You know those dreams where you're running furiously, but you're not moving? The ones where you're trying to get away and scream, but the sound comes out as a low moan or whisper. You can't get air in your chest and it feels so real even after you wake up. It just sticks with you all day as if your subconscious has coated you in a grey, sticky film.
That's how I felt when the cramps began signaling this cycle's end and I realized I was down to my final cycle before returning to treatments.
It's really silly. I mean, I can verbalize it to Josh. I sit cross-legged on top of the covers and say matter-of-factly, "we're not going to have a child without assistance. It's just not what happens for us." It's not that I feel fine about it in the grand sense of feeling fine about infertility, but there is a quiet acceptance this time around. I know what to expect. I know what I have to do and which questions I should ask. Coming in prepared makes it a very different experience from the first time.
The first time, I raced to the RE the moment we found out something was wrong because I wanted him to fix it. I couldn't get an appointment soon enough. This time, I want to return to him because I want him to fix it. But there is a sadness as I stare at my appointment date. I want to go because I want the baby, but I don't want to go because once we start this, we open up a new can of worms. And those worms bring sharps containers and hormone surges. Talented worms.
Which is all just a way of saying that on some days--and not all days--I feel like I am folded up inside of myself, peering out of my eyes with the knowledge that everyone else believes that I am occupying 100% of my body, while internally I know that I closely resemble a rotting chestnut that has pulled away from the hardened walls to shrivel invisibly inside. Please, could I get any more dramatic? But that's the only way I can really explain the feeling. Back when I used to love chestnuts (why did I stop eating them?), I was so disappointed to cut one open and discover that the inner nut was a tiny mass, leaving a large pocket of air between itself and the outer shell. And now I'm that disappointment from time to time; that rotted chestnut.
I'm sorry that I'm a downer today. I warned you yesterday that I was having a low self-esteem day.
Sometimes I explain myself to Josh in percentages. I'm 50% in my body today. I'm 70% in my body today. I'm 30% in my body today. And I imagine my body like a house and I have climbed up into the attic, squeezing my entire neshema* into a space meant only to house a small portion of my being. I'm like Alice when she goes into the White Rabbit's house and grows too big after drinking from the unmarked bottle.
And I would say that there's something I could do about it, but mostly it's just a feeling that comes and goes on its own without any work on my end. Therefore, I always see these moments as something I just need to ride out. It comes. It goes. It's dependent on circumstances partly and yet it can't be erased with counterbalanced circumstances. Sometimes, the act of trying to relieve these moments of anxiety and low self-esteem only increase the anxiety and low self-esteem. What did those nuns say? Getting out of a mood can be like chasing down Maria--it's like trying to keep a wave upon the sand.
I'm in this mood right now. I won't be in this mood later or tomorrow or another day. But I really hate seeing that date on the calendar. And knowing what's coming. And not really wanting to run away regardless because I want the prize at the end.
And now, a word from our sponsors...
You don't have to really really love Stirrup Queens or read me every day. You could just mildly like my blog. Or feel like this space is worth a click over (truly--three clicks of the mouse and you're done) and vote every day for the next 6 days or so. Or not even really like my blog, per se, but want an infertility blog to win. If you've ever gotten something out of something I wrote--either support on your own blog or read something that spoke to you--please support me. So... If any of these descriptions ring true, click here and give me a vote. Once a day. Until November 8. And once this post gets buried, you can use the link I left in the top post. Truly shameless, but low self-esteem will do that to you.
*In Judaism, the soul has 5 levels and neshama (breath) is one of those levels. When I just turned to Josh and asked him to translate it since it is the perfect word to describe how I feel and soul is not, he said "it's your essence."