April 20, 2009

DEAR DARLA, YOU'RE THE BEST

Darla and I are currently going through much of the same -- a break from babymaking, upcoming deployments, etc -- and she wrote a great post about it.

I'd be lying if I said it hasn't been a little calmer around here since we took a hiatus from the baby making.

This past month has been very relaxing for us. No thinking about babies, no trying for babies, nothing. I had honestly been afraid that we might never be able to go back to "normal," that two years of forced coupling and repeated heartbreak might be hard to undo. But we have spent the past month happy with each other, as happy as we were before this whole mess began. So that was a relief.

I'd be lying to say I wasn't enjoying last weekend. [...] As slightly inebriated baby sister and I stumbled down the streets of Portland in the wee hours of the night behind our spouses, it was a bit of a relief to not be neglecting any children or having to place their care in someone else's hands while being completely stupidly unresponsible for myself. Sometimes it's joyous being an adult, and yes I know they have these things called 'sitters' but those barren like myself have to see silver linings everywhere.

I am quite good at the silver linings game by now. This weekend I ran to the grocery store to buy carrots for Charlie's birthday cake. I wandered around the store for a while, checking everything out. $30 in groceries later, I checked out and went home...to find that I'd left the carrots at the store. Back in the car, run back in the store, back home.

That was annoying, but imagine the ordeal toting a kid. I try to remind myself of stuff like that all the time.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't melancholy on occasion.

Snort. Sitting here doing nothing and then bursting into tears for no reason is just a way of life for me anymore.

Yet, as is the case in life, some evenings are crazier than others and sometimes the littlest stupidest thing, like someone's FB profile photo, can remind you of the exact spot you are at in life. For instance barren, at 29, here, now.

Replace that last sentence with "habitual aborter at 31" and that's me. I can't stand Facebook updates about other people's ultrasounds, and their healthy babies, and their profile pics of their bellies. Sometimes I have to stop myself from making mean comments.

Tomorrow we head to the doctor to find out the results of the tests on our genes and my immune system. I have completely freaked myself out by reading the book Is Your Body Baby Friendly? and now I am imagining the worst.

But truly the worst would be to hear that there's no cause for the repeated miscarriages. Then what?

And Darla, for Easter we had pork wrapped in pork. Mmmm.

Posted by: Sarah at 11:40 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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April 18, 2009

PUPPY BIRTHDAY!

Today our Charles Pup turns four.

He's being spoiled rotten today, with walks and wet dog food, and he'll even get a birthday cake.

It's hard to believe the little sweet potato we picked out...

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is now our favorite creature in the whole wide world...

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Happy Birthday, Charlie!

Posted by: Sarah at 10:19 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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April 03, 2009

HARUMPH

The rejuvenating weekend I have been looking forward to has been somewhat marred...

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April 01, 2009

NO EXPLANATION, BUT I'LL TRY

Since I am so open on my site, it must seem like I say everything here. But I don't. Sometimes I freely show my weaknesses; other times I combat my sadness by hiding it behind sarcasm or the lessons I've learned. But I kept from you the fact that I was straight-up broken for a while. I had some of the hardest days of the last decade of my life, which is why I had to silence my head.

I didn't want to let on how bad things were because I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed that I wasn't coping well, that I was crying constantly, that I was unable and unwilling to leave the house, that I thought that things would be better if I rolled over and grabbed the loaded gun that was a mere arm's reach away from my bed. But I am doing much better now. I really think I had a minor form of postpartum depression and that my problems were hormonal instead of emotional. I am feeling much better, and while I still choke up thinking about what happens if Baby #4 also dies, I am past the worst of things.

I only told a handful of Real Life folks about this baby. One lady I told was the leader of my knitting group. And when I sent out an email that the baby had died, she asked why I couldn't go to a different doctor or see a specialist in the nearby metropolis.

And her email irritated me.

You all know how much I hate my doctor and how I have indeed considered seeking a second opinion elsewhere. Her email was not at all offensive, but the timing just hit me wrong. My first thought was, "Do you not think I am smart enough to have thought of that on my own?" My second was, "Do you not think I am capable of managing my own care?" She implied neither of those, but that was how I mentally responded.

The friends I have who have gone through infertility and loss, they all seem to echo the idea that no advice is good advice. I guess I haven't done a good job of explaining how perfectly reasonable advice can just kill you if you feel it comes at the wrong time or from the wrong person.

It was not my knitting friend's fault, and nor is she a stranger to struggle: she's a recent cancer survivor, one who still has wispy short hair. But I resented her advice nonetheless at the moment she gave it.

When you already feel like a failure, it is difficult to accept anything that smacks of the slightest criticism. Even if it's sound advice, even if it's factually accurate, whatever. It hurts to feel like someone is saying you're not competent enough to find the right doctor, you're not smart enough to google a bit and learn about blood clotting, and yes, even you're not emotionally strong enough to "adjust your reasoning" and try to develop a different meaning of life.

It also hurts when you pride yourself on having a healthy dose of perspective, when you constantly remind yourself of how life could be worse -- my husband could be dead, I could lose a living child, I could never have met my husband in the first place -- to feel like someone is saying that you lack perspective. This is me we're talking about, me. You know me, you have five years of my thoughts. Do you really not think that when I am lying there wanting to shoot myself, that I think of how long Heidi has lived without Sean, how Mare's friends only had their baby for 24 hours, how I have friends who are my age and older who have never married and may never get to find out if they have fertility problems? I do this to myself enough; I don't need to be reminded of it. Or at least I sure didn't the other day when I was already a mental disaster.

And maybe that doesn't make sense to people who are content right now, or whose human chorionic gonadotropin is at zero, but that's the way it feels when you are suffering.

I'm not upset because none of you had any way of knowing how bad things were. Because I didn't tell you. Because I was embarrassed that I was being weak. I was embarrassed that my head was a jumble, that I wanted everyone to go away and leave me alone...but also sending flowers was nice. I wanted to push you away but I wanted you to resist. That's some hormonal nonsense right there. I felt like such a woman for a while.

But my husband handled me beautifully, being understanding and nice and exclaiming gently in frustration, "But I don't know what right looks like!"

And renting Henry Poole Is Here for me. That was great timing.

So I'm better, and I'm technically back. But my mother is visiting and the whole family is headed to SpouseBUZZ Live this weekend, so blogging is still gonna be sparse.

But I'm back.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:39 AM | Comments (18) | Add Comment
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