June 27, 2008


I havenÂ’t been writing about how IÂ’m doing because 1) most of the time IÂ’m doing fine and 2) I feel self-conscious about the hint I've gotten that I need to get over myself. But writing is my way of processing things, so today I could use that therapy.

When I was pregnant, I ordered more contact lenses. I hadnÂ’t been in to pick them up yet. So while I was on my way over there, I was rehearsing in my mind what IÂ’d say. I got a feel for the words before I got to the shop. But when I got up to the counter and the girl asked me why I wanted a refund, the words wouldnÂ’t come out. They were replaced by a lump in the back of my throat.

Just say it. You can do it. Just say, “I ordered these while I was pregnant, but since I lost the pregnancy, my consolation prize is gonna be lasik surgery. Ha ha ha.” Just say it. Ha ha ha.

I think the girl sensed that something was wrong, because she said, “I’ll just check the box for ‘bought too many boxes.’” Yep, one box, that’s too many. Then I felt awkward for making the situation awkward and thought I’d better explain before she thinks I’m a freak. But still the words wouldn’t come.

Most of the time IÂ’m fine, until I have to say the words out loud.

I went to a support group meeting on post the other night, a child loss group. I havenÂ’t been sleeping well since my mom left, and if it worked for Tyler Durden, I thought maybe it might work for me. The ladies in the group were really nice and made me feel entirely welcomed, but I think in some ways it made me feel worse. These are ladies who birthed severely premature babies, but babies nonetheless. They had faces and names and lived for a week on machines. They had funerals and were buried in gowns that people I knit with had made and donated. I just felt stupid mourning the little gummy bear that I lost.

I am JoeÂ’s heaping tablespoon of Perspective.

So most of the time, IÂ’m fine. But every once in a while I get not fine, like when I do something that I wouldnÂ’t be doing if I were pregnant, like mowing the yardÂ…or drinking wine. And I try to resist those feelings inside of me. I try to suppress my inner Dante Hicks, try not to feel like IÂ’m not even supposed to be here, try not to live in this alternate reality where IÂ’m pregnant and happy and shouldnÂ’t be mowing. But itÂ’s hard, because thatÂ’s the parallel universe I want to be living in.

I donÂ’t want to be getting lasik, even though IÂ’ve waited two years to do it.

Maybe I'll just start a fight club.

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June 19, 2008


I've been quoting John Prine a lot these days, haven't I?

You can gaze out the window get mad and get madder,
throw your hands in the air, say "What does it matter?"
but it don't do no good to get angry,
so help me I know

For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter.
You become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there
wrapped up in a trap of your very own
chain of sorrow.

Last miscarriage, I was angry. This time I just feel numb. And defeated. Reality is starting to sink in, and I'm sad. My husband said it best: Now we're just that much further from meeting our son or daughter, the child whose name we picked out during the Clinton administration and who won't be born until well into the next administration. So much time, wasted.

I feel like the last year and a half has been an hourglass, and I keep watching the sand slip through but there's nothing I can do to stop it.

I am Joe's ticking biological clock.

Last week when I dropped my mother off at the airport, I felt sad that she might not get to spend enough time with her grandchild. This week, I choked up because there is no grandchild anymore. What a difference a week makes.

Another week I can't put back into the hourglass.

And you carry those bruises
to remind you wherever you go.

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June 18, 2008


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 16, 2008


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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June 15, 2008



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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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


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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Let's celebrate life.


These are growing in my backyard.


We can have a miniature dinner.

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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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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 12, 2008


Well, shit.
This baby died too.

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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


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!


Recommended reading: Val's post

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June 10, 2008


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


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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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


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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June 04, 2008


I haven't been blogging because I've been so busy. My mother and I have been gardening like crazy. Or, I should say she has, because I am not allowed to lift anything heavier than 20 lbs. She is a stickler about this. So my poor 61-year-old mama has been dragging around bags of mulch and soil all week.

But I did carry something today that was a little heavier than 20 lbs. Charlie Pup had to go to the doggy emergency room. We think he got bit by a spider or bee or something, because his paw was all swollen and he was limping all day. They knocked him out and gave him meds and an IV. The vet was awesome, but our poor pup is still woozy and melancholy. Luckily he just got shaved down the other day, so checking his paws was a little easier.


I had a doctor visit this morning, and I told my husband about it in an email. Then I emailed about the dog. He immediately called home and wanted to know all about the pup's health. You see where the priorities lie, right? Heh.

Husband, the pup is doing fine. Watching a dog wake up from anesthesia is hilarious too.

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June 03, 2008


Dear Bunker,

I can't believe it's been three years. I still miss your voice and wisdom, miss seeing you as my first comment of the day.

I was going to come see you for a round of golf. You let me off the hook golf-wise, but I am still coming. I plan to visit you this fall when SpouseBUZZ Live comes to San Antonio. I will be there to finally meet you for the first time.

I think you'd get a big kick out of my being pregnant. I know you'd be my biggest fan.

I miss you. None of us have forgotten you.


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June 01, 2008


Dear Husband,

As you know, Charlie and I spent Memorial weekend with my father's family. In attendance were ten children under the age of ten. They were all dog owners, so they know how to behave around dogs, but they all own big dogs. So Charlie was a novelty to them; here was a dog they could pick up and carry everywhere. They dragged him all over the place, pulling him into the recliner with them and carrying him around the yard. And he took it, with no fussing whatsoever.

Not even when the girls dressed him up.


Yes, that's right: little girls put humiliating clothes and hats on your dog. And treated him like a baby doll.

This picture just screams "You gotta be kidding me."


But he took it like a man all weekend. I was so proud of him. A few times he tried to hide from the kids under the end table, but they grabbed him and dragged him back out.

And my one cousin brought her new 6-week-old baby to the house. She set his seat up in a room off the living room. Whenever the new baby would fuss, Charlie would get up and go over to him to make sure everything was OK. He'd come back to the middle of the living room like Lassie, as if to tell us, "Didn't you hear that baby? He needs help!"

I think he's going to do just fine with a new baby in our house.


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