The Complete Egg

The before, during and after of a molar pregnancy, with a side of chemo and a 12 month wait before ttc. And most recently: experience of a healthy pregnancy.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

March of the Penguin Chantelle

"Each winter, alone in the pitiless ice deserts of Antarctica, deep in the most inhospitable terrain on Earth, a truly remarkable journey takes place as it has done for millennia. Emperor penguins in their thousands abandon the deep blue security of their ocean home and clamber onto the frozen ice to begin their long journey into a region so bleak, so extreme, it supports no other wildlife at this time of year. In single file, the penguins march blinded by blizzards, buffeted by gale force winds. Resolute, indomitable, driven by the overpowering urge to reproduce, to assure the survival of the species."

Today I feel like one of those emperor penguins trudging back to my feeding grounds in an Antarctic blizzard after having bungled the egg pass-off to my mate. As I trudge through the mind-numbing cold, I wonder if there is any meaning to any of this. Maybe it just happens because it can. Because shit happens. Emperor penguins incubate their eggs on their feet. Males and females pass the egg off and sometimes, the stupid pass-off screws up and the egg goes rolling off into sub-zero temperatures. What a fucking waste!! Just like an empty egg. Waste. Waste of possibility. And not only does that penguin lose the possibility to reproduce for that year, but to add insult to injury, they have to trudge through a bloody blizzard to get back to where the food is and they have to leave their penguin tribe behind. Is this the makings of a hero's journey tale?

Is there meaning in any of this? I dance between two perspectives. One perspective is that the universe is chaotic and this just happened to happen to me randomly. The other perspective is that there is some meaning to this. Not like there's a reason that this happened but I can choose to find some meaning in this whole experience. There has to be some gifts or some new insights in all of this. At least it makes me feel more whole when I consider that possibility. Haven't yet figured out the gifts this experience has offered me.

I've been noticing how I choose to identify or not identify with my experiences. So, I identify with being a teacher, a woman who's known loss, a daughter who was raised by her father, a wife, and an aspiring artist of some kind. I don't identify with being a cancer survivor or patient of any kind or a woman who's had a molar pregnancy and yet here I am blogging all about those things. It's just that the grief compels me to write. And when I start tugging at the grief thread, it just seems to keep unraveling to all the other losses in my life...the ones that I try to keep hidden and under control. I feel old and weary today. I feel tired to the bone. I feel naked and exposed to the bone. I feel like a grieving, marching emperor penguin.


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