Saturday, September 4, 2010

That Step Forward I Mentioned

I love being up early on Sunday mornings. The street is so quiet and I feel such a sense of space like the mind of the city is resting along with all its human inhabitants. Sky sleeps in and I have the place to myself if I stay quiet, and it's one of my favorite times to think, read, write, reflect.

Each time I've thought about writing what I want to write today I've come up with a reason not to. I guess because it's deeply personal and I'm not sure, even sitting here, exactly what I want to say. I'm not pregnant--that's not the Step Forward I referenced in the baby department earlier this week. And that's OK:) The fear I had around Can I Get Pregnant a few months ago is gone. I actually know I can; I don't know when. Which is a reminder to me that all fear passes and we can't predict when it will pass; one day we wake up and it's gone. The progress I meant is 2-fold: one, on a physical level, had another hormone test--I won't go into all the scientifics here----but they're good. Every time I go for scientific evidence I get terrified the results are going to show something is wrong. And every time they've been positive. So I'm welcoming as much science into this process as I need. Right now that involves some tests, ultrasounds, and some sticks I'm peeing on as of a few days ago. Finally surrendered to the Ovulation Predictor Kit. I thought it would take the mystery out of conception and y'know, it's not taking the mystery out at all. That my body can do what it's doing at all is the greatest most gorgeous mystery of this whole thing.

The next piece of the progress has been more about my head: getting through a fear I didn't know I had-- not fear of Will I or Won't I Get Pregnant but fear of Being a Parent.

I remember last summer about 2 months before I got married I had a meltdown. It was my birthday and I cried for pretty much the entire day. When I got my journal out to try to figure out what was going on that I could water a lawn with the tears I was shedding, I realized it was about getting married. Taking this huge step, making an enormous life change, leaving a part of my life that had been my whole life behind. Didn't mean I didn't want to get married--I did and I am and it's a whole new adventure that is so delicious and wild----just meant I had a Goodbye to say and I've never been good at those. I didn't read much about that in wedding magazines; nor do I read a lot about the fear I've been feeling about mothering without also reading that somehow that implies I'm not ready. Which is not the case.

I am SO READY. I affirm that every day in the meditation corner of my bedroom. I talk to the soul that will be my child, tell it that I'm ready, can't wait to nurture it and support it and LOVE it. I use a visualization that Alisa at LSW gave me about a helix of energy that takes root in my body right where that baby will. I see myself in hundreds of different scenarios with a big belly, I see myself in the delivery room, I see myself with Sky and a little munchkin sleeping, walking, playing, eating. I am READY. And so scared that I'll never be alone again. Which, judging from what other moms have told me, is probably true.

I don't mean physically alone---I know I'll eventually take a walk by myself and get to yoga; I know Sky and I will one day have a weekend where we leave the baby with family. I mean more psychically alone. Autonomous. Free to do whatever I want whenever I want to. That's going to go away, or at least seriously change, and EEEEEEEE! I'm scared. Me as independent is how I know me. And again, I will be saying Goodbye to my life as I've known it both with myself and with my husband. Which is also scary! I'm going to have this creature that I created with another person! We're going to be in this unbreakable triangle for the rest of eternity! I half-joke but I'm half-serious. It feels big and profound on a level I just can't quite wrap myself around. And maybe that's the point. I'm not supposed to be able to feel it before it happens. I couldn't feel how my relationship with Sky would deepen when we got married. I couldn't predict what it would feel like when I, a few years ago, got really honest with both of my parents about things I'd been holding onto in our relationships. I don't think it works to try to compare an unknown future to a familiar present. And if I'm going to reference past experience, anything I've really wanted and been really scared of at the same time has been so worth going for. Being scared let me know that I really really cared, and those experiences have been some of the best of my life. I'll never forget standing with my grandmother for over an hour on a diving board in Crystal Lake as she tried to teach me how to back dive. I wouldn't do it--I so wanted to and I was so scared. The decision not to do it--to swim back to shore without having tried it--became for me, at age 10, the moment I decided that was not how I wanted to live. I usually now assume that the more scared I am of something the more it's going to be an incredible part of my life if I'll look it in the face and take it on.

One thing Alisa suggested I do which is my project for sometime in the next couple weeks (my new show starts previews on Friday so realistically I'll be doing this after that) is write my vision of motherhood. Since we all write our own stories anyway, consciously or not. Write it out so I can embrace the "And" equation rather than the "Or". Not so I can predict what mothering will be, but so I can see in my own hand how yes, I'll be connected for the rest of eternity to this baby and it's daddy but it's not Mommying OR Freedom, it's Mommying AND Freedom. If I can think it, feel it,write it I can do it. I want to be an incredible mother; I want to be an incredible partner to Sky; and I want to feel like this in my own life
found this image on this site

The "step forward" then, was just recognizing that and starting to create it.


  1. this is all such great news mel :) i can't wait to have another little niece/nephew of my own--you and sky will make such a beautiful baby, and soon enough! I cannot wait for that day but stay positive, and continue enjoying that freedom you do have now before a little baby arrives! then you can learn how to balance both ;)

    love you! and i want to hear more about these jobs of yours!! xoxo

  2. I tried posting this before but it didn't work so I'll try again. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am going through something similar (stopped taking the pill, no cycle for months, liver enzyme issues, freak out, etc.) Your entries on this topic have helped me feel less alone throughout this process. Your progress is encouraging and gives me hope that I too will come out of this on the other side.

  3. erica,
    thanks so much for saying what you did. i've been hoping women going through this too would relate---we need each other in it! here to support you; thanks for yours. xo

  4. So beautifully said and deeply inspiring. Moved me to tears- thank you for that small gift today::::