Monday, January 11, 2010

A Belated Welcome to 2010 and Some Recent Realizations

It’s been a loooooooong time since I wrote a real post. I could offer any number of excuses, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that I’ve been feeling quite a bit of pressure lately – to meet all of my professional obligations, to take care of myself physically, to be emotionally strong and healthy for my family’s sake, to find sufficient and appropriate creative outlets for my emotional “stuff,” and to take steps to help lead our family toward a much-anticipated and necessary move out of state. Something was going to have to slide, and the obvious choice was this completely optional (albeit beloved) blog.

If you read this post, you know that we struggled with loss and disappointment in 2009. About three weeks ago I began experiencing severe pelvic pain and other unexplained symptoms. My OB/gyn was appropriately alarmed and agreed that something should be done right away.

Distressed by the pain but hopeful that we may be getting closer to some answers, I underwent diagnostic surgery two days before Christmas. When I woke up in the recovery room, the news was… well, annoying. There is nothing visibly wrong with my reproductive system. And while steps were taken during surgery to alleviate my other symptoms, the pain persists and continues to be a mystery.

Two weeks ago, our daughter became a dog. I mean, not just proclaiming, “I’m a dog!” but actually following me around on all fours, bringing me my slippers and playing with “bones.” At first it was cute—all the enthusiastic wagging and panting—but eventually I did some research and I started to worry. Is this her way of coping with Mommy’s illness and distraction? While she knew that we were "working on" getting her that baby brother or sister, and that each of our attempts simply “didn’t work out,” I don’t think she understood what was happening—only that Mommy was sad, tired and less available.

The morning I went in for surgery, she grabbed hold of my waist and begged me not to go back to the hospital. She gave me a million reasons she needed me here. I’m apparently the only one who does breakfast right or who gives her the right amount of milk at lunchtime. She told me she’d make me feel better all by herself and that she “wouldn’t mind” if I watched TV all day and took lots of naps. I promised I’d be better soon, and she put on a brave face when Grandma arrived to watch her. But, wow. That was a lot.

Yesterday she overheard us discussing the move to Colorado and suddenly burst into tears. “You mean we’re moving out of this HOUSE?? What about my room?? And my preschool??” Oops. Guess we dropped the ball on that one.

Over dinner (alone), my husband and I discussed some of the logistics of the move for the first time. Will we pull her out of school early? Will she have the added support of extended family when we get there or will we be on our own? What about meeting people? Will she have a single soul at her birthday party this year?

It’s silly, but I lost it.

How unfair to this little person that her rock, her mommy, can’t save her from worry. How awful that she’s faced with life as an only child when she so desperately wants a brother or sister. How uncool that her mom is grouchy and short with her thanks to a situation she has no control over. And how very, very lame that she has to worry about a new home, a new school, a new room when she’s already obviously worried about me.

The worst part?

When it comes to issues like my health, our move, and the resulting disruption of her comfortably predictable life… I can’t DO anything. I can’t help. I can’t protect her. Crap will just happen and she’ll have to cope with it. And while sometimes I’ll be able to make it easier for her, more often I won’t.

It’s awful.

It’s terrifying.

It’s freeing?

Call it yet another uncomfortable realization about parenting. At exactly the wrong time. Man, 2009, you did a number on us.

As for my resolutions for 2010, I resolve to:

1. Get back to work on my collection of half-finished and beloved personal essays. They are therapeutic and, damn it, they are good.
2. Be diligent about planning my work and working my plan so as to allow myself to more effectively and actively parent (after all – what was the whole point of this work-at-home thing?).
3. Bring a more candid and personal tone to this blog by limiting “easy” posts and sharing more (as I’ve always intended to) about our family, life as a WAHM and our struggles with infertility.
4. Allow my creative endeavors and entrepreneurial pursuits to take on lives of their own; not force time and attention toward one business or project if the tide is clearly turning in a different direction. There is time enough to do what I want in life—it needn’t all be completed today. Or perfectly.
5. To, in a broad sense, let up on myself and allow 2010 to unfold as it will. To accept what I can’t change and to change what I can. To be OK with failures and to celebrate successes, acknowledging each as opportunities to learn and adjust.

Welcome, 2010. Bring it.

4 comments:

Wendy Stengel said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.

rosebud101 said...

Wow! What a year. Best wishes for 2010, and give that precious little girl of your a lot of hugs and kisses. They always help the owies go away.

linda lee studio said...

Ok, so I just went back and read that other post (for the first time).

I admit we would love to have kids. We'd be good at it-- the parenting thing. But it looks like at this point, we may have to turn to adoption. It seems I am unable to get pregnant... there aren't clear reasons why. So, I can completely identify with what you've been going through. That monthly trial of "Maybe? Maybe this month?" and then, nothing. It's tiring at BEST.

I didn't realize you were moving out of STATE. That depresses me, because you live so close by now, and yet, I haven't made an effort to really get to know you, even though we hit it off so well when we met, and I wanted to reach out to you... and then life got in the way and I just... didn't. I feel bad about that. Genuinely bad. I feel like you're a good person and I wish I'd made that effort.

That said... Colorado is a gorgeous and peaceful place. It's charming and quaint and relaxing. I'm a wee bit jealous that you're going there.

And I wish you very, very well for 2010! I hope this is your year... a banner year for you.

Hug that little girl you've got. She's precious, and she needs you. She doesn't need you to always be strong for her, ya know. She just needs you to be there for her. I know that if my mom had allowed me to see her when she was sad and hurting, if she'd let me in... we could have had a chance at a closer relationship once I reached adulthood.

But of course, I'm not a parent... and I don't want to impose my opinion when I don't have a real basis for it, other than my own experience growing up.

Wish I could give you a big hug. I have a close friend who is also going through infertility issues. She's in PERFECT health. There's absolutely nothing wrong. And yet, she can't get pregnant. And she and her husband would be brilliant parents.

It's so hard, isn't it? It's just so hard.

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