June 18, 2008

OK, A COUPLE MORE "FEELINGS"

I saw an ad the other day: 50% all buttons. So I went, of course, my first trip out of the house in days. I was standing there with about ten cards of buttons in my hands when a mother and probably 3-year-old daughter walked up. The mother told her daughter that she could pick out one card of buttons. The little girl ooohed and aaahed, asked "Ich unn you like, Mommy?" and got super-excited about picking out her buttons. I watched with a big smile, and finally said to the mother, "You know, someday she's going to be like me, doing the same thing when she's 30."

And I thought, maybe having a little girl wouldn't be so bad. Maybe she'd love buttons too.

I'm doing OK. I have one hang-up though: I don't want to stop wearing maternity clothes. I picked out so many nice things, and comfortable things. I want to wear them. I want to grow into them. But I won't. And I don't want to take them off. Like my heart panics when I think about going back to wearing regular clothes.

I'm starting a trend: non-pregnant crazy ladies who wear maternity shirts.

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June 17, 2008

BACK IN THE SADDLE

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things, writing about politics and junk, but nothing caught my eye this morning. I promise this isn't going to turn into a "feelings blog." At least not exclusively!

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June 16, 2008

IN-LAWS

I wanted to give a shout-out to my poor in-laws too. Last December, my Christmas present was supposed to be maternity clothes and baby stuff. My poor mother-in-law had to go out at the last minute and re-shop for me after the miscarriage. And this week, she sent a big box to me for our wedding anniversary...of maternity clothes and baby stuff. She put it in the mail before we got the bad news, so she felt terrible that that's what she had sent.

At least she didn't send a dead bird!

I taught my mother-in-law to knit about the same time we started trying to have a baby, so she has been making little baby things all along. She started a blanket for Baby #1 and then stopped abruptly and put it away. When Baby #2 had a heartbeat, she pulled it back out and finished it. And mailed it to me this week. I know she probably thinks it's a burden to me, but it really is quite lovely and I'm happy to have it.

And we'll put a baby in it someday, I promise.

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UPLIFTING

Remember when I thought I was looking back at infertility with hindsight? Go ahead and take a moment to laugh at me. I'm shaking my head too.

Anyway, I went and read A Little Pregnant again today because, well, because I'm part of the club again. And I read something very funny:

Let me say at the outset that nothing would make me happier than a good nursing experience. But nothing would make me sadder than the kind of experience I had with Charlie. (Note to universe: I am saying that in a rhetorical sense. I know there are worse things than ending up with a healthy, thriving baby who enjoyed the benefit of expressed breast milk for the first six months of his life. I'll thank you not to kick my ass in new and unexpected ways just to show me who's in charge here because, hey, you know what? I get it.)

Ha. There's someone who is on a first-name basis with Perspective. And I read something so uplifting, a little note from another former infertile-blogger who just had a baby:

I truly hope all my other blogging friends from the past have realized their dreams, as well. Being a mother is the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. I didn't think I'd EVER say this, but all the IF treatments and miscarriages that I've been through were sooooooo worth the end result - my beautiful boy. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat if it meant it would result in him.

And that's just very cool. And very good to read today.

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June 15, 2008

MY DAD

sarahanddad.jpg

I look all squinty and goofy in this picture, but my dad looks great.

My dad is not the most emotional guy, but he's been very sweet these past few days. My mom has kept him updated on what's going on, and he's been loving and nice. When I talked to him today, I ended the conversation by saying, "OK, well have a good day!" and he made sure to interject with an "I love you" before I hung up the phone. That's not my dad's normal instinct, so it was very sweet. I know he loves me; he just doesn't say it all the time. But it was nice to hear today.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. Sorry I kept Mom away from home today.

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LEFT ALONE

When I woke up, I had in mind all these reasons that today would suck. But today is half over, and it's not turning out half bad. I don't feel that sucky. I feel at peace.

The miscarriage is over. I took the medicine yesterday morning after I wrote that blog post, and I miscarried the baby in the early afternoon. Stacy, who's been through this before, warned me that I might not want to look. But as soon as he came out (yes, I took to calling him a "he," even though it was far too early to tell), I knew that wasn't the right choice for me. I held my little baby in my hand and was able to look at him and love him. I marveled over the little buds where his arms would grow and the tiny umbilical cord, as thin as thread. And I didn't want to let him go. But I had to say goodbye, and so I did.

It was the closure I needed; it was the closure I didn't get with the D&C. It was a little funeral, a ritual, a passage I needed to go through. I am very glad I had to do it this way.

And so he's gone. And I'm OK.

What I mourn right now is my future. My deployment was going to be filled with baby milestones and a growing belly to mark time. Now it seems empty. There will be no joy to fill the next seven months, no baby to keep me company, and no new definition of family to look forward to when my husband returns.

It's just me, in the house, alone. And that's part of the reason that, even though the baby was dead, I didn't want to let him go. I didn't want to be left alone.

I didn't want to give up my future. Because now the future is uncertain again.

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June 14, 2008

HAVING SOME HELP

Overall, today was not as painful as I thought it would be. I am sure the percocet makes the difference though. The pain is manageable.

When my mother went to extend her plane ticket, the only choice was a week later. I didn't really think I wanted or needed her here another full week. I thought I could do this on my own. I don't like when people see me in pain, or see me cry, or see me struggle. But my mother insisted that she was staying a week.

I am really glad she did.

She was a big help today, especially when the going got tough. And it got pretty tough a couple of times. But she was here, and she was right on the same wavelength as I was. It was nice.

I am glad I didn't go this alone.

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A PEPPER & A PEAR

Let's celebrate life.

pepper.jpg

These are growing in my backyard.

pear.jpg

We can have a miniature dinner.

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MEDICINE

I wrote over at SpouseBUZZ about the headache of trying to reach my doctor yesterday. One thing I forgot to mention was that, when the doctor was advising me on whether to have another D&C or to use the medicine, he said something to the effect of, "One thing is that surgeries are expensive, not to you but to the taxpayer, if that's of any concern to you." Now there's a man after my own heart!

As I sit here in agony today, I will keep reminding myself that I am saving the taxpayers money. I know that probably sounds like sarcasm, but I mean it in all seriousness. Every little bit helps.

And to call this "medicine" seems odd to me. It's more like poison. You put it in your body, and your body says, "Oh no no no, we need to get this out." It twists and contorts and ravages you.

Abortions are D&Cs and not this medicine, right? I wager we'd see less abortions if people were forced to go through this.

And I've only just begun.

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MY POWER

When I was in college, I had a pet goldfish that I loved. And the inevitable happened, as it always does. One day he started doing that dance with death: float to the top, sink to the bottom, turrrrn slowly onto his back, right himself forcefully, over and over. I couldn't watch it anymore, and I knew I needed to put him out of his misery. I took him out of the water and held him in my hands as he lived his last few minutes. And it took all my willpower, everything I had, not to put him right back in the water.

This is the stupidest analogy in the world, but it's all I can think of this morning. That poor fish, struggling in my hands as I sobbed. And the awful, frightening feeling I had knowing that I wielded so much power. And that I also had the power not to do it. I could put him back in the water and wait for nature to take its course, or lightning to strike him, or anything that would take the decision out of my hands.

My baby is already dead, but this morning I have to take a pill that will make the baby come out of me. I have to do it. My power. The D&C was passive -- the doctors did all the work -- but this time, I have to make a conscious choice to begin the process. And I'm immobilized.

I don't want to do this.

I want to throw the fish back in the water, save the decision for another day.

But I can't.

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June 13, 2008

HA

Oh, and my husband said that we probably better vote for Obama, because we both could use some Hope and Change. Heh.

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June 12, 2008

UGH

Well, shit.
This baby died too.

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CHANGE OF PLANS

Last night I dreamt I was learning to nurse. I sat on the sofa next to my husband, with a baby boy in my arms, and we watched David Spade's Showbiz Show on TV. Now that's the life! (Also, I told you my dreams were boring.)

My mom and I decided we weren't going to do anything this morning, just stay in our jammies until she has to go back to the airport. But nature had other plans for me. I have a little bit of bleeding this morning, and what with being sick and all, I thought it best to get checked out. So we're headed to the hospital again.

The nurse asked me all sorts of questions on the phone, including whether I'd had intercourse in the last 24 hours. "Not even in the last 24 days!" I joked.

Off to get checked out. I'm not too nervous, but then again, I wasn't nervous the last time I sat for three hours in the emergency room, and that one didn't turn out so great.

We'll see. I'll update you later, hopefully before I drive the 164 miles again this evening.

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June 11, 2008

GOODBYE

As my mother and I drove to the airport tonight, we made a joke about an annoying thing my grandma used to do. My mom chuckled and then said, "You know, I wish I hadn't let little things like that bug me so much. I don't know, maybe that doesn't make sense." But it does make sense to me. My mom and I haven't always had the easiest time getting along. We have different personalities and lifestyles, and I have my dad's impatience. But in recent years we've learned to do OK together and get along on our trips.

I said goodbye to her at the security gate and then started to walk away. And by the time I got to the car, I was crying. My mom is getting older, and I get nervous sometimes that when we say goodbye, it could be the last time. Her health isn't the best, and our trips are infrequent.

My neighbor in Germany, her mother died while she was pregnant. That bothers me. I think about it often and worry, worry that my parents are old and might not have as much time as I'd like with their grandchildren. And we live 900 miles away from them.

It weighs on me at times. And I cried when I said goodbye.

I cried when I dropped my mother off at the airport but not when I dropped my husband off for deployment. How's that for a special kind of crazy?

**************

I drove 82 miles to drop her off and composed this blog post in my mind on the 82 miles back. And as I pulled into the driveway, I got a call on my phone that her flight has been cancelled due to weather and she can't leave until tomorrow night. I'm headed back out to the car for another 160 miles. Ick.

I mean, gosh, I didn't hate to say goodbye THAT much!

UPDATE:

Recommended reading: Val's post

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June 10, 2008

CHOKE AND PUKE

Yesterday my mom, my friend, and I went on an outing and we stopped at a mom-and-pop restaurant that was a bit of a dive. I jokingly referred to it as a Choke and Puke, one of my favorite Smokey and the Bandit lines. We all three got the same thing, and the food was pretty good.

Yeah, we're all paying for it today. Choke and Puke, indeed.

I thought it was morning sickness at first, that karma had come around and hit me good for writing a blog post about how great I felt. But then my mom got sick. And a call to my friend revealed that she was no better off than we were.

Food-related sickness is no fun. And really no fun when you're pregnant and can't take anything for it.

I just hope it clears up by the time we have to drive to the airport tomorrow.

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June 08, 2008

YABBERING

I can't sleep.
Which is a bad thing, because I have to get up early tomorrow.

Um, question: How are you supposed to remember how pregnant you are? I keep forgetting. People ask me what week I'm in, and I stutter. I have to keep looking at the calendar and counting. This is a helpful site.

Apparently tomorrow I start Week 9. Somebody help me remember that.

I think I can't sleep because I have a hundred things I want to talk about with my husband. I wrote him a long email about it all, but that's not the same thing as lying in bed griping and laughing together. I miss that tonight.

Also I have no morning sickness whatsoever. Last time it was mild, but it was something: food aversion and queasiness due to smells. This time, I wouldn't know I was pregnant if I didn't have the ultrasound pic on the fridge. No symptoms at all. That would make me nervous if I hadn't been morning sick while carrying a dead baby last year. Maybe my body reacts in the opposite way. Or the logical way, depending on how you look at it: dead baby = sick, live baby = fine.

Please, brain, knock it off. It's bedtime.

My husband sent a photo of his room in Iraq the other day. He's fast asleep right now, and I love that I can picture where he's sleeping. CaliValleyGirl told a story the other day about a guy getting his chest waxed (it's funny), and all of a sudden I thought, "Awww, my husband's chest..." and I missed him. I hadn't really taken the time yet to miss his physical presence, but just like that, I wanted to lay my head on his chest.

He's my Rushmore.

Oh geez, I feel like I'm channelling Sis B.
And now I seriously need to try to sleep.

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HEH

My mom and I went to my FRG picnic this weekend. One of the young wives cheerily asked my mom which soldier she was married to. We laughed and said that it wasn't entirely possible. The girl referenced Demi Moore.

Holy crap, she thought my mom was a cougar.
I nearly hyperventilated.

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THE EMOTIONAL VS THE SCHOLARLY

I didn't read the full text of The McCain Doctrines when it came out, so I read it this morning. And this part just struck me:

A LOT OF McCAIN’S fellow veterans in Washington seem confounded by what they see as his obvious failure to absorb the lessons of Vietnam. Jack Murtha, the Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Vietnam vet who became an early and outspoken critic of the war, told me that watching Iraq unfold convinced him, for the first time, that American troops could never have prevailed in Vietnam, no matter how long they stayed. “These kinds of wars cannot be won militarily,” he said flatly. Another Democratic congressman with a Purple Heart, Mike Thompson of California, told me that promises of victory in Iraq sounded painfully familiar. “When I was in Vietnam, the members of Congress knew that we weren’t going to be there forever, that we would have to redeploy, and in the time between when they knew that and when we redeployed, a lot of boys were injured and killed,” Thompson said. “I think Senator McCain has been an outstanding public servant, but I think he’s wrong on this.”

In McCain’s mind, however, there is a different kind of symmetry linking Vietnam and Iraq. Talking to him about it, you come to understand that he has, indeed, applied lessons from the first war to the second — but they are the lessons that he learned not in combat or in the Hanoi Hilton but in the pages of the books he read at the National War College in the 1970s. To McCain, the first four years of the Iraq war, as prosecuted by the Bush administration, seem strikingly similar to the years in Vietnam before Creighton Abrams arrived on the scene.

I think it's pretty darned amazing that he can set aside his emotional attachment to Vietnam and look at it scholarly and theoretically. And after I read this segment, I did notice that it seems people like Kerry,Murtha, etc. still feel the emotions of Vietnam while John McCain has tried to study it, like one would study ancient military battles.

I just thought that was really interesting.

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ONE MONTH

My mother and I have been jam-packing our days. Last night we were up late, so as I was lying in bed to go to sleep, I had a thought. I looked at the clock: 12:58. One month ago exactly, I was dropping my husband off to leave for deployment.

I can't believe it's been a month.

Time probably doesn't seem to have passed so quickly for him, but with finding out I was pregnant, learning the baby might not make it, driving to western New York and back, having an ultrasound, and gardening and nesting with my mother...I've been pretty preoccupied.

My mother leaves this week, so I am sure life will slow down to a snail's pace and I will start to get lonely. But I sure went full-steam-ahead through this first month. Pretty cool.

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June 05, 2008

SHOPPING

My husband will probably be mighty glad when my mom leaves because we've been spending money like a pimp with a week to live. In addition to gardening stuff, we've been buying baby things and maternity clothes.

And boy howdy, did I pick the right era to get pregnant in. Maternity clearance rack: $14.95. OK, let me just walk across the aisle to the juniors section. Shirts that look exactly like maternity: $4.97. This wacky style right now is perfect for chicks who want cheap maternity shirts. They're everywhere these days.

And we walked through the dresses section; man, I wish I'd had a camera on me. What in the holy heck is going on with dresses? It looked like the costume rack from Laugh In. Funky psychedelic nightmares on empire-waisted dresses that would barely cover your butt. Seriously, Twiggy's clothes are back in style. And half the patterns looked like something Mrs. Roper would wear.

My mom joked that I've bought more clothes for myself this week than I have since I got married. And she's probably right, considering the shirt I wore out to the store was something I got in 1998.

Husband, don't look at the credit card this week. Between the emergency trip to the vet and my shopping spree...well, it's a good thing you get your deployment benefits this month.

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