Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Scars

I have two visible scars from my surgery to remove my ectopic pregnancy in August. One teensy tiny one on my left side that is healing normally and looks like a tiny comma. And one angry, inflamed, crusty scar on my right side that just refuses to cooperate. It's bigger, because it's where everything came out. The tools used were bigger, the cut was bigger, so it's reasonable to think that the scar would be bigger. But I just don't understand why it won't heal.

I went to the doctor a few weeks ago because it was gross and irritated, and there is nothing wrong under the surface. No abcess, so bowel issues, no fluid of any kind lurking in the recesses of my subcutaneous. So it is just skin-level. But now it's a few weeks later and it still won't settle down. So I am on antibiotics to try to clear the stupid thing up.

This scar thing is really making me upset. I am not exactly thrilled that I have a permanent, physical reminder that I lost a doomed pregnancy surgically. It is what it is, though. What's irritating is that my scar is not disappearing to red and then shiny pink, leaving a barely perceptible reminder of what almost was. It's not cooperating. It's leaving me with an angry, irritated, constant reminder that my body is not healing as fast as I'd like it to.

I feel almost like my physical scar is a representation of my emotional state of things as well. I thought that I should be ok emotionally by now. It's been a few months, I'm back to work, I'm looking forward to our next step. I should be totally over things, right? I should be healed emotionally by now. Apparently not. This has been one of the hardest weeks for me since everything went horribly south in August. I can't explain it. I have been wretchedly angry, just a seething ball of venom about the stupidest things. I have picked fights. I have had what can only be described as stompy, slammy, three-year-old temper tantrums. I have been like a living and breathing representation of fury. And underneath it all, I have been just drowning in feelings of being overwhelmed, and an utter, all-consuming sadness. But, as my amazing therapist brought to my attention, anger is easy. Working through the sad is hard. Because you have to sit in it. You can't just have a burst that temporarily makes you feel better (while really making you and everyone around you feel much, much worse), you have to really wade through the loss and the feelings of hopelessness and unfairness to come out the other side. And it's not like it's realistic to think that you can come out the other side with no lingering anger or sadness left. It sticks with you. So, on Thursday, when I had hit my absolute breaking point and had been on the verge of tears for days and the most horrible snappish shrew at home, I saw my therapist and was hit with what I knew deep down was true. I am not even remotely through my grieving process for our little lost embryo. I have this bizarre, overwhelming  pressure on myself to be ok, to be over it, but I'm not. So I'm angry. When really I am desperately sad. It's taking a toll on everything--my well-being, my relationship, the climate at home. And so I sat in that sadness Thursday and cried for about 4 hours straight. And while that was hard, I felt better. It's not like I'm not able to feel some hope for our frozen opportunity that's coming down the road. I am. But it's so hard to be truly hopeful and excited when I am so sad about what happened and so terrified that something similar (or worse!) could happen this time. I am scared. And I am grieving. I have scars, inside and out.

I have this weird, kooky feeling like once I've made some progress working through my feelings of loss, of self-blame and guilt, of colossal unfairness (Why, WHY can't we catch a break? Why does everything have to be so freaking hard?), that my outward scar will start to look normal. Or maybe the antibiotics will just kick in and it will look like any other shiny fresh scar destined to fade out of noticeability, and by that time I will feel a little better. It's just so hard to feel the angriness of my body under my clothes, and to see it when I step out of the shower. It slaps me in the face with something I'd like to forget, sort of. But maybe I need a reminder for now, to remind me that it was awfully recent and it is something that I need work out, emotionally. That I can't hide from it and cover it up, because then my sadness seeps out as ugly anger and malice. I don't need to be totally through it by the time we do our frozen cycle, I think that would be unrealistic. But I need to get a grip on things before my scars take over and make me feel like I am not the person I used to be. Clarification. I'm not the person I used to be (how could I be after everything that's happened?), but I still want to be the same kind of person: a well-adjusted person, a balanced person, a reasonably happy person who can laugh in the face of all this adversity. I think I can get back to being that person. Maybe when my scars fade. Maybe when they are blended in with beautiful stretchmarks on my round pregnant belly. I can only hope that's where those scars are headed.

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