This space has been quiet for the past few weeks. Far quieter than I ever intended. Part of it has to do with work stress and lack on energy on my end. But the other part has been me dealing with issues that are usually not ALI-friendly. Issues that usually result in hateful comments or rants.
Before I go any further, I need to state very VERY clearly that I am in no way ungrateful for this pregnancy. After 3 yrs of TTC hell, which has included multiple rounds of IVF, isolation from family and friends who have been less than supportive, being lapped, enduring thoughtless questions and comments from the general public and pretty much giving up on the idea of biological children, not a day goes by where I don't stop and thank the Beats for deciding to stick around. This past week those moments have become all the more frequent, as I can finally feel distinct pops and flutters indicating movement from both of them. Believe me, the tears always following these reminders because I know how lucky we are to even be here.
Despite all of this, though, the past week has been one filled with panic attacks and feelings of isolation. In my own little world, I know Grey and I are managing things the best we can. But then I step outside and immediately begin feeling overwhelmed.
First off, there's the reality that I will officially be unemployed come July. Try as I might, there's really no way around this fact and as much as I know that the time at home will be beneficial for the Beats, I'm still freaking out. To date, I have not been without work for more than 3 weeks in over 18 years. I'm use to being self-sufficient and providing for my family. In addition there's the fact that I enjoy what I do and how dynamic the environment is. So dynamic that being out of it for any length of time can make it difficult to re-enter. Hence the additional level of fear about becoming irrelevant and outdated. The long and the short of it are that I'm working actively to put mechanisms in place so that I can prevent all of this. Still, it's scary to know that so much is up in the air and try as I might there's really nothing I foresee the outcome of all of it.
Then there's the logistics of being a pregnant infertile. Of straddling between being on the road of resolution while still having one foot in the trenches.
On Saturday, Grey and I met with Tina, her husband and E for breakfast. Grey and I first met E last year, during a much needed period following our second miscarriage and when we were making decisions about our journey to parenthood. It's amazing how much this little girl has grown and I spent most of our breakfast unable to take my eyes off this beautiful child. One thing that equally amazed me was that Tina had been so insistent on seeing me. I assumed wrongly that this pregnancy would be hard for her, as she was never able to have this experience, and didn't want to subject her to yet another bump. Yet she was filled with warmth and advice as we watched E color and charm all the waitstaff, talking about milestones, daycare and local resources for new parents.
Though the breakfast on Saturday was a fun one, it still resulted in Grey and I reflecting about past decisions later on that evening. Seeing E brought so much joy to our hearts and spurred us both to begin preparations for the Beats. But it also left my heart heavy. This feeling that something was still missing.
Prior to infertility/loss, adoption was something Grey and I had talked about, but in the manner most couples do. "Oh sure, we'll adopt one day" we chimed when asked about family building plans, but the reality was that we had about as much knowledge of the process as your average person on the street. We didn't know about the hurdles, the false-assumptions, the heartache and the stress. Nor did we understand the unique opportunity this process provides to build family, the joy and the love that can grow.
Seeing E brought all of this back to both Grey and I, reminding us how much we wanted to adopt. And with this realization came the fear that we may never be able to. That with all the logistics of caring for the Beats, of recovering from the financial drain caused by fertility treatments, that by moving forward with our careers, we will always be viewed as undesirable as candidates by any adoption agency. And that by not being able to move forward with this option, our family will never truly be complete.
All of this has come with the knowledge that we are far from being out of the woods with this pregnancy. The Beats are healthy and my body is behaving at the moment. But the fear of losing them still persists, knowing that my body has failed before. So on top of all of this, during a period when I know I should be over the moon and preparing for their arrival, I'm finding myself wrapped in guilt. That I'm neglecting our miracle twins and jinxing everything.
At this point, I'm at a loss for what to do. The moments of panic have slowly been subsiding now that I know I can talk with Grey about all of this, but the truth is that I feel very much alone at the moment. I feel crazy for feeling this way, for not being able to fully embrace what I have. Maybe it's just a sign that I need to be smacked.
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