I am having a great weekend with my beloved parents, and trying hard not to gain any more weight, since between my fat layer and the not-so-shrinking hematoma, I am running out of clothing options. Remember that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week Mr.H and I are doing a juice fast, and anyone else who wants to do it with us is welcome. All that is needed is a juicer (borrow one for 3 days if you don't have one), a lot of carrots, celery, cucumber, red beets, parsnips, zucchini, spinach, cauliflower and cabbage. For a treat, in the evenings, we usually have melon cubes instead of juicing it, this is just our tradition, although strictly not really allowed as part of a liquid fast. We also forego coffee, non herbal tea and soy or almond milk (we are mostly vegan, so we don't have regular milk in the house anyway).
During this lovely sunny afternoon of reading on the grass, I have started thinking about linear versus non linear ways of progressing along a given path. I then, of course, thought about my own path, and started musing. I know that I said I would not be posting during this rest weekend, but I felt like putting my thoughts on paper, in no particular order, so here they are:
In a slow, lengthy labour, the baby's head is being pushed forward by the uterine contractions and the maternal effort, and from the outside, one can see it descending a minuscule little with each contraction. However, once the contraction stops, it slips back up, not to be seen again until the next contraction. To the untrained eye, looking from the outside, it might seem that any ground that is gained by the baby and mom during a contraction is completely lost immediately afterwards, as if the fetal head is simply rocking back and forth, without advancing at all.
In reality though, through this "two steps forward, one step back" method, there is usually progress made, little by little. (Not always, of course, that's why we still need C-sections). This is not unlike my own reproductive life so far. I became pregnant with the first IVF, only to completely lose the baby and to feel as if I had gained nothing and I was still back to square one. In reality, thanks to Adrian's existence, I did learned that I could get pregnant, and that I had an incompetent cervix, for which I got the TAC surgery. I then continued to transfer one frozen embryo at a time, and got only briefly pregnant, learning in the end that I should try to transfer two, at least of the frozen ones, if I ever want to get pregnant before menopause hits.
All of these steps forward that are then followed by defeats seem to bring me back to square one. Is this feeling born out of frustration accurate though? Haven't I learned a lot about my body along the way, about what it can and cannot do? Aside from incompetent cervix issues, and specific IVF issues such as doses of medications that create a good response versus an unsatisfactory one, I have also learned that this TAC surgery, somewhat similar to a C-section, is really not hard at all, and that I could probably sail through a couple of C-sections without much complaining and with only a handful of regular tylenol tablets. To think that when I have started the route towards pregnancy, my biggest fear was that of a C-section! ha! what was I thinking? (actually another equally big fear was that of pooping in public, but that particular fear went out the window when I had antibiotic induced diarrhea while in Trendelenburg for a whole two days, one of which was New Year's Eve at midnight. No, I kid you not, this is how MrH and I spent our New Year's 2010, me expelling my gut contents against gravity, him cleaning me up. Talk about a shitty holiday!)
Some women's journey through pregnancy is a linear casual walk, without twists and turns. Mine has been very much a dance, covering the entire dance floor in forward-and-back patterns. From the middle of the floor, I cannot see whether we are advancing towards the exit or simply spinning in place. From the outside however, and by comparison with other natural processes that seamingly linger but in reality progress, I can only hope that at some point we will see the finish line... preferably before I collapse off my high heels.