Monday, August 31, 2009

CD10 nothing

More than a week has passed. I think again of Bella in New Moon.
Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.
One positive result of the ordeal (for me, anyway) is that Andy is almost as eager now as I am for a successful pregnancy. The way he put it, this was like a failure, and he feels the need to prove that we can do it right.

Whatever gets him involved is fine by me. I didn't want to admit to myself before that his nonchalant attitude hurt. It shouldn't have -- there's nothing wrong with feeling like "if it happens, it happens." But I (secretly?) really wanted him to feel as strongly as I felt. Like this whole decision is huge and exciting and really desired.

So this adds a nice little positive to combat the negative. I'm not alone with my craving.

But the heavy sadness and bulky impatience are twisted tightly around each other, inseparable, unbreakable, growing in strength. It ties me tighter every day. At moments it will pull at me without any warning, squeezing my chest until I can't breathe. I have no choice but to endure and wait. No alternative. Nothing to do in the meantime. Nothing even to numb me, anymore. A bit like Bella's New Moon night terrors, there's nothing but nothing.

"Numb" by Sia.
I saw you cry today

The pain may fill you

I saw you shy away

The pain will not kill you

You made me smile today

You spoke with many voices

We traveled miles today

Shared expressions voiceless

It has to end

Living in your head

Without anything to numb you

Living on the edge

Without anything to numb you

It has to end to begin

Began an end today

Gave and got given

You made a friend today
Kindred soul cracked spirit

It has to end to begin

Living in your head
Without anything to numb you

Living on the edge

Without anything to numb you

It has begun

Friday, August 28, 2009

CD7 effects

While the emotional effects are becoming more manageable, the physical effects of the miscarriage are hanging on longer than expected. My week-long headache is entering migraine territory, and the hypotension has me dizzy and nauseated for most of the day.

I feel as if I could lay on the couch for about two weeks straight just staring into space. If I had any energy I'd feel like Forrest Gump deciding "for no particular reason" to run across the country and back. I need some empty space, some numbness, to disappear for a while, and maybe I would be sane when I returned.

I should be careful what I ask for -- if the hypotension gets any worse I'll be in a coma.

We're planning to attend church on Sunday, and it has me a little nervous. I don't know what God and I will say to each other.

From "Do What You Have To Do" by Sarah McLachlan.
Fate has lead you through it

You do what you have to do

And I have the sense to recognize

that I don't know how to let you go

Every moment marked

with apparitions of your soul

I'm ever swiftly moving

trying to escape this desire

The yearning to be near you

I do what I have to do

But I have the sense to recognize
that I don't know how to let you go

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CD5 repression

Andy surprised me on our anniversary by taking me to the movie theater. He expected me to choose The Time Traveler's Wife, but I still don't feel up to watching a movie that I know will feature the romantic love story complete with child. So I chose Inglorious Basterds, and loved it. Very different, very funny yet gory, very Quentin Tarantino.

Today feels a lot more bearable to me. I am coming back. The dominant feelings now are impatience tempered with disappointment, and I can live with that. I've found a corner where I can put the pain and forget about it for longer stretches of time, as long as I'm not watching romantic baby comedies and the like.

It reminds of New Moon, when Bella avoids all things that remind her of what she lost, in order to stay numb.

I am relieved that my petty anger is also gone. Though there is still jealousy, it is small and more natural. All in all, it feels like a better day. Empty, but not desolate.

A good friend that I've had since childhood and her husband recently welcomed a second baby girl to the family, and I feel joy and relief that baby and mother are both healthy now (despite a scary third trimester). No one deserves it more, and I can't wait to meet her!

This is one of my favorite quotes from New Moon by Stephenie Meyer.
I was like a lost moon -- my planet destroyed in some cataclysmic, disaster-movie scenario of desolation -- that continued, nevertheless, to circle in a tight little orbit around the empty space left behind, ignoring the laws of gravity.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

CD4 guilt

I met with my regular doctor, who said everything looks good and normal and fine. Except that maybe I should eat some ice cream because I'm "on the slender side" and some extra saturated fat and calories might convince my body that it has what it needs to take care of a baby.


I'm trying to stop myself from going down the I-wasn't-eating-right-so-it's-my-fault path. But I don't know how. Could my baby have survived if I hadn't been keeping my calories low? I'd been obsessed with being healthy, but also with staying thin. Did my vanity do this?

I can't change it. I can't bring back that life that had been so real, if only to me. Now there is nothing in me to take care of or protect or worry about. There's just nothing. And now I'm supposed to eat ice cream? It seems comical, but I'll do anything.

The doctor said that sometimes a miscarriage is the kickstart a body needs for a successful pregnancy. And now I have the name of the obstetrician I'm to see if we experience another miscarriage.

Another miscarriage feels almost... likely. Am I, at heart, a pessimist? Does failure just seem more real and logical to me now, because it is what I know? Will I survive it?

Still, my impatience for the next step is growing growing growing.

Today is my second wedding anniversary. I love you, hubby. Even without this baby, my world carries on because I have you.

From "Last of Days" by A Fine Frenzy.
I built myself a castle on the beach
Watching as it slid into the sea

The world carries on without you
But nothing remains the same

I'll be lost without you
Until the last of days

Monday, August 24, 2009

CD3 anger

Part of me has gone cold and mean.

I was at a birthday party yesterday for Andy's niece Lily, who turned three. At one point, Andy's grandmother turned to me and said, "Have you heard the good news?"

Immediately, I knew. Andy's (biological) cousin had, in a roundabout way, wound up marrying Andy's step-cousin. They are pregnant. They haven't even been married a year yet.

A rushing sound flooded my ears and I nearly lost it in this odd sort of panic. Andy came over then, and I said, "Did you hear? They're pregnant." He told me later that the disappointment I felt was obvious on my face. I have never been a good actress.

They are due in the same month that I was supposed to be due.

Without saying anything else, I tried to casually walk to the bathroom before breaking down. As I had hoped, Andy followed me and let me hang on to him while I cried. After he went back to the party, I stayed in the bathroom for a little while trying to figure out what was happening to me.

Was I so petty that I couldn't be happy for two wonderful people who deserved happiness? I like them both very much. Was this just jealousy? I've thought about it a lot, and the answer isn't exact. Nothing in this situation is black and white.

But I have figured out the crux of the matter. It is that I will never experience pure happiness again.

During that one week, I was 100 percent happy. Pure joy. Now that that is gone, it is gone for good. Because even if I do get pregnant again, I will be living in a climate of fear. It's tainted now. I've been cheated of my happiness.

I assume this couple has it all -- they're able to enjoy their pregnancy with this complete joy that's been stolen from me.

Yes, it is jealousy. It's rage at the feeling of unfairness. It's anger with things that are out of my control. It's "why me?". It's knowing that what is lost will never completely be found again. So it's truly a kind of death.

It's self-absorbed and depressing and petty and snide. How can I get rid of this? I feel ugly and dirty.

There's no way to know exactly what will happen next. Maybe I will ovulate soon, or maybe it'll be another couple months before I'm back to "normal." I'd like to be pregnant again as soon as possible, but the health of a future infant is my main concern, and I haven't discussed the effects of miscarriage with a doctor yet.

The second pregnancy will be different from the first in a number of ways. Living each day with the fear of another miscarriage will have its effects. This time, I won't be eager to tell anyone right away. I won't want to constantly talk about it with Andy. I won't be able to accept, in my heart, that I'm pregnant until at least the second trimester.

If I embrace it, it will hurt too much when it ends.

Now I'm back at the beginning, waiting, starting from scratch, constantly conscious of the utterly slow passing of time, with the addition of this terrible pain keeping me company in every moment.

Enough. I've had my fill of this depression. I want to be the happy wife that Andy deserves. All I can do is try. I can try to block this out from my mind. While I can't pretend that the pregnancy didn't happen, I can try to be hopeful. The hope is tainted, but it's there, and I must find a way to focus on it.

And I will focus on my husband, who is the best man I know. Last night I apologized for my lack of "intimate" feelings at the moment, saying I at least wanted to wait until the cramping subsided. His response? That that's okay because he's saving it all up for our next try.

He is my hope and my humor and my happy. I love him completely.

Tomorrow is our second wedding anniversary. I received a card from my aunt that said, "Hope this coming year will be a continuation of your dreams coming true." How could she know that that's exactly right?

I must remember that this is all just a continuation of our dreams coming true. And I must hope.

From "Missing You" by Jem:
Tell me it's not happening
Say it's not as it seems
Tell me that I'm going to wake up
It's just a bad dream
Please tell me that it's fiction
Tell me it's just a lie
Whatever you choose to tell me
Please say he didn't die

Sunday, August 23, 2009

CD2 miscarriage

I am empty.

How can the loss of something I barely had be so devastating? My future had been tied to that small life, and its end has destroyed me. It is the end of hope.

I have to grieve, accept, and get up each morning when I'd rather close my eyes and shut out everything that reminds me I once had a dream that came true.

Is there a limit to how much happiness a person is allowed to feel? I took too much pure joy for myself this past week. It couldn't be allowed to last. It had made the universe off balance. I had to suffer in equal measure.

Last night, we got together with four friends whom I met through my husband. Matt and Tiffanie, a truly awesome couple, shared their own struggle with me. It was very comforting, and I am so thankful for them. Their two beautiful children are proof that miscarriage is an ending, but not the ending.

As my husband said to me, "We are not the first people this has happened to." After crying almost straight through a five-hour period of time yesterday, this made me want to smack him. But he is, of course, right. He usually is, and he is good at grounding me when I am off in an unhealthy place. I am a very lucky woman to have him at my side.

So I will get out of bed today. Eventually. Some of my time will be spent crying, some of it feeling numb to everything, but I will go through the motions of the day.

Tomorrow, I receive the results of the blood tests that were done the day before my excruciating miscarriage, day one of yet another cycle. Will they be able to see the tragedy that had been coming? Or will the nurse call and congratulate me? Will I be able to not burst into tears when I tell her it's all over? I plan to meet with the doctor or request more tests during this new cycle. I'm tired of wondering and wasting time. I want to know for certain if something is wrong with my ability to sustain a pregnancy.

For now, I am enduring. There is no other choice.

"Not As We," by the amazing Alanis Morissette.
Reborn and shivering
Spat out on new terrain
Unsure unconvincing
This faint and shaky hour

Day one day one start over again
Step one step one
I'm barely making sense for now
I'm faking it til I'm pseudo making it
From scratch begin again but this time I as I
And not as we

Gun shy and quivering
Timid without a hand
Feign brave with steel intent
Little and hardly here

Day one day one start over again
Step one step one
With not much making sense just yet
I'm faking it til I'm pseudo making it
From scratch begin again but this time I as I
And not as we

Eyes wet toward
Wide open frayed
If God's taking bets
I pray he wants to lose

Day one day one start over again
Step one step one
I'm barely making sense just yet
I'm faking it til I'm pseudo-making it
From scratch begin again but this time I as I
And not as we.

Friday, August 21, 2009

4w 2d scare

I had a lighthearted post almost finished for today, outlining the symptoms I've experienced so far.

I'm not feeling particularly lighthearted at the moment.

One such symptom, cramping, I've had for several days. Since around the time of my first positive test, in fact. It didn't worry me because this cramping felt different than my usual PMS.

That changed a little today. The cramping became a little more like what I'm used to, more localized and "serious." I became a little worried.

When I spotted, I became hysterical. Luckily it was my lunch hour and I was home, alone, where it didn't matter how loud I sobbed.

"Please, don't do this to me," I kept saying. I think I was talking to God.

The spotting wasn't obvious. I didn't stain any clothing. But during the trip to the restroom, I saw what I usually see on the day before a new cycle, and it felt as if my life had suddenly and completely collapsed. For a while, I couldn't function.

Once I calmed down a little, I decided to take the advice of my nurse friend. I went in for blood work this afternoon. Now I'm stuck waiting for results.

But I'm hopeful once more -- At the end of the day, I fell back on my old standby. When in doubt, pee on a stick. It wasn't the suggested first morning urine, but I couldn't resist.

I got my darkest positive yet. This doesn't mean that something dire is not in progress with the delicate life that I carry. But, for now, I have the hormones I'm supposed to have, and I'll face tomorrow when it comes. It's not like I have a choice.

As a side note, I've always taken a lot of comfort in finding (or stumbling across) a song that suits my current emotional climate, especially when I'm in turmoil. Here are lyrics from the song that owns today... "Sleep" by Anousheh Khalili.

Steady now,
Your body's caving in.
Shoulders out,
Let the ground know who's standing on him.
You're not better now,
Just monumentally more fit
To tell me how to make it to the end of all this.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Four weeks and one day pregnant

I am pregnant.

For a long time, I’ve wanted to say that. It’s hard to pinpoint the moment when I decided that I really wanted – needed – to become a mother. It was a more gradual thing, perhaps begun when my only two remaining (close) girlfriends both conceived, or when dozens of random acquaintances on Facebook began posting their belly bumps and smiling babies’ faces. I think it was more internal, though. Physically, emotionally, spiritually... I acknowledged that I was ready.

I am due April 28, 2010. And I can’t tell anyone yet.

That’s not entirely true – of course, I told my husband, who is still holding out for more proof than a pee stick and a late period. And I sent a picture of said pee stick to one of those close girlfriends (she’s a nurse) to get a second opinion (are there really two lines?). The nurse confirmed.

Other than that, I somehow have to contain the biggest news of my life. And here I am telling the world via blog (oops). I’m a secret-keeping failure.

But I’ve waited so long for this moment! There was the interminable time that I craved this and had the guilt-inducing task of convincing my husband it was a good idea. Then, when he caved and I shamelessly became sex-craved, came the realization that trying to conceive does not instantly equal conception.

Life-altering miracles take time, it would seem. Until I began trying to conceive, I didn’t know just how long and painful six months could be. (There are many couples out there that have been trying to conceive much, much longer than we have, and I do not want to belittle your pain. You have my deepest sympathy and I hope that you will be as lucky as I.)

To be technical, it was longer than six months before I finally saw the second pink line on the pregnancy test, albeit faint. This was due to some abnormally long cycles, featuring what I feared were abnormally short luteal phases (the time between ovulation and the next cycle). Did I have a defect? Were my hormones imbalanced? Was my husband infertile? Can I save money by buying pregnancy tests by the dozen?

Yes, the obsession began long before this happy day.

But there is a new kind of obsession now, full of the fears of miscarriage, faulty pregnancy tests (could all six of them be part of the same bad batch?), birth defects, and generally being unprepared for the changes ahead.

I shake my head to clear out the crazy. Today, I am pregnant.

Before now, I don’t think I ever smiled for four days straight. The secret is practically written on my face. Does everyone know?

Well, I guess they do now.