Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Guilt and Finding Out I Was Pregnant With T

Motherhood is a guilt ridden business.  And it definitely starts the second you are pregnant.  Back when I worked at Whole Foods I didn’t get to travel for the holidays.  When you are working retail, especially in a grocery store, Thanksgiving and Christmas are your bread and butter.  We could not request the days before either of those holidays off, particularly those of us in management.  Z would spend Christmas day with me and then fly down to see his family while I worked.  He’d then be home in time for New Year’s Eve. 

I had the day of December 30th, 2008 off.  I woke up that morning and was fooling around on the computer and I realized I was nauseous.  I thought about it and realized I was nauseous the day before, and also the day before that.  And I couldn’t remember when my last period was.  I’d gone off the pill in early November after almost 16 years.  I told my GP doctor I was doing it so my body would be free from the drugs for a while before we started trying to get pregnant.  If we were going to start to try and get pregnant.  I hadn’t really made up my mind, but Z was putting the full court press on me.  She told me I wouldn’t even ovulate for the first 6 months or so.  [This was flat out wrong information.  My midwife almost had a heart attack when she heard.  She said, “You hadn’t ovulated in a decade and a half!  Your body was dying to release those eggs!”]  I thought that was awesome because I wouldn’t need to bother with another form of birth control for a while. 

I’d had one period in the meantime, but I didn’t bother to write down when.  So I sat at the computer running all that back through my mind.  And I felt fear settle into the pit of my stomach.  I’d gotten drunk the night before.  I’d been taking migraine medicine and chill pills with alarming frequency.  I went to the bathroom and rooted under the sink where I found an old pregnancy test.  It had expired the year before, but I peed on it anyway.  And then I called Z in a white hot panic.  He was getting ready to drive back to RI, so he was preoccupied.  He also is pretty used to my hypochondria, so he calmly suggested I go buy an unexpired pregnancy test and use it before we jumped to any conclusions.  I did.  It was positive.  I called him back and started crying.  And I shouted, “Are you happy now?”  It was not my finest moment.  Z calmly replied, “Yes.  Yes, I am.” 

I felt like my life was completely over.  I was filled with dread.  Z was originally planning on making the drive in two days, but he decided to push through and get home by late that night.   I couldn’t wait for him to get home; I didn’t know how I was going to get through the day.  The only thing I could think to do was go to the nearest bookstore for information because I knew nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, about pregnancy. 

I went to the information desk and quietly asked for the pregnancy section.  It felt like I was asking where the porn was.  The first book I picked up was What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  It was the only one I’d heard of.  The first chapter was all about what you needed to do to prep your body for pregnancy once you’d made the decision to get pregnant.   As I skimmed it I started to cry.  I had to put it down and go compose myself in the bathroom.  By accidently getting pregnant I felt like the book was saying I’d already fucked up.  I was on chill pills, allergy meds, migraine drugs; it was the holidays so I’d been drinking heavier than usual.  I was sure the kid was going to have three heads.  After emerging from the bathroom I went back and picked a couple of books that didn’t seem to be telling me I’d already ruined my unborn child’s life. 

So I knew I was pregnant for maybe 3 hours and I’d already felt multiple waves of mommy guilt.  Of course more and more has piled on at time has gone by. We moms feel guilt over everything, the stuff we can control and the stuff we can’t.  We are so much harder on ourselves than we are on others (though we can be pretty judgey as well).  An acquaintance of mine from high school recently started a blog and in her second post she talks about how she felt she failed her daughter by not carrying her to term.  When one of my closest friends lost her first pregnancy she told me she felt like her body was defective because it couldn’t do what it was made for.     

Of course the feelings of both those women are not true.  It’s so easy to know you “shouldn’t” feel the sense of failure and the guilt.  But now that I’m a mom I know it is also impossible not to feel those things.  It was several years before I had T when my friend lost her pregnancy and I remember being furious that she would feel those things.   Of course it wasn’t her fault and I was so upset she was putting herself through the wringer.  After having my own miscarriage I certainly don’t think it was her fault, but I understand her feelings with perfect clarity.  I wish we didn’t feel these things.  But I don’t know how to stop.  Anyone have any suggestions? 

It got cold yesterday.  Luckily he has his awesome hat.

Happy Halloween from Yoda. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sentimental Fool

When Z and I first started dating he had just turned 25 and was 115lbs soaking wet.  He was skinny and cut at the same time, he didn’t have a 6-pack, it was more like a 12-pack.  You couldn’t tell how fit he was when you first met him, his clothes hung off of him and he just looked like he needed a hamburger.  His skin stretched across his face so tight it was like he was all flat plains and angles.  I recently came across a picture from the weekend we got engaged and it made me cry.  The kid in that picture is gone, I’m never going to get to kiss him again, and I feel like I forgot to say goodbye.  The man that I’m married to now is infinitely more interesting to me.  In a side by side comparison I’d take him over the kid in a heartbeat, but I'm sentimental as hell and I have trouble letting go of the past.   

Really, I have trouble letting go of everything-hurt, bad relationships, Brooklyn, every home I’ve lived in.  Moving around so much made me realize I wanted to be from somewhere.  I wanted to have roots, to know the same people forever, to feel like I belong.  Every change in my life feels like starting over to me, even when it really isn’t.  For the last 12 years every time I’ve moved I haven’t had to start completely over, Z has been there with me.  But in the moment I haven’t been able to see it.  I just feel loss over everything and everyone I am leaving behind.  Holding on to things too tightly can have its upsides as well.  It’s part of the reason Z and I were able to work through our problems and stay together.  It’s the reason I’ve kept in touch with one or two people from each phase of my life.  It’s why I have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Harry Potter series. 

But the fear of change and of letting go, the inability to move gracefully through lives phases is mostly a big problem.  I’m starting to wonder if my body isn’t following my mind’s bad example.  This morning I got the results back from the latest blood test.  My HCG levels are 6.  I am pissed.  Acceptable levels are 0-5 for someone who isn’t pregnant.  The doctor really wants me to be at 0, but I’d be happy just to be in the normal range.  The three day 14 point plummet last week made me feel sure I’d be back down to zero by now.  But to be one measly point out of the normal range?  Give me a break.  Just give me a fucking break.  Tomorrow marks 8 weeks since the D&C and my body just can’t let go of the pregnancy.  And I feel like a hypocrite for being so mad at my body for doing something my mind does all the time. 

So Monday I’ll go back to get blood drawn.  And Tuesday morning I’ll leave town for a month.  I probably won’t get the results before I’m out of here and that makes me quite uncomfortable.  I wanted this done before I was multiple states away from my doctor for an extended period.  And I feel like it is my fault because my mind has been a terrible example for my body.  The end.  No hopeful little tidy sum up like usual.

Here's that picture.  Atlantic City June 1999.  He sure was a handsome devil.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rock and Roll Show

A few days after the miscarriage Z found out that OK GO was playing in Syracuse at a theater around the corner from our house on October 26th and the tickets were only $15.  I was a royal mess and he was clearly trying to do something nice for me by suggesting we go and I think that’s what made me say yes.  It also was far enough in the future that it didn’t seem real.  Of course every time I thought about it after the tickets were purchased my heart started racing, but I fixed that by just not thinking about it.  But the Steve Miller Band was correct, time does, in fact, keep on slipping into the future.  The show was last night. 

I got more and more nervous as the day progressed, and as I donned my best approximation of a rock and roll outfit I felt like a total fool.  It was unseasonably warm last night, warm enough for short sleeves and I knew the venue would be hot.  When I came downstairs the very nice babysitter commented I had my tattoos out for the show and I felt like even more of an ass.  So, to put it kindly, I was snippy with Z as we walked to the restaurant for the dinner part of our date.  He asked if I was going to be mean all night long, because if so he wasn’t really interested in hanging out.  That was a fair point, so I tried to zip it. 

I get take out from the restaurant we went to at least once a week.  The kitchen guys know me and my order.  But I hadn’t eaten there with Z since I was pregnant.  After we got our table and were waiting for the food I actually started to relax and enjoy myself, mostly because I was enjoying the company so much.  We realized it was the second date we’d had since T was born.  Last winter we got a sitter and went to see Alice in Wonderland.  I’m not counting the time we went out to dinner when visiting my folks because I had an anxiety attack mid meal and we had to bolt.  Or last year’s anniversary.  My mom was staying with us and we did go to have dinner, but we were back at our place in under an hour.  T wasn’t yet a month old.  I was freaked out about leaving him. 

People do tell you a lot of stuff about this parenthood gig that you comprehend intellectually, but you really don’t understand in your bones until it happens to you.  I know we need to have time alone and away from the house because it will help us be better parents to T, but last night I really felt it for the first time.  We missed T, we talked about him quite a bit, but we didn’t talk about him more.  We talked about us.  And it was awesome. 

I read once that the human mind can only remember five things at any one time.  I don’t know if that is true or not, but it really sparked my imagination and I think about it a lot.  Before I became a parent I didn’t know if I wanted to become one.  It seemed like such a huge responsibility I wondered if one’s child wasn’t always one of the five things.  I remember awkwardly asking one of my best friends if she ever forgot her baby daughter existed.  And she told me of course.  When the baby was in bed and she was hanging out with us her daughter wasn’t in her thoughts every single second.  I felt so relieved. 

So last night felt good.  We got to be us again and we found out that while we love being a family of three, we also miss being just a couple.  And that is more than OK.  Don’t get me wrong, it was not a perfect evening.  When we got to the theater at 9:30 we were sure the second opening band was playing, but it was the first.  We impatiently stood around till 11 waiting for OK GO to come on, and 11 is way past our bed time.  We didn’t stay for their whole set, the babysitter has morning classes so we bolted at 11:50. 

But I’m glad we toughed it out and watched them play.   They are really fun live.  And it was the first night since T was born that I thought of myself as something other than T’s mom.  I love being his mother, it is the best job I’ve ever had.  But I was just me for 32 years before I took on that role.  It was nice to remember.  And frankly, it will probably be a hell of a lot healthier for T if I don’t let myself get wrapped up in being his mom every second of every day for the rest of his life.  He won’t be able to breathe and I will be lost when he grows up.  This post feels like another super obvious one.  But I guess everyone’s experience with motherhood is reinventing the wheel over and over again.  You just don’t get it until it’s your life. 

On the way home I told Z I would probably regret saying it in the morning (leaving the house is still an epic struggle for me), but I’d like to have date nights more often.  

The show.

Us being us before T was on the scene.  Full disclosure--T actually was conceived when this was taken, but we had no earthy idea yet.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Love Letter to Rhode Island

As we drove into Rhode Island on Saturday morning (Z was held up at work Friday night, so our plans were pushed back a bit) I simply felt happy.  I moved to RI kicking and screaming in a last ditch effort to save my marriage.  The choice was between two loves of my life, and much to my surprise New York City lost.  If it was up to me we never would have left.  But Z was miserable there, with work, with my mental illness, with the city itself.  Grad school in RI was the chance for a fresh start for him.  At first it wasn’t clear if I was going to accompany him.  I begged him to consider the idea of me staying and him coming home on weekends.  He said he didn’t want to do long distance, we were either in the marriage full time or it was over.  I chose the marriage, and I’m glad I did, but boy did I ever resent Rhode Island for a long time. 

While I was so busy resenting it for not being Brooklyn a bunch of things were happening.  My marriage became stronger than it ever was before, Z and I started to like each other again, really and truly enjoy each other’s company.  We had fun, we were silly, it was wonderful.  I also was emotionally healthier than I’d been in years, and I found a job that I did well enough in to get promoted several times.  And I started to fall in love with Providence.  It might not ever be one of the big loves of my life, but it is still real love. 

If you haven’t had the good fortune to travel in the Ocean State it really is a delight.  The good people of RI are very proud to from the smallest state in the union; they are also quirky as hell.  New Englanders are sort of mean in general and suspicious of outsiders on principle.  They talk funny, they are loud, they are resistant to change.   There is something honest about them that I find refreshing.  Most of my family lives in the south, so we visit often.  The saccharin treatment one is inundated with in the south makes me incredibly uncomfortable.  I just don’t buy it.  No one actually feels like being that nice all of the time.  I prefer the straightforward gruffness of the north. 

And we made some amazing friends during our three years there.  A co-worker of mine was horrified when he found out we didn’t have any family nearby, and he and his wife basically adopted us.  We were invited to spend every major holiday with them and their extended families.  I made another friend at work who has become one of those women that will always be in my life.  She has been to visit us in Syracuse and we stay with her when we go back to Providence.  And Z met so many wonderful people at RISD.  One of his former classmates was the groom at the wedding we attended.  The bride and I hit it off whenever we hung out.  The spouses of the RISD grad students tended to bond over all the annoyances of being spouses to RISD grad students, but beyond that we both are voracious readers and we both accidently got knocked up a few months apart.

So on Saturday morning we drive into RI, and I’m thinking about all this stuff and really feeling happy and actually homesick.  Not five minutes later I was literally shaken out of my reverie by pothole after pothole.  I thought, “God, I forgot how bad the roads are in Rhode Island.”  Fifteen seconds later the bouncing around woke Z from his nap in the back seat and he called up to me, “God, I forgot how bad the roads are in Rhode Island.”   

Other than T fighting a fever all weekend we did have a wonderful time.  I got to visit the first Whole Foods I worked at, which always makes me tear up.  We had dinner at our favorite Providence restaurant before we discovered T’s fever had spiked to 103.1.  And the wedding was a blast.  Naturally no one was looking at my tubby belly, so my ridiculous obsessing was a waste of time.  Here is my pathetic moment of vanity-at the last minute I ran to CVS to get pantyhose because the ceremony was outside and it was really chilly.  I found what I was looking for and checked out the size information on the back.  The sizes are A, B, and Q for Queen.  I guess Queen is supposed to make one feel better than say, Fat Ass.  I was borderline B/Q so vanity won and I bought the B.  When I put them on I almost immediately got a run (because that’s what happens when the hose are too small), and my stomach was killing me from the too tight control top.  We got to the venue in plenty of time, so I begged Z to find a drugstore so I could swallow my pride and buy a nice roomy Queen pair.  He complied.  I changed hose and my midsection actually felt comfortable for the rest of the event.  My back, not so much.  Lesson of the day (I mean besides the "don't be a vain idiot and buy the right size pantyhose" one)  was it hurts to carry a 21lb baby while wearing heals. 

The wedding was T's first.  Corralling him was a full time job, and we were so disappointed when we realized we didn't take the camera out once.  So here's the little man on the way home.  He isn't a fan of the car to begin with, so five hour trips are just about his least favorite things ever. 

And much love and many congratulations to the bride and groom!  You guys sure know how to throw a great party! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

RSVP with Regret

A while ago I wrote I’ve made one good friend up here.  If I think about it, that isn’t really true.  There are a small handful of people who have become close friends.  The  friend I was talking about has kids, one barely four weeks younger than T.  I’m not friends with her because she is a mom; I think we would have liked each other no matter what our child producing status was.  But the mom thing is an added piece of good luck.  We are there to watch each other’s kids so we can make it to doctor’s appointments or get our hair cut, or go to faculty meetings.  It’s like having a friend with this bonus component.

But besides that friendship there are several other people who have made our first year in Syracuse great.  One of them had a birthday yesterday and her husband invited Z and me along with some other lovely folk to a restaurant to celebrate.  It was after T would be in bed, Z asked me to call around and find someone to watch him so I could go.  And my anxiety level shot through the roof.  My stomach cramped, my heart raced, my throat got tight and I knew I couldn’t do it.  Now let me make myself perfectly clear, I like this woman.  I look up to her, I care deeply about her, if we were to move away I know she would continue to be part of our lives.  While my attendance was in no way going to make or break this dinner I felt like a complete ass for knowing there was no way I could do it. 

The circumstances need to be just right for me to make it to an event outside the house.  Earlier this week Randy Cohen, writer of The Ethicist column in the NY Times spoke at the SU Lecture Series (quick SU plug-this Tuesday night series is free and open to the public and it gets some pretty darn cool speakers).  We arranged a babysitter so we could see him, we were only gone for an hour, and he gave a very interesting and thought provoking speech, but I was freaking out the whole time.   Getting back to the safety of our house was such an enormous relief.  And tonight we drive down to RI for a weekend of friends and a wedding.  Traveling with a baby is fraught if you don’t have an anxiety disorder.  But I’m so scared about keeping it together during the weekend I want to curl up under a blanket and stay there forever.   Yet I also really want to go to this wedding.  The couple getting married is one both Z and I really care about.  I want to see them make this commitment to each other.  And the woman we are staying with is among my closest friends in addition to being one of the kindest people I have ever met.  I hate that the whole weekend, which I have been looking forward to for months, will be tainted by my fear and anxiety. 

The fact that the dinner last night was bookended by two high stress events means my attendance was a nonstarter.  The month long trip to the south that is looming on the horizon does not help matters.  If the dinner fell on a week with no obligations I might have rallied.  Instead I hunkered down at home and ordered my favorite take out.  Z said the dinner was lovely and the food was really good.  I got to hug the birthday girl when she stopped at our house to pick Z up.  But at this point in time the fear of embarrassing myself in public still beats the shame of missing out on so many occasions. 

OK.  Now the fantastic news.  After just 3 days my HCG levels are down from 28 to 14.  This is the fastest and most dramatic progress we’ve had since the blood tests began.  Perhaps my rebelling uterus does know what to do!  Looks like the scary drug is going to be unnecessary.  I just have to have one more blood test done next Wednesday and then I’ll be all clear and we’ll have the green light to start trying again.  Of course, the following Monday I’ll be heading down south for a month and I won’t see Z for 3 weeks.  So if I do get pregnant that first month I will have some serious explaining to do.  But my imagined extramarital affairs are neither here nor there.  Because I feel really positive and hopeful about this for the first time in so long. 

We bought these hilarious pirate pjs for him when he was brand new.  He wore them for the first time last night and we were ridiculously excited.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Robinson Rams

Recently Z asked me if I wanted to go back in time and relive high school again.  I felt like the question came out of left field.  Who in their right minds would ever want to be a teenager again?  You know the amazing “It Gets Better” campaign reaching out to suicidal gay teens?  I think all teenagers, regardless of their sexual orientation should be listening.  My high school experience was pretty happy all things considered, but I still would have taken a lot of comfort in hearing it does get better.  I told him no way in hell.  He then asked me if I’d do anything differently knowing what I know now.  Part of me would want to make changes.  I would try and be kinder and clearer with my intentions, and I would take back a few huge mistakes that fill me with shame.  But when I think more about it I know I wouldn’t change a single thing.  My choices led me to Z and if I could make changes I might not have ended up at Swing 46 with my sister and my high school friend Kevin the night of June 14, 1998 when Kev’s roommate Z unexpectedly showed up and asked me to dance. 

Z asked me the question because I have been talking about high school a lot lately.  It’s facebook’s fault.  Before I reconnected with a lot of Robinson Rams on FB it didn’t feel like I had a big gaping hole in my life.  I’m not the high school reunion type.  A few years ago the only people I had relationships with from high school were my sister, my best friend, and Kev and that was just fine with me.  Then about two years ago Kevin posted some pictures from school and a frenzy of friending among those of us who were disciples of Mr. Rome the drama teacher began.  And over the last two years I have discovered I want to know these people.  Some of the people I knew casually have grown into people I sincerely like so much as adults.  Some of the kids I looked up to so much back then still create that response in me today.   The bottom line is a lot of these people enrich my life so much now, and I think it is damn cool. 

I moved around a lot before high school.  From kindergarten to 8th grade I attended 8 schools.  I went to 4th grade across the street from my high school and there I met one of my favorite people in the world.  Four years  and 3 moves later when we re-met in 8th grade he didn’t remember me at all, but as the perpetual new girl I was thrilled to realize I had a history with someone, even if  I was the only one who remembered it.  We forged a friendship and now all these years later we correspond regularly.  He is friends with my husband on FB, and I am friends with his wife although we he haven't met each other's spouses or seen each other in 15 years.  Out of the blue last spring he gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received in my life.  I feel like the world is a better place because he is in it, and I feel privileged to call him a friend.   

There’s another gal who I didn’t know well at all in school, but now all these years later we have so much in common it is just strange, right down to the dishes we have in our kitchens.  If we lived closer I could see our families spending a lot of time getting into trouble together.   I feel the same way about another gal, though the specifics are different.  Kev got to meet her for coffee when he was back in NOVA recently and I was positively green with envy when I heard about it.

There’s the woman who is friends with my cousin and his wife because this is such a crazy small world.  I was lucky enough to see her January, and I would love to see her again.  A woman who scared the bejesus out of me with her confidence and popularity back when we were girls has become a friend much to my surprise and now delight.  A boy I was sure I was in love with when I was 14 wanted my feedback when he started a blog.  A teddy bear of a guy I once knew has only gotten more adorable.  I now desperately want to go to DC and get a drink with him so he can crack me up with his acerbic wit.  My high school sweetheart, oh I am so grateful I get a peek into his life.  The beauty who lives in Austin, the sassy gal who lives in MD, the heartthrob who lives in NYC, the friend who's whole family is dressing as Harry Potter characters for Halloween, the gal who is advocating for the arts in SC, the masseuse in Chicago I still wish I knew better, I’m forgetting tons of people I care about but the message is the same.  I’m grateful each and every one of them is back in my life. 

Last weekend I read a status update from someone I liked so much in high school that the word “like” doesn’t seem to cover it.  I looked up to her, wanted to be like her, wanted to be worthy of her liking me.  She was and is a talented artist, which was enough to fascinate me, but even more importantly she was kind.  Kind.  Now that is a rarity in adults, let alone teenagers.  So I emailed her and told her exactly what I thought of her.  It felt really good to be honest and to say something nice that I meant from the bottom of my heart.  We have been corresponding back and forth and it makes me so happy to learn more about her.  Last night I was discussing this on the phone with Kev.  And I just felt lucky.  Lucky to get to know these people who used to be such a huge part of my life.  Lucky that I will see my best friend in a few weeks and I know we will make each other laugh as hard as hard as we did in 1991.  And most of all lucky to have Kevin, a friend who I am fiercely protective about, who I love as much as family, who I feel so proud of because I knew him when he was 16 and he has become a man that anyone would be lucky to have in their lives.   

So thank you Robinson Drama Department, for bringing all these awesome people into my life.  And as corny as it is, I encourage all of you to send a crazy “I like you” email to someone from your past.  It is really worth it. 

Thanks Uncle A and Aunt B (perhaps my favorite Robinson Ram ever) for the awesome hat!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This melodrama of a miscarriage is wearing me down.  I feel like I’m a character in a telenovela thrown barely plausible twists and turns resulting in at least one freak out complete with weeping and gnashing of the teeth per week.  I’m also starting to fear I sound like I’m making this shit up.  Not that it’s so bad in the scheme of things.  There are plenty of worse heartbreaks out there than a miscarriage that drags on and on without resolution.  But I’m tired.  I’m frustrated.  I want, no, I need to move on. 

Yesterday I spent almost two hours at the doctor’s office waiting to get a shot of Methotrexate.  Part of the reason I waited so long was for the results of the blood test I’d had in the morning.  The good news was my HCG levels went down 5 points to 28.  The bad news was my HCG levels only went down 5 points and this far out from the D&C we need them to be at 0.  So it looked like I would be getting the shot.  Before the appointment I should have done some research on the drug, but I didn’t.  The nurse started going over side effects with me, and I got very nervous.  Then she said I’d need to wait 8 weeks after the drug was out of my system (which would take several weeks itself) to get pregnant.  I told her to hold it—the doctor had said if this shot worked I could try after my next cycle.  Then she said I couldn’t breast feed.  That’s when I had to really fight back the tears.  I haven’t begun to wean T, she was saying if I got the shot I’d have to cut him off cold turkey.  Clearly I asked her to clarify with the doctor.

This is the first interaction I’ve had concerning my miscarriage care that I haven’t been 100% comfortable with.  The nurse was very nice, but I hadn’t met her before and she didn’t seem to know anything about the drug.  All this info came from a book she had at her desk.  And honestly, almost two hours is a really long time to wait especially with a 14 month old who is missing his nap in order to be there.  Little man was a champ for the first hour and a half, and I really couldn’t begrudge him the meltdown that occurred after that.  When I did finally hear back from the doctor she said she didn’t know I was breastfeeding.  But I’ve been in that office an awful lot lately and each time I’ve spoken to the doctors I’ve made it clear I still am.  The upshot is I was not given the medicine.  I need to have more blood drawn Thursday and hope the levels have gone down much more. 

The complicating factor is T and I are leaving town for a month on November 2nd.  We are going south to visit family; we’ve had the plans for months, well before I lost the baby.  But when I had the D&C on September 10th it didn’t occur to me I’d still be dealing with the miscarriage as we moved into late October. 

Hindsight is always 20/20, but I’m starting to think I really made the wrong decision in the ER when I was presented with the choice of having another D&C or trying to get rid of the stuff left in my uterus with drugs.  I thought the drugs would be less invasive, but now that I’ve looked up Methotrexate online it seems pretty damn scary.  It’s primarily used to treat cancer.  And the side effects are daunting.  If’ I’d had the second D&C I’d only have had to wait an extra week to start trying for another baby.  If my levels don’t go down fast enough before the end of the month and they decide I must take the Methotrexate I’m back another 10 weeks or so.  I am tired, I am grumpy, I am scared.  I just want this to end. 

But I’m gonna do my best to end on a positive note.  I pulled it together and didn’t have to take a chill pill after all this yesterday.  That, my friends, is major progress.  

T loves guitar playing with Z.  And yes, he wears this outfit 80% of the time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hurting and Forgiving

Yup, as soon as I put it out there that T and I are having a honeymoon phase he stopped giving me the time of day.  Little man has been fighting some kind of nasty bug for almost 3 weeks and this weekend included an unfortunate amount of vomiting and diarrhea.  During all the sickies he didn’t want me around him at all, he only wanted his dad.  Every time I tried to hug him or play with him he would weep in frustration and look for Z.  Needless to say, my heart was broken. 

It got me to thinking about this post, namely the part about Z and me hurting each other.  I’ve come to terms with the idea he and I have and will continue to hurt each other, and that I will hurt myself, and that it will happen with friends and family as well.  We need to try and not do it, but almost always we need to figure out how to forgive each other and move on when it does happen.  I don’t want to excuse bad behavior on anyone’s part by saying we just need to blindly forgive.  We should always attempt to be careful with each other.  This philosophy is not a go ahead for people to behave like immature ass holes.  And there are certainly things that are unforgivable.  Z and I have a short list of behaviors that are deal breakers, from the glib to the more serious.  For instance, he knows that I cannot bear facial hair in any form on the person I am with.  For all you gentleman out there with facial hair, I respect you and I might even find you very handsome.  But I cannot kiss you.  And I cannot be in a relationship with you.  Well, I can’t anyway because I’m married and cheating is one of our serious deal breakers.  But the facial hair is not helping.  We have a running joke that if Z wants to split he can clearly signal his intentions by rocking a mustache. 

OK, lost focus for a second there.  Swinging back to the topic at hand.  While considering all that hurt I didn’t make the logical leap to include my relationship with T.  He is going to hurt me and I am going to hurt him.  I am really having a hard time coming to terms with that.  I mean, he has hurt me already.  And even though he can’t communicate how, I’m sure I’ve hurt him.  I need to figure out how to cope with that.  How to explain to him it is alright.  How to ask him to be careful with the people he loves while at the same time teaching him it is natural to fail, but there are ways to make it right. 

And while my broken heart this weekend felt like such a huge deal, I need to remind myself this too shall pass, or maybe I should say this already has passed.  Today in the early morning he was very lovey.  Then when I dropped him with a friend because I needed to go get blood drawn he was a sobbing mess.  It hurt like crazy to walk away from him when he was crying, but it also did my heart good to know he wanted me to stay.  And my friend told me he stopped crying less than a minute after I left.  So ultimately he made me feel better, and he was actually fine.   Well played little man.  Maybe he already knows how to make it right without me teaching him.

Is there anything more delicious than a naked baby butt?  

The disgusting bathroom wall was like that when we moved in, and though immediately getting the bathroom redone was part of our deal with ourselves when we moved in it didn't happen and we have been living with grossness for 14 months.  But that will finally change this November!  We are so excited.  

One last thing, I love it when Z forgets to take off his hearing protection.  Although I wish it wasn't orange.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Another Really Uncomfortable One

Yesterday I found out someone I know, who previously had a miscarriage, is pregnant.  And I was relieved to discover all I felt was happiness and excitement for her.  Very shortly after my miscarriage I learned that a guy I went to high school with, and whose wife last year delivered a son so prematurely he didn't survive beyond the day, became a father.  Even though I haven’t seen him in 15 years I cried tears of joy for him.  My sister in law has been a gigantic source of comfort to me over the last month plus, she has suffered two miscarriages herself.  Four days ago she gave birth to her second daughter and I can’t wait to get my hands on that little baby in a few weeks.  Miscarriages or not, I don’t think her pregnancy would have bothered me.  She was well into her 2nd trimester and really showing when I got pregnant.  Early pregnant women and later pregnant women feel like two different species.  She was so far along we never would have felt like pregnancy peers. 

These are the only pregnancies or births that I have felt uncomplicated joy over since I lost my pregnancy.  And of course, it feels like everyone in the world is pregnant but me.  Don’t get me wrong, I am glad these women are pregnant and I equivalent pray (that’s what agnostics do, right?) their babies are healthy.  But I’m so jealous I can’t bear it.  I’m eaten up by it, and I hate hate hate myself for it.  I know I’ll shed this bitterness when I get pregnant again, but I want to be rid of it before then.  It will be easy to celebrate pregnancy when I’m part of the gang.  I want to feel un-conflicted joy for people in my life before that, both for me and for them.  The selfish part of me doesn’t want to be hateful and small; naturally it makes me feel even worse about myself.  And the less selfish part of me really wants to be a support for people I care about. 

It doesn’t seem right that I can feel joy for those who have suffered a loss, yet I can’t be purely happy for people whose only crime is not miscarring.  And I certainly don’t think experiencing a miscarriage or similar loss makes one’s pregnancy more valid.  I am glad and relieved many women have not and will never miscarry.  I am grateful for their successful pregnancies and so happy for them.  There is just an unwanted companion emotion that accompanies my happiness for them, it is my selfishness and jealously and rage at the unfairness of life.  That companion emotion is overridden when I consider the losses suffered by those people I mentioned who are pregnant or who have recently become parents.  And if I’m honest I’m not being completely altruistic when I feel joy for them.  I also feel hope for myself.  If they can have pregnancies and babies after their heartbreak, well maybe so can I. 

I’m deeply ashamed of my feelings concerning expectant women, and I thought long and hard about if I should post this at all.  But unless I’m a complete psychopath it stands to reason that other women recovering from a miscarriage have felt similar things.  If a woman who has recently had a miscarriage stumbles across this blog maybe it will help ease her guilty conscience to discover she isn't the only one having ugly thoughts.  And maybe writing about these feelings I wish I wasn't having will help me move past them.  

Yesterday afternoon I got the results of the blood test.  My HCG levels have gone down to 33, but they aren’t going down fast enough for my doctors to be satisfied.  On Monday morning I need to get more blood drawn.  Then later that afternoon I need to return for a shot of Methotrexate, which will evidently kill the remaining placenta cells in my uterus.  On Thursday I return for a blood test to confirm the drug worked, so if this is successful we are now looking at next Friday as the all clear day, exactly 7 weeks from when I found out I’d probably lost the baby.  If things had gone as planned I’d be far enough along to know if it was a boy or a girl.  At this point I’ve waited so long for this to be over another week doesn’t make much of a difference.  See how philosophical I’m getting?  Perhaps this never ending story actually will have an ending. 

Photos by Ellie Leonardsmith
The last photo is one of my all time favorites because it captures exactly who we are together.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Bright Side

Over the last few weeks something fantastic has been happening.  This whole ordeal has made me so fucking grateful for T that I have been having this amazing honeymoon phase with him.  My experience is after a miscarriage you feel like any baby born is a miracle.  Anything, anything can easily go wrong.    Of course I feel lucky to have him.  And I can’t believe I get to spend my days with him, during the weekend I actually look forward to the week when I’ll have him all to myself.  A babysitter has been coming for a few hours on Fridays and while I’m happy to get stuff done that seriously needs to happen, I also miss him like crazy. 

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all puppy dogs and rainbows at our house.  Little man has been sick for more than two weeks and yesterday we finally had to start him on an antibiotic.  He’s in a biting phase and broke the skin on my leg this week, he also bit his friend and I almost died from shame.  He also is incredibly cranky in the late afternoon.  Dude needs to be cuddled after his second nap for an extended period of time, and that makes cooking dinner quite the challenge.  But I actually miss him when he goes down for the night.  I don’t feel frustrated by the time Z comes home, and I don’t need some time to myself before T goes down for the night. 

I think our little honeymoon would have happened to some extent with or without the miscarriage.  It’s easier to be in love with him because everything about him is easier.  He can communicate with me in a very rudimentary way, he is so excited about the world and learning, he is loving life.  Last spring he still wasn’t sleeping through the night.  And while babies are delightful and cuddly they are also terribly frustrating.  Half the time you have no clue as to what is wrong with them, so you just go through your limited bag of tricks over and over hoping you will hit on the magic bullet.  Last fall was exciting and wonderful, but it also was sort of a nightmare.  There was an extended period when he wouldn’t nap during the day, and he barely slept at night.  Obviously he was a royal mess when he was awake, and Z and I were, too.  Things calmed a bit when we started sleep training in the winter, although life was still overwhelming. 

And last winter I still had some seriously unhealed anal fissures that T gave me when he was born (sorry Dave, I’m going there), I am still shocked I let it go so long.  Because if you’ve had them you know waiting 5 months to get them healed is insane.  INSANE.  Every morning I tried making deals with God as I wept and tried to do my business.  And I don’t even know if I believe that he/she exisits!  So when I got some help the good doc told me soaking in the tub daily would be a pretty swell idea in addition to the three ointments he prescribed me.  At home we fell into a pattern where Z would come home from work and I would run upstairs for a nice long bath.  Like an hour.  To myself.  Every night.  I started reading the Harry Potter  series over and over and over.  I’m still doing it, over the last 8 months or so I’ve reread the series 5 times.  During stressful times I feel compelled to reread comfort books, and HP fits the bill.  I usually am a voracious reader, but I’ve read a very few other books during this time.  Every time I finish book 7 I promise myself I’ll move on to other stuff, but somehow I end up reading book 1 yet again.  For some reason I can’t stop.

For months after I technically didn’t need the baths Z was happy to let me escape to the tub for some end of the day R&R.  He missed T because he was at work all day, and I was still adjusting to the never ending nature of my new gig as a SAHM.  But when school started this fall I fell out of the habit.  I didn’t need a break from T; in fact I had trouble handing him over to Z.  Suddenly I can’t get enough of my little man.  I’m sure this phase too shall pass.  I know he and I will drive each other up the wall again soon enough, but I’ve decided to revel in it while I can. 

Doc update: The fantastic news is the doctor couldn’t find the mystery item in my uterus during the ultrasound yesterday, which probably means I did pass it two weeks ago.  I had more blood work done, and if my HCG levels go down it means everything is golden, and I am done with this nonsense.  The reason I’d still have a low level of pregnancy hormone in my blood is I only got rid of the last of the placenta really recently.  So my freak out yesterday might have been needless (sorry about that) and I might might might be home free.  With any luck I’ll hear today.  I am trying very hard not to get my hopes up.  It also looked like I was ovulating yesterday.  Who knew I’d ever be so excited to hear that?

He really makes me this happy so much of the time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just When I Thought We Were Done With the Miscarriage...

In my head I was composing a really happy post for today.  I was going to write about the birth of our niece two days ago, and the good news that my blood work came back and I was pregnancy hormone free and physically done with the miscarriage drama.  Ah, the best laid plans…The OB-GYN office called to let me know I still have HCG (pregnancy hormone) in my blood.  The good news is it is a really low level of only 47.  The day I found out about the miscarriage it was over 2000, so 47 does seem pretty good.  But it needs to be 5 or less, especially this long after the D&C.

So what does this mean?  Emotionally it has been a bit of a sucker punch.  I am not one to look on the bright side of almost anything, but I had rallied and convinced myself the blood work would come back clear, I mean I’d already had a period.  I just had to have one more before we could start trying again.  I’d be back on track in no time.  And now I’m reminded why looking on the bright side of anything makes you into a fool.  I should have been preparing myself for bad news, not blithely and naively thinking after a month plus this surely would be all over. 

Physically I’m not sure what it means.  More blood work, another ultrasound.  Maybe the drug that kills placenta cells.  If that doesn’t work another D&C.  If that is the case I’ll be almost 2 months out from the first one.  And at least another 2 months out from being able to try again.  I know it isn’t that long, but as small complication after small complication happens I feel more like this is going to culminate with the news that something is very wrong.  The cruelest joke of all would be still dealing with my body betraying me through the due date of the baby I lost.  I have been hoping with all of my might that I would be pregnant again by April 3rd.  Now I’m just hoping to be back to normal by then.  Living through the due date without this resolved seems unbearable to me. 

Yesterday before I got the news from the OB-GYN’s office I had a therapy session.  We kind of got off on a tangent about the way reproductive issues affect my generation of women.  I had commented to her that I am supposed to be comparing my bleeding to regular menstrual bleeding.  The thing is I was on the pill for 16 years before Thomas.  And I only had one period before I got pregnant with him and two periods before I got pregnant this summer.  To me a regular period is barely having to wear a panty liner.   I have no idea how my body menstruates without drugs regulating my cycle.  The first really heavy bleeding I experienced happened after T’s birth.  And that was anything but normal.  So the two instances of heavy bleeding I’ve experienced since the D&C have scared the living daylights out of me.  I can’t get past the fear of wondering if I’m going to start having fist sized blood clots and horrible pain.  It’s a no fail recipe for anxiety attacks. 

She pointed out that my generation is the first one that felt free to use birth control for years on end.  Many of us waited to start families until we were well into our 30s and now we are finding out there are a different set of repercussions to waiting.  Yes, we got to have footloose and fancy free 20s, we started careers, we took the time to really grow up before we plunged into parenthood.  But we didn’t think about what it would be like to have high schoolers  to raise well into our 50s or even into our 60s.  We didn’t think that getting pregnant and staying pregnant might not be a walk in the park.  We didn’t think that we really might not know our bodies as well as we assumed because of the pill.  Now please don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have changed my choices even if I had been thinking about the consequences, especially about taking the pill.  I had cramps that were so bad I couldn’t function in my teens.  The pill cleared that all up, and an added benefit of being on it for so long is my chances of developing ovarian cancer drop by something crazy like 85% percent.  I do like those odds. 

The point that she was making is the next generation will learn from what my generation has experienced.  The freedom to wait to procreate and to use birth control will be open to those women, but the outcome of some of those choices will be clearer.  Each generation builds upon the experiences of the last. 

The OB-GYN office just called back.  I am going in for another ultra sound and more blood work in less than an hour.  Maybe I’ll have more answers today.  But I’m going to play it safe, not get my hopes up, and assume there will be as much uncertainty this afternoon as there has been this morning.  

Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith
I'm severely biased, but he is so beautiful it breaks my heart.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On Blogging and Bullying

Several of the more popular mommy blogs are part of my daily computer routine.  And wow, some intense things go on in the comment sections of those blogs.  When it comes to huge sites like Dooce I don’t bother to glance at the hundreds of comments posted, it is just too overwhelming.  And I basically know what they are going to say.  Most people comment in adoring agreement, and a minority are bizarrely cruel. 

On the sites with smaller readerships I will often see what is going on in the comment section, the conversation usually ranges from kind of boring to an interesting dialogue on the topic at hand.  But some bloggers with decent readerships often have “haters” (oh, how I hate that term!) who comment frequently. 

Bullying is a hot topic right now, particularly because of the extensive coverage of the suicides of several gay teens in the last few weeks.  I am terrified of T’s adolescence for so many reasons, but bullying is a big one.  Were any of you bullied?  I was.  We moved to a suburb of Chicago before I started 5th grade.  It will come as no surprise to you all to hear I was a major nerd.  But up until that point I had not been bullied.  The town we moved to was very money conscious and I had never dealt with that before.  On the first day of school kids asked me what kind of cars my parents drove.   They were not impressed with my answers of a Datsun 210 and an Oldsmobile Cutlass.  One particular boy made it his mission to make my life hell.  At first his mother was sympathetic and tried to control him, but he wouldn’t stop and she basically told my mother I was making it up.  It got so bad that I ended up in the doctor’s office with intense stomach pains.  I was actually writhing on the floor of the waiting room because the pain was so bad.  The diagnosis was stress.   I was eleven. 

I never want T to go through that, but if I was forced to choose I think I’d want him to be bullied rather than be the bully himself.  If you bully people how do you live with it as an adult?  And if you don’t have a problem living with it you certainly aren’t someone I want to have in my life.  Those are the people who are being cruel on the internet.  I am assuming many of them are parents.  They are reading and commenting on parenting blogs, so it stands to reason.  They are raising T’s contemporaries.  If they are comfortable with bulling others their children probably will be as well. 

Thankfully I have not been bullied as an adult.  But the author of one of the blogs I read is currently on a hiatus because of hateful mail and comments she has received.  I can’t imagine how terrible it must feel to be on the receiving end of that hate.  Her blog is often outrageous and honestly I disagree with her a lot.  I even have been moved to comment negatively on her posts, but I am always constructive and never ever cruel.  I’ve thought about staying away from her site, but she is pretty entertaining and I just can’t look away.  When the negative comments start coming they create a feeding frenzy.  Lately, even when some negative comments that aren’t the least bit unkind are posted her main readership transforms into troops that rally to her defense with comments that criticize any difference of opinion with swift cruelty. 

Why are grown women engaging in this behavior?  What are these women going to teach their own kids when they start having disagreements with their peers?  The name calling and pack mentality these women are a part of is frankly terrifying.

On a much happier note we had a visit this weekend from Z's sister Ellie and her wife.  As I've mentioned before, Ellie is a photographer and she did a quick photo shoot with us.  Here are a few of my favorite shots.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Epic Self Involvement

Shopping for fancy clothes if very loaded for me.  Perhaps I should back up.  Writing about my body image is very loaded for me.  I’m not asking for affirmation about my physical appearance.  In fact, I’d prefer not to hear it.  Compliments make me uncomfortable, especially when I don’t believe them.  During the worst of my mental illness Z stopped complimenting me altogether.  He got tired of my fighting with him every time he said something nice to me.  I really shot myself in the foot with that one.  Now if I buy and new piece of clothing and ask him what he things he usually won’t say anything.  He feels like it is a trap of some sort. 

Z is a real character with a lot of style.  He wears fedoras or newsboy caps every time he takes a step outside.  On Labor Day he puts away his straw hats and pulls out the felts.  The process is reversed on Memorial Day.  He usually wears Carhartts to work, but with a dress shirt and tie.  And he loves to wear suits.  It would make him really happy if I took some care with the way I present myself to the world.  But I do not like for the way I look, in fact I am embarrassed by myself.  When I am around other women I spend a lot of time thinking about what part of their physicality I wish I possessed.  I really don’t want to look like me, to the point where I rarely make an effort to look nice.  What is the point?  I dress in sweats, although I’ll put on jeans if I’m leaving the house.  I don’t wear makeup.  I don’t do more than comb my hair.  I don’t even own a brush.  And the only comb I own was given to me by a cousin circa 1994 (Thanks Lori!).

Back when I met Z, when I was 125 lbs soaking wet I had already begun to hate the way I looked.  A few years later one of the many drugs I was on during my fancy mental breakdown was Zoloft.  It ended up helping me a lot, but one of the side effects is weight gain, the chances of which increase when a high does is used.  The highest recommended dose is 200 mg, I was on 250 for a long time.  I blew up like a Thanksgiving turkey.  By the time I went off the meds I was nearly 190lbs.  I mean, I saw a fat person in the mirror back when I was actually skinny.  At 190 I saw a morbidly obese person looking back at me.  During the year that I went off the meds I dropped about 30 lbs.  I also turned 30 and my metabolism had changed big time.  To drop the rest of the weight I would have had to do something.  Like actually exercise or modify my diet.  Yeah, my apathy won out big time and I did nothing.  Except continue to hate the way I looked. 

There was a bar and restaurant near the top of the World Trade Center called Windows on the World.  In the late 90s it hosted swing dance nights, and I remember an evening back when I was still in college we went to dance and laugh at the horrible d├ęcor in the bar.  A young woman was there in a very figure hugging dress.  She wasn’t stick thin and her belly was round, but she was sexy as hell.  I pointed her out to Z.  This was back at the time when he was still investing a lot of energy in trying to convince me he found me attractive.  He very excitedly pointed out she wasn’t a waif, yet she was smoking hot.  He brought her up for years when I complained about getting bigger. 

The funny thing is even at my biggest my stomach was relatively flat.  It’s just the way I carry weight, I’m a stereotypical “pear”.  But naturally after a pregnancy my stomach didn’t go back to the way that it was.  Physically I’ve been cool with few things about myself, but the flat belly was one of them.  It really sucks to have that taken away.  Trying on dresses is another reminder that my body keeps on changing, and not for the better.  Dressing up is the only occasion when I really want to wear something Z will like.  I do it so rarely, and it makes him so happy that I might as well make an effort and pick something we both like.  We have a wedding to attend in two weeks and I needed to find a dress.  So on Friday I went Lord and Taylor, swallowed my pride, and gravitated towards the 50s inspired dresses I knew he would love.   Z is an ass man; I came home with a dress that clings to my ample bottom and also to my round belly.  I will be uncomfortable as hell; sure people at the wedding will be wondering if I am pregnant or just tubby.  Which is crazy.  People at the wedding will be looking at the bride and groom, not at a random guest.  It’s funny how self hatred and self involvement go hand in hand. 

When I tried the dress on for Z I found a “foundation garment” in my underwear drawer.   I actually don’t know where it came from, but there it was, basically a girdle.  I thought it would help flatten that pesky stomach.  After Z told me he liked the dress I showed him what was underneath.  He totally freaked out.  He said he didn’t want me to keep the dress if it made me feel so unattractive I needed to wear a “fucking girdle”.  He told me to return the dress and get something I could be comfortable in.   I panicked and took off the girdle.  The last thing I wanted to do was draw the dress hunting out further.  He said I looked exactly the same, which I know wasn’t true, but I’m going to be uncomfortable no matter what I’m wearing.  I’m keeping the damn dress.   

Whenever I am faced with trying to make myself presentable for an event these old self image issues bubble up from just below the surface where they usually hang out.  For a while I convince myself I will diet, I’ll exercise, I’ll change.  But then it seems too hard, I remember I don’t care for my face either and having a skinny body won’t change that.  The mole on my left cheek will still be there.  My first boyfriend in college had a thing where he confused being honest with being hurtful.  Several months into our relationship he told me he noticed the mole the first time he saw me and really had to consider whether he could date me or not.  I think I was supposed to feel good that he consented to be involved with me.  Up until that point I didn’t think the mole was a big deal, but ever since I’ve felt  I have something on my face I should be really ashamed of. 

Shame.  Self loathing.  Narcissism.   It’s all so damn frustrating and boring.  Why can’t I just stop?  I want to see my friends get married.  I want to enjoy their day, and not make it about me yet again.  At the same time I want you all to hate me for my self indulgence and agree that I am worthless and physically repulsive.  That would make me feel much better than compliments or contradictions.  I’ve put nearly 20 years into feeling this way, which is a lot of time invested that I don’t want to go to waste.

Z made this awesome rocking goat/desk/high chair for T.  As you flip it around it becomes different things.  T is really digging it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Not Over Yet

Yesterday I was back at the OB-GYN.  My morning appointment was moved to an afternoon one because the doctor was in labor and delivery.  He delivered two babies before I saw him at 3:45.  It is highly unusual for an OB to deliver all of his or her patients anymore, but mine does.  So appointments are switched around an awful lot.  In large practices where you are delivered by whoever is on call this doesn’t happen.  But I think the trade off having to be flexible about appointment time is more than worth it. 

The miscarriage saga continues.  I told him about passing the clot last week, and how I’d been bleeding for more than a week.  He was pretty sure I was having my period, but it is still unclear if my uterus is housing anything it shouldn’t.   He sent me to get a blood test which will let us know what the deal is.  If I’ve still got placenta hanging out in there we can try another drug, but if that doesn’t work I get another D&C.  And the timeline of getting pregnant again will be pushed back another month or two.  I will be crushed if this is not over.  It has been a month and six days since we found out we lost the baby.  I need to be able to move on.  I’ve said it before, but I can’t heal mentally if I’m not healed physically.  I need to know there is a day in the near future that we can start trying to get pregnant again.  And I am sick and tired of not knowing what the fuck is going on with my body. 

Technically it was my yearly exam, so the doc was asking tons of questions including, “So have you have any hospitalizations or medical situations in the last year?  I mean other than, you know, the stuff we’ve done together.”  He seriously cracks me up.  I told him nope and he continued to look through my chart.  After a moment he said, “Um, you had a basal cell carcinoma removed from your right nipple.”  “Oh yeah” I said, “I forgot about that.  Last fall wasn’t that great for me, health wise.”

It’s weird how things that seem really bad at the time can quickly be forgotten.  I mean dude, it was cancer.  Non scary, completely removed cancer, but cancer all the same.  And I totally forgot it happened.  It gives me hope that our current pain, which feels so consuming will fade.  I don’t think I will ever forget it, and I don’t want to.  We lost a part of our family, or maybe it is more accurate to say the promise of what our family would become.  If we are lucky enough to have another baby it will not replace the one we lost.  It will make our family different in its own way.  Our chance of having two babies 20 months apart is gone.  The person our baby would have become is gone.  The embryo was only alive in me for 6 weeks and 5 days, but I will always love it and there will always be a void in our family to me.

A quick little extra story about the insensitivity of medical jargon:
On the way up to get my blood drawn I glanced at the paperwork I was instructed to take with me and under diagnosis it said "Incomplete Abortion".  Now, I love my doctor and he has not ever been insensitive to me.  Evidently certain miscarriages are medically referred to as abortions.  When a friend of mine lost her pregnancy a doctor referred to the D&C as an abortion to her face.  Understandably she was incredibly hurt. When I saw the word abortion on the paper it was hard not to cry.  I am grateful I have the right to choose what happens to my own body, but Jesus Christ I loved and wanted this baby so badly.  It is a slap in the face to see what happened characterized with a word that has such a different meaning to a lay person.  My vote is they come up with a different name for an embryo or fetus who dies without a spontaneous miscarriage.  I'm just not sure where to cast my ballot.

T goosing his cousin on his first birthday.  Since it's a bit of a sad post I thought something lighthearted was in order.  And this never fails to crack me up.