 budget development and work late every night and at least once each weekend, doesn't it?
For those who inquired, the last cycle was truly gorgeous, with temps that mimicked Gabriel's pregnancy cycle, but alas, ended on time. I'm currently at cd 14 with what seems to be the beginning of a fertile period (temp dropped a wee bit, cm is thinning out, becoming wetter). If I'm lucky, ovulation will be in the next 10 days or so. One more cycle after this, and a break period if nothing works out.
Work is going. There is plenty to say on the subject, but little that is of interest. All signs point to the initial timeline being correct - a year ago, we were told that the business operations would be centralized and that about half of us would be RIF'd, and that this would take place when space was identified to house all the retained/centralized staff, roughly 12-18 months. Apparently, they are trying to identify space and looking towards the new fiscal year. I'm putting it out of my mind for now, because while I believe I'll have a job, I'm not looking forward to any of it.
Beyond that - well, there hasn't been much beyond work of late. That tends to happen when you work so much. Home has been buried in writing or mindless television and then sleep. That's it.
I can say I've had a few things on my mind. Of course, August marks the second passing of Gabriel's birth/death date. Never did it ever occur to me then that I would not have a living child by now. However, I'm learning to put aside the timelines and mental math about when this or that would happen. I'm beginning to believe I may not achieve a viable pregnancy again. I'm beginning to wonder not if I can live with this being the shape or sum of my life, but how to do so.
It honestly makes me angry to dwell on it. This is not the life I wanted, nor the life I thought I had. For as much time and energy and honest care I put into work, I still catch myself asking what the bloody hell I am doing. I never had a desire to do this line of work, and while it is at times fulfilling and while I love my coworkers, there is no deep yearning or calling here. It's a job that I fell into and have tried to make the most of. It's not something I worked for or studied for or feel drawn to. It's something I don't suck at that pays the bills.
I have a good, decent life. I have many blessings. I wonder if I am greedy to seek more, to beg for more, to be dissatisfied.
DH told me last night that I can change this if I want to. That I can make things different, and it made me sad. Because I don't really see how. The things I'd like to change - it's not just my weight or my hair or my hobbies. It's bigger things, more subtle things. At this point, given our dependence on my income, I can't simply switch jobs. I'm not properly trained for much, really. I never pursued my MA. I've just a list of things I'm good at and no real idea how that would morph into something I really want to do. I've never identified my passion.
Well, I had, actually - women, pregnancy, birth. Only that's one of the things that died with Gabriel. Nothing else has taken its place.
Children . . . right. Well, that's been covered, hasn't it? Adoption and surrogacy are currently out of equation for us, but maybe at some point. Trying for another pregnancy is not going well and there is a point at which we have to ask ourselves - given the high risk nature of things - how worthwhile it is to pursue this avenue.
And then. . . beyond that. . . I don't know. There is a restlessness, a vague depression that is lingering. I can't quite identify it, but I know that loneliness plays a role.
I dropped out of a lot after I lost Gabe. I had to, to preserve any semblance of sanity. The friends who could cope with that are still friends. The ones who couldn't fell by the wayside. I don't blame them, and I don't blame me. We are all of us victims of a shit situation. In reality, some of them deserve some blame, no doubt, and unquestionably I do in some cases, but what's the point now? Nearly two years gone, and there are few individuals I miss. It's more the community and the sense of belonging, a group of people I could identify with and whose company I enjoyed that I miss. Glow is wonderful, but it's also achingly sad and sometimes depressing. The babylost are the most supportive community I've ever found, especially the niche I've discovered who are content with allowing one to explore one's grief as it comes, in all it's ugliness. Nevertheless, I never really wanted to join that club.
Do you know, in two years, I still haven't figured out how to respond to people?
A non-sequiter, I'm sure, but this is being written piece-meal, and oh well. It took about a year, but eventually I could answer the question 'Do you have children?' with relative calm and ease. "No, no living children."
But almost a full year after that, and I've still not worked out how to respond when their response comes. "I'm so, so sorry." and I generally believe they genuinely are sorry. But what do you say?
Thank you? Me too? Yeah? Life sucks? Say nothing?
Haven't gotten it down. Apparently, I am as uncomfortable with bringing the spectre of death into the room as I always feel people must be when I do it.
And it's things like that. I think about them a fair amount. Nearly two years and my grief is very different than it was. I recently re-read the early things, looking for something to send to a newly bereaved mother. And the raw pain that was spilling out here took my breath away. I can remember it, vaguely. Thinking back to that immediate aftermath is always a foggy, cloudy perspective. I remember certain things clearly - we watched hours upon hours of Cash Cab and HGTV. Mindless chunks of half-hour numbness that had no babies. I remember boxes of Ding-dongs. I didn't touch alcohol, but by god, I ate ding-dongs. I remember getting my haircut and that awful moment when my stumbling words made my husband think I wanted a divorce. I remember that I hurt and that I felt blind, but I have no emotional memory of it. I can't feel that pain - and thank god, because who could bear it forever? But re-reading it was like opening a window to it and catching a glimpse of it. Oh yes, that feeling, it was like a hundred small knife wounds. Yes.
I still miss Gabriel, but it's less urgent now. Less demanding. More like an old friend. Or a piece of jewelry that I wear all the time. Familiar. The sharp longing is duller now, though it occasionally flares up into an active yearning for a few minutes to know what it would be like to be a mother to that son. To know what he'd have looked like as a wobbling toddler shouting new words. To know what his favorite lovey would have been. To hold him in my arms.
It all fades, of course, because it must. Life insists on being lived, and your options are to end it or to be swept away by it. I think, sometimes, that still bothers me. That the world didn't end, that my world didn't end. There are, even yet, moments in which I feel guilt for that, that I'm betraying him or his spirit or his memory by enjoying a new book or laughing at a dumb joke. But what other choice is there?
Do you know, this is our fourth year of trying to conceive? First started trying with the late May into June cycle in 2008, after that year's delay. God, how I've changed since then. How much has changed since then. I used to have hope, and now I despise it and cling to it simultaneously. I thought things were simple, straightforward then - that you had sex at the right time, got pregnant, and mostly had a baby. Now I know, in my primal being, that pregnancies don't last and babies don't live. Not for me, anyway. That if I ever do manage a viable pregnancy again, that if - I can't even picture it now - I ever have a living child, it will be because the universe wasn't watching closely enough, that I'll feel as if I've snuck one by. . . And still, angry as I get with it, I find so much beauty in the fragile world.
Probably the greatest gift Gabriel gave me. The ability to see and admire beauty even in the bleakest time. And it's hard to regret his life when I have that.