To My Husband…

13 10 2010

Yes, I’m excited about one day having a baby with you, and I really hope that happens.  But I didn’t marry you because I wanted a baby.  I married you because I love you, and I love us together.  You never know what’s going to happen.  Maybe we’ll have kids together, maybe we won’t.  Maybe we’ll live to be a hundred together, maybe we won’t.  Maybe my retirement package will pay out, probably not.  But I do know this:

whatever happens, I married the right man when I married you.*

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JASON!

*Unless you weren’t kidding about picking up a hooker tonight.  In that case, please disregard the message above.





Doing It My Way

11 10 2010

So, with the threat of doctor-assisted miscarriage hanging over my uterus, I was determined to finish this pregnancy off before my appointment this afternoon through mind-over-body techniques.

This was before I read enough about the process to realize that some women experience near-painless miscarriages, others minor cramping, and some lucky ones get to have excruciating pain.

Last night, around 10pm, I discovered what category I fall into.  It was a quick phone call to Jason, who was out with friends: “Get home now.”  First phone call like that I’ve made, so he took it pretty well.

It was after midnight when I found myself walking laps around the driveway trying to ease my discomfort.

Something started scrabbling under the deck.

I thought of the three skunked dogs.  I thought of the coyotes we hear sometimes.  I thought of the dead deer (read: bait) hanging in the nearby garage.

Instead, out popped this:

Jason, upon learning of this intruder – who immediately found the deer and started tasting – stormed out of the house with a gun, ready to make kitty stew.

Then the kitten jumped into his arms.

The very hungry kitten stuck around, so we let him sleep in our house last night to avoid freezing to death.

In the morning, my cramps seemed to have subsided.  I made the very, very stupid decision to head to work.  Note to women out there: avoid driving an hour to work in the middle of a miscarriage.  I worked for a couple of hours before I realized I had to leave while I could still drive myself.

I got home and found Charlie and the kitten enjoying the sunshine together in the yard.

Did not so much care, as I was almost immediately stricken to the floor by an hour and a half of bone-shaking cramps.  I crawled and writhed around on the floor sobbing while Jason watched a movie and encouraged me to sit down and relax.

As the doctor said later that afternoon, it’s nice when the body takes care of things naturally.  Nice, she said, and traumatic.

I’m still recovering from my successful avoidance of medical procedures, and will be for at least another day.

But now I have some company while I do it (Charlie is busy “helping” with the deer processing).

Pre-Nap

Watching "The Simpsons" on Hulu

We’ll try to find an owner, but it’s a rather feral, unfixed male who was pretty hungry and has few social skills, so it seems like the kitty probably found itself a home.

Jason’s comments on cats previous to last night have been limited to threatening to kill them and relating the many Carbon-caused kitty deaths he’s witnessed.

But he’s the one that let it in the house.





The Love and Support of My Husband

10 10 2010

Yesterday, Jason returned from his vacation in the woods, and with him my sense of humor.

Jason and I are very different people, and have very different interests.  But we do have this in common: we enjoy making people uncomfortable with our outrageous and inappropriate comments.

When Jason got home, he asked if I wanted to head to the bar to watch the football game with a couple of his friends.  This is a perfect example of how we are, in many ways, essentially incompatible.  My immediate response was “No” because I wanted a quiet evening at home to (I have to admit this) knit.  And maybe read a book.

But Jason always gets his way in everything.

We headed out to the boys’ favorite bar, where Travis and Colin were already watching the game.  By “favorite bar,” I mean the bartender knows them well, and Jason and Colin have mugs on which their names are etched.

The bartender knows me by proxy, and therefore offered me water or soda – after all, I’m pregnant, right?

I ordered a beer.

The guys and I had some chuckles about this.  They suggested I order a shot.  I held out for awhile, but then Karen joined us via text (she’s out of town, but was getting game updates from her husband, Travis).  When Karen suggested a shot, I knew I had to do it.

Jason flagged the bartender, and without hesitation, she shook me up a shot of vanilla cream and vodka, which I quickly downed as the boys toasted “to the baby!”  (Travis toasted “to the next baby”)

Ah, yes, truly horrifying.

The bartender claimed she had figured I wasn’t pregnant anymore, but we all liked to think she had some doubts before we let her in on the joke.

Due to beer and vodka and pranking, I made a rare concession: I agreed to accompany Jason and Colin to a somewhat seedier bar for some late-night trucker breakfast.

Since I was already deviating from my typical veggies-and-organic cuisine, I went ahead and ordered two greasy breakfasts rather than choose just one.  Mmmmmmm… Biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs, and pancakes, plus some of Jason’s gravy-covered hashbrowns and english muffin.  Oh, and it began with an appetizer of hot wings.

With four plates in front of me, I was reminded of a bet I have with one of Jason’s friends.  We have a standing date to meet at a famous breakfast place in their college town to have a breakfast eating contest.

“You’ve gotta get a picture of this to send to Josh!” I demanded.

Jason and Colin were game for this, and they each took cell phone pictures of me and my plates, still finishing up my pancakes.

Jason texted Josh the photo, along with this message: “This baby didn’t hang around, but if she keeps eating like this, you’re in trouble.”

Yes, an altogether inappropriate night.

It’s so good to have my husband back, and to have his support through this difficult time.

 

My first post-pregnancy beer was organic, because I still have to watch what I put in my body - for next time. Trucker breakfast was not organic, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, right?

 





Remainders

8 10 2010

So I am conclusively done with my first pregnancy.

But it’s not done with me.  My body is still processing the news.  That part takes time, and there will be more medical appointments in the coming days, and then, rudely, medical bills (anyone who has dealt with loss knows the shock of receiving those envelopes from the hospital and doctor’s office).  Tomorrow I will get my weekly email, and it will describe the twelfth week of pregnancy and what the baby would look like at this stage.

I have a small collection of baby items: a onsie, a romper, newborn pjs, a handful of books.  To my surprise, those tiny articles are not so much a reminder of what we are losing, but are simply waiting for a new little one to use.

The only gift that saddens me now is this:

This was Jason’s heartbeat present.  Long before we were married – when we had only been dating a few months, but when I knew that my future was with him – I chose this as his first baby gift.  This was picked out years ago, and purchased just a week ago, from the same store where I first spotted it.  It’s a symbol of the father I know he will be, one who will not only love his child but will take that baby on many unusual adventures, and a father who will share all he cares about with the next generation.

I was going to give this to him on Monday, the day I just knew we would finally hear the beat of the tiny heart in my womb.  An early birthday present for Jason, and a really early birthday present for our little creature.

I have the receipt, and I suppose I could return it and wait for a better time.

But I won’t.

I still remember walking into the local kayak store several years ago, when Jason and I were still new to each other.  I asked about their smallest PFD, and the guy showed me this life jacket, size 0 to 30 pounds.

I turned to my mom with relief, and said, “Well, now we can get married!”  I didn’t know if Jason wanted children, but I knew I did, and figured Jason wouldn’t object as long as he could take a baby fishing and rafting.

“Are you engaged?” asked the salesman, quite innocently.

My mom and I laughed hysterically.  “She just met him!” hooted my mom.

He thought we were crazy, I’m sure, so I got a lot of satisfaction walking back in last week to finally buy this gift for my husband and for our baby (yes, it was the same guy who rang me up).

There’s some sadness when I see it (most recently hidden beneath the bed, as hidden as it needed to be for just a few days).  But there is also hope.

It was crazy to imagine a future family with some guy I met on the internet, yes.  Maybe it’s crazy to hold on to a gift for a baby un-conceived at a time when conception isn’t even a possibility.

But I’ve always been crazy.  So I suppose this is just right.





Why People Wait to Tell and Why Maybe They Shouldn’t

7 10 2010

This is grief:

It’s a hysterical laughing-sobbing-choking sort of grief.

Soon after receiving the devastating news, I asked my mom to pull out the camera I always carry with me.

“I’m going to have to put this on my blog,” I told her.

“I know,” she said, without any surprise at my request, even though we were in the ER – hardly a place for photographs.  “I didn’t even want to go there.”

In spite of our sadness, disappointment, and shock, we had a clear realization of how ludicrous this photo shoot was.  But my mom took the photos anyway, even the one above in which I snorted and sobbed and laughed and snotted the sheets.

Just as she has photographed my belly for the last four weeks.

Just as she would have photographed my belly for the fifth time on Saturday.

Just as she photographed me posing with a fake belly.

This morning, in an eerie sort of repetition of five weeks ago exactly, I had an intense meeting at work, followed by a short break and then another intense meeting.  And during my brief bathroom break, I started spotting.

There was a significant difference between the two incidences.  I pondered the difference as I drove to the ER, and realized it came down to this: in five weeks, I had become a mother.

I know that’s a big claim for a woman whose entire experience with motherhood has been 11 and a half week of pregnancy.  But in the five weeks between episodes of spotting, my entire way of thinking had shifted.

Five weeks ago, I simply could not justify taking time off for myself, no matter how upset I was over the thought of losing a pregnancy.  Today, with much less spotting, there was simply no way I was going to keep working when my baby – my child – was at risk.  I walked into my meeting, apologized for being late, and explained that I was leaving.

I didn’t even call the midwife.

I called my mom and told her I needed to go to the ER.  I left a message for Jason, who was out of cell phone range on a hunting trip.  I drove, hoping a cop would pull me over so I could ask for a ride to the hospital.

At the ER, the doctor had no real concerns, but asked if I would like an ultrasound.  I was sure this time I wanted some clear answers.  I was not in a wait-and-see mode.  It didn’t matter that the amount of blood seemed insignificant, at just one and a half weeks shy of “safe,” I wanted to see what was happening.

In the darkened ultrasound room, with my mom nearby and Jason still entirely unaware of what was happening at home, we learned that the pregnancy was at an end.  There was no room for questioning.

It’s National Pregnancy and Infant Loss month – everything has a month nowadays, I know.  In fact, I think every month must be spoken for a dozen times over, there are so many causes out there.  Pregnancy loss, I suppose, deserves at least a day or a week.  I mentioned when I began blogging about my pregnancy that it might not have a happy ending – it hasn’t – but that it was important that women stop bearing the grief and horror of miscarriage alone.

It has been a hard day of hard phone calls.

It has been the end of many happy dreams.

It has not been harder because I shared my happiness and dreams with so many people.  And if nobody can take our pain away, at least they understand why I am so sad.  Bearing that grief alone would be no comfort right now.

I’m sorry that I have this sad, sad news to share with you all.  But please know that sharing my joy with you has made the past five weeks all the more joyful.  And also know that by reading this, you carry just the smallest weight of my grief away with you, and help make the unendurable a little closer to bearable.

Thank you for coming this far on a journey that is truly just beginning.





Signs and Superstitions

3 10 2010

I spend my Sunday mornings cracking over a dozen eggs and making enough breakfast burritos to get me through the work week.  This has been my solution to an overly long commute.  I have a cup of tea before I hit the road and a warm breakfast once I make it to my desk.

This morning, I cracked four eggs to finish off eggs leftover from last week and started in on a fresh dozen.  The first egg went as usual.  The second egg was a double yolk.  I laughed to myself, and hoped this didn’t signify a double yolk of my own.  But the third egg had a double yolk, too, and then the fourth – a total of three double-yolked eggs.  I was sufficiently creeped out to take this photo:

Three paired yolks amidst five single yolks - very strange...

As I continued cracking eggs, it got even weirder.  One after another, the eggs produced twins.  I regretted that I was home alone, as this was surely something that required a witness of some sort.  Out of the dozen eggs, ten held two yolks each.

Since this was some sort of sign on a significant level, I decided to research double yolks in folklore.  I expected something to do with fertility.  Boy was I wrong.  Turns out that modern mythology sees double egg yolks as predictors marriage (yay!) or harbingers of a death in the family (shit).  I was unable to find out if so many signs meant that I would see multiple marriages or deaths in my family, or that Life really, really, really wanted to make her plans clear for a single wedding or funeral.  Given that I found no less than ten of these things, it seems like that number of either event would be rather excessive.

I think I read about a city in China that is known for producing twin-yolked duck eggs, and that people flock there for fertility luck.  Or maybe just good luck.  In my head, at least, it is a good sort of luck that has nothing to do with death, and people consider themselves lucky to be able to visit and partake of the double yolks.

Who knows?  Maybe my local Trader Joe’s will soon be the Fertility Mecca of the Northwest.

TEN double yolks amidst the regular ones - sixteen eggs produced all these yolks, some of which are broken.








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