Friday, December 21, 2007

The Christmas Letter

I have received a few Christmas letters from friends and family again this year. Before l@w school, I created handmade Christmas cards to send out in lieu of the dreaded letter. This was my way of escaping saying anything about my life. Now, I have no time for handmade Christmas cards and those letters just keep coming. The friends from college have started generating those same letters that we once mocked for their self congratulatory and boasting tones. They have babies and houses and property and careers to announce. Conspicuously absent from those letters are divorce, miscarriages, mental illness, crushing debt and rentals. So, this is the letter I have been trying to get Husband to write for us...

Dear Friends and Family,

It's been another banner year here in the land of gorges and waterfalls. January began with a scramble to get together money for Nicole's tuition and books. Even though she failed at her attempts to get a summer job at a lucrative law firm, she decided to keep going through school. Why stop at $75,000 in debt when you can go for platinum at $150,000? And you thought that new house you wrote to us about was expensive!

We managed to keep Nicole from jumping into one of those lovely gorges (photo enclosed), by focusing her efforts on conception. Scheduled romps in the hay may not be sexy, but they do keep you warm for 5-10 minutes. Given that the Gas and Electric Company now keep up correspondence using personal visits for bill collection, that warmth came in handy in the cold months of Winter.

By mid-February, we were doing the "I think I see two lines!" dance. We went through March alternating between bleeds and onesie shopping sprees. By the time April came around, we announced, "IT'S A D&C!!!" We were the proud parents of "the products of conception" named: Percocet, Chlamydia, and Ser0quel.

By Summer, Nicole was diagnosed with the same cholesterol numbers that came before the death of her father, so we quietly mourned the loss of our reason for living: Cheese. At the end of Summer, we realized that Nicole could no longer sit on her ass anymore and had to get a second job. Someone had to pay for mistakes made during our two divorces as well as for the medical bills from Nicole's bipolar fallouts. After a B.S., a Ph.D., and 2 years of law school, she proudly accepted a job selling wine at a retail shop and thoroughly enjoyed catering to former science colleagues and fellow law students freshly back from their $5000 per week summer firm jobs. She never tires of the question, "So what, exactly, are you doing with all your degrees?"

Just as she returned to her futile efforts at law school in the Fall, we discovered that she had managed to miscarry another one when the doctors compassionately wrote off another "product" as a chemical pregnancy. Good times were had by all. But by October, what do you know? It's time to do the "It's a two liner" dance again. After a few more weeks, we joined the misfit uterus club when Nicole discovered the words "bicornuate uterus" in her medical records.
So now we go into this grand new year wondering how we will feed, clothe and house the three of us once the school loans stop coming in June. With a June due date, taking the bar is out and so is lining up her first post-law school job. But, that's OK, because so far, there aren't any jobs for Nicole anyway. Good thing she just got a raise at that wine job. Oh, this maybe baby is in for a real treat at the rented house in the land of gorges and waterfalls.

Happy Holidays!!!
The Husband.

P.S. If you happen to see Nicole around any of those gorges or waterfalls, can you please ask her to wait until after June before she plans any high dives?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Reassuring words

We made the 40 minute drive to the doctor this morning only to discover that my doctor was stuck in a surgery that went long. And so I was rescheduled for 1:45pm. Husband and I drove back to our hometown. Then we drove out again at 1:00pm. The drives were made much less anxious by Husband's recordings of several This American Life episodes.

I talked to Liz the nurse and apologized for bugging them on a busy day. She was nothing but compassionate and reminded me that I was never bugging them. I really needed to hear that.

Then the doctor came in and I told him all my concerns which he took seriously. I apologized to him too, and his reaction was the same as the nurse's. All compassion. I needed to hear that too. He did a complete pelvic exam, checking my cervix and uterus height. He enthusiastically assured me that everything looked perfect! Then we heard the heartbeat at 150bpm. More reassurance and we were sent home feeling so relieved and quite honestly I didn't feel so stupid. I felt validated. As you all said, going to my doctor was absolutely the right thing to do. And, I also felt again that I had made the right choice in my practitioner. Now, it's nap time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Aluminum

Have you ever seen a shiny polished metal surface and been impressed by its image of strength? I see them everywhere. On buildings that threaten to scratch the sky. On protective interior walls that show our reflections. On molded structures that illustrate the mind of an architect (anyone seen the Experience Music Project (EMP) Building in Seattle?). They are threatening, and solid, and invincible. In the same way, many cover their houses in metal siding that claims the same. The siding that you will never have to paint again. The siding that will last a lifetime. But as soon as Junior bumps it with her softball that siding gives way to show a large dent. Ah, aluminum siding lures us into a place of security only to reveal a malleable surface that can't tolerate the slightest rub.

I am the aluminum siding that tries so hard to look like the EMP or those threatening sky scrapers. I sell myself with claims of competence and resistance. That shiny surface wants to be impenetrable but it keeps denting. I am so filled with dents and yet I still try to reflect a sturdy shell that will last a lifetime.

My faux steel shell makes claims of toughness and abrasive talk. Aggression that can't be swayed and promises of bodily harm to those who refuse to give to my strength. But when aluminum siding is put up as a barrier, the only harm that comes is to the one who chose it...me.

I called my doctor, finally. It took me the better part of the day to muster up the strength to make the call. The receptionist was less than receptive. The doctor sounded like he could see my craziness right through the phone. I got an appointment for tomorrow morning at 9:30am and I am absolutely sick over it. I hate that I need someone else to tell me everything is OK. I want to just feel OK without confirmation from others. I am not tough or aggressive or confident. I am soft, unsure, and scared. I am ashamed that I need this appointment. I am ashamed that I called and revealed what a hypochondriac that I am.

I am aluminum siding.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Help! Assvice Requested.

"Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not watching you."

I have made this statement several times on this blog. And once again it fits what I need to say. For the last few days, I have had some strange pains including the occasional stabbing pain in my vagina, a lot of pressure in my lower abdomen and a persistent low back pain. It seems to be at its worst when I am up and walking around or busy working on my feet. For the first day or so, I wrote this off as just normal aches and pains from an expanding uterus. Yesterday, I started to panic and worry when I noticed that I needed to pee quite a bit and was running to the bathroom from the pressure only to pee a little bit.

So, I called the doctor. Doctor felt that I had a UTI and called in a script. At first, this sounded right given that I seem to be quite vulnerable to UTIs and experience them frequently. But for those of you who have been reading for awhile, another doctor once thought I had interstitial cystitis. So I thought, that could be the culpirt if the UTI wasn't.

But, this morning the paranoia is starting to overwhelm me. First, there is no burning during urination. Then there is that weird lower abdominal heaviness. Finally, there's the knowledge that I have a bicornuate uterus and that can sometimes cause an incompetent cervix. After way too much googling, it seems that an incompetent cervix can produce the same symptoms as a UTI. Sorry to gross everyone out, but I decided to try and feel my cervix myself. The cervix felt slightly open and not as tight as I expected, but then I have no idea what my cervix is supposed to feel like during pregnancy. Then it seemed like the anterior side was soft and the posterior side was firm. And so my efforts to calm myself only made matters worse. For the rest of the day, I am staying reclined on the couch. On Monday, I will call my doctor again and beg to be seen. Even if everything is fine, I think I would feel so much better to hear my doctor say so after a full exam. What do you all think?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Risk versus Sacrifice

Finals are finally done. And while I still have 3 papers to write by the end of January, the end of exams for the semester still relieves a significant amount of stress. I made a fairly successful attempt to focus on studying for finals and not obsess over all things fetus related. So now with the completion of finals, I have totally resumed by previous obsession.

Firstly, at 15 weeks, I am neither "showing" nor do I feel any movement. I know this is perfectly normal for a "first" timer, but I worry nonetheless. Maybe the baby is already dead, maybe I am not growing on target and the baby is about to die, maybe there is something seriously wrong that means death will occur shortly after birth. I think you get the picture. When it comes to potential baby death scenarios, I can be pretty creative.

Then there's my meds. For the most part, I feel confident in my psychiatrist's decision to keep me on 100mg of Ser0que1 and 100mg of Z010ft during the pregnancy. Ser0que1 is a schedule C drug that is contraindicated for pregnant or nursing women, but we opted to take the risk. And when I say "we", I mean I opted that the baby take that risk. Right now, that sounds pretty fucking lame. Sometimes, the alternatives sound quite a bit less selfish. For instance, let's assume that without the Ser0que1, I launch into a full blown depressive episode where owing to the lack of Ser0que1 sleep is downright impossible for at least a month or so. The impending self injury and real live insanity would require hospitalization or simply tying my arms and legs down to our bed. Let's be honest, that's the kind a sacrifice a real mother would make. Not this pansy sacrifice claim that I am taking a risk by ingesting Ser0que1. Taking Ser0que1 is not a sacrifice made on the behalf of the baby, it's made on the behalf of me.

Perhaps this little discussion is driven by the fact that while I took my Ser0que1 last night, I was up by 3:30 this morning unable to sleep. That's just insult to injury, my friends.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Grumpy, Sleepy, and Dopey.

OK, so mainly I am grumpy with hints of sleepy and dopey to keep things interesting. As a disclaimer, especially for my husband who is sure to read this, this post is focused on my total and complete dislike for my sister-in-law (Husband's sister).

I started a private non-anonymous blog for my family (mom and 3 sisters) and Husband's family (mom and 1 sister). The sole purpose of that blog is to keep the family updated on my gestational progress or lack thereof, whatever the case may be. My hope is that someday I will have pictures to post on that blog of something slightly more interesting to the family than images of our dogs (screen size photos of my cooter perhaps?). Compared to this blog, they are getting the extremely edited version of how things are going "down there". But, on that blog, Husband is a contributor and writes the occasional post. The blog is only visible to the aforementioned family members by invitation. So far I have issued an invitation to all of them. After a few technical problems, the Moms were able to figure out how to sign up and make comments. My sisters, with the exception of the one with a painful drug problem and absolutely no ability in any sense to figure out how to get online, have all signed up and visited.

Then there's The Sister-In-Law. This woman lives on-line for the most part. In fact, she would out-online almost all my bloggie buddies by hours. She is fully technically competent on the computer and has absolutely no trouble using all of the web services available. In fact, she uses said services to send daily reminders to her brother, my husband, about his failure to visit her and his mom on a regular (read to mean ALL of the TIME) basis. She is famous for her comments that imply that he has effectively abandoned them in favor of his wife (me). SIL also revels in reminding Husband that he has only ONE family. Plus, she complains that we never communicate with them or update them on how we are doing. Nevertheless, the invitation to our blog has gone unanswered. It's been two weeks since I sent the invite. I am so angry that I would love to take a photo of my middle finger and send it to her, or stick a fork in her eye (you choose).

We have explored the idea that she isn't really all that happy that her brother's wife is pregnant, despite her outright assertions to the contrary. But, come on, if I can pretend to want her to be informed of our lives, then certainly she can maintain the illusion that she is interested in ours by at least accepting the invitation.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Heartbeat High

I gotta say that I miss getting high. The high I refer to here is the one I enjoyed via good wine. I miss my wine very much. But as you all know, no wine is a very small price to pay for a healthy pregnancy. On Tuesday, I got my high in a whole new way, a better way even. We heard the heartbeat on Tuesday. It may be said that it has sent me into a somewhat hypomanic phase, but in the best possible fashion. Plus, on this kind of high, I can drive. But let's be honest, I really have no business being inside baby stores (or any stores for that matter). Any version of manic can cause excessive spending in me. And I don't have money to pay my bills much less buy clothes for a theoretical baby. So I occupy myself by surfing amazon and putting things on my registry, which is more of a wish list really because I haven't actually told anyone about it. For now, I will ride that heartbeat wave at 150 bpm. Whoohoo.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

And then there were 33.

33 years that is.

I am kind of stunned that my birthday keeps coming around every fucking year. That should tell you how either very daft or morbid I am. But, I think you already knew both of those things already.

It hasn't exactly been a stellar birthday day, sadly. I woke at 6am to go to my second hearing for my second real live client. It actually went pretty well as disability hearings go. Of course, no ruling is given on the spot so it will be several weeks until I know how it really went. Then I was off to class until 6pm. From there, I went to the wine shop for work. I'm there right now working, okay maybe not working that hard (seriously just the act of sitting anywhere besides my home feels like work though). I get off (oooh, wouldn't that be a nice present) of work at 9:30pm. And, then I'll stay awake just long enough to have a Popsicle for dinner. Yum.

But, let's end on a good note. Tomorrow I will be at the 12 week mark. I am just going to try and appreciate what that is supposed to mean (to normal women) for as long as possible.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

They're back.

At the beginning of my journey in trying to conceive, I confronted a nasty little bug called bacterial vaginosis (BV). The little guys had taken up residence in my cooter and were breeding much faster that I was. It was pretty easy to fix though. A good dose of antibiotics and the bad guys had been flushed from their home.

Last week, I got a cryptic message on voicemail from my OB saying that he needed to talk to me about my test results. The week before that, my OB had happily left a message on my voicemail telling me that my progesterone was at the right level and don't worry. This time, though, there was no voicemail of happiness and no "all is well" messages. So, of course, I assumed the worst. Within about 2 hours of hearing the cryptic message, I had successfully diagnosed myself with HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and almost-dead-baby sydrome (you know, just for good measure). More amazingly, I had driven my husband into the same sort of frenzy.

Within those two short hours, I had left 3 messages with my OB's office staff. I am pretty sure there is a note in my file now saying something like, "JUST CRAZY" in 24 point bold red font. Nevertheless, the doctor did finally call me back and said that I have BV again. Nice. He will treat me with antibiotics once I am "safely" at the 12 week mark. In the meantime, Husband did some research regarding BV. While the damn BV is labelled as an STD, they don't actually know how women contract it. In fact, there was some suggestion that women don't get it from sexual contact with men, but instead catch it from sexual contact with other women.

That gave us both something to think about.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Horns of the Devil

Sorry for the typo on my last post regarding the bicornuate uterus and resulting confusion. I notice that the more frazzled I get, the less editing that I do. As such, I end up with some mighty misspellings and strange puncuation.

So yesterday, Husband and I made the 30 minute drive to my new OB's office. With the Fall colors, it was a lovely and restful drive with the hubbie. And by all accounts, my OB is truly fabulous. While he is a bit rough around the edges, he is thorough and easy to talk with. I clued him in to my concern about the funky uterus notes on my sonogram results and he seemed skeptical. However, the scan changed that significantly.

Upon the first viewing with the dildocam, all we saw was a surpisingly small and quite empty uterus. Somehow, I was calmed by the fact that my doctor showed significant concern. It's almost as if by him being concerned, I know I will have to fight less to get the attention that I need regarding my medical care. And so I breathe a little sigh of relief that I have a medical advocate. Anyway, he probed and shifted that dildocam around quite vigorously and found the problem. As the plain of view shifted, we saw an empty sphere, then two empty spheres, and finally the spheres merged to reveal a smudge in the center complete with a flicker for a beating heart and some motion as the little guy dodged the image. It was fairly exciting, I must say. And my doctor was visibly relieved and thrilled all at the same time.

So it's fairly clear at this point that I have a bicornuate uterus and there is a septum. What isn't clear is how big that septum is and if and when it will be a problem. For now, nothing can be done but wait and see what happens. From where the little guy is now, it looks as if he will grow into the right horn.

On the way home yesterday, I thought about how people call a bicornuate uterus "heart-shaped". As you may imagine, this image doesn't quite do it for me. I prefer the devil's horns image. My evil uterus and it's horns from hell.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What a difference a med makes

Thanks so much for all the well wishes, hugs, and good thoughts of reason. Much appreciated.

I have since had my meds picked up from the pharmacy and everything looks so much better now. Clearly, I still have a bit of denial going on regarding how much I need my meds and how really mentally ill I am.

To get ready for my new OB visit tomorrow, I picked up my medical records from my last OB. And against my better judgment, I started reading through them. While scanning through my ultrasound reports, two works struck me quite fiercely. BICORNUATE UTERUS! How in the world was I not informed of this seemingly important detail? I promptly called Husband and asked him to start doing some research on the abnormal anatomy and its affects on pregnancy.

What we've read on various medical and pregnancy sites has been a mix of neutral and bad news. Any thoughts from my well edguhmucated buddies out there? Words of wisdom and humor always welcome.

Monday, October 29, 2007

And the walls came crumbling down

Perhaps from my last entry, you have deduced that I am on a downward slide. If so, you would be entirely correct. I ran out of Z0l0ft over the weekend and am on day 2 of complete withdrawal. I am quickly losing the ability to function at all and the world is looking surprisingly bleak. Let's hit the low points:
  1. I am not at all nauseous today. Not at all. Moderately crampy too. Convinced that this pregnancy is over.
  2. Nothing I do will ever change my current circumstances. I will always be a failure. And, despite my track record, I will always work really hard only to cause cataclysmic destruction and failure.
  3. I am stupid no matter how many degrees I have.
  4. I can't pay my rent, no matter how many jobs I have, because see above.
  5. No matter how much I know about my mental illness and the importance of maintaining my meds, I will always allow myself to run out of meds and then consider myself a total failure in everything with any importance.
  6. I will take everything personally, blame everything on myself, realize that I am depressed and then still slice open my arms in attempt at healing. Now that makes so much sense doesn't it?
I could just keep going, but I think we get the point.

Fuck my classes, my committments, and my clients. I'm going home.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Just crazy

Sometimes I marvel at the appropriateness of the name of my blog. Although today, I leave out the "enough" and say, "Just crazy". My emotions have been all over the board and it's a true miracle that my husband doesn't just quietly pack up and leave while I'm sleeping.

Early last week, I arrived at a decision to go with "Fifty Fingers" OB/GYN and gave them a call to schedule an appointment. When they said they would "be willing" to see me as early as November 28th, I started to rethink my decision. So I hung up and called the doctor that is 35 minutes away. I have an appointment for November 1, and the only reason they couldn't get me in earlier is because he was out of town the week I called. So next Thursday, I am hoping for a positive experience and a gratuitous scan. Honestly, the 35 minute drive will give me some time to spend with Husband; time that is becoming increasingly rare with my overloaded schedule.

In the crazy department, I never miss an opportunity to worry. If I don't have any cramps or back pain then I worry that the little guy has ceased to grow and I have become a walking human coffin. Lovely. If I do have cramps or a low backache, no matter how mild, I worry that I am about to deliver a baby the size of a pistachio. So no matter what, I am screwed in the head. Plus, I had my weekly breakdown last Sunday and concluded that I would fail every single thing I am trying to do if I didn't relieve myself of some of the stress. So, my professor graciously granted me an incomplete so that I could write my brief for a motion for summary judgment over the holiday break. Thank God for male professors who are terrified of crazy pregnant women.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Flicker

We saw the little flicker of a heart beat this morning and we breathed a huge sigh of relief. Husband seemed really pleased and excited. I was excited by still cautious.

My first concern is that we saw a heart beat with the last one and that didn't turn out so well in the end. My second concern is that the little guy only measured at 6w3d (4 days off). On the one hand, the resolution of their machine really sucks and the little guy could have been in the wrong plain of view to get an accurate crown-rump measurement. On the other hand, I seem to remember the first pregnancy to be measuring a few days off as well. The doctor didn't seem concerned at all and saw a beautiful thick placenta building up and a well formed yolk sac. In fact, I have never seen my doctor so optimistic.

In addition, I have been released from my doctor's care and have been encouraged to find an OB to care for me for the remainder of my gestation, however long that lasts (my doctors stopped delivering babies as of last July). So here's where I need some assvice from you all. It looks like we have two primary choices:

1. The first option is to go with the baby mill here in town. For now, we'll refer to them as O.G.A. The good thing is that they see a lot of births, they are in town, they consist of midwives and obstetricians, and all my local buddies have been very happy with them. The bad thing is that they are very large and sometimes referred to as 50-fingers because you see someone different every time you go in and have no idea who you will draw when it comes time to give birth. ( I should also mention that I have had bad experiences on the GYN side of their practice.)

2. The second option is to go with a practice that is 35 minutes away. My current doctor has nothing but good things to say about this doctor and midwife team. And other local women I have spoken to say the same. In the positive, I like the idea of getting to know the doctor and midwife that I will be having in the event of a full term and resulting birth. In the negative, I will have to drive 35 minutes each way for all the visits as well as the birth.

Thoughts?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

So far, so good?

I got the scan this morning. First, I am happy to report that the doctor found absolutely no signs of blood anywhere. Second, the little fuzzy thing on the screen is measuring exactly right at 6 weeks and 1 day. Sadly, there was simply not enough resolution to get a heartbeat. Doctor felt very confident that everything looked good and I have to say it looked like something was moving around in there. So I guess for now, nothing bad has happened yet. I am scheduled for another scan next Wednesday at which point a heart beat should be much easier to detect. So I am going to hunker down on the couch for now and breathe deeply. I guess I can put away the c0ca1ne and ecst@sy for another day.

By the way, all of your well wishes helped immensely. I am grateful for each and every one of you, all of the time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Here we go again?

I only have the energy for a very brief update. I am emotionally drained. After a few hours at the wine store stocking the shelves with our latest delivery, I made my hourly trip to the bathroom. The obsessive toilet paper watching suddenly revealed something not so benign. Bright red blood, about a dime in diameter.

I called the doctor and I am scheduled for a scan tomorrow morning at 8:30am. I have mild cramping, but not the painful lower backache I had with the first miscarriage. I am terrified, angry and just plain sad. Just so very sad.

If there is a heartbeat tomorrow, I still won't feel must better given that the last time all of this occurred we saw a heartbeat then too (only to lose the little guy one week later). I am thinking it may be time for a specialist. I will let you all know tomorrow what the scan showed, if anything.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Let it ride.

First, I just have to say that you are all so fabulous and I really don't know how I would handle my anxiety without you all rooting for me. I called the doctor last night and got the betaHCG (human chorionic gonadotropin for the non-IF'ers out there) number.

1886!

Needless to say, I am pretty excited. I am also exhausted and nauseous. Whoohoo!

The good number prompted me to go ahead and put up a ticker, although it was against my superstitious judgment. It's a really rough approximation since I clearly didn't ovulate when I thought that I did.

So, for the time being, I am going to try to sit tight and just let it ride.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Sorry for the delay.

So sorry to leave you all hanging for so long, but I just got a hold of my doctor this morning to get the blood work results. Since I had the blood drawn on Friday, the results weren't available to my doctor until today. All good things come to those who wait, or something lame like that (I like to spout total bullshit when I am not sure how the world really works, which is all the time).

The beta HCG number is 170!!! That's almost triple the number just 48 hours later (first number was a pathetic 54). So all looks good, at least for now. I will go in for another anxiety motivated blood draw on Thursday. And, I have an appointment for a scan on the 15th. Here we go again!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

No such thing as immaculate

So, if you look at the post I wrote just before this one, you will see that I didn't have a lot of faith in immaculate conception. Yesterday, I thought I spoke too soon. Today, I think I was right the first time around.

I got a shiny white negative HPT on Monday. Then when I noticed there was no Aunt Flo hangin' around, I peed on another stick two days later. It came up positive. Not a bright second line, but a line nevertheless. So, I had my beta HCG checked with a blood draw (and my progesterone by the way). Tonight, I got the results and it didn't look so promising. 54 is the grand number that isn't so grand. If the IF blogging world has taught me anything, it's that 54 is not promising. My progesterone is all good, but I can't get that damn 54 out of my head.

I go back in for another beta to see if that number is doubling. But, I gotta be honest, I am not so sure that 108 is going to make me feel any better. I'm sad, very very sad.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Is this thing still on?

So sorry for dropping off the face of the blogosphere for so long. I have been battling my thoughts on how to manage my blog. While I really want to write quite a bit and even set aside some time for it, I also really want you, my bloggie buddies, to read it and comment. But, how can I expect others to read and comment when I have not been doing the same. Basically, I feel bad for not making the time to visit all my bloggie buddies. Surely, the rules for blogging are no less strict than the rules for in-person friendships. If I don't return phone calls, do I really deserve to get any phone calls? I think not.

And, so on that theory, I stopped writing for a bit. I kept telling myself that as soon as things calmed down I would resume my original time commitment to blogging. As many of you would have predicted though, things never calmed down. Sixteen units in l@w school really is an insane load. A 25 hour per week part-time job at a wine shop really does contribute to total exhaustion. Another job doing research for an attorney may not absorb a lot of time, but it sure absorbs a lot of mental space. Plus, the volunteer job for yet another attorney (so I can learn actually how to practice l@w as assigned counsel in TinyTown) has an inverse relationship between salary paid and time taken. (I think I can already hear the "Well, duh." from the peanut gallery.)

Given all that keeps me busy, I still find myself quite lonely in the world of TTC and just general emotional/social connection. So in the interest of a hint of sanity, I think I need to keep writing even if I fail to visit others for now. So, if you are still reading, please stop by for a visit again and take it on faith that I will come by yours after the completion of the semester. Really, I will.

Now, for a quick update on life below the belt.

Two weeks ago, all the blood tests started to suggest that I had an ectopic pregnancy cruisin' around in there. After an emergency appointment with the dildocam, it turns out that my body finally figured things out and ejected that lingering blastocyst that was producing HCG at a record low. Much wine was enjoyed that evening. This week, I got the news that I have a cute little 3cm cyst on left ovary. Good times. Apparently, I am to go back for another romp with Mr. Dildocam in 3 months to check on cute little cyst. More good times. And in case any of you are wondering, trying to conceive and have sex on demand with a housemate wandering about does NOT work. So, in the absence of immaculate conception, there will be no double lines this month either.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

How many jobs you got, mon?

Financially, things haven't been too good in our household. We took on a new roomate to help with the rent, but then when that wasn't enough I got another job. Thankfully, I love my new job that involves working at a wine and liquor store selling quality wine. Although, how I am going to work a 25 hour per week job and go to l@w school is still beyond me.

Instead of focusing on how I am going to manage my time, I have been absorbed in my own body. As you can see I am well through half my cycle this month. Apparently last month's entertainment wasn't enough for Uterus, so she decided to keep me on my toes by throwing me a new curve. Despite the fact that I am on cycle day 13 or so, I am bleeding. Not the full force menstrual version, but there is enough to make me think, "What the fuck?". This has been going on for about a week now. I have a lab order to have blood drawn so we can look at my estrogen and FSH level, but I haven't had a single moment to go and get it done. So, I am wondering what you all think is going on. It's bright red blood but there are no cramps or pain. Any thoughts?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Shall we say this is number 2?

I took 3 more home pregnancy tests over the weekend and they all came up vaguely positive. Then on Sunday, it all went into the crapper.

Well, that sure was fun.

So shall we say that I am in the middle of miscarriage number two? I hate the "chemical pregnancy" label. Not sure why.

Mmmm, gin.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Just because it's funny. (now with a useless update)

Just because she thinks it's funny, Uterus decided to produce both a second line (if you squint and use photoshop to enhance the contrast on the vast whiteness of my pee-stick) AND brown blood. It's anybodies guess at this point. But just in case the whole thing ends in the crapper (nice right?), I have a stockpile of mindnumbing pills at the ready.

Escape? Me? Never.

Updated to add: Got an appointment for a blood draw to check my beta and progesterone, but I still have some brown stuff going on down there. I'll let you know what they say once I get the results.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Globalizing

Everything has been really, really bad. I keep my mind from sanity by exercising my skills at unrestricted globalizing. When Husband dares to bring up something that I cannot possibly say is bad, I summarily discount whatever it is and then I resort to telling him that he just doesn't "get it". I think we all know who doesn't "get it". ME.

I have managed to take something that has nothing to do with me and turn it around on myself.

As I posted some time ago, I became an Aunt. Out of my pathetic bitterness, I have chosen to wholly ignore this birth until now. For the last three weeks I have tried to put it out of my mind. When I finally spoke to my mom on the phone, I got the story on the baby and the family. It's ugly, very ugly. And, because litigation may be pending, I cannot tell the story. Suffice it to say that my sister's baby was taken from her and put in foster care for 5 days. Just long enough to send the mother into PPD and cause her milk to dry up. And then all charges were dropped because it was discovered that the complaint was a lie spewed by the MIL in retaliation.

And, all I can think is, I should be near my family. Instead, I am here, helpless.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

You know you're crazy when...

You know that you're crazy when...
  • you throw a mug full of old coffee at your husband, it breaks against the wall, and then you feel bad because you liked that mug.
  • pulling your hair out feels good.
  • digging your nails into your own arms brings relief.
  • you want to put your husband's head through a wall because he did exactly what you asked him to do.
  • turning left in front of an oncoming-semi sounds like a good time.
  • you call your therapist and wish her a good vacation week because she will need all the rest she can get before your next appointment with her.
  • you write a list of reasons why you are crazy.
Feel free to add your own to my list in the comments.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Green

So last Friday I got the message that youngest sister gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Sister named the baby girl after her first horse. Does anyone else think this is odd like I do?

Then the photos started coming via email. I am absolutely green with envy. Let's just say that I am not handling this very well.

Then, pregnant l@w student gave birth to her baby and there are photos posted around the office of the happy parents with their newborn.

This past week has been my personal jealousy nightmare.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Busy or Inefficient?

So, now that I have a job that I actually like, I am less inclined to while away the hours at work updating my blog. I can't really say that I am all that busy, although I certainly feel busy. But, I think it's more likely that I am not all that efficient with my time these days. My hope is to be back visiting all of your blogs soon. Since I haven't visited you all in so long, I feel so alone.

For the last couple of weeks I have been in a hypomanic state and such a mental status makes me mighty lofty. I don't sit down long enough to read anything longer than a sentence or two. But, this week feels quite a bit different. I am on my way back down. I miss my friends in the computer and am no longer enjoying the same work-related high.

Last week, I did some research for an attorney concerning the theory of learned helplessness. I was astonished at what I found, even though, the research falls in line with my intuition. Many of the relevant studies indicate that once a person or animal experiences repeated environmental stressors that are beyond their control, that person or animal will inevitably give up on everything. The subject learns through past experience that nothing they do can prevent bad things from happening. Then, that subject simply stops trying to change their circumstances. So a rat that is subjected to repeated shocks that they cannot avoid (compared to a rat who can stop the shocks by pressing a bar), eventually lies down in its cage refusing to eat, drink, or move.

I really don't want to be that rat, but sometimes I think it happens anyway.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Digging Out

Once again I want to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughtful concern. Day by day, I am digging out of my hole. Thankfully, my work at legal services is very interesting and motivating. I spend more of my day focused on other people's worries and less of my day focused on my own worries, which is a very good thing. I really do love my work there. It feels really good to help others through the legal system and avoid homelessness.

My therapist and I had a good long discussion about being stuck in the hole. If I am going to get out of the hole, I have to want out. There is a point at which I choose to wallow and it is at that point that I am not suffering grief but instead self pity. I found that I had made that choice when every post I read on all of your blogs made me sad. If it was a positive post, then I was jealous; if it was a negative post then I was sad for both of us. So, now I choose to dig out of the hole so that I can celebrate with you when you are happy, and hold your hand when you're not.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Not so fast.

I really hate to break my promises. But, if I don't break the promise I made to you all regarding posting "good times to come", well, then I don't think I would be posting for awhile. I know it was silly to hope that I would be pregnant the first full cycle after a D&C, but I hoped anyway. And, I hoped beyond hope that I would be able to post about the elusive pink line. Suffice it to say that today I am back to square one, or as we like to say, cycle day 1 (CD 1).

Somehow, Husband always manages a high level of optimism. Lately, his favorite chant is "We did it once, we can do it again", or "there's always next cycle". I feel so bad when all I can do is glare at him as he says these things. It sucks to be married to me.

Meanwhile the universe makes sure that every pregnant woman in town crosses my path. The new job that I was so looking forward to this summer was effectively ruined by the presence of the same pregnant l@w student that I couldn't stand to get even a glimpse of at school. Approximately every 5 minutes she passes conspicuously rubbing her over 8 month belly. And no matter how hard I try to look away, my eyes seem drawn to her belly in the same way that I can't help but stare at a gruesome car accident. So instead of coming home feeling like I am helping others avoid homelessness, I arrive weepy and defeated, feeling like I will never ever get the one thing that I want more than anything else in the entire world, a baby.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Still here.

I deeply apologize to all of you for dropping off the face of the Earth for the past week. My computer cord became a fire hazard, so my laptop finally was drained of energy. And apparently, I can't compete with the Hitman game to get on my husband's laptop. I will write a real post tomorrow. I did not do any cutting (whoohoo!!!), and I have all of you to thank for that (my poor arms thank you all as well). Stay tuned for good times to come!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bare arms.

Now that it's Spring and the weather has warmed up, I am wearing short sleeves again. Every year, I enter into a dangerous cycle when I look at my arms and notice that other people are looking at them too. My arms tell a tale of great sadness and desperation with their long, wide scars. I am a cutter.

The scars show times when I ran out of options for dealing with emotional pain. The older scars run the length of my wrists and have faded with the years. When they run parallel to the length of my arm, they are attempts at creating an ending. The scars that run perpendicular to the length of my arm are attempts at distraction. Physical pain deters my attention from emotional pain. And once the episode is over and the scabs fall off and reveal red, sensitive scar tissue, I am left with shame. Deep shame for the way I feel and the choices I make. It's a never ending cycle that usually results in more cutting.

That same shame sucks me in when friends, family, and acquaintances stare at my arms or actually ask about what they see. I never have any idea what to say. Usually, I come up with some especially lame excuse like falling. But, only if the person wants to believe that, would they actually accept such reasoning. After all, not too many falls give you such straight and long scars that run the length of my forearm and are obviously from different time periods. Some people will actually ask me multiple times to see if my answer changes, mostly that's my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

And, so I sit here staring at my arms, wondering where the next cut will be and when. I am impatiently waiting for my husband to call me. He is out golfing and was supposed to call about an hour ago so I could meet them all for drinks and dinner. A delinquent husband, shame, and lack of medication are a recipe for disaster.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I am me.

Aurelia at No Matter How Small tagged me for the "I am" meme. I have had a lot of trouble with this particular meme. When I am a bit high with my most recent run-in with hypomania, I am all good and glorious. When I am very low from a leap into the hole, I am all things evil and ugly. Very ugly. During the navigation between the extremes, I am just plain tired of these travels. So when it comes right down to it...

I am everything, and
I am nothing.

I am oh so up, and
I am on my way down.

I am evil, and
I am good.

I am me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tag, I'm it.

So, I have been a very very bad blogger lately. And, I extend sincere apologies to those of you who have tagged me recently. Sadly, I can't even remember who has tagged me for what (short term memory loss pops up again). So, if you have tagged me recently, could you please leave me a note in the comments? I am going to make this week a meme week and get to them one at a time. Here is the most recent tag from Caro at Third Time Lucky. So, here we go:

INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.

1)Outlandish Notions
2)Baby Moxie
3)Kicking You From The Inside
4)Third Time Lucky?
5) Just Crazy Enough To Try

Next select five people to tag: (if you haven’t done it already)
1) No Matter How Small
2) Max's Mommy
3) Bipolar Notes from Underground
4) A brief history of "You"
5) Let the Fun Begin

What were you doing ten years ago?

I was in the second year of my Ph.D. program investigating the genes responsible for micronutrient transport in plants.

What were you doing one year ago?
I was finishing my first year of l@w school.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. chinese rice crackers with tamari seasoning
2. Cheesy Poofs
3. homemade tortilla chips and fresh salsa
4. edamame
5. corn nuts

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
1. "I want your sex." by George Michaels
2. Suzanne Vega's diner song
3. "Papa Don't Preach"
4. "Bust a move."
5. "Slim Shady"
(The first four were from my childhood when I memorized a lot of songs.)

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Garden
2. Craft
3. Travel Europe.
4. Travel South America.
5. Donate money to UCDavis to help grad students pay for mental health care.

Five bad habits:
1. I pick my lips when they are dry.
2. I pick at my cuticles.
3. Wipe stuff from the counter onto the floor.
4. Pick at my face.
5. Eating very late at night.

Five things you like doing:
1. Gardening
2. Crafts
3. Bloggin'
4. Canoeing
5. Watching British TV

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Plan

Fear not, my friendly bloggies. Even though there are so many times when I don't want to live a long life, as exampled in my last post regarding my alarming cholesterol values, I have a plan for those rare times when a long life sounds kind of nice. After I recovered from the shock and reality of my genetics and health, I devised a new life plan with the help of my doctor.

All of the drugs are out. Firstly, for my relatives, the cholesterol fighting meds aren't very effective unfortunately and so they are unlikely to help me. Secondly, the relevant drugs are teratogenic. So that just won't work for someone who is trying to conceive, like me. Finally, the drugs are not compatible with my mood stabilizers while not trying to conceive. Because they both tweak liver function, I can't take them together. And, in my last post, some bloggie friends commented that the results may be a bit askew because I was pregnant not that long ago. I wish I could blame my former condition for the high numbers, but my own blood lipid history tells me that it isn't likely. Plus, my blood draw was carefully planned 8 weeks post-D&C. And, because the miscarriage was so early on, the mammaries and associated physiology were not at full tilt yet so they would not yet have a significant impact on my levels still 8 weeks later. So I think all the doctors (3 have been involved on this one) are right in thinking that these results indicate a serious threat to my life.

I have but one option, diet and exercise. And, since I don't do anything half-ass, I am going all out on this one. No more meat, except fish, and no more dairy. The next to go is white sugar and white breads. Let's just say that my refrigerator looks pretty bare now that I have done a full cleanse. Finally, I have to add 30 minutes of exercise a day. Let's just say that I am glad this is coming on the eve of summer. Fresh fruits and vegetables will soon flood the markets, and the sun should provide some good outdoor treks. And, so I march on. Hup, two, three, four...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Like father, like daughter.

My father died from a heart attack at 34. I was 7; now I'm 32. In my father's family, only his mother made it past 40. Most of his family suffered a stroke or heart attack with record high cholesterol levels. The story goes as follows... My mom got a call from my father's doctor. His doctor wanted my father to have his cholesterol rechecked. The original numbers were so high that the doctor thought they were a mistake. My father, who had undiagnosed bipolar disorder, wasn't interested in the doctor's concerns and frequently boasted that he didn't want to live a long life anyway. Almost a year later, while he was unloading produce from his delivery truck, he had a severe heart attack, fell off the back of the truck, and died.

Tuesday, I had blood drawn to get my own lipid profile. The numbers came back early Wednesday. My doctor was alarmed, to say the least. I have placed the values considered within the normal range in parentheses.

Total Cholesterol: 319 (<200)
HDL, a.k.a. good cholesterol: 46 (40-60)
LDL, a.k.a bad cholesterol: 254 (<100)

I didn't want a long life, anyway.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Good grief.

Husband and I were sitting on the couch with our fancy beers enjoying the fresh air coming through our open sliding glass door. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw a small dark blur head for the glass door and then a loud thump. When I got up to see what or who was attacking our home, I saw the little guy lying outside in the ivy. I watched this little bird die and take its last breath. After the wings relaxed and the tail folded in, Husband gently scooped him up and carried her into the forest where her body could go back into the earth. I felt an enormous sense of loss and was reminded of all the human losses that we all have endured over the year.

The next day was Mother's Day. And, we found ourselves sitting on the upper deck outside our bedroom. Suddenly, I noticed the repetitive bird call that had been going on for some time already. When I finally saw the little singing bird, it became clear that this call was a call to its partner. A desperate call looking for the little bird that died the day before. I quietly wondered when the bird would give up and go forward to raise the chicks safely tucked in their nest, on its own, all alone.

Updated to add: Just when I thought it was safe to check my email, I get one of those emails. You know the one. Friend from grade school sent me her ultrasound photos, plus photos of her recent trip to France, plus her new address. She just bought a home where she will be starting her new faculty position.

You know when they tell kids that if you do well in school and follow all the rules that good things will happen. Well, that's the biggest lie we tell children today.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Two down, one to go.

After finals, my brain has the mental capacity of a turnip. It's not pretty. In fact, it's so bad that I am a little afraid of writing this post. I have trouble escaping the feeling that everything I write is being graded. On the upside, I am officially two-thirds of my way through this educational hell that they call l@w school. Two years down, one to go.

Dear Aunt Flo is busy packing her bags. While I am absolutely thrilled that AF finally paid me a visit after the D&C, I am anxious about this cycle. Going virtually unmedicated for bipolar in order to try to conceive is not fun. And, I am sure Husband would say the same. He misses those meds even more than I do. Although, he really is a mighty good sport about it all. So, I have the usual anxiety that you are all familiar with when staring at the potential of this cycle. But, I also have the anxiety of wanting to be off my meds for as little time as possible. I am constantly doing calculations to determine "how much longer if". How much longer will I have to be off my meds if I conceive this cycle? How much longer will I have to be off my meds if I don't conceive? And then there's the really sad one. How much longer will I have to be off my meds if I conceive and then miscarry again?

Before I sign off so that I can go comment on all the blogs I have missed for the last week or so, I would like to give a mention to Amy at "A somewhat ordinary life." She has an article published in her newspaper that I think deserves a good look. It's a courageous writing called "Dear Everyone: What to say to a childless couple." Thanks for writing it Amy!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

This side of normal.

When the nurse called yesterday, I admit that I had a bit of an attitude. And when she said that everything looked "normal", I became even more irritated. Normal? Exactly what is normal? So, I asked about my beta, and she replied that it was so low that I need not be concerned. I need numbers though, I am a scientist at heart and I need quantitative data, not qualitative. If I wanted qualitative, I would have stuck with the pee-sticks.

I should note that as soon as the call ended, AF came a knockin'. AF has her standards apparently, and doesn't come to my house until I am ready to pull all my hair out. Bitch.

Now, I suppose I really will have to concentrate on studying now. Two more finals, one on Monday and one on Tuesday. I will still be stalking your blogs, but am less likely to comment until finals are done. Until then, I am thinkin' of you all.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Compost

Husband called me outside over the weekend to check out his treasure. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) Peering into the bucket, I saw black gold. Not the oily kind; it was the soily kind. He had turned over the compost pile and screened the compost to get a healthy layer of absolutely beautiful compost for our Spring plants.

I just stared at it and could hardly believe that something so nurturing and positive could come out of the nastiness that we threw into our compost pile. For the most part, we have a compost pile just so we don't have more garbage to throw out. (We pay per bag, here.) And, we don't have a working garbage disposal so there's a lot of waste that can go into that compost pile.




And because I am pretty cheesy, I couldn't help but see the lesson in it. With a lot of time, the stuff you really want no part of because it smells bad, and looks bad, and feels bad, turns into something more valuable and lovely than you could ever foresee in the garbage it started from. I wondered whether that's how everything works. One giant cycle. And I stuck my hand in that compost soil and felt the qualities that would give life to the plants in my garden.

In other news, I have a date with the dildocam today. My lower back and cramp like pain has finally registered some concern with my doctor. Also, I get a gratuitous beta today as well. Let's hope that they don't make me insert the dildo myself again. That's just a little too close to having a technician watch me play with myself. Any self insertions are for me and Husband exclusively, no audience please.

Updated 5/3/07 @ 11:30pm: Sorry no results to report. Apparently, I am the last on the call back list for my doctor. Am I being a bad patient if I am torqued that I haven't heard from them on the beta and ultrasound results, yet? Wait, don't answer that... I am running out of painkillers, and I am entirely too unmedicated for even the most constructive of criticisms.

Monday, April 30, 2007

8.0

Just a quick update to let you know that I finally got my HCG results, after 4 phone calls to my doctor. It's 8.0. I am pretty upset at this whole process and feel continuously insulted by my body. I want a period or a pregnancy, everything else can go fuck itself. I just want to cry, I am getting nowhere with all of this.

I will be absent for at least 24 hours, because I have a final tomorrow. So I need to study and forget this whole procreation thing. Actually, both studying and procreation send me into sadness. It's entirely possible that I will fail at both.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Simple need not apply

Because I like to torture myself, I peed on a stick yesterday. Perhaps you are wondering why a woman who still hasn't even had her period since the D&C would do such a thing. I am over four weeks past the procedure, and I was starting to get concerned. Of course, we all know that I should give it a few more weeks before I start to worry that my uterus may have initiated a revolt. But, I was a bit curious as to whether an HPT could detect any HCG still clinging to my body. The problem is that I didn't really anticipate what I would do with the results.

If you squint or applied the magic of super contrasting analysis, there were two lines. Either way, seeing a line didn't really help me. If it were totally negative then I would wonder where AF is, as I would erroneously conclude that I had no HCG in me and that indeed Ute was pouting. If it were totally positive, then I would be concerned that either I was pregnant again (way too soon btw), or that my body was waging an all out war against me and using the HCG as its weapon of mass destruction. With a kinda-sorta-positive or negative result, I am left with only one alternative...total mass confusion and being really really pissed off.

Thankfully, I have been well educated by the trials of others, so I got my doctor to draw blood for a quantitative HCG evaluation. That was yesterday, the results were supposed to be in today. And since simple and straight forward need not apply here, the results are delayed until Monday. So the question exists whether it is safe to have a gin and tonic this weekend and whether that Gorgonzola in the fridge is going to make it into my stomach. I am going with the safe assumption, as I have no symptoms of being pregnant. (God knows I have been obsessively checking.) But if I am pregnant, then I guess I would be good company to that smoking pregnant woman while I enjoy my gin.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

To be continued...

To be continued once I am able to screw my head back on...

...hmmm, now where did I put my drugs?

P.S. Thank you for your comments on my last post,"WWBD". You may notice that I have removed it, but I promise to repost it in due time. I am just feeling very vulnerable at this point. But, I greatly appreciate everyone's candid and raw responses. Compassionate honesty is a sign of trust and friendship. For that, I am grateful.

Updated 4/26/07: I continue to be vulnerable, but I put the post back up. The last group of people I ever want to hide from is you all. Somewhere in this world, I need a spot to be genuine, and this is it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

WWBD?

Updated 4/26/07: Please know that the following post may get your panties in a bunch. I acknowledge that I am an angry, evil, nasty person right now. I am in no way saying that one must to do certain things to deserve a baby. Everyone deserves to be happy. I'm just not right now.

Sometimes when I am going through my day, I ask myself an age old question-What would Bloggies do? Perhaps you are wondering why I don't ask what Buddha or Jesus would do. Well, I already know what those two would do, and I also know it's not likely that I will choose to do what they do. So instead I ask what others with somewhat similar struggles would do in a particular situation. What would Aurelia, or Ultimate Journey, or Serenity, or Sara or Oneliner, or Lady in Waiting, or OHN, or Bumble, or Marie-Baguette, or Adrienne, or My Reality, or Sara, or Casey, or Megan, or Anns, or Nadine, or Berrybird, or Becks, or Barbara, or Renee, or Katy, or Carrie, or Caro, or Emilija or Mands, or Jane, or NSLS, or Diane, or Colette, or The Road Less Travelled or any of the other many Bloggies do in my spot? (by the way, if you comment I will add your name to the above list with a link to your site; yup shear desperation for friends, well that and I have no shame)

I had an appointment with my OB/GYN on Friday for my 1-month post-D&C checkup. Because they were running late and because all possible inconveniences insist on making their home in my life, I spent a fair amount of time in their waiting room. While doing time in OB hell, I desperately searched for something to read that didn't have the words "baby", "pregnant", or "parents" on the cover. Once I realized that this was too tall an order, I attempted to soothe myself by staring out their picture window at the cathartic sight of a parking lot. Looking back, I would have been better off counting loops of yarn in the waiting room carpet.

So, while I carefully studied the parking lot, an enormous pregnant woman comes into view. I would guess that she was around the 8th month. Instantly, I start to tear up and feel that boulder in my throat. When I caught sight of the next detail, I almost fell out of my chair and most definitely let out an audible gasp. This woman, who is lucky enough to still be pregnant was surrounded by cigarette smoke. Then, I realized it was coming from the cigarette in her hand. She was fucking smoking! I was livid. Just as I was about to march out to the parking lot and give her some of my mind blowing wisdom, the nurse called me in. I made a mental note to glare at the pregnant lady with the cancer stick when I came back out.

So the nurse saved this woman from my unmedicated, hormonal, post-miscarriage wrath. I still don't know what I was going to say, but I would venture to guess that it would have been along the lines of "What the fuck is wrong with you, lady?" or perhaps "Would you like a beer to go with that?". Let's be honest though, I am way too wimpy to have actually said anything to a woman with that much weight behind her. Scary.

So here's the ultimate question, what would you do?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Exercises in Futility

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR, is a relatively new form of therapy that is used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, in addition to many other psychological issues. I am not going to attempt to sum up this form of therapy, because I am sure I will not do it justice. Well, that and the fact that I find depression has killed my ability to form coherent sentences and thoughts. I highly recommend this therapy for processing difficult events, emotions, or problems in your life. It's a powerful and relatively simple technique, that when used correctly in conjunction with a therapist trained in EMDR, can help you move past trauma and its fallout.

Last Friday, my therapist had me use EMDR to help me work through my miscarriage and my anxiety about returning to school. Sometimes, EMDR will help me make connections that I would not have otherwise made. During this brief session, I progressed further than I thought I would. While focusing on the moment where I saw the pregnant student in a lecture hall and the feelings that went with that event, I watched my therapist's hand move from left to right, repeatedly. My mind kept jumping back to an article I had read in The New Yorker a few weeks ago.

The article was about a tribe of people in the Amazon who are strikingly different than modern culture in their thoughts and language. Thus, they are the subject of a lot of study in linguistics. The prominent theory of language seems to be challenged by the existence of this tribe. Researchers who have gone to their village are continuously confounded in their experiments. Each time they go to their settlement, they attempt to put the tribe members through a series of tests. These tests are designed according to the theory, and are pre-tested on undergrads. Every test is a monumental failure. Why? Well, because all of their tests are designed according to our cultural norms, instead of theirs. Just to give you a sense of how different they are, check this out. They have no words for numbers except for one, two, and many. They do not have a story of creation because it is just a story, and they don't relate to anything they haven't experienced themselves. They do not have names for colors, but instead refer to a particular color by what other things have that color. For instance, if you asked them to describe the color of a green object, they would say that it looks like a leaf. Ask about a brown object, and they will refer to bark or the color of their own skin. They do not value the abstract, and thus time is irrelevant as far as they are concerned. They live in the moment more than any other society I have ever studied by far.

What's interesting is that the researchers feel exceedingly discouraged and frustrated by their utter failure to make this society conform to their theory of language. And instead of coming up with a new theory or challenging their theory, they call this society primitive, ignorant, and useless. Indeed their experiments and their forced theory application are really just exercises in futility.

To some degree, that's where I am at. I am perpetually engaging in futility. My anger, sadness, and frustration at seeing another pregnant woman is really just an exercise in futility. I apply my expectations, my experience, and my approach to others and expect them to conform. They never will. Comparing myself to others, in the same way that comparing American theory to this Amazonian tribe, is the ultimate exercise in futility.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Not everything is as it seems.

Thanks again for all of your kind comments. Honestly, in addition to my husband, it's what keeps me marching through the days, hours, and minutes.

So last week, I met with the Dean of Students for the l@w school; let's call her Dean. I have met with Dean numerous times before and I have confided in her about my struggles with bipolar, my pregnancy, and then my miscarriage. Specifically, I had to talk to Dean about my options for finishing the semester. Together we determined that I would drop my seminar/writing class and try to finish the semester with the remaining three classes. It was an immense relief, to say the least.

In our discussion about the difficulties of managing the emotional fallout of a miscarriage, Dean revealed her own struggles to have children. Now, she is in her late 50's and a mother to 2 daughters. Her daughters are 16 years apart. She has been through 6 miscarriages and a stillbirth during her efforts to get to child number 2. I found her story particularly compelling.

After the stillbirth, she went to an appointment with an OB specialist. In the waiting room, she found herself surrounded by new mothers and their newborn babies. Outraged, she let loose on the doctor. Her anger and pain led her to scream at her doctor about how insensitive they were to schedule her at the same time as all of these new mothers. Apparently, the doctor quickly excused himself and brought in their staff counselor to help mediate the emotional outburst.

The counselor quickly apologized for the poor scheduling and reassured her that she was right in her outrage. After a compassionate discussion, the counselor added one detail which altered Dean's outlook on the situation. This doctor specialized in neural tube defects specifically. And so, all of the newborns that she saw in that waiting room were babies with severe neural tube defects and other related problems. While this little detail certainly did not invalidate her feelings of anger and pain, this new information added a whole new perspective on the grand struggle to bring a child into this world.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pity Party in Progress-You may want to skip this post.

I had high hopes for today. The plan was to go to school, attend all 3 classes, do the readings, and participate in life itself. It was a nice plan. So for those of you who have just about had it with reading my pitiful whining, you may want to navigate away from this page. The weekend's hope and reason has since faded away into oblivion.

Coming through the breezeway, I was playing the theme from Rocky in my head. Battered and bruised, I was determined to come back to life. I made it through my first class this morning without shedding a single tear. As I exited the lecture hall, that's when it happened. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a fellow l@w student who is about 6 months pregnant. And, like a grisly accident, I simply could not look away. I found myself staring at her belly. After a few moments of visual torture, I was on the verge of hysterical crying. My carrell is near the stacks, so I buried myself in the nearest hidden corner and sobbed. I did manage to get to my second class, but I still have no idea what we talked about in that lecture. Now, I have to figure out how to make it to 2:30 for the last lecture.

Here it comes, the whining (complete with all the overused phrases of self pity)...

Why me? Why not her? Why does every single thing in my life need to be so fucking hard? Let's review... In the beginning, I had a father with untreated Bipolar I. Under his rule, I was not permitted to wear pants, not allowed to cut my hair, and suffered enough beatings at his hand to make me the most fearful and yet devoted daddy's girl ever known. At 7 years old, my dear father died suddenly of a heart attack. No father for me. At 7 years old, I became a substitute parent for my 2, and later 3, younger sisters. At 7 years old, I assumed more adult roles than should ever be placed upon a child of that age. I cooked dinners, cleaned the house, helped with homework, and protected my sisters from my mother's frequent rages. No childhood for me. At 12 years old, my mother married my step-father. They had a child together...as if I didn't have enough to do. And to add to the fun, my step-father's OCD made my life a living hell. At 17 years old, I went off to college where I thought I could escape from my family. A year later, my mother sent my 15 year old sister to live with me because she couldn't handle her anymore. That lasted just long enough to obliterate my second year of college. At 24, I married a drug addict, because I'm an idiot. At 26, on April 1st no less, he announced he was in love with another woman and wanted a divorce. Around the same time, I was diagnosed with bipolar II. Somewhere in there, I made about 3 weak suicide attempts. I became a cutter, and have the disgusting scars to prove it. At 27, I was forced into bankruptcy by the debt left to me in the divorce and the mounting medical bills. At 32, I endured what I believe to be the first of many miscarriages. A few days later, I discover I contracted chlamydia from the first husband.

Now, in the big world, there are millions of people with a history much more tragic than mine. Even in the blogging world, there are worse tales. But somehow, this doesn't make me feel any better. I am so tired, beaten, bruised from this life. I am not smart enough to finish this horror called l@w school. I only got a Ph.Duh. because my advisor feels sorry for me. I am a sham, a failure, a loser. Because, in all of this badness, I have had good things. I went to college afterall. I remarried to the best husband ever.

But it's the loss that's killing me. No father, no Pooter, no credit, no future. I am really sorry for the pathetic tone of this post, and how ungrateful I sound. I feel frozen in my losses, as if Spring thaw will never come. Did I mention we got 5 inches of snow last night, and it's still falling? I am tired of crying.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Openly Miscarried

Updated to add: Because I know how healing your support is when there is an open wound, I want to encourage you all to head over to Ultimate Journey's blog and offer her the type of healing for which you are all so famous.

Husband phoned an old friend of his today. Old Friend announced that his wife was 5 months pregnant. Husband responded by telling him that we were pregnant for a bit, and now we're not. Old friend was quick to reveal that his wife had miscarried at around 11 weeks with the last pregnancy. The sad part is that their previous tragedy gave me the space to be happy for them in this pregnancy. It's incredible how bitter I have become.

However, her story and the success stories of so many others that have gone through this type of loss give me hope that I would not otherwise have. If we didn't talk openly about our loss, then others would never have been so forthcoming about their own losses. And so despite my vulnerability and sensitivity to all the asshats' comments, I continue to be open about Pooter. The good from telling my story weighs a lot more in the end than all the lame statements from people like my sister-in-law. I must speak, because silence just brings more suffering. Needless suffering.

So you may ask, well what about the not-yet successful stories? How does that help? Well, it tells me that survival is possible. Life is still out there waiting for me to rejoin regardless of my baby quest. I need to hear that more than anything.

Thus, to begin my forward march, I wonder when my cycle will resume it's normally scheduled programming. It feels so weird to have no idea where I am in the big fertile scheme of things. This month's crotch watch data has been decidedly inconclusive. One day's data point indicated a possible ovulation, but really who the hell knows. I have my D&C follow-up appointment next Friday. Doesn't 4 weeks seem like a long time? I still wonder whether my HCG has gone down to nil. It's the not knowing that I find so frustrating. When should I expect AF, anyway?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Laughter through Tears

Laughter through tears is by far my favorite and most powerful emotion. It makes me feel human again. So in honor of that feeling, I will tell you a very short story about what an idiot my ex-husband was and is.

In the first year of that marriage, I was scanning the charges on our credit card bill. One line in particular caught my attention. It was a charge for $20 and I definitely did not recognize the vendor. It was a website called lunarembassy.com. Initially I thought that it was either an error or that someone had gotten ahold of our credit card number. Later that day, I asked then-husband about it. His face lit up when I mentioned it. He claimed it as his own purchase, and proceeded to tell me what our $20 had earned us. He had purchased a piece of the moon. That's right, we were the proud owners of a specific parcel of land on the moon. He was clearly proud of his shrewd buying activities. I was in shock while he rattled off the benefits of getting in on this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Despite his excitement and the fact that we were first time landowners, I got on the phone with the Lunar Embassy, and told them that "my son" had gotten ahold of my credit card and made the purchase without my permission. The woman was very kind and agreed to issue a credit to my credit card. It was the first time in that marriage that I realized I didn't have a husband, I had a teenage son. Sheesh.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Missions of Mercy (updated to an annoying degree)

Before you read the following, please note that I am not actually complaining about blogging comments, except for the one that I mention in the post. The asshat derived comments I am referring to are NOT from blogland. These are asshats that I talk to every day in my non-virtual life. So, please don't read into this post, I am not at all upset with any of my regular readers (ashmc2, you can go ahead and assume I am not all that impressed with your comment though).

The former version of this post has been removed. For those who did read it and those who commented, please don't be concerned. It will be OK.


The old version was a mistake. I shouldn't post such a thing, and when I went back to read it, it made me sick. I am too vulnerable and unstable to read any comments to such a disgusting post which actually reveals a little too much of how angry and ugly I have become. I apologize. Nothing to see here, please move along and pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain.

update 4/10/07: Now that I have made such an issue of the removed post, I feel like I am hiding from the bloggies, and I never want to hide from you all. Here is the most painful part of the post that I took down so that you can all understand why I find myself so ugly right now. As you can see I am really struggling.

All in all, it went OK. I promised myself not to discuss the miscarriage with the in-laws, mainly because I knew whatever they would say during such a discussion would damn them to hell in my mind. And, well, I was right. I talked about the death of Pooter. It sucked. Husband's sister, a 30-something single woman, couldn't help but throw in the two people she knew who had miscarried. Repeatedly, she told me that they were "very common, you know, like, no big deal." Then she proceeded to tell me how everyone she knows who has miscarried had no problem staying pregnant later. Clearly we are in different social circles. Few things make me angrier than when someone tries to either tell me why a bad thing isn't really that bad or why my grief isn't valid because it's so common.

And at the risk of losing every single reader I have, I will say this one thing to preempt a particular comment. I am perfectly aware of the fact that people are well meaning when they make comments (specifically check out the one from ASHMC2) about the miscarriage. I am well aware of the fact that they were just trying to help. I am completely aware of the fact that they don't know what to say. I know all of this, really I do. And, guess what? That doesn't make me feel any better. One person who does get to "feel better" for having said something is the insensitive asshat who convinced themselves that their words of wisdom would wipe away the pain. Not to ruin SIL's mission of mercy or anything, but I am glad that someone is feeling better, even though it's definitely not me. Looks like she wins either way. Nice.

As an attempt at something positive from this mangled post, I will add the following link. "Helping someone after a miscarriage" It's a lovely compilation of do's, don'ts, and not to say's to a person who has miscarried. Any New Zealander's out there? That's one country that seems to actually get it.

Friday, April 6, 2007

My mother-in-law

I love my mother-in-law (hereinafter MIL) but sometimes I don't like her. A few weeks ago, Husband was supposed to go up to his mom's house and set up her computer along with her internet service. We live 2 hours away, so a visit requires gas and gas requires money. We have absolutely no money. The weekend he was scheduled to go up was the same weekend as my D&C so he postponed the visit until the following weekend (just this past weekend, actually).

Because I didn't want to be alone all day on a Saturday and without a car, I decided to go with him to MIL's house. Our plan was to be at her house for a few hours, just long enough for him to set up her computer, and then we would proceed to a large park called Mendon Ponds for the afternoon before heading home. When Husband and I first dated, we would go to Mendon Ponds with the Jack Russell Terrier and walk the trails. It's a lovely place, and I tend to feel peaceful when I visit the ponds. We even went so far as to call MIL and let her know of our plans so that she wouldn't expect us to stay for the day. It was a good plan.

Husband told his mom that the subject of my miscarriage was off limits and requested that she not bring it up. When we arrived, Husband went right to work on her computer. I was stuck talking to MIL, despite the fact that I was attempting to read my casebook for school. She proceeded to go on and on about Husband's 2 cousins, both of them are 3 years old. Great, just what I want to talk about...children. Then, as she walked away, she threw in that one of those 3 year olds plus his older brother would be coming over for the day. Perfect. And, that we would be coloring Easter eggs together. Wow, it just gets better and better.

Just as Husband is finishing up, she tells me that dinner will be ready at 3pm. Dinner? No sooner do I find out that she has slated us for dinner, does Husband's sister show up. Clearly this dinner thing had been planned from the beginning and she had not warned or even asked Husband whether he wanted to stay. Once dinner was done, I thought, well, we still have some daylight to go to the ponds. When I go to look for Husband so we can round up the dogs and head out, I discover him in MIL's driveway surrounded by parts excavated from his sister's car door. In fact, he had taken the whole thing apart to fix her window. I was in shock.

It was quite clear from that point, that we would not be going to the ponds, and that MIL had no intention of allowing us to stick to the plan we had told her about. We had been ambushed once again by my MIL. Fuck.

The kicker is that I was angry with myself for expecting things to be different than they are. I went in expecting to follow our plan when in the past such plans have always been summarily ignored by MIL and Husband. What was I thinking? I know better than to expect what I cannot have, and yet I expect it anyway.

I want to take a long walk off a short pier. I want to play in traffic. I want to go to war. Anything that would provide a method of self destruction. I am so tired of me. When I look forward at the minutes I have to fill, I just want to leave them empty.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Socks

Left: Photo of a landscape architecture installation in our collegetown area.


I stayed home from class today. I really had no desire to wander the l@w school while I sobbed in public. Plus, did you know all that ugly crying seems to make you twice as ugly the next day? So as much as I would like to be surrounded by people living in the world of the sane, I am spending my time blogging at home. Historically, I have stayed home from work or school because of emotional trauma, and subsequently, I end up feeling so isolated and alone in the world that it makes everything worse. So now when I stay home, blogging allows me to be by myself while still remaining connected to people, really really good people.



I have a dozen stories in my head that I would like to write about at this time, but one in particular has been at the front of my head. Mainly because it happened recently, and for the 3rd time. It involves some very minor crafting, and the dogs. I take a white tube sock and fill it with uncooked rice. Then, I tie off a knot at the end of the sock to close it up. At that point, it becomes The Sock. When my neck/back muscles are sore, I heat up The Sock for around 2-3 minutes in the microwave. It serves as a fabulous heating pad for sore muscles, and can easily be wrapped around the back of the neck. The truly crafty can add lavender to the rice to give off a lovely scent.

The problem at my house is the dogs. I have made 3 of these socks in the last couple of years. All 3 of The Socks, have been summarily ripped open by our two dogs, a male German Shepherd and a female Jack Russell Terrier, when we have mistakenly left The Sock out and not in use. Once they get The Sock open, the two of them consume as much of the rice as possible. The rice that escapes into the carpet is like a snack that they can go to when feeling the munchies come on later. During the last sock destruction and consumption party the dogs had, they did manage to leave some of the rice in the sock. I threw that sock and its rice in the garbage. About a week later they found the garbage that contained the remnants of the sock, and succeeded in pulling it out of the garbage and eating the remaining rice now well seasoned with other garbage. Nice.

The digestive fallout from these rice episodes isn't pretty. And now that I am not pregnant, I am part of the clean up crew again. Good times.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Now what? (with minor update)

So, I don't really know how to keep going. This is my first day back to class after being absent for the last week. To say that I am a vegetable may be overstating my ability to function. I tried to read up on the assignments so I would be ready for class, and it just wasn't happening for me. I just keep reading the same sentences over and over again. Honestly, I don't know how I am going to complete the semester.

I am stuck in grief. Last night, we went out to see David Sedaris do a reading at our local theater. Towards the end, he promoted a book about zombies, the living dead. Now that I think it over, I think that may be me, the living dead, a zombie. A lifeless but moving corpse that just wants to bite people's heads off. That's me.

It's a bit scary when I realize that I have zero desire to live or to be alive. I just want to fade to black, quietly, while no one is paying attention.

Updated as of 8ish this evening: I have been crying in that ugly way all day, but I am still here. Thanks to all of you, the husband, and the pups (even though they got into the garbage). Not going anywhere today, promise.

Friday, March 30, 2007

How are you doing today? Well, I'm pissed off.

I am extremely sensitive to comments from people in my everyday, non-bloggie, life. Very sensitive. Here are a few excerpts of what has been said by well meaning people, and how I would like to respond is in italics.
  • "It's just bad luck and you were the one in five in these odds for miscarriage. So if you have 5 pregnant women in the room, 1 of those women will miscarry and that was you." Really, Sherlock? Is that how odds work? If we have 5 people in a room, and I use everyone of them to beat you senseless, then what are the odds that I will kill you? Pretty high, I'd say.
  • "It just wasn't meant to be." So the baby wasn't meant to be, but the miscarriage was? Nice. If it's not meant to be then maybe it shouldn't have started like it was.
  • "Well at least you know that you can get pregnant." Unfortunately, it takes a bit more than that to get one of them take home babies though. So if that's all the optimism that you can muster, please don't bother even opening your mouth.
  • A nurse at the hospital after my D&C apparently thought that this comment would be helpful in some way, "I've had 5 miscarriages so far." Well, that's some happy news, please tell me more. If I get to number 5, then I will surely shoot myself in the head. That way I won't have anyway of saying the same thing to an unsuspecting, sad patient after her first D&C/miscarriage.
OK, so maybe I am a bit snarky right now. The thing is that I never say any of the stuff I am thinking when people make these comments. Instead, I just smile, thank them for their help, and even tell them they are so insightful. I am such a liar.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Uncomfortably Numb

The bottom dropped out this morning. Since the physical pain is gone, I don't need to continue taking the Per.c0cets. So now there is plenty of room to feel the emotional pain. Until today, I couldn't really cry. And, I find it ironic that I am curled up in fetal position on the couch unable to be productive in any way at all.

Thank you all, by the way, for all of your comments and support. Reading them over and over again hasn't gotten me through things so far. Without all of you, I certainly wouldn't have managed so long.

But now I am hurdling toward hell. Husband has opted to stay home with me today. My lighthouse in the storm. And this has been no fun for him either, he is truly mourning and working through his grief. I, on the other hand, am not. Even though, I know it's not good, I am fighting the grief in the same stubborn way I fought the anesthesia the day of the D&C. I simply can't find words for my grief, and so I feel so numb and in silent pain all at the same time. I don't even know how to feel so much pain.

And, you would think that by now, I would have learned how to efficiently deal with pain. It's certainly not new to my world. Perhaps I am just tired of loss. Pretty pathetic given that this is my first miscarriage. It's the accumulated loss over a lifetime that is crushing me.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Adventures in Medicine

So yesterday, Husband and I arrived at the hospital for my D&C at around 2:00pm. The very kind nurses got me situated in the same day surgery department and I was lounging on the gurney trying to appreciate the rare moment of watching cable TV. Plus, I was efficiently hydrating with my new IV line. Around 3:00pm, Mr. Doctor came in to brief me, and when he asked if I had any questions, I wondered aloud about the results of the last cervical smear Mrs. Doctor had done when she couldn't find the heartbeat. That day, she remarked that my cervix was looking rather raw. Concerned, she did a quick smear and sent it out. They got the results of that test late Thursday. No one had thought to look at the results before hand, so when I mentioned it to Mr. Doctor he ran out to call the office and find out if the results were indeed back and what they said.

Now before, I reveal what those results were, I need to remind everyone of something. Both Husband and I were married and divorced before this marriage. Both of us left our first spouses upon the discovery that his wife and my husband were in fact cheating on us. As I have previously mentioned, the first husband didn't just cheat once, he had actually been sleeping with other women the entire 10 years we had been together. Once I got a divorce and before I began my relationship with Husband, I went to Planned Parenthood and got a full work up concerning STDs, including HIV. It was scary, but the results all came back negative at that time. Little did I know that a few diseases can lay low and remain undetected for quite awhile.

The lab results came back as equivocal for chlamydia. Basically, the results were neither absolutely positive, nor necessarily negative. Nice, huh? I thought so. When Mr. and Mrs. Doctor consulted with me yesterday, they both agreed, and thus so did I, that they wanted me on 48 hours of the best antibiotic before doing this D&C. Too high of a risk of driving the bacteria further into my reproductive organs than it already might be. And while it doesn't currently appear that the bacteria has done any damage to the tubes, the bacteria may be responsible for the death of my fetus.

This is an incredibly painful time for me as it was. But now to know that my first marriage and all of the awful things that happened as a result of it continue to haunt me in the most important thing in my life right now. I am filled with rage, and anger, and revenge. I am going through life mostly in silence at this time. I just can hardly say anything at all. I fear that if I open my mouth, I won't be able to stop the explosion of hate that would come from within.