Playing in the Residue

Holy cow. Ok. Wow. So instead of deleting this blog (which was really just my tiredness talking, I won’t actually that) I went back and started reviewing my archives, copy and pasting each entry into a word document. I’m doing it one post at a time (and I now have over 520 posts) so I can preserve the comments, and also so I can edit a little bit. I’ve deleted a small handful of posts, the ones that went into too much detail about other people, and edited a couple slightly for identifying details.

But it has been so. much. fun. to do this. It’s all I want to do right now. It’s fascinating to see my life through the eyes of my 34-year-old self, six years ago – how different my life is now, how different I am. I feel like a different person. But I struggle with so many of the same things – insecurity, anxiety, self-doubt. Actually those things have been magnified incredibly by motherhood.

I’m about 6-7 months into the archives (I’m working from oldest to newest), and a few months ahead of the conception of our daughter. It’s kind of amazing to read back, knowing what I know now, about how the journey has gone since then.

It’s also amazing to see comments from people I haven’t thought about in YEARS – the women who just stopped blogging one day and never came back. And also amazing to see comments from people (Tara, Mel, Rachel, Sarah S-P) who are still part of my life today.

I found this fun iPod shuffle game we did a long time ago, where you do a random shuffle and then use the songs that come up, in the order they appear, to answer a list of 10 questions. I thought it would be fun to revisit it and see how it came out, and here is my list for today:

1. The song for the you that existed before you ever thought about your fertility:

“Anxiety” – Black Eyed Peas. OMG – the exact same song came out on top both times!!! Hit refresh. Try again.

“Down to the River to Pray” – from O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack.

My “issues” with conservative/evangelical Christianity, the tradition I was raised in, were certainly in full force before infertility (or sub-fertility, if you will). But struggling to conceive certainly didn’t help resolve my issues. Having kids didn’t really, either. Well, maybe a little.

2. Would you really want to go back and be that person again?

“Shiny, Happy People” – REM

Not sure that that means… but I also don’t really know how to answer that question. I was so, so sad back then. But I was nowhere near so tired, so stressed, so anxious about everything. At the same time, there is no way I would want to lose this gift of motherhood. I’d like to regain the ability to focus I had back then, some of the balance I had, the intimacy with my husband, the fun I had doing things like play Scrabble and go out in the evenings. I know this will come again someday but right now it’s mostly really hard. Wonderful, but hard.

3. The song for when you first started fertility treatments:

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” – U2

Um, no further comment…

But so thankful that we eventually found them, or they found us – our babies.

4. What did infertility do to your sex life?

“Where Is The Love?” – Blackeyed Peas

Ok, who shuffled this now? Are they reading my mind???

5. What about superstitions and fertility rituals?

“Etcetera, Whatever” – Over The Rhine

“We don’t need a lot of money, we’ll be sleeping on the beach, keeping oceans within reach and I guess all I really mean is we’re gonna be all right. We’re gonna be all right.” (This one didn’t really fit the question. Which, phew, it was getting creepy!)

I did some rituals – I would pray for fellow stirrup queens when I couldn’t sleep at night, using the Hail Mary as a basis for rhythm and structure. And I would meditate after yoga using a heart-shaped candle. I don’t know whether or not I believed in either of these as effective beyond calming my mind.

6. How about “alternative” treatments, from cough syrup and pineapple to acupuncture and ‘body workers’? “

“Ribbons Undone” – Tori Amos

“She’s a girl / Rising from a shell / Running to spring / It is her time it is her time / Watch her run with ribbons undone”

This song makes me think of my daughter, although it has nothing to do with the question.

I didn’t do any “alternative” treatments.

7. How do you feel about coming out of the IF closet?

“Calling the Moon” – Dar Williams

“Oh, make sense of me, night / I can see so much from this cold height / The moon said, “Oh darkness, my work is done / I’ve poured this bottle of light from the sun / But their anger keeps on rising / And they don’t understand / I’ve shown them all that I can / That the world is at hand”

8. Your song for other people’s baby showers:

“Give Me Novocaine” – Green Day

Okay, getting creepily apropos again!

9. What about our scary friend hope?

“This Will Be Our Year” – Ok Go

“This will be our year, took a long time to come” I held on to this song for a long time. Held on to it hard.

10. And lastly, the theme song of your fertility journey:

“By Way of Sorrow” – Cry Cry Cry

Ok. So. TAG – you’re it!!!

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3 Responses to “Playing in the Residue”

  1. Heather Says:

    Quite a nice summary of all your blogging! Musical poetry, very expressive…

  2. tara Says:

    love by way of sorrow- fun songs. I’ve thought of getting myself a book of my posts. there are sites that will do it for you and then you can edit from there. then I could go back and delete whatever I wanted.

  3. Mel Says:

    I love it when I’m searching for an old email, and the search terms pull up all these old bloggers who have disappeared into the ether. You’re making me want to do this with my blog, though I have to admit that I’m terrified at how long it would take.

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