I don’t know how many people reading this have ever watched Mad Men. I love the sixties and it is one of my favorite shows. There’s a scene in the second season where Don visits Peggy after she gives birth (there’s no need for a spoiler alert since this was all years ago, right?!?) She gave birth after never acknowledging or maybe not even realizing she was pregnant in the first place then had a mental breakdown, and Don tracks her down and tries to impart some wisdom on her:
“Peggy, listen to me. Get out of here and move forward. This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.”
I’m not saying Don Draper’s philosophy is right, and boy did he have his flaws, but I feel like my life has resembled this recently. These past two weeks I’ve been coming back to this scene in my mind. Because it’s almost like, aside from the lingering sadness and discouragement and hopelessness, my third pregnancy and D&E never happened. Yes, I know it really did – I’m not in denial. But it’s strange how quickly things get back to “normal” or whatever passes for my normal over the past two years. Just because I’m angry and sad and stuck doesn’t mean the rest of the world is – life keeps moving on with or without me.
Of course, this isn’t my first trip to this rodeo so maybe I’m just better equipped at this point to deal with it. And very few people knew about it in the first place. Nobody knew I was pregnant except our parents, my godmother, and less than a handful of friends. I scheduled my procedure on a Friday, which I already had off from work, so didn’t take time out of work (compared to the first procedure after which I took 5 days off, and my second I took 10 days off). I went right back to it Monday – in fact, the Monday and Tuesday following the procedure I was in Connecticut for a work conference. I drove the two hours Sunday night and spent two nights at a fabulous waterfront inn where the conference was held. I met up with people I hadn’t seen in months, attended all my sessions, networked, ate, and generally acted like nothing happened. Of course I was exchanging emails throughout with E regarding the Children’s Hospital study, how I was doing, etc. but I’m sure to everyone else I looked just like someone who was typing notes at her laptop or answering work emails.
Maybe I missed my true calling in life and should be an actress. With a nose job, some lipo and a breast enhancement maybe I could still make it happen.
Anyway, the point is that I’ve been going about life and right now it feels like the latter half of the summer never happened. It’s amazing how quickly I physically felt “normal” again. I had very little cramping, very little bleeding after the procedure. Physically, right now I feel so much better than I ever did while pregnant. I almost feel guilty about how good I feel physically – I don’t feel tired or fatigued or nauseous. No weird cramping or stretching feelings in my tummy. I don’t have the “fuzzy, muted” feeling that I had while pregnant. I can focus. I feel sharp. I started exercising again last week – running and yoga and free weight exercises. I saw Dr. F for a post-op appointment this past Wednesday and told her I felt guilty about how good I feel physically, because obviously I would rather be pregnant with a healthy child. She said she understood and could imagine why I would feel that way, but she doesn’t think I should feel guilty and I should take the good where I can find it right now. Which is actually very similar to what J said when I saw her for acupuncture last week. I asked J what she was doing and her goal for my treatments right now given I wasn’t trying to get pregnant anymore – she said she was hitting points to help my physical healing and to move Qi and fresh blood to my reproductive area, and to help me feel supported and grounded in my emotional healing. She said she can’t make the anger and sadness and hopelessness go away, but to help me feel stable enough to deal with it when it comes and help me move through it.
I think part of the reason why “this never happened” is because I am keeping busy. Back to the gym, back to yoga, keeping up with acupuncture, went to a work conference, went to the Patriots game last weekend, went to my favorite spa yesterday for some “me time.” Last year after my second loss I stayed home for 10 days screaming and crying. I don’t feel nearly as grief stricken and haven’t screamed and cried nearly as much. Maybe because I have been going to acupuncture; maybe because I am keeping busy; maybe because this is just my life now. I told that to Dr. F – this is just my life now. This is what I have been dealing with since Feb. 24, 2014 so I should be used to it by now. I don’t mean to sound like a defeatist. I hoped and wished that this third pregnancy would be different but it wasn’t. I can’t change that.
I don’t have any of my test results back yet. And while we decided that we would participate in the Children’s Hospital study and have signed and returned the consent forms we haven’t provided our blood/saliva samples yet.
I am glad that it is fall. The past two summers I’ve been in first trimester sickness hell, only to lose the pregnancies in September. I used to be a summer person, but after the past two summers I don’t feel like one anymore. I like the cooler crisper fall air. I like the leaves changing color. Last weekend I switched out all my summer clothes for my fall/winter sweaters and boots. I feel like I got a whole new wardrobe.
Anyway, some pictures from the Patriots game and of my two little angels for your enjoyment.