Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Ms Heathen's Theory of Relativity

As the date when I am supposed to submit my thesis draws ever nearer, time seems to slip more and more rapidly through my fingers. That I will meet my self-imposed deadline of having a completed draft of the thesis written before I start teaching at the end of September is already seeming an increasingly remote possibility.

And yet the past week has passed by at a crawl. With every passing day, I grow increasingly anxious that I am about to miscarry for a second time. Every twinge, every cramp, sends me scuttling off to the bathroom to check whether I have started bleeding. The time between now and next week's scan seems to stretch out into eternity.

Time is thus at once speeding up and slowing down. Were I a quantum physicist rather than an art historian, I could no doubt come up with a complex mathematical equation that would neatly encapsulate this paradox (possibly I would also find it easier to find gainful employment once I have submitted the thesis). Instead, I seek to distract myself during this seemingly endless wait by knitting and by watching the Olympics. Mel wrote last week about how we inevitably find ourselves viewing the Games through the lens of infertility. She pointed out how hard it can be to watch those who are at the pinnacle of bodily achievement when one's own body is not co-operating, how difficult it is to see other people achieving their dreams when one remains so far from achieving one's own.

When watching the Olympics, my feelings aren't with those standing on the podium, but with those who were pipped at the post. All of the athletes competing at the Games trained for years and years to get to that point. They made great personal sacrifices and poured all their energies into achieving that one thing. In many cases, their dream is over in a matter of seconds. And I cannot help but worry that the same may be true of this much longed for, but entirely unexpected, pregnancy.

Intellectually, I know that, if this pregnancy is viable, then it will continue. If it is not, then I will miscarry, and there will be nothing I or the doctors can do to prevent it. And so all I can do is to hope with all my heart that I make it to next week's scan, and that everything looks as it should.


luna said...

also wishing for you that everything looks as it should!

annacyclopedia said...

Ah, time. That slipperiest of fishes. I hope it slows down for your thesis work and speeds up for your scan wait. And I really hope you get very very good, wonderful, fantastic, delicious news at next week's scan.

Keeping you in my thoughts.

womb for improvement said...

"intellectually, I know..." Like our rational thoughts have anything to do with this process! I know if I was you I wouldn't be able to concentrate on tying my shoe laces let alone a thesis. Good luck with it all.

BB and MTB said...

Still sending good vibes your way. I hope the next week flies by as you write and write and write only to find at the end that your little one is growing strong and healthy.

TABI said...

Sending you good and healthy vibes and hoping everything looks okay on your scan. I am so happy to hear of this unexpected pregnancy. The waiting is the worse but I am keeping everything crossed that it all proceeds well!

s.e. said...

Hope with all your heart and maybe the fears will lessen.

Interesting take on time. It is so overwhelming to think ahead although it is so difficult not too. Remember as of today with the only knowledge you have, you are still pregnant. Breathe.

Deborah said...

I know this must be a very difficult time, knowing and not knowing all at the same time. It's amazing the confidence we lose in our bodies and how we are so certain they will let us down.

I admire the athletes passion for competing and although they may not win a medal, many will be satisfied just to have competed, enjoying the moment and what a moment it must be. I am not a very positive person, but am learning that sometimes that one moment in time is all you will get and it's best to enjoy it. I know easier said than done.

poppy.f.seed said...

I just found you through s.e.'s blog. I can see how you'd be nervous. I love each book/author you listed in you profile.

Shinejil said...

It is nearly impossible to write high-falutin' academic prose while in some IF limbo. Hormonally, emotionally, it's just so hard.

Self-imposed deadlines were made to be broken. Just do whatever you can to get through these next few days!

Shinejil said...

Oh, Ms. Heathen! Thanks for your wonderful comment yesterday. It really, really helped me.

I'm sending lots of warm wishes across the Pond to make time flow by swiftly and smoothly.

the Babychaser: said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. Early pregnancy (which is all I can talk about with authority) is very active. I find it amazing that women either don't notice, or don't worry, during those first few weeks. Because your body is going through a lot, and there are a lot of natural twinges and tugs and even cramps and those are perfectly normal.

But it's so hard not to be scared all the time. It's so frustrating that there's nothing you can do, nothing you can say, no bargain you can drive, to make this baby stick. All you can do is wait, and time plays strange games with you while you do so.

I hope you can find peace and relief in your writing, and that it will somehow make the time speed up.