Why Tuesday? WHY?
Tuesday was rough, though. It started with waking up stuffed full of sinus poison, that seemed to have made a beeline to my lungs. I did the choking cough myself and blew my nose for seemingly forever to try to clear the horrific headache and poison feeling that was my sinusy head. I cried. I wailed WHAT NOW? I CAN'T TAKE ANYMORE! and felt disconsolate before it was even 7 am.
But, I had something to look forward to. I was supposed to go get a midweek massage at 11 with my lady who saw me on Sunday for what was supposed to be a 1-hour session and once she had a closer look/listen went out and called her next appointment and asked her to shift a half hour so I could have 90. THAT IS SPECIAL. And a positive thing (that happened Sunday). But TUESDAY, I got up and showered and put actual clothing on that had buttons and zippers and went to go drive to my appointment...and discovered that my car battery had died. It just sputtered and refused to turn over. I could have cried. Actually, I did cry. I called the massage place, as at this point it was clear my car was NOT going to magically start and I was going to have to cancel very last minute, and I begged them not to hit me with a cancellation fee because "This has quite literally been the worst week of my life, sniffle sniffle sob sob." Thankfully they obliged. I did sound on the verge of hysteria. They were probably scared to say no.
I went inside, decided to get the mail from the front door. In opening the front door, something large and skittery fell on my left arm, so I flailed it and on the ground was a HUGE FREAKING SPIDER. It was like, half-dollar size. AND IT HAD BEEN ON MY ARM. I freaked out, and was just like, COME ON!!! But, you will be proud, I did not kill it. I shooed it out with some mailing card. Even though it jumped (thankfully AWAY from me) and was real disgusting, I sent it back outside and then used the back door for everything the rest of the day. I am STILL opening the door and closing it while inspecting carefully for his return before passing through. UGH.
|Apparently this is called|
a grass spider.
With my car dead, I had to to go find someone to take me to my doctor's appointment. Which was vitally important. After a couple calls to people who are aware of my situation because they have asked me how I am doing (whether they knew about the events of Friday or not), I found a friend who could drive me. Which I was so grateful for.
At the doctor's office, the nurse who took my vitals dropped the thermometer and it completely dismantled into a zillion pieces. "It's because I'm in here," I said, totally unironically. I felt cursed. I felt like Job. I felt like Lieutenant Dan, strapped to the mast of the fishing boat in the storm, putting my middle fingers up to the sky and saying "WHAT NOW?" (Except don't ever ask "what now?" because there is ALWAYS something else that can happen, or maybe that's the anxiety talking.)
But, at the doctor's I got what I needed even though it was probably the hardest doctor's appointment I've ever had. I got stuff to help me sleep and to even out the rough edges I thought I could sand on my own. And then I colored some more and had some tasty bbq for dinner and hung out with Bryce, and then had the best, deepest night of sleep I've had in a month. Thank you big pharma.
Oh, the kicker? When Bryce got home he went to charge up my car with this portable battery charger thing we have. THE MOTHEREFFER STARTED UP WITH BARELY A SPUTTER. WITHOUT the charging. It's like my car didn't feel I could drive yet or something. (Although why I had to sacrifice my massage is beyond me.) It was SO weird.
The Good Things, The Little Betters
There are far more of these than there are moments like Tuesday, thank goodness. I will bullet them for you as they are plentiful and it is nice to see them all laid out:
- On Wednesday I was so much more refreshed having actually slept well. I did a little yoga of my own devising in the morning. I took a shower and drove, for the first time. The car started without a problem. I made it without feeling too panicky.
- I decided to go to the grocery store to get shrimp for dinner, This is a big thing, because grocery stores for some reason are a big trigger for me (now that I am being honest about things) and I frequently feel like I need to get the hell out of there, fight-or-flight style. BUT, I had had a bit of a tiffle with Bryce about this chicken that's been sitting in our fridge that expires 4/17 and we keep getting takeout which is lovely, but that poor neglected (expensive, organic) chicken NEEDS TO GET EATEN. So I may have said something sort of snippy about the chicken and it wasn't a nice thing to say right when your husband who is being very patient and loving through your breakdown is off to work. So I decided to make the shrimp. Which meant I had to go to the grocery store.
- But before that, I went to this little store on the way called The Bird House. Because I wanted to do a little walking around, and quite honestly I wanted to give myself a treat. And they have these neat nature earrings there, which some are kitschy but others are quite lovely, and I found exactly what I was looking for. I bought these:
|The bottom one is blurry because they literally flutter, the way they hang.|
They were everything I wanted. Butterflies transform from caterpillars into something totally different, and in the middle, in the chrysalis, they are just goo. So I am sort of in a chrysalis right now. And monarchs in particular have a very long journey that they travel. We're going to pretend that I would be the kind that goes home to Mexico, because they don't die every so couple of hundred miles and rely on reproduction to get to Canada. The ones that fly home make it the whole way (if they don't get eaten by birds or starved by genetic engineered fields) and don't depend on the reproduction to get them there. Which is good on my end. And they clump in trees and make them look like they are on fire, like a phoenix. Yeah, I'm mixing metaphors. It works though.
- I made it through the grocery store without having my heart rate jump up too much, and I got the shrimp (although accidentally two times what I needed), and I went home. (I also bought things for a certain someone's Easter basket. You don't need kids to do the fun wacky things, you just have to do them inside the house because people frown when 40 year olds take part in egg hunts.)
- When I got home, I put the pretty magnets I had bought for myself at The Bird House up on fridge.
|So cute, right? They actually had owls in the same art as paintings we have in the nursery. I DID NOT BUY THOSE FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. These are equally cute and do not make me want to howl.|
And then I got inspired. See, I have a couple magnets. I have that Helen Keller quote that I love:
|This one I like. Because who knows what is behind that happiness door?|
And then there is the magnet that I clung to and clung to and is part of the Cult of Hope and BELIEVE HARD ENOUGH and It Will Come True. It has been bringing up some feelings for me lately. And I sort of made it into a bit of an installation:
|Do you see what I see?|
I can honestly say I can love it now. I think I will keep it this way. When Bryce came home it took him about 20 minutes to notice and then he just laughed, and laughed, until he had to put his head between his knees. He said, "Oh, babe, that's the healthiest thing I've seen you do in days. I love it."
- On Wednesday, my prizes came in the mail. I had ordered something mundane (Swi.ffer cloths for all that dust), something fun (a new matte cream lip gloss that is bright and tropical looking), and two things that are hard work but necessary. I bought these:
|My skunk "Fall Into Reading" bookmark friend tells you which is first.|
See, here is the thing. I have been eyeing Life Without Baby for a good six months. Not because I am GIVING UP HOPE. But because I know I am near the end of my floss-thin rope and I need to know that everything will be okay if things do not work out the way I planned. The way we've fought and struggled and really pushed so hard for so long. I have been floating this idea for a while, and I get met with a lot of resistance from people who love me and even people who have been through the infertility wringer themselves. But the thing is, if I don't start accepting that this is one of those happiness doors, and SEE it as a happiness door, then I will be worse than goo. And I am already goo. So I bought the books. And I started reading Life Without Baby.
And I cried. Because everything she said was my truth. It is the right book for me to read right now. It does not mean we are done right this very minute, but it is a very important piece of this process. I am accepting a hard reality, but I am accepting it so I can be free. I read a book that had nothing at all to do with infertility, The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon, and in it a character says, "It's still hard for me to believe that my future is going to be different from the one I'd planned." And that sums it up. Which is why I think the book on the left will be very helpful, too, since I have always tried to plan the unplannable. It works out great for tight lesson plans and units. Not so much for the messiness of life. Even if by some miracle (and you know how much I hate the word MIRACLE) we manage to have a placement come through before our time is up, I will have peace knowing that I am prepared for that other door. That I can welcome that other door, albeit with a shit-ton of mourning. But I can't ignore it any more. It is not a horror story.
- I also spent time one day this week, forgot which one, talking to a friend of mine who is childfree not by choice, who actually was going to call or text me when I texted her and asked, "would you be willing to talk to me?" She was AMAZING. She (among others) is helping me to see that my biggest obligation is to myself and Bryce, to our life, to our happiness and well-being, and that I owe no one else a thing. This is our life. And she said she talks about me, anonymously, as someone who has really just kept plugging away and how unfair it is that it's always no but how amazing it is that I keep persevering. And I said, "except now I'm a cautionary tale and I think perseverance is actually killing me." So there's that. But the phone conversation was nourishing, and I think it will be so important to find more people who wanted this so badly and it just didn't work out. She was beautifully honest with me about the ways she finds the pros, and her fears about later in life, but she had just so many gems to give me and I took them all and gathered them into my pit to help light it up.
- I have received encouraging texts and emails from people. I worry a little that I have become the crazy wife in the attic, but it is unbelievable to see just how much support I have. My principal has called twice to check in on me. The first time I got a little tongue-wagging, "Next time, Jess...NO NEGOTIATING." Yeah, that bit me in the butt a bit. I agreed. I have a doctor's note for the time I took this week, but if I need more after break (which I hope I don't) that is an option too, for everyone, which is nice to know if I am still all panicky. Because I'm not going to lie, I am DREADING going back through the gauntlet of care and concern. It is a beautiful thing, but I feel like I need a sign that says "Just say hi and move on until I am settled in a few days." Or something.
Also, your comments. Every comment is literally like a hug. I feel your huge hugs, your caring energy, all of it. I appreciate the support more than I could ever adequately express in words.
- A good friend SENT ME COOKIES IN THE MAIL. Like, delicious gluten free cookies! It was a fun surprise today:
|What's in the box? What's in the boooox? (sorry, totally inappropriate S7ven reference)|
|COOKIES! Nom nom nom. There's more of those frosted sugar cookies for a reason. They are AMAZING.|
They came with a note that said, "I think you could use some cookies, lady. Thinking of you and always here if you need anything!" I cried. And laughed. And cried. And sent a Cookie Monster gif to her for thanks and fun.
- I literally just got an email from the tattoo artist that I want to do my shoulder/back tattoo, whose booking I missed last time. I am hopeful that I can get in on this one, and if I can't, then I will find someone else. Because I am feeling tattoo-y. I feel like that will be part of the healing. I've carried it on my back for so long, I want to make it into something beautiful, and permanent, and metaphorical. And I think I changed my mind. Those two butterflies? I don't want them purple. I want them monarchs.
- I went for a walk yesterday and did not freak out. I mean, not a lot. I had to breathe a lot. I live in fear of strollers or friendly people who want to talk. I DO NOT WANT TO SMALL TALK. Probably because there is a lot of "Go fuck yourself" lurking right under the surface and that generally doesn't make for good conversation. Also when people say "How are you?" I tend to answer honestly. I did say "good" to some random guy throwing old garden ornaments in a wheelbarrow. I did not say "I am goo today, how are YOU?" That is progress. I am going to go for another walk today. I hope I do not run into strollers. I am not above turning around and running the other way.
- I met my new therapist today. I love, love, love my therapist, as you know, but she moved out of state and the sporadic Skyping is not working, and now I am in crisis and need to be seen in person and a lot while I get this into some kind of contained and processed situation. So I met someone new, recommended by my lady. She was great. I mean, what could I possibly accomplish in an hour in the midst of all this, but it was enough to get a start. She said You have an incredible support network, and I smiled because I do. I really do. She said That is so important and you are so fortunate. I know. She loved the books I bought. She loved the journaling component of Life Without Baby. She said, Do that. Do yoga. Find more guided meditations. Do Nothing. Make this next week Jessica Rejuvenation Week. Rebuilding Jessica. Nothing, absolutely nothing that is not. I said, "But I was going to write two days on my National Board..." And she said NO. No, you are not going to do that. You are not to do anything for a week except heal and journal and process and breathe and stretch and nurture yourself.
Well okay then. I guess I better listen. Nowhere to go but up from here. (But know that Tuesdays happen.) Time to replenish, rebuild, reconstitute. Time to breathe. Every day, better than the last.