Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve 2007

The new year is obviously a time for looking back & looking forward. 2007 is a year I'll be glad to leave behind. Without going into intimate detail, it was a crappy year at work -- we were reorganized late in 2006 and short-staffed for most of the year, with yours truly taking up much of the slack. Because of this, I was unable to take much of the vacation time owing to me. I sorely missed my coworker & office best friend who retired in December 2006 and, with an invasion of 20-somethings whose mothers are the same age or not much older than me (!!), I began to feel decidedly old & cranky.

There were health concerns in our family: FIL may have had a small stroke this summer, dh (who is an extreme worrywart) survived his first colonoscopy, but had some abnormal bloodwork at his annual checkup that obsessed him (even though the dr said repeatedly that it was nothing to worry about), my sister had an alarming dizzy spell this fall, & I took a bang to the head in August & am still feeling it, on & off, four months plus later. I've always thought our marriage was strong (it had to be to survive stillbirth & infertility...!), but these & a few other matters put some stress on our relationship this year.

BIL & oldest nephew have been having some typical parent-child battles about his future (nephew has grand aspirations of becoming a horror movie director; BIL is pulling out what hair he has left trying to interest nephew in learning a trade), which have made family gatherings awkward from time to time -- especially for me & dh, who want so badly to help -- seeing BIL's perspective, but also wanting to encourage our nephew -- but not wanting to say too much, because what do we childless people know about raising kids, right??

I find myself seized with fatigue & inertia. I feel scattered. Our passport applications have been languishing on the coffee table for months & months, and it looks like another year is going to pass by without the February sunspot vacation I've long dreamed about. The house is in serious need of decluttering (another sore spot between dh & me). Some days I just feel overwhelmed with so much to do & so little time to do it all in. My to-do list never seems to get any shorter. (And people think we childless folk have soooo much free time on our hands...!!)

My favourite scrapbook store closed, leaving me adrift & "homeless" for several months.

On the plus side: nutty as it was at work this year, I still enjoy it overall, and am back working for a boss I like & work well with. Our health concerns have really been minor, in the grand scheme of things, and there is still much, much more in our marriage that is good than difficult. We are still facilitating our support group & finding fulfillment in doing that. We enjoy the friends we've made through the group -- although a few of them either have moved or are in the process of moving right now. :( A new scrapbooking store opened, frequented by many of the friends I made at the old store.

And I discovered blogging! ; )

I will admit I am approaching 2008 with some trepidation. Feb. 8, 1998, was my LMP (last menstrual period) date for my pregnancy with Katie. Each year, I can feel myself "counting down" and reliving the events of my pregnancy on through to Aug. 5th (the day I went for my checkup, only to learn there was no heartbeat) and Aug. 7th (the day I delivered my daughter & briefly held her wee, cold body in my arms). And on through Aug. 19th (funeral), Thanksgiving (return to work & then the death of my beloved grandfather), and into November (due dates). This year, being the 10 year "anniversary" (what a weird label for such a sad, traumatic event), I expect it will be even more so. I'm glad I have this blog as an outlet (and I suspect it's one reason I began blogging when I did). Expect a lot of "10 years ago" posts & reflections from me in the new year.

In a way, I feel sort of strange. Unlike most people in the infertility & loss communities online (boards, blogs, etc.), who are posting about the here & now, my loss & even my infertility treatments were so long ago -- & yet they continue to cast shadows over my life, and I continue to write about them & their after-effects. Does that make me pathetic? obsessive? You don't hear very much from or about women like me. What happens to them when they stop posting? Do they eventually regroup and try more fertility treatments, successfully? adopt? achieve that mythical "miracle" pregnancy? Or do they just get on with living and build a childless/free life for themselves (just less noisily than me, lol)? Certainly, childless/free living lacks the day-to-day drama of the infertility & ttc communities that provides endless fodder for posting-- cycle watches, 2wws, trips to the clinic, testing & results, etc. And most of the time, I am just living my life -- and it's a good life, overall. I have much to be thankful for.

But there really is not a day that goes by that is not coloured in some way by loss & infertility. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my daughter and about the very different life that might have been mine. Some days are just darker (or lighter) than others. And on the dark days, I turn to my friends in cyberspace who understand, better than just about anybody, what I'm thinking and feeling.

But, I digress (I do that a lot!). Back to New Year's Eve. I don't really make resolutions anymore -- mostly because they always stay more or less the same: declutter the house (& keep it that way!), read more books, write more in my journal, exercise more, lose weight, etc. etc. And dh & I don't have any plans for tonight (we rarely do). He's at work today, but we will head out for dinner when he gets home, then to our favourite megabookstore for a Starbucks & a browse, and then home to see if we can stay awake until the big ball drops in Times Square.

I hope the new year brings everyone what they're hoping for -- and if not that, then something else that's equally good!


  1. I for one am so glad you discovered blogging as a way to help process all that you have been through. I don't think it matters how long ago you lost your child, that grief is always with you and she still lives in your heart. She is part of your story and you are still telling it. And I imagine the telling helps not only you but some of the many women that pass through. And that is a true gift. Sadly we still measure our time in terms of what we've lost. But our losses need not define us, even though they are part of us. All the best to you in 2008 (I don't make resolutions either!) ~luna

  2. You're certainly not "pathetic" for blogging about your feelings of loss. Besides helping yourself sort through your feelings, you're doing the very important job of creating empathy in the world. It's so important to have your voice present, and I'm so glad I found your blog.

    Very best wishes to you for a wonderful 2008!

  3. Losses are not tidy, nor do they have time limits ... that's what I'm finding. I stopped treatment nearly five years ago and it's only been in the last two years that the weight of everything we'd tried really settled in ... I marvel, too, at how much it seems to permeate my life.

    Instead of fighting it, I'm just going with it. The more I address the complexity of my feelings through my blog/writing the better I feel. So keep on writing, my friend, and don't be too hard on yourself. We "childfree after loss and infertility treatments" may be few and far between online now but I'm guessing it's because this medium is still fairly new. We didn't have it as a means to communicate during the very worst of it a few years ago so it's likely others in our shoes don't know it's available to them...

  4. Although we may be at different stages of dealing with infertility & loss (I'm one of those people who at the moment is very much caught up in the drama of clinic visits etc etc), I just wanted to say that yours is one of the blogs I read most regularly. You make me laugh, sometimes you make me cry, but most of all, you make me think.

    This ten year anniversary will undoubtedly be painful for you. My own experiences have taught me that our losses travel with us; they change as we change. And so I wish all the very best in dealing with the new challenges of 2008.

  5. Blogging takes away time from doing my to-do list and decluttering!
    It is so much fun and I so enjoy reading about journeys - some similar to ours, some not.
    I have been suffering (sounds too melodramatic) due to IF; but we are on a road to something big in our lives.
    Hope your 2008 year is going much better!

    Alyson LID 01/27/06
    (IA China)