Posted by: thatjen | April 26, 2005

As I weeded the garden on Saturday I started thinking that the ways I spend my free time have changed a great deal over the past 6 1/2 months.

I am a planner and a control freak, so within days of the D&C I started thinking, planning, mapping, strategizing about how soon and in what manner we would try again. We bought more sperm (some of which is still MIA… grrr!). And then – the molar pregnancy diagnosis, with its concomitant limbo of unpredictable length. So I lost my lifeline of planning and control (rather, what little illusion of control still remained after the miscarriage) and had to find other ways to occupy my time.

In October, I…

  • spent most of my time on the couch
  • watched lots of DVDs
  • ate whatever I wanted (mostly takeout)
  • and read blogs incessantly

In November, I…

  • cooked and baked in large quantities for the holidays
  • watched the occasional DVD on the couch
  • ate whatever I wanted (baked goods, holiday food, and takeout)
  • and read blogs incessantly

In December, I…

  • became alarmed at the amount of weight I’d put on while TTC, pregnant, and grieving, so I joined a fitness club
  • counterproductively continued to cook, bake, and eat
  • went through the holiday motions (gifts, cards, blah blah) with all the joy that a lost pregnancy brings to the season
  • and read blogs incessantly

In January, I…

  • went exactly once to work out
  • taught myself to knit and knitted EVERYWHERE I went
  • slogged through a hideous but mercifully brief graduate course
  • and read blogs incessantly

In February, I…

  • forgot what the word “workout” means
  • knitted like Mme. DeFarge on speed
  • and read blogs incessantly
  • (only 3? hey, Feb. is a short month!)

In March, I…

  • returned to the fitness club and was horrified to discover I weigh more than EVER before in my life
  • knit the last piece of the project I began in January (knitters, note that I did not say finished the project)
  • started to think about gardening
  • started my own blog and still read blogs incessantly

In April, I…

  • have begun to exercise obsessively and finally, finally return to eating more healthfully
  • stalled out entirely on knitting (see “finishing” above)
  • have become quite enamored of gardening
  • blogged away while also reading other folks’ blogs incessantly

(Note: The timeline above leaves out all of the fun frequent activities like blood draws, doctor visits, chemo shots, etc. These do not constitute free time. More like jail time.)

I think the list reveals a lot about my psyche, the grieving process, and maybe even the seasonal rhythm of life. In the immediate aftermath of the miscarriage and diagnosis, I went to my cave, as Tertia calls it. As I began to move forward, I got a bit more active, and my pursuits eventually took me out of the cave, and back into balance. The inward focus also aligned with winter, whereas I have more been interested in things outside the cave the closer we get to spring and summer.

I also find it interesting that virtually all of the things I have been doing are very domestic. Cooking has always been fun for me, but I never really had any interest in knitting before this winter. But I found both activities comforting, distracting, and fun – and it was nice to have something tangible to show at the end. Cait also started knitting after watching me for a couple of weeks. We both chose to start by making quilts for the baby we will have somehow, someday. It’s our own version of a hope chest, I guess. When I knit I feel like I’m weaving all of my hope and love into the blanket. Knitting also made for a good winter activity as it is quite cosy.

Now that we are moving into spring, my domesticity has taken a new turn, and I have been bitten by the gardening bug. I’ve not been much of a gardener before (despite my ill-fated foray into raised bed gardening last summer – a story for another day, if you haven’t heard the saga before) but as what would have been our due date approached, I was more and more drawn to the idea of planting something to honor the baby. That weekend, when Cait and I chose the quince at the garden store (I started to write nursery but it seemed too ironic and distressing), we bought some other annuals (Perennials, annuals, I so do not get this terminology. Annual seems to imply something that will come back every year, but it’s the opposite!!) and planted them as well. Now I watch over the garden with interest and concern, mulching, weeding, watering. It’s a lot of fun… and clearly a manifestation of my desperate need to have SOMETHING grow.

The list for May should actually be quite different. Though it will be against Dr. Reserved’s advice, we plan to begin inseminating next cycle (which should be about a month from now, give or take a few days). It’s exciting and scary and will bring all kinds of fun back into my life:

  • OPKs
  • specula & stirrups
  • dry ice, nitrogen tanks and paranoia about accidentally killing the sperm
  • and finally, hopefully, insemination (and the patented Rotisserie Chicken method of making sure the sperm coats the cervix: Inseminate. Lie on back. Roll to side. Flip to front. Lie on other side.)

But I’ll still make plenty of time to read blogs incessantly.

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Responses

  1. Your starting next cycle?! Woohoo, I’ll be crossing my fingers for you!

  2. I am so glad you are starting to try again!

    When my end of semester insanity ends, and after I get back from LA, we should try to get together.

    I’ll pencil it in for end of May. Seems so far away, but really its just a few weeks. How the **** did that happen?


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