Five Weeks, 5 Days ~ April 1, 2004
~ Sneakin' in.
There's a song playing on our wonderful alternative station here that I've been listening to a lot in the last few weeks. This morning, the lyrics hit me in a different way. I'll be singing it with a lot more feeling, now, though I love the voices anyway (it is a duet with Norah Jones and Dolly Parton - call Dolly 'Country' all you like, but her voice just aches with that high lonesome Bluegrass sound to me).
The last week has been much more even, more open, more comfortable. I got my second quant (hCG) back (12,290!), and after a brief obsessive search on the Internet, discovered that while my numbers are solidly high, they're only outside the range of normal for two of the five standard labs. The other two labs use hCG ranges that exceed my numbers by a reasonable margin. So my temporary blip of 'if they're THAT high, maybe something IS wrong!' was nicely washed back into the ocean of my subconscious, swirled away into nothing by the vastness of the rest of reality. My numbers are high enough to be quite solid, and they doubled plus a little bit. That's good.
Adding to that, I've been getting steadily sicker. Each morning, I wake up feeling GREAT. But each day, I start feeling queasy a few minutes sooner. Last week, it was breakfast time before I was genuinely green. Now, I'm in the shower when I start feeling that way, a good 20 minutes earlier. That's progress, of a sort. Good enough. I'll take it.
My breasts have also stayed sore, though part of that is the nice little case of thrush I've developed. Owies. I'm treating it with Gentian Violet, which turns my nipples a nice purple color. Last time I tried that, Brendan freaked out and wouldn't nurse, and I hadn't been planning to wean him. This time, I didn't want to traumatize him that way again (whether he weaned or not, it was the outright terror in his reaction I was trying to forestall), so I let him watch me paint the purple on. I'd have been content if that made him wean, because having watched, I figured that he'd only wean if he was pretty close to weaning anyway.
Sure enough, he didn't want to nurse that night. That was okay. He snuggled close to my face, commanding me with the supreme authority of a 2-year old to move my head here, then there, until he was adjusted just right, his arms around my neck, my cheek against his shoulder, his cheek against my forehead. But by morning, he'd changed his mind, and wanted his 'yalas' back (Yala was Gabe's word for nursing). He had to look at them carefully to make sure they were okay enough, and double-checked to make sure he remembered right ("Paint wawas mommy? Paint-um purpoh?"), but then he decided to nurse. Apparently they were just fine, because he popped off a moment later and said, "Purple wawas goooood." So we're still going. The treatment seems to be helping, because nursing was far more comfortable with the painted yalas than it had been without. I'll go as long as I can stand it, and then see where we are. I've heard that 10 weeks is the worst, for most women, and then it improves a bit. Fingers crossed.
All this week, while I've been dealing with the thrush, and my garden, and an unexpected loss of writing time for my book, and my husband's periodic job distress (he's been given a new level of responsibility, and is having more 'learning experiences' than he finds comfortable), and the rain, and everything else . . . well, something subtle has been happening. I didn't even notice it until last night. Somewhere in the back of my head, or deep down in my soul, there's a real sense that I'm not just pretending and hoping this one will stick. There's a bit more heart in the words, a bit more faith.
I know, because last night, without thinking about it at all, I just didn't check for bleeding when I went to the bathroom.
When I realized it, I stopped cold. It shocked me. The automatic certainty, the lack of double-check, scared me. I'm really attaching to this one. Boy, do I know how much that can mean I'll hurt if it doesn't stick. But there it is; that first hint that my fear of loss is no longer the leading force in my daily life.
This morning, I didn't check for bleeding again. As with the night before, it was automatic. I just didn't look. As soon as I realized that, the cold wash of fear returned, and I checked - just in case, more to ward off the fear of attaching than because I was afraid of seeing anything. I knew I wouldn't. Yet I was still relieved when there was no telltale pink tinge anywhere to be seen.
What a mess I am. I'm either freaking out because I'm scared of losing this baby, or I'm freaking out because I'm NOT scared of losing it! This is one of those moments that makes my husband sigh and rub his temples, with a sidelong glance at me to make sure I'm watching him do so, hoping to raise a rueful smile from me in response. Yes, dear, I'm a little nuts. But he knows I've more than earned the right to be. These days, his hugs and reassurances are warm and welcome, and his efforts to take care of me are both gentle and intentional. After 11 years, he's found the boundary between treating me too much like a child for my comfort, and not taking enough care of me for his. Somewhere in there I've probably also grown more comfortable with someone treating me gently, too, rather than shrugging and letting me retreat to my cave, while I growl at anyone who comes near . . . Whichever of us has changed, or both, we've worked it out, and now we're proving it daily. I kind of wish we didn't have to, but I'll admit that it is nice not to feel either alone or smothered.
So this morning, after my ping-ponging emotions played their games, I made my way out the door to work (road trip, transferring a job from another writer who is quitting, a break from the day to day, even though stressful). On the long drive in, I found myself humming that song again, the Norah Jones one. As I listened to the words in my head, they snapped into sharp focus. A few tears spilled hot down my cheeks, and I sang them out loud, with new feeling . . . I'd always sung it from the perspective of someone newly in love. But singing as a mother to her newly forming child, as a woman who has had multiple losses and dares to hope one more time, my voice shook with the weight of it:
/There's a big ol' hole
/That goes right through my sole (soul)
/And that ain't nothing new
/So long as you're around
/And got no place else you've found
/There's only one thing left to do
/Creep on in
/Creep on in
/And once you have begun
/Don't stop until you're done
Sneak on in, sweet child. Don't stop until you're done.
There's room for you in my soul.