It was July 14th, Bastille Day. The best date for a revolution — although I wouldn’t realise that until I began to write about it the following day.
It started with DH and I deciding to return to the beach for the second day running, but this time without our dog. I tweeted this non-news:
Two minutes later, I was feeling brave and decided to honour this moment, fleeting though it might be:
Thirty minutes later, we were walking along the shore past the hordes of people. I had a large umbrella slung over my shoulder, and I felt like a warrior princess with a quiver of arrows across her back. I pretended I was Penthesilea. It wasn’t too hard: I (metaphorically) killed my Bean, but I am winning this war. See y’all at Troy, suckas!
We found an empty spot a mile down the beach, equidistant from the nudist beach and the sheeple’s car park. I unsheathed my umbrella and we staked out our place. The sky was a perfect shade of summer sky blue, with fuzzy cotton wool clouds. The sea was a deep green that turned to aqua when the crest of a wave broke. The sand felt velvety beneath my fingertips. I took a sneaky swig of whiskey from the flask we’d brought, and raced to the ocean, my stride gradually slowed by the body of water. When I was hip-deep and a large wave charged at me, I squeezed my eyes shut to protect my contact lenses and swam under the current.
The water was filled with tiny glittering bronze flecks but, unlike last time, they didn’t stick to my body. I imagined the water washing away my sorrows. I thought about the Isak Dinesen quotation that I so love and wrote about recently. The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.
I swam over to DH and kissed him. I wrapped my legs around his waist, and we hugged and kissed like teenagers in the water. Another wave came, and we were off, body-surfing! Wading/swimming almost 100 yards/meters out in the water took a lot of effort. The farther out I tried to go, the more I kept being pushed back towards the shore. I laughed at the metaphor: three steps forward, one to two steps back. Sometimes you can ride the waves, and sometimes you have to dive beneath them to swim to the surface. And sometimes you come up for air, only to get another mouthful of saltwater. Back and forth, to and fro, give and take, but slowly I would get there — just enjoy the process for what it is. Respect it. Don’t fight it. You’ll get there. I felt empowered. Almost cured!
Back on terra firma, I dried off in the sun, breathless, and sang to myself as I watched DH splash in the ocean and ride its waves. He soon flopped beside me, grinning with the exhilaration of a natural high. It felt good to be in his company. It felt good to feel like myself again. I saw a 4-month pregnant woman go by and although I sucked in my breath, it was okay. I caught DH watching me (he doesn’t miss a trick, bless him) and reassured him that I was alright. We carried on talking.
Then, a trio of people, a man and two women, decided to pose for an 8-month pregnant belly pic not 20 feet away from us. (This is the part where I remind you it was an otherwise empty stretch of sand.) The yellow cliffs behind us were beautiful bluffs indeed, but I hadn’t expected my own bluff to be called. I was furious. I was determined to not let this moment ruin my afternoon. Please leave… keep going, keep going, keep going, I begged the three friends. But they posed and chatted for several minutes.
I turned to DH. That’s sort of what I would have looked like… Tears slid down my cheeks.
My thoughts were: I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay. I’m not pregnant, whether I like it or not. Or maybe I am. Maybe this is easier to bear because I am pregnant.
URGH! I exhaled as I flopped on my back. Getting my period this month is going to SUCK. I reached for the flagon and for my phone.
4:58pm: Fuck you, universe! You may’ve baited me w/ a big belly pic on an empty beach, but I accepted your challenge and won!
Around this time, during our conversation of flat bellies and pot bellies and big bellies, DH told me that P-SIL is going to be induced a week early and that she’s expecting another girl. I felt a pang. It’s no longer an It. She’s a real live baby girl. Then, shit, she’s coming a week early?! That’s one less week I have to prepare myself. Then I realised, that’s one less week I have to avoid my P-SIL for.I suppose it’s a good thing.
And then I was overcome with relief that it’s not a boy. Relief, and gratitude. Finally, some good news! DH, who doesn’t read this blog, didn’t fully understand. I’m glad it’s not a boy because mine was a boy, I told him. Perhaps we will have the honour of producing the first grandson…
We stopped off for dinner at a vegetarian restaurant in Encinitas on our way home. DH chose an iced tea, whose cap underside had an inscription. The weird thing was, earlier in the day I had come the closest I have come to praying for a sign that things would be OK. The only better sign I could ask for is a Magic 8 Ball turning up the message: Pregnant. It might not be a message telling me I’m pregnant again, but it’s affirmation that I am on the right path towards healing, so it’ll do:
The Fertility Friend Pregnancy Monitor is giving me 7 points at 5DPO and says our BD timing was good. If my niece is being delivered a week early, that will be a week after I find out if this cycle was successful or not. Please let it be. I’m glad my luteal phase is 12 days, not 14. I sometimes wistfully place my hands over my lower belly and say Do the best you can. It’s apt encouragement for both my uterus and a blastocyst. I don’t feel pregnant — I won’t even entertain the notion, this tiny hope I have will cause enough disappointment if/when AF arrives in a week — so these changes can only mean that slowly, slowly, I’m making progress.