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Seesaw

I feel like an ant. I try to climb the wall repeatedly. I can feel myself ascending; it fills me with happiness. Then some general crappiness happens and I fall back down in an ungainly heap on the floor (can ants ever be ungainly?). Le sigh!

It had been going so well. I was feeling grounded, motivated, positive and even (gasp!) content. I was filled with a velvety calmness that had me singing in the shower and skipping around the house. There was a little bump on the way when a day of full-blown PMS nearly knocked me down but I was up again the next day, soaring away like a fluffy cloud in my self-created horizon!

So, when I got my period (almost 4 days late), I was relieved. Relieved that I would probably feel even better now, that my cycle would soon begin, that my body is doing what it’s supposed to. But it’s the fourth continuous day today that I feel like a ginormous ball of craptastic frozen overnight such that the craptastic-ness is now like a hard shell around me and refuses to peel off, no matter how much I scrape away at it. I’ve battled it, I’ve tried wallowing in it (so I can just get it over with) and I’ve tried denying it… but nothing’s really worked.

I am officially in the dumps!!

A close friend wrote yesterday and her email was full of her toddler’s activities… how he says ‘mamma’ all the time, how he imitates her and makes her laugh etc. etc. Oh and there was also news of a pregnancy in her family. Yay. It took about .000000046821 seconds for me to enter the shitzone and start bawling my heart out. Poor K was completely baffled; he had just exited the bedroom like 5 minutes back and given me a flurry of kisses as he was getting ready to leave for work (I was still lazing under the covers!). He came rushing inside to find out what new calamity had tipped his semi-sane wife over the edge this time.

This was no ordinary sniffle, though; it was the mother of all waterworks! Once I started crying, I could not stop. I half-cried, half-squealed a strange, guttural sound that even in my heartbroken state appeared utterly amusing to me. I howled and screamed as I held on to K’s sweater sleeve for dear life, soaking it with my saline sorrow. I secretly hoped this was it; that once I stopped crying I would feel much better and be able to finally snap out of this funk I’ve been in.

Nope, no luck.

Today was no better. Instead of K (who luckily enough had just exited the house), it was my poor mother who witnessed my blubbering, deranged state today. There was no trigger even. I just woke up and started crying. She had come in to ask me if I would have a cup of tea and my quivering voice gave it all away. All she had to do was rest a gentle hand on my forehead and there I was… sobbing my heart away again! She quietly sat beside me till the tears stopped streaming and the wails became quiet sniffles. I got out, made the bed and had a cup of tea. I went out with her for a walk. We walked in silence.

I looked up at the blue stretching into an infinite distance and I wished I was a cloud.

4

Cloudy with a chance of tear-falls!

I woke up today feeling craptastic. The weather outside echoed my sentiments. It was cloudy, dull and uninspiring. I willed myself out of bed and got busy reinstating the house to some semblance of order from its nightly state of slipshod-ery (my darling husband has quite the knack for creating chaos!). I set oatmeal to boil for him, ignoring the rumbling protest in my tummy. I should eat, my mind reasoned, it’s important for me to eat on time everyday. Screw that, said my heart. I felt awful, a naked piece of yearning in a slowly careening-out-of-control world. What if this doesn’t work? What if, after another round of injections and monitoring and medication and travel and sleepless nights and hormone-induced emotional hell, I am still sans baby? Still flat-tummied and still bereft? How will I go on? You have a backup plan, persisted the annoyingly sensible voice in my head. Something’s gotta give, sometime. I stuck a mental tongue out at this piss-pot. How do I blame others for always expecting me to be strong when my own frickin’ mind doesn’t allow me the luxury of self-pity?!!

Depositing the steaming hot oatmeal in front of K (buried about ten thousand feet deep in his cyber world of emails, presentations) I walked over to the bedroom and started folding the laundry with energetic enthusiasm, hoping to drown the voices in my head. As I tidied up the room, my eyes fell on the journal I had started earlier this year. Wanting desperately to believe that my baby could listen to me even if he/she hadn’t taken form yet, I had taken to writing letters to my unborn child. Painfully honest, searing letters from a guilt-ridden parent-to-be who feels personally responsible for taking so long to get her baby in this crazy world. I wrote about my hopes and my disappointments. I wrote about baby’s family and how they were all awaiting her arrival. I wrote about my misgivings and my fears. I started by writing everyday but could not keep that up for long. On days I felt particularly down, I could not write. Perhaps because it made me feel like a cheat. How could I tell my baby that I believed in her existence and yet acknowledge being submerged in despair. I continued writing though, sometimes more frequently than others.

And then the IVF started. I wrote with a purpose now. I felt the time was soon that she would come to me. I told her to hang in there. When we were told that we had made only 3 blastocysts which would be biopsied, I begged her to be one of them. I told her I would make her the happiest human being on earth if only she would trust me and let me be her mother.

It did not happen. One email destroyed our carefully constructed world of hope as all three blasts turned out to be abnormal, a heart-rending revelation made all the more painful with the realization that all three were baby girls. My baby girls. Whom I could not give birth to. Because nature likes to screw with me. I cried so much in those days that I thought my body would stop making tears. I wailed and screamed in sheer pain; I ranted against a heartless God who was seeing all this happen and yet not doing a thing about it. I was told that donor eggs were my only option going forward. I lost a part of my heart that day. And, from that day onwards, I could not write to my baby. I could not face her after what happened. Even though I know I could not have done anything to prevent it from happening.

Seeing that journal today brought back lingering painful memories. Perhaps brought back into focus because we are about to start another IVF cycle. About to place our trust in medicine and in science and in God all over again. As I commence, anew, this effort to make my baby, the one person I long for most is my mother. I want to hug her tight and feel her love for me, calming my festering wounds and soothing my fears. And then, I want to let the tears fall.