Thursday, December 4, 2008

Biding Time

I tell myself that I don't want to become one of these women who do nothing but obssess about having a child, but I feel like I'm turning into one of them. It doesn't help that I'm not working right now. My contract job ended several weeks ago, which seemed perfectly fine when I was pregnant and felt both a sense of purpose and the value of my limited free time. Now, my free time stretches out indefinitely. Having too much time to think feels a little suffocating at the moment. So, I've been desperately scouring the web for a part time job to keep me somewhat busy while I continue working on my writing. And the economy flicks me a finger and says, bad timing, lady. Frankly, I wouldn't mind working at a Starbucks right now (if they're even hiring), but working as a barrista probably isn't the most constructive use of my time in the long run. Not to say that I look down on it because I would do it in a heartbeat if we needed the money.

So I'm trying to recall those days when I worked 6am to midnight and whined about wanting more free time. And dreamed of taking classes, throwing pottery, gardening, volunteering, reading, writing. I'm trying to get to a point emotionally where I can focus on my writing projects, get interested in reading about subjects other than miscarriage, where I can stave off the sense of depression that weighs me down, keeps me in bed in the morning, and questions what is the point of all this. And when a friend calls for lunch, I drag myself off to meet up with her, somewhat reluctant to go but grateful for the fishline.

I'm trying to keep it all in perspective. I know how lucky I am in so many respects compared to so many others. And I know that having this time is a tremendous privilege - and can be extremely fruitful if I can force myself to focus. And that two miscarriages is not the end of the road. Compared to what some of my friends are going through, these are just small bleeps. So I plug in my ipod, get into my jogging gear, and drag myself to the gym. I prepare my to do list for the day. I research my writing subject. I send out emails to people to propose ideas and solicit advice. I try to put my thoughts to paper. I take the dog for a walk. And before I know it, it is already evening.

And then, only then, do I look at my google calendar, count how many days it has been since my miscarriage, project how much longer until we can try again, and start to hope for another beginning.


  1. There will come a new beginning; one that will have a beautiful end!

  2. Tiniest thought - can you jog in your neighborhood instead of at the gym? When I switched to running outdoors in the midst of crushing (non-miscarriage) depression, all of a sudden I got a lot more out of it. Something about the smells, the light, the solitude...helped me turn running/jogging into peaceful thinking time that felt unlike anything else.

    Like I said, very tiny, but still. Hang in there :)

  3. Get a job at Starbucks, or whatever... you don't have to stay there forever, and you don't have to work there all the time. Make some human connections. Have a different pace for a while. Share your life experiences with the mostly youngins who work at Starbucks.

    - Starbucks employee who's quitting but got something out of it while otherwise unemployed

  4. To Anonymous: December 5, 2008 9:52

    Hmmm... YOu may have spoken kindly and from the heart, but . . . The tone of your post was somewhat harsh. Almost sounded like you were urging Shinyung to "get off her butt". Sorry, but that's how I read it.

    Considering she has had two miscarriages and is going through other personal and professional changes, I don't think she needs that sort of "encouragement".

    I would say that anyone in her position should take as much time as she needs to heal physically and emotionally. If that means "making some human connections" (as you suggest) in-person, and not on-line, then fine. If it means lying in bed for two weeks and reading books, then also fine.

    Perhaps we sometimes forget how our painful our posts can be. We are responsible for everything we write and say to others, even if anonymously.

  5. Hi Shinyung-
    You are breaking my heart with these posts! I continue to have so much sympathy and many good thoughts for you, whatever they are worth from here in Atlanta.

    Anyway, I just wanted to suggest this woman's blog to you: Katie Allison Granju at Babble. She has recently suffered another miscarriage as well, and it sounds, from reading her most recent post, that she may have some great info and resources to discuss with your doctor to help pinpoint the issues and most effective treatment.

    Wishing you all the best, always!

  6. I can so relate.

    Like you I am a lawyer. I came from a poor background with six siblings and I did it the hard way, worked full-time and attended evening classes for four years year-round to finish law school. But the bright side of that was I emerged debt-free with no loans.

    I continued on in my law school job in a non-legal profession after graduating and passing two Bar exams. But the bright side of that was I was able to start my own practice with the seed money from moonlighting as a lawyer while working the other full-time job.

    I suffered four miscarriages until I had my gorgeous daughter and have suffered two since. But the bright side of that is I have a gorgeous daughter and we are now considering adoption.

    Through it ALL I have always wanted, craved, desired, dreamed of and yearned for free time. Time with which to do nothing or anything at all. The reality is now when my practice cycle hits a low--holidays, when the kids are out of school for summer are times when my practice places a lower demand on my time, I tend to get depressed, sad, and I feel like a slacker. One job, or technically two with raising my daughter, and I feel like a "do nothing loser".

    Women like us need to step back and learn how to relax, enjoy the moment and NOT feel guilty because we are not ON FULL GO 24/7. Cherish the small things in life, find peace and beauty in the everyday and DO NOT APOLOGIZE for it.

    But I am in there with you lacing up my running shoes and putting one foot in front of the other.

    From someone else who knows, easier said than done but necessary to do. Your post has helped to show me that I am not the only one, but we need to find a way to "cure" this for ourselves and others like us that I am SURE are out here too.