Monday, May 21, 2012

Childless Mothers

So back to Mother's Day reflections.

I read a few articles/essays about adult children without their mothers on Mother's Day. But there weren't any essays about being a childless mother on Mother's Day. And for next year, I want to change that. Why should we lurk in the shadows on that day? Why shouldn't we let people know that we exist? That we are mothers, too? I'm at the point now where I CAN stop to educate people. And I don't always even get choked up. I no longer feel like it's such a burden to tell someone what I'm going through. And how maybe they can help.

Still I bought myself flowers. Yellow mini gerbera daisies. They died. The bouquet that Mr. E gave me? Still alive. Mr. E got me flowers. And a card. So did my mom, where she mentioned Blue and the baby-to-be. My sisters and I sent a group text to each other. My dad said, in an off-hand way, "Oh, yeah, Happy Mother's Day." Three out of four ain't bad.

But someone...anyone?...maybe a mention that this isn't exactly a happy mother's day. That it's sad and weird and I'm not sure I'd like to acknowledge it, as much as I want other people to acknowledge that I AM A MOTHER.

And if I weren't pregnant now, what would that day have felt like? All sadness, no happiness? Would I begin to think of fond memories of Blue? Would I be happy that I ever felt a baby kicking and punching inside my belly?

I don't know. And I'm glad I don't have to know. Getting pregnant again has changed me back to a generally happy person. No I will never be "the same." But this is what not being depressed feels like. It's awesome! I can talk about babies and pregnancies without losing my shit. What I really realized is that other people can talk to me about these things.

Strangely though I still have a somewhat negative reaction to seeing pregnant women, or women with their young kids, or especially Facebook announcements and updates on pregnancy. Thinking they never had to go through what I went through. On Facebook, you can be pretty sure you're right about that. But out in life? How do I know someone's pregnancy wasn't her fourth, after 3 miscarriages? Or a termination? Or a placental abruption? Or an unexplained stillbirth? (Damn I wish I didn't know any of this stuff.)

Oh, the things I don't know and the things I wish I didn't. But I do know one thing: we're all mothers.

Happy/Weird/Sad Belated Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Everything Happening at Once (Read While Hopeful)

So like, it's almost Mother's Day--my first without Blue--and I want to post something poignant and meaningful, but I am just bursting at the seams to share some good news. Then I can go back to being poetic and shit.

AFF got a new name this past week: Mr. E!

Please think this new nickname is as hilarious as I think it is. We got married on May 10 in New York City, in front of two of my good friends who live in NYC (Mr. E and I live 90 miles away), a photographer, and a friend who helped us get to the City Clerk's office and carry our stuff around during the photo shoot. Here we are (identity reveal alert!):

In future posts I will talk about how much crap our families gave us for getting married when "we hardly knew each other." But we're happy and that's what matters. And, there's more good news...

I'm 16 weeks pregnant! I just went for it. We just went for it. I will talk a LOT more about getting pregnant so soon after loss (5 months, maybe not that soon, but I had to go out and find a whole new dad and all). I had an ultrasound to measure my cervix the other day and everything looked good. So I can stop worrying about an incompetent cervix (right?). You know what's funny? I've been thinking maybe I've felt the baby move so far, but as I write this post I have felt 3 undeniable baby flutters. And, there's more good news...

I got a job! I'm going to be a worker's comp attorney. Just like I always dreamed! Just kidding. But I'm really excited to have this thing called a stable income. And I like to learn new stuff and this qualifies. I'll be in a satellite office of a pretty big Philadelphia law firm, so hopefully they won't freak out when I tell them I'm pregnant my first day on the job.

Last (and least) we sign a lease on an apartment next week, to move in June 1. We are both living in our family homes at the moment but my mom said Mr. E can stay over now! He just can't move in with his stuff. Fair enough. Here's the apartment (we have the first floor and that big front porch):

I can't wait to cook in that kitchen!

Okay, I think we're caught up. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hopeful or Horrible

I remember reading blogs back in the "early days," and there were times when someone else's wonderful news--positive relationship, positive pregnancy test, etc.--would make me feel really horrible. Really horrible that nothing good was happening to me. And I had no idea when something good would happen--if ever. But then there were other times when I would feel very hopeful. Hopeful that good things could happen after a very bad thing. That you COULD get pregnant again after a miscarriage or medical termination. That I could get pregnant again.

I say this because I am about to reveal some really good news, of more than one variety, and I want to sort of warn you, gentle reader. (Okay, that's a joke, the "gentle reader" part. Didn't some novelist whose books we read in high school use that term?)

Just make sure to be in a hopeful mood, and not an other-people's-good-news-is-horrible state of mind before you come back for a serving of whatever it is I'm dishing up. And I really truly wish everyone hope and peace every day. But I am all for being realistic.

. . .

On an unrelated note...

I learned not long ago that a friend's wife had a scary miscarriage. She was more than 4 months along, and was high-risk due to some complications from her last delivery (a now 3-year-old son). I am not sure of the details. Her life was not threatened, but her health was and the outcome is that she cannot have more children. I am not very good friends with this guy, but we've known each other since we were kids and two of our mutual friends are very good friends with the both of us. I last saw him with his son at an event in February, and at that point I knew (i.e. thought) his wife was pregnant. He said she was parking the car and would be there, I should meet her. And I thought that the last thing I needed was to see his 8-months-pregnant wife. Well. She had lost the baby at this point. He didn't mention it. I understand why.

But when his mom told me weeks later what had happened, I called him and left a message with my condolences. I offered support if he or his wife wanted to talk, and I think I also said I knew of some helpful grief resources. I know everyone is different, and I didn't expect him to call me back. But I recently was thinking about this: we become a BLM and we look around and we don't see anyone who can help us. So we turn to the Internet to find support and find community, but here I've been here for her in the real world all along. We both just never knew it.

. . .

I was talking with a family friend today about how siblings differ from friends. About the ways you want your sister to be there for you...but it's your friends who come through. And we talked about the difference between real world support and online support. I needed both. I need both.

Thank you, bloggy friends and real world friends, for being there for me. I would not be where I am today without you. And 9 months ago, I sure as hell didn't think I could be where I am today. <choking on lump in my throat>

And get ready for some happy news!!!!