I recently celebrated a birthday. Actually, I asked for minimal celebration, and whilst we did mark the day, and the children made a fuss, and I had lots of love and greetings from friends and families, and some very kind and thoughtful gifts, I would have been quite happy for my birthday to pass unnoticed and to not mark it at all.
This is hard for people to understand. They like celebrating birthdays, and most people enjoy fuss and being the person of the day, for their birthday. I am generally not a person who likes too much fuss and attention anyway, but this year, I wanted my birthday to just be another day. Bah humbug, you might say.
You see, though, it’s not bah humbug. It’s self protection.
I am struggling. I am sore.
I don’t want to celebrate another year, in a body that I feel has let me down.
Last week I signed the consent form to agree to major knee surgery, that I have needed for a while, but that we have put off, because we wanted to try and have another baby. They can’t happen at the same time.
The knee surgery is fairly big, I will be off my feet for a few weeks, unable to exercise for months, and I will not be my usual busy, active self. This in itself is hard enough, and frankly I am pretty terrified. Surgery, pain, recovery, risk of infection, risk of it not working, or complications. Dealing with my children, whilst on crutches, and in the school holidays. That’s enough to feel grumpy about.
But the reality is, that the day I signed the consent form, my body failed me in another way. Another chemical pregnancy, a faint five minute hope that maybe we had done it, but of course my body didn’t want to agree to that, so I finally have agreed that it’s not meant to be, and that the knee surgery needs to be faced.
I can’t talk about how I feel. The thing I have wanted for so long, is not meant to be. My body has let me down, it doesn’t like getting pregnant or staying pregnant, and we are done. It’s not going to happen. I haven’t accepted it. I am in denial for now. I am distracting myself with the impending knee surgery, the children being on holiday, my in laws arriving for their visit, and lots of small things to stop me thinking about the bag of baby clothes, the cot, and other things lying in our loft, that I will need to sort at some point and dispose of.
I don’t want to celebrate another year of being older. I don’t want to rejoice or be happy. I can’t, right now.
I know all the things I should be saying and should be grateful for. I know all the blessings I should be counting. I don’t need to be reminded. I can’t process the emotion in my head, I am not ready to let it out, other than in words on a blog. I haven’t found the courage or the strength to cry, shout, kick a wall (with the good knee) or to talk to someone about how I feel properly. So I write, because somehow it has to come out, and I have to justify why I didn’t want to be happy on my birthday.
I am tired, I feel old, my body is not working, my knees are knackered and my reproductive system has packed up. I didn’t want to say happy birthday to me. Whilst everyone else was wishing me well, all I wanted to do was pretend it wasn’t for me.
So, for those of you who have wondered why I didn’t want fuss or to even mark the day, much. This is why.
This too shall pass, I know, but for now, this is where I am at. To those of you who loved on me, and wished me well, please know I did appreciate it. It’s really not you, it’s me!