Becoming Buddhist

Attempting to Live a More Mindful Life


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Done

My plan for today was to write about my garden, freshly spring planted, and how it is the loveliest little Buddhist thing in my life.

LettuceOne

The lettuce box with its shade cover, against the fence

I was going to write about homesteading, about caretaking, about how, after a difficult last week, I felt renewed on Monday by some sunshine and the imperative (self-imposed) to make a giant batch of chicken pho from scratch. It fragrantly simmered all afternoon while Lex and I played in the garden, and I took a photo of the platter of goodies we ended up with at dinnertime. All that green.

PhoPlatter

But instead, I’m going to write about this:

NotPG

Thud.

It is not even so much about that pregnancy test being negative (but it is so starkly, horribly, depressingly negative), but about what it represents. It represents my complete and total obsession for the last two weeks with whether or not I might be pregnant. It started harmlessly enough, with a promising ovulation, which I knew because, eager to see whether my hormones were on track or not, I charted my temperatures religiously this month and did an ovulation predictor kit, too. Whereas before I’d maybe manage a faint pink line, this month it was a magenta proclamation saying, “the egg is en route!” And that afternoon I felt the egg coming, a kind of tugging in my right side (the side where I still have a tube).

Marc was enlisted; acupuncture happened; optimism ensued.

We’ll see what happens, I told myself, meditating, feeling calm.

I’m not sure when things shifted into high gear, but I suspect it was when I started to read Taking Charge of Your Fertility a little too earnestly, comparing my chart to the charts in the book. I even hauled out old charts and studied them, looking for patterns. Like the charts were hieroglyphics containing ancient secrets, I studied them.

I won’t go into all the details. If you’re interested in how the body works, you can read this. The quick and dirty is that in the luteal phase, the body heats up because of the addition of extra progesterone. When you’re pregnant, your temperature is high. You can make a graph, and see when your temperature rises; that means you’ve entered the luteal phase. According to the book, if the luteal phase stretches to seventeen or eighteen days, you’re very likely pregnant.

I’m on day sixteen, but color me impatient.

Since day thirteen, I haven’t slept well. I dream I’m pregnant; I dream I’m bleeding. I wake up waiting for blood. There is no blood. Flood of relief and optimism. Flood of self-doubt and depression. I have to pee all the time; but I drink water and tea all the time. Vivid dreams and insomnia are signs of early pregnancy; vivid dreams and insomnia are signs of anxiety, too.

I just wish I could stop. I should never have peed on that stick.

Remember last week, when I wrote about how Buddhism is like accepting that your life is a movie, watching it without attachment? Well, that is a beautiful goal for me, to watch my life without attachment, and sometimes I attain it. But most of my life I have spent jumping into the screen of the movie and hollering at the characters, telling them what to do.

This week has been like that. Hard. Hard for many reasons, but hard for this one, too. Marc and I have been trying to have another baby for going on two years. In January I lost one that was never viable. I’ve swung from not wanting it anymore to wanting it so badly I’ve become obsessed. Every month is like a fucking carnival of disappointment. And the worst part is how stupid and vulnerable I feel. I said to M this morning, “I feel so dumb for being optimistic, like the world is laughing at me.”

Intellectually, I know this is an illusion. I know the answer to all of this is to keep sitting every morning (and maybe therapy and heavy drugs).

The sitting feels labored, but like a small relief.

It just can’t solve every problem. That’s not the point.

I knew that, of course.

And I admit how attached I am to another blue line showing up before this thing is done.

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