I haven’t written in over a week because I’ve been emotionally paralyzed. I was busy researching some great posts on ‘eating for fertility’ and even started compiling my essential ‘trying to conceive booklist for body and soul’ — these posts are totally coming, I swear.
I felt organized and on top of my emotions. I had reached a comfortable, complacent place in my mind where even though I was taking a break from ‘trying’ I could be a resource for women around me, and even offer some words of comfort to my future—hopefully pregnant—self.
And then it all went to crap.
With classic Type A gusto, I was plotting out my life in MS Outlook and there it was. My would-have-been due date.
I’ve posted about this feeling of being succor-punched by the past before. So why does it always feel like the first time?
I thought that I’d deleted all the pregnancy tracker apps off my phone and iPad. I thought I’d obliterated all the prenatal appointments and markers from my calendars and to-do lists.
Seeing it is enough to make me mentally jump-cut to a path where life closed a door: there was no miscarriage, no fertility treatments. I am a mom for the 2nd time; my little house a pleasant mess of freshly washed layette; my life swaying to the primal rhythm of sleep-feed-love.
I am back to ‘my old self.’ The self that was a result of the path I was supposed to be on just a short while back. Hubs and I look at each other with glowing eyes and knowing smiles. I breathe in the moment.
And then it’s gone.
Hubs and I avert our eyes with knowing aches and the kind of hollowness that can come between partners when dreams are challenged. I am not my ‘old self’ and I never will be again. There is a new path ahead and we have no idea what it is. It’s not sad, it’s just different.
I’m thrilled, scared, hopeful, introspective, and daring myself to live out-loud.
We never stop growing. We never stop learning who we are, and even in the face of loss we can eventually find happiness.
The other night, I was at Danielle Laporte’s book launch for The Fire Starter Sessions, and her words to the crowd stayed with me as I closed down the program and shut off my laptop.
“Life wants you to win...your soul is saying 'Pick me!'”
Family planning, fertility issues, and miscarriage blow a hole in your life. The stress can leave you asking "How do I get over this loss?” or “When will I start feeling better?” and you will not know the answer. That is, until you find the elusive reset button.
My reset button, it turns out, involves having a baby with an ex-boyfriend. Wait. What?
Ok. Not a real baby—a creative project. A film, actually. And Dave has proven himself one of my best friends over the last decade, so I can’t really even call him an ‘ex’ fairly. Also, my husband is completely aware and totally supportive of all of this strange creative surrogacy so it’s not really as scandalous as it sounds.
Still. I have finally found something that I can grow, nurture, and produce over the next year or so, and I couldn’t be happier that I don’t actually have to pass it through my vagina after the fact. That would just be awkward.
A few months ago Dave sent me a script that he had written and when I read through it for the first time, something awesome happened. I ‘saw’ it. I got a tingle in my gut and a bit of a thrill raced down my spine. My eyes seemed to glow from a kind of fresh, creative zap that I haven’t felt in years.
You know when you were younger and you had your heart broken, and you’d be pining away in melancholy over the guy and then KABOOM you meet your next love interest and immediately replace your old guy feelings with new guy feelings? That’s exactly what I experienced—that and a brief flicker of regret that as a species we humans are so damn fickle. But after that teeny stab of guilt, I was consumed by relaxed happiness. There is nothing more amazing than breathing deep and surrendering when you finally find something you want.
For the first time since the miscarriages, the words ‘my baby’ popped into my head. I welcomed them back into my vernacular with a sigh of relief—for a while there I wasn’t sure I could ever think them again without feeling my throat constrict and hot tears well up.
My baby. This was my new baby. ‘I am going to do this.’ Now I’m pretty sure that my therapist might hint at ‘transference’ here, but I have lots of sessions to explore that I’m sure. In that moment I felt the same, easy, solid, immediate conviction as I did when I gave up eating sushi, blue cheese, coffee and booze during each pregnancy. Now I just had to tell Dave that he was going to be a baby daddy, and somehow explain to Dan that I was going to be producing a film in all my spare time. Ha.
You know when you pee on a stick a couple times to make sure it’s positive? Before I talked to Dave about it, I figured I’d read the script again. The ‘zing’ was still there: positive. Maybe I’d send it to 2 of my friends who were super active in the industry just to see what they thought. They loved it: positive. I had an executive producer by the end of the next call: positive. Ok. I was definitely pregnant with this project.
When I finally told everyone the news I was nervous. I realized that I’d tightly closed my eyes when I was telling Hubs like I was bracing myself for some form of disapproval, but all I have had is support, encouragement, and happiness that I’ve found my next step.
In a funny twist of fate, my next step is called Ten Thousand Steps. It's a smart short film and it's already coming together beautifully. It’s still too early to tell whether it’s a boy or a girl, but one thing’s for sure. I know it’s going to be amazing.
Positivity is all around us.