There's a new tiny member of our family. It wasn't something we were planning on. It was more of a spontaneous falling in love and subsequent adoption. A friend of a friend was looking for good homes for a litter of kittens and we went "just to look" (famous last words). Fast forward to finding myself the caretaker of the teeniest ball of fur who follows me like glue around the house and wants to snuggle endlessly. We didn't purposely do the kitten adoption thing to fill any kind of depressing hole in our collective heart, although I'd be lying if I said that nurturing a little-bitty creature doesn't feel good after the year we've had. We actually didn't really make the connection between our reproductively challenged adventures and this until we were driving home with her swaddled in a blanket. At that moment Chris and I burst into laughter because it became hilariously impossible to avoid the "coming home from the hospital" comparison. It is pretty funny to hear myself and Chris engage in conversations over the last couple days that could just as easily apply to a tiny person as to a tiny kitten. I'm seeing parenting styles emerge and actually finding the whole thing to be really fascinating and heartwarming. I didn't put this level of thought into it before we brought her home, but now that she's here I'm learning a lot (and not just that its next to impossible to empty a dishwasher when a kitten is obsessed with laying on top of your feet at all times). There isn't much more to say about the matter, but to let you know that my journey forward, to my surprise, includes a kitten named Munchie.
It's not every day someone tells you they've had "fun" in your uterus. This was exactly the sentiment of my (slightly disconcertingly) chipper surgeon at my follow up appointment. She said, "This case was just so cool, I loved it!!". I told her I was glad to provide her with some excitement. I had hoped that an ultrasound would be done to visually confirm that all went well, but my doc wants to wait until I'm off the post-surgical hormones to get a clear view of how my body is handling the procedure. Everything seems to have gone well though. All signs point to a success (can we all collectively knock some wood though please because you know how the Universe likes to have a giggle at my expense).
I asked my doctor, assuming we confirm that the surgery was successful, when she thought we could try to conceive again. She said she would be comfortable with it much sooner than I expected! I stared at her holding by breath waiting for the catch. This year has not prepared me for a plan that doesn't come with significant detours, caveats, and compromises. So I also inquired if any special precautions would be taken when I get pregnant again with regards to my newly renovated uterus. She replied "Not really". She said that she would pretty much be "downgrading me" to a "normal pregnant person". The idea of being "downgraded" to any sort of normality (whatever that means...pretty sure that's not a thing, but still...) gave me full body chills. It gave me a kind of concrete feeling of hope. Then just as she gave-eth she took-eth away a little by reminding me that there wasn't actually any guarantee that the uterine septum was the reason I miscarried in first place, but that the best we could do was remove the potential obstacle and hope for the best with my next one. The crazy part is, I actually do feel capable of hoping for the best right now.
Nine months ago the idea of a version of myself who could see the bright side of this would have felt like a fantasy (or a joke). Maybe you're out there reading and you just miscarried for the first time and it feels like that version of you will truly never exist. I wanted to share this little chapter of my journey because I felt the same way at many (and I mean many) stages along the way. Maybe you're not at a point where you can let yourself feel hopeful yet. That's okay. I think that's part of it. Just try to take my word (or store it in the back of your mind for later) that this day exists for you in a future you perhaps can't see yet. That applies to whatever you happen to be going through that feels never-ending or is plaguing you. Everything on Earth changes, and that goes for the pain too.
I'm still on a road that doesn't have a clear end. There are still ups and downs and scars that I am driving away with. There are definitely so many more unknowns than knowns, but the quality of the journey keeps altering so I guess I'll just keep on driving forward and see what's next.
DISCLAIMER : Not my photo, but what we saw was still pretty rad
Very rarely the Aurora Borealis can be seen in places as far reaching as New York. This last weekend was one of those times. On a whim, I drove an hour and half outside the city at one in the morning in hopes of catching a glimpse.
Chris and I were having dinner with one of my oldest friends (scratch that, my oldest friend. my first friend, in fact) and his wife (you know that thing where a good friend finds a partner who is even more fabulous than you could have dreamed up for them? she’s like that). We were finishing up our meal and deciding where to head next. Chris threw out the idea that if we drove upstate outside the ambient lights of the city there was an off-chance we could view the Northern Lights. In the kind of fevered decision making process that either results in total greatness or utter disaster, we decided to go for it. Chris and I went home to fetch our car and a camera and in the meantime our friends gathered blankets and a stargazing picnic of Oreos, almonds, and bourbon.
We let the city lights fade behind us with only a rough estimate of where we were heading and a map of dubious origins that supposedly indicated the best aurora borealis visibility areas. By the time we arrived in the little town upstate where the internet told us a stargazing club often meets, things weren’t looking incredibly promising. The moon was glaring like a spotlight (an enemy to viewing the ionospheric light show apparently...and don't be scared, I only know the term "ionospheric" in this context because I was just reading an article about the northern lights) and the sky was otherwise obscured by tree cover. The proper Jack Kerouac quotes to tattoo on our butts to memorialize this experience were being bandied about jokingly (as one does). When “My witness is the empty sky” came up as an option we all burst into laughter at the absurdity of this (what seemed to be, at that point, failed) mission.
It was sometime after that (and following a very dark and winding drive through an increasingly wooded terrain) when we found the entrance to a park and reservoir. Within we came to a clearing in the trees and almost didn’t believe our eyes when we discovered a few other star chasers convened there as well. We looked up to see great wispy streaks scarring the sky above us and fell silent in astonishment that it appeared we had actually done it. We laid on our backs under piles of blankets and stared up at the celestial formations above and the shockingly bright veil of stars. The air was chilly and smelled like trees and in that moment there was no other place on Earth I would have rather been. One by one our fellow astronomy enthusiasts dispersed so that it was just us and the crickets and the stars.
At one point my girlfriend said, “You should write about this in your blog”. Until then it hadn’t occurred to me to link the two things. Here I was focusing on what I could bring up and examine from the last few months when the very title of this blog implies the present and the future. It turns out that part of my ever forward includes relishing and honoring the spontaneity and the adventures that wouldn't have been available to me if I currently had a two week old. Life didn’t go the way I wanted it to or the way I had planned, but it marched forward without my consent and it continues to present precious opportunities to love the life I have. It continues to present opportunities to learn from the disappointments and the heartbreaks. I think I’m at a point where I can recognize and appreciate those opportunities again. I'm not saying that I am or will ever be "over" it. When your heart shatters and then gets glued back together it will never be exactly the same. However, gazing up at the Northern Lights with dear friends and considering the vastness and beauty of the galaxy of which we are just one tiny part did wonders for refocusing my perspective.
Well, friends here I am. I made it through surgery. I made it through my due date. I made it through. There was laughter, there was Percocet, there were surprisingly few tears, there were neurotic panic moments, and there was an outpouring of love from family and friends. When I woke up the day after my surgery I felt the most intense sense of relief. The septum was no longer making my uterus a hostile environment, the due date was no longer looming, I was breathing.
lover of life. celebrator of everything. drama therapist. wife. friend. picking up the pieces. finding creative ways to put them back together.
© Rebecca Elkin-Young and theEverForward.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rebecca Elkin-Young and TheEverForward.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.