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Jan. 20th, 2014

Being a grown up is weird. I think, when you're a little kid, you think that adults know everything, they have all the answers, and they've long since brushed off their childish instincts.
But then you grow up and you realize that you're still that person you were when you were 8. You're still that angsty teenager. That promise you made to yourself to always be punk rock has come true, only you find yourself expressing it in more mature ways like gardening and DIY work. You still make the occasional Christmas card with glitter and glue and markers, and sometimes when pouring elbow macaroni into a pot of boiling water, you consider saving just a few to glue onto some construction paper. And then you realize the biggest fallacy of all: you do not now, nor will you ever, have all the answers.

Seventeen months ago I had my miscarriage. It was soul-crushing, definitely, but it also left my body and brain full of hormones that didn't know what to do with themselves and made me crazy. I was desperate to get pregnant again. I counted days, took temperatures, became far too intimate with my cervical mucus, and tiptoed the line of scaring my boyfriend off entirely. I tried to find any sign, any clue that I may be pregnant again--do my boobs hurt because of pregnancy or PMS? Am I nauseous because the trash smells bad or morning sickness? It always turned out to be PMS and a case of rotten food, so I always told myself that next month would be the month that it happened.
Slowly, I put down the thermometer and limited my hands to only approaching my cervix when an orgasm was looming, but I always kept the days in mind and calculated the probably of getting pregnant every month. I realized that my obsession wasn't helping the cause, and that the best thing I could do was relax so my body would be able to do its thing. With that in mind, I pushed childbearing to the back burner and just hoped that everything would work out.
But it never happened. One month, I got up to 20 days late and peed on so many sticks I can't remember. Turns out I had a cyst in my ovary that just needed some artificial hormones to drain. And disappointment grew every month. I started beating myself up about it: maybe it's him. Maybe it's me. Maybe we're timing it wrong or my body is so destroyed that it can't even get pregnant. Neither of us have ever had a real pregnancy scare; was there something wrong with both of us? Are we doomed?
Parents chimed in with passive aggressive comments, too. I'm an only child and it's been reminded to me multiple times that I am my mother's only hope for grandchildren. He's the youngest of three with five nephews and is his mother's last hope for a granddaughter. Friends would ask in hushed tones if we were trying again, not knowing the obsessive tracking and constant disappointment I felt. But at the end of all the commentary, I found myself despondantly walking down the family planning aisle of Walgreens to pick up another box of tampons.

Seventeen months after the worst day of my life, I'm sick of all the maybes and counting down the days until I can take another inevitably negative pregnancy test and noticing in the bathroom that this sure does look like some baby-making discharge. Every time my period starts I am hit by a wave of disappointment that seems totally unreal the other 28 days of my cycle--I'm talking agonizing, momentary depression that crushes all of the air out of my lungs and freezes me in place. I remind myself of all of the things I love that I wouldn't be able to enjoy pregnant: I like drinking and smoking and going out to bars and going several hours at a stretch without having to pee. Most times, it helps. Other times, I continue to think that I'm just a failure.
Honestly? I'm sick of it all. Maybe it's continuing depression, maybe it's acceptance, but I think I'm ready to give it all up. I've been toying with the thought of going back on birth control so there would be 100% certainty that I am not getting pregnant this month or next month or ever. The grey area is confusing. I just want absolutes. And since I can't absolutely just get pregnant, I'd rather absolutely be not pregnant.
It's hard, though. to give all the trying up. How does one just walk away from something about which they were so passionate? I've always wanted kids. But maybe I don't want kids anymore and just want to have fun and not be responsible for anything more intense than a dog? Well, that's different. And I'm having a really hard time distinguishing if this kind-of decision is what I really want or a situational stopgap for my emotions.

Adults try to warn kids that they don't have all the answers. "I'm not young enough to know everything," they chant but never explain. As a kid, you talk about what you want to be when you grow up like it's some sort of guarantee. You run to mom or dad or teacher because they seem to have all of their everythings in their right places.
I think my adult is broken. I want a refund.

Dear boyfriend,

I'm getting ready to move in with you, and this is a big deal for me. There is a distinct possibility that we're going to spend the rest of our lives together, and I want to make sure that we make it perfect. What we do, how we interact over the next year will dictate how all the rest of it turns out. This is what I need:

On the occasional Saturday, I'll cook you brunch. We'll listen to horn-heavy blues and jazz and clean the house and water the plants. Maybe you'll grill something. Maybe I'll sit out back with a cocktail and a magazine. Maybe friends will come by to relax with us.

We'll cook. We'll cook great new recipes and bask in the jealousy of our less-cooking-inclined friends. And we'll eat together, without a movie in the background or our phones distracting us.

We will have a great garden. From this garden, we'll create a pantry full of wonder: homemade pickles in offbeat flavors, jams, jellies, marinades, spice mixes...all little jars of possibilities that we made by hand.

We will still go out, on occasion, drinking so much more than we planned. We will still sit in the corner of the bar and talk about our love. We'll get home, fall into bed, and love passionately with the fire of all the booze in our system.

We'll build things and make things by hand.

When I look back at the best times of our relationship, I will think of airy sundresses, sunlight, and springtime. Our relationship will seem a little country to outsiders -- lots of time outdoors with gardens and forest hikes and camping and BBQs. And they will find it every bit as charming as we do.

Please say it's all going to happen. Please say that after four years, the dream isn't ending; instead, it's just beginning.

Everything is terrible and awful and the world is a stupid place and I can't stop crying.

So many goddamn people have successful pregnancies by accident, why is it that my planned one got so fucked up?

All I want to do is cry for the rest of forever.

6 weeks, 0 days

I'm pregnant.

What a weird thing to say.
 Oh no. Please tell me I didn't hear one of my chickens try to crow...

Apr. 24th, 2011

They're stupid. Like really stupid.

If I ever questioned the fact that I eat chicken, it's all resolved now.

Mar. 1st, 2011

I've been growing things:

Peppers, 4 varieties
Tomatoes, 5 varieties

Yet to acquire/start:
Brussels Sprouts

What am I forgetting?

And then there will be chickens. Ducks are a little too hard for a first-time bird keeper. So four chickens; two Barred Rocks and two... yet to be determineds.

Feb. 13th, 2011

Also? I want to live in the country, and have acres of land at my disposal.

I want solar energy, wood-burning stoves, the cluckings of winged animals, a happy dog pursuing squirrels, and naked barefootedness while the world stresses around me.

Feb. 13th, 2011

I so desperately want chickens living in my back yard.
And for it to be summertime.
Or next winter, when I'll have tons and tonnes of homegrown veggies frozen and canned and sauced and saved.