Superstitious

I’m a superstitious person. Not always. Only when it counts.

When I was running races each month back in 2012, I had my routine. I wore the same thing. I ate the same dinner the night before. I did the same stretching routine the morning of. My breakfast never varied and my races were always a success. Except for that one time I didn’t do all my little rituals.

That race was a disaster and it was because my good pants weren’t washed and I skipped my pre-race coffee.

I’m not running races any more but I’m seeing my superstitious side rearing its head when it comes to our trying to conceive.

This cycle I’m late. Not super late but later than usual. After so many failed attempts to conceive, just the hope that springs from this delay is making me ill with anxiety and fully superstitious.

I’d usually be chatty about this delayed start of my next cycle but instead have kept mum. Other than my husband (and these readers) I’ve not said anything to anyone. Not even my mom. Normally I share most everything with my mom but my worries that if I speak I will break the streak of missed days is keeping me silent.

By now I would have blown through a few Clear Blue tests to confirm my suspicions but not this time. I happen to have run out and instead of rushing to the store for a new pack, I’ve stayed away and refuse to pee on any pregnancy sticks. It’s almost as if I believe that having them in my house with jinx the way things are going. That just seeing one will instantly make me not pregnant.

So I wait. No tests. No talking. No nothing. We ignore it like its the big pink elephant in the room. I get up in the morning to use the bathroom and I hold my breath. So far, no signs either way. When I return to bed, I feel my husband release a breath he had been holding with me, anxious to hear if my cycle is still late or if it is starting over.

Together, each morning, we hold our breath and wait for a week to pass. Together we anxiously ignore any signs or changes in me and hope beyond all hope that this time we’ll get the news we’ve been waiting breathlessly for.

And alone I’ll continue my little superstitious rituals in hopes that something works.

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Unending Cycle

It’s Sunday. A day of football and relaxing. Time to reset for the week and enjoy your time off before starting over again on Monday.

It’s Sunday and here I sit in an apron, smelling strongly of bleach and cleaning supplies, sipping a mild tea meant to help boost my ability to conceive this month.

This month marks a year and a half of trying to have a baby. That’s 19 months or about 82 weeks. Roughly about 575 days of the same thing each cycle: hoping, wishing, trying, logging, monitoring, and then nothing.

My job changed recently. I left the high stress job sitting at a desk Monday through Friday, 7:30-4:30 to a little less pay but a much larger reward. I’m stressing less and I’m home more. Plus I’m doing what I love and have passion for. I’m in the classroom teaching and touching lives.

Even with this change, each month is the same. We try and hope, crossing our fingers for a positive. Then nothing but the silence of one single pink line and another month gone.

We’ve done a lot on our own. We’ve changed our lifestyles, we’re keeping healthy (as we can) and we’re adding natural supplements to help boost our chances. But I’ve got to be real and accept that we may need the help of a doctor.

It feels silly to need help. Jake came into my life so easily and without even trying. But this struggle after having had a healthy pregnancy years ago is real and painful. I feel I’m failing and that something is wrong with me. And in some dark corner of my mind I also feel that I’ve done something wrong and this is my punishment.

Thanks Catholic upbringing.

We’ve been open when people ask about our goal to have more kids and we’ve been even more open about the fact that we’ve been trying for some time. This tends to be met with incredulous stares and confusion. They look at me and ask “But you’ve been pregnant already” like I don’t remember or that the thought hasn’t crossed my own mind, too. I know they don’t mean harm but it sucks to hear.

Oddly, as open as we can be, we don’t share much without being prompted first. I doubt more than a handful of people close to us know we’re trying and have been for over a year now. It’s kept close to our vest and if asked, we’ll chat. Otherwise, it’s a battle we fight alone.

Here we start another year, 2015. Another year, another month, another day to try again.

The March Of Minutes

A string of pearls, listless and bemused,

hangs languidly from the hands of the clock,

striking slowly with little intent.

Pointedly, the hands drag and stalk the Hours,

marking the March of Minutes.

And I wait.

I take a step, with precision and exactness.

Then I wait some more,

the tightrope I walk swinging and swaying.

Gently. Tense.

Slender beneath my feet.

I inch forward, tickling the wire a fraction at a time,

then I stop. I am poised. Listening to the creak of the string, swaying.

And I’m waiting.

Again.

 

 

A Letter To My Child: Someday, With Love

Peanut,

You are not real. You are not even a physical being, just a thought, and yet here I sit writing you this letter.

The other day Jake, who will be your big brother someday, was asking about you. He wanted to know when you are coming and when will he get to be a big brother.

Sadly, I couldn’t answer with anything definite. I could only give him the understanding that someday, it will happen. That someday you will come into our lives and then he will be a big brother.

I explained to him that before he was born, I loved him. I didn’t know him or if he would be a boy or a girl but that it didn’t matter. I would love him no matter what. And that I looked forward to the day that he would be in my life.

Your big brother Jake then told me that until you were born, until you make your appearance in the world and bless our lives with your presence, he would love you in his heart.

He made me realize that he is already a great big brother.

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You may not be in our lives yet but we talk about you constantly. We wonder if you will be a girl or a boy. If you will have your dad’s nose or my mouth. If you will be a happy baby like your big brother or if you will be a quiet observer, taking it all in.

This made me realize we are ready for you. We are ready to be your mom and your dad. To be the team you need to grow up strong, confident and happy. We are ready for the sleepless nights and the nursing and dirty diapers at 3am.

Our love for you grows each day and we can’t wait to learn that you will be joining us soon. It’s with all of our hearts together that we wait and hope to share the news of your coming with the family. Not yet, but someday.

Until then, we wait. We share and talk and wonder.

And as for me, I am ready. I’m ready to hold you, kiss you and tell you stories like this one. Stories of the life we led before you and the dreams we all held in our hands until they held you. I can’t wait to hear you cry and watch you learn to smile. I can’t wait to listen for your first words and when you call your big brother for the first time.

It’s hard to explain, the love you have for those who don’t exist yet. But it’s there, deep and very real.

So we wait for you, to welcome you and love you in the flesh as we do now in our dreams.

Someday.

With love…

Mama

Ghosts

Lingering in the darkened corners of my mind,
ghosts do tread.
There they lean and sway, transparently silver.
Eerie and vague, they drift listlessly,
Only shapeless reminders.
Memories pushed aside.
Walking, I move with purpose.
My days filled with life and love.
But the ghosts are haunting.
Waiting.
Shifting.
Always out of reach.
Always out of sight.
A quick glance here and slight breeze there.
A shadow off to the right, a shift in light off to the left.
They linger.
Waiting….

Waiting to be remembered.
Waiting to appear….