Archive for May, 2009

h1

Pregnant on command

May 28, 2009

My hair dresser discussed how her two sisters are pregnant. Yeah, they plan their pregnancies for the same time. Must be nice, I think. Again, I am asked when will I have kids. I tell her not everyone can plan their pregnancies, some of us just get pregnant when we can. I did not say it with snarky intent. I said it because I am tired of being a silent sufferer. I am not about to tell my relatives at the wedding when they ask about my childless state Hey y’all, I’m infertile. My mom in fact, rushed up to me with my bottle of Metformin, hide it! She said. Can we find a unlabeled container to place these in! People will know! I’m not ready to tell my relatives but, but I can tell others so they are aware its out there, because we’re a whole a bunch of people and we tend to walk around like we must be ashamed. I felt good about this.

I came back to my parent’s house after the appointment. A cousin I have not seen in a year is over. She stood up to hug me. She was pregnant. Correction: She is pregnant. I was pregnant. She is 20 weeks pregnant. I would have been 17 weeks pregnant. She said, yeah, we wanted the next to be two years apart from Nora.

It felt like someone picked me up and threw me against a brick wall. I’m not exaggerating. I feel ripped to shreds. The reaction is not an intellectual one. I am about to write what I feel. It will not be eloquent and it will not be nice. It is not me. It is the basest part of me. Please don’t judge me. Please don’t hate me because I am about to wallow… and let myself self pity…. I am so FUCKING angry with the world right now. Speck, why are you gone? WHY did you leave me? Why me? Why did this have to happen to me? What did I do wrong? What did she do right? Why can’t I plan my fucking pregnancies? Why can’t I have a nice big pregnant belly? Why is my baby gone? Speck my heart remains torn into shreds. It’s raw and it smarts each time its touched. Can someone tell me what to do to take this pain away?

I’ll be okay. It’s one of those days.

h1

A baby with Jack

May 28, 2009

Someone I once cared about is attending my brother’s wedding. It’s been ten years since I’ve seen him and he’s now married with a one year old baby. Today we had the first of visitors for the wedding arrive. He is invited due to family connections his wife has to us. Small world. His wife stopped by to say hello and brought her daughter. Her daughter is beautiful with light brown hair wide blue eyes and cheeks that make you want to pinch and squeeze. She was born nine months after their wedding. I considered this man I almost married. He had multiple relationships while promising himself to me. He dropped out of college due to what I later learned was a drug habit. He broke my heart. Now, I see his daughter and though she is gorgeous I felt nothing, just a shudder at the thought of how a child with him would have tied me to him forever. I could only see her and think,  I am so glad I did not marry you. If God could come down to this earth and promise me if I married him that I would have a fertile womb and bear beautiful children, I would shake my head and say no thank you. My desire for a baby is more than just a desire to be a parent. It’s a desire to be a parent with Jack. To have a child who is a combination of the two of us, and if not that to raise a child together as ours with Jack. I want Jack’s baby. Seeing Gideon’s daughter helped me realize how important it is for me to appreciate the good and decent man I married. Though we don’t have children at least I have him. I would not trade Jack for anything, not even a promise of a child with another. I want a child with Jack and if I never have children, I am still blessed to have Jack in my life.

h1

A random update of sorts

May 27, 2009

I’m getting ready for a wedding in the family and things have been so hectic I have hardly had a second to eat or sleep or even think too much. The thinking part has been good. It’s been nice to get my mind off of things as best I can. Right now, though, everyone is out. My dad is sleeping, my mother is shopping. My brothers and husband are out on a barbeque (a very G rated bachelor party).

When a river is running swiftly you cannot see what lies beneath as clearly as you can when the wind stops and the flow slows into calm stillness. The wind has slowed and grief is whispering my name. I’m trying to ignore it because I fear if I look I will turn into a stone Medusa.

Relatives fly in tonight. Dammit how I had dreamed of this day just this April. Letting them discover my joyous news by the swell of my growing belly. I iron my clothes for the big day and I remember that these no longer need to be altered to fit my changing form. I remain unchanged.

Last night I had a vivid dream. I was breast feeding a little baby. I watched him nourish himself and as the days passed I watched him grow. I saw him learn to smile and I felt a flutter when I realized he recognized me! I woke and felt a deep sense of longing. Another glimpse of the beauty of motherhood.

Today at the nail salon, the manicurist asked me, so you married seven years, no baby? I guess you want to make money and save up before? I told her I’ve been trying for a long time to have a baby. I dont care about making more money. I care about having a child. She went silent and nodded. The moment felt freeing.

I hesitate to say that I may be ovulating today. I hesitate since with PCOS you can never trust the signs your body emits. Still, if it is the case then I am ovulating on a regular schedule. I could tell you I’m not getting my hopes up, but I am. Despite my pessimism, I am a hopless optimist. As an infertile I continue to grow more comfortable with this paradox.

I promised myself this time I would not attach myself to any new pregnancy like I did last time. No nicknames. No talking to it. No reading up on developmental stages. No pregnancy booklets. Yet, this morning my mom called me baby bug. We all laughed when she explained it meant I was her baby and I was bugging the ever living daylights out of her. Jack turned to me and said Baby bug. The next one, she will be our baby bug.

I’m not even pregnant. I don’t even know when I will be, or if I will be. I don’t even know if I will continue to miscarry each time I conceive, but fucking hell if baby bug isn’t the cutest damn thing I’ve ever heard. Just the sound of it makes me crave the fullness in my womb stronger than before.

h1

How to come on to an infertile

May 26, 2009

I’m sitting on the couch and hubby gives me the look. You know, the look.

No, I say shaking my head. I’m tired.

Oh, he says leaning close and whispering in my ear, but we should, in fact, we must.

Why is that? I ask with a raised eyebrow.

Well, he grins, “I think you’re ovulating.”

Wow. That was a first, but I have a feeling it won’t be the last!

h1

I am more than my infertility

May 23, 2009

This blog is  my place to release my frustrations surrounding my infertility and the pain of my miscarriage. From what I’ve read it seems I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed by the inability of my body to do what for so many is effortless. My doctor said it will take me three to six months to grieve my loss. It seems I am normal in how I feel but I want to also say that I am more than just this though sometimes it is a struggle to define myself outside of these challenges I face.

I have PCOS. I am infertile. I had a miscarriage that haunts me. But-

I am a reader. I read anything and everything as long as its well written. I am a writer. I’ve written a full length novel that I am currently revising. I am a traveler. I love experiencing other cultures. I am a decent cook (though I hate cleaning up afterwards) and I am kick ass at Taboo (most times). I am an attorney. I represent low income kids with disabilities with their legal issues. I like helping children, but I often doubt my decision to go to law school because I really dislike the confrontational aspects of law. I probably will quit my job in September and try to pursue my dream of writing full time to see where it leads me. I love grapefruits, and chocolate in any form. My favorite color is pink.  I am a wife. A sister. A daughter. A niece. A friend.

It is a struggle some days to remind myself that I am more than an infertile miscarrying PCOSer. It is difficult sometimes to not discount all I’ve acheived and all that I am because of this one important area in which I feel like I am failing. It is a matter of constant reminding and convincing of the objective truth that I am a full human being, and should not be defined solely in the areas that I am incomplete.

h1

Seeing Family

May 22, 2009

I’ve been crying at the drop of a hat today. I think part of it is I’m emotional since my baby brother is getting married. He’s my best friend and I’m happy he’s found love but its a big change and I hope we will remain close. It’s the other reason that’s hurting more: this is the first time I’ll see my family after my miscarriage. Last time it was baby talk all the time. We debated names. My mom took me crib shopping. My brothers drove me to midnight taco bell runs. Speck would have been the first grandchild. One of the joys I felt about my baby was imagining their faces as they held the first grandchild. This week my relatives were going to find out I was pregnant. I would be sixteen weeks pregnant. I’m scared to see my family. I’m scared I will break down and weep. No one but Jack has seen me break.  I’m afraid of scaring people with the rawness of my emotions. If I hurt I know my parents will hurt, so I plan to do my best to keep it to myself. This will be difficult because as my parents they can usually tell if my heart is breaking.  Still, I’m going to try. This weekend is about my brother, not me.  I plan to keep myself in check and smile and pretend there is no nail jamming into my heart, but I am scared that the acting job this time may not be sufficient.

h1

Gratitude for the time I had

May 22, 2009

Today Jack checked the mail. He walked in with an envelope and opened it. Quickly he tore it in half, glanced at me with a look of apprehension and tossed it. My lovely insurance company. I had enrolled in the “healthy mothers program”. This letter was a reminder that you have not filled out your questionnaire and we really want you to have a healthy pregnancy and need this information to help you as much as possible. Never mind that I was on the phone with my insurance company when my baby fell out of me and onto the cold bathroom floor. Never mind that the next day they promised to remove me from the list.

Ready to retreat into my dark place I instead tried losing myself in the book Waiting for Daisy. Peggy’s husband said instead of feeling loss after they found out they would not be able to adopt a son they had hoped for that he felt grateful for the time he had with him, and the dreams he briefly held to be his father. I am considering this concept, turning it over in my mind. Those few months of my pregnancy, I fell asleep dreaming of his little heart beating, his little toes forming, this small being floating within me. I spoke to him and I felt an outpouring of love. I can still remember lazy Sunday mornings lying with Jack, and saying with a giddy infatuation this time next year he will be with us. I imagined him so clearly he became real. And then he was gone. He went from my child, a grandchild, a nephew, to nothing, just an embryo or fetus that did not reach viability. Someone I pinned my hopes on and prayed for and would give my life for, has no name, who is he? He’s suddenly nothing in the eyes of the world. A chromosomal abnormality a it happened for a reason for the best banal entreaty.

Okay, sorry, I went into a moment there. The point of this post is I am grateful for the time I had with him. I’m grateful for the two red lines on the pregnancy test. The dreams he let me dream. I’m grateful I saw his heart beat. I’m grateful I saw him wiggle on the screen. I’m grateful for the days he exhausted me and left me queasy. I am grateful he lived inside me. I’m grateful he will always be the first to do so. He holds that honor, always will.

I have pushed aside suggestions to perhaps honor my loss through a means of memorial such as planting a tree in his honor. Now I think I want to do something to honor the time he was on this earth, however briefly our time together was, he meant the world to me. I’m considering donating money to an orphanage in his name, or to the march of dimes. I will figure out over time what I will ultimately do. I miss the possibilities that vanished on April 13, 2009, but I don’t want my memories to be only of my loss- I want them to also be tinged with the reality of the joy that I did know albeit briefly.

h1

Reading “Waiting For Daisy”

May 21, 2009

This is a book about a woman’s quest for motherhood and its written beautifully. I’ve devoured half of it in just one sitting. There is a part where she finds out she is pregnant for the second time. She describes knowing her miscarriage before it happened Suddenly I felt the thread, that silvery strand connecting us, snap. Just like that. “Its over,” I wishpered and started to cry.

Wow. It’s so weird how I just knew at a certain point that this would not happen. I worried from the day of the first ultrasound because the size was too small for where I knew I was. They insisted I did not know when I conceived and it was fine. I said nothing though I knew the day we conceived. I had two ultrasounds and each one the size was measured smaller. I remember for three weeks in a row being told I was five weeks along. I pushed this away. Then, I remember the moment I realized he was gone. I kept telling myself it was my paranoia. I guess I was in denial but I remember. There was a connection, a glint in my eyes, and then it was gone. I no longer felt his presence within me. I began fearing my second trimester appointment that was coming up praying I would hear a heart beat. Turns out I didn’ t need to wait that long to know that I was right.

If you are struggling with infertility this is so far a gorgeous book of comfort. I haven’t finished it, but I have a feeling it has a happy ending and I could really use a happy ending story.

**Updated to add: I’ve finished the book and it really is a great story and the perpective of a woman who has tried it all it seems in her quest for motherhood. As sad as her story is she tells it without getting too sentimental, and she is very honest throughout. I recommend it.

h1

Insurance and my Miscarriage

May 21, 2009

I check the mail today to find a letter from my insurance provider stating in effect that they are determining whether or not they will cover my emergency room bill for April 13, 2008 and if I could provide some information to better help them with their determination.

Yeah, insurance company, that’s the day I had a fucking miscarriage and began hemmoraghing. Was it not enough that minutes after they pronounced my uterus empty, the insurance lady came in inquiring the particulars of my coverage and if I had a copy of my insurance card, and reminding me I forgot to sign some paperwork on releases the insurance company would need in order to cover my fucking miscarriage.

We can argue all we want about universal health care, or not. All I know is that the way things are done right now, this corporate America mentality to health care, this is not only wrong, its inhumane.

h1

Moving on but staying put

May 19, 2009

Jack and I went on a trip to the pacific northwest this past weekend. We flew into Seattle and also spent two nights in Portland, OR. I have always wanted to live in Portland based on what I’ve heard about it. The world’s largest bookstore, beautiful rose gardens, a wonderful small town which is quaint but cultured and beautiful! I am proud to say that I had only one day where I got a bit teary but otherwise, I have not wept in about four days.

It’s funny how my view on my miscarriage and my infertility  has changed since my miscarriage. When I saw parents with young children and babies, I always felt a tug, the biological clock, tapping on my empty womb, but now, its different. I wish I could explain it. We walked by the space needle in Seattle and I did not want to go up because judging from the people standing in line, it was something you do with kids. They had a whole carnival set up, for kids. In Portland, I was browsing through Powell’s books and stared at the large children’s section. They had the “Hungry Caterpillar” series. If I was pregnant I would have purchased a suitcase worth of kids books. I kept seeing pregnant women and feeling a feeling like homesickness… except I can’t go back.

I always felt a sense of sadness over my infertility but now I feel childless. I keep thinking of my baby. The life I had so briefly planned. I see children and I see little ones who made it through the first trimester. I feel like a poor kid who craved a lollipop for weeks. The shop owner says, “You want it? Go take it. No really, you can have it.” The kid reaches out and holds it. He unwraps the plasic cover and glances at the shop owner who smiles and nods encouragingly. As he opens his mouth to taste, he shop owner grabs the lollipop, kicks him to the floor, the lollipop now shards. That’ll teach you to think you can just have a lollipop!

Before my miscarriage, I stared at the lollipop with large longing eyes. Now, I’m tending to bruises and feeling stupid for having dared coveted it. Before my miscarriage, I longed to be pregnant. Now I am scared to dream.

So in short, I think I’m moving on, though in some ways I remain running in place.

h1

.

May 17, 2009

.

You come

like

clockwork

a swiss train

so unlike

the rickety rickshaw

you are.

You come

bearing roses,

red,

thorny.

You whisper

sweet nothings

empty promises

of tomorrow-

as I bleed.

You and I know

the unspoken truth

We both know:

I can’t leave.

so I run my hand

over this battered body

and I

believe.

h1

I got my period.

May 14, 2009

I think whoever named the dot at the end of the sentence a period was someone who struggled with infertility. A period is the end. It is the final point. It is an emphatic statement. It is telling me no, period.  Don’t waste money on a pregnancy test, period. You are not pregnant, period.

A new month. A new cycle. The endometrial lining sheds. The period ensues. The body forgets what the mind cannot, that a child once resided inside. My body, it has moved on.  Body, I appreciate you started a cycle as you were supposed to. This is a feat I don’t recall you ever doing. But body, since you’ve decided to move on, why couldn’t you take the rest of me with you?  This bleeding should comfort me that hope lies ahead, but all it does is remind me of the blood I shed four weeks ago. The little being that left me bereft. The soul that still does not know how to mend.

I feel like pounding my hands on the pavement and yelling to God  I don’t want to be infertile. I tremble with tears and rage. I tremble with fear for my future, this unknown journey. Next cycle is out because my supposed ovulation will occur during my brother’s wedding weekend for which my mother has arranged all the men to stay in hotels and all the womenfolk relatives to invade the home. I laugh at this worry since it took so long to get pregnant, am I really foolish enough to think it will just take one cycle to conceive?

The cramps hurt more. The bleeding is worse. The emotional devestation scorches my soul yet again. I called it my miracle pregnancy. I’ve heard lightening does not strike twice.

h1

I see Spot.

May 14, 2009

I spotted. Ive been trying to push it out of my mind because it could simply be a) remnants of my miscarriage b) signal of an impending period c) by body behaving loony as it is wont to do. But-  of course, I wonder. Despite the improbability, the objective fact, I wonder. I berate myself. Then I wonder: implantation bleeding? At least I have the ability to ceaselessly amuse myself at the disconnect of my objective reality and fanciful desperate hopes.

h1

My miscarriage, my fault

May 14, 2009

I rarely get on twitter anymore. I never was big on it anyway. Today I checked in. A friend who is a new mother tweeted After nine months I can finally eat raw cookie dough! I missed it so.

I am now biting my lip to fight back tears. You see,  I ate raw cookie dough. I ate sunny side up eggs, twice. You’re not supposed to eat raw eggs when you’re pregnant. The day I found out I was pregnant, I had eaten sushi. No! Said the doctor- no sushi for you! I drank tea almost every day. Some caffeine okay, but better none at all! I lifted a carry on suitcase. No straining yourself when pregnant! I remember seeing a man looking at me as I lifted it and thought, I shoudl ask him. But I didn’t. I did it myself.

I read that one sentence and guilt now seeps through my pores like acid. What kind of mother would I be? Could I not push away for nine months my selfish desires? Did I in any way cause my baby to die? Is this my fault? Do I deserve to be a mother?

Dear God- if you still listen to me. I promise to be better next time. I swear.

h1

The Infertility Club

May 14, 2009

When I began writing about my miscarriage I felt consumed with my grief.  As I’ve read the blogs of others I realize how universal our unique pain is. At my lowest ebb I reached out to two bloggers who I knew had been in my shoes. They reached back with compassion. They never met me. We hardly communicated yet they responded with such kindness it felt like the embrace of a long lost friend. As I struggle to climb out of darkness and see the unique yet common struggles we all face, I am amazed at how we reach out to one another and support each other. We’re a club. A club of unwilling members, a club who would wish membership on no one, but will be there for you should fate choose you to join. Each of us share in the pain for we are tied by this thread of infertility and unfortunately for some of us we share a tighter thread of sharing the experience of losing a child we never got to know.

This is my place to write what I cannot say. This is my place to be vulnerable when I must seem strong. I thank the people who write about their pain and their journeys because it has comforted me more than anything ever could. I hope in expressing myself it does the same for you.

Thanks for reading the writings of a member of the infertility club, may you never ever have to join.

h1

Miscarriage, a while ago

May 13, 2009

When my friend Linda called to express her condolences, she said I heard it happened a while ago. I sat in my car  considering the words a while ago. When my miscarriage first happened, a blogger who struggled through this too e-mailed me. She told me it took her about a month to see a ray of light. One month ago, on April 13, 2009 this felt like a very long time away. Now, I can’t believe its been a month. It feels like two weeks ago, two days ago, sometimes it feels like two minutes ago.

Things are certainly different now. On the whole, I’m better than I was a month ago. Its been four days since I curled up and cried until I shook. It used to be every day, and it used to involve expletives. I can go five minutes and not think about it. Its an improvement from every second of every minute of every day. In short, I am better. From where I was, I’ve climbed K2.

I’m not sure what I would do if I did not have this blog as my safe place to let out my feelings and frustrations. What Iv’e shared here are things I have difficulty verbalizing because a) they are too painful and b) what on earth do I expect anyone to say? My mother would be shocked if she came across this. She knows I’m sad, but I shield her from the depths of my grief. Having briefly held the dream of motherhood myself, I can only imagine how much my pain would hurt her.

I remember two years after my wedding a friend said, “I saw your wedding pictures! I know it was a while ago!” and I felt stunned at how it really had been a while ago though it felt like yesterday. It still feels like yesterday that I married Jack and yet it truly has been a while ago. Will this miscarriage be the same? Time will continue to distance me from the child I briefly knew and the horror of the night that was April 13, 2009. Time will certify that moment as a while ago but will I continue to feel like it happened yesterday?

h1

Real Housewives of New Jersey

May 12, 2009

I didn’t mean to watch it! I was channel flipping as I was working out I swear! BUT they just discussed one of the housewives who wants a third child and had four miscarriages in a row in this pursuit. Then she burst out crying.  I can’t believe this topic will be addressed on TV.  She at least has children, so at least she has them to comfort her, while right now, I am alone. But I understand her pain. Dammit, I’m relating to one of those housewife series women. I feel like hiding under a blanket as I admit this, but, now I’m going to watch.

Incidentally, if you are a PCOS’er looking for a song to pump you up as you run, Tom Petty’s Don’t Come Around Here No More. As I work out, take my metformin, and south beach diet it, I’m going to let his words become my mantra as I try to beat my PCOS into shape.

Dont come around here no more. I dont feel you anymore. You darken my door. Whatever you’re looking for. Don’t come around here no more.

h1

Snarky Infertile

May 12, 2009

A friend who got pregnant the same week I did provides constant updates  such as OMG in denial that pants don’t fit anymore. or Maternity clothes fit so weird! I feel like tweeting back Wanna trade?

My favorite tweet came today: Jan is amazed with the amazing things her body can do.

Yes, honey, it is amazing. At least in between your angst you get that your body is doing something amazing. Something my body chose not to do.

h1

Friendship and Trust

May 12, 2009

I have a friend, Alice, who I’ve known for about three years. She is one of about two people I trust in my city. She was one of two friends I told of my pregnancy. When I miscarried it was tough but I “untold” her. Her father had a stroke around the same time I miscarried and she has a young baby so I did not begrudge her when she sent me one quick email of condolence and never really followed up. Today as I walked to my car, the phone rang. Linda? I thought with confusion. Why was she calling? I had just emailed her a few days ago and told her I’d touch base with her in June. I let it slip to voice mail as I unlocked my door and I saw she left a message. The message went as follows: Hi, Im calling because I heard about what happened. I am so sorry to hear. I hope you’re okay. You’re in my thoughts. I know I’m probably not supposed to know, but I couldn’t just not call you.

I felt like someone punched me in the stomach, hard. Only two people knew, and I knew Alice and Linda were close. I called Linda who confirmed that Alice told her. She tried to be ameliorating Well I ran into Jenny a few weeks ago and asked how you were doing (Jenny being the other person who knows) and her response made me think something was wrong. So I followed up with Alice, who kind of hesitated but told me what happened.

I don’t have a lot of friends I can trust and I really trusted Alice. I trusted her completely. She too trusted me and shared with me things that only a handful of people could possibly know. I trusted her in part, because she trusted me so deeply. I get that Linda was concerned and Alice is close to Linda, and I get that things slip out. I do get that, but I told her how much I didn’t want anyone to know…  how does that translate to telling someone else?

Linda’s husband and my  husband are close, and Jack did not want me to tell Linda because obviously her husband would know and he didn’t want it to be awkward and I respected his request. He is furious that Alice told and wants me to confront her and tell her she is a horrible person. I don’t think Alice did this out of malice, she just did it because it was a conversation point with her close friend. Obviously, I will never ever trust Alice again, and the friendship I had will now be reduced to a mere acquaintance.  I am not sure how to handle the situation though. I feel she needs to know how I feel about this, but at the same time I do not have it in me to yell or scream. That’s not me, and it would do no good.

*** Updated to add: I emailed Alice and expressed to her my disappointment. She wrote back and apologized and explained to me what happened. Apparently when Linda asked Jenny how I was doing, Jenny said that I was going through a very difficult time right now and that Linda should probably call me. Well, okay then. I understand why Alice told her though I wish she hadn’t. I just need to be damn sure to keep shit to myself from now on.
h1

Thoughts on TTC again

May 11, 2009

The literature on the topic of TTC after a miscarriage is all over the place. Some say to wait three months, some say wait one cycle, and some say try ASAP. My doctor said wait one cycle. Jack said ASAP. I felt stuck in the middle. I waffled but eventually went with Jack though I think I missed the window.  For a while after my miscarriage I stopped taking metformin and my prenatals and ate as much sugar as I could. It was like I was fighting with my diagnosis, saying I try to manage you but what have you done for me lately? I’m better with this now. I’ve started low carbing again like a good PCOS’er, I take my metformin daily, work out thirty minutes a day, and yesterday, though I felt emotional, I took my pre-natal. I do not think I conceived this month due to the timing, but its time I started up my old routine.

From what I’ve read, negative pg tests after a miscarriage are more painful because they not only poke into your wounds of infertility but inflame the pain of your loss. Though I know we did not TTC on the right dates [Who knows when my right dates are anyways], I’d be lying if I said I don’t have a small iota of hope that I conceived. If I conceive I will be scared of my doctor’s reaction considering she was firm with me about waiting, and I also will be paranoid about another miscarriage, though I think that paranoia is with me regardless. But if I conceive…. I could have a baby. I could be a mother.

This is the most infuriating part of infertility. The way my mind so logical in most aspects, becomes a four year old addicted to fairy tales in matters of conception. Perhaps I’m even more juvenile than a four year old because each month I dream again, that this will be the month, despite 18 months of disappointment, each of those 18  times is excruciating. Each one is a separate heart break.

When it comes to matters of fertility, I am Charlie Brown trying to kick that damn football, and though Lucy pulls it away every fucking time, I still think yeah no, but for real, this time, this time it might be IT.

h1

Baby or Embryo or Fetus

May 10, 2009

I dreamt last night that I gave birth to a daughter. The nurses took her to the nursery but then when I went to see her, I couldn’t find her. I asked for my baby and they looked at me like I was crazy. I have a baby! I told them. They looked at me with raised eyebrows.

I woke with a start to my husband lying next to me listening to music. I scooted closer to hug him.

Jack: This song by the Killers got me emotional. It just makes me think of what could have been.

Me: I miss our baby too.

Jack: It wasn’t a baby.

Me: Yes, it was.

Jack: No, it was an embryo.

Me: If you want to get technical it was a fetus since I was 11 weeks.

Jack: But not a baby.

Me: Look, I heard his heart beat, I saw him wiggle on the ultrasound…

Jack: Yes, but it was just mechanical, there was nothing there, no soul.

Me: Why do you fight me on this? Why can’t you accept that for me it was a baby?

Jack: Because if it was a baby, then when does the pain ever end?

I understand now why he fights me on this. He needs this to have been nothing, he doesn’t want to hear my descriptions of where he was gestationally when he died. He doesn’t want to know that our baby had legs and arms and tiny little buds where fingers would form. He doesn’t want to picture the small perfect head, the little heart that beat so fiercy at 162 beats per minute. He doesn’t want to, but the problem is I have no choice. I housed my baby for a brief while and during that while as I remembered his heart beat, and read how he was developing, I fell head over heels in love with him. Jack and I experienced this different. All I know is that today I held it together. I called my mom and cheerfully wished her a Happy Mother’s Day, and I went on with my day. But when I heard this song by savage garden I nearly fell apart: I knew I loved you before I met you I think I dreamed you into life I knew I loved you before I met you I have been waiting all my life. My point? Sometimes I wish I could see it through Jack’s eyes. I think the pain would certainly be less.

I must say that reading other people’s blogs and learning of the different experiences so many of us have faced gives me strength because I know I am not alone. I am amazed at how beautifully so many bloggers have reached out to me. I do not know you but you have helped me in my healing process. Thank you.

h1

Mother’s Day

May 10, 2009

One month ago today I lost my baby. It’s mother’s day. I am honoring the day by honoring the baby that for a brief moment let me dream that I would be a mother.  I wrote this poem a few days after he died and I share this poem here as a tribute my baby speck.

We meant to welcome you, a doctor catching your fall,

your head resting on my breast.

But- No one caught you, when you fell. No one held you close.

You left this world without a name, without a hug, without a kiss goodbye.

I’m sorry.

You will always be the companion I had

on long commutes

while i folded laundry

Your heart

beating next to mine

I miss the nausea, and naps; the acne that began to sprout

I miss

missing sushi

and coffee

I don’t want it now that you’re gone.

You were so little

Yet your absence is a scar

The size of Jupiter

I pray you never hurt

I pray you never knew pain

I pray you never felt alone-

you were not alone

when you left

you took a piece of me with you

with you it will always remain

You were loved.

You were my first.

I will never forget you.

h1

Mother’s Day and Incapacitation

May 9, 2009

I have a list of chores to do but I can’t seem to move from this couch. There is a boulder in my throat. Tomorrow is mother’s day and the one month anniversary of losing Speck. How can it have been that long? One month and these are the thoughts that drift through my mind. I’ve now been trying for 1.5 years. I should have been four months pregnant. The pants I’m wearing should be tight. Now I have to wait for my period. I miss my baby. I wish he was coming in November. I really really really miss my baby.

I don’t want to get up. I want to stay sitting. Surfing the web as though finding information on miscarriages will heal me and take away my pain. How much can I search? Can anything really help quell the pain? I have to get up now. I will load the dishwasher. I will run on the treadmill. I will make lunch. I will eat it. I will go to my friend’s house this evening and I will hold their baby girl. I will say the right things. If I didn’t go through the motions, if I let the grief consume me, I fear that I would implode into dust.

h1

In-laws and my miscarriage

May 8, 2009

“They” [whoever ‘they’ may be] say not to tell people you’re pregnant until you are three months pregnant but there is an exception to the rule: You can tell your family. The theory I am assuming is because you’re closer to them and should things go wrong they will support you.  This is the conversation I had with my MIL hours after my miscarriage:

MIL: You okay?

Me: Yes…

MIL: How is my son? Is he okay? Is he crying a lot?

Me: He’s fine…

MIL: Are you sure? He’s not very upset is he? Does he need me?

Me: Um…

MIL: So when you got pregnant, didn’t you ask them to check your uterus and make sure everything would be fine? You got nothing checked?

Me: No, I didn’t think I had to.

MIL: You have hormone issues?

Me: *lying but how the fuck is this your business* No

MIL: Well your period, thats abnormal I’m sure, this is probably a cause

Me: No- I have to go.

I was in a daze as I recited the conversation with Jack who was furious and called his mother and told her what’s what. She then called the next day to speak to me. I did not want to talk to her but Jack insisted she would ask how I’m doing and apologize for blaming me. He put the phone on speaker phone:

MIL: So, feeling better?

Me: I guess so

MIL: What are you doing right now?

Me: Cooking

MIL: What are you cooking?

Me: Burgers

MIL: Okay, well talk to you later.

Maybe she didn’t know her “apology” and genuine interest in my well being were on speaker phone, but Jack grabbed the phone and again expressed frustration with her. She cried and said nothing she ever did was ever right, etc etc.

My SIL has been equally unsupportive. When she found out I was pregnant she was underwhelmed. My brothers, they were leaping up and down and catching their breaths, sending me cards, talking to my belly. I sincerely feel she was upset that she would no longer be the only one giving grandkids. I made mention of a baby shower perhaps, she pointed out that if you do that and then something horrible happens to your baby, then it would be a shame to have had the shower.  Since my miscarriage she e-mailed me and said “sorry to hear let me know if I can do anything”. I got more support from the receptionist at the doctor’s office.

I should not be surprised by any of this. My in-laws have never liked me. They claim to love Jack but with the way they treat him I am surprised. But, instead of supporting me, they have been salts to my wounds. Jack said to me, next time, we won’t tell them until I’m five months pregnant. It does no good to share with them.

I am so upset that they know I conceived because now they are on notice that we are “trying”, and we’ve kept this from them because we received enough hell as it was to give them grandkids without them even officially knowing we were trying to have children. Now they know. Now they will figure out my infertility issues. I can feel their judgmental gazes on me as they whisper about how Jack could have done so much better. The problem is this hurts because in some ways I do feel guilty, the part of me that doesn’t think things out, the instinctual part agrees, yeah, Jack could have done better.

He’s on the phone with them now and my blood boils. I want to scream at them. I want to rail against them and ask them WHY are you so hateful. Why can’t you just be human and reach out to a hurting person? You claim to be religious and God fearing yet you treat God’s creations with contempt. Jack points out that as a result of this experience, he’s further apart from his family. There is now a void. Should this give me satisfaction? If so, it does not.

h1

Yep, it was my last HCG

May 8, 2009

The nurse called to confirm my numbers are negative. I am officially unpregnant now. I smiled and then I cried. He’s gone. It’s like he never happened.  All evidence of his presence now fully erased. What baby? No proof save the ultrasound pictures I’ve tucked away in a drawer, and the pregnancy books hidden behind stacks of books in our bookshelf.  I had a two day cry-free streak but I guess three days was asking for too much.

I think I ovulated yesterday. I had the familiar pangs and I had EWCM (Egg White Cervical Mucus). Jack wanted to try, but I hesitated since my doctor said wait until your first cycle. I’m still torn by my decision since I’ve heard you are super fertile right after a miscarriage. I reassured myself that perhaps I was not ovulating and my body was simply readjusting. The nurse today told me to expect a period in a week or two, this means I was likely ovulating. Oh well- its okay. There is always the next cycle, and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next and the… sigh.

h1

Hopefully my last HCG

May 7, 2009

I called my doctor to do my lab work to check my HCG levels. This is a very large practice but the lady who scheduled me remembered me. How are you doing sweetie? She asked. I’m doing better, I responded. Good, I’m glad to hear, I’ve been thinking of you, you’ve had a really rough couple of weeks, you’ve been through a whole lot. I can’t describe how such kindness helps soothe my soul. I really have been through a lot, not just these past few weeks but since January 2008. Not too many of the people I’ve told have checked in on me to see how I’m doing. It’s okay, maybe they think I’m over it or something, but I must say that people who do ask how I’m doing and that they’re thinking of me, really helps. I didn’t think it would but it really does. I hope my HCG levels are zero tomorrow so I can begin the process of awaiting my period. Today was a good day, not a single tear drop. One day at a time.

h1

Grief, Crying It Out

May 6, 2009

Two weeks ago when I saw my therapist I discussed my attempts to supress my tears, to try and not listen to sad music, to move on. He told me not to do this. He said I should let myself cry and not judge myself and if I want to listen to sad music while I do so, its okay. I’ve resisted doing this until today. Today the grief weighed so heavy and dark over me I couldn’t stand it. I worked out and then lay down, my ipod in my hand and listened to all the songs that I avoid and I cried. My body wracked with sobs. I cried for sixty minutes. As I calmed down Jack walked in and saw me weeping and lay next to me and held me. I feel so empty now, but in a good way. I feel calm. I know this is temporary. The eye of the storm. But I am grateful. I share this personal story so that if you are like me fighting against your grief, let yourself sink into it from time to time. Not always, but at certain times each day or each week, however frequently you need it, and let it out. I’ve fought it for so long but I think allowing yourself to sink from time to time is the only way I will heal.

Incidentally, someone found my website with the search term: I fucking hate infertility. To you who found me like this I’m with you. Infertility is fucking awful. I feel your pain.

h1

The loneliness of miscarriage

May 5, 2009

Sometimes, like today, I feel like a freak as grief attacked me in the middle of the day at work. I sat with an odd expression, far off and lost.  Someone made a joke about a good looking co-worker and I must have looked at her with a strange expression for she mumbled I was just kidding Kate…

I feel like my husband is tiring of this continuous grief.  I feel like people wonder when the hell I’ll move on. How many times can someone nod their heads with sympathy? How many times can they see my distant expression and feel compassion? They must wonder: She smiles and laughs one minute and the next she looks suicidal. How can I explain this to anyone when this baffles me too? There is only so far anyone can travel with me in my grief. They can follow me to a point- and then I must walk the rest of the road alone. My pain is private and only I reside within its reaches. Only I know how empty my heart is, how profusely my soul bleeds. I hate grief and how it can wreak havoc within me casting its shadow onto my exterior expressions despite my best attempts to hide it.

My mask is cracking. I’m tired of wearing it. I just want to be whole again.

Sometimes, like today, I feel all alone. I want a hug. I want someone to promise me it will be allright, and I want them to mean it. I want to melt into nothingness, numb to the pain that resides with me. Loneliness is an island, and though I am surrounded by people- in the end I am truly alone.

h1

Suffering infertility silently

May 5, 2009

Last night during my training, I lay in my double bed and chatted a little with my roomate. She talked about getting unexpectedly pregnant at 34 and then marrying her husband. She said I’m so grateful it happened though I was not expecting that my life would involve children. My son has transformed my life. Before I had him, I did not know how incomplete I was, how many holes there were in my life. By having my son I realized I am now complete. She called to wish her son good night and said to me, when you have kids you’ll see how hectic life gets and how your world revolves around them. In the morning she yawned and stretched saying Wow I slept in past 6am.  You not having kids don’t have to deal with that! She doesn’t know about my miscarriage and how fully aware I am of the holes in my life that being childless pokes in.  She has no clue how I crave 2 a.m. feedings.  I cannot begrudge her, but I am so blown away by how innocuous words and comments by one can have the potential of body slamming the soul of another.

Just now at lunch, the guy sitting next to me asked me if I had children. It hurt to tell him no because the answer should have been: November 3. How long hae you been married he asked. Seven years, I responded. Then he joked, I’m sure you’re having a lot of pressure from the in-laws to get pregnant.

I sit down to drink coffee and a co-worker brings his children. They are sweet and good. They talk in girlish voices of how fun school is and other childish things. Will I ever have children is all that rings through my head. Will I always be an outside observer.

Feeling sharp jabs to my heart I get up and leave to sit outside, get some fresh mountain air before I go inside and take another class and I hear a woman as she walks to the gift shop say out loud Gotta go to the gift shop and get my kids a gift- that’s what mom’s do. They always think of their children.

Now I’m sitting on the verandah of this lodge. My training begins in 12 minutes. There are people sitting a distance away, I’m biting my lips, I’m trying to still the tears dripping down my face. I’m trying to focus on a lot of good in my life, etc. but I just hate being infertile. I fucking hate it.

h1

Pregnant Women

May 4, 2009

I’m at a conference and I keep finding myself distracted by the pregnant women I see around me. Many of them are colleagues who work in different departments. Last time I saw them, about eight or so months ago they had flat stomachs. Now, they are ready to pop at a moment’s notice. As I see them rubbing their bloated bellies, and waddle down the hallways, I find myself not depressed or jealous or angry. I feel like a child  staring at a Porsche. I feel like a tourist driving through the million dollar homes of the Rich and Famous. I feel like I’ve seen a unicorn. I am in awe, witnessing miracles around me. To get pregnant, to maintain their pregnancy, these are things so far from my grasp, I cannot be angry, only wistful for what I was never entitled to have anyways.