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."