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.