I know it's folly, I do, but every once in a while I sit and think what my life would be like right now if we'd gotten married and had the first child we conceived. Or the second. Or Thomas. Any of them.
So much of my life right now is about waiting and wondering and worrying. And missing and grieving and healing. I spend so much energy doing all that, that I'm exhausted by the end of the day, or just too preoccupied to do the things I think I would probably be doing were it not for all the mental energy I use up dealing with uncertainty and sorrow.
I haven't worked since Thomas was born. I've done some freelance jobs here and there, but I haven't reallygone back to work. I left a contract writing position to have Thomas and fully expected to be a full time Mom for the next few years. Maybe doing the odd freelance job here and there, but basically I was planning to be a mom.
And I am, but I'm not.
I'm just waiting. Always waiting.
The psychologist who spoke to us in the hospital after Thomas died urged me to take my maternity leave. He was so earnest and insistent, that I gave myself permission - guilt free - to do just that. To take a year off to recuperate and heal and figure out what was going to come next.
It's just that I didn't realize it would be secondary infertility. And tests, and appointments, and surgery and still more uncertainty. And in that climate I froze. It seemed impossible to even contemplate finding a job. No one from the company I left has ever asked if I've considered coming back, and the idea of telling a prospective employer that I'd need an unlimited number of free passes to attend regular clinic poking and prodding sessions makes me very uncomfortable. No boss I've ever had would be particularly impressed with, "I'll be needing to be out of the office several hours of several days each month - and no, I can't tell you what days or when or for how long".
And I don't think prospective employers are particularly interested in taking on someone so desperate to get pregnant and bugger off on maternity leave anyway.
I don't suppose I'd have to disclose the reason for my frequent absences if I didn't want to, but the cloak and dagger routine really isn't me. I've had enough of people looking at me curiously and wondering what's going on in my head.
I've thought a lot about how wonderful it would be to jump back into the world of meetings and deadlines, and to feel useful and productive in that working girl kind of way - but I can't. I just can't right now.
Believe me, I'm not blaming my lost children for the fact that I'm a housewife in limbo right now. I don't blame those little souls for anything.
It's just that there are days when I think how much easier my life would be if things had worked out the way we'd planned. I know there would probably still be turmoil and uncertainty - it is life, after all - but I would know where I was headed, and things would make sense. My purpose would be clear. My job would be to be a mother - to a live child who needs me.
Maybe easier is the wrong word. Maybe life wouldn't be any easier if one of our children had survived. But I think my life would certainly make a lot more sense to me. I would understand it and my place in it so much better than I do right now.
Now having said all that, I suppose I do know what I'm doing - I'm doing everything I can to bring a living, breathing, healthy happy child into our lives. And I'm sacrificing parts of my own life to do so.
Hmmm. Maybe I'm more of a mother than I thought.
Maybe I am.
I just didn't realize motherhood was this confusing.