March 28, 2009

QUIET MY HEAD

This blog has been responsible for some of the best experiences of my life. I wouldn't have any of my close friends without this blog. Sometimes it brings me such joy and comfort. But it is also responsible for some of the most stressful moments of my life. It sucks to lose a baby. It sucks even worse to hear that you deserved it, that you talk about it too much, that you're self-absorbed or just plain wrong for your feelings about it. That's hard to take, and I'm starting to wonder if it's really healthy for me. I'm tired of lying in bed at night losing sleep over something that I or someone else said on the blog.

I'm shutting off the computer for a while. Truly off: no email, no Facebook, no blog. I need to quiet the noise in my head for a while.

I'm not doing well and I need to find a way to cope. I'm gonna try silence for a few days.

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March 27, 2009

JEALOUS

I'd like to add something to my grokking post from yesterday.

I am not better off for having this wisdom. If I could give it all back, I would. Without question. If I could magically go back in time and have a baby when I first tried to, without difficulty or heartache, I would do it in a heartbeat. I don't want to be wise and well-versed in life's lessons; I want a two year old instead.

I am, quite simply, gut-gnawingly jealous of people who can control their family planning. I am jealous of their naivete and their happiness. I don't want them to be wise like me; I want to be naive like them. I envy them, in a way that is entirely unhealthy.

I have also learned that dwelling on this doesn't do me any good either. It just makes me more insane and unfulfilled.

The meaning of life, if you ask me, is to create life. It's to pass on your genes and your values to another generation. And I haven't been able to do that. I cannot participate in the meaning of life. I can't begin to describe how that feels.

I don't want you to have trouble getting pregnant. I don't want you to not have children. I don't want you to get anywhere near knowing what it feels like.

I just want what you have.

So much so that I don't even know how to deal with it anymore.

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UGH

Just another one of those days where everything goes wrong: it's a training holiday but my husband's company was made to work; had to run an errand for a friend and stood in line forever behind a lady on a cell phone who couldn't decide on a Gatorade flavor; still in pain but can't take meds because I had to go to work, etc. I didn't think it was possible to be in a worse mood today. It was. Remember my nice new windshield? Not so much anymore.

I give up. Let's go back to bed.

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March 26, 2009

I FINALLY GROK

A person in my life is newly pregnant. An intermediary called me to tell me the news so I'd hear it in person and not through the grapevine. When I realized that this girl was only as pregnant as I was -- 7 weeks -- I remarked that they were not out of the woods yet and said to pass on my congratulations and that I would continue to hope that everything goes well with the pregnancy. The intermediary said, "Well, she has been to the doctor and everything looks fine." And I, complete cynic about pregnancy that I now am, refrained from reminding this person that I too had a healthy happy 7 week old baby once, a baby that subsequently and unexpectedly died.

And it irked me, irked me that someone could be so naive about pregnancy woes while having been acquainted with me for the past few years. That someone thought that good-to-go at 7 weeks put you in the clear. That this person was so...oh crap...I am not really going to let this word pop into my head, am I?...

flippant.

And all of a sudden, I grokked. I understood what she was feeling when she said that, even if I still disagree that I personally was coming off as flippant. But I also realized that it doesn't really matter, because I am sure this intermediary never would've characterized herself as flippant either.

But it's this naivete with the process, this happy-go-lucky vibe, that's hard to swallow when your own journey has been like dragging and clawing to Mordor. You want other people to have a healthy fear of pregnancy, an inkling that things can go terribly wrong very quickly; you want them to realize that bringing a child into this world, though it seems to happen easily to a great many people, is actually a miracle of engineering and timing. But people who've never suffered just don't have that perspective and never will, no matter how close they are to you or how hard you try to encumber them with your anguish.

They will sound flippant to your ears, no matter what.

What I have learned from this process, and from the whole flippant flap, is that I have to let it pass. I have to let these people be naive. Either they will learn the lesson the hard way, as I did, or they won't and life will turn out happy and jolly for them. But having me rain on their parade doesn't help any of us. It cannot make them understand the suffering that some of us go through to have children. I cannot give them wisdom they are not in a place to understand. It will only make them resent me for not letting them live their own life and learn their own lessons, as I resented her.

But I get it now, two years later. And these are the times when I am happiest as a blogger, when I can document my learning process.

And say that I finally grok.

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EXCELLENT

Unliberaled Woman got noticed by friends of Michael Yon. Now that's cool.
I wonder if there's such a thing as a Yonalanche?

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DON'T DO THIS

How To Drive Yourself Insane
by Sarah

1) Marry the most wonderful person on the planet. Have everything in common, down to what foods and movies and columnists you like. Never quarrel. Have the happiest homelife imaginable.

2) Save 50% of your income for the first five years of marriage. Never go out to dinner or on vacation. Delay all gratification. Make every decision based on your financial calculator so that you'll have a substantial nest egg.

3) Reach all your financial, professional, and emotional goals. Decide it's finally time for life's most important goal: to become a family.

4) Watch all your babies die and half of your money disappear in the stock market.

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March 25, 2009

WHO WILL POLICE THE PRESS?

I know there are people out there who think that the media is in Republican pockets because it's all owned by big corporations. Really, I have always found that position untenable. I truly can't understand how anyone who listens to the news for ten minutes would possibly think it is right-wing. But those people exist, a constant reminder to me that people can hear the exact same thing and come to completely different conclusions.

But can anyone really defend the media for how they give Democrats a pass on everything? Is it possible to ignore they way Bush was treated vs Obama? I don't think it is.

A link via NRO: Forgetting about Alzheimer’s:

When President Bush and Vice President Cheney claimed that reversing their tax cuts would hurt many small businesses, the fact-checkers of the press zinged them for exaggerating the impact. Most small businesses, they pointed out, would not be affected. Good for the media: Journalists ought to inform the public when their leaders are making false or misleading statements.

But they ought to do so whether the politicians in question are Republicans or Democrats, and whether the claims help liberal or conservative causes. Last night, President Obama said that his liberalized policy on funding for embryonic stem-cell research would aid the search for cures for Alzheimer’s disease. Shouldn’t news outlets have reported that even scientists on Obama’s side of the issue say that’s a pipe dream?

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GROUCHY TODAY

You know the problem has burrowed deep in your psyche when you dream about doctors and genetic testing and surrogates.

I am still feeling about the same, but I am going to try to stay off the meds today. I actually have to leave the house to go get my bloodwork done, so we'll see if I can make it.

And then I go to my knitting group to knit for other people's babies, like I always do. Always a bridesmaid...

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March 23, 2009

FINALLY FINISHED

This bag has been sitting handle-less for, oh, two years. I finally sewed the handles on today.

diagonal.jpg

Made with Patons SWS from this pattern.

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YOU THINK OBAMA IS HIDING IN A CLOSET AND CRYING À LA ELLIOT FROM SCRUBS YET?

And the hits just keep coming.

President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela called President Obama “ignorant” on Sunday, saying he has a lot to learn about Latin America.
[...]
Mr. Chávez said: “If Obama respects us, we’ll respect him. If Obama tries to keep disrespecting Venezuela, we will confront the North American empire.”

Bwahaha. But I thought the whole world would love us and sing kumbaya once Obama was elected? I thought Obama was a "citizen of the world" who chided us all for not speaking French (even though he can't) and never met a dictator he couldn't sit down and negotiate with?

You mean to tell me that actually Obama doesn't even know that there are different formats for movies throughout the world (something I learned in French class in high school; maybe if he'd taken French, he would've learned it too) and that he can't magically make dictators love us just by kissing their butts?

And his mere fact of existence doesn't change the world into a Garden of Eden?

Say it isn't so.

(Link via David B.)

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March 22, 2009

HERE WE GO

Tra la la, tra la la. Here we go down the slippery slope:

Sarah Anderson, an analyst with the Institute for Policy Studies and an advocate for more stringent controls on executive pay, said she hopes the AIG situation will prompt Congress to pass heavier taxes on executive pay even at companies that are not receiving government funds. [emphasis mine]
[...]
“They need to put restrictions on all forms of compensation at these companies,” Anderson said.

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DECEPTIVE

The last time I went through this miscarriage process, I was Afraid Of Becoming a Drug Addict. I wanted to ration out the percocet and only take it when it was extremely necessary. Thus, I spent a lot of time in pain and stupidly trying to justify to myself why I needed another pill. This time around, I threw caution to the wind and started taking them every time the pain returned. Unfortunately, that method taught me why the #1 listed side effect of percocet is nausea; I spent last night running back and forth to the bathroom.

So I skipped the meds at bedtime and managed to sleep through the night. I woke up this morning feeling great. I thought that since this pregnancy wasn't as advanced as the last one, maybe the worst was past me. I thought I was mostly done. I imagined going on in to work tomorrow and living a normal week.

Yeah, shoulda checked my notes from last time again: this process is deceptive. Just when you think you're on the mend, pain rears its head again.

An hour ago, I doubled over in agony.

I hate this crap.

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AIG

Two Powerline posts about AIG, one that provides even more details about the bonuses, making it obvious that they shouldn't be taken away, and the other that lays out some hypotheticals using abortion and homosexuality to show how unconstitutional the tax is. (via Amritas)

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March 21, 2009

MY BABY

Charlie was holding his zebra toy lovingly and licking its face. It was too funny; it looked like they were making out. But when I grabbed the camera, he stopped and just stared at me like I was a peeping Tom. Heh.

zebra.jpg

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IT'S HARD TO BOWL WITH YOUR FOOT IN YOUR MOUTH

When I was in grad school, I volunteered as a scorekeeper for the school's wheelchair basketball team. One of the players was my classmate and friend, and he took me to a practice one day, got me a chair, and taught me the basics.

Wheelchair basketball is really hard.

You try dribbling a ball while pushing a wheelchair with both hands. And while other wheelchairs are crashing into you trying to steal the ball. And then shoot a basket from a seated position, with just your arm strength.

I thought about that when I heard Obama belittled the Special Olympics. Sporting events for people with disabilities is no joke. They are not "sports for people who are bad at sports." Guard Wife is right that disabled bowlers would score way higher than Obama did.

The best quote on this issue came from The Anchoress: "And now, I guess I understand what all the folks on the left used to feel when they claimed the president 'embarrassed' them."

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THANK HEAVENS I'M ANAL

During the last miscarriage, my heart was destroyed. I told my mother that the only way I could get through it was to completely shut off my emotions and treat the whole thing like one big science project. Thus I took detailed notes about what was happening to me and timecoded every dose of medicine and every symptom.

In hindsight, I am so glad I did that. Whoda thunk I'd need to consult those notes again?

I pulled the journal out yesterday morning and reread the event. I realized I had forgotten how much it hurt. I also had condensed the timeline in my head: I thought the medicine took effect in like an hour, but my notes say it took five hours. Good thing I didn't have to rely on my faulty memory.

The process went OK yesterday. This pregnancy was not as advanced as the last one, so there's less to expel. Still, I am pretty certain that we're not completely done, so I took another dose of cytotec this morning.

My husband, meanwhile, has required attendance this morning at the Multiculturalism Readiness Fair. Good old Army and their mandatory nonsense. Of all the Saturdays...

I am doing well. The percocet makes me goofy though. One minute I can be smiley and joking like a drunk person, and then I crash into pain. It's bizarre. I can't believe some people like the way that feels and take this junk on purpose.

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March 20, 2009

CONCLUSIVE

Well, the paradox has been solved: Schroedinger's cat is dead.

We actually had a good appointment with the doctor today. He was straightforward, talked to us like we were informed adults, and listened to my hypotheses and agreed with me. And I even got to wow him by knowing about the concept of a pseudosac, which I learned from reading about A Little Pregnant's first miscarriage. I felt like this was a really productive visit, and I feel like we're on the right track with how to proceed.

We went right down to the lab and both the husband and I gave blood for genetic testing. The doctor is also testing me for blood clotting problems, though the fact that this was my second blighted ovum leads us to believe that this was a chromosomal problem and not a clot.

My husband says that if we produce genetic mutations, his vote is for a Wolverine baby.

I already did all of my grieving for this baby earlier in the week. Unlike the last two times, the death of Baby #3 was not a surprise for me. I had been anticipating it ever since I started bleeding three weeks ago, so it's been a gradual sadness. I am feeling OK. Unlike last time, I didn't have the put-the-fish-back-in-the-water sadness. I took my cytotec (the miscarriage-inducing medicine) an hour ago, so now we're just waiting for the end.

It takes a few weeks for genetic testing to be done, which is fine. We need a break anyway. I don't want to try to get pregnant again until we have a better gameplan and know what the stakes are.

Oh, and today a seriously pregnant lady hopped on the scale at the doctor's office and she weighed less than me. Ouch. So while we're taking this break, I'm gonna give our new elliptical a workout. I've depressedly gained ten pounds since Miscarriage #1, and I really would feel better about myself and my health if I lose that before we start the process again.

Despite the fact that our baby is dead again, I am doing well and keeping my eye on the future.

Plus there's percocet.

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March 19, 2009

AND WHEN I SAY 'ANYTHING,' I MEAN AH-NAH-THA-NG

So Obama has teleprompter problems again, eh? Am I the only one who immediately thought of this?

Stay classy, President Burgundy.

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PAR FOR THE COURSE

So we go into the ultrasound room, shared again of course, but at least this time we're first. The ultrasound tech -- mind you, the exact same person as last week -- comes in with a big grin on her face and squeals, "Are you excited?" I guffaw a No right in her face. And then I remind her of who the hell I am and why I'm there.

Seriously, I couldn't invent more churlish behavior for this entire process if I tried.

I had my mother in stitches last week regaling her with tales from The Hospital Of The Absurd. I never blogged these at the time, but they become more ridiculous when taken as a group:

  • When I wanted a checkup before we started trying to have a baby, back in January 2007, I saw a doctor and wanted to run through my medical history, have a few blood tests run, and get some clarification on some stuff I'd read in pregnancy books. I asked her what advice she had for someone trying to get pregnant. Her response: "Just pray." Thanks, but um, that's not really medical advice. My mom already told me that one; I was hoping that since you were a doctor, you might tell me something I didn't already know.

  • When we finished things up in the ER in December 2007 after we learned Baby #1 was dead, the outprocessing nurse had to have us sign some forms. She looked at the paper and exclaimed, "Oh, you're pregnant! Congrats! How far along are you?" We just stared at her not knowing what to say until I said, "Um, well, we just found out that we're not anymore." Really, who congratulates a dejected-looking pregnant lady who's been admitted to the ER?

  • When I did the first IUI, my doctor told me, "Now I want you to have sex every night for the rest of this week." I said that sounded like a great idea, but did he have somebody in mind? Because, if you'll recall, I'm here on the exam table alone because my husband is deployed. But thanks for not remembering any detail of my life, again.

  • When I went to the ER six weeks ago because I was bleeding, the male nurse asked me, "Are you sure it's not your period?" Yes, I am a 31 year old woman who sits eight hours in the ER for her period. That makes perfect sense.

  • And let's not forget the gems I did blog about: the pregnant doctor who did my D&C, the who's-on-first phone calls, and of course the shared ultrasound room.

    Anyway, if we were writing another absurd chapter to this whole annoying story, I'm not even sure you could guess what happened today.

    The baby is still a Schroedinger's cat. The results were again inconclusive.

    Basically, the embryonic sac has grown, and there's now a yolk sac inside, which means progress, albeit weird progress since we're about two weeks behind schedule. Babies are supposed to have heartbeats at 6 1/2 weeks; we are at 8 weeks and still no heartbeat. But there was growth, so the doctor can't confirm that the pregnancy is over and advise me to remove it. It's just moving too slowly. This baby wants to gestate like an elephant.

    Yep, more WTF news. We are supposed to go back tomorrow and talk to the doctor.

    This is absurd. But it's par for this course.

    (And before anyone even suggests it, because the first person I told this to this morning already tried: No, I did not get pregnant two weeks later than I thought. That was while the husband was at SERE and I'd already taken a positive pregnancy test. Not possible. Please don't try to concoct sci-fi fantasies about how this could be a healthy baby.)

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  • March 18, 2009

    WE MAY BE DONE

    Nothing I can do will change the outcome next week, so I just live for the next ten days and go from there.

    That sounded like a great idea on Day 1. Now that it's Day 9, not so much.

    These past few days have been really stressful because we have been mourning not only what we see as the inevitable loss of Baby #3 tomorrow, but also the loss of the whole theoretical concept of Baby Grok.

    I have thought all this time that our problem was getting pregnant and that the two miscarriages were statistical flukes. Now I have started to panic that I can't carry a baby, which bodes so much worse.

    Even after experiencing two miscarriages, your chances of having a third one are not much higher than if you never had one. [...] After three miscarriages, however, your chances of carrying your next baby to term go down to 50 percent.

    There is no sense in trying to get pregnant again if subsequent babies will just die. And the normal problems that cause miscarriage -- low progesterone or blood clotting -- have already been addressed and don't seem to be my problem. And our jerk doctor doesn't seem to care about the underlying cause and just wants us to naively pay hundreds of dollars to try again.

    Plus there's a deployment looming on the horizon again too, severely reducing our chances of getting pregnant, much less getting one to stick.

    So we're heartbroken, because this may be the end of the road for us. We've spent the week trying to come to terms with the idea that we may never be parents and that we're cheating our parents out of grandparenthood (neither side has any grandchildren yet) and that our only legacy on this planet may be a date-harvesting program in Iraq and a few knitted items.

    The loss of this baby means so much more than the loss of this baby.

    *****

    Some links, for needed humor and whatnot.

    My Latest Miscarriage:

    Oh I'm rich with miscarriage material. I gotta tell ya -- I was thinking of creating a new line of greeting cards that instead of saying IT'S A BOY! or IT'S A GIRL! would say IT'S A MISCARRIAGE! Hello… is this thing on? Well I know for a fact I could have sold at least three of those cards… if I were buying them for myself.

    Leap of Faith:

    Trying once again -- or again and again -- to conceive after repeated miscarriages is a leap of faith, an act of amazing persistence, pure will, and even, one might say, stubbornness. For one thing, after three miscarriages, you're dubbed a "habitual aborter" by the medical profession, which is enough to make anyone take a vow of celibacy.

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