Emerging from the Deep

After my miscarriage, I decided that I desperately needed some help.  Of the professional variety.  Which was quite surprising to me, because historically, I had always outright refused and even scoffed at any suggestion of seeking therapy.

But this was different.  I was in a deep, dark hole and could hardly even see the light.  I knew I needed a trained professional to help pull me out of this suffocating pit of sadness.  So, I randomly searched for someone in my insurance plan who was geographically desirable, and within a week of a cold call, I was sitting in an office, telling a stranger all of my problems.  It was a bizarre and frightening experience for me.

To be honest, the miscarriage was probably just the final straw on top of my depression.  The one thing that made me admit that I needed help and just couldn’t handle my own shit any more.  I had been sinking and barely treading water for years before, but stubbornly thought I could eventually get myself out of the treacherous waters I was trapped in.  This event finally sunk me, but also propelled me to accept a life-preserver.

It was dreadfully hard for me at first.  I am not very good at opening up and sharing my feelings and emotions.  I am a very closed off person.  I build walls for good reasons, and I’m not too keen on someone trying to knock them down to find out what’s cowering behind the bricks.  But I had to do it if I was going to get better.  There was no other option.  So I slowly started chipping away at my protective layer to get to the gooey underbelly of hurt and emotion below.  It was difficult and painful.

After quite a few months of therapy, I realized that I needed some greater assistance.  My therapist had suggested on a few occasions that I might do well with some prescription medication.  But, I was firmly anti-meds.  So, I rebuffed this suggestion outright at first.  I actually accused her of trying to fix my problems with drugs instead of doing the work of being my therapist.  I was in a bad place and it was a horrible reaction.  But eventually, I came to realize that she was right.  I needed more help.

Cue a referral to a psychiatrist and a prescription for Wellbutrin.  And suddenly, the haze started to clear.  It was like I could finally breath again.  Everything felt more stable and real.  The drugs actually made me feel like I was finally sober.  Instead of dulling my senses, everything felt sharper and brighter.  It felt real again.

For the first time in a long time, I felt like myself.  There were no more random crying jags in the middle of my work day.  I no longer wanted to come home from work every night and just sleep.  I spent more time with my kids and was a much better mommy than I had been in a while.  It was drastically and distinctly noticeable to everyone close to me.  Some didn’t know what had happened, but they knew something was different.  A good different, for sure.

While my head was clear, I could really dig deep in therapy and try to heal some things that had previously seemed irrevocably broken.  I made excellent progress and found myself crying less and less each week, which was nice, because I was really getting sick of those damn tears.  I was slowly healing.  Shedding those weights that had been holding me down.  Sadness.  Loss.  Guilt.

And then a strange thing happened.  It started with just a glimmer.  Then grew stronger and stronger until I couldn’t deny that is was an actual desire.  I tried to ignore it, but it persisted, until it turned into an all-encompassing need.  Much like Glenn Close, it would not be ignored.

I wanted another baby.

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Something I Didn’t Know I Wanted

The following is the first in a series of posts that I will be writing in the next few weeks.  They are neither funny nor snarky.  Together, they will form the story of what has been happening with me over the past year and a half.  I have not been ready to write about it until now.  The posts are serious, and can be a bit dark, just so you are forewarned.  However, by the end of the story, all is right with my world, so just hang in there and take the journey with me to reach the end. 

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When I first found out that I was pregnant, I experienced many overlapping emotions.  Shock.  Disbelief.  Confusion.  Horror.

This was not a planned pregnancy, obviously.  I wasn’t expecting, nor did I desire, to have a third child.  My boys were 4 and 7 at the time.  If and when anyone had asked me over the years if I was going to have another baby, I usually responded that I was done.  And I meant it.  I started my relationship with my husband by declaring to him that I neither wanted marriage nor children.  I felt that our two kids were a good compromise between zero and the huge brood he had originally wanted.  Our family was complete.  We were content, comfortable and settled.  This new development threw us for a major loop.

When I informed my husband of the news, he was happy, but I could also see the trepidation in his eyes.  He could see that I was upset, so he tried his best to comfort and calm me.  Then he left for a business trip for a week.

During that week, I went through all of the stages of grief.

– Denial:  That test couldn’t possibly be right!  No way was I pregnant.  Not even possible.  This stage lasted as long as it took to take another test, with identical results.

– Anger:  Yeah, I was angry, dammit!  How could this happen to me?  I didn’t want to be pregnant or have another baby!  Pregnancy sucks.  Giving birth sucks!  Sleepless nights suck!  I hated this pregnancy and the baby.

– Bargaining:  I don’t believe in god, so there weren’t any deals with some imaginary guy in the sky, but there were definitely some proposals of action to the universe that I thought might be a better outcome than having another baby.  And yes, losing the baby was one of them, I’m ashamed to say.

– Depression:  And then the sadness came.  I kept thinking of all the things I would have to give up for this unwanted child.  Drinking, sushi, my body, sleep.  Every time I thought of another thing that this pregnancy would take away from my life, I sank deeper into the abyss.

– Acceptance:  A funny thing about acceptance . . . it sneaks up on you.  One minute, I was thinking about how difficult my life was going to be because of this accident, and then I turned around and found myself thinking about how sweet a baby is, and how my boys were growing up and were way past that baby stage, and how I missed that.  After just a few days, I realized that I had come to terms with this formerly perceived tragedy, and I was starting to look at it as an incredible gift.  Not planned for or initially wanted, but wonderful all the same.

And then, just as I started settling into the idea of it and began making mental plans, I started to bleed.  And just like that . . . it was over.  Gone.

That’s when the guilt started.  Everyone will tell you that it’s not your fault.  That you didn’t do anything to make it happen.  That it just wasn’t meant to be.  And while logically, I knew that was probably true, I also remembered.  I remembered all those glasses of wine I had before I knew I was pregnant.  The sushi dinner I had 2 weeks prior.  And the time I wished for this very thing to happen before I got over the shock of it.  I thought of those things, and I wasn’t certain that I didn’t somehow have a hand in this.

And then the darkness set in.

I’ve Got Big Balls

Usually, I like my balls small. Easy to handle. Not too unwieldy. Tasty.

But this time, I took a chance on some large ones. Threw my normal predilections and preferences out the window. These were much meatier, but of an unknown quality. I was truly gambling on these balls. But, at the moment, there were no others. It was them or nothing, and I had to fill a desperate need. So, big balls it was.

When I got them home, I decided that I would resist their allure and save them for another night when I really needed them.  Maybe in a few days, when the time was right.  When there was no other choice and the desire was at its peak.  Only then would I sample these mystery balls.

But unbeknownst to me, there was a devious plot afoot in my home.  A plan to steal my balls.  To sample the succulent and round mass of meat before I could even get the chance to use it for my own purposes.  A feat which I discovered upon my return home the next night, when I saw evidence of the sampling of my large meaty friend, blatantly displayed with nary a care for discovery.  The partial remains of the poor ball just sitting there on the counter.  Evidence of the crime plain to see.  Basically, my ball just thrown right in my face.

There was only one person who could have committed this dastardly deed.  Only one person who was in the house that entire day, so it was obvious where the guilt lie . . . my au pair.

Bewildered and shocked, I chose not to address the transgression at the time, and instead went upstairs to lay down and recover.  I soothed my battered soul by reminding myself that I still had some balls left.  They weren’t all gone.  Just the one.  It would be ok.

But then . . . disaster struck again!  Or should I say, my husband did.  You remember him, the sunglass murderer.  Well, I should have known that once he got a taste of the life of crime, that he wouldn’t stop.  That he would crave a return to the dark side.

When I went to bed that night, I had 5 balls, but by the next morning, only 4 remained.  When I arrived on the scene that morning, I saw evidence of the carnage.  Red liquid dripping down the container in the sink showed clear evidence of his heinous crime.  It was obvious that he was the culprit, since he had arrived late at home from a business trip while all others in the house were asleep.  Apparently, the allure of my balls, which he had never sampled before, was just too enticing for him to resist.  And with nobody to monitor his actions, including his conscience apparently, he struck a deadly blow to my balls.

It was time to put an end to this crime spree.  This senseless devouring of balls.   So, in no uncertain terms, I told both the au pair and my husband that my balls were off limits.  “Hands off of my balls, you thieving delinquents” I exclaimed.

I can only hope that my remaining balls have survived through this day without those criminals’ greedy hands and mouths devouring them before I can get home from work and finally use them for my own purposes.  But, if nothing else, I have learned a valuable lesson here.  Big balls are just too damn irresistible for my family to handle.  From now on, only small balls are safe to enter my home.  I won’t make the same mistake again.  My balls depend on it.

The scene of the crime.  And the only survivors.

The scene of the crime. And the only survivors.