When last I left you, I was running off into the sacred woodlands to hug some trees and commune with Gaia, hair whipping in the wind, gracelessly tripping over my too long maxi skirt and loosely tied sandals as I went. Well, what can I say other than all that tree hugging is good for the soul.
The soul I say. The body? Well, I’ve no idea. As far I know, I’ve not magically fallen pregnant in the meantime, and actually, I think a bit of break from the neverending cycle of hope and despair was much needed. So I’ve had a month of focussing inwards, wholly embracing my Traditional Chinese Medicine ‘prescription’, bracketing my days with yoga, meditation and affirmations, followed by a month of focussing outwards, wholly ignoring prescriptions of any kind, and thoroughly enjoying myself in the process. And now I seem to have found a happy medium, a rhythm where there is just enough of both, and for all intents and purposes I am content. Content in a way that I have little experienced since these vast maternal longings were unleashed within me. The worst of the storm has passed, and while I’m still picking my way through the new landscape it has left in its wake, I have made out enough of it to know that I can live here for a while.
There are some things that have helped me through these recent weeks and months. And while I continue to debate the wisdom of sharing these, because dryad that I may now be, it still embarrasses me to put them all over the internet when they haven’t even made it onto our public bookshelves (and likely never shall), I’ve never been one for hogging the good shit.
Acupuncture’s praises I do not mind shouting from the rooftops. If it is having the placebo effect my sceptic of a husband still attributes to it, then gloria in excelsis Placebo. (And how has a sugar-needle eradicated my annual allergies, my dear Boy? Try and placebo that.) The same for therapy. I’m not in therapy because of this, but as an issue that’s been writ large all over my conscious and unconscious lately, it’s gotten a fair deal of attention. Necessary attention: I am one of those typical neurotics who is all up in their heads all the time, so for me it has made complete sense to approach an issue in my body as much through my mind as with a more direct physical solution, because it has, in fact, turned out to be as much an issue about my mind, and deeply held views about my body. And with that we can leave the obscure psychobabble to one side, except to acknowledge that the fantasic one-two of acupuncture and therapy together has been a combination for the win.
I’m also not too ashamed of my charting. For the most part, it’s been incredibly reassuring that I do know the things I thought I knew about my body, and it’s been helpful to see things change, maybe improve, with all this looking after myself that I’ve been doing. (You know, some immediate gratification. After all, I haven’t had a personality transplant.) And it’s actually been much less of a pain in the ass than I thought it would be. This book, the charting bible, has rather obviously been invaluable. (As well as having a title that beautifully appeals to my inner control freak. Take charge of something in this otherwise heinously powerless state? But of course!) Helpfully for my stress levels, we’re not able to use all the temperature taking and gusset fumbling to actually time sex (all that living apart and whatnot), but no one is going to say no to little serendipitiously coincidental with my fertile window time between (or on top of, or indeed nowhere near) the sheets. And like I said, it turns out that I was right in thinking that I knew my body pretty well anyway, so my morning encounters with the thermometer won’t last.
Now this is where I kindly request you show kindness. Because I have also found this book (I always turn to books, I can’t help it) incredibly helpful to follow, a valuable home-supplement to the blessed needling. (Although, for the love of fuck, is the title off-putting. Baby-Making Bible? Seriously? Never making the public bookshelf, I tell you. Never.) I devoured it whole in those days immediately after my miscarriage, and would recommend it to anyone who had the slightest tolerance for alternative approaches, who was either having trouble conceiving for no known reason, or who knew that they might be in for some trouble due to prior health issues. It’s good, solid hippy shit, with enough evidence that the lady is well-acquainted with western medicine to keep western medicine practicioners like myself happy. And if yoga is your kettle of fish, but your crazy work hours keep you away from classes with live human instructors a lot of the time, this similarly daftly named DVD sequence is astonishingly good. And full of beautiful imagery of those woods where I was running around hugging trees, just so you know.
So. Here I am, exactly where I left you, but somehow very far removed, and moving on ever further all the time. Never mind that they be baby steps.