You Can’t Take It With You – Part 2

Moving.

Now this is something I have entirely too much experience with. In my adult life I moved exactly 3 times during college, then from Hawaii to NorCal, then from Norcal to SoCal, then from apartment A to B to C to Garage (long story) to apartment D to condo with husband. All in about 8 years. But this move, the move from communal apartment/condo living to actual house/suburbia living, has felt far different than the others.

First and foremost, Grandpa’s funeral was the day we closed on the house. One door closes another door opens or something, right? We drove back to SoCal after the funeral reception preparing mentally for a weekend of Bar Review, moving, AND guests. We got through it. I sleepily made it to the first formal day of bar review the next morning (it is SO FREAKING HARD guys, like the joker meets the riddler while on crack and chains you to a chair and makes you pick the best right answer). During class, I forced myself not to think about dead grandfathers while Merp continued to pack up the condo and waited to receive our guests (to a half packed up home). Then two days later, the movers arrived, hours late. Merp stayed to supervise, while I hightailed it to the new house miles and miles away to let in the temporary blind people. That’s when I wrote the post about Gramps. That’s when, sitting  in my humungous, spanking new EMPTY house in beautiful suburbia, waiting for my truck of “stuff” to arrive, I thought entirely too hard about death. I thought about how we’re all going to die and how I couldn’t believe the time had come for Gramps to go (like it’s really that surprising for a 93 year old man with heart failure to pass away, but alas). And I thought about how you can’t take any of it with you. Ironically, I had been packing away the “it” for weeks, taking care to swaddle glasses and dishes in soft green foam, like it mattered. But sitting there that day and thinking, it all just seemed so meaningless. And to be honest it STILL kind of does. Like do we really need all this space? (We have graduated from 1150 square feet to 2800. Gulp). Space that we will fill with “things” to make our short time on this planet more comfortable. What does it matter when we: me, you, Merp, my dogs, and EVERYONE is going to die eventually anyway? It’s like why make your bed if you’re just going to sleep in it later. Why decorate your home if you’re just going to DIE. Is this depression? Pregnancy depression perhaps?

Yeah. I think I kind of lost it there for awhile (aka the last week). And I’m just only now finding it. And I feel guilty because I should be happy. I should be jumping up and down that I’ve won the prize. After 2 years of infertility I’m pregnant with a seemingly healthy baby girl, married to an amazingly wonderful man, who buys houses for me and indulges my custom couch orders (I talk a big game, but I’m still going to decorate the shit out of the new house as soon as finances allow). I DO have so very much to be grateful for, I know it. But for some reason I couldn’t (and still can’t at moments) shake the morbid cobwebs out of my head. The phrase: WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE just keeps lingering in this brain of mine. I look at my chihuahua, my little baby dog Hercules, and think, “You’re 10-years old my sweet thing, and if I’m lucky I’ll have 5 more years with you, maybe more if I’m really really lucky.” MORBID. And sad. So sad I can’t go there for too long without tearing up.

Is this over-analysis of the life/death conundrum a 27 week pregnancy symptom? My good childhood friend made a point when I wrote her an email along these lines. She said, now that we’re going to have children we’re not the youngest generation anymore (which means we’re that much closer to… you guessed it). We’re no longer the kids. Wow. She’s already a mom and hopefully I’m really going to be. Sometimes I’m scared of that. Sometimes I’m not. But right now I’m just trying to free myself through this blog post from the weirdness that comes from being in a big empty house that doesn’t feel like home yet. From the weirdness that is a death in the family. From the weirdness that is coming to terms, really truly coming to terms, with thy own mortality.

I think that’s why infertility is so hard – because it links deeply to the core of our need to survive and thrive and leave behind our seed. It links to our need to love and to multiple that love. When it’s something you want, you really really want it and not like you want a “thing.” Oh no, it’s far more meaningful than that.

I know I might sound ungrateful and neurotic in some of the paragraphs that came before this, but I, in thinking about all this morbid stuff, have been harshly reminded of Merp and I’s struggle to make dear Daphne. I haven’t forgotten that desperate, disgusting feeling like it may never happen. Hell, I still feel that way sometimes and chances are good that Daphne, she’s-a-coming. SO ladies, those of you who are still out there in the trenches, trying not to tear your hair out after another BFN, I’m praying for you. I’ve really been into that lately – praying. You don’t have to box it up, you don’t have to hire movers to transport it – and you may or may not be able to take it with you (jury’s still out on that one). God, whoever or wherever he/she is, has been a good friend to me.

If you made it this far without wanting to slit your wrists, I promise next time I’ll post about puppies (not aging chiweenies) and kittens and the joys of attending your first prenatal class alone while your husband drinks too much scotch at a work dinner far far away. Absolutely, positively promise.

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12 comments

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  1. Kimberly

    I am guessing that thinking about your own immortality is a normal part of processing parenthood. I am thinking about death more myself. Because I am hopefully going to have two little babies here to take care of. So I fear death more because they will need me

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  2. barrenandunemployed

    I can totally relate to everything you’re saying. I think about it all sometimes too – and get really upset ha. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve started to cry thinking about the inevitable day that I lose my first child – my dear sweet puppy dog (who is 5). I guess all we can do is try to live in the moment and try to enjoy it. Just wanted you to know you’re not alone. ❤

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    • Steph Mignon

      Awe thanks! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who can be so morbid sometimes. I love my dogs so so much, I can’t even imagine how much I’m going to love this child! Craziness!

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  3. nickeecoco

    I think with the weather here in the northeast combined with pregnancy, I can relate to how you’ve been feeling. There’s something about carrying such fragile life inside me that makes me that much more aware of my own mortality. But, in all honesty, life isn’t quite as fragile as it sometimes feels. It’s incredible that our bodies can, sometimes with the help of modern science, create and bring life into the world.

    Anyway, I don’t think I’ve said this before, but kudos to you studying for the bar exam right now. I saw my husband through that several years ago, and can’t imagine doing it while pregnant AND in the process of moving. You’re kind of a badass.

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    • Steph Mignon

      Hahaha thanks! I’ll take that compliment and run with it! Badass all the wayyy! Studying for the bar totally sucks. Oh and I like what you think about the fragility of life, science helped me get here and there’s so much it can and will be able to do in the future that it’s remarkable!

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  4. Daryl

    I have similar thoughts all the time. My cats are 12 and 13, and I dread the day they will one day leave us. I also recently posted about how driving through rough weather made me so much more aware of the possibility of dying with this precious little one still on board, and it totally freaked me out. I think having responsibility for another life makes you much more aware of the finite nature of your own, for sure!

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    • Steph Mignon

      I remember reading that post…. it was shortly before my Gramps died and even then I could relate. I hope our cats, our babies, and ourselves live LONG, healthy fruitful lives so that when it’s time to go we’re as ready as we’ll ever be!

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  5. Andrea

    I love this:

    I think that’s why infertility is so hard – because it links deeply to the core of our need to survive and thrive and leave behind our seed. It links to our need to love and to multiply that love.

    I think there is so much truth to that!

    Pregnancy really does connect you to the life cycle and make you that much more aware of it. And cut yourself some slack for feeling sad and morbid. Your grandfather was around for so long, the patriarch in your family for 33 years of your life, and you witnessed his passing firsthand. That would be incredibly rough and even traumatic. Add that to other major life changes like pregnancy, impending parenthood, studying for the bar, and moving, throw in some pregnancy hormones, and that makes for a lot to deal with! Sending you hugs and thoughts.

    I’m hoping that Herc and Bridgette live to be old, bumpy, and nasty. =)

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  6. K, Twin Mom

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandpa’s passing. It’s never easy to lose someone, no matter how long they were in our lives. I find that I am often plagued by paranoia, even more so now that the twins are here. Not in a weird way, more so what Daryl said about having responsibility for another life. I just try to remember-make each day count, every moment really.
    On a side note, you said you used a moving company…are they national? I’m on the east coast and am pricing moving options for when our move happens. If you have any good recs or advice, my email is twinmomlife at gmail.com Thanks! 🙂

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    • Steph Mignon

      Oh man I wish I had good moving tips! Other than be kind on yourself if after two weeks you’re still not settled in AND if you buy any new furniture DO NOT do so online unless you’ve looked at the item first. This may seem like a no brainer for some, but not for me. Love your profile icon of you holding the two babes. Beautiful!

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