Sunday, May 03, 2009

Immerse Yourself

Tonight is mikveh night. I hadn't really thought about the "why" of the mikveh in years, but I was searching for the times they were open and ran across this blog post. The little snippet Google gave me was intriguing and the fact that I had met the writer one night at knitting group made me click through. I'm honestly not aware of Faith's status as far as wanting children/TTC but I suspect that she hadn't been in the middle of a four year-long struggle with infertility when she wrote, "especially since I think that your period doesn't technically put you in contact with death, despite the lost opportunity for life."

Before I had children, mikveh night was a mixed bag. It was marked by sadness that a child hadn't been conceived the previous month and full of hope that, finally, our dream would come true. By the time mikveh night had rolled around, I usually had had 2+ weeks to mourn the loss of that potential life and the failure of that cycle so the hurt wasn't fresh, but it was still there.

To alleviate that I would mark the occasion by taking a long day of pampering. I would get a manicure and pedicure (without polish) so that I didn't have to deal with that task. I would light candles, bring in a book or some magazines and something to drink. I'd fill the tub with bubbles and take my time relaxing and preparing, crying and planning and the harachmans only a not-childless-by-choice woman can make. When nighttime rolled around and Aba returned from the Beit Knesset I would head out.

Today it is different. Instead of gathering candles, I spend my time taking toys out of the tub. Instead of aromatherapy bath soaks, I use the little bit of California Baby that the girls have left me. I scour and scrounge for all of my supplies and say things like, "where could it be?" and "they didn't!" The relaxing soak and meditation has been replaced by a hurried bath and quick "thank yous" when the screeching from downstairs ends. Not to mention the added benefit of a couple hours away from the house alone. And Aba wonders why there is always a wait at the mikveh.

There is still that bit of sadness that surrounds a missed chance at pregnancy. Does any woman who has dealt with infertility ever get over that? Yet there is also the calming sameness that comes with routine. And dare I say it? There is that moment of fancy when walking through the mikveh door when you think that maybe, just maybe you won't be back for 9 months.