Thursday, October 30, 2008

Imagine that

"I just read your "about me" section", she wrote in a Facebook message to me.

"I am sorry to hear about your baby tragedy :( I didn't know."

She wasn't afraid of me. She wasn't afraid to speak of the unspeakable. To acknowledge my sorrow and my loss. To risk reminding me of my grief (as though I could ever forget it). To reach out to me.

She wasn't afraid.

And my heart feels as light as a feather.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My elf

You never forget your first.

A week after the miscarriage in October 2003, I sat slumped on the love seat in the family room watching the clock. It was a dull, foggy Saturday morning. November 1st. My Beloved was busying himself in the kitchen. Clinking dishes, washing pots, moving, moving, moving.

While I sat.

I remember feeling like I'd never be able to move again, so deep was my sorrow. My little baby, so wanted and already so adored, was gone forever.

I watched My Beloved shuffle dishes from sink to cupboard. I watched my arms lying still on the couch cushions at my sides. I watched the clock count down the useless seconds that now meant nothing. My baby wasn't growing anymore.

"Go out", My Beloved urged me gently.

I'd been planning to go to a Christmas Craft show at a nearby high school. Before. But instead I was helplessly glued to the couch listening to time slip away in each tick of the old wind-up clock I'd rescued from my Grandparent's cottage before it was sold years earlier.

I don't remember my arguments against moving off the couch, but I'm relatively sure they weren't valid ones. I was healing well from the D&C and physically felt just fine.

Which is, of course, the worst part of dealing with the loss of a child through miscarriage. You look just fine. There's no way for people to know the pain you're in. There are no scars to show the battle you've just fought and lost.

You become the invisible walking wounded.

And that's exactly how I felt. Broken with grief, but whole to the rest of the world.

Eventually his pleadings won me over. I got dressed and drove through the fog to the Christmas Craft show.

I aimlessly wandered past booths of knitted potholders, summer jams, walnut mice, Christmas wreathes and other assorted festive paraphernalia until I spotted a booth crowded with exquisite handmade dolls.

They drew me in. Lit a tiny spark in my burned out soul.

I stood transfixed, staring at the whimsical faces the artist had so painstakingly created. Dozens of dolls, their gray hair curled in clouds around their wizened faces, smiled back at me.

I couldn't tear myself away, and eventually I came home with an octogenarian elf tucked up carefully in miles of tissue paper.

It was the sweetest possible retail therapy.

And when I look at that elf (which I still can't bear to put away with the other Christmas decorations - she sits in the curio cabinet all year long) I remember the little one I lost, the wisdom of My Beloved, and the strength I somehow found to drive through the fog in search of the light.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A journey of a thousand miles

Five years ago today we lost our first baby. For 10 weeks and 6 days I carried what we thought was a healthy baby until a long, painful night in the ER revealed that our child never really started growing at all.

"Products of conception" and "blighted ovum" were the words they used to describe the baby we so desperately wanted. I became a statistic instead of a mother that night, and My Beloved began his studies in how to survive being a bystander; desperate to help, but completely unable to do a single thing to fix what was going so catastrophically wrong.

I remember the pain, the blood, the fear and the numbness. The miserable, condescending nurse and the kind one that glowed like an angel. The unsure young doctor and the terse veteran. The reassuring anesthesiologist and the brusque OB. The D&C, the recovery, and the chest wracked with sobs.

And so began our journey.

Sending kisses to heaven with assurances that you are not forgotten, wee one.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's worth repeating...

I made this for my sibling's 40th birthday last year, but I think it's totally fine to recycle it for #41 - especially since it's all still very, very true.

Happy Birthday Kathy!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More this 'n that

I have a great big gnarly, multiple-pronged ball of rant stuck in my throat. But if I cough it up I know I'm going to offend, so I'm going to continue to drink lots of water in the hopes that I can get it to go down.

Swallowing my words.

Mmmm. Delicious.


It annoys me that I so often type "and" instead of "an".


I've been wondering a lot about of couple of faltering relationships; wondering if they have been irreparably damaged.

I want to sulk and plead innocence. Stamp my foot and say, "But I'm the one dealing with the combined tsunami of grief and infertility - it's not my fault" - but I probably need to take some responsibility for their slow decline.

The thing is, I have wonderfully strong relationships with lots of friends and family members who still want me, tattered soul and all.

So a little bit of me wonders how much I meant to those other people in the first place.


I'm procrastinating. I'm supposed to be writing a rush ad right now.

Don't tell my client.


I started Weight Watchers (again) on Monday.

I'd forgotten just how agonizing that first dreadful week is when all you can think about is every single delicious morsel of food you were gleefully able to jam down your great gaping pie whole just a few days earlier.

And now it's 20 nuts and low fat cheese. With a water chaser.

My body and I have been at war since I lost my very first baby five years ago Saturday. I have hated it since then for its inability to keep our babies safe over and over and over again. For its stubborn betrayal and frustrating defects.

So my theory is that if I can find a reason to be proud of it again - to see it losing weight and changing for the better - maybe I can resolve some of the antagonism I feel towards it.

Or maybe I'll just look better in a pair of jeans.

It's win-win either way.


I should really stop procrastinating.

Or maybe play just one more game of Word Twist...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And nothing but the truth

If you knew an almost 39-year old woman who'd had three miscarriages, a massive placental abruption during delivery that killed her son, and unexplained hemorrhaging during a D&C, would you wonder why she would even consider trying to get pregnant again?

What if you found out that she also has one blocked fallopian tube, a bicornuate uterus, and an issue with high blood pressure?

What if she'd already had one lap surgery because she was "riddled with scar tissue" from a C-section and subsequent blood infection, and that her OB suspects that she may also have Asherman syndrome, a "rare condition" where adhesions form inside the uterus?

What if she'd been told that the scar tissue her OB removed during the lap may have all regrown more than 6 months ago?

Would you think she was certifiable for continuing to try to get pregnant - particularly when it seems so difficult for her to stay pregnant?

Would you encourage her to keep trying?

Would you tell her that the odds are so stacked against her that it might be wiser and healthier to move on?

Would you keep her at arm's length?

Would you tell her to pray harder?

Would you tell her to send positive energy out into the universe?

Would you tell her what she wants to hear?

Would you tell her what you'd want to hear?

Would you tell her the truth?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This 'n that

I eat stuff off the floor. MY floor, I mean. Okay, and maybe my Mom's floor. And other floors belonging to people whose homes and feet look especially clean.

I'm a firm believer in the 5 second rule, particularly where chocolate is involved. Or candy. Or anything sweet, really.

So I was kind of gob-smacked to discover that my 8-year old niece is not a follower of said edict. She fumbled a fresh-out-of-the-oven cookie while she was at our place on the weekend, and, giggling at her clumsiness, threw it out.


I'm not exactly sure what I'm more bothered by here - the loss of a perfectly good cookie, or the fact that apparently small children have better food-related hygiene than I do.

I mean, it's not like I keep a fork in my pocket in case I see something interesting laying in a discarded heap on the sidewalk or anything. But a cookie meeting tile for less than a fraction of a second? Come on - that's totally good to go!




The other night I had a dream that I had a baby. One of those I've-woken-up-and-it-was-so-vivid-it-must-be-real dreams.

Soul crushing.

But the problem is, in addition to the cloud of sorrow it cast over me, it's made me start second guessing the decision I made about not having "just one more surgery".

Because what if...?



I often wonder if, once the baby-making days are long gone, all this will still consume me the way it does now. The what ifs. The regrets.


What will it be like, as a mother in mourning 20 years from now when all hope truly is lost and my lady bits have ceased to function at all? How will I feel then?

I think about Thomas so much. Not all the time, but still, so very, very much.

I suppose parents of living children think about their little ones as much as I think about Thomas. Probably a lot more.

Tonight I'll take comfort in that, given that it makes me feel less like a lunatic for regularly finding myself caught in trances filled with images of my boy.

I miss him. So much it feels like it could eat me alive.


A friend posted this on her blog on October 15th.

I need to pass it along...

Don't Tell Me...

Don't tell me that you understand, don't tell me that you know,
Don't tell me that I will survive, how I will surely grow.
Don't tell me this is just a test, that I am truly blessed,
That I am chosen for this task, apart from all the rest.
Don't come at me with answers that can only come from me,
Don't tell me how my grief will pass, that I will soon be free.
Don't stand in pious judgment of the bonds I must untie,
Don't tell me how to suffer, don't tell me how to cry.
My life is filled with selfishness, my pain is all I see,
But I need you, I need your love, unconditionally.
Accept me in my ups and downs, I need someone to share,
Just hold my hand and let me cry, and say,
"My friend, I really do care."

Author Unknown

Beautifully said. So beautifully said.

Monday, October 20, 2008

So, whatup with you?

Last night I had a dream about having another baby that has left me wistful and melancholic. I have a pile of work to do (which is great, but also a little daunting). This dreary Monday seems to be sorely lacking in sunshine. And, after an abysmal early morning meeting with the scale, I decided to start Weight Watchers today. Again.

I'm whiny and tired. And hungry.

So instead of listening to me mope, why don't we talk about you. What's on your mind today?

Amuse me.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's the best I can do

Today, being Thanksgiving here in Canada, the priest challenged us to think of two new things to be thankful for this year. Which is an especially challenging task for me since the holidays tend to bring out the big blue funk in me - and I'm usually anything but thankful when I'm feeling funky and blue.

But I'm nothing if not determined, so here we go:

1. I'm glad that when we came home from our first Thanksgiving dinner of the weekend tonight we found the cat vomit on the bed before it had a chance to soak all the way through to the mattress.

2. I'm thankful that I haven't had any surgeries or miscarriages this year. Granted, that also means that I'm probably still full of scar tissue (having opted out of surgery in September), and that I haven't been pregnant at all. But still.

There. Done.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

No surprises

Last night we went out to get a baby gift for friends who just had another baby girl. In the parking lot I discovered that the clerk forgot to swipe the little socks we bought to go with the Pooh sleeper.

$4.97 in reparation from the universe.

That's less than a dollar for every loss, and each year we've struggled. But I suppose that's about what I'd expect from the universe.

Yeah. Fuck. That's about what I'd expect.

Monday, October 06, 2008

They say you can run...

...but you can't hide.

You can, however, keep trying.

And so we do. Every Autumn when My Beloved is finally able to take some time off work, we make good our escape. Usually not far, but we flee just the same.

Although it's entirely too true that you do, in fact, take your worries with you, it's still nice to give them a change of scenery every once in a while.

And it's been a while. As a freelancer my schedule is much more flexible than My Beloved's, and his has been anything but flexible for the last 9 months. We're long overdue for some R&R and we're making the most of this blissful week off.

So I'll be quiet for a few days while we're vacating.

Until we meet again, happy trails, my friends!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm a blogolympian...

...for one day, anyway.

So today this is where you can find me, blathering on about God and grief and miracles and demons.

You know, same old same old.