Friday, September 29, 2006

I spent the day in infertility land and all I got was..... gratitude?!

I spent most of the day reading the blogs of women who are infertile. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read about Amy who recently conceived through IVF only to have her fourth miscarriage. Then Mary Ellen and Steve who, after their second IVF, watched their precious baby stop growing. And an Australian woman who after 11 IVF cycles has lost two sets of twins, at 16 weeks and 23 weeks and recently had a 7 week missed abortion. They all seemed to have survived these ordeals with their senses of humor intact even. They must be incredibly strong people... even, and especially, when they are not.

My plan here is not to compare anybody else's losses to theirs. I WOULD NEVER, EVER, EVER DO THAT! EVERRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

But I am going to compare my losses to theirs. I have found that I am allowed to do that.

I am the only one allowed to do that.

When somebody tells me that I am lucky that I have two kids or that at least I can get pregnant easily, I want to tell them to go f*ck themselves and rightfully so.
But I know that they are right. I KNOW that I am lucky.

NOBODY that I’ve come across yet in the sphere has TWO kids. Two kids that we conceived, both on the first try, without donor profiles, IUI’s, medieval torture devices, second mortgages, or a space-age giant tank that contained a teeny tiny drop of sperm or the hellish process of years of disappointment then injections, home equity loans, hormones, harvests or implantations. I can’t begin to fathom these kinds of AGONIZING.

After coming home from the hospital without Little Charlotte, somebody sent me a copy of Empty Cradle, Broken Heart. Thank the good lord (or whoever) my cradle wasn’t empty then and it isn’t empty now. It’s quite full in fact. Full of the most self-possessed creature I have ever laid eyes upon, in footie pajamas, my 2 year-old daughter. Who sometimes holds my face in her chubby hands and says, Mommmeeeeee. Tonight my 5-year-old son said, “Mom isn’t this a really fancy dinner?” It was a peanut butter and banana sandwich. It was rolled and cut like sushi but still. If I were a god-fearing woman, I’d be on my knees.

The point for me is that I often don’t feel lucky. In fact, lately, I often feel pretty goddamn unlucky and like I’ve been through unimaginable hell since December 28, 2005. One of the things that sucks the most about that hell I’ve been through is that hardly anybody knows.

Two people in my life have a pretty good idea of the hell I’ve been through. Two. And I am not one to suffer silently. Not even close. But I’ve had to because either people don’t ask or they ask but I don’t tell. How could I possibly explain it?

How could I explain what it’s like to hear that I would have to deliver my perfectly healthy baby girl, too early for her to live, so I didn’t die from an infection in my amniotic fluid, while a brand-new baby was crying its very first cries right across the hall. That’s not an appropriate answer for, “So how are you?”

Not one but TWO friends (who were there for me when we lost charlotte in December at 22 1/2 weeks) recently asked me about my most recent disaster and then after I said whatever I said, they both asked, “So how was your summer?” Helloooo, my D&C was on July 5th. I had the stares through most of July and half of August. How was my summer? IT SUCKED!!!!!!

I hate the veil of secrecy and silence and shame that shrouds the truth about the nightmares that we’ve been through or are going through. HATE IT. The blogosphere and all you incredible people and your honesty has renewed my faith in woman and mankind and their respective abilities to DEAL.

My day in infertility land, the point of this post, has reminded me about gratitude. Not the oh-yeah-I-should-remember-how-lucky-I-am type of faux-gratitude but a real I can feel the good things.

I really can feel them. Right now. There are a lot of them. Ooh that feels good.

Okay, enough of that. Back to be-atchin’. Seriously though WHAT THE FUCK AM I TRYING TO SAY??

Oh I know. After July’s disaster, I decided the only really reasonable thing to do in my situation would be... obviously…to get a new tattoo. But what it would it say? I thought about something representative of hope because that’s what I thought I needed most. But then I thought, “Screw hope. Hope is too scary. I’m not going to tattoo myself with a constant reminder that I am hoping for something that I don’t have and might never have.” Hope means something is missing, which, sadly, is pretty much the way I generally view my world.

Eventually I came up with... gratitude. I would tattoo myself with a reminder to feel the good things. Even when everything sucks, there are still a few good things. Something shifts for me when this happens… on a cellular level… even if only for a moment.

Gratitude... to all of you.

By the way, if this sounds like a bunch of sanctimonious f*cking bullshit, go ahead and rip me a new one, I can take it. I hope.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I"m trusting you Universe, you big a-hole

I've been reluctant to even write about this because then it will be OUT THERE and i won't be able to take it back.

I'm happy to rant and rave and curse and relay detailed descriptions of my horrifying experiences. But i'm afraid to write or talk much about my fear or my hope. especially the hope.

It's the goddamn hope that keeps growing back.


I said to my perinatologist, who had nervously watch me nearly die in intensive care as we waited for december's dead baby to come out along with the uterus full of infected amniotic fluid that was causing my organs to fail one by one, "YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET YOUR F*CKING REDEMPTION AND NEITHER AM I."


Yet here i am, barely three months later, waiting to see if i am pregnant for the sixth time. I am doing it again. I am 7dpo and a little clump of could-be baby might be burrowing into my beleagured uterus right now. I hope this is happening. At least I think I do.

If and when i see those two pink lines, what will be the first thing that I think? Will it be... "oh sweet jesus, how might this baby die? what sort of torture might i have to endure this time? will i die too this time? will i end up holding a baby or a corpse? will i end up crying tears of joy or of complete and utter HEARTBREAK? will i see a heartbeat or more crumpled up, motionless, deadness? will i need all those extra pads for post-live-baby delivery or dead? will i be happy when i pull out those pads or suicidal? what will be happening when the sopranos comes back on?


Could somebody please just tell me? If I have the courage (or utter stupidity) to do this again, then shouldn't it turn out okay this time. Yeah, right.

Let's review:

#1 1st try. spotting at 7 weeks then perfect. had no idea how good i had it.

#2 5th try. spotting at 7 weeks, heartbeat, spotting stopped. serious spotting at 10 1/2 weeks. dead baby. baby died at 7 1/2 weeks. THREE WEEKS BEFORE. waited one day for unconscious D&C. had no idea how good i had it.

#3 1st try. spotting at 6 or 7 weeks. heartbeat. more spotting. heartbeat and blood clot. big, nasty blood clot that would most likely end the pregancy. bleeding and terror for 10 weeks. terror, more terror. daughter. alive. very small and really mad, but alive!

#4 1st try. ugh. can't go there. vanishing cervix, cerclage, 22 1/2 weeks brought infection, four days in hospital, 106.1 fever, baby still alive and kicking but she had to die so i didn't. baby, little charlotte, heart-shaped face like her five-year-old big brother.

big brother comes to hospital and inquires, "are we having our baby now?" to which i reply, "We already did, Bud." "Well where is she?" "She's gone, Bud. She died." "Why did she die?" "Because she was too little." heartbreak. I digress. baby in morgue.

#5 1st try. fear. heartbeat. told big brother about baby. he said, "Is our baby going to die?" shock. dead baby on ultrasound at 11 weeks. nightmare. 5 day wait for D&C. night before D&C, misoprostol to "ripen" cervix causes (3 hours later)excruciating toilet delivery of 3 inch long baby with 10 fingers and 10 toes, laid to rest on a bed of toilet paper, needed D&C anyway of course, D&C with NO SEDATIVE WHATSOEVER due to fucktard doctor. pregnant friend who was going to abort her baby if it was a boy calls to announce she's having a girl. good times.

#6 ?

Why on earth would i do this again?

Have I really lost my mind completely this time?

Quite possibly, yes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

“I was very sorry to hear about the latest miss.”


“I was very sorry to hear about the latest miss.”

Those are the words that greeted me yesterday in an email from a second cousin who I never liked anyway.

I was and still am rendered mostly speechless by this _______ condolence. I need some help filling in the blank here.

I need a better description than stupid or unbelievably stupid. How about mind-bogglingly f*cking stupid?

I spent 5 days with a dead baby in me and she feels a need to abbreviate miscarriage with “miss.” Is she that short on time or is that what they are calling it back East?

Background information: When I was about 7 weeks pregnant with my living daughter, who I’ll call Troll Girl (TG), I started spotting, naturally, and had a viability check/ultrasound. The technician looked around in my uterus for a while and then went to get the doctor, naturally.

I hate when they go to get the doctor.

At our most recent dead baby ultrasound on June 30, 2006, the doctor, a high-risk perinatalogist, WENT TO GET THE DOCTOR. I responded to the introducing of the second doctor with, “Fucking great.’

Anyway, back to Troll Girl’s pregnancy, the doctor came and said basically that I had a giant blood clot and I would probably lose the baby. Good times.

My parents came to help care for my 2-year-old son so I could rest. I bled for about 10 weeks and had many ultrasounds where my daughter was miraculously still alive each time.

During this ten weeks, every time I did a “how much am I bleeding right now check?” my mother would ask me how the bleeding was. One time when I emerged ashen-faced from the bathroom she looked at me earnestly and uttered the words, “Did you miss?”

I was dumbfounded by the terminology and I still am today.

Now, let’s have some fun, if anybody’s up for it, thinking of things I could say if and when I respond to my hideous cousin’s hideous email. Let’s do:

“Things I’d like to say if I had the balls and didn’t have to deal with any familial fall-out”

“Things that I really could say” or “How to set her straight in some way that doesn’t involve horrifying her with any gory descriptions”

I’ll start.

“I’d like to say “ARE YOU F*CKING JOKING? Did I ‘miss?’

Is that what it’s called when you watch a small-town adorable fourth of f*cking july parade, on your f*cking 7th wedding ANNIVERSARY, WITH Evil Shadow Pregnancy and a thousand other pregnant women) knowing that there is another dead baby inside you that’s been dead FOR A WEEK and that you have to wait YET ANOTHER DAY to have what’s left of the placenta VACUUMED out of you WITH NO SEDATIVE WHATSOEVER, after a 3 a.m. bloody and excruciating toilet delivery of said dead baby WHO I HELD IN MY HAND BEFORE I LAID HIM ON A LITTLE TOILET PAPER BED JUST BEFORE I HAD TO FISH THE REST OF THE PLACENTA OUT OF THE TOILET FROM AMONGST THE SHIT THAT I HAD TAKEN WHILE DELIVERING THE WHOLE MESS.”

Man that felt good. I am smiling here in Crazytown.

I realize that I have set the bar pretty high for “things I’d like to say to my hideous cousin” but why not go for it anyway?

Or alternatively, I am COMPLETELY stumped on things I could actually say to her.

Final thought: I really hope that I am not traumatizing or re-traumatizing any of you with my way-too-much-information-rantings from my chamber of horrors.

Monday, September 25, 2006

My shadow pregnancy is EVIL

As if i wasn't enduring enough torture....

Early this summer, a week after i got pregnant with our most recent disaster, the one that i held in my hand after delivering him alone on my toilet, my now ex-friend told me that she was also pregnant. This woman is a neighbor and was a close friend during my 22 week dead baby disaster in December 2005. I will call her Evil Shadow Pregnancy* (ESP) (she is due the week after I was due).

She already has a 3 year, 4 month-old boy and an 18month old boy aka "the stairstep children." She's due in January and then will have three children age 3 & under. Don't get me started on that.

She was DESPERATE for girl and i mean desperate like you won't believe, desperate like MAYOR of Crazytown desperate (thansk charlotte for this useful term) She was doing everything humanly possible to conceive a girl but the month that she got pregnant she ovulated early and so it turned out she inadvertently had sex during BOY TIMING. GASP!! Such was her dismay at the bad timing that she wigged and got a prescription for the morning after pill. It didn't work.

So she went thru the first 6 or so weeks of the pregnancy in denial. She told me right away that she was planning to wait for the CVS and abort the baby if it was a boy. Yes you heard me. She didnt tell many people; she was "trusting me" with this obviously sensitive information. I didn't share my opinion with her and she didn't ask for it. She said basically if it’s a girl, then I can handle another baby (in addition to her two out-of-control, maniac boy toddlers, but if it’s a boy then and I quote, “I’m all set.” Off to the baby vacuum with him.

At one point she said she was just really in denial of the pregnancy and was in a very "Zen-like" state about the whole thing. Sister, I'm no Buddhist but I know Zen-like and THAT AIN"T IT.

She went for her CVS at 10 weeks and refused to look at the screen. I started to feel like giving her some advice but she made it clear that she was not talking or thinking about it at that point.

Right around that time, I saw my second dead baby on an ultrasound. I had to wait FIVE days for a D&C.


The night before D(&C)Day finally rolled around, I woke up in a pool of blood (no thanks to the misoprostol that was supposed to "ripen" my cervix for the procedure). Don't get me started on the misoprostol fiasco.

I ended up violently expelling the contents of my uterus and delivering little melman into the palm of my hand. I went on to have a goddamn D&C anyway, without any type of sedative whatsoever, because the do-it-myself abortion wasn’t complete. More on this later. Back to the story.

After my nightmarish ordeal, I subjected family and friends to an email that briefly and bitterly described the ordeal. My ex-friend was mad that I was insensitive enough to send her the email which included a description of the 3 ½ inch long baby with fingers and toes that I could’ve counted.

At this point, the advice I wanted to give ESP was this: pretending that your baby doesn’t exist and then aborting him is likely to set you up for a bigger disaster. I was afraid that after she did it she would THEN start to think about what the baby looked like at the point of its demise.

I though she’d be better off acknowledging her son first and then if she chose to go through with it, then she knew full well who she was aborting, namely a baby with fingers and toes and unfortunately for him, a penis.

I digress. On the day that I found out from pathology that my dead baby, whose ashes I would soon pick up, was a boy. Finding this out added to my heartbreak for reasons that I will explain later.

While I was reeling from the shock, she called to tell me the good news. She was having a girl, the girl that she wanted so badly that she was going to abort a male fetus. I couldn’t f*cking believe it.

She actually said, “Yeah... I don’t know why I’m not more excited.” I said, “Well, the alternative was a little sobering.” That’s the closest we’ve come to broaching the topic.

It had not really occurred to me that she might actually be having a girl and that I might have to be around Evil Shadow Pregnancy and watch her go through her pregnancy. I was an extra-big wreck for days, weeks after she so kindly shared her happy news. I had "the stares" so aptly named by bri at unwellness for about a week.

What the f*ck.

I was already a little unclear on how the dispensing of live and dead babies worked anyway and why the universe or bad luck or whatever had given me three dead babies but THIS? Why does she get her happy ending when she was going to abort her baby because it was a boy?

When I see Evil Shadow Pregnancy (ESP) I am filled with rage and bitterness. I have been avoiding her like the plague, which has been a little awkward since we are neighbors and she did come, rubbing her 20-week-belly, to my son’s birthday party and to our neighborhood camp-out a few weeks later.

One time when I saw her I was visibly f’ed up I think and she asked me how I was and then suggested I needed a little more time to myself. Grrrr.

I ran into her today. I got away as fast as I could. I have some seriously unpleasant thoughts about ESP. I hope she feels guilty for the rest of her life. I hope her three babies at once make her life a living hell. I hope her little princess is a raving bitch. I feel bad for thinking such unpleasant thoughts, sort of, well not really.

I heard through a mutual good friend of mine, who is due the day before me- (MO’ FO!!!!!) that ESP wasn’t bonding to the baby and needed to see vagina on the 20-week-ultrasound before she could really believe it.

I hate Evil Shadow Pregnancy.

However, I do not want to be consumed by this rage and bitterness any longer.


I’d really like to hear your uncensored thoughts on what you think of all this and then any suggestions on getting a grip on my substantial rage.

*Thanks to Bri at unwellness’s friend jen for this useful term, shadow pregnancy.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My ass germs killed my baby and other horrible anecdotes

Today I am no longer thinking that I haven't suffered enough. Today I am composing a list of captions for some of last night's most awful flashbacks.

Hopefully, eventually, retching up these stories one-by-one in a slow-motion vomit will leave me feeling better, perhaps a little less like a hole is being eaten away inside me. For now, I entertain myself with titles from the chamber of horrors.

A few of my favorites:

"You're sorry for my loss? My LOSS is even't dead yet. My loss is kicking me right now and I saw her on an ultrasound an hour ago."

"Just because I'm feeling fine doesn't mean my baby isn't dead." Alternative title: "Just because I'm feeling fine doesn't mean my baby isn't dead and didn't die THREE WEEKS AGO."

"Um, yeah, I can't scatter these ashes because I'd be creating a tiny crime scene. Could I get them re-processed so there won't be any femurs or hip sockets, please?"

"Okay ... so the fetus was supposed to look like a raspberry. When was the last time you saw a 3-inch long raspberry with fingers and toes?

"What I did on my summer vacation: Added another set of ashes to the one already in my kitchen cabinet. During Thanksgiving break, maybe I'll figure out what to do with them."

No wonder I can't get to sleep.

That's all for now. Time to go attend to the kids, aka "the trolls."

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm not worthy

I've been trying to figure out what to say on my first post. Problem is, there's too much to say and bigger problem is, who will care. After a few days of reading the first blogs i've ever read, i've heard some unbelievable horror stories. I'm afraid to post comments and/or introduce myself for fear of rejection.

Recently, I was rejected by a potential grief-mate because i hadn't lost my baby at FULL-TERM like her. I was stunned. She highlighted FULL-TERM in her rejection email.

I felt so relieved to finally find the the world of the deadbabyblogs where i could tell my horrifying story without offending anybody. Now that I've lurked for a few days, I realize that my story isn't so bad compared to so many others.

I am afraid that people TTC will reject me because I get pregnant easily and that people who've had disasters will reject me because none of my disasters were at term and I have two living children. Could I possibly feel like I haven't suffered enough? How f'ed up is that?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

We have two incredible kids. A year ago, we decided to have one more. One year later, I've held one dead baby in my arms and one in the palm of my hand. We'd like to have one that lives next time. Is that too much to ask? Only time will tell.