“Writing about my past is a kind of time travel.” -Lucy Knisley

IMG_20141231_170147642I drew this in my diary a few days before Christmas.

Serendipitously, Lucy Knisley posted a comic yesterday about her miscarriage on the same day that my miscarriage started to feel really intense. I knew that it’s common (30-50% of all pregnancies), but I didn’t expect to feel as emotional as I did. I’m fully aware that I am young and healthy and am likely to be able to carry a pregnancy in the future, but these rational facts did not seem to help me much. At least not yesterday.

Maybe it’s the wacky hormones, but I’m still not steady (yet).

I’d been skeptical from the beginning–this pregnancy surfaced quickly and unexpectedly and I had bleeding and spotting from the start. I was shocked at how stubbornly the pregnancy tests (15 of them over the whole month!) maintained I was pregnant while I kept second-guessing them. Other minor physical symptoms of pregnancy followed surely and I finally let myself be convinced by my doctor and the tests, and that’s when I really started to bleed. It’s almost funny.

As Lucy writes on her post, we don’t talk much about miscarriage. I don’t know why. It’s hard for me to want to tell anyone but on the other hand, it helps to know that it’s happened to other women (and quite a lot of women)!

I’m fortunate that this came relatively early. And as dismal and disappointing as all this is, I want to start the year off being grateful for all that I have. A kind husband. A soft, bewildered dog. The experience of knowing I carried life in me. That was really something.

“Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.”

Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.  -E.B. White

It is December! And things are in such a state of flux that I am sure we will never be settled again…or at least for a long time. Good news on the SV front: I’ve made about $500 in November alone, which is not bad for only being in business about two months. I am now firmly in the black, and December is looking promising–likely between $300-$400, I guess, but with zero expenses.

Still, these past few weeks have been strange. I have been sick, finally hauling myself out of it only to infect Carter, who came down with the same cold yesterday (oops). Our house is still covered in boxes and hammers and paint cans. We’ve been finding ticks on the Beast almost every day until it started raining. Then the crawl space under our house flooded during the storms. Armed robbery only a hundred feet away from our front door. Protests in town, a scant two blocks from our house. We know enough to pull down the shades and deadbolt the doors, but it’s been a long time I had to worry about going out at night by myself.

So, I have not been feeling like I have control over my life of late.

And yet, here it is: I am pregnant. It’s early, very early, true and this tiny clump of cells that is half me and half Carter may well disappear in the next few weeks. In fact, that’s likely, even. But even if it goes, it’s here now. It could be a new life! A new human being!

Part of me prays for mental caution against wholesale joy. It may go. It may go. That’s true. But on the other hand, I do not want to guard against happiness because it may disappear. I don’t want to waste these weeks holding back, holding everything in. I want to savor the wonderment and amazement of this time, even if pain comes of it. That’s life.

The past ten days have been very rocky, feeling physically sick being the least of it. Pregnancy and birth are scary, true. I thought I’d have my adult life in order before I started a family. (I do not, and it’s not looking promising). Motherhood was always the most distant of abstractions. For some part of my life I was sure I didn’t want children at all. Even now, I haven’t been pursuing it like I do most of the things that I want in life, and figured that maybe in a year or so it would happen. I haven’t sat down to process everything until now. I’ve just been worrying and going through the motions.

But abruptly today I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And this whole new life thing–it is incredible.

Today I felt the strangest bloom of happiness, the likes of which I haven’t felt in a decade. It’s not at all that I’ve been depressed these last ten years, but I haven’t experienced this particular color of joy since I was a teenager, I think. It’s hope and wonder and astonishment all mixed together.

I can hardly describe it except to say that remember when you were a child, and at moments felt like the entire universe lay at your feet, and that anything could happen, and everything was amazing? At the time, I remember feeling an irresistible urge to dance. These verses have been floating in my consciousness, from Li-Young Li’s poem From Blossoms:

from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

Well, my little baby, little blastocyst, little could-be person, my sweet impossible blossom, I am drowning in joy. For as long as you are here–one more day or an entire lifetime–I will be glad that you are here.