I've had a difficult time expressing myself lately, blog-wise. There are the universal constraints of every new-ish mother--time and energy--and there are the self-imposed constraints of an infertile who got lucky. The latter is probably more formidable to me than the former; everything I have to write about is either full of gooey sentiment or self-centered, woe-is-me whinging. Either way, I sound like a bit of an ingrate. But that's all I've got.
I am still, at nearly seven months, not doing too well. The sadness is no longer pervasive, but I am far from feeling like myself. An on-line friend put it perfectly:
"Even when I have a good day...it's almost more like I'm an observer, noting that this is a good moment rather than actually enjoying it."
I watch these perfect moments--her smiles and wriggly, full-body excitement when I come home at night; the serenity of her face as she naps, naked after a bath, in a warm room with a towel draped around her--and say to myself, "This is it. This is what I longed for." But it doesn't feel like it's happening to me. Sometimes the joy overtakes me and I can feel an unplanned smile lighten the corners of my eyes; more often than not, though, I have to remember to react the way I should.
I love her with a rabid ferocity that I didn't know I had. Nothing else in life matters to me very much, even though I continue to worry about every last detail of every other thing--work, house, family issues, health and, neglected though it has been, my relationship with Jeff. It's as though my capacity for worry and stress--already high--have expanded like a slow-filling water balloon, but there has been no corresponding increase in my elsasticity, in my ability to deal with it or to take pleasure in whatever I do achieve, and no pinhole leak to relieve the pressure.
Jeff has asked me, ever so gently, to consider getting medicated. (My sadness troubles him: he had a wife who never cried before getting the very thing she spent three years dreaming of.) But I keep balking--afraid, in part, of whatever propensity for drug abuse I may have inherited. Much to my own surprise, I also do not want to give up breastfeeding until I have to: it is the only time in the day that I get her to myself, and it's something she enjoys so much. There are also the implications any drugs would have on our plan to proceed with another cycle in a few months' time: it's not like I can postpone for long, in hopes of getting my head back together. I'm 37 and have shitty eggs. It may, of course, be too late already, but postponing sounds like giving up to me, and I can't face that yet.
I don't want to give the wrong impression here. I am getting by. I don't spend my time locked in a windowless room of remorse. Most days, I don't have time to think about how I should be feeling. Olivia is flourishing and I feel a stab of obsessive adoration every time I think of her. She means more to me than my own peace of mind right now, and I feel a little self-indulgent even worrying about whether I'm happy.
There is no decision on the horizon; I haven't even laid out a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. To be honest, I don't really have the energy to choose a course now. But that balloon is getting pretty full.