Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Change of plans

(I wrote this hours ago but was not able to edit and post it until now because Rocket Man was hogging the computer.)

The baby looks great, once again!! The little creature actually looks a lot like a baby now. Arms were waving and legs were kicking and the heart was beating. I launched the little guy off its resting place when I had to cough for the u/s technician. There is a real live baby in there and it bounces up when I cough. Whoa.

Regarding the CVS, well… I didn’t do it. We got the results of the combined screening test after the nuchal translucency u/s was done. I did the dried blood test two weeks ago so I could reserve the option to do the combined screening. Today they did the NT u/s anyway (I guess they do that routinely when you’ve got the dried blood results to combine with the NT u/s) which consisted of measuring the neck fold and plugging a number into the computer. The results were really good. The chance of Down’s is 1 in 3,681 and the chances of the trisomies is 1 in 6 thousand or so.

We were going to do the CVS anyway because we read that the combined screening misses Down’s 10-15% of the time and trisomy 10% of the time. Those numbers freaked me out and the CVS doc confirmed them. However, that is not to say that my chance of Down’s isn’t still 1 in 3,681. That’s the part that I hadn’t understood. I thought that the test being wrong 10-15% of the time meant that my great number could be COMPLETELY wrong that frequently. Apparently that isn’t true.

We were confused by this information today (and I still am a little) but it boils down to this. There is a 1 in 3,681 chance of Downs and there is a 1 in 200 (maybe 1 in 250 in this practice) chance that the CVS could cause a miscarriage or an infection that could also end the pregnancy. Upon being assured that this was essentially the situation, I decided against doing the CVS. One in 3,681 is a much more palatable risk than 1 in even 250 or 300. I could not deal with the idea of walking out of there and having to wait to see if my baby was going to end up dead knowing that it would be MY FAULT this time. When I thought about having to wait to see if I was going to start bleeding or suddenly get a fever again and then end up losing my baby, I got teary and decided no f*cking way. It’s kind of crazy that we misunderstood the risks and nearly did the CVS but I feel clear that we made the right decision. There was just no way I could feel okay about taking that kind of chance, 1 in 200, when our chances of Downs are 1 in 3,681.

I hope that makes sense. I bet that some of you understand the statistics better than I do. I put a note in my post from a few weeks ago where I quoted those stats so people don’t get confused. I am relieved and actually happy for a change.

After I posted this mornings cranky, pessimistic post, I was feeling bad about being so negative. I wanted you all to know that I do try to give myself pep talks and I do try to sing a different tune every now and then. So then I was taking a shower and I had an epiphany of sorts. While I was busy lathering up, I multi-tasked by also catastrophizing about the baby turning up dead on the u/s. I imagined that I would immediately ask for a shot of a sedative, as if they would have one laying around. It was then, during my “daymare” (as opposed to daydream or nightmare), that one of the less vocal members of the committee in my head pounded her fists on the table and screamed, “NO WAYYYY!! That is not going to happen. ENOUGH ALREADY. There is no f*cking way that is going to happen.” It was as if some part of me was, understandably, sick of listening to the parade of potential horrors and just rebelled. (It’s funny because I have been rebelling against something for most of my life but the one taking most of the beatings is me.) So I am standing there in the shower feeling better and really feeling like there is no way that Christmas is going to be ruined and I am not going to see another dead baby and my family isn’t going to have to endure my falling apart after losing a fourth and final baby. We are having a baby dammit and that kid is going to be so adored by his brother and sister, not to mention his parents and it’s all friggin’ good. That’s it. There’s a happy ending to that anecdote. Oh and a valuable lesson for me I think is that sometimes it’s good to not only let yourself go there but to go maybe a little too far so even you can’t stand it and a part of you gets strong and fights back.

That’s all I’ve got today. I’m good for now. Thanks for the love. Right back atcha.

Deep breath

I've been away and been grateful for the distraction the change of scenery provided. Now I'm back, just in time for the CVS today at 11:15. Naturally I am singing the same old tune and that is one of being panic-stricken. Oh how I wish I could have a different frame of mind but that is just not available. Fear of the deadbabyultrasound is in my cells. It's part of who I am.

The second deadbabyultrasound shock was the one that really did me in. And it was so recent that I can think of nothing else today. On the bright side, I am hopeful that those of you innocents who read this will not be infected by deadbabyterror merely because you've read this. I think, and hope, that it has to happen to you for the fear to really take hold of you. I HATE the idea that I am IN ANY WAY spoiling the pregnancies of people who have read this blog.

Shortly I will leave for my appointment. Foremost on my mind is getting through the moment when the baby is either alive or dead. I so fear that moment.

If we get through that moment, then I will get a good look at the baby and I will ask the technician how the neck fold and other measurements are looking. We aren't doing the NT u/s but I am hoping to get a little information anyway.

Once the u/s and CVS are over, then we wait. I go home and wait to see if the CVS will cause a miscarriage, as it does in 1 of 200 cases. I think we are in the clear after 48 hours. I will inquire about what can go wrong post-CVS and how you know it is going wrong.

After we clear the danger zone then we wait for the news of genetic health. Having not experienced bad news from a genetic test, I am aware of the possibility of a bad result but I don't fear it with every ounce of my being. Hey, I think I caught a break there.

One step at a time here. First, shower. Then, drive. Then, hold my breath until we see a heartbeat.

Thanks in advance for your encouragement. I am glad to know that people are thinking postitively on my behalf. At least somebody is thinking positively and I really do mean that. I want to do it but I find that I just can't.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Still alive and kicking!

The baby is alive and its heart is beating. The little creature, after laying motionless at first and freakig me out, waved its hand and kicked its legs. My doctor asked why I still had a frozen look on my face and I didn't know why. My heart was pounding so hard that we could see my artery looking like a beating heart.

The u/s was about 10 seconds long on a machine with lousy resolution. Fancy doc gave Sprout a quick look and then pronounced him/her to be the picture of health. I guess I was hoping for a little closer look or possibly, most improbably, an impromptu measurement of the neck fold and assurance that the genetic health looked excellent. So my expectations were a little high as far as hoping for a clue about genetic health. Fancy doc assured me that his guesstimate of the heart rate to be in the 140's jives perfectly well with last week's heart rate of precisely 167. Naturally, I was on the lookout for a declining heart rate.

I didn't feel the tremendous wave of relief that I felt last u/s but I wasn't scared half to death today either. The baby is alive and that's great news. I'm working on letting that sink in and trying to shelve genetic health concerns so I can get a moment's peace here.

The baby is alive and it waved. Pretty freakin' cool. (Huge sigh)

Thanks for the good vibes. I was desperately trying to kill time this morning and welcomed the distraction.

Paranoid Tuesday

As my 2:15 ultrasound approaches, paranoia is setting in. I think what is happening here is an attempt by my subconscious mind to anticipate disaster and in doing so consider all possible indicators of impending disaster. I am trying desperately to prepare myself for a shock even though I know that any such efforts are completely futile.

Possible indicator of impending disaster #1:

Rocket Man returned home from his business trip last night only to find me WIDE-AWAKE on the couch at 10 p.m. Awake. Wide-awake even. Not passed out and bound to be super-grouchy when he wakes me up to haul me off the couch and into bed. Not fallen asleep mid-stitch with my knitting in my lap. Not drooling on myself with my glasses pressed uncomfortably into my nose leaving an angry purplish-red dent when I take them off. Wide awake.

Come to think of it, as I did when he found me awake, I was awake at 10 the night before also. Flashback to June 29th when I was also not passed out on the couch two nights in a row. I wondered back then what the hell was I doing awake? What happened to my customary 1st trimester exhaustion that lays me out every night by at least 9 p.m. I remember thinking, back in June, why I was suddenly awake two nights in a row. I found out why the next day: dead baby. Yes folks it’s true. My paranoia is such that awake at 10 p.m.= dead baby alert. Welcome to Crazytown.

Thank God I won’t have to suffer the anxiety for too much longer. Today’s anxiety that is. After today’s ultrasound, a new panic will slowly take hold, peaking by next Tuesday’s u/s and CVS.

Possible indicator of impending disaster #2:

My nausea has eased up quite a bit. Last week it went AWAY for a few days. Naturally I got pretty worried about this. Flashback to deadbabydisaster #1 back in August 2003, when at 10 ½ weeks I said to my ex-doctor, “I actually feel good. What’s going on? Is that baby still in there?” We both kind of laughed it off. Oh, the naiveté. The baby was still in there of course but it wasn’t alive. It had died three weeks before and didn’t bother to notify me or my placenta.

My nausea has returned, thank God, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was before last week. It could be tapering off because the placenta has failed to take over progesterone production from the ovaries and maybe it’ll turn out that there is a progesterone problem after all and we never did do another blood test to see how the progesterone numbers were looking…. Argh.

Possible indicator of impending disaster #3:

These aren’t actual indicators they’re just things running through my tortured mind. 10 ½ weeks is a big hurdle for me. Deadbaby #1 was discovered at 10 ½ weeks. Deadbaby #2 keeled over at 10 ½ weeks. I am a day past 10 ½ weeks today. Memories… like the corners of my mind, misty-water colored memories. Ugh.

The possible chromosomal translocation that fancy doc’s colleague mentioned is pushing its way from the back of my mind. If there is a problem, it will become apparent soon, which leads me to Today’s Obstetrical Fantasy.

I am hoping that at the u/s today fancy doc will call in a colleague or somebody who is experienced with neck fold assessment. Not in that uh-oh I better go get the doctor/another doctor way but in a since you’re here let’s tell you how good Sprout’s neck fold looks way. We are passing on the NT u/s but I am hoping that somebody can have a look at the neck fold today since now is an appropriate time to measure it. To complete the fantasy, somebody will suggest putting the dried blood test results with the NT measurement and we’ll end up with an impromptu comb*ned screening which will show us amazingly good result. We’ll still do the CVS next week but at least we’ll have some good news to think about in the coming week.

A girl can dream, right?

I’m off to shower so I can feel confident about my freshness for the possible cervical exam. Ooh I forgot to factor in concerns about how my poor cervix is doing. It has proven that it can’t be trusted and I am never confident about what it might be up to.

That’s it. I think.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tuesday’s coming. Must be time for more drama.

Tuesday is officially baby drama day. Not to make light of it because Tuesday is really hideously scary, holding my breath, watching three deadbabydisasters flash before my eyes, NEVER going to do this again day. Tuesday is also my day off from the kids, the living ones, that is. That’s why I schedule my appointments on Tuesday. I’ll never take my kids with me again to an ultrasound just in case my baby turns out to be dead. Been there, not going back.

On Tuesday I have an appointment with fancy doc, the high-risk perinatalogist who is my sole OB/GYN provider at this point. I will have my incompetently-behaved cervix checked for early signs of more bad behavior and then we’ll do an ultrasound. Scratch that. WTF am I saying???????? We will do the ultrasound first. Never, ever again will I spend any length of time discussing my pregnancy, cerclage, BIRTH?!, whatever only to find that we really need to be discussing scheduling a D&C. I will never again put myself in a position to hear fancy doc say, after a TWO-HOUR (or 10-minute) discussion of the game plan, “Let’s just have a quick look” only to be shocked beyond ordinary comprehension by a motionless, crumpled baby, at 11 weeks. We’ll do the ultrasound first, right there, no waiting for a bone-headed technician to ask if this is my first baby.

On Tuesday I will be 10 weeks, 5 days which is 1 measly day past where our last baby died on us. 10 ½ weeks is my second and last 1st trimester deadbabydisaster milestone/hurdle that needs to be left behind. After we get past this one (I had to resist adding an “if” back there) then it’s on to the CVS and then the cerclage and then the 22 ½ week hurdle, then the point where a baby could live if delivered immediately because I get another deadly infection. I digress.

Backing up a little, every ultrasound gives me fresh hope that we’ll be expecting a baby in June. On Tuesday it will be a huge relief, once again, to see a live and kicking little tyke. The 10 ½ week hurdle will be behind us and I can fly off for Thanksgiving knowing that my baby was alive at 10 w, 5 d. I will try not to think about the possibility that its heart could stop beating right after the ultrasound. Believe it or not, I am trying to have a positive attitude about all this. Scary that this is me actually trying to have a positive attitude. I am hoping that if I write these things than I can release them a little and think about them less. Unfortunate that those of you reading this might be infected by awful things you hadn’t even considered. Such is life in deadbabyland.

Next Tuesday, the 28th, I will be genetically counseled and then I will have a CVS. I has been planning to do the combin*d screening/NT ultr*sound but have recently decided against it. What clinched it for me was this: The combin*d screening test misses Down’s syndrome 10-15% of the time and trisomy 10% of the time. Those numbers are way too big for me. ((***Editorial Note: These numbers misrepresent the facts. I found out today, 11/28/06 that these numbers don't paint a complete picture and I decided against having the CVS because my combined screening numbers looked really good. See my post on 11/28/06 for more on this***)). Obviously that doesn’t mean that a baby will have Down’s 10-15% of the time but still. Rocket Man’s childhood friend just had their 3rd child and that the baby has Down’s was a complete shock to them. Their comb*ned screening numbers looked great. The doctor who will do my CVS is the best in this area and among the best in the country. My placenta is well-positioned for a transabdominal which is great because we can’t take the chance of pissing off my testy cervix. (My cervix apparently held a grudge when a cm and a half of it was chopped off two months before I got pregnant with LC. Unfortunately I had no idea that the lopping off of a ¼ of my cervix might pose a problem for a future pregnancy. Hindsight. Harumph.)

On a different note altogether, I haven’t been posting or reading because I’ve been feeling like shit and having a cold. I have also been stewing over the unresolved aggravation regarding ESP and her email back to me. After I got her response I was distracted by the spotting that started. Less than 24 hours after my good ultrasound, I was back to be-atching about ESP. I really hate this about myself; I celebrate good news for way less time than I stew over bad news. For me homeostasis is dwelling in and on the negativity. I don’t know how to be any other way. It’s exhausting. I hear that great things are being done with electroshocktherapy. Maybe I’ll try that after this pregnancy is over. Joking. (BTW, I was also joking about me doing housework. No danger of me picking up a vacuum.)

I appreciated all the insightful comments regarding ESP. Let me assure you all that I would not have given her a second thought if she weren’t a NEIGHBOR. Our little neighborhood is small and intimate. I have to work hard to avoid her house and in doing so I am avoiding other friends and neighbors who live right near her. I will have to see her at neighborhood events of which there are many and our kids will go to the same school. She is also one of the few neighbors that has kids as young as mine and she’s the only one having a baby. Blah, blah, blah. These things are what make it hard to let go.

I hate the angst that I feel when I walk out my door. It’s like her house is haunted and I feel its bad vibes. UGH. Furthermore, I HATE not having the last word. I really wanted to send a reply but have resisted doing so. You all are right. There is no point. I want to set her straight on a few things but I actually do understand that it isn’t possible to set her straight. She doesn’t get it and she never will. How could I want to hang on to a friendship that never stood a chance? Just because we really did click when we first met? Is it because she rejected me? Partly but I should be able to see that she did me a favor.

Rocket Man dreamt about her husband last night while I was dreaming about her. We saw them yesterday as we were driving by. My reaction was one of wanting to forgive her. I am crazy and I should be put away. Reading your responses and parts of her email remind me of how much I loathe her. Why the hell do I need reminding?

I hate living with the grudge; I’m holding or have held so many that this one feels like more than I can bear. But THIS is no time to stop holding grudges for Christ’s sake.

There. I did it. I exhausted myself on the topic.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Alive and kicking!

Jesus H. Christ what an emotional rollercoaster. Our baby looks great. I was TERRIFIED, afraid to look and see a crumpled-up baby, afraid to close my eyes and hear nobody saying anything only to open them to see “that look” on a doctor’s face.

I looked and saw a creature resembling a baby who was kicking its legs and wiggling around. It was really, genuinely cute! I started to cry and didn’t stop (okay I took short breaks) for a good hour. The RELIEF and joy are indescribable. I don’t think I even realized how worried and afraid I have been. I SO did not want to figure out how to tell my five-year-old son that our baby died for the third time (knowing myself that it would be OVER-no more pregnancies, no more torture.) I so did not want to go through another deadbabynightmare. I so did not want to get sloppy drunk at Thanksgiving because I am full of grief and bitterness. I did not want Christmas to be ruined again, by the taint of another pregnancy that ends disastrously. There are so many awful things that I did not want to be set in motion today and none of them happened. I walked back out of that place with tears of joy streaming down my snotty face.

It is such a gorgeous day here and I cried all the way from my appointment. I cried when we got home because I think maybe someday we can bring this baby home in a carseat instead of a little box of ashes. Maybe I won’t have to move my maternity clothes out of my drawers for the third time in a year. Maybe we will bring home a live baby to this house that we only moved into 18 months ago. Maybe I’ll get to feel this baby kick me. It seems possible now and I cried because that is scary and because it is possible.

I cried because my baby is ALIVE.

I can’t thank you enough for your messages, curse words, good vibes, prayers, worries, and love. At the risk of sounding corny, I feel all of you with me. I so appreciate it. Thanks for riding the rollercoaster with me. It’s a little less terrifying because I’m less alone this time. I'm so grateful for each of you.

P.S. The spotting has tapered off to a brown-tinged discharge. After I started cramping yesterday, Rocket Man came home and I was practically immobile for the rest of the day. By bedtime, the spotting had almost stopped. The doctor was reassured by it being brown and not red. No evidence of a blood clot like with my daughter. It's probably time to try not to lug my 25-lb maniac of a daughter around so much.
Maybe I should lay off the housework too. As if.

Monday, November 13, 2006

no way

i'm spotting. it started this morning and is getting heavier, although it is still very light. but it's spotting for sure, brown. i have some cramping but i am choosing to believe that is just a coincidence.

i scheduled an ultrasound for tomorrow at 10:45.

no f*cking way.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Since I've gone this far...

I should have taken your good advice and never contacted ESP. As it stands right now, things are much worse than before I emailed her. Here is my response to her response. She responded again with someseriously unbelievable bullshit. I haven't emailed her back and don't know if I will. At this point, I am attempting to comfort myself with imagining the things that I'd like to say back. So I'm back to where I started from. Harumph.

Ooh I am also so mad that I said some nice things to her and I extended an olive branch of sorts. ARGH.

So this is email #3, my response to her response to my initial email.


One thing that seems very safe to say is that neither one of us got what we needed from each other. I hate that our paths put us at such disparate places in our lives. I so enjoyed your friendship and I felt like we really clicked and were going to be friends for forever. I never meant to judge you and I regret that we’ve both suffered so much and been unable to help each other. No need to worry about sounding bitchy or harsh; the only shot we have of really getting past this is for us both to be completely honest.

I had NO IDEA that you felt like I was cramming my opinion down your throat and that it was upsetting for you to hear that you might be tormented by terminating. (I don’t recall actually saying anything like that to you. I recall wanting to talk to you about it but never getting the chance.) It never occurred to me that you wouldn’t be tormented by guilt if you terminated. I hadn’t thought of that as a possibility. You certainly seemed conflicted about it and I thought you didn’t do micros*rt because it seemed like tampering with fate or something. I thought that you told me because you wanted feedback, guidance, approval, or something. I thought that suggesting an acknowledgment and apology might help you get through it but I see now that you didn’t feel like there was anything to apologize for.

In your email you sound like you were so shocked at my suggestion of apology and you felt that you had nothing to apologize for. But then you say that you don’t know if you would’ve done it. That gives me the idea that you weren’t certain that you’d do it and that you were actually conflicted. I experienced you as conflicted and as I said before I was trying to help you. I didn’t know what you needed. I thought I was being a BAD FRIEND by not being honest and I didn’t want you to turn to me later and ask why I didn’t say something. I’ve never been in a situation like that before and my impulse is always to help a friend work through shit by DIGGING INTO IT and helping them process and deal. I wasn’t bragging about my psychology degrees; I was trying to tell you that this is who I am and how I function. I process EVERYTHING to death and I have always been this way. We didn’t have a chance for you to see that about me I guess. I didn’t WANT you to be tortured. It hadn’t occurred to me that you might not be. I was trying to help. I was trying to help. I was trying to help. I get, NOW, that I didn’t help.

I’m not pro-life and I support women having a right to choose whether or to have a baby. My sister terminated her third pregnancy and told only me about it. She regrets terminating now but at the time it was the right thing for her. I supported her decision and did all that I could to help her think it through. That is my only experience with termination of a viable, normal pregnancy. During all of our many conversations about how much you wanted a girl, I never got the idea that you supported a woman’s right to terminate based on gender. I’m saying this because I just didn’t know where you were coming from when you told me and consequently I didn’t know how to help you. I could not have encouraged you to go for it without any concern for how you’d feel afterwards. I would have been lying my ass off and I wouldn’t have felt right about that. That didn’t even feel possible. If I said no judgment at first than I meant it but as time went by I felt differently and anything I said was always motivated by WANTING TO HELP YOU.

This next part may be a little harsh but it is how I feel. It doesn’t feel good for you tell me how so many others were happy for you despite their losses and infertility. Had any of them just lost their third baby when you were “in denial” of the existence of yours? Would they have understood that you were “all set” and didn’t need another boy even though you chose to get pregnant? Would they have understood when you acted like nothing had ever happened when your baby turned out to be a girl, when you called to tell me and never in any way acknowledged how that might be hard for me, on the same day that I found out that my THIRD dead baby was the boy that I wanted?

I do understand this; we do not get where each other is coming from at all. I don’t understand your need for a daughter because I haven’t lived your life. I know several people who didn’t get the girl or boy that they so desperately wanted. I get that it has been brutal for them to come to terms with. My problem is not as much that you were thinking of terminating as HOW YOU HANDLED IT, particularly when my concurrent huge fucking disaster occurred.

I don’t expect you to understand how it feels to lose a baby. I recall you saying how upset you were that _____ wasn’t conceived exactly when you wanted. Imagine giving up your “plan” THREE TIMES. I’ll have 2 three-year age gaps instead of two years, if I’m lucky. Two times I was at the end of the first trimester only to see a dead baby on an ultrasound and have my plan for a two-year age difference go to shit. One time I had to deliver my perfectly healthy baby at nearly 23 weeks, too early to live. I felt her kicking an hour before she was delivered, destined to die immediately. Call me Mrs. Doom and Gloom but I have been through shit that I will never ever forget and that I will think of in the middle of the night for the rest of my life. There were hip sockets in _____’s ashes. I came home from the hospital WITHOUT MY BABY because she was in the morgue. It’s called Post-Tra*matic Stress Dis*rder and it all came back to me when I woke up in a pool of blood shortly before delivering another dead baby into my hand. I had to fish the placenta out of the toilet from amongst the shit that I had taken when I delivered him ALONE. I did this and I’ll never ever forget it no matter how much I want to. Now I’m crying. The reason I’m saying this is to illustrate how COMPLETELY DEVASTATING AND HORRIFYING it was losing the baby in July and how hard it was to deal with your situation at the same time. With no acknowledgement from you.

Three times, I have had to watch friends and strangers continue on with their pregnancies while I grieved the loss of my babies. You are the only one that I have been unable to see. I’ve seen _____ many times. I started feeling very upset about you when you told me the news and acted as if nothing had ever happened as far as possible termination. “I don’t know why I’m not more excited.” I guess I was supposed to pretend with you but I couldn’t. I can’t imagine a person alive that could have pretended with you. Actually I did sort of pretend but after we hung up I started to be unable to see you.

I can see now that you expected complete support and that I was expected to bear the burden of being unable to say anything in response. Does that not seem like a lot to expect from somebody? Were all of your East Coast friends completely supportive? If so, did any of them have a third dead baby in the process? I hope it’s clear that this is so not about you being pregnant. Being pregnant again myself has not changed my feelings one bit. I am just sick of carrying this around with me.

Regarding how I treated ____ and the kids, I think it was nice of me to apologize for running away the one time that I saw them since the summer. How I treated them being “very painful and disappointing” was a little much for me to take. It’s been painful and disappointing on my end as well.

I wrote all of this because, in your response, I didn’t feel that you really acknowledged how the whole situation was for me. I imagine that it’s hard for you to think straight right now, having had such a shitty week but that’s not to say that I think acknowledgement is still forthcoming. I hope it is because it’s been really awful struggling with this. Sounds like it has sucked for you too (understatement). I look forward to getting this over with and not thinking about it anymore. I literally spent five hours working on this yesterday, fending off the kids and more hours on Saturday morning and I dreamt about you too.

I need you to hear that it was awful for me to lose my baby while you were considering terminating yours. And that it was extra awful to then have you keeping yours without acknowledging how that must have been for me. I know that I have been completely unavailable for you since then but you were also not in any way there for me after my horrible loss.

We have let each other down completely and I don’t know how we can repair the damage. I think apologies are needed. I am a little reluctant to apologize to you because it feels like you kind of threw the ____ apology back into my face. I will say this: I am sorry that you felt so unsupported by me when you told me about your situation. I am sorry that I couldn’t give you what you needed before or after you found out that the baby is a girl. I am sorry that you are going through this pregnancy without me.

I think that the next step, once you send back a blistering reply, if that’s what you need to do, is for us to actually speak in person. I think it would help for us to see each other’s faces and remember how much we used to like each other and how we liked each other immediately. I have really missed you. We really were just in a very difficult situation where it would’ve been nearly impossible to empathize with each other.

Christ I’m sorry this is so f*cking long. I really have thought about you probably every day since June and sometimes for hours on end. I’m ready to release it. I felt like I released it but then I got your reply and I was like, “Oh ouch” and I have been immersed in it since then. Send a reply if you want but I am also willing to talk and get this over with. I guess it’s time to forgive. Your move.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

My fucked up ticker

The words on my ticker are black so they don't show up. Ticker fact*ry doesn't offer any options but I can't find a "walking on eggshells" until the end of the first trimester ticker anywhere else. Does anybody have any suggestions? Is there a way to change the blog template or the ticker html code so the letters will show up? Seems like a tall order but then again a man has walked on the moon.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

This post will self-destruct in 24 hours

I did it. I emailed Evil Shadow Pregnancy. I am sick of carrying this business around with me and I don't care anymore what happens from her end. There is nothing to lose here. I think I'll delete this post soon because of concerns regarding privacy violations. It's so LONG, I know but I could've said more that's for sure.


Time for me to get this off my chest. I have spent many, many hours on the situation between us, many of them in the middle of the night. I am prompted to contact you because I feel bad about giving you the silent treatment, fifth-grade-style. The last time I saw you, at ____'s house, my uncontrollable impulse was to get away as quickly as possible. I was able to be fake when I had seen you previously but now I just want to run. I am not proud of treating you and your family this way so the time has come for me to speak my peace. I would’ve done this sooner but I assumed that you would not want to hear what I have to say.

When you first told me about your pregnancy and your plans to possibly terminate, I felt for you and the difficult situation that you were in. That’s not to say that I wasn’t shocked since last I heard you had some ethical issues about doing micros*rt, but I felt for you because you were obviously really struggling. As time went by, I started to feel bad about not being more honest with you. I didn’t want to be the friend that didn’t speak up in case you were looking for approval or if you were later tortured by your decision. Having lost three babies, I know all too well that it doesn’t end with the D&C; that’s just the beginning of living the rest of one’s life with the memory of a dead baby and the godawful process of ending the pregnancy. I really wanted to talk to you about that and I spent a TREMENDOUS amount of time trying to think of what I would say and how I would say it. In response to my phone message saying that I really wanted a chance to talk to you, you made it clear that you didn’t want to talk about it and that you were happy in your “Zen-like state”of denial. This is where I started to have more trouble with the situation. The advice that I so desperately wanted to give you was this: If you are going to terminate, rather than denying the baby’s physical presence, I would recommend acknowledging his presence and apologizing for your inability to bring him into this world. I was afraid for you that if you managed to get through the D&E that you would then be tortured by your decision for the rest of your life. I thought there was a way to acknowledge and apologize that would make things easier for you. The acknowledgement would also come in handy should the baby turn out to be a girl. Then you wouldn’t have to live with the awkwardness and guilt of suddenly accepting a previously rejected baby. I wanted to help you. I have three graduate degrees in psychology; it isn’t in my nature to not try to help a friend work through some shit. I wanted to help.

That’s where I was at when we discovered our dead baby. I know you did not appreciate receiving my graphic email about the unimaginable hell that I had just been through. Part of the reason I sent it was because I would’ve told you anyway and the other part was because I think it was important for you to acknowledge that your baby existed and had a body and eyes and fingers and toes. That was my only opportunity to nudge you into an acknowledgement that I thought was important. Maybe you thought that it wasn’t my place to tell you what was important but did you really expect me to just say and do nothing about your dilemma? It was an awkward position for me to be in even before our baby died. And like I said I was trying to help. I wasn’t saying you shouldn’t do it. I was trying to help you do it in a way that you’d be able to live with. I don’t think it’s reasonable to tell somebody something like that and expect that they will just agree with you no matter what. That would be a bullshit relationship and I’ve never done well in those.

After my traumatic delivery of the baby and fully conscious D&C, I was a WRECK. I mean like couldn’t take care of my kids, staring at nothing for hours, post-traumatic stress flashbacks, insomnia, bitterness and rage, soul-searching, WHY, WHY, WHY and how-the-fuck-did-this-happen-to-me WRECK. This six months, to the DAY and HOUR, after the NIGHTMARE of losing _____? I was a very tormented, bitter and angry woman, wondering what I had done to deserve my three dead babies?

The day I found out that our baby was a boy was the day you called with your news. It hit me like a baseball bat in the face. It simply hadn’t occurred to me that you would get what you wanted and felt you were entitled to. The worst part was when you said, “I don’t know why I’m not more excited” to which I replied, “Well, the alternative was a little sobering.” Then I thought, “PLEASE, OH PLEASE DO NOT MAKE ME PRETEND THAT NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. I CAN’T DO IT.” I couldn’t deal with any more lack of acknowledgement of how hard it was for me to listen to your plans and now your revised plans when I had another dead baby ordeal to survive. I told you that my baby had turned out to be the boy that I had been hoping for. No acknowledgment of how much that sucked for me..

That was where you stopped being a friend and started being a person that I was TERRIFIED of seeing. I lost so much sleep over the situation. I wondered why you got what you wanted after what you were considering and I got another set of ashes to pick up from the funeral home? Like I said I was bitter and angry at the whole world; there was no way that you were going to be spared when you never even acknowledged the awfulness of our juxtaposed situations.

After that I became so afraid of seeing you. I was an extra big wreck whenever I ran into you, for DAYS afterwards. I never felt like I should try to talk to you because my efforts had previously failed and I got the distinct impression that you weren’t going to be reminded of what you had already probably buried. I faked it when I saw you and got away as quickly as possible. I have been tormented by this since June. I’ve spent 100 hours probably thinking about various aspects of this situation. I am releasing it today because I can’t drag it around with me anymore.

I resisted doing this because I thought at least things would be civil between us if I didn’t bring it up. But the last time I saw you I just couldn’t deal. You’ve become this big, scary person in my mind and I can’t even talk to you to make you human again, the friend that I used to have. I imagine that you’ll get very upset and mad about this and will resent that I had the nerve to bring it up. Maybe I am underestimating you.

I am sorry again for ignoring you and ___ and the kids. I feel like a jerk about it. I think I’ve said most of what I needed to say. I considered trying to talk to you in person and I am open to talking if you want to. Email seems safer for now.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The doctor was completely unimpressed with my ovarian growth. She said that it is tiny and while it may grow up to be a dermoid cyst, for now it is nothing to worry about. Whew! I guess I'd rather have my doctors worrying unnecessarily than not worrying when they should be.

The baby looks fine. He/she was moving around, little feet kicking. It is starting to seem possible that we could have this baby.

Thanks so much for your comments. I really needed them today. I like the idea, that pronoia mentioned, of leaving a mark, a calling card of sorts, to let a blogger know that I've come by but don't have anything good to say. I visit lots of blogs that I don't comment on. Maybe I'll try to comment more often or at least leave a calling card. Thanks again for your support. I hope to return the favors.

Trying to kill time here people

I'm killing time here, checking my blog to see if anybody is out there. I need to go do something so I can keep busy until it is time to leave for my ultrasound at 1. Checking my blog isn't helping. I can't help but notice that LOTS of people have stopped by but very few comments.

Call me a "comment whore" but I can't help but wonder?

What happens when you people read this shit?

My best guess is that it is too hard to think of something good to say. That happens to me when I read other people's blogs. But then I think, "well they won't know that I've come if I don't say something."

Just say something. You don't have to try to comfort me. NOTHING will actually comfort me at this point. But knowing that you are there and with me will help. What's the point of being here if I don't know that you've been here?

Testing day for dosmamas

I don't know why I didn't include this in today's big day events. Today is testing day for dosmamas; our collective second attempt to get S pregnant. I woke up speculating like crazy about various scenarios, forgetting completely that I went to bed with fears of ovar*an cancer.

We are waiting on the call.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tomorrow: Election day and tooth in ovary day

I can’t wait to get tomorrow over with. I hope the Democrats can pull one of out of their behinds, but my confidence is not inspired by their general ineptness.

I have an ultrasound at 1:00 with a doctor who can hopefully identify what is growing on my left ovary. On Halloween, just after hearing that it could be a tooth, I thought the whole thing was pretty ridiculous. Then I did some research and got a little freaked out.

Apparently the possible tooth could also be a ball of hair, a gland, an EYEBALL, OR A LIMB BUD. A tooth? Fine. Creepy but fine. But an eyeball or a LIMB BUD? That is not okay with me. I’ve had one too many “procedures” to be up for having a small arm removed from my ovary. Dermo*d cysts, as they are called, can grow up to 17 inches and 40 lbs!!!!!! I really wish I hadn't read that. My "growth" seems, to me, to be growing rather quickly because it wasn’t observed during my last pregnancy that ended on June 30th.

Apparently, a dermo*d cyst tends to be full of greasy fluid and needs to be carefully removed lest it spill its nasty contents onto neighboring organs causing adhesions and pain. Greasy fluid? I already feel vomitous (new word) day and night; that really grossed me out.

Dermo*d cysts can choke off the blood supply to the ovary causing infertility and a lot of pain. I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. I’m just freaked out.

Someday soon I’ll take on the task of posting about my long and sordid obstetrical and gynecological history (major surgery to remove a large uterine fibr*id, an unconscious D&C, two biopsies to remove high-grade funkiness on my cervix, surgery to stitch my cervix closed, four days of hellish invasiveness with LC including surgery to take out the stitch, a fully conscious D&C from hell . Suffice it to say this for now: I get extremely skittish about mere Pap smears and even a trip to the dentist can bring on the cold sweats when I see that instrument tray.

I’m hoping to see a live baby tomorrow and a really boring calcified cyst that is left over from a long ago ovulation. If we see a live baby tomorrow then we have passed deadbabymilestone #1, my first deadbaby having died at 7 ½ weeks.

In the meantime, I saw a friend yesterday who took a quick look at me and said, “Ohhh, look at you.” 8 weeks and showing, again.

I went to a maternity store yesterday but couldn’t bring myself to buy anything. The woman did tell me that if I lose the baby I can return anything, anytime, even if I’ve worn it. That is a radical departure from their normal return policy. Not that she was making an exception for me. That is just their unstated policy. How humane. Really.

Less than 24 hours until my ultrasound.

I’m thinking of putting up a ticker counting down until the end of the first trimester. That’s a ticker that I can feel good about.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Today, my faith in humanity is partially restored

My cousin sent this email back to me. I was relieved and awed by her response.

Dear ____,

Nothing you could do could ever make me angry with you. It was I who was insensitive. I am very sorry that I upset you. I would never deliberately do that to you or anyone else in any situation. I wrote it that way because that was the way it was presented to me. Your mother had called and used that terminolgy leading me to believe that you were just 3-4 months along. You know how she can get, she was rambling at the time so please don't be angry with her either.

If you are ever angry with me don't hesitate to tell me. Just pick up the phone I am very strong and can take it, believe me I've had my share of things happen over the years. If you ever need a sounding block I am always here. Somehow I have become that with my friends and family and I don't mind.

Take care, my love to all and again I am sorry that I upset you. Many things have happened here recently and I might not have been my best when I was writting. I know that is no excuse and it is not meant to be.



I also got an email back from the woman who didn't call after I lost LC because it would've been "awkward." She was very nice and apologetic. She explained what happened on her end. I think we may have a shot at a friendship.

It was a good day for honesty.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Today I'm tired of the bullshit

I finally did it. I sent a response to my awful cousin who emailed to me “I was very sorry to hear about the latest miss.” I had not responded to her email because I couldn’t figure out what to say. Also I am a big wimp and I didn’t want to upset her. I find that is a pattern in my life in general and particularly on the topic of deadbabyinsensitivity. I hold grudges and think of things to say that never get said. Today I was ready for some action. The family fallout may be spectacular but I don’t care.

I also emailed a friend who never called me back when my husband told her what happened with LC. I saw her recently because her second daughter started at my son’s preschool in September. She said she didn’t call because she was pregnant and it would’ve been “AWKWARD” to talk to me.


Was it not awkward to see me again while she was holding her baby who was born when LC was due? She could’ve emailed for Christsake. Would that have been so awkward? Holy friendship-not-worth-saving.

Today I was partly inspired by all of us who’ve suffered such indignities after losing our babies. What the hell is wrong with these people and why are we protecting them at our own expense?

Here’s the real email that I just sent.

Hi ___,
Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your condolence. It was kind of you to think of me especially at such a busy time. I hope that the planning for ____'s wedding is going well.

I have been thinking a lot about how to respond to your email. Like I said, it was really nice of you to say anything at all and I do appreciate it. It's just that hearing the loss of my precious babies described as "the latest miss" kind of threw me. My mom used that term once and I just tried to pretend to myself that I didn't hear her right. I should have been more upfront with her.

I will feel bad about giving you a hard time about it, it's just that it's hard to hear my recent loss described in such a way. Charlotte's death at 22 weeks was a premature birth, not a miscarriage. We dressed her and took pictures and held her for many hours. I know that there is no way for you to know that and again I am sorry if my email makes you mad. I've kept silent about so many things that have been said to me or not said that it is eating away at me.

My "latest miss" was a little boy and I delivered him into the palm of my hand. His ashes are in the cabinet next to his big sister's. "Miss" just sounds so awful. Oops I had another dead baby. Oops my heart is broken again, as I live through another nightmare and pick up another tiny box of ashes from the funeral home. If "miss" is just an abbreviation, then it's the worst one I've ever heard. On behalf of women everywhere who've withstood such awful losses, I hope that you'll retire that term.

I have been reluctant since September to send this email because I am afraid it'll make you mad. That's why I haven't responded. Once you'll read this, you may wish that I hadn't. Like I said, I really appreciate that you emailed at all and I appreciated the card that you sent after LC died. I know you mean well. I just hope that nobody else ever hears that term again.