Wednesday, September 30, 2009

5w 5d dad

Why pregnant women are not sane:
  • A Dove commercial shouldn't make you cry
  • A Monsters vs. Aliens DVD commercial immediately following a Dove commercial shouldn't make you burst out laughing
  • Despite the title of the game, you shouldn't get so angry playing "Outburst" that you yell at your husband
  • Sane people don't go to the bathroom every half hour
  • A diet should not consist mainly of prenatal vitamins, fiber supplements, vanilla wafers, pickles, cheese, chocolate, Goldfish crackers, and lemonade
  • Drooling
  • Sitting in your office at 3:00 p.m., it shouldn't require every scrap of willpower to keep your head off your keyboard
On a different topic, I'm wondering a lot today about God's plans and his timing. It would seem I am not the only one in my family feeling sick and getting probed by doctors. My dad has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

A world without my Dad would be very empty, and so wrong. That world wouldn't make sense. That life wouldn't be anything like this life. It's like the moon without the sun. Although the cancer has been caught early and he's young and healthy and yada yada, it's only natural for my pessimism to surface and take me traveling down the road of worst case scenario. What if my baby never gets to know what an incredible man it has for a grandfather?

It's foolish to ask "Why, God?" I know that. We don't know his plans, etc. Whether it's a difficult journey ahead for my dad or a relatively easy (painless?) one, this is a burden he doesn't need or deserve, in my opinion. But the world has already begun feeling cold, off-balance, wrong.

From "The One" by Shakira. For my dad.
In a world full of strangers
You're the one I know.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

5w 4d imagination

It's a bit silly, but as you can see I added a countdown ticker above, counting to midnight on what I assume is our due date at this point, May 28. There's also a different countdown in the right column, and a somewhat creepy "baby cam" at the bottom of the page. (The blog is called "My Developing Obsession," after all.)

One thing I don't understand with these widgets is why they say that I'm in week five... five weeks have already passed. Aren't I in week six? The widget's advice that I should take a pregnancy test is almost comical at this point. It seems I'm a little ahead of the game.

If impatience is a pool, I'm in the deep end. My imagination keeps going over and over things. How we'll tell our parents... how I'll tell my coworkers... what I'm going to learn at the doctor appointment... what it will be like once I can feel Baby Schultz moving around... what it will be like when we bring baby home... who my baby will be...

From "So Pure" by Alanis Morissette.
More so than most anyone
Unapologetically alive
Knot in my stomach
And lump in my throat...

Monday, September 28, 2009

5w 3d storm

Andy and I both found ourselves unusually tired around 7:00 p.m. last night. After a half hour of sleeping on the couch, I headed upstairs with him to take a nap in a real bed. But it was here, while my husband slept beside me with deep, steady breathing, that I lay awake and thought of my baby.

We had the window open to the violent thunderstorm. It was dark as night but with an unusual, faint glow. The rushing of the rain was soothing, the thunder and lightning dramatic. I lay with my hands over my belly just thinking about what's happening now and what's coming, speaking in a way to my baby, listening to him grow.

So much is changing. To help me keep track, here's a graphic listing of symptoms.
  • My breasts are sore and have grown. *Sigh* Another cup size is the last thing my back needs.
  • The nausea continues to worsen, though nothing has come up.
  • I've never belched this much in my life.
  • Same goes for heartburn.
  • My hips and legs ache. As flexible as I am, stretching isn't helping. The return of growing pains is more than a little frustrating.
  • FATIGUE. Wow, I thought my head was going to roll off my body when we were out to dinner last night. It was not like being tired; it was like life had seeped out of me.
  • The lightheadedness isn't new, but it's definitely hitting with more frequency. I'll be interested to see where my blood pressure is now.
  • Vivid dream -- just one so far. It was a kind of nightmare that involved my cat being the baby and I couldn't get a diaper on him and there was poo everywhere. It was horrifying at the time, and now just hilarious.
  • I thought the cramps were done, but they're making a comeback today. This, in turn, has brought on a resurgence of miscarriage fears. I'm analyzing every twinge and ache and finding it difficult to resist the urge to "check."
One more week to our first doctor appointment! I need the doctor to tell me it's viable so that I can quell (or at least reduce) the fears. I think it will also be a milestone for Andy, having the doctor's word and perhaps sensory proof that we have created a baby. Every moment, it grows and we come closer to the day -- no longer proverbial -- that we will be parents!

Friday, September 25, 2009

5 weeks prose

10 Questions on the Nature of Love

Did I love you or an idea?
Could love of an idea go this deep, hurt this much?
Can love repressed ever recover fully?
Will the smiles from a world before loss return?

Why has love for the second not replaced love for the first?

Are you barely alive, or life at its most perfect and infallible state?
Do I know you or imagine only?
Can not knowing the details of your personality not stand in the way?
In what moment will you love?
How can arms feel empty that have not yet been full?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

4w 5d solitude

My brain is telling me I should be more scared of parenthood, but the dominating emotion today is impatience. I thought all that impatience would taper off once I finally got my pregnancy wish. Apparently I have a waiting disorder.

The shared medical appointment last night was nice only because it was a baby-related activity that Andy and I could do together. I didn't learn much, except that the upcoming doctor appointments will be only five to ten minutes long. Hmm. Not much time for basking.

So it appears that pregnancy, especially this first half where no one else knows, is a very solitary kind of enjoyment. Unless I want to take a prenatal class, there's no outlet for experiencing pregnancy outside of my own head (except this blog -- which, let's face it, is a complete vanity project. I'm talking to myself about myself.).

Happy dances just aren't as much fun when you're the only one dancing. I want to see my baby. I want to know how he's developing at this precise moment. I want it to be December already so I can feel him and "see" him and really experience it all -- and tell people. I want want want. It's all bound to fly by so why can't I settle down?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

4w 4d epoch

I had one pregnancy test left, so I figured I might as well use it. The line this morning was as dark and thick as is absolutely possible. What a wonderful way to end the pee-stick era.

This pregnancy officially has lasted longer than my first. Will I stop thinking constantly about miscarriage now? Can I stop wondering and worrying at every cramp? I don't have an answer to that yet.

I was thinking this morning that my life can be divided by decades. My life as a small child was in the 1980s (age 0-8), as an older child was in the 1990s (age 8-18), and as a young adult was in the 2000s (age 18-28). Now my life as the mother of a small child, a new epoch, will be in the 20-teens. I'm happy to say I'll still be 27 when the baby is born in May or June 2010. That's only a year older than my parents were when they had me.

It's like standing on the edge of a cliff with the decision to jump already made. Now I have to rock back on my heels and wait there for eight more months. It feels like a long wait from where I stand now, though I know that it will fly by. Although I can't prevent my imagination from plunging me daily into daydreams of finally having my infant, I'll enjoy life for what it is at the moment, while I still can. I'll do some writing, go to movies and out to eat, and generally enjoy being my own boss for just a little while longer, if I can.

From "It's Over" by Lisa Loeb.
Too much to ask for
May leave me feeling lonely
But too little
Leaves me nothing, nothing...
Are we still solemn and bleeding?
Are we still swimming to water that was already wet?

Monday, September 21, 2009

4w 3d disbelief

I keep telling myself, "You're having a baby!" and still I can barely believe it. I've been trying to remember back to when I was a little girl, dreaming about having a baby or being pregnant. My earliest memories are always with my old neighbor/best friend. It's surprising and warming to know that she is now the mother of two girls.

I have poor recollection of my little girl imaginings, but it's still a pleasure to think about going back in time and meeting my child-self, skinny and awkward, dark-haired and buck-toothed. I would tell her all about the pregnancy, the excitement and fear and happiness. I wonder what she would think of the woman that she has become.

I'm having a baby. I'm having a baby!

Many things need to be thought through now. Typical me -- I'm probably going to start making lists soon... A list of things we need to buy or put on the registry. Lists of our current and projected finances and spending. I'll finish the calendar of doctor appointments and milestones like when the heart starts beating (later this week!), when its major organs will be formed (Halloween!), when I'll start to show, when we'll know the gender, when I might start to feel it moving and kicking.

I'm dying to get organized and "nest" the house. I really want to set up the baby's room, but it's too early for that. For one thing, we don't have any furniture for the baby. For another, we aren't going to be telling anyone until Thanksgiving or Christmas, so it may seem suspicious to start setting up the room. So it's one more thing to wonder and dream about.

I can barely wait for our first real doctor appointment (October 5). And the next few months waiting to find out the gender are going to kill me! Last night Andy told me that it's a girl. He was just being funny, but I wonder...

Tomorrow we have a "shared medical appointment," before which I'll get my bloodwork done. I actually had fun giving the nurse my medical history on the phone today and talking about symptoms. I'm not viewing tomorrow as a real doctor appointment; it'll be a group of other first-time pregnancies talking with nurses. I'm excited, though, because it might make things seem a little more real for my husband, who doesn't have the constant bodily reminders that I have.

Fatigue and heartburn can now be added to the nausea, hunger, bloating, and lightheadedness. What a combination. Andy said last night that he doesn't understand women who don't know they're pregnant until later. It's true; if they have symptoms like I do, it's obvious.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

4w 1d poem


In this moment, the atmosphere stirs.
Rainclouds whisper, tracing the shape
of the bulbous earth, at every horizon beginning
and pressing out into the galaxy,
a glass bowl overturned.

The air moves through me.
The grass shivers and breathes beneath me.
The depth of the sky is breached
by the reach of my seeking hand as I
cull a single star to be my own.

In this moment, the atmosphere drifts.
I lay still and quiet as it moves,
folding my hands like a prayer
over my fragile, grounded star
while tomorrow stretches across the glass sky.

Friday, September 18, 2009

4 weeks glory

It's CD28, and there's no period in sight. I'm being good and waiting until tomorrow morning to use another pee stick. This morning my BBT skyrocketed to a record 98.68. I grinned all through my shower.

My body won't let me forget for very long that it's harboring my little secret. Right now, it feels like fire has been set to my guts. A shockingly strong desire to eat coexists with feeling like I'm going to vomit. It makes no sense! My hips and thighs are achy and demanding to be stretched, and I've unbuttoned my favorite pair of loose jeans because I can't take the pressure.

Happy is a weak word. I am glorious.

From "New Heights" by A Fine Frenzy.
The calm of turbulent seas, fallen to sleep
And when the troubles arise, we hold on tight
How can a body contain something so great
My shell may suddenly burst
Out will come birds

Thursday, September 17, 2009

3w 6d potency

I'm really pregnant. Yee hee!

It may not be as dark as the control line, but still... it's pretty dark compared to what I've seen. (This picture doesn't do the actual test justice!)

I have a really hard time believing that symptoms don't start until week six, and that this is all in my head. I've had major non-stop cramps all day, from my ribs down to my you-know-what. I didn't know that area could feel cramps. And with my primary dysmenorrhea, I'm an EXPERT on severe cramping. This isn't severe, just really distracting. And exciting.

And the nausea! No vomiting, although it certainly feels like a future possibility. Is it sick that I want to throw up? It would be something quantifiable, a way to say that this pregnancy has the potency that the last one didn't.

That's what today's test feels like -- evidence of potency. My baby and I have fight in us, so stay away, evil menstruation!

I'm going to be a mommy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

3w 5d fighter

I can't make it very long before I need to look again at the faint positive from this morning. My self-control in all aspects of this situation is tenuous.

I was both right and wrong about how it would feel... I thought I'd never experience pure happiness again. That's wrong, because I do feel the full extent of happiness once more. It's unbelievable. It's too much to be contained in words.

But what I predicted is also true, because the happiness isn't "pure." While it is as full and powerful as before, I was correct in thinking it would be tainted. I thought I'd be living each day with the fear of another miscarriage -- and that doesn't BEGIN to cover it.

This is the most scared I've ever been. I'm scared to move, scared to make plans, scared to dream, scared to blink in case I open my eyes and it's over. Have I been cheated? Yes, of my ignorance. I'm jealous all over again of pregnant women who can immerse themselves in the happiness with the fears being nothing more than background noise.

Will it make me tough? Yes, an unexpected side effect. I may be terrified, but I feel like a fighter, like a boxer bouncing on his toes and pounding his gloves together. The high level anxiety is matched by fierce determination.

Still, it's like a clock's incessant ticking: miscarriage... miscarriage... miscarriage... tick... tick... tick... I can't concentrate but for thoughts that's it's coming, that I have to prepare myself for it, that I'm going to have to find a way to survive it. Tick... tick... tick...

From "Loneliest Star" by Seal.
I'm free and I'm young
I'm the loneliest star from the sun
And I feel that I'm close to the one
Who will stop me from coming undone

With your love
I know that I could be the best with
With your love
I know that I can take a risk with
With your love
I could fly with your love
With your love
If anyone would try and mess with
With your love
You and I would be possessed with
With your love
I would die for your love
With your love

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

3w 4d positive

Faint line, but definitely there.

Thank you, God.

11DPO polarity


Depending on the moment, I may be sure that I'm pregnant or sure that I'm not. There's no way off this roller coaster. Either I'm a glutton for punishment or there's simply no possible way to rein in the pleading wishes of a desperate person.

Why I am: My BBT jumped sky high this morning to 98.49. I could swear that when I took the test out in the sunlight and turned it just the right way and looked at it only in my peripheral vision, I could see just the lightest faintest pinkish second line. I'm also feeling some nausea and cramps.

Why I'm not: My temperature jumped that high two months ago when I wasn't pregnant, too. Any sane outsider would call my test "negative." Last month I had a visible positive on 11DPO. The nausea and cramps would be PMS, as it's too early for symptoms of any kind.

Put me out of my misery!

Monday, September 14, 2009

10DPO negative

I tested today. Obsessed, remember? Is it negative or too early for results? I know in my heart that it's negative. It feels as if I can't breathe. My chest is too cold.

To be given last month, and for it to be followed with this... I don't know how to stand up under it anymore.

From "Stroke of Luck" by Garbage.
A stroke of luck or a gift from God?
The hand of fate or devil's claws?
From below or saints above?
You came to me

Here comes the cold again
I feel it closing in
It's falling down and
All around me

3:28 p.m.: Feeling hot, tired, emotional, nauseated, and cramping. I wish I could stop myself from hoping.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

7DPO fear

Even when I'm so busy I can barely breathe, the wait is slow and unchanging. Each new moment is as unanswered as the last.

In four days, I'll test for the first time since the miscarriage. I'm scared through.

There are stretches of time where I forget what it was like. Then I remember. Happiness like I've never known before, powerful, complete, a living dream, as tied to my beating heart as I was.

What will I do if that's gone, and my heart just keeps on beating for me alone? A negative test will kill off another part of me. There won't be much left. I can't go back to the mere frustration I felt in the months of nothing before the pregnancy. It's all or nothing now. A life or a kind of death.

From "Little Earthquakes" by Tori Amos.
I can't reach you
Give me life
Give me pain
Give me myself again

Oh these little earthquakes
Here we go again
These little earthquakes
Doesn't take much to rip us into pieces

Monday, September 7, 2009

3DPO wait

Three days post ovulation, and we're back to waiting. Will it happen this month? Would I rather become pregnant and lose it again, or (option two) have nothing happen at all?

Even after all the pain and depression, I would go with the first. It would be something, progress. A reason to seek help and find success that much faster.

I'm scared to consider option three. Not because it's too frightening, but because it's too wanted. A lasting pregnancy, a healthy baby.

I'm irritated with everyone today. I wish I wasn't. I'm taking it out on Andy when he's the one person I should be holding onto with both hands. Losing him is unthinkable. Why do holidays bring out the worst in me? It's Labor Day; I should be happy I have a day off right now. But I have a million things to do and a headache the size of Montana and no motivation for any of it. I've never been a huge homemaker, but I feel more tired than usual. That's been a running theme here, I know.

Andy says I'm being difficult but he still loves me. I'm grateful for what I have. I'll be better, as better as I can be.

To my friends who have offered support, thank you. It helps more than I can put into words.

From "Wait" by Sarah McLachlan...
Pressed up against the glass
I found myself wanting sympathy
But to be consumed again, oh I know,
Would be the death of me
And there is a love that's inherently given
A kind of blindness offered to appease
And in that light of forbidden joy, oh I know,
I won't receive it

When all we wanted was the dream
To have and to hold that precious little thing
Like every generation yields
The newborn hope unjaded by their years

You know if I leave you now
It doesn't mean that I love you any less
It's just the state I'm in
I can't be good to anyone else like this

Thursday, September 3, 2009

CD13 lethargy

Finally, something's happening. Fertile CM and cramps on the left side have made this a good day -- ovulation, here we come. I'm grateful when my body does what it's supposed to do.

I've been obsessed with bodily inner workings for several months now, but this is the first time I've had pain associated with impending ovulation. An effect of the pregnancy/miscarriage changes? I don't know, but I'll take it.

I remain... fuzzy. I wish I could snap out of that.

My second greatest desire (after having a baby) is writing fiction. I have ideas and initiative and it's always on my mind, but I can't seem to get going. Today it's because I lingered late at work, then tinkered around with dinner, and so on. In my heart I'm bursting with enthusiasm. Yet the rest of me is lost in a fog. There's no energy to do what my heart wants to do.

Part of the problem is in the details. Do I have too many broad ideas and nothing pinned down? Are opposing ideas getting mixed together and confused? Is my brain a sieve, leaking all the finer points as soon as they've been thought?

The other part of the problem is just me and my constant companion, lethargy. Even my grieving feels distant; the fog separates me from it. When will I feel like me again? Or is this the new me, forever altered, and I need to start dealing with it? I want to go to sleep and not wake up for a week.

Sometimes, I just don't care about anything.

"Fistful of Handshakes" by Anousheh Khalili.
I`ve reached the point where nothing is savored
Just scrutinized for enlisting in the race
And I`ve reached the point where vanity blazes
Just quietly enough to sense my praise

And all in all there`s nothing as tired as a fistful of handshakes
Made to live and die a lie
I`m at the point where I`m barely enough for myself
To keep my hands and chords alive

And they`re falling off again, my friend
Think they`ll come running back in time?
And they`re falling off
And firmly bound to seek someone with a little more fight

I`ve reached the point where my nervous stages
Climb their cages despite their insufferable plight
I`m at the point where my energy is waving slowly
Neither hello or goodbye

And all in all there`s nothing as broken as a misshapen word thrown out
With nothing left to say
I`m at the point where I`m barely enough for myself

And they`re falling off again, my friend
Think they`ll come running back in time?
And they`re falling off
And firmly bound to seek someone with a little more fight

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

CD11 poem


I staked my life
On the rising of the sun

Running full on eastbound
Winds and waters unnoticed
The faster to see it

Breath heaving, heart pounding
I dove, elated, into the blaze

Love spread
Unstoppable in the fire

Together we rose
The sun and I, suspended
Into the purest sky

When the firmament began to tilt
I struggled to hold on
To what couldn’t be held

The sun sizzled and cracked.
The world in ash
Went black

Existence only remained
Without fire or

Like smoke