Thursday, September 30, 2010

Office Politics

First I want to thank all of you that offered your (whisered) :) congratulations on my news. I was surprised by your good wishes; I don't know why except that I am always taken-aback that anyone cares or that anyone else might feel hope where I mostly feel dread.  And I certainly worry that I will lose you. I don't think this is the first time I have expressed that I am surprised by comments; I think I said the exact same thing. Sorry.  But I LOVE them.

I also still LOVE my new OBGYN. The day I called to let the office know I was pregnant, he called me personally and wanted to go over my care plan with me again - just to make sure he was doing what I needed him to do. At first, I had contemplated not even measuring HCG because it wasn't going to alleviate any worry on my part; all three of my former pregnancies featured normal HCG levels. But I decided to go ahead and do the blood work so that I would get a heads up if there was a potential problem. He had some fancy clinical term for it, I can't remember what it was. But basically, normal result indicates nothing, abnormal result indicates potential problem.

I got the official confirmation that I was pregnant that same day (HCG 144) at work.  As I was leaving the office I stared at the wall for about 10 seconds, trying to decide if I was going to tell my boss (who shares an office with me). This would have been my fourth pregnancy announcement to her - she has been there for all of them.  

My boss is a very kind understanding woman and has been very good to me through some of the lowest points in my life. She has never balked at giving me time off and offers just the right amount of concern and privacy. But she is my boss, bottom line, and I am in an extremely vulnerable position emotionally. I hate having to reveal such intimate details of my life to my boss. I want to be Super-Capable and Together employee, not flakey, grief-stricken liability.  These cracks in my armor just leave me too exposed; and my boss, while always kind to me and someone I do honestly believe is my ally, has a very very sharp tongue when it comes to people she does not respect. She will rip someone up and down behind their back and then be totally normal to them to their face. It's pretty vicious and  unsettling because I do think she has a tender heart and that she's compensating for this tenderness by being unnecessarily aggressive. Not one of her better characteristics, obviously. It's the one thing that stops me from completely relaxing around her because I don't think I'm magically beyond her displeasure.

Secondly, while Jason and I were going through our rough patch during the summer, I had decided that I couldn't stand my life any longer and something had to give. So I began to seek other employment and revealed my plan to my boss (against all my friends' advice ...  I just didn't know how to get around the issue that I need her as a reference).  So, always favoring honesty over any kind of deception (cause I suck at it), I told her that it was unclear whether Jason and I were going to try again and that if I wasn't going to be a mother, then I would be "rich and famous." That was said with the appropriate amount of sarcasm, by the way, because I am so not going to be rich and famous - but I would like a job that pays more. She was cool about it and we had a nice little heart to heart. But now I just feel like a total flake for yanking her chain (though not purposefully) about seeking other employment and then turning around and laying another pregnancy scenario on her.

Finally, knowing how clueless  people can be with respect to the pain IF causes when they havn't experienced IF themselvees, I was concerned about how to express in an appropriately dry, business-like manner  how much this is going to FUCK ME UP  if it ends in another miscarriage. That if I need to fall off the edge of the world, or I bite her head off, or have to spend a few more days in inpatient psych care, I'd sure love it if I could do all that and know that I have a job waiting at the end of it. 

I told her.

My announcement went like this: "Well, I know I'm  like to give you whiplash, but ... I'm pregnant again." (cause that's how we talk in the Dirty South). And then, with all the not-so-subtle nonchalence I could muster, I explained that this was our last time trying and outlined how I might have to take my remaining vacation and sick days. As usual, she was understanding and accomodating and a perfectly good boss. And I almost immediately had a wave of regret; I wasn't ready to tell.  But I suspect I wouldn't have been ready to tell for months.  And I needed to go get blood drawn on Thursday after lunch .....  soooo ...

I did get my blood drawn today (Thursday) and my HCG has more than doubled. Not really surprised. First ultrasound scheduled for October 18th so I will be an increasingly awful employee. I sure hope she understands.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Here we go.

Hubby said: "We'll see."

Cause "pregnant" doesn't mean "PREGNANT" Pregnant means, "maybe." I have nothing hopeful to say-I just don't want it to hurt. I don't want to be hurt.   

Memory and Forgetting

DISCLAIMER: I was reading ginger and lime's blog and was interested in her entry on pain. It inspired me to think some more about the issue and put my two cents in. Later that evening, I was reading through a new blog and reached the last entry. The topic was on Pain, and suddenly, I realized that I was reading the post that had originally inspired ginger and lime! So there is definitely a weird infinite loop happening here. All that has to happen at this point is for Tertia to read my post below and be inspired to write a follow-up on Pain, and we will have come full circle. 

All that said, I'm not going to waste a perfectly good post that took me way too long to write. Enjoy it for all its redundancy!

P.S. DISCLAIMER: If egghunt ever runs across my post below, please know that even though our thoughts are eerily similar, I wrote it before reading yours. So that must simply mean we're kindred spirits!


I read ginger and lime’s post and was inspired to continue the discussion because I have had similar thoughts about my own pain and have felt similarly guilty about enshrining, sanctifying and even idolizing my Suffering as proof that I am “special” - for lack of a better word. By elevating my pain to such significant status, I somehow look down on the world from my pedestal of pain with a certain amount of disdain for the petty concerns of “normal” people. I love to think, “You think you have it hard, try losing three babies in a row … lightweights. Pffft.”

Perhaps it is a way for me to eek some meaning out of my pain – a way to have it function as a vehicle by which to gain social or moral superiority in a situation in which I more typically feel broken, abnormal, punished and generally “less than.” We all know the unfortunate statistical position in which we fall, and when you are struck by that unlikely meteor, understandably, you want to invest it with some positive function.

But then, on the precipice of gloating, I remember that there is always someone who has it worse than me, who could argue that their suffering is more acute and deserves more attention and pity. And there I am, on my mark, ready to sprint in my own personal Pain Olympics (a term I love. Who came UP with that!?) – the desire to legitimize my pain competing with my guilt for claiming too much suffering.

Objectively, you might be able to get a cross section of people to agree on what situations are for horrific than others. (The following exercise is just a philosophical exercise, I mean no offense and am making no judgments). For instance, I tend to think that time spent in a concentration camp trumps a miscarriage in the first trimester. What about finer-tuned differences? I find cancer and miscarriage hard to parse out (I think they both have to do with facing premature mortality). And I suspect that I’d much rather lose a baby in the first trimester than in the second or third. What if I had never gotten pregnant? Is the pain and disappointment greater or lesser losing a fetus vs. never having been pregnant at all? I could keep unraveling, but I have to stop myself here and think hard about what I just typed because I realize how presumptuous it is of me to assume any pain is greater or lesser than any other – even my own. It’s easy to dismiss my pain, particularly in hindsight. But really, when I was in the middle of that pain, it was just PAIN. Sometimes the pain was a 3, sometimes a 10, then down to a 5. But when the pain was a 10, it didn’t matter what caused the pain. It was excruciating no matter what. And once in a while, I can experience that 10 again – out of the blue. But those episodes are farther and farther apart – the erosion of pain by time.

Fact is, as soon as I start trying to make distinctions between pain, I realize the fruitlessness of such comparisons. It’s dehumanizing and useless. Pain is pain, awful is awful. The Pain Olympics, while a juicy new item to throw on the pyre of self-flagellation, is just, in the end, not useful. Some people will look at my pain and think, “I am so lucky.” And some people will look at my pain and think, “She doesn’t know what suffering is.” It’s all a matter of where you are standing and who you are asking.

My therapeutic approach to my suffering is that I seek comfort from those who can understand my particular flavor of suffering (other IFers), which serves to validate and acknowledge my pain. And when I am in a bad place emotionally and want to scream at everyone who is demanding something from me to please-give-me-a-break-because-I’ve-got-enough-to-bear-and-if-they-knew-what-I-had-to-go-through-they-would-feel-so-guilty-about-not-handling-me-with-kid-gloves, I try to keep in mind that 1) they can’t identify with my situation and 2) they are probably thinking the same thing with respect to their OWN pain. So I try to swallow my rage and suffering till I can visit with you all here in blogland and spew my pain. And even then, this “rage against the machine” is only cathartic when used sparingly. I find if I live in a state of perpetual rage and martyrdom, I lose touch with a different, equally viable reality that I can create if I choose.

So at this point, some of you may want to exit because I’ll be offering something that has to do with starting to move past pain or at least wrangle it a bit. I realize that when you are in the midst of grief, you don’t want or need ANYONE to tell you to snap out of it. That is beyond inconsiderate. Everyone needs to have their pain acknowledged and respected (till loved ones intervene in concern, perhaps).

But if you have reached the phase in your grief where you may want to let go of some of it and you are worried that moving out of the pain negates the important influence it’s had on your life – then this podcast from Radiolab might be worth a listen, It helped me dissacociate myself from my situation and try to think of ways I can alter my “personal narrative” so that it is not so rife with suffering.

For those of you who haven’t hear of RadioLab, it is a radio show that explores abstract themes from a scientific perspective. The one I am recommending is called Memory and Forgetting. For someone who suffers from diagnosed depression, is a pessimist and catastrophizer, and who has done a lot of work in therapy trying to shift my thinking habits, this research on memory and forgetting is extremely interesting because it reinforces the incredible influence our habits of thinking have on our self-concept and even the “narrative” of our lives. I think, for anyone who is processing the reality of IF in their lives, this podcast is worth a listen since it examines how memories (which, from a non-spiritual point of view of course, are the building blocks of “who we are”) are created, erased, stored and altered in the brain.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I met my new OBGYN this Tuesday! He passed the audition – he said all the right things and we are on the very same page regarding how to proceed with this last pregnancy and how we’d like to handle each step along the way. It is so comforting to feel that he will be able to anticipate what I need emotionally as well as physically throughout the anticipated fourth and last pregnancy. A friend (I will call her Prof for professor) who suffered from IF recommended him and he is unlike any doctor I have ever met.

One weird thing … when we talked about how inspirational Prof was and how it felt for him when he delivered her baby, tears welled up in his eyes. So that was kind of off-putting. . .

NAH! Just kidding – well mostly.

It was just something you don’t see often, like a male nurse, or Sarah Palin declining an opportunity to shout “You Betcha!” on national TV – rare enough that I noticed and had to decide whether I liked it or not. I decided I liked a Dr. who could tear up in front of me a whole lot better than one who couldn’t. So I guess he’s a keeper.

I called and left a message with Prof to thank her for the wonderful recommendation. But she hasn’t called me back. My feelings are on the verge of being hurt, but I just keep telling myself that she’s a busy Mom with a baby and classes to teach and art to make and that I haven’t been unjustly thrown under the bus by my ex husband’s new wife (her super good friend) or a vicious frenemy of mine (also a good friend of hers). I personally think she was trying to improve the quality of her friendships when she reached out to me. Harumph.

I’m just joking – well mostly. The socially paranoid part of my brain is fighting with the (much smaller and weaker) logical side of my brain which is trying to explain that we are all busy and we are all adults and no one is throwing anyone under any buses. Prof is my one and only live infertility friend; I was counting on her support more than I thought. Hope you all will step up to the plate ;)


I took pee test today (CD 19). Negative. But I tested on the earliest possible day and my boobs really do hurt in an unusual way. If I’m not pregnant, than this boob “ache” is new for me.


My mother in law arrived today. She is a lovely lady, gentle and kind. After reading the horror stories in blogland about invasive, inconsiderate MIL’s who look at you and see 2 dried up ovaries that can’t give her grandchildren, I thank my few lucky stars.

I ordered a digital voice recorder for her visit because I figure if it turns out that I can’t contribute to the line of future heirs, then I can document the family narrative. Except, it just now occurs to me that it becomes less important for me to document my husband’s side of the family if I do not have children. My dear friends, it seems, since I bought the recorder to interview my mother-in-law during her visit, that I have FALLEN IN HOPE AGAIN!

Monday, September 20, 2010

My New Addition

I should be working on a freelance project I am trying to get off my plate - instead I can't stop reading about you all out there who, through sharing your stories, help me maintain my sanity. There is such a difference in the level of anxiety I am experiencing - I can't help but feel that part of it has to do with having your stories to turn to every day. I don't feel so isolated and singled-out anymore. You all know exactly how I'm feeling - in fact I'm often struck by how similar our reactions are. It seems we all travel through the same stages - maybe not in the same order or for the same amount of time, but we've all been "there" in one way or another.

I am comforted by your presence.


In other news, I have shifted the focus of my anxiety from an addition to the family to an entirely different kind of addition - the addition/renovation of my house. Pictured to the left is my house which, if you've read even one of my posts, you probably know is a 40 min. drive outside of the metropolitan area in which I work. I hate the commute and I can't stop talking about it.

Presently, it is a cute, quaint country cottage, but it desperately needs a master bedroom, a kitchen with a dishwasher, and waaaaayyyy more closets.

I guess this suffices as a "before" picture.  Perhaps, if you all seem interested, I will keep posting updates on the "addition I can control. " Who knows, maybe in 9 months I will have a new addition to brag about irrespective of my dumb old eggs.


My boobs are no longer hurting. I feel stupid for thinking I was pregnant for that reason. The boob smashing test is just not reliable (shock! gasp! splutter! what is that you say!?). Yes, I'm sorry but it's true; don't go making an ass of yourself all over blog land if all you have to go by is the boob-smash gauge.

Let's see if I can spare you the merry-go-round of predictions till I know for sure.

Asta la pasta  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Special Message

Many of you have mentioned the book "Coming to Term" as a must-read for recurrent miscarriers. I happened upon the book at the library when I was searching for reading material after my third miscarriage.  Considering that the library isn't very well-funded and that the selection of reading material for miscarriage was fairly slim, I consider it as close to kismet as one can get that I found that book at the time that I did.

This book was informative, well-written and, above all, thorough. After reading it, I felt comfortable with the lay of the RSA land and knew which steps I needed to take next.  It was a lifesaver and I wanted to thank the author, Jim Cohen, for his gift.

So I wrote him and email and he wrote me back with wonderful words of encouragement. Here is our exchange for those of you who might take comfort in his words as I did :

Mr Cohen,

I have never written to an author or artist regarding the positive influence they have had on my life. I've thought of it often, but never followed through.

This time I feel so compelled because your book, Coming to Term, offered me a lifeline in a chaotic sea. I want to offer you a sincere "Thank You" for writing this informative book; it has and will play a very large role in the myriad upcoming decisions I have yet to make (which therapies to attempt, which are unproven, what tests I should take, and even whether I want to try again). 

I have had 3 recurrent miscarriages, the last one explained by a Triploidy. 

I gather that not much new informarmation is known 5 years later regarding some of the contentious procedures or the procedures that were in their infancy at that time.  Is that correct?  Have you followed any of the new developments. 

Thank you again. 
Hi Melanie,

I wrote the book for people like you. I'm so glad to know the words landed in the right place.

No, I haven't learned anything new in the past five years that fundamentally has altered anything I wrote in the book. I think the main message for someone in your shoes still is loud and clear: If you have the desire and the emotional ability to keep trying, your odds are good that if you do get pregnant again (assuming you're under, say, 45, and there's no identifiable underlying problem) you will carry to term. Young humans miscarry a lot. And we miscarry a tremendous amount as we age. That said, we're not pandas: We can breed all year long, so we have repeated chances to become pregnant.

Again, thanks so much for writing, and best of luck, whatever you choose.


My Fate

You know what’s weird? My future re: motherhood is (assuming I am pregnant) already … right this second … written in stone. Since I believe my IF issue is malfunctioning eggs, and because the wonky cell division has or has not already occurred – my fate has been signed, sealed, and delivered to the Universe. I’ll get the memo in about 6 weeks.

This is the closest I will ever come to knowing that there is a future out there that does, in actuality, already exist. My Fate is a real thing – a future already determined, just not yet known. (BTW, I know there are still many things that can go wrong besides chromosomal, but I’m just philosophizing based on the assumed problem. Whether by blighted ovum or stillbirth, there are still only 2 options: mother or not mother).

This is truly the most humbling and poignant lesson I’ve ever had in powerlessness – which is actually very empowering. It must be what it feels like to believe in a God that has a plan for you with the accompanying luxury of giving in to that plan rather than trying to manipulate everything yourself. But since my worldview does not include a God, but instead envisions our lives as the random and chaotic intersection of Circumstance with Individual Action, I usually end up agonizing over past, present, and future decisions, wondering if I correctly chose/am choosing the path that will get me where I want to go.

I suppose you reach this place of calm mindfulness when you’ve reached the limit of the actions you can take as an individual. That is decidedly antithetical to my nature. I have never ever felt that there was a point at which it was safe to give up the never-ending rumination that was my insurance against disaster and failure. I know intellectually that the worrying does no good, but I’ve never FELT it. However, after having made a firm decision with my husband that this is going to be our last go round, there is no more action for me to take besides general upkeep.

I do have to credit my husband for providing the firm resolution behind this decision – a firmness I would never have achieved on my own. But he is crystal clear that this is the last time; and I have agreed. So there it is. And it actually feels good.

Don’t get me wrong … I am still wondering and hoping and I look at my calendar 2-3 times a day to verify the number of days till I know if I am pregnant, but there really is this strange absence of the nail-biting angst I have felt in the past. Instead, I have this weird experience of suspension – in both senses of the word. I observe the sensations in my body and my emotions from a very removed position. For instance, I wonder if the breast soreness and heaviness in my abdomen indicates baby, but the typical hop-scotch of thoughts and fears doesn’t follow. I’m in suspense – not the horror-film kind of suspense but the gentle, floating on your back kind.

There are moments when I will realize the full import of how my life will change and the possibility that I might not get what I want and have to re-invent myself – and that hits me like a ton of bricks. But the pain and drama associated with those thoughts has the potential for too much damage, and thus-far I have been very successful in pushing them to the side.
Alternately, this feeling of calm suspension might indicate such a high state of self-protection that I have entered a zone of perfect denial and disassociation. Shirley McClain, eat your heart out.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mashing and Kneading my Doughy Potatoes

(I wrote this yesterday)

CD12. I’ve been mashing my left boob a lot. I never knew that mashing boobs –over and over and over – was such a universal litmus test for verifying that you might be/are/still remain/are no longer pregnant. Until I started reading blogs, I thought I was the only pregnant woman obsessed with touching herself all day long. I am so glad to find out that you all are out there too, squashing and kneading your bosoms when (hopefully) no one is looking. Specifically, my left boob is definitely sore – and my boobs are never sore unless I’m pregnant.

Given the above–referenced significant results of the medically-sophisticated boob-gauge test, I think we may get a BFP this month. Since we have decided that this is our last time to try, I have startling moments in which I realize that my life is barreling towards huge change. The “C” word.

Either way, I’m in for some intense anxiety and a substantial shift in my identity, worldview, priorities, finances, and goals. I will no longer be TTC or thinking about motherhood at some future date. I will be either camped out definitively in the motherhood camp or in the non-motherhood? womanhood? childless? (help me ginger and lime) camp. Either way, the next few weeks and months are going to rock my world.

It is so scary that I am actually not feeling much anxiety at all which means that I am doing a very good job of burying my anxiety way deep down in the darkest parts of my brain where I have to put those thoughts and memories that can do some real damage if I let them free. This is the place for real-life monsters - Unspeakable Horrible Things That Can Actually Happen.


The picture above is a screen shot from my iphone app "imenses." Someone needs to make an iphone app called iWantSomeAnswers or iWantToMakeAllPregnantWomenInvisible. After last month's miss, I decided to track things more carefully. I paid $1.99 for it and I'm sure it's worth exactly that. But it gives me busy work vis a vis TTC and aren't the graphics pretty? I also provided a handy key at the bottom for you all to reference - cause you know you want to know which days I had sex.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dream Team

I have discovered that I have a really short cycle. I thought it was around 25 days, but the past three months indicate a 24-day cycle. Basically, that means that I am popping out an egg no more than 2-3 days after finishing my period. That’s awfully fast, no? Do you think that could have any ramifications on egg quality? Perhaps they are not given enough time to mature? Anyone know anything about that?


I am looking for a new OBGYN today in anticipation of my fourth pregnancy. I was reading B’s blog  which provided an excellent reminder that I needed to pay attention to the things I can control – i.e. my support system and the way I take care of myself.

For my first pregnancy, I chose an obgyn group that my friend had used that was fairly progressive for the area of the country in which I live. My friend* is a hyper-granola type and her approach to pregnancy and childbirth extended to considering options that border on the cannibalistic – she actually considered eating the placenta.

She didn’t; the clinic is not that progressive and a mutual friend of ours (who is a nurse) strongly recommended that she KEEP THAT TO HERSELF. To each her own - but gross. Why don’t you throw in Daddy's nail clippings, Auntie's menstrual blood, fry it all up together and stick a candle on it for the kid’s first birthday. Sorry if you plan on doing this, but I stand by my opinion which is, “DISGUSTING! and WTF!”

Anyway … I used this clinic because I thought that the use of a midwife would be more my speed than a doctor. I respond well to the type of TLC I imagined a midwife could provide, so I phoned them up and got an appt. The blighted ovum diagnosis followed fairly quickly and they induced miscarriage.

I had no problem with the treatment I received at that clinic. But due to the fallout from that pregnancy  and upon the recommendation of my psychiatrist, I decided to find an M.D. in whom I could lay my exclusive trust. Having no other close friends who had had children, I asked around and got a referral for my next Dr. based on rave reviews from colleagues of my nurse friend. I can only assume that each of their pregnancies went off without a hitch because his bedside manner in the case of my miscarriages was not comforting. Competent, yes. Kind, yes. Comforting, no.

He did his job – and he probably even did his job well – but I needed to feel like he was on my team, that we were going to figure it out, that he was going to help me beat it. But I never got the feeling that he was really invested in my case - even in a clinical way. He did his job.

For my third pregnancy, I was ... a mess. I needed the kind of TLC you can't get from blood tests and ultrasounds - I needed an medical expert who wasn't going to stand to lose. So when I asked him, after he telephoned me with the news that my HCG's had doubled properly, what he advised that I do, and he said, "Just be pregnant," I was properly underwhelmed.

So I decided to switch back to the midwife clinic which was another mistake - again not for lack of proper care - but it just was not the right kind of care for someone with my issues. Of course, if the pregnancy had gone smoothly, then I'm sure I would have loved them all. But as it was, I saw three different midwives in 2 clinics over the course of 13 weeks. When I miscarried, there was no one doctor or midwife who was exclusively familiar with my case and the midwives were not able to order tests and write prescriptions. It was a merry-go-round of hearsay and it spun way out of control there for a while.

So now, with my reproductive medical records spread thinly across town, I need to find ONE doctor who will fight with my husband and I. Someone who will provide that all important TLC without making me feel like a hysterical irritation.

My possible new doctor has his audition on Tuesday.


* that should actually read former-friend. She’s no longer a friend because she’s one of those fair-weather friends that show their true colors when the shit hits the fan. Point in fact: I had my first miscarriage a couple of months after her son was born, and she inexplicably faded out of my life with all of the awkwardness and discomfort that avoidance (on her part) brings. She’d be just the type to break up with you in a text message. She is literally the worst friend I ever had.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Facebook Stalker

I stalked my ex-husband on facebook today and it felt horrible. It’s so masochistic and completely dishonors my marriage. I go there to make sure that he’s not “beating” me. I’m not sure yet who’s winning. But if his new wife turns up pregnant - god forbid while I’m NOT pregnant, but even if I am pregnant - I will need to take the day off and do something drastic and probably unhealthy.

I haven't done this in months and months. But something inside me broke yesterday. It's telling, but what it's telling. I'm not sure yet.

We had another contractor come and bid on the renovation to our house and let me tell you – contractors’ opinions are as varied and conflicting as doctors’. This one suggested building new instead of renovating because it will ultimately cost the same but everything will be new. It’s true; but we hadn’t considered it. And now I’m confused again. Every time I think we’ve made a decision, we get another opinion, and my plan is shot to hell. And of course I want to plan for all contingencies and avoid all inefficiencies and generally try to control about a million different details a la the post above.

I want someone else to drive pleeeeeeaaaaaase.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"S" is for September; "S" is for Success

STATUS: (cause I know your waiting with baited breath) - I got my period yesterday - that's damn early. I have fast turnover, it seems, because that was only a 23 day cycle.

SISTER: When I told my Mom several weeks ago that all of my investigative tests came back "normal" (HSP, thrombophilia panel, Karyotpye, etc.) she said, "Well tell me something I don't know!"

I asked her to explain herself at which point she reiterated my maternal grandmother's fertility story (she gave birth to the first of 7 healthy children at the age of 33 and the last at the age of 47!). I take great solace in the excessive and implausible fertlity of my grandmother, hoping that genetics are actually working in my favor and that I have just been enduring the "worst streak of bad luck ever."

And then she told me a story I did not know - that my sister was conceived as a result of a malfunctioning IUD. That's right. My little sister slipped past the sentry; how determined of her. I don't even know if she's ever been told the beginning of her beginning; what great cocktail party fodder! It's pretty cool to imagine that you were so bad ass, even at the cellular level, that you the beat the odds. I need a little bad ass egg of my own! I knew in a very vague way that my sister was unexpected, but I never pursued the details, assuming that my parents suffered a moment of drunken debauchery. Best to just leave that subject alone under those circumstances. But now that I know the truth, I don't know how I could have convinced myself that my mother was involved in any sort of drunken escapade, let alone debauchery. My father maybe. Mom - not a chance. I think she's been "tippsy" like 2x in her life and felt loose and immoral after the fact.

I am someone who needs a lot of order in her life. Though I don’t like to think of myself as such an old lady, I have always liked things predictable, stable, and stress free, so it follows that I am absolutely horrible at change of any kind – good or bad. Change affects my perception of my physical and emotional safety – it even affects my sense of self. I just don’t have a knack for adaptability. Instead, I dig my heels in deep, open my mouth as wide as it’ll go, and emit a psychic scream meant to make the gods’ ears bleed.*

I suspect the extreme expression of this characteristic may have its roots in a traumatic cross-continent move. At the age of thirteen, my parents moved me and my 2 siblings 1,800 miles, five climate zones, and one entire country south. I was in for some heavy duty suffering. I was taken out of an environment to which I was reasonably adapted and dropped into a murky alien planet where 13 year-old girls shaved their legs and “went-out” with boys (which actually just meant holding hands at recess, but I didn’t know that then. I thought they were DATING – like going to the movies and kissing and OMG!) and where the boys snapped your bra and made inappropriate sexual innuendos. Now I am sure that this was all going on in my old environs – I just didn’t notice or didn’t care to notice because I had my safe little niche carved out and was prepared to live in that niche with my same best friends and my same school mates all the way through college.

But that was never to be. Instead, I ended up in Stepfordland; and I was NO be-ribboned, smooth-legged, lip-glossed Southern Belle, but a very awkward, very shy, very different and very new piece of junior high meat. With the heightened senses of a cornered rabbit, I experienced what were probably normal adolescent torture through a lens of intense displacement and disassociation. I don’t know if that experience is the genesis of my change-averse personality, or a stressor that exacerbated a latent characteristic (and precipitated my depression), but whatever the case, that is the first time I remember feeling unmercilessly, unrelentingly victimized by those laughing gods. I felt totally powerless and inept, despite eventually making friends and finding my identity as a nerd.

My sense of the Universe as a dangerous and pernicious prankster remains strong to this day. So you can imagine, then, that I work really hard at controlling my environment so that I don’t have to suffer anymore unpredictable and unwelcome bouts of change. I have never considered myself a traditionalist, having always identified myself as “different” and “outsider.” But after each expectation in my life has been dashed, I am surprised to learn via my grief and disappointment that what I did actually hope for was the safety I assumed was built into a traditional life trajectory - be a good girl and get good grades, establish myself as a respected practitioner in some fascinating field, land an accomplished and handsome husband, have a few children, live in a comfortable/not-ostentatious home, and generally garner respect and admiration from my community and live happily ever after.

I want to be part of the herd after all, and it turns out I can’t. Even worse … I’m not cut out for trailblazing. Not enough confidence, wonder if people will still like me, wonder if I’m doing everything right, etc. etc. Sometimes I just want someone to tell me what to do and I’ll do it. Just like in school - someone tells me what to do then I study real hard and then you’ll give me an A+ and I win! Yay! I’ve always been really good at school.

Well, I am 36 ½ years old and I am keenly aware how many times and ways life can just be absolutely confounding. Not that the unexpected turns have all been unwelcome. My job is really fulfilling and I am thankful that I have found something I can do for 8 hours a day without pulling my eyelashes out. I also have an endlessly kind, loving, and patient husband who truly takes me for all that I am and all that I’m not. I have not one, but THREE homes (2 of which are rented) that leaves us in a stable, comfortable financial position. The rub is that I simply can’t get over how little my intentions and actions have to do with the actual outcomes in my life. The knock-the-wind-out-of-me-leave-me-gasping final blow was this miscarriage thing for 2 reasons:

1) Wanting a life with children was one of the reasons my first husband and I divorced. There were so many complicated issues bubbling around our divorce, but being on different timelines about children was a big factor. To be completely frank, I left with some sense of urgency that my reproductive years were rushing by and I didn’t trust him anymore. I didn’t trust that he loved me, that he wanted to be with me, that we wanted the same things. And so I came out of that marriage with a clear goal – children.

2) Having children was the last remaining component of my “dream life” that would give me a sense of a life-well-led. The perfect marriage was no longer on the table, the accomplished career woman was impossible with no direction (this was before I discovered graphic design). It seemed that as much as I fought for the things I wanted, either I didn’t have it in me to push past failure or there were just too many factors out of my control.

Cut to me on this couch typing away on a miscarriage blog as a recurrent spontaneous aborter. Life is not only changing, it is changed. And I am grappling with some larger issues related to the meaning of life and identity. What am I to DO with myself if I don’t have a family? And why would I want to DO anything anyway considering I have absolutely no control over it.

I am feeling completely powerless and utterly out of control. And my head is full of anger and hate – at myself, at my husband, at my parents, at my friends, at this gloomy, broken world. And it seeps out of me despite my best efforts.


*Of course the gods sit on their mountaintops eating their ambrosia and drinking their nectar and just laugh at me. The Greeks had it right; the gods are cruel, prank-playing asswads that use human suffering for their amusement … or so it seems to me. It’s a sad state of affairs when that version of the Universe resonates with me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

23CD AKA 11 DPO ... ABCDEFG1234567

I have re-read my posts and I think I am a horrible monster. I am really really an angry, temperamental little bitch and I don't know how my husband puts up with me. If I could see past my enormous reserves of self-pity, self-righteousness, and self-indulgence, I might be able to process my sadness and my anger without bathing in it.

I have been just awful to my husband. Unloving and unfair. I see a pattern in these posts, and I don't like what I see. I see a whole lot of anger and frustration taken out on my husband. Do you see the same thing? Tell the truth, or tell me your story.

I blame everything around me for what I perceive is wrong with my life and 1) there actually is nothing wrong with my life except that I haven't had a child and 2) none of what might be wrong with my life is anybody else's fault. But since I have no one to blame, where does all that anger go? I think I need to look up some self-help on anger.


I also realize that I have been ignorantly jumping the gun trying to assess the nausea I have been feeling. It is unlikely that at a mere 7dpo, I could have been feeling nauseous from HCG production; implantation would probably not have occurred by then. I think the culprit is actually coffee on top of an empty stomach that is irritated by emotional stress and pre-natal vitamins. I am not taking very good care of myslef.

Yesterday at 22CD I took my first pee test. Negative. I am more upset than I thought I’d be considering I’m at the earliest possible test date. I’ve been barely, barely staving off madness. I had to stay three nights in a row in town instead of making the 40 minute commute since my innate impatience presupposes that every single other driver on the road is out to make my life miserable – for 40 minutes – 2 times a day. You can see why I opted to just stay in town (where we rent a room in my friend's house for just such emergencies) rather than pop a blood vessel.

On an ironic note, I am eagerly searching for blood on the TP after peeing. I WANT there to be blood because that will indicate implantation. Each time I've been pregnant, I bled a little at implantation time. So that gives me a little knowledge ahead of the curve. So far no blood ... obviously.

I’ll know pretty much for sure in time for Labor Day, so I’m looking forward to seriously tying one on if I’m negatory.