Tuesday, October 28, 2014

this all happened

So, the last few weeks have been absorbed in my ongoing efforts to live, and nurse, while my body does its own thing -- which currently involved growing a fetus.

I have like a billion feelings about this, almost none of which involve what the kids call "my unborn child".

I don't like to say I'm pregnant. I'm certainly not "expecting"; I only just stopped expecting to miscarry. Now, I'm just trying to survive the near constant nausea and exhaustion and discomfort that growing a fetus -- viable or not -- entails. I am trying not to think about the surgery that miscarrying this pregnancy will involve. I am studiously not thinking about babies.

I did tell my son, because he doesn't know enough to be scared now, and won't know enough to be sad, later, if the monster, or possibly baby, in my belly, stops being there.

I missed a lot of days of work because I was bleeding. I spend a lot of time afraid I'm going to lose my job because of these missed days, and the fact that they required me to disclose my pregnancy much sooner than I'd hoped, and also, the fact that I've not yet even reached the stage at which I historically start to bleed heavily and require bed rest, and I've got no sick days left.

I forgot, and remembered again over this most recent weekend, that I love nursing. I started a grad school application, could not get ahold of my professors for a recommendation -- this, with a single B, certainly not in any of their classes; sometimes I wonder if I should have splurged on a private school -- and gave that up as October rolled in and every single day narrowed to a shift, a meal, an hour I just needed to get through.

Also this fall: I'm not the kind of person who counts milestones -- I don't have a clear sense of what "kind" of person does that, but probably one with a slightly less peripatetic capacity to be honest with herself. However, I was recently reminded, as a matter of course, that I am HIV negative, which also reminded of how, ten years ago, I spent the entire month of November panicked over my HIV status and the likelihood that one can contract HIV from getting semen in one's eyes. 2004 wasn't my year.

Anyway, obviously the total lack of control I've been feeling over my body in fall 2014 is radically different and preferable to that I experienced in fall 2004, but overall, the whole season has lent me this kind of fatalism: thing happen to your body, your sole option for housing as far as I know, and you really get no say at all. Or the moment in which you have a say passes and you're left trying to figure out what just happened and how to move forward; ultimately, the bulk of your time gets spent the same way. What are we going to do now?

Right now, if you're me, you reassure yourself: given two unappealing options, you selected the one least likely to lead to face punching, violent assault, or death -- and whatever doubts you incurred in the process, what is certain now is that it is ten years later and you are alive. You put every Goddamn sonogram on the fridge and you go ahead and think about baby names, because this may be as much baby as you get, and if it is, it will have to be enough. You go to work and you reassure your coworkers that it's just hormones, not ebola, when you have to interrupt your charting to go dry-heave in the too-public bathroom. You try not to miss the trash can when you can't quite make it off the street, and you pray you don't see anyone you know.

This is the body, the life, you get. There's not an option for a more sanitized one, as far as I know. But honestly, at the risk of sounding macabre, I'm not sure I'd opt for one if there were. I can't remember the last time I was bored with my life -- I suspect it was well more than ten years ago.