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.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The fun never stops around here.

Just a very quick update to keep everyone in the know on the basics. My D&C was scheduled for today at 3pm. Right before they wheeled me in for anesthesia, my doctor cancelled the operation because of a potential medical problem I have. One that I will have more energy tomorrow to go over. It's not pretty. The D&C is now scheduled for 7am on Sunday. Nowhere in my life description does it say "simple". Nowhere! Lots more to say tomorrow, promise.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Not-Baby Steps

Everyone's comments are proving infinitely helpful to me right now. At this point, I am living off of your support and that of my husband's. Thank you so much for your help. I am clinging to all of you right now to stay afloat in the pending storm.

Yesterday's visit with the doctor went pretty much as I expected. He laid out the risks and benefits of my options-the waiting game of a natural expelling, the chemical and technicolor pill route, and the "how could you do that to your body" method of the D&C. Clearly, he wants me to just go the natural way, and feels that there is too much risk involved in the D&C. He successfully scared the living crap out of Husband so that now he is begging me to reconsider my choice for a D&C. Husband finds the chemical version's risks more palatable. I really do understand his concern and anxiety about an invasive, surgical procedure that in his mind could be avoided by letting my body do what it needs to do on its own time.

But, here's the deal, at this point I don't have a lot of trust in my body. Pooter has left the building and now all I am left with is a fetus my body refused to support. My body had its chance and now it's time to step in and intervene.

So here's what I need some more of from all of you. Support and lots of it. Yes, I am a whore like that. I want to hear more of what you think of a D&C. I want to hear about your D&C's. The doctor filled our heads with all kinds of horror stories about how the procedure could cause future miscarriages. There could be fertility damaging infection. It will cause problems with my body not letting go of the placenta in future pregnancies. And on and on. Don't get me wrong, I love my doctors and appreciate their concern. He didn't fight with me when I made my choice either. Normally, I would be all over Dr. Google looking for information, but I don't know that it will help me right now. I need human perspectives, not just odds and statistics. This is hard and I am so very sad. I just feel so defeated, useless, beaten down.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Scotch or wine? Decisions, decisions.

No heartbeat. Just a 9 week old dead fetus. It is officially over. I will be meeting with Doctor this afternoon to "discuss" my options. I put discuss in quotes, because I have already decided that I want a D&C, and I want it NOW. I know he is going to try and convince me to wait and miscarry naturally or even to go with methotrexate, but for me that isn't even an option. I have had enough of the waiting game, and I just want to give Pooter the heave-hoe, and start over. Plus, I need to know when the enormous hormone drop is going to happen so I can schedule the Klonop1n accordingly. Not only that, but I have no desire to watch or see the products of the miscarriage in color. No thank you. Such a lovely Spring Break I am having. I will likely post again today after the ensuing argument I am about to have with Doctor.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Seeing Red

Around 2pm today I was perusing the baby section of our local K-mart, and I had the distinct feeling that my digestive system was about to kick in. So I ran to the bathroom. For the last day or so, my colon has been on hyperdrive. Reaching the bathroom just in time, I breathed a sigh of relief, and then I saw it. Red. Lots and lots of red. Yup, I was bleeding again, significantly more than before.

Fast forward about a half an hour and I am laying on the table with the dildo cam waiting to see the heartbeat. And, there was no heartbeat to be seen. Doctor didn't feel 100% confident that it wasn't there, but Pooter only measured to 8 weeks and 4 days, about 4 days behind schedule. Not good. No post could possibly describe the way I feel right now. So I will be back tomorrow evening with more info on the follow up ultrasound I have 12 hours from now, with a higher resolution machine and an ultrasound technician. I am convinced that it's over though. Just need to get the go ahead to buy that bottle of scotch.

Monday, March 19, 2007

St. Patty's Day Tumble

I meant to write this on St. Patrick's Day, but my energy level is so low that I don't do anything when I would like to do it. In 1998, on St. Patrick's Day, I took up a labmate's invitation to go snowboarding that night. The local ski resort was having a special night rate for the holiday and it included a free beer. It was a startlingly cold day, but there hadn't been fresh snow in over a week. I was desperate to assert my independence from then-husband, and show that I could go places without him, including snowboarding on my own.

However, that day, there wasn't a whole lot of snow, but plenty of ice. I am an intermediate level boarder, but had never been on my board without my husband until that point. So, Mitch picked me up and we made the 20 minute drive to the hill. Now, it is important to understand that it is possible to ski on ice, which is what Mitch was doing that night, but it is really quite inadvisable to snowboard on ice. Snowboarding requires that you be able to lean into the mountain and edge your board into the snow to maintain some control. It's likely that an expert would have been able to do it, but I was NOT an expert.

After a few sketchy runs down an intermediate run, I was feeling quite confident. Mitch was on another run, doing moguls I think. So, I was alone. On about my 4th run down that same path, I went full force, with incredible speed. Amazing how fast one can go on a virtually frictionless surface like ice. The problem is that without an ability to use your edge to slow down, you simply can't slow down without significant experience. Of course, the adrenaline I had going kept me from even considering the laws of physics. About 2/3 of the way down the hill, on the steepest part, I threw my back end around to grab the hill and slow down a bit. Well, the edge definitely caught, in fact it wedged itself in and I went literally head over heels, cart wheels down the mountain. Mind you, it's night, it's dark, and there was no one else on that run. Apparently I knocked myself unconscious for probably 5 minutes, not exactly sure though.

Eventually, I pulled myself up and snowboarded very carefully down the rest of mountain to the lodge. At that point, I couldn't really stand up straight because I was in so much pain in my upper body. I ripped the bindings off, threw the board against the wall of the lodge, and headed up for what I believed was a well deserved St. Patty's Day beer. After finishing my free beer, I promptly got up and threw up the entire pint in the bathroom. From there, I waited at the bottom of Mitch's run, until he showed up for his own beer. Just one glance at me convinced him I was done and ready to go. Sadly, when I went to retrieve my board, it was gone. Someone had stolen my board because I had failed to lock it up. Fuck.

The next day, I hobbled into a meeting with my advisor, determined to show my recent results. I couldn't sit up straight or move my head from side to side, but damn it I had science to do. The most senior grad student in my lab called the health center and made an appointment for me, whether I liked it or not. That afternoon after a series of x-rays and a CT scan it was determined that I had myself a fractured vertebrae. Really it's not as bad as it sounds. For your anatomy buffs out there, I broke my C7 spinus process. It was a stable fracture, so all of my movement didn't threaten my spinal cord. Regardless, when a bone breaks, your muscles freeze up to protect the fracture. I couldn't move my head around on my neck and my head felt so heavy. To add to the fun, I had a severe ice burn and scrape down one side of my face and post-concussive syndrome.

I spent the next 2 months on the couch waiting for my muscles to free up my neck again. I should mention that the first week, then-husband went on a week long snowboarding trip in Vermont, leaving me alone to fend for myself but unable to get off the couch for more than a minute or two. Good one, huh? Yeah, my family and friends were pretty impressed with him too. I should also mention that I drove myself to the hospital for the CT scan and every single physical therapy appointment. I am so glad that I upgraded.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Top 5 things I will never say to my child

As a kid, I learned to be good under threat of grievous bodily harm. Dad's statements of consequences were more promises than threats, whereas Mom's statements were generally idle threats. But in the brain of a 7 year old, they elicited vivid images of the actions they described. I am deeply terrified that I will become my parents in this sense. I really don't want my child to fear me the way that I feared my parents. So I have compiled a short list of the statements I heard as a kid and promise never, ever, to say to my child.
  1. If you don't (fill in blank), I will break every bone in your body.
  2. Stop that crying, or I will give you something to cry about.
  3. Go get my belt.
  4. Just wait until your father gets home, then you will get it again.
  5. I beat you because I love you.
Never, ever, ever. This I promise you, Pooter.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Just for fun...

Lots of stuff to say, but in my effort to procrastinate in every way possible, I picked up something to do from Mary at No Polar Coordinates. Clearly I am not a world traveler. I always thought that I wanted to travel when I was old enough to do so. After all, my parents idea of travelling was doing a 4 hour drive from Southern California to Las Vegas for the weekend. However, now that I am older, I don't really have the great urge to travel. It sounds nice at first, but when I am away, I look forward to going home. Once I return home, though, I do appreciate that I went somewhere. Such a fickle girl am I.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Reverse anorexia?

The bleeding appears to have come to a halt for now. Apparently the appearance of the great dildocam put a stop to the flow. And, the doctor never did identify the source of the blood, everything looked healthy to him.

I have to say that having my legs in stirrups with a doctor rootin' around down there was a strange experience to have with my husband in the room. All of you that have experienced IVF and other high tech procedures probably snort at me when you read that. But it was the first time for me, so it was a bit odd.

And now for something completely different...

Do you think reverse anorexia exists? Not overeating or anything like that, but the experience of looking in the mirror at your naked body and thinking that you can't really weigh that much. I frequently wonder where that 179 pounds is exactly. I know men who appear much larger than me and claim to weigh about that much. I think when I look in the mirror, I don't see the body I actually have. I think that I don't look that big, do I? I have done the same thing with my pants. I hold them up and think, holy crap, whose enormous pants are these? Oh, right, they're mine.

I have very broad shoulders and an enormous chest. Plus, I am apple shaped, which means my waist is bigger than my hips. Someone once told me that I have a diabetic body. Thanks. Also, my legs are kind of small and slender compared to my top half, it's a wonder that I don't fall forward from being so top heavy. Any one else out there have reverse body dysmorphia (my term for it only)?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Quick Trips

The plan was to go to Washington D.C. for a disability l@w conference. We were to leave Wednesday, stay overnight at the cheapest hotel I could find, and then I would go to the conference for the day while Husband explored the Smithsonian. We would reconvene around 5pm and have a lovely dinner somewhere nice. Friday, we would go to the Smithsonian together, specifically the museum of natural history, for the day and leave late afternoon to return home. Such a great plan, if only that's what would have happened.

As I mentioned in my last post, the vaginal bleeding had stopped by Wednesday. So we packed up and left for D.C. By the time we got to the hotel, there was a bit of pink going on down there. All went according to plan the next morning. The conference was very interesting. Then, we broke for lunch and I rushed off to the bathroom with a full bladder. It was then that I found out that I was bleeding again. Quite a bit more this time around. I wonder if the other women in the bathroom could hear my stifled sobs. I tried to call Husband and doctor but for some reason the calls wouldn't go through. So, I proceeded to the catered lunch ahead, but I was an absolute wreck to say the least. As I tried to focus on the buffet table through teary eyes, I almost lost myself right there in the buffet line. EVERY single dish on the table had tons of Gorgonzola on it. ALL of them. I was stunned and given my emotional state really felt the world was against me. Yes, you can see the level of sanity one has when Gorgonzola sends one into hysterics.

So I plopped a roll on my plate and sat down to lunch with 8 eager women talking vigorously about disability issues. Actually, I picked an empty corner table and the chair tucked into the deepest darkest corner of the room. But of course, when I don't want to see anyone is exactly when I become a social magnet. After finishing my lunch roll, I excused myself to try my phone calls again. Finally, I got a hold of Husband to tell him that I couldn't bleed and be at this conference. I needed him by my side. Unfortunately, it had taken him about an hour to walk to the museum from our hotel and would take him at least that long for him to walk back and get the car. By the time he picked me up, about 1 1/2 hours later, he was drenched in sweat from running the 2.5 miles back to the hotel, and then navigating the D.C. streets to get to me.

At that point in my life, that was the sweetest sight I have ever seen. My husband. I did finally get a hold of the nurse at my doctor's office and gave her the full run down of the gory symptoms, all while sitting in the hallway of the conference hall and of course within ear reach of at least a dozen horrified looking people. By that point, I did not give a shit who heard what I said. When I got off the phone, I just wanted to scream out, "Yes, I said discharge and blood, what are you all looking at?" But, I didn't.

Husband and I agreed that we would be going back first thing in the morning to make the noon doctor's appointment I now had. From that point on, I kept thinking about which alcohol I would be drinking first upon hearing the doctor give us the bad news. "I nice port perhaps...a good red wine...no, I think I will go with the finest single malt scotch I can find. That should do it. Hmmm, and I wonder if I could find some good her0ine on the streets of D.C. to take home for the party. Surely, I could at least find some crack." Then, I wondered whether I could have had that Gorgonzola after all.

We broke every possible traffic law to get back here for the appointment today. Then, the doctor sat with us and gave us his "this is your first pregnant lady appointment" lecture. And as I sat there, all I could think is, "Don't waste your breath buddy, just stick in the dildo cam so I can see a sonogram of absolutely nothing." And I laid there holding Husband's hand, while the doctor confirmed that my cervix was still closed up tight. Then came my new favorite form of picture making, the dildo cam. And there it was, an apparently healthy, right-sized, peanut of a baby complete with a heartbeat. Unbelievable. So instead of the liquor store, we headed out to pick up our doggies from the kennel. Never a better day was had.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

I love you guys.

Thanks so much for the well wishes, prayers, crossed digits, and meditations. They are gratefully appreciated. So, this morning I obsessively checked every possible excretion and so far it looks as if it has stopped for now. No blood, no pink, red or brown. And, so far still no cramps or back pain. The nausea seems to have ramped up a bit, and the other wonderful pregnancy symptoms are in full force as well. Didn't get much sleep last night though, as you may imagine. Called doctor and she seemed attentive but not at all concerned, especially since it stopped so quickly. She thinks that I may have had a stomach bug, because yesterday's fun was accompanied by a whole lot of pooping. Sorry for that tidbit, but I think it may be relevant.

I will be out of email and blog contact until late Friday. If anything horrendous happens, I may have a friend break into my blog and tell you all, but I am hoping that won't need to happen. You are all so fabulous and your words of reassurance and hope were infinitely helpful. THANK YOU!!! I will be back to update late Friday. Promise.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Blood

I saw a bit of red blood in my last trip to the bathroom. And, now I just sit and wait to see if that's it or if that's just the beginning. I am trying to remain calm and remember that there is very little that I can do at this point. But that is soooo difficult. No cramps or unusual symptoms, just the same pregnancy symptoms I have been experiencing for the last 4 weeks or so. Tomorrow I will call the doctor if I see more blood in the morning. For now, we wait...

Let it grow

Once upon a time, I was a very very high maintenance woman, in the aesthetic sense. I am still pretty high maintenance in every other sense, but aesthetics fell to the side right around the time my boobs did.

My 3 sisters are high fashion extremists. They all fret constantly over all manners of their epidermis including their weight, the color of their hair, the quantity of their body hair, their nails and their make-up. Once I left California, all of this stuff just didn't seem important anymore. Granted I live in the land of granola, but I think there is more to it than that. Admittedly, when I go back to California to torture myself with family, I regain the self conscious feeling over my looks. Suddenly I am not so confident about my choice to go natural. Of course, it doesn't help that my mother never fails to mention how good my hair would look with some highlights. And my sister Anne asks me if I want her to wax my eyebrows. Then, Beth slyly asks if she can try some of her make-up on me. And when I put on a pair of shorts, Carrie rolls her eyes and makes gagging sounds upon seeing my hairy legs. So the grand support of the sisterhood doesn't do much for my confidence.

And then they start in about questions about their own looks. "Should I dye my hair? Should I have my lips done? Do I need botox? I need a boob job. I need a breast reduction. Perhaps I should have eyeliner tattooed on my eyelids. I need laser surgery for my wrinkles. My fake nails are coming off, I MUST get in to see my manicurist." It goes on and on and on.

I am thinking about all of this for multiple reasons. The Oneliner has a fabulous post about her va-ja-ja and the fear of the chewbaca look. I have never, even in my most high maintenance of Cali days, considered a waxing. But now that frequent cooter appointments loom ahead I have started to think about some pretty landscaping down there. At the very end of my previous marriage, the boy started hinting that perhaps a full waxing might be nice on me. That should have been my first indication that he was keenly attracted to very young women, like his 19 year old girlfriend for instance. My current husband seems to be a bit repulsed by the adolescent look of a hairless cooter, and I am so grateful for that.

But now, I keep thinking, do I really want my doctor to be scared of going near the wild and overgrown landscape I have going on? Am I the only one not getting a good mowing? And the fact that I don't shave my legs adds to the concern. So now, I am starting to think like my sisters a bit, but only from the waste down. Is it time for a good waxing to clear the brush? Do I need a pedicure before every pelvic exam? My toes are not attractive even with a good pedicure though, so do I really want to draw attention to them with colored nail polish. Funny that when I go au naturale at the beach or an allowing spa resort, I don't even consider it, but put me in a doctor's office only half clothed and I get self conscious.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Is that good news in your pocket, or...

So, after all the whining and complaining that I put you all through in every one of my posts, I thought you could all use some good news for a change. And hey, so could I.

I woke up this morning in a terrible mood. Terrible. Bad dreams really seem to set the tone for the day, even if I can't remember the details of those nightmares. Sometimes later in the day I recall something and am not sure whether it happened in the dream or not. Take yesterday for instance. I approached Husband and asked whether he told me to stop whining about being so tired all the time and to just keep it to myself. No, he did not tell me that in real life, it was indeed part of a dream. But I had so much trouble shaking the thought.

Anyway, I was equipped with horns this morning and not happy about yet another week of classes ahead of me. By the time I got to campus I was consumed by the knowledge that I had not yet heard back from the leg@l clinic I interviewed with last Monday, despite the fact that they said they would contact me by now. Sure that I had not received an offer, I pretty much stomped around all day wondering why the hell I was even continuing to go to class if I was unemployable. Hell, why did I even get out of bed?

And then a miracle occurred. At 4pm today, I got a phone call from the clinic and they offered me the summer position!!!!!!! I cannot quite contain my excitement. While the position is not paid, I will be able to get a public interest grant from my school to allow me to survive the summer, AND I will be doing the work that I really want to do. AWESOME!!!!

And because I cannot help but worry about the next thing, I leave you with my newest anxiety issue of the moment. How in the world am I going to give birth and care for a newborn in the first few months (assuming this pregnancy actually sticks and gives me one of those take home babies) while I am smack dab in the middle of Fall semester of l@w school? I can barely handle this stuff as is. Thoughts anyone?

Sunday, March 4, 2007

More weird things

No, you are not crazy. I am. So if you happened to notice another post in place of this one today, you were not seeing things. It really was there. But I felt quite vulnerable about it for some reason (like, perhaps, the fact that I am indeed insane) and decided to take it down.

In its place, I am going to respond to a tag that I have received from several kind bloggie friends. It's the 6 weird things meme, and while I have already done it once, it certainly was NOT an exhaustive list. So here goes 6 more weird things about me...
  1. I am from Southern California and have a keen appreciation for authentic Mexican food. However, when I make it home, I don't even try to approach authentic. In fact, I am a closet ketchup user. I love ketchup on my homemade tacos complete with ground beef in store bought seasoning.
  2. I am extremely attached to things that loved ones give me, even if I hate the thing that is given. I feel that I am betraying the person if I don't like it so in one way or another I will find a way to feel good about the gift.
  3. I am a nodder. I nod at speakers during their lectures or talks. Some part of me feels that they need my encouragement. A bit self centered, don't you think?
  4. I am great at jumping in and defending others, but I really struggle to defend myself.
  5. I am a recovering cutter. Enough said about that.
  6. I forget to raise my hand in class to answer a question and frequently blurt out the answer. Then I berate myself later for being so aggressive.
I think that some of those things aren't weird, just ugly things about me. But sometimes they go hand in hand.