Weathering the storm

February 12, 2010

As everyone knows, DC was walloped with two big snow storms in the past week. I love snow, even this much of it, but there was little that was lovable about this most recent blizzard. The winds were terrible, you could barely see across the street. The snow was not pretty — it blew in mounds rather than gracefully outlining branches. And a lot of people had a lot of problems : roofs falling in, cars stuck, power out, etc.

But for us, things were actually fine. I worked all week — some from home and some from the office. Our power is on. Our roof is still standing, we think. We can walk to a grocery store. We made delicious dinners every night. We shoveled sidewalks and built a snowman and snowcat.

Today or tomorrow is cycle day one for me (temperature dropped today, but the, err, more obvious sign of CD1 has not started yet). I’ve been med-free for a couple of months and appear to be back to my same old normal cycle — ovulation on day 18, new cycle 11 days later. The one change was that I had abundant cervical fluid, more than I can remember having in months — so I was hopeful maybe mucus and  acupuncture would be the magic ingredients. And those abdominal pains — maybe I could imagine they were implantation, not wacked out ovaries?

Alas, no.

I have weathered many a disappointing CD 1. I like to think I am getting used to it. I resolved long ago to stop crying for three days at the sight of my period — that sort of behavior was just not sustainable. But it still kicks me in the gut every now and then, unexpectantly.

This is, unfortunately, one of those months.

This morning,  I just could not bear the sight of my box of tampons. I started crying as I took one out of the box. In fact, I am literally crying again now just recounting that awful memory (of an item of personal hygiene. yes, it is silly. shudder to think!).

I thought I had come to accept the initially shocking news of a pregnant family member… but I got angry about it all over again this morning at the sight of those supplies. How quickly it happened for them. How long I’ve waiting.

How many boxes of supplies have I been through since that “last box of tampons” I bought two years ago — so hopefully, so naively?

So there I was: cycle day one, barren, 32.5 years old, tampon in my back pocket, crying, getting ready to walk through unshoveled sidewalks to catch the bus to work.

My cat, bless him, was sitting on a radiator in The Room That Would Be The Nursery.  Poor guy is on the heater, in the sunshine, desperately trying to get warm. I go to pet him and look out the window at our back garden. It is under two feet of snow. There are icicles as tall as me on my neighbor’s back deck.

It seems impossible to me that in a few months the snow will melt and the garden will be full of life. Herbs growing, tomatoes sprouting, flowers beginning to bloom.

This always happens to me: I always have trouble imagining another season when I am in one. I remember sitting by the pool one day last summer, scorching in the heat and thinking, “In six months, I will wear a sweater.” And it just BLEW MY MIND.

It’s pretty silly. Seasons happen every year. Summer is hot, winter is cold — but when I am in the middle of one of them, it is just impossible for me to imagine the other.

And yet, spring does always come.

The winter has burrowed deep in my disposition. I feel like I am on a treadmill of cycle day ones. Every month just as barren as the last one. Nothing changes. It seems like it will never end. I always have trouble imagining another season when I am in one.

And yet, I have to remember. There will be a spring. I don’t know when. Or how. But it will come. With cherry blossoms. And one day I might look out that window with a crying child in my arms and think about the day when it seemed like the snow would never melt.

But for now, I shall endeavor to enjoy the winter … drink hot chocolate and build a snowman…



  1. I think this my favorite post ever. It is so sad. And true.

  2. Well put. I am so with you… its been a rough stretch for me with lots of preg news around. But we must keep our hope for the spring.

  3. I remember these days too well. I HATED buying supplies. I never bought them in bulk hoping I didn’t have to buy them the next month.

    I hope the spring is your upcoming appt…:)

  4. I don’t mind winter and snow except for driving on bad weather days. Ugh! However, winters are long for us around these parts so by the time spring rares her beautiful head…we are all ready, especially children. When it gets warm out…the last place I want to be is inside. But like you, I can handle being indoors for now…enjoying how bright the snow makes the sunshine as my cat and I lay out on the couch taking our afternoon naps. 🙂

  5. I wish we could commiserate over a cup of hot chocolate or cappuccino! 😦

  6. Sorry about CD1. I love your reflection about not being able to imagine the next season while you are in the current one.

  7. Tampons are loathsome. This may suffice to get me committed, but I have considered on several occasions never buying any more, as a protest. As if this could somehow stop my period coming. Nevertheless, because of the denial (not a belief that I’m pregnant, I guess, just disbelief that I have to keep going through this. The menstrual cycle is FOR childbearing. If I can’t have kids, it should just go away, right?), I always wait to buy them until I’m really out. Of course that makes everything better. So…in any case…I don’t think you’re crazy – or at least, you do not have the MOST irrational response to tampons :).

  8. I’ve just discovered your blog today, and I am happy for your good news. This post describes me to a T — I’m glad I’m not the only one who goes through these emotions every month when my CD 1 occurs…

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