well, here we are...halfway through the proper baking time for a nicely-done Tummymuffin. the oven, that is, the Mummytiffin, is expanding at exponential rates, and now strangers are making direct comments about pregnancy, so clearly i don't just look suspiciously plumpy anymore.
my mother just got here for a visit and already in the first half-day she's done all the dishes, bleached my sink and dish drainer, and taken down the bathroom trash. this is of course after i'd cleaned the house for her arrival. i won't lie; it's nice having the Mommy House & Cooking Fairy around, but it's nicer to have her company in happier times. the last time she was here on her own with me was to care for me as i went through having to chemically induce my second miscarriage.
it strikes me now how so many of the events of my last few years are woven around my fertility (or lack thereof) as a time marker. no matter how hard you may try to not let family-making become all-consuming, the times of conception and loss become ingrained in your memory; you need no calendar to know your ovulation cycle; various holidays become signposted with whether or not you were pregnant with which child or miscarried around then or whatever. i can't go back and change the past; nor can i control the future. the present is what i have, and the memories i have right now simply are what they are.
just as i believe that hope & anxiety must naturally co-exist, i am learning that joy & grief do as well. my joy does not diminish the grief of what has gone before, just as grief does not taint the joy in any way. if this is the current yin and yang of my emotional landscape, i have to be willing to walk through it with my eyes wide open, taking in all the scenery, not just selected details. i can acknowledge that before every ultrasound i am convinced that we'll find a still little body with no heartbeat, and not flinch from this terrifying feeling; i can simply accept that it's there are move forward. in the same way, after every ultrasound in which we've watched Tummymuffin IV flip and punch and cavort and show off, i can open myself up to the flood of gratefulness and excitement and accept its blessing.