Persephone: Parent

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Writing My Life Away

on March 14, 2014

I’ve been writing again. Just before Christmas I started, then I stopped. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been writing again. I’m posting a story I finished almost two years ago that some people were in the middle of reading before I got pregnant and paused with it. I’ve posted a new story, a personal story that meant so much to me and I have had such amazing reviews. I’m posting another and writing a third. My muse (Persephone, herself) seems to be unstoppable right now. Every time Elvis goes for a nap or my husband allows me time on his computer (I don’t like typing on his Mac), I forego napping, cleaning, socialising for writing. It’s an addiction!

I may post the personal story in a few days, but looking through my hard drive, I found a letter, an unfinished letter that I wrote in January of 2012 and it seems quite fitting today.

No one has seen this before.

Dear Whomever It Concerns,

That sounds odd, and I apologise. I think ‘to’ works with ‘whom’, but then it becomes too impersonal. I need to write a letter to you, to explain some things and, perhaps, apologise for more than just how I begin the letter.

I have to tell you that I’m afraid and you deserve to know why; you deserve to understand why. It doesn’t quite matter who you are: friend, family, colleague – it all applies.

I am petrified of the day when you tell me that you’re pregnant. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first, your second, if you’ve been trying, or it’s a happy accident. It’s not even because you beat me. I wish it were that simple. I wish I could just be childish and declare that you beat me and I’m unhappy. Perhaps then my whole life would be simpler than it is.

You may fear telling me because of how I will react and how it could upset me. I hate that. I absolutely hate the thought that you’re scared of sharing good news with me because I might hate you for it, or be upset and terminate our friendship.

I never would. If you’re reading this, it’s because I love you.

I guess this is both a warning and an explanation. When you sit me down and share your good news, which I’m hoping will be done with an element of gentle kindness, I may very well cry and breakdown. Please don’t hate me for that, but also please don’t, knowing all of this, ignore me for your good news. Those tears that I will shed, the days break away from you that I may require, they are not because I hate you. Nor is it because I consider your amazingly happy news to be bad and awful.

You just have to understand that I’m not crying because you’re pregnant, I will be upset because I am still not.

I am now into my second year of trying to conceive, attempting to do what you have managed. No one enjoys failing and no matter how hard I try to convince myself, I still fail myself. I cannot see it as being unable to succeed.

The first time that you may ever see your womb on an ultrasound is when you’re seeing your unborn child, hearing its heartbeat. Quite sadly, I can beat you on this one. It was the second test I had (if you count all the blood tests as one), not to see a child and its heartbeat although the hope that it might pick up on an unknown foetus was within me. It was to see if I had any blockages. In some respects it was quite a cruel punishment, sitting in stirrups, my husband next to me and a doctor and nurse in the room. It’s how I imagine that first pregnancy scan to be. Except it wasn’t and months on, I’m beginning to doubt it will ever be.

My tears will not be because I wish it were me and not you; I would never wish my pain on anyone else. There are some tears of unfairness – I’m sorry.

You became pregnant easily, or at least without the invasive testing, the scans, the x-rays. You might even be on your second. I live with constant counting. Daily temperature checks inform me when I ovulate, giving me less than a thirty-six hour window. Even with all of that, I either can’t find my window, or I don’t have one. You found yours without trying.

So far my tests have been inconclusive. Blood tests show I could be fertile, nothing yet has labelled me as infertile. I’m in the middle ground with just as much barren landscape surrounding me as those with the label ‘infertile’. I guess there’s greenery on my horizon though.

My life revolves around the day of the month, and not the date or day as everyone else in the world. Most women don’t know their cycle, I’ve learnt all I can over the past two years. Fourteen days before your period starts (yes, you have to work into the past and as far as I know there is no working time travel), is when you have your thirty-six hour window. Of course, charting your daily temperature can open the curtains on that window, too. I say ‘of course’, however, you probably had no idea of that, did you?

After that window is covered again, then begins the two week wait. It’s agonising and excruciating. The smallest symptom becomes a sign and dread just simply fills you. Most women, who aren’t trying, spend two weeks pregnant without knowing until their period is missed. You still lived a normal life in those two weeks, in the dark over the life growing within you. For me, those two weeks are lived on egg shells. I try my hardest to not think too much about achieving my dream, but then I actively try to avoid dangerous activities just in case. You’re going to spend less than nine months protecting your own health for the child you already love. I’m on twenty-six months and counting.

Day by day, everything seems to be getting harder. On a good day, I can spend a few hours putting everything to the back of my head. On a bad one, I cry for no reason and without the ability to stop. The simple sight of a child can set me off, making me question: Why not me? Why isn’t it my turn yet? When will it be?

None of this is meant to make you feel bad, guilty, upset or unhappy. It’s simply to explain and then maybe you can understand why I am upset.

So, please, if you have yet to share your good news, don’t

January 2012

It’s unfinished and I can’t finish it now. The moment has passed. I have no idea if it was addressed to anyone in my mind, or if it was addressed to everyone I know. All I have done today is spell check it. I thought those feelings would fade once I had Elvis. I’m no longer the emotional wreck of a person, constrained to the day of the month, but I still cry and need a moment.

~ Persephone M

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