I had this long mundane post typed out where I told you about my day and my week, but my heart wasn’t in it, so I put the ol’ backspace button to work.
What I really want to talk about is the last three days or so where I’ve felt just generally crummy. And today was the worst of it all. I went with my brother to look at a house he and his wife have put a bid in on. And while there my crumminess got the best of me, and I vomited in this strange house in a strange toilet.
I don’t know about you, but when I throw up, it’s a big deal. I don’t do it often, but when I do it is impossible to do it quietly, primly, privately. It’s a full body workout wherein I sit tense in front of the toilet, gripping the sides, willing the dry heaves to stop, the sweating to slow, and wishing the guttural, primal sound that I emit was somehow controllable, which it is, in fact, definitely not.
So I sat over the toilet, shooing the thoughts from my mind of how icky it is to stare into a toilet bowl that has been the thinking chair for countless faceless, unknown behinds, and really just being grateful that maybe the pain that had wracked my body moments before would subside once I was spent.
My family walked the empty house, marveling at this feature or that feature, and I hid obscurely in the hall bathroom. There were two good things about this. One was the ache in my gut had subsided, albeit briefly. The second was that despite how uncontrollably loud I vomit, no one heard me or knew what was taking place behind the closed doors, so that house must have some great insulation and sound barriers!
By the time I walked out and composed myself, my family knew what was up. Their faces awash with worry, I assured them I was okay. I was pale and sweating and shaking, but I was okay, though I did tell them I would be heading home to possibly die on my couch as the cramps in my stomach began to come back.
And then the question came. The dreaded question. The question I keep out of my head and refuse to allow myself to think or wonder.
Do you think you could be pregnant?
I shook my head, telling them it was highly unlikely, that it was probably a bug or something I ate. But I could see the look on their faces that they would be absolutely delighted with the idea. And what I don’t admit to anyone ever is, honestly, so would I.
And as I turned to leave the house I recalled the dream I had just that morning where I dreamt of a child, a darling baby girl, that was mine, that was ours. And she was beautiful and tiny and just born. And I looked down into her face and said quite clearly in my dream, “And what are we going to name you, my beautiful girl?” But in my dream I thought that this couldn’t possibly be real. The me in my dreams looked around and marveled at where I was in the dream, holding a newborn child in my arms. She couldn’t possibly be mine because I always knew the sex and names of my children long before confirmed by a doctor or by birth. The fact that I had carried her in my body and she was then being held in my arms made it be completely unlikely because she had no name.
And when I awoke to the sun streaming in my window, it was as though I could still smell her tiny head and feel the weight of her in my arms and the love I had for her already in my heart. I laid there for a moment, allowing myself to instead feel the weight of my body on the bed, my head on my soft pillow, to see the light filtering through the window, the house quiet and asleep still. What a dream, I thought. It felt so real.
I had not told anyone about the dream, about how real it felt. That it was one of those dreams where you have to shake the cobwebs from the corners of your mind because reality blends with your dream and you have to tell yourself that it was not real. I’ve felt it in nightmares I’ve had about my children or dreams about my family.
In fact, this dream reminded me of the one I had where I dreamt that my sister-in-law was pregnant with a baby girl, a blonde girl dressed in a delicately crocheted red summer dress. And in that long-ago dream I remember being in awe of her bright blue eyes and her contagious smile and the brightness of her little red dress.
Now, in this dream I also dreamt that my sister-in-law picked this delightful little girl up, and as they left the room the baby girl looked over her mother’s shoulder, stared at me and said her very first words, clear and bright, “Howdy, howdy!”
Even now, six or seven years after having that dream, I remember it clearly, laughing in my dream at the absurdity. And how I felt when I woke up, feeling it was real, that she was indeed having a little girl. I did tell everyone about that dream, and we laughed and laughed about it. And she did actually have a little blonde girl, but she has green eyes. But I can say I’ve never heard her say those words to me.
So really, my dream was… poignant.
Thus far my desire to have another child has been relegated to the unrealized and unlikely category of my brain. Over a year and a half of not preventing this from happening has yielded nothing.
Diagnosed with PCOS meant that I knew this was a possibility, this secondary infertility. And I’ve thought about how blessed I am to have the two beautiful children that I have.
But what I haven’t really allowed myself to feel or think about is the feeling of being an abject failure in an area that I once thought would be ripe with possibility. If you’ve followed me for any space of time you may remember that I’ve been pregnant three times. My first pregnancy, twins, ending with a ruptured ectopic with one, and then, 30 days later, the second one ending with a miscarriage.
I thought fertility wasn’t an issue though. I became pregnant with AJ four months after that first pregnancy. And with Kalina? A spur-of-the-moment encounter during a time when having a second child was not on our mind brought to pass an unexpected surprise.
I thought my problem was in the carrying of the children, of growing them in my body. Some women were built for growing babies, and I simply was not one of them. And that was okay because getting them there in the first place wasn’t a problem. Keeping them there was.
But apparently I was wrong.
So back to today. The thought, plucked from the ether and placed in my head. Am I? Could I be? After all this time, is it possible? I tell myself no. I tell everyone that asks no. It’s not possible. I’m not. I couldn’t be. But… am I now?
And so I took a test, holding my breath tonight, half believing that it was possible. And I made the mistake of letting myself hope. Of letting myself believe. Of imagining the possibility.
And as the “NOT PREGNANT” flashed on the screen, mocking that hope, I put on a brave face and stepped out of the bathroom to be met with the stare of my husband, who was likely also holding his breath with hope. I shook my head slightly to indicate the negative. And I later said that it was silly to think I could be with just this nausea I’ve been experiencing, playing it off, hoping he’d let the disappointment go as well, hoping he didn’t hope too hard.
And really the thing of it is that I don’t let myself do that anymore because those feelings of being pregnant, well, my PCOS symptoms mirror them. That’s the real bitch of it, I guess. So guess what? PCOS not only will keep you from getting pregnant, but it will do things to your body that make you feel like you are.
So tonight, as everyone sleeps, I do not have my brave face on. And I’ve an ache in my heart that I generally ignore. And the disappointment spills over and fills the little cracks of the wall I’ve built up in regard to this subject.
But tomorrow I’ll be in a better place. I’ll hear the sound of my children’s voices, delight that I was not awakened at 3:00 a.m. to feed a hungry child, that I was able to sleep in past 6:00 a.m., that I am free of diapers and high chairs and constant worry about what the baby might be in to. I’ll feel grateful for this family unit I have, for the fact that they talk and interact and amuse me with their stories, their ideas, their silliness. The ache in my heart will be folded up and tucked away for another day. My disappointment likely forgotten as we move on to our next adventure. I’ll bring back out the brave face that rolls with the punches and usually acutely feels and realizes just how much I am blessed woman with a family that fills my heart to overflowing, brimming over and spilling into any bit of disappointment I might temporarily feel.