Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tea and Sympathy

Fare thee well... Trade in all our words for tea and sympathy... Wonder why we tried, for things that could never be... Play our hearts lament, like an unrehearsed symphony.  Not intend to leave this castle full of empty rooms... Our love the captive in the tower never rescued... And all the victory songs seem to be playing out of tune.

But it's not the way that it has to be- Don't trade our love for tea and sympathy. 'Cause it's not the way that it has to be...

You begin and all your words fall to the floor and break like china cups, and the waitress grabs a broom and tries to sweep them up. I reach for my tea and slowly drink in.

'Cause it's not the way that it has to be- Don't trade our love for tea and sympathy. 'Cause it's not the way that it has to be...

So fare thee well: words the bag of leaves that fill my head. I could taste the bitterness and call the waitress instead-she holds the answer: smiles and asks one teaspoon or two

'Cause it's not the way that it has to be- Don't trade our love for tea and sympathy. 'Cause it's not the way that it has to be...

("Tea and Sympathy"; Jars of Clay)

A few weeks ago, my dad asked me if I had any baby gear that I was up for getting rid of. A coworker is expecting her first child and was interested. I talked to Peter to make sure he was okay with it, then exchanged emails with the woman. She and her husband came by last week and picked up some things.

My yoga studio looked like a consignment store. A changing table over here, a stroller over there. Baby stuff. Lots of it. Peter and I had taken stuff from our storage area and placed it out, keeping back a few of the special things (like his Yaya's rocking chair and the antique creche) but, for the most part, it was like a second hand BabiesRUs downstairs. The couple came, picked out some things, and, with a smile, they loaded it up and were on their way.

I remember giving away my maternity clothes when Bobby and Maya were still in their infant seats. A woman needed them, I didnt, and so they were gone. I wont lie and say there wasnt a pain of "Damn, I'll never wear these again", but I saved the one shirt that I'd kept from all my pregnancies and let the rest go.

Then, there was the selling of the nursery furniture.  Again... it was tough, but there was another couple, so happy and excited for their first... It was the right thing.

I knew this would hurt. I did. But I also knew that I needed to let the things go. A storage area full of high chairs and potties and changing tables and pack and plays and all the other stuff I had down there... It wasnt being used and it wasnt helping anyone. And now it is, so it's okay.

But damn, did it sting. It wasnt the giving away of stuff- it's just stuff. I could always borrow, beg, or buy if I needed it. 

It was the idea of it all. The giving away of the dream of another child. The giving away of the innocence of preparing for that first baby  (or any baby). We joke that I'll fall pregnant and have a perfect pregnancy now that some of the basics are gone... once we put the unassembled crib (which is still in our bedroom) in the storage area... since I've lost so much weight... now that I have the stitch.  But, since December, *TMI ALERT* we've expressed our love as freely as teenagers (and without the much employed contraception) and I'm not pregnant, nor have I been these last 8 months post TAC. And the last time I did have the honor, I miscarried so early that, had I not felt pregnant and too a test a few days after my missed period, I wouldnt have even known. As I told the lovely stranger recently at the indoor playground who commented on how cute the kids were and asked when I'd have another, it's pretty clear I dont do pregnancy well.

I'm okay with that.

Well, I'm telling myself that.

So, it must be true- Right?

I've joked with Peter that this is the Year of Selfishness since I have the MCM (in, gulp, less than 3 monhs) and that he'd better not touch me close to ovulation (less he prove that the Universe is a vindictive woman with a nasty sense of humor who would let me get pregnant on the cusp of running 26 miles). Of course, it's been a joke. I could always defer the race ;).  (In seriousness, abstaining for the reason of preventing/delaying pregnancy for us would be tantamount to contraception; I realize this isnt everyone's view or a mainstream one, but it is our feeling.)

Like I said, no pregnancy. A nice, clockwork period... Every 28-32 days.  Pretty awesome in a 'my-body-never-worked' sort of way. Not that it does work right (clearly) but... Still. Something is something.

On that note, we joked that from October 29th (day after MCM) through December 31, 2013 would be the Year of  Sex. No, we dont need that official. But, it was our joke that we'd not give a damn about the time of the month and hey, we might be one of those couples- you've heard of the ones. You know, the ones who have sex and get pregnant? (I swear- they are NOT a myth! I've seen them!) It wasnt a trying-to-conceive year so much as it was me needing a timeframe to get rid of the baby items in storage. I mean, really, how long should you keep an infant seat? When your toddler are now preschoolers who are in booster seats (as I have no doubt, at least Bobby, will be the case come 12/31/13) and there are no newborns in the house?  Yeah... that seemed like a good time.

Plus, It's not like I'd be getting any younger. Seriously.

So, that was the line in the sand for getting rid of baby clothes and stuff. I needed to know that, one day, there wouldnt be more than the few items I hope to pass down lingering... That there wouldnt be boxes of clothes or baby bottles... That the nursery linens and baby bed wouldnt live there, waiting for a baby who was never coming home, indefintely.

We also didnt want to get on the TTC Train. I dont want to be crazy. We know fertility treaments are no longer in the cards for us; I dont want to be so focused on a dream that I lose sight of our life.

It's a good life.

As Sarah said on one of our runs, another baby would be lovely, but it's just as lovely to watch Bobby and Maya grow up and be able to do those things with them that I wouldnt necessarily be able to do with a newborn in tow. I can be the mom volunteer who goes on fieldtrips without worry. I can be the den mom or the scout mom or whatever, and devote myself to it. I can be active on Home and School, volunteer at the school library, run a story time, assistant coach the CYO Cross Country team (and heaven only knows what other sports these two will have me in!) without breastfeeding, diaper changing, nap times, or new potty training.  Not that those other things are impossible- they certainly arent!- but it's easier to run around after Bobby and Maya without another child. That's just a truth of numbers.

It still stings... That knowledge that, try as I might, I cant succeed in the way that I want in the one thing that feels like it should be basic.

But I'm coming to term with it. I have to. I had my tears when we packed back the remaining baby items the couple didnt need and discussed Craigslisting them. I had my sympathy with my infertile pals, especially M's godmother, who gets me in a certain way when it comes to being veryVERY grateful for the gifts are kids are but still pissed off at the shitty hand Mother Nature deal us. Andat this point in my life, I'm having my tea. Proverbial as well as the literal kind. ;)  My delicious, Scottish tea... Black... Hot... A gift from the godparents-to-be of any child we do have/adopt in the future who are such dear friends.  It's good tea. Reminds me of how loved we are for all we are and all we're not.

Funny how a cup of tea can tell you the one thing that you need to hear and struggle with.


Brigid said...

I know what you mean. I've never sold off anything as meaningful as old baby items, but getting rid of things is always a struggle. Really appreciated this = )

Also, I nominated your lovely blog for a Sunshine Blogger should check it out!

Rebecca Frech said...

I just want to hug you. That's all I have to say. I'm sorry this sucks, and I wish I could give you a hug or squeeze your hand.

Queenie. . . said...

I am struggling with this, too--I don't want to give anything away. I'm not ready to say that our family is complete. But, I know a million pregnant women who could use our stuff. It's way harder than I imagined to say that this chapter of our life is closed.

Because maybe it's not. That's what I struggle with.