I tried to write a blog post that was just a narrative reflection on the past year, but it wasn't going well. I didn't know how to write about all the blessings I've had while respecting all the tragedy that has surrounded them. So instead, I'm ressurecting this ol' meme that has been around, in some form, for years. In fact, I did the same one last year when life was drastically different. I haven't even read the questions yet, but inevitably many will be pregnancy related, so I apologize in advance. But I did spend nine months of the year in that state, afterall, and it is definitely the biggest thing that happened this year.
1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Got pregnant. Twice. Technically I got pregnant the first time in December 2011, but I didn't know it until January, and January is when all the drama took place. If you haven't read about the ectopic pregnancy, feel free to check out this series. The second pregnancy came a couple months later (thank you, body, for responding so well to Clomid), and I'm nearing the end of that one now.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
As usual, I didn't make any resolutions. But my unofficial goal for the year was to find a way to become a mother. Through dedication and lots of luck...mission: accomplished. Baby Z-M to arrive any day now! Actually I'm hoping for a 2013 birth, but at this point in my pregnancy, I'm pretty much a mother anyway right?
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Sadly, yes. My best friend, Robin, gave birth to her son, Miles, several months too early. He was supposed to be a January 2013 baby, too, but he made his arrival in September.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Sadly, yes. Miles only lived a few days. It is truly one of the most tragic things I've ever been a part of. If you haven't already, please read Robin's story.
5. What countries did you visit?
None! It was a sad year for international travel. But through work I did manage to get to Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, and Las Vegas.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn’t have in 2012?
This baby. Unless it happens to come in the next day and a half, which I've asked it politely not to. I'd also like a little more financial security, which sounds ridiculous when we're about to have a baby. But after the mishap with buying this house, we haven't fully recovered, and I'd like to get back to where we were or better. This might mean higher paying jobs for Mike and myself, or maybe it will come another way. Doesn't matter, I'd just like to stop feeling like we're living paycheck to paycheck.
7. What dates from 2012 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
January 11 - Found out I was pregnant
January 19 - Found out the pregnancy was ectopic
May 6 - Found out I was pregnant again
September 13 - Robin delivered Miles at less than 24 weeks
September 17 - Miles passed away
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Staying close to Robin. This situation could have so easily broken us, destroyed our friendship. Imagine losing your child tragically, and your best friend, who is supposed to be one of your biggest supporters, is still pregnant and due five days after your baby was due. How could you even look at her? But we've been friends for a long time, and we both knew that even though it was going to be hard, we couldn't lose that. I think a lot of people have distanced themselves from her, and I'm proud to say that we've only gotten closer. The real credit goes to her though. She's found a way to be happy for me and keep me in her life even though I'm her biggest reminder of what she lost. I know to an outsider that may seem obvious. Yes she's sad, but she can still be happy for me right? But this whole thing is so much more complicated and difficult and heartbreaking than most people realize. I'm proud of us for navigating it this well so far.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Accidentally picking out mint green for the walls in one of our bedrooms. (Honestly, I couldn't think of a major failure, which is comforting.)
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Ectopic pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our house! We bought our first home in August, and even though it's a lot of work, we love it.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My bestie Robin (see above). Mike, who has been a gold star husband during my pregnancy. And the rest of my friends and family who continue to exude awesomeness.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
So many people in the world whose behavior I just cannot understand. How can there be so much human kindness in the same world as so much deplorable evil?
14. Where did most of your money go?
Buying a house. Medical bills. And the usual car payments, student loan payments, blah blah.
15. What did you get really excited about?
Do I even need to answer this?
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
I never know how to answer music-related questions.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Fatter (in this case, a good thing)
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Sleep. I've slept horribly all year, and it's really starting to catch up with me.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Painting. Actually, Mike did about 80% of the painting once it became too uncomfortable for me. But my god, painting is such a pain. All the HGTV shows lead you to believe changing a wall color is a simple fix, but I'm here to tell you, it sucks.
20. How will you spend Christmas?
We've been to several parties already, and our last one is tomorrow, New Year's Eve. It's becoming a tradition to celebrate Christmas at my dad's on the 31st, then hang out to ring in the new year together.
21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Yes, with this baby. And with this house.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I can't say that I have one. I mostly enjoyed sitcomes this year, like New Girl, Happy Endings, The Mindy Project, Parks and Rec, and How I Met Your Mother (though that show needs to get to the point already).
23. What was the best book you read?
I keep track of my reading on goodreads, and I just counted 74 books read in 2012, plus the two I'm in the middle of now. Many of those were baby or pregnancy related, but of those that weren't, here are some titles I enjoyed the most:
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (no, not 50 Shades of Grey)
When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I got nothing.
25. What did you want and get?
This is feeling repetitive, but obviously it was to become a mother. I'm days away from birthing my first child.
26. What did you want and not get?
Last year I answered this with "to become a mother" so that's a pretty stark difference from this year. How fortunate I am. What I wanted this year and didn't get was the option to slow down. Life went crazy there for awhile, and I feel like I missed some things for the busyness.
27. What was your favorite film of 2012?
I never remember what movies I've watched over the last year, but since we just saw Django Unchained a couple nights ago and I really enjoyed it, I'll go with that.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32 on December 8. We went to my brother-in-law's graduation, then out for a celebratory lunch. I took a birthday nap, then we went to dinner and a movie. We ended the day with a birthday brownie, and it all seemed pretty perfect.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If Robin and I could have lived out the scenario that was supposed to happen. We were supposed to be pregnant together, have babies together, raise our kids together. I still cry when I think about how unfair it is that that was robbed from us.
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?
Whatever fits! I only bought about $100 worth of maternity clothes, all secondhand or on clearance. And supplemented that with whatever hand-me-downs were given me. It worked out fine, though I'm just about sick of the two pairs of jeans I've been rotating since September!
31. What kept you sane?
I'm just going to repeat exactly what I said last year: My sisters, my mom, my friend Robin, my husband, my blogs, and books. Although I might have to move Mike to the top of that list. It is in no particular order otherwise, but Mike has been so good to me that he deserves a special shout out.
32. What political issue stirred you the most?
I don't even want to talk about it. It's all social issues, civil rights, etc. And it's all so core to who I am, that I can't talk about it without getting riled up. I couldn't just say a sentence or two, and this isn't exactly a political blog, so I'll pass on this one.
33. Who did you miss?
Even though I see my siblings and their kids pretty often, it never seems like enough.
34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Life really isn't fair. I've always known it, but watching my best friend suffer in such a horrible way while others who don't want (or dare I say deserve?) healthy pregnancies get her dream, it really made clear the inequity of life. I have also watched others close to me suffer their own hardships, and it's all just so unfair.
35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Stupid song questions. I hate to end on a non-answer, but I really don't know.