Saturday, September 10, 2011

Holy Self-Centeredness!

Mine all mine, and I feel the need to own it.

I mentioned recently on Twitter that I've been spending a lot of time wandering in Memory Lane the last week or so. Sort of a slow motion Life-Flashing-Before-My-Eyes experience. Navel-gazing, moping, reliving good times and bad. I'm not sure where this extraordinary degree of introspection is coming from, but I'm guessing it's a combination of the changing season (Fall never fails to bring out my nostalgic side) and the impending start of IVF The Do-Over and the knowledge that I probably only have the wherewithal for this one IVF cycle. I feel like I am very near my limit with this process. I am ready for things to change. I either want my baby, or I want my life back. It's time to break out of Limbo.

In the process of this little memorial road-trip, I've also spent a lot of time contemplating the various branching points in my life that led me to my current place, and wondering where I would be and what my life would be like if I had made different choices. Wondering if it is too late to make some dramatic changes. And I know that, actually it is not too late. My mother went back to school at about age 40 to get her masters and start a new career. No reason I can't do the same.

It was thinking about my mother and some of her choices that really stopped me in my tracks this week. One of the memories that bubbled to the surface was from my early childhood, and it hit me quite hard. I guess I've never mentioned this here, but when I was about four years old, my mother had a miscarriage. I'm not sure how far along she was, but it was far enough that she was showing and everyone knew she was expecting (even me). Because I was so very young when this happened, it has always just been a piece of my family history, a simple fact of life like my grandparents divorce.

Only in this last week of soaking in memories and un-actualized potential, did the reality of my mother's loss sink in for me. And I feel horrible. How is it that in my nearly three years of struggling to get pregnant and one miscarriage of my own, I never made this connection? How is it that this was always so much a background fact that it didn't even register with me? You don't need to bother telling me in the comments, I know I'm a self-centered beast.

My mother has always been a steadfast figure of calm and caring. Who took care of her? Did my father give her the emotional support she would have needed, or maybe her sister did? Did she have close friends to help her heal? I'm not sure I could tell you who my mother's best friend was when I was four years old. I know there is one photo of my mother and I, taken just before she found out the baby was gone, and she keeps this photo out where she can see it. She has mentioned on numerous occasions that it is the only existing photo of her with both of her babies. And all I can think is, "Oh god, my poor poor mother."


  1. It's hard to imagine our parents having lives before they had us, doesn't make you self centred in my eyes. You sound anything but to me...big hugs x

  2. Wow. That is a sad story and such a sad memory. In a way though, and I'm not sure why, but there feels like there is something important about remembering all of that. You know I'm always thinking of you and wishing you the very best... so please don't call my Twitter/Blogger friends a selfish beast!

  3. I don't think that's self-centered. You explained it so perfectly - it was a fact of your family history. You were too young to experience it in a more meaningful way yet you already had the knowledge that it happened. If your mother had just divulged for the first time that she'd had a miscarriage, you would have experienced it differently, right? The dawning realization of what it really meant to her doesn't make you self-centered, just human.

  4. I have been following your blog for a while... and I don't think I would follow a self centered beast! Perhaps just someone who like the rest of us gets consumed by the process of trying to have a baby. You were only 4 years old! Even though you knew, it probably didn't affect you because you were so young and you didn't understand how big a deal it was. You said it yourself, 'a piece of family history'. I have done this too and I think to myself, why didn't I put the pieces together? It can be very frustrating. Take it easy on yourself.
    Wishing you the best of luck in your IVF cycle.
    Take care

  5. I don't think you're self-centered at all. Sometimes our early childhood memories, no matter how sad, kind of flit away from our memories. What's important now is that you did make the connection. And you can do something about it if you feel the need too.
    Glad to see you back in blog-land!

  6. What a sad memory. But you're right, these things never really come into focus until we're faced with something similar. My parents had IF struggles and a loss just past 1st tri before I was born. My brothers are adopted, and I've always known about my parents' struggles, but never really thought much of them until my first loss. I had always figured they were well over it, after being able to adopt a pair of brothers and have a baby. I have found though, that it's made my parents a wonderful support for me during this.

    I also have an aunt and uncle on each side who lost a child around the age of 2, and that has likewise been always just a family fact, but one that has come much more sharply into focus since this journey began.

  7. Wow, how sad. You can't consider yourself self-centered, you're not. The loss happened when you were very young and was not something you would have been able to process for a very long time. I think those types of realizations happen from time to time, families have issues and they just get encapsulated in memories.