I’m lying in bed. The Klingon is sleeping soundly, whereas I am wide awake. Not that I mind — normally I sleep like a rock, so it’s a rare treat to witness the world as it slumbers unencumbered.
This holiday season has been hard. It always is, I guess, but this one has been particularly that way. I’ve been brooding – never a good sign – and checking Facebook obsessively for new pregnancy announcements.
Why do I do that?
The last of my sisters (not including women who I call my sisters, but are actually no relation) gave birth to her first child on Christmas Day. I’m determined to not let my relationship with her (which I treasure) be poisoned by the deep sorrow that unsettles my heart. A few years ago, I had a nightmare – a true nightmare, where I awoke with a start and a racing pulse – that I was the only woman in my family who wasn’t a mother. It wasn’t true at the time, but now it is.
She should be a mother. That is good and right, and there is a very substantial part of me that is relieved and even overjoyed that everything worked out for her this time. That her child is healthy. It’s even determined to love and adore the little one. It just isn’t as loud or insistent as the rest of me.
Wisdom is always quieter.
I’ve been crying. Not only for her, but for the dozens of new pregnancies announced or fulfilled in the last few weeks.
And I have felt guilty for crying. Guilty for being sorrowful. Ashamed at not being in struck with awe at (almost) everyone else’s “little miracle”.
But tonight, lying here bleeding into a sanitary napkin, pondering detachedly, I am somehow okay with everything.
Not everything. I’m not okay that people who have no business reproducing can breed like rabbits. I’m not okay that wonderful people who are prepared to be parents seem to have the hardest time of it. I’m not okay that my biggest Christmas Miracle this year was that I (blessedly) did not start my period until after Christmas was over. I’m not okay that I have to go through the torture and indignity of temping and OPKs and HPTs in order to attempt to make any sense of my cycles. I’m not okay that I have to gear myself up every day for a negative pregnancy test*. I’m not okay that it is always, always negative.
But I am okay that I feel this way. I am okay that the sorrow of infertility, which has waned for so long, has quickly waxed strong once again. I am okay with these weights I carry. Tonight I find that I am able to forgive myself. Not because I have been brave or strong or kind, but because I am a human being – and a fairly ordinary one at that. And I am ready to try again to be the person I want to be.
And that’s okay, too.
*in an attempt to get as much info as possible, I am taking an ovulation test and a pregnancy test every day for the next little while, starting about 2 weeks ago, in addition to once again temping regularly. Super fun.