I wrote Prompt 16! Thanks, Kat McNally for the opportunity. As a Reverber since 2010, it meant a lot that you trusted me to guide the community with a question that could really help someone grow and understand something about him or herself in the new year.
Like many folks, I picture myself as a modern day Wonder Woman, trying to use my superpowers, to do lists and pure force to get what I want. In 2014, I found that my effort wasn’t often tied to my desired outcomes — except when it was.
In 2015, is there something you’d like to try harder at because you believe it would make all the difference?
Conversely, what is something you could stop trying so hard at that might actually help you manifest what you’d like?
When I wrote this prompt, I was coming from a very specific perspective and had an idea of what my response would be. Unfortunately, my response is the exact opposite of what I had planned to write.
A constant tension in Reverb since 2010 for me has been motherhood. It started back then with “DO I want to?,” moved to “WHEN do I want to?” in 2013 to “HOW do I do this now?” in 2014. This summer, I wrote that my sole dream for 2014 was to know I would be the mother of a healthy baby by the end of the year.
So I tried VERY HARD this year to get pregnant. Did you know on average, it takes a couple 7 months to get pregnant the first time?!? I am a data-driven woman with To Do Lists and that seemed crazy! I bought The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant, got the fertility monitor and the other supplements and tools… learned all the jargon of the baby-making subculture (TTC, OPK, BFP, and sometimes WTF…) and tried… so, so hard… while also trying so hard to not let my urgency consume me and take over my life. I failed miserably at both.
I didn’t know how else to approach this task other than to be me.
Six months after I started, my doctor told me that I might want to look at fertility treatments since nothing had happened despite all my tools and tests that showed I was in good reproductive health. I gave up a little, tried a little less hard, and then in that milestone month seven, I got my positive test.
I guessed I was just meant to be basic. Or it was all magic.
So the last three months, I endured the first trimester. Everything that everyone says about how awful it is absolutely true. But it didn’t matter, because I knew I had met my goal and I could breathe! I didn’t “announce my pregnancy,” but I didn’t always hide it. I needed a lot of help and leeway because I was always exhausted and shared with people who I felt could help. I also needed pregnant friends. I told myself that I refused to live in fear and all my hormones and ultrasounds showed that everything was awesome. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to be one of those women who got to have the Pinterest-inspired holiday pregnancy announcement, that I could pose Forrest with What to Expect and wrap my husband and me in some Xmas lights with a chalkboard that said June 2015 and post it all over Facebook.
But… alas, no. I am not that woman. Last week, I lost the baby just a few days shy of the 12 week mark that had approached so slowly. I will spare you the details, as I don’t want this to be grief porn. What happened occurs in less than 1% of pregnancies and I required surgery. It’s been a week, but I am still waking up in physical pain. The emotions come and go and probably will for some time, especially while I figure out how I could endure the possibility of re-experiencing the last year in this aspect of my life if I want to try again, even if science is on my side to eventually give birth to a healthy baby. Science and probability have not exactly been my friends during this endeavor, after all. I haven’t yet deleted the secret Pinterest boards or told everyone I need to, yet. As a writer, it is probably not shocking that it’s easier to deal with my emotions on the screen first.
So effort, force and trying. Blech. I do know that Reverb is teaching me that spending more effort on trying to be a writer would be a good thing. This weekend, I read an interview with Stephen King about writing in an old issue of Rolling Stone magazine. It’s a good reminder to not forget the hustle in your work life and that hustle might involve being very consistent.
On everything else, I am aiming for peace and optimism and being able to sleep through the night for now and the right to be selfish for a few more weeks about putting myself first. Hope will likely trump effort these days and I am okay with that.