Thursday, October 30, 2008

The loss of innocnece

I have a friend who lost a baby in her fifth month to (among other things) an incompetent cervix. I e-mailed her when I lost my baby and asked her if, when you get pregnant again, you spend the whole 9 months gripped by fear of losing the baby. She told me that what she was most angry about was losing that innocent, unbridled JOY of being pregnant. You never get that back. That totally sucks. It makes me really sad.

Most of the time I can remind myself that only 75% of babies get to be born, and this was my time to be in the 25%. But really, WTF? I don't WANT to know as much as I do about miscarriage. I don't WANT to know how common stillbirth is, and I certainly don't want to worry about it for my entire pregnancy if I'm lucky enough to get that far again.

My husband thinks I probably shouldn't read so many of these blogs because he thinks they're going to make it hard to take a breath later (when/if I get pregnant again.) Maybe he's right. But the thing is, you get invested. You find someone who's pregnant, and you save the blog because you want to know that the baby comes out fine. You find someone who's ovulating, and you save that blog because you want to find out if they get pregnant. You find someone who just had another miscarriage, and you save that blog because you want to support them and know that they're going to be okay.

Guess that leaves a bit of a conundrum. For me, I'm gonna keep reading. What do boys know, anyway? ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The other side

I worked on my "Common Ground" post for two or three days before I posted it. I tweaked it for fear that it would sound too harsh. I reworked it a couple of times. I kicked it up "Freshman English 101-style" with a rough draft.

But it still wasn't right.

After all that re-reading I read it one more time after I published it and thought to myself, "I'll be damned." I thought I bent over backwards to make it even-steven for both sides, but it's not. As if I weren't already "out" about my relative newness to pregnancy loss, I realized that I forgot one major side of the coin.

I already know how tough it is to be a mommy, but infertile? Not so much. What about the issues that infertiles struggle with on a daily basis? Speaking as one who doesn't know about that (yet) I can tell you that if you're not infertile, you really can't get it. I think you have to live it and breathe it to get it.

I will say that when I was pregnant, I had a close family member dealing with infertility, and I bent over backwards to NOT talk about my pregnancy in front of her. However, 95% of the time, pregnant people don't know when they're around infertiles. They probably never mean to hurt feelings, but they inevitably will. This has been made very clear to me just in the short time since my miscarriage. I've had several people (who don't know about the miscarriage) make comments about "when you have another one" and about so-and-so being pregnant. I've even had a couple people innocently ask if we're planning to have more, and I vaguely answer "probably, sometime."

Just to clarify, I'm not writing this post "in response to" anyone's comments. I don't take them personally because I know they're just opinions, but I did want to acknowledge and validate those feelings that I don't understand. It must be absolutely awful to want something so badly and not be able to make it happen. It has to be an all-consuming, terrible burden to live with every day.

I don't know what it's like to long to get pregnant month after month. I don't know what it's like to chart temperatures and time cycles. I don't what it's like to see specialists and make game plans. I only know what it's like to be pregnant, and then have it taken away.

We're all sisters, and I'm sorry I forgot to include one side of the family.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Perspective

I've recently gained some new perspective on what's really important.

My son had a check-up last week during which I brought up a few concerns that I've had with regard to his development. The doctor basically said that everything looks good to her, but yes, we should get these things checked out. So he's had a couple of tests so far, and has a couple more coming up in the next few weeks. I'm not going to lie. I'm scared.

The funny thing is that I WANTED the tests, but now that the doctor has actually agreed to order the tests, it's driving the point home that she's concerned and that something might be really wrong. Of course, the places where he needs to have the tests are booking into like 2011, (well, not really, but it seems like a long wait.) So everything else is kind of on the back burner right now. It's a waiting game, and I'm just hoping that everything is okay.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Common Ground

It really is amazing how common miscarriage is.

I had lunch with a friend of mine today, and after a couple hours of chit-chat, she confided in me that she had been pregnant in January and had miscarried sometime in her 7th or 8th week. Of course, I then told her about my recent miscarriage and we went on to talk about how common it is.

I was also talking to someone else about miscarriage on the phone last night. She went through IVF treatments and now has a healthy baby to show for it, but we were talking about how infertility, miscarriage, and loss in all forms are things that are just not spoken about. It's really quite amazing to me that infertility, which affects so many, and miscarriage and loss (which affects 25% of women) are like dirty little secrets that people feel almost ashamed of.

Something that I'm having a difficult time grappling with is the almost... I don't know... competition (?) between women with different issues. Is it harder to have infertility issues that make it difficult or impossible to get pregnant, or is it harder to have multiple miscarriages? Does a woman who has a healthy child (or two, or three) have less validity to her grief over a miscarriage than someone who has no children? Is it fair for an infertile to judge a pregnant woman for complaining about her pregnancy symptoms using the "I would kill to be in her shoes" line of thought? Is it fair for fertile people to think, "you can just adopt," or "why are you so bitter?" about people who are infertile? Is it even fair to judge someone who is a great parent, has had no dealings with infertility, but who feels overwhelmed with their kids sometimes?

I'll tell you the truth. I've known people who've gone through IVF and then have gone on to have children. They still complain about the pregnancy symptoms. They even *gasp* complain about their KIDS sometimes after they have them. No matter what you've gone through, some of the symptoms of pregnancy are NO FUN. Some days raising children is NO FUN either!!

NO pregnancy is easy. You get nauseous. You get headaches. You have cravings. You worry about gaining too much weight. You worry about not gaining enough weight. Your skin doesn't fit right. You get stretch marks and varicose veins. Maybe you're constipated and get hemorrhoids. UGH. What's fun about that??

I guess my point in the end is that it's so easy to get lost in our own specific issues. I'm not trying to minimize the personal stories of each individual, but it seems to me that there is so much common ground. If there's something that I've learned from reading so many blogs, it's that the old adage about walking in another person's shoes really is true.

I've gained so much from reading other people's stories. I hope that now or in the future if I write something that you don't agree with, (and you can count on it) you can at least file it into your "common ground" file, and remember that the roads down which we all walk are really more similar than they are different.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm struggling

I'm struggling with this blog. (I know, I know... I've only been at it for a few weeks.) The truth is that I'm struggling with self-censorship. I've already got five posts that I haven't put up because I'm afraid of what people will think. How effed up is that? I'm writing a blog about my true emotions and thoughts to make me feel better and I don't even have the balls to write the whole truth and nothing but the truth. (Of course, balls is a figurative term since I'm female and all.)

It's not that I'm ashamed of the thoughts. I know that people who know me in real life would understand them (at least to a degree) because they know me. It's more that I'm afraid of being judged by people who don't know me.

Who the hell am I after all? I'm just some girl who has a pretty happy life. I have a pretty great husband and a pretty cool kid. I didn't have that much trouble getting pregnant, and the first time I didn't even have trouble staying pregnant. It was the second time that was the bitch with the staying pregnant thing.

*sigh*

I will publish some of those posts (probably not the one about my daymare about someone being behind the shower curtain in my downstairs bathroom...) but I guess I'll just have to wait a little while until I feel like I'm ready for the scrutiny of the general public (or at least the infertile and semi-fertile public.)

Until then, more of the same...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Constant Reminder Part 2

The phone rings at 8:30 this morning.

Clueless receptionist chick: "Good morning, this is X Ultrasound place calling. Is She there?"

Me: "This is She."

Clueless receptionist chick: "Hi, we're calling to confirm your ultrasound on Thursday."

Me: "I actually had a miscarriage."

Clueless receptionist chick: "Oh, I'm sorry. We'll cancel that for you."

Are you kidding me? That's awesome. I really needed another reminder of the fact that I SHOULD be having my 18 week Ultrasound on Thursday - that there should be a beautiful baby growing inside me.

And the best part is that the ultrasound at which my miscarriage was discovered was THERE. Don't you think that they should have canceled the 18 week appointment after they discovered that my baby was dead? Sorry, but that pisses me off.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Constant Reminders

My cousin is pregnant with tripl.ets (naturally, believe it or not.) She has endom.etriosis and was expecting to have a hard time conceiving, so it is very, very exciting that she's pregnant.

The thing is that I should have been due about 2 weeks after her. I'm totally happy for her. Not jealous, not bitter, not sad. I'm completely happy for her.

However.

Every time I think about how far along she is, I think about how far along I'm not.

My Mom and I were talking about her the other day, and she said, "She's 19 weeks you know."

Me: "Yes, I know."

Mom: (realizing that of COURSE I know, because I should be 17 weeks) "I'm so sorry."

*********************************

It is my fervent hope that someday my cousin's trip.lets will be playing a game of tag with my future babies, and I'll be able to tell them about the cousin they should have had...

I'm it!

Wow, I'm very new to this blog thing, so I'm honored to be "tagged" with a friendship award by my new blog friend Yaya over at Yaya Stuff

Here are the questions. If I tag you (that means I've given you this award) then you just copy and paste and answer them on your blog.

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?
I'm still friends with a couple of my high school friends, but only very close with one. The majority of my friends are from college and my first few years in the working world after college.

2. What do you value most about your friends?
They like a lot of the same things I do, like going out to exercise so that you can THEN go eat yummy food without guilt!

3. Are your friends sounding boards?
The best of the best.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with friends?
I loooove dining out, and I don't see my friends that often, so we usually go for walks or out to eat (or both!)

Now I present this Friendship award to the following 5 people:
(These are blogs I read, not necessarily people I know. Their blogs may make me laugh or cry, but always make me think.)


Expecting a Miracle at Expecting A Miracle

Sushilover at Life After D & C

And one that's purely for laughs: Cake Wrecks

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"the spice run" Update

D is down for a nap, and there's now a shiny new cabinet lock on the spice cabinet. I can't WAIT to see the look on his face when he tries to do a spice run after his nap. ;)

The toddler chronicles

So far I've tried to not write about my toddler because I know that it might be hard for other moms who've had losses. So that's my warning... this story is about my toddler. The reason I decided to write about him is because he (and the funny/sweet things that he does) have been part of what is helping me through the grief of my miscarriage.

So here's the story.

We've baby-proofed our downstairs really well. We've moved all the little baby-height knick knacks out of his reach and have put locks on all the drawers and cabinets.

Except for two.

These two cabinets are the lazy susan cabinets in the corners. One lazy susan is where I keep my herbs and spices. (Those cabinets need special locks that we haven't gotten yet.) Can you guess what D's new favorite game is? It's the "spice run."

He waits until I'm distracted - doing dishes, cooking... whatever - and then he goes straight for the spice cabinet. He usually grabs the cinnamon in one hand and the nutmeg in the other and sprints (well, sprints as much as a waddling 15 month old can) into the living room with me chasing along behind him saying, "D, can I please have the cinnamon back?" Of course, he thinks this is the best game ever so he continues running away shaking the cinnamon like a rattle and laughing while his pants (which are a little too big for his teeny little bum) fall down to just above his knees.

As much as I know this is going to get really old, really soon, I had to take a video of it yesterday because I was laughing hysterically at this pint-sized getaway.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Progress

Much more quickly and efficiently than I had any hopes that it would, AF has arrived (Monday, to be exact). I know it doesn't mean I'll be able to snap my fingers and get pregnant, but it's progress. And I can say with absolute certainty that I've never been this excited to get my period in my whole life. Oh yeah, baby. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

The name

We named the baby.

When I brought it up to my husband I thought he might be reluctant or think it was weird. He was awesome. I should have known. He loves me, and he knows he isn't dealing with the miscarriage in the same way that I am, so even if he thought it was weird I think he still would have said okay. In some strange way I think he's glad, though. Maybe he's just got a good poker face, but I think he likes the name and that he's happy that the baby isn't "it" anymore.

I searched for a website with Unisex names and was looking through them when I hit one name in particular. I'm not sure what it was about the name, but when I saw it and thought about it, it brought tears to my eyes. I knew it was the name. I brought the list to my husband and let him look it over for a minute before asking him what he thought of the name that I had liked. Without any hesitation he said he liked it too. It's not a name we had considered for our first baby, and it's not what we would have named this baby if it had survived, but somehow it's right and it fits.

And thus, baby number two has a name.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Naming baby #2

Right now I have a file in my filing cabinet with my ultrasound pictures and other various paperwork from my miscarriage of baby number two. It's labeled "Baby 2." I've been reading a lot of different opinions on whether or not you should name a baby when you miscarry. I know it's a personal decision and I can do whatever I want, but I'm trying to decide what's right for me/us.

Obviously if we had named it by the time we lost it, we would call it by whatever name we picked, but since we hadn't, do we just keep calling it "baby 2?" I haven't approached my husband on this so I really don't know what his thoughts are. Honestly, like I said I still don't know what my thoughts are.

Since we won't ever know the sex, that leaves us with the sticky situation of picking an ambiguous name. Plus, we had names picked out for our first son, but I don't want to use any of those names in case we want to use them for a future baby.

I'm thinking I want to name it, though. I want to be able to say, "remember when I was pregnant with "_(insert name here)_?" Not, "Remember when I was pregnant with the second baby?"

It was a pregnancy. It was a baby. It was loved and wanted, and I guess it deserves a name.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

They're everywhere, they're everywhere!

When I turned on the t.v. this morning there was an old episode of Saved by the Bell on. Anyone who's seen Saved by the Bell more than once knows that it's generally a baby-free-zone.

In this morning's episode, Mr. Belding's wife was pregnant and they had a baby shower for her at school. At the end of the baby shower she got caught in the elevator with Zach during an earthquake and Zach had to deliver her baby.

Are you kidding me? I know this is rhetorical question, but does anyone else feel like babies are fricking EVERYWHERE??