When last I posted, I claimed a break for the holidays and to meet my publishing schedule. What I didn’t share was news so fragile and hopeful it had been twenty years in the making: Doctors had confirmed in November that I was pregnant. Hubs and I were over the moon. It had been a lifelong dream for both of us. After I posted, on December 12, the doctors could no longer find a fetal heartbeat.
We were devastated. We still are. That effort had been the final stop on that road, and we’re having to adjust our mindset to being permanently childless. It’s a wrenching perspective change.
I hadn’t known the statistics for miscarriage for women my age were so high. My doctor told me for women in their forties, it’s between 60-70% of all pregnancies. A fertility center in Chicago gives slightly kinder numbers, but the steep rise in the curve is what punctured my last hope. I also hadn’t done the mental math to realize how many women I’m friends with who have shared this pain. Some have gone on to have rainbow babies, but others face my kind of future.
I’ve been blessed with a hubs who is not only supportive, but there with me emotionally. Open to sharing this depth of despair. I’ve been blessed with colleagues who are willing to share their experiences and gentle nudges like the one from this article about the way the Japanese grieve miscarriages. I’ve been blessed with fellow authors and friends who supported my need to vent and who pushed me–both to take the time off I needed to deal with all the follow-up medical visits and procedures, but also to keep trudging forward with my edits.
To my friends and family: I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get into the holiday spirit. In the wake of losing my mother-in-law in July, my fellow KKP author a week later, all the artists I’ve commemorated (and now, even, General Organa), and this final blow, 2016 was too heartbreaking to celebrate.
The one miracle: I somehow finished all my edits on time. I met the biggest of my goals for ROW80 right on time. Dragon’s Pursuit came out January 4, and seems to be finding a small audience–and even, happy reviewers. (And you can add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads, if you want to hold off on buying another book, too.)
I keep reminding myself the sun keeps rising. In order to leave any mark on the world now, I need to be as committed as ever to my creative path. I’m still struggling to keep my emotions at least somewhat in balance. In the midst of all the other medical stuff, I took time out for a dental cleaning. And discovered I have another tooth that needs removing. Because apparently I really need more pain in my life right now.
So, even though I’m a week late, I’m still going to make an attempt at goals for this round:
- Finish draft of Fire to Dragon and submit to my editor by February 10.
- Blog weekly.
- Resume weekly stay-at-home date night with hubs.
- Walk daily… even if it’s only half a mile. (On top of everything else, our oldest Husky has developed an unexplained limp, so she’s not as active as we’ve been used to.)
I’m keeping this list short and intentionally low-key for now. It was a hard enough decision to share our heartbreak so publicly. We’ll see what productivity impacts the grieving process has on me as time goes on.
In the meantime, as always, I’m keeping tabs on my ROW80 buddies, and encourage you to, too. I’ll be back again next week, and I’ll be putting one foot in front of another for a while.