So it's been just under six months since my miscarriage, and I feel like I'm back around day 15 somewhere. I realize everyone grieves differently, and it probably takes much longer to get past a lost pregnancy for some people than it does for others - not to imply that the fast-grievers are heartless or less devastated or more stable (although almost everyone beats me in the stability department, even that one guy who was a girl, who had a baby, but as a guy).
Some couples decide that the best thing for them to do is to get pregnant again right away. To me, that option was too much like buying a puppy the day after putting down an old, beloved companion. I needed to pay tribute to our little lost Gage, and acknowledge that he wasn't interchangeable, wasn't replaceable. He wasn't a light bulb we could change just because it burned out.
I got it into my head that I needed to make peace with the possibility of having another miscarriage. Not, like, be expecting one or anything, because we have about an 80% chance of success with our next pregnancy. But I thought I should be "back from the brink", "will make it though no matter what", kind of okay with the possibility.
Some people cope by getting a dog (which I would have done had we lived somewhere that allows them) or a cat (still trying not to do that)((THINK LITTER BOX!!)) or a fish (we got 2) or a motorcycle (FUCK NO).
Some women name their lost baby, or they go to therapy twice a week to cry about their own mothers inability to show affection (can't relate), or they obsess about what may have caused the miscarriage and how to prevent it in the future (totally relate).
Some people start going to church. Some people stop going to church. Some folks throw themselves into their career (I don't have one) or volunteer work (no one wants me, it seems)((plus I'm lazy)). Some couples break up. Lots of them do, actually.
I knew right away it would be at least a year before I would be ready to try for children again, and after the last six months of bouncing around between anger and sadness and acceptance and blinding jealousy and WINTER, I'm beginning to tack additional time onto the original waiting period.
I feel less ready than I did in November, for a LOT of reasons, the least of which that I've realized how long it will take to pay for all of the miscarriage-related medical expenses. Financially, I've taken several steps backwards - fine, I've been dragged by my hair - the savings egg I'd amassed is gone, and my health insurance plan now pays for less and costs more than it did in 2008. I should be BACK TO SQUARE ONE by August, but still - that's about a year behind schedule, and if you know me, you know I'm a schedule whore.
Also, I've thought a lot about my reasons for wanting children, and I'm disturbed to realized that not a single one of them is selfless. No offense to all my readers out there who are parents, but you guys are seriously some selfish bastards, what with your having children for the tax incentives and the beer fetching possibilities, the unconditional love (which, I might add, is NOT a given once your kid is old enough to wipe his own ass)((or realize you're only human)), the personal growth opportunities, the American Dream, the cute Christmas card. You should all be ashamed of yourselves!
But seriously, all my reasons start with "I" or "me", and I'm really not sure how I feel about that. Especially when I think about my own life and some of the massively difficult struggles I've had. I don't know if I'm ready to put the weight of this world onto any one's shoulders just now. I know my own parents started out with the best of shiny, happy intentions, and it must be painful for them sometimes when they consider all my siblings and I have gone through/slash/done to ourselves in our short live spans.
One of the poets last night read three poems she wrote for her three children and their three entirely different and equally horrifying diseases: multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and bipolarity. With my luck, my three kids will each end up with one of these fucked up syndromes. Although the mop-looking thing might help get them a job in the janitorial arts. And even if all my hypothetical children beat the odds and are totally healthy, between their father's invisible chin and their mother's camel nose, it's basically like giving them a handicap on their face.
Or I might die and leave them (ALONE WITH GRAY) without a mother. Gray's father died when he was a teenager and it seriously jacked up his world for a lot of years. Granted, he is who he is today partly because of that loss, but I often wonder how his life would have been different if his dad were still here.
Or I might traumatize my children by dressing them in matching, neon pink Body Glove outfits. Thanks Mom.
I guess what I'm trying to say here, in a really convoluted way, is that I'm starting to question if it's right for Gray and I to have children simply because I want and excuse to eat strained plums and stop taking showers. I'm just not so sure anymore.