Holy cow, I seem to always forget how the first weeks of school take every ounce of everything a body has. This year was exciting, because I actually got to start the year at the start. Novel idea. But it has been stressful, because I'm teaching two new classes (new to me) and the structure of how the classes are taught are different than how they've been in the past (no pressure), and teaching self-contained English and Reading is a LOT of lesson plans and coordination and isn't easy when you're a traveling teacher between two schools. But I feel like I have a plan and I'm feeling a little more into a groove, and I am feeling more sane at the start of this second full week of school. Always a plus.
I always feel like I have to fix everything all at once, like I have to plan everything all at once, like things have to be mapped out. This is good in a sense, but it leaves no room for flexibility, and then I get stressed out when plans change. But, good teaching is planning but also reflecting and having the flexibility to adapt your plan to the changing needs of your students. It's kind of like life that way...if you create a life plan and you feel you have to stick to it, you will be incredibly disappointed when needs change and things don't go the way you envision. You have to roll with the punches. Or roll with the happiness? I guess I just always think of punches because that's what it feels like so much of the time. One rolling wave of suckerpunches to the gut after another.
But now, it's school, and I'm officially "on my break" from fertility. Which is a laugh a minute, because the break is physical only. I cannot for the life of me ever stop thinking about it and coming to grips with it and planning our next steps and dealing with our next steps. I just am doing it on my own time, away from the constant injections and doctor's appointments and the trusty dildocam. Honestly, school has been so busy and so stressful that I haven't had much time to think about things. I compartmentalize really well at work--school is school and I try really hard to keep all this fertility crap out of it. I can't be an effective teacher if I'm crying all the time. So at school I'm Teacher Jess, not Sad Sap Infertile Jess. They are very, very separate and I'm trying to make it even more separate this year so that when we do start up again in 2013 I can try to have a little more space between school and treatment. It's impossible to be completely divorced from all this when in the midst of things, but I think I do pretty well keeping infertility from totally infiltrating my professional self. And right now, it's so very busy I couldn't think about infertility whatsoever. With one caveat.
Even though I am still pretty busy and doing school work in evenings and weekends, there's a little more space on Saturday and Sunday. Things slow down a bit and I have space to breathe. Which means I have space to think. Which apparently means I have space to grieve. Both Sundays since school has started have been messy. The first one was a combination of anger and stress over feeling so overwhelmed at school and feeling like I couldn't get myself in order, and then spilled over to sadness which then manifested itself as a massive bitchfest. I was hideous. My awesome counselor is always reminding me "It's easier to be angry than sad, but you have to sit in the sad, really sit in the sad, to get over that hump." And boy, was I avoiding the sad and sitting in the mad. And taking it out on anything, animate or not, around me. The stress just brought out the worst in me and then I went from pissy and yelling and even throwing my 36-year-old self on the bed like a classic toddler tantrum to outright sobbing on the floor and feeling completely desolate in my loss. But then I had to get right back to work, so it couldn't last long.
This past Sunday was a beautiful autumn day. I was far less stressed and felt much more in control of the school situation. I was determined to enjoy my freaking weekend, dammit. It was all working out pretty well--Saturday came and went with no tears, and Sunday was off to a great start. We slept in (or Bryce slept in and I got up and ate some fruit and went for a walk and then Bryce got up...), went to our favorite diner for our favorite breakfast, and then went to Lowe's to get the first wave of fall mums and maybe a pumpkin for my garden chair. I think the funk started at breakfast, because we were talking a little about how long we've been at this and how many people have expanded their families around us since we've started our journey. I feel like a broken record with this image, but we really do feel like the stationary object in a print with time lapse photography...the two lone pine trees in a field of rotating stars. (Earth science friends, I know that the stars actually aren't moving and it's us who are rotating while the stars stay relatively stationary, but it sure doesn't feel that way. Gaaaah! 9th grade curriculum is messing up my metaphor!!!) Earth science aside, our incredibly depressing stationary status started the funk.
The funk just kept going when we were in Lowe's and finding some (really really awesome) Halloween stuff for the house, and looking at all the autumn displays, and picking out pumpkins and mums. Just the first splash of the season, as I like to get our actual pumpkins and mums at a farm stand and not a national chain store, but still festive all the same. I started to feel panicky in the mum section, as Bryce was looking for some post and beam materials to rebuild our fence. I started to feel tight in the chest and claustrophobic. We finished our business in the store and checked out, and I honestly didn't think I was going to make it out of the store before dissolving. I made it just to the car, and then burst into hysterical sobs. Wrenching sobs. It was like all my sadness and loss had been fermenting and finally was bubbling up to the surface and erupting out, like a shaken bottle of champagne. Sad champagne, not celebratory bubbles. I was just overwhelmed by the pure UNFAIRNESS of everything that has happened to us. How, HOW can it be almost October and we're not pregnant? How is it that we have been at this for THREE YEARS and have nothing but loss, disappointment, extra pounds, and a lot of receipts to show for it? WHAT THE HELL???? It just washed over me in wave after wave of OH MY GOD WE ARE STILL JUST THE TWO OF US, EVEN AFTER EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING we have done. And then realizing that our next steps are our last shot at carrying, a dream that I am not ready to lay down yet. A dream I've had for seemingly ever, a thing that you're warned left right and sideways as a teen and young adult could happen at ANY TIME and yet is incredibly elusive to me. It was a horrible moment of just abject loss. Loss of our pregnancy, loss of how we imagined we'd have children, loss of all our efforts to date to just do what so many people can do without even really thinking about it. WHY IS IT ALL SO FREAKING HARD? Poor Bryce, he didn't know what to do. I was completely inconsolable. It lasted a full hour. My face was puffy the whole rest of the day. But it needed to happen. It just sucks that it only happens on the weekend.
I'm hoping that I can uncork most of this sadness so that I have a slow trickle, instead of these great geysers of loss that take me by surprise on my time off from work, when I have time to think about everything that's happened. I'm hoping that I can actually enjoy my break from infertility from an emotional standpoint, too, instead of just playing things over and over and constantly trying to plan and fit things into a schedule for our 2013 adventures. My brain just can't stop churning. It's why we can't take a longer break...I think I would truly lose my marbles. I feel like we'll hit a balance here soon. I have to remember, this last loss happened only about 7 weeks ago. Maybe that's another reason why it's bubbling over now. Around now I'd be hitting my second trimester, and feeling like I could start sharing our exciting news. That seems like such a foreign concept, sharing unadulterated good news. I have to believe it's in our future. I have to believe that it's possible and this next leg of the journey will bring us the incredible experience of bringing life into the world that we yearn for. I also have to believe it's possible that I can go and buy pumpkins and mums without hysterics in the car. This is our favorite season, dammit! I need tear-free autumn activities. Maybe next weekend.