The things that sustain me, as I stare down the end of my fertility:
Niblet. I am going to take this opportunity to brag. Her artwork is beautiful.
She is reading years ahead of her class. She was picked to participate in an after-school project sponsored by (gulp) MENSA. She recently taught herself to sight read at the piano (fuck, I guess I have to find her a piano teacher now). She loves ballet and shows some real promise, and I am going to have to find a way to haul her to class two times a week next year despite working full time. Speaking of which...
Ballet. I am back at it, and better than I have been in years. Pulling off multiple pirouettes. Getting my splits back. Jumping again too, after sustaining an injury a few years ago I honestly thought I would never recover from. All of this is MUCH EASIER TO DO when you're not pregnant or miscarrying. Finally dropping 53 weeks of pregnancy weight is happening too. Slow going because I am fucking middle-aged, but hey, I'll take it.
Marriage. The Viking still rules and that's all you need to know about us. But I should add he is now taking steps to improve his own health, which is good because he has a kid who still wants to be picked up an awful lot for a tall first grader.
Parents. Mine are both healthy and active. They send Niblet boxes of random stuff every few weeks (think clothes, coloring books, granola bars) that bring her joy and me... more cleaning. My mom is the picture of loveliness, taking two ballet classes a week herself. They are cooler than imaginable, even my Dad, the part-time tai chi instructor, who is still crazy over-protective ("text me when you're home safe" he writes, when he knows I have late meetings or events at the office).
Home. We took out a home equity loan to finish out our basement. Ahh debt. Our beautiful cozy little house will get just a little more spacious, with a finished room to hide more crap in. Along with a much-needed extra bathroom. More room for me to clean y'all! (And yes, add cleaning and de-cluttering my own house as one of my de-stressing activities, lest you think I am even bourgier than I sound and hire someone to do it for me).
J-O-B. Here's a life-lived discovery: Not running to ultrasounds in a constant state of panic helps one be more productive at work. Did I mention that I received something of a promotion recently? Well, let's be clear, my title stayed the same, along with my pay, but somehow my responsibility jacked up 100% because I am now a "Campaign Director" on a project to improve the lives and working conditions for thousands of home health aides in a nearby jurisdiction. I don't talk about my work-life on this blog much, but I will make an exception right now: These home health aides are the godsends who wash and bathe our grandparents, dress them to take them to the store or the doctor, and do all of these things for a wage too low to live on. Oh, and thousands of them had their pittance wages stolen by their employers in a nearby jurisdiction. Anyways, I can manage campaigns like this far more efficiently when I am not pregnant or miscarrying.
Trashy books. Fun fact: when I am not mothering, enjoying the company of my own husband, cleaning my house or thinking about low-wage workers at my day-job, I like to visit this website and proceed to download and eventually read all of the trashy things. Picture this: Viking and I often lie in bed on Sunday mornings (before the Niblet wakes of course) and mock each other's reading choices. I like the books on my nook to feature shirtless pirates. He favors graphic zombie novels. Frankly, I am just happy he reads. We both do escapism.
The void in my life created by the loss of my babies will never be filled. It can't be. It's immeasurable. The grief is still palpable.
But it's a full and good life.