Oooooh so THAT'S all I have to do - "just relax".
It sounds so easy when it's coming out of someone else's mouth - someone who hasn't lay stunned and drugged in a recovery room while being told their perfect little baby boy has 1% chance of survival. Someone who didn't lose two other babies before that through miscarriage. Someone who doesn't have a murderous body that, in addition to not being able to protect the lives it carries, doesn't seem to know how to work properly at all anymore.
Just relax. Excellent advice. Thank you, doctor.
I don't doubt that stress is throwing off my body and causing it to do odd things (or not do anything at all, as the case may be), but I'm not entirely sure how I can possibly avoid stress. Just waking up is stressful sometimes.
You try it. Imagine that every child you've ever conceived has died - the last one at 38 weeks - and then imagine that your body seems to have forgotten how to do what a woman's body should be able to do without any trouble at all. Now "relax". Can't do it, can you?
So how am I supposed to? I'm not imagining any of this. This is my life.
Hmmm, I feel a pity party coming on. Someone open a bottle of champagne, cut the cake and gimme a party hat - I'm in the mood to whine.
I know my doctor means well and I know she's probably right. I guess I'm just mad because I wanted a magic pill that would make everything okay. A pill that would make my body work properly so at least I wouldn't have to stress out about THAT. But apparently I'm actually going to have to work at this too. Just like I have to work at living - at surviving in the midst of the worst sorrow imaginable.
My sibling pointed out that might be my problem - I equate "relaxing" to work. She's got a point, clever girl. But unfortunately my brain doesn't work like hers. I wish it did - now more than ever.
I've been trying to think of ways to "relax" for 37 hours now. Here's what I've come up with:
1. Leave a chat board (filled with women I've known since I started trying to get pregnant two years ago) because all those women have had their babies and the board is filled with chatter about breastfeeding, Dr. Ferber's sleep methods, first teeth, first steps and first words - all things I'll never experience with Thomas.
2. Stop charting my cycles, thus leaving me almost completely in the dark, relying on my own intuition and often confusing physical signs to confirm ovulation.
3. Book a spa getaway for my beloved and me.
And that's it. Only the third option gives me any sense of pleasure. I'm very conflicted about the first two options. Actually I'm really just conflicted about the first option. I'm kind of happy to give up charting for the three months my doctor has ordered. I'm sick of having an otherwise perfectly good day ruined by a low temperature before my feet even hit the slippers.
But giving up a board full of incredible women who have seen me through hell? I don't know if I can do it.
But I think I should, at least for a little while. Sometimes, as I'm reading their posts, I notice how deafeningly quiet my house is. I know their houses are filled with the sounds of babies - gurgles, coos, laughter and cries - and mine is so silent. It's like the lead vest they make you wear at the dentist when you're having x-rays. Heavy and scary.
They leave the boards because their babies are crying, need changing or have to be fed. I leave, sometimes, because I can't bear to be on it anymore.
But then other days it's like a life-line. They've taken me in, even though I really don't belong, and have made me one of their own. They listen to me, laugh with me, cry with me and talk to me like I'm a normal person. They make me feel normal, which is a feat at the best of times. And these are far from the best of times.
Does it make sense to leave all that behind?
I'm not totally sure, but sadly I think the benefits outweigh the loss right now. So I'm taking a break.
But I'll be back. Friends like these are nearly impossible to find, and I've found a whole virtual community filled with them. With the luck I've had I'd be pretty stupid to let them go for good. Especially since I was so very lucky to find them in the first place.