Monday, August 08, 2005

I wish I'd started this blog sooner. It's 10.5 weeks since J. was born and I feel like I'm through the darkest part of it. Not that I'm "over it." I'll never be over it. But I feel like I'm living my life again and not sleepwalking through it.

Last weekend we went to visit Mr. NK's family down South. We hadn't seen them since J. was born - they offered to come up when we were in the hospital, but Mr. NK asked them not to. That might sound weird, but so much of my family was with us that we thought it might be overwhelming to have even more people, and it's not an easy trip for them since they live in pretty much the middle of nowhere. Flights from their city are hard to get and expensive. So we told them we'd be down later in the summer.

Mr. NK's Uncle A. is a Baptist minister, so we had asked if he would help us memorialize J. during our trip. We had him cremated and the remains put into six tiny urns. My mother, my father, and Mr. NK's parents will each get one to keep; we wanted one for the ceremony; and we'll keep the others. Maybe we'll scatter one or more of them, I don't know.

Mr. NK's family own their own little family cemetery on the side of a mountain, and we had the ceremony there last Saturday. His aunts and uncles and cousins came to be with us, and Uncle A. read from the Bible and gave a little speech. Then we scattered the tiny vial of ashes on Mr. NK's grandmother's grave. He wanted it that way - even though neither of us is religious, he likes to think of her watching over J. somewhere.

Something amazing happened while Uncle A. was speaking - in the middle of his sermon, two tiny fawns ran out of the woods behind him, skipped across the clearing, and ran into the woods on the other side. A moment later, they ran back the other way and disappeared into the woods again. I've never seen anything like it. I'm not religious or superstitious, but it was almost like a sign, like realizing that there were still beautiful things in this world waiting to happen to us.

It's funny how that day seemed to change things somehow. For a few weeks before it happened I'd been feeling more and more normal. The minutiae of everyday life - going to work, seeing friends, watching TV - were starting not to seem so alien. But as soon as we scattered those ashes and said our goodbyes to J., it was like a huge weight had been lifted. I feel like the process of moving on and starting over has begun. And finally, my body is cooperating.

After we had our 6-week checkup and were told we didn't need to wait very long, I started getting anxious for my period to come. I'd started charting on Fertility Friend about four weeks after delivery; I thought that a) it would get me in the habit for when we tried again, since I didn't chart when we concieved J., and b) I thought it might give me an idea of when my fertility would return.

I found charting kind of nerve-wracking. The first few nights I'd wake up way earlier than usual and lie there wondering if I should go ahead and temp or try to go back to sleep. The first few weeks of my chart look like a roller coaster. But I eventually got used to it...except that it started to drive me crazy. Not seeing a pattern to the temps drove me crazy. Not seeing any other signs of impending ovulation drove me crazy. As weeks went by with no sign of ovulation or my period, I started to get more and more frustrated. Dr. S. had said that up to 12 weeks was normal to go without a period, but it seemed like everyone I'd asked who had given birth, even people in situations like mine, had started theirs much sooner.

I was so angry with my body - first it couldn't keep J. safe, and now it was keeping me "broken." Even though we concieved J. on the first try last summer, with no charting (I was observing other fertility signs, so it wasn't a complete shot in the dark), I was terrified that I was going to have some kind of hormone imbalance that would prevent us from getting pregnant again. So I was incredibly relieved when I started to get signs of impending ovulation (er, I'm trying to be delicate here) last Thursday. That's still happening, but no sign of a temperature shift yet. I'm thinking today might be the day.

That means that in just four more weeks, give or take, we can start trying again. Dr. S. didn't say anything about wanting me to wait a certain number of cycles - all the doctors I asked, including him, said that waiting 3 months was fine, and it's already 10.5 weeks. By the time I ovulate again it will be about 15 weeks, so I'm assuming it will be safe to go ahead. I can't believe it's so close. In those first few days when we were so desperate to have another child, 12 weeks seemed like an eternity.


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