Monday, February 15, 2010

Lunchtime thoughts

What follows is a really long post, most of which I composed today at work over lunch. I finished it up tonight. It may seem disjointed, but what can I say?


The snow has melted and all is back to normal in the ATL.

I am feeling a bit melancholy today -- okay, more than a bit melancholy or I wouldn’t be writing about it on my lunch hour -- but I’m not sure exactly why. It really started over the weekend. When I have a problem, I want to fix it -- so I hate feeling this way. “This way” being down without the ability to pinpoint the source of the feelings (and thus the ability to fix it, and fast).

Feeling melancholy -- even depressed -- is not an unfamiliar feeling, but it is one that hasn’t been present much in the past several years. Five years ago? That’s a different story. I was a total mess. Recently divorced, stuck in a relationship I had no business in (and afraid to get out), and grieving the sudden loss of my dad. It took hours and hours and hours of therapy and some wonderful friends and family members to get me through that.

Just thinking about those days in 2005 makes me think, “Everything’s fine!” because by comparison, it is -- without a doubt!

Last night I told DH that I’m feeling some post-retrieval depression. That could be the source of my feelings. The excitement of a new cycle has passed. To this point, all has worked beautifully, but I won’t know for sure for four or five weeks when we get the genetic test results on our six embryos. I think I’m feeling some impatience and some frustration at the fact that I still don’t know what my life is going to be like.

This very much ties in with my feelings about my job. I’ve been in the same job for more than seven years now and while I love what I do, I believe deeply in my organization’s mission (I work for a nonprofit), and it continues to offer opportunities for growth, I would be dishonest if I didn’t say I probably would have moved on if I didn’t have like 12 weeks of sick leave (maternity leave) built up. If I leave, I lose it. If I find a job at another nonprofit, it’s probably not going to have paid maternity leave as a benefit. So some days I feel stuck. It stinks because sometimes it causes me to  lose perspective on why I want to have a baby. Not that I would necessarily quit my job if I had a baby. I actually plan to stay and enjoy the fact that I know my job and my organization well, which would make the transition into motherhood a little bit easier, without the pressure of learning a new job and juggling the myriad feelings of being a new mom with a career she’s passionate about. I'm pretty sure I will seek out that next opportunity if we end up childless. (I actually have a Plan B that involves a new job, another degree, an impractical car with only two doors, but that’s for another post.)

In other depressing news, I learned that another woman at church is pregnant. I was thinking yesterday afternoon how odd it is that someone’s good news has the potential to create such a problem for me. Why should her happiness and good fortune have any bearing on how I feel about my own life? Why should the fact that she is pregnant NOW make me feel like I need to be pregnant just as soon as possible so I can be happy for her? Why can’t I just be happy for her now? And truly, when I put it that way, I am. I certainly wouldn’t wish IF on her. If this is what she and her husband want, then that’s great. And I mean, of course that’s what they want. That’s what just about every reasonably responsible adult wants, isn’t it? That’s the way the universe works. That’s what people do. They meet, fall in love, commit to each other, and naturally want to start their own family.

Why can’t it work that way for me?

Asking why is something I haven’t spent a lot of time on, because I don’t expect to ever find an answer. My IF is unexplained, except for the fact that I’m 39 now. There’s my explanation.

I’ve actually spent lots of time asking why my dad, who suffered a brain injury in 1996 (14 years ago tomorrow, as a matter of fact) and never walked or talked again, didn’t improve much cognitively, functionally, emotionally, you name it -- despite having great medical care, good physical therapists, and the best full-time nurse in the world (my mom). I’ve also spent time wondering why he didn’t die in the car accident. He certainly would not have suffered like he did. His injury robbed him of his career, his hobbies, his plans for retirement, his ability to bathe and feed himself, his ability to communicate, his sex life…. And pretty much left him with a nightmare of a life. But what he did have was a wife and two children and extended family members and friends who were absolutely devastated by his losses. People who stayed by his side to love and encourage him -- the new him.

When he died in 2005, I grieved the loss of the dad I had for 25 years and the dad I had come to know for the last nine years of his life. At first, I wanted him back either way I could get him -- it didn’t matter if he could only communicate by giving me a thumbs up or thumbs down to my yes/no questions, it didn’t matter if he had no quality of life -- but eventually, I accepted that he was finally at peace and I had to let him go. It has taken me five years to be “okay” with his absence. This past holiday season was the first one since his death when I thought, “Okay, I can do this. It’s going to be okay.”

I think if I’m going to ask why, I should think about my dad some more. Or think about the senseless loss of the Olympian from Georgia, who immediately lost everything while doing what he loved. Or I should think about Haiti or Huntsville, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The world is so full of why.


Writing this immediately made me feel better this afternoon. Not that I ended on a cheerful note. But it was just the therapeutic act of writing, of getting it all out, of acknowledging my sad, impatient feelings and voicing my questions. It made it all bearable and took away much of my melancholy feeling. It’s still there, but I stopped feeling it with such intensity.

And then, I got home tonight and checked the blogs that I follow and saw that AmyG gave me an award! That’s so cool! Thank you very much, AmyG. This means I now have an assignment, but it will have to be completed later this week. It's late! 


  1. Ok, before my real comment, lemme ask you - are you close to getting AF after IVF? It always makes me melancholy, it comes out of nowhere, and it really strong.

    Anyway, the why. It is so hard to go there for me, I always come away feeling like there is no reason for anything, life is random, etc. I don't fully believe this in my actual life, but IF (and other life events) really makes me question things. It is hard....

  2. I love how blogging and getting it all can make me feel better!

    There are so many Whys? Too many.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post, and by that I also mean that I'm sorry you were melancholy but glad you were able to get it out and feel better. I have found that too.

    So interesting that 'why' question is... I'm sorry for all the conflicting feelings about your dad and then your larger life/global situations too... very thought-provoking.

    I also feel that conflicted feeling when someone in church announces their pregnancy. Of course I'm happy for them and wouldn't wish this on anyone but it just accentuates my sadness somehow... of what I don't have.

    Glad you felt better after this! I often feel better after writing too.