Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I realize it's been awhile since I updated. That's due to new kitty appearing this weekend, feeling icky and missing 2 days of work (still feel like crap), being completely absorbed in my little story (44 pages, nearly 27,000 words!), and then the fact that I am completely clueless as to what is occuring in my body.

To take these things in order:

1. Amber arrived disgruntled from her car trip and totally uncertain about this new arrangement. Barney immediately fell in love with her and followed her adoringly everywhere, trying to get close. Amber did not appreciate this, and hid. We've been separating them at night, but we let them loose today after Barney approached Amber and she allowed him to groom her. She's still not keen on sharing human attention, but she seems to be settling in. I'm not yet convinced Jonah is aware there is another cat in the house.

2. Actually, there isn't much to add. Virus? Severe allergies? All I know is fatigue, some achiness, headachey, sore throat, no fever. I did go in to work today and wish I'd stayed home.

3. I am embarrassed to be explicit about what this is, other than to generally say 'fanfiction' and duck to hide my shame. All the same, I am in love with my little story and it is so much fun to write, really. I am very pleased with the progress so far - and should it not suck, I may even let someone other than my husband read it. Which I know he would appreciate as this is about as interesting as technical manual to him.

4. I don't even know where to begin. Thought I'd ovulated early. Turned out to just be massive pain I have to assume now was a cyst. Thought I'd ovulated around cd 19 - made sense. Everything but the opk's lined up. And those can not go so well, so when my temp jumped up high, I thought ok! Then it dropped. Fertility signs returned. We had sex. Then more sex. OPK turned dark, then positive. Then stayed positive. We had some more sex. Temp went up. Then down a tenth of a degree. Then up a tenth of a degree. And for fun - my cervix is still high and fertile feeling. And today I had a bunch of ewcm. Could have been leftover semen, I suppose, but . . . I don't know. So . . . barring a dip, FF thinks I ovulated. I just wish my temps made things a bit more clear.

Really, I give. I have no control. I concede it. I would just like to be pregnant again.

Throw in the Spurs and playoffs on top of that and there you are. Not particularly interesting, but my life at the moment none the less.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Right. One letter off from eight.

Eight, as in eight months.

Yes, I still count in months.

No, I don't know how long that will continue.

But today's remembrance was not of the mournful, sad reflective kind. It was a note in the morning that it was so. And then we had sex, because we knew it would be our only chance, with my mother staying the night. Bed and floor are too creaky, and while she sleeps like the dead, it's just too uncomfortable to contemplate.

Then an opk was smilingly positive, and I had to shower, then off to Discount Tire to repair the tire that went flat in the span of 4 minutes while driving on the highway yesterday. Then to Target, cat litter and pregnancy tests on the list. Pick up lunch and home again and then some straigtening for my mom.

I spent the time in between writing. This new story is absorbing me, I dream it. It's frippery, mind - a fluffy fanfiction, not characters or even a story themed solely of my imagination (but then, neither was that the case for Shakespeare and my self-esteem is restored). But I'm writing again. And it's good. Nearly 15,000 words now, debating whether or not chapter 3 should be split into two chapters. Not yet though.

Mom brought Amber, who is to become ours if things go well. That meant preparing for her and watching her sniff around with Barney following, his fascination with her entertaining and clear. The dogs barking, Amber is unsure how she feels and seekd refuge in a closet or under the bed. Chatting, dinner ordered, a chat online with a friend arrived safely in the States afterall, only a week late. We watch a movie and the day is quickly drawing to a close.

I knew what it was. I remembered. And then. . . I went on with life. Because this weekend was not constructed to allow us to stop and mourn for more than a moment.

And that's good. Too much thinking and I wonder strange thoughts - whether ovulating on this day, of all the days possible is a sign. I still believe in signs, I see. The loss is not acute any longer, most of the time. It still has the power to sneak up and bring me to my knees. But not today.

Because today there is a disgruntled cat unsure of her surroundings, and time to spend with my beloved mother, and the Spurs play a big game tomorrow, and there are chocolate chip cookies, and snuggly dogs and kitten with catnip mice, and a story calling seductively to me to be crafted and written down.

And so only a moment or two to remember and say to presence at my side, 'Gabe, darling. I love you. I miss you still. You would have liked Amber, I think. And it was a beautiful day, darling. Love love love you.' then on to the next thing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I wish you Peace

So, as happens in life, things change. Sometimes big things. Sometimes things that you never really thought of changing, though if you'd thought about it, you'd nod and realize that is inevitable.

What I'm talking about today is Kate Inglis (sweetsalty kate of, cofounder of Glow in the Woods is stepping down as a regular contributor to Glow. She posted on Monday that she would be going, and how it feels for her. Which is summarized as 'somewhat conflicted' - it seems to be that time for her, but reaching this point hasn't necessarily brought Completion, Closure, Peace or whatever other platitude you throw out (cough, journey, cough) to neatly label the progress (cough) someone makes in the aftermath of such a monumental loss.

In some ways, knowing Kate won't be posting regularly on the topics of babyloss, grief, afterlife leave me feeling a bit bereft. A bit like I'm flailing. As I said to her - her words were an absolute lifeline when I felt I was drowning in the grief at the beginning. I printed out this post and carried it in my wallet for awhile. I so badly needed someone to tell me it was ok to grieve, to allow myself the space necessary to breathe and heal. There are others, too numerous to mention, that just left me bouncing a little, nodding enthusiastically, saying "Yes, yes. YES. Oh yes, thank you God, someone gets it and can say it in an amazingly cogent way. I'm not insane."

In most ways though, I'm glad for Kate. She's done amazing things for us by creating Glow (I cannot express enough the gratitude I feel. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Glow may have saved my sanity). And she's at a place where she needs to move on, where she can't be where I talked about being the other day, because it's not serving anyone well any longer. I know from her recent post on sweetsalty that she is not sure how to process these statements about her having moved on, and congratulations and wishes for peace. She makes a really valuable and excellent point that peace is not really an attainable end. That there is no real objective point that can be called peace, not in this real life.

Which made me think - I often wish for peace. For myself. For my family and friends. And especially for those grieving. She has made me ask what it is I mean when I say I hope for peace.

And I think what I intend to wish someone is not a happy state of tranquility and benevolent acceptance of the fates that have befallen them. Even Job was driven to questions in the end, right? It’s not a goal, or a feeling that can be achieved and maintained with equanimity. It’s not a convenient box which can checked off the grief list, it’s not a package tied prettily with a Resolution bow. I think it is a million things and different every moment and to every person.

What I intend to tell someone is really this:

I wish you a moment of calm in the midst of the storm.
I wish you a breath that fills your lungs and that you don’t choke on.
I wish you a meal where the food does not taste like ashes in your mouth.
I wish you an encounter where someone doesn’t step on your toes or inadvertently rip out your heart.
I wish you a cry with cleansing tears.
I wish you a night of dreamless sleep.
I wish you a moment to just be – a moment in which you do not have to be a wife mother daughter sister husband father son brother friend partner employee dead baby parent lost broken drowning dying in pain guilt-ridden. A moment in which you can simply be and exist apart from all of those things.
I wish you a moment of clarity.
I wish you a moment of friendship and support.
I wish you a time when you can laugh again.
I wish you a time when you can recall without overwhelmingly negative emotions.
I wish you a moment of time in which you can feel your lost one near you.
I wish you an encompassing love.
I wish you a timeout from crushing sadness and the work of grief.
I wish you a glimpse of gratitude.
I wish you good things without guilt.
I wish you more good moments than bad.
I wish you arms to hold you and a shoulder to cry on.
I wish you the rawness of grief when you need it close.
I wish you a scab, then a scar.
I wish you a stream of sunlight, and some warmth.
I wish you a moment of rest in the struggle.
I wish you an answer.
I wish you a break from the anxiety.
I wish you a moment of comfort or solace.

Most of all, I wish you the ability to be present in this moment, whatever this moment requires.

I wish all these things, in different measures in different times depending on what is most required. I often summarize that by saying I wish you peace. It’s easier. It means something different to everyone, and they hopefully can fill in their greatest need.

Perhaps what I ought to say is I wish you the fulfillment of your needs as they come. It’s not wholly attainable, but it’s my passionate desire for my fellow bereaved.

For me, I feel like I have found some peace. That peace changes by the day and exists in greater and lesser degrees. But I find it’s when I can be, when I have that moment . . . that is what I crave and what I seek and what I wish for everyone. I struggle with it. Life changes, life froths, life churns, life is calm, life is floating, life is ever present in highs and lows. I think peace is dealing with life in that moment.

Whatever brings you peace or comfort or solace or allows you to hold your grief, whatever gets you through your day and night, whatever it is you seek – I wish you to find it. Ephemeral and ethereal as it is, intangible as it may be, I wish you that peace.

And I thank Kate for helping me find it in a hundred moments and a hundred ways.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Let's just do this memo style:

- Apparently I way jinxed myself because my lovely temp jump that had me eating pineapple and ditching the tea? Yeah. I've no idea what caused it. Wasn't ovulation though!

- I am now back to being fertile again. Whee.

- At least we had a break, and are interested in sex again, which way better than dreading it.

- Work is very busy and very draining. And very stressful. I really would like for them to put out more details about the staff cuts because right now rumors are floating, everyone is on edge and no one really believes it when you tell them that we don't know anything. They fear that you do know something and just aren't telling them what you know. And while I think we're going to be ok, there is no guarantee.

- The dog and cat are getting along beautifully lately - we even had a full 15 minutes of both animals laying downstairs, in view of each other and it was peaceful. So naturally, we're adding a new cat to the mix. Can't let it get boring, right?

- I awesomely spilled a nearly full venti green tea latte all over my desk. Fortunately for me, it didn't get on anything irreplaceable. Still - very embarrassing.

- Ummmm, I am not sure what else. I'm stumped. I'm sure there is something. I guess I'll figure it out later?

- Oh, right. Yes. I started righting a new story. I've got about 12,000 words. I asked Dh to read it. He did. I asked how it was - how the pacing felt, if it felt natural, if the dialogue read well, if it was too dialogue heavy, etc.

His comments were that the pacing was fine, it didn't feel forced or rushed, the dialogue read naturally. I asked what he thought of it and he said that if I was going for a romantic comedy, he guessed it was all right, but it's not something he'd ever choose to read. Gee, thanks, honey!

I'm happy with it thus far though. Which is what I'm going to get back to now. Cheers!

ETA - Oh RIGHT. This is a big week in Texas Lottery. Fingers crossed the universe is finally nice to us and our terribly bad numbers come up winners in one of the games. Yes, yes, I do realize I have a better chance of conceiving natural triplets and carrying them to 32+ weeks without missing more than 3 days of work, but that is hardly the point now, is it? I like the little fantasy life we've built around winning the lottery. My house is awesome!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Rawness of the Black Hole

Lately, I have seen, unfortunately, a new crop of dead baby mamas. Brand new losses, with all their confusion, ache, newness and despair. I grieve for those mamas and their lost children.

It is a difficult thing. I have found some peace nearly 8 months out. I am no longer new to this frightening world. I have found a place in it, and I feel a responsibility to reach out to those who have just emerged from the black hole and are blinking in confusion and fear at this strange new world.

I was reached out to. I was held. I was allowed to pour out my grief in all its rawness and harshness and wailing and blackness, and I was told I was welcome and I was told I was not alone and I was understood.

Those things were precious to me then, and now. Being supported by those who had been there was of incalculable aid to me. The support of my friends and family who have not been there as parents is still important - don't doubt that you were invaluable to me. But there is something special and necessary about knowing you are not alone, you will survive this. And you will be well again someday.

So I have to repay that. It can't be repaid to those who served me so well, it must be paid forward to those joining our ranks of the babylost.

So I try. I try to sit and listen, I try to abide with the grief of others, and I try to give them a taste of the peace I've reached, to assure them that they too can swim through the morass of grief and come out the other side. Unfortunately, that sometimes requires wading back into the morass to reach them and help hold them up.

There is no way to avoid coming face to face with your own grief again. Sometimes it is in the story itself, the similarities cut straight through your defenses and pierce your heart in the same place and you weep with them, for their loss and yours. Sometimes it is only in mirror, or a painting, viewing the grief as if you were studying it.

That has value too. I can see how far I've come, I can see the ways in which I've changed. I can see my own fragility and my own strength. Sometimes I wish I did not feel compelled to sit with this raw grief. It hurts. A wise friend told me not to take so much pain into myself, that it is ok to be selfish and protect myself. I wish I could listen. I wish I did not always feel selfish.

I hope it helps. I hope it does something for them, as it did for me. I hope they feel comforted, a little less alone. I hope they can find peace. I hope that it buoys me and does not drag me down. I hope it honors Gabriel, and the short life he lived. I hope it is his legacy writ large in life.

I watch these new bereaved parents struggle to take a breath, I tell them that is all the need do right now. Take one breath at a time, one step at a time. Someday, I will move on from this new place, further down the road. I'm already on my way, nearly eight months gone. These people will hopefully take my place, an ever changing cast of characters, an ever reaching line of support stretching out over the landscape. . .

O Brave New World, that has such people in it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Well then.

So I definitely did not ovulate on cd16. Or cd17 (which was my personal pick). Boo!

And having gotten no positive opk's after yesterday (anyone notice that if you say it phonetically that it's sort of what it is? Oh-Peaks. Like ovulation peak. Like . . . oh, nevermind. I'm kind of a dork.), I was thinking that things were indeed lining up for an April 18 ovulation.

And I cannot tell you the myriad of ways in which that was making me totally nervous.

I've been having a good feeling about this cycle, despite waves upon waves of anxiety, but I really, really, really didn't want to ovulate on the same day. It would just be too weird for me.

But I noticed that the ovulatory pain increased yesterday - especially on the right side. And that by evening, my cervix seemed to be moving downwards and closing up. And that the cm that had started as fertile/ew was more creamy than anything.

And then this morning, my temp jumped a whopping .6 degrees, and well over my previous high temps for this cycle. So I'm feeling pretty good about the chances that ovulation has occurred. Good enough to stop drinking green tea and begin eating pineapple core, anyway.

I feel like we gave it our best shot, and I feel pretty good about our chances. . . so now the waiting begins. You know, if my temp doesn't plummet by .7 degrees tomorrow . . .

* * * * *

In other areas of life, I have been busy at work and things aren't great. Not for me personally, just the situation. Without getting too detailed and trying to stick my promise to myself to not lay out too much about work here, there are budget cuts happening. And there will be RIFs. A lot of RIFs - more than we initially expected. Everyone is on edge about this. No one feels particularly secure. I think I'm ok - well, for a lot of reasons. While there is a lot of my job that a part-timer could do, there is a big, important chunk that requires someone full-time and at my level (meaning my job is unlikely to be downgraded to an office coordinator or something), because I certify expenses. But . . . that is no guarantee. At all. And regardless of how safe I am, people are going to lose their jobs. I've been told it's highly likely that at least one person in my office will lose their job, and that people in our unit will lose their jobs. And that sucks. A lot. I hate it. I'm glad I don't have to make that decision and am unlikely to have to sit in on those meetings. But even knowing it . . . is awful.

And to make that all better? My prescription for my anti-depressent ran out this week.

Like a good patient, I called the doctor's office. I was referred to the pharmacy line, where I was told to leave my identifying information, the number for the pharmacy and the medication I was requesting and they would return my call within 24 hours. I did this.

I did not receive a call back. But as I called last Friday, I though ok. Weekend. No biggie. I've got some pills left. So I called the pharmacy Monday to see if they'd received the prescription, as the last time this happened, it was called in and no one informed me. Nope. So I call and leave another message.

That is not returned either. I'm a little concerned because I wasn't sure if I needed to see the doctor to discuss the dosage or anything else. And no one is returning my calls. And the pharmacy doesn't have the order. And I'm running out of pills, and not only do I not have enough to wean properly, I am nowhere near ready to wean. OMG.

I get more and more anxious as the week progresses. I cried at one point. I left another message, which is likewise not returned. I had a good friend offer to send me her leftover prescription so I wouldn't be stuck without. I cannot believe that that office has not returned my calls pleading for someone to call me.

So finally, I call and try the nurse's line - same thing. A message. So I call again, and wait on hold for 20 minutes to get to the secretary or whoever. When the phone is finally answered, I explain it all in a tearful voice: I've left messages, I'm nearly out, I can't stop it yet, I'm feeling desperate, I don't know what the hold up is, and please please please call in the script for me.

And she says she will. She goes on to say that she was just covering the phones for Dr. B's staff (she works for another Dr in the practice), and next time I should just have the pharmacy fax a request because it's quicker.

I was joyful and completely, utterly livid, all at once. Because, really? Good to know I can just have the pharmacist ask. Good to know that following their directions to request a continuation of the meds doesn't work at all. Good to know the doc doesn't need to speak with me at all regarding this.

Maybe I should ask the pharmacy to request some valium. After that mess, I feel like I could use it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Deja vu

This is weird. Almost uncomfortably so.

So, for a variety of reasons I won't repeat yet again, I thought I might have ovulated overnight between Monday and Tuesday. As my temps don't really confirm that as yet, and I've had some twinges that would suggest otherwise, I'm not sure quite what is happening at this point.

What is eerie about that though is that the same damn thing happened a year ago. On cd 16/17. It's just crazy and weird. Ovulation is predicted to be the same day, the weird blip is the same. . .

I know it's likely coincidental. I know it probably doesn't mean anything. But it's hard not to watch this unfold and feel like it is familiar. To hope it's familiar. To let that secret voice leap forward in recognition and shout this must be it, it must, must, must. . .

(that one bit that forever longs for Gabriel returned to me, straining to be heard, looking for my son)

I've been here before. I'm tired of here, of waiting, of stasis, of gnashing teeth and hopeful wishes. I want to be beyond here, I want to get on with living life. And yet, I can't leave this behind, not while we might still have a chance of being parents.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Please sir, may I have some more?

Dh and I are watching the Spurs beat up on the Timberwolves to (hopefully) have yet another 50 win season. We are dicussing a variety of things, George Hill's naked pictures, pornography in general, whether or not we should plant roses in the tomato bed, and I mention that someone I never cared much for sent me a friend request on FB. DH confirmed he had also received the invitation and that reminded me - one of our friends has expressed interest in seeing us soon.

Normally, we would be in favor. But honestly, I go out even less now than I did before. And honestly, I have absolutely no desire to see these lovely, very nice people. And I feel pretty bad about it. But worse is that I can't think of a nice way to say, "Love to, but I don't so well around pregnant women who have had blissfully easy times trying to conceive and easy pregnancies and are having boys, so um, maybe we could wait until I'm 24 weeks pregnant or your kid is five or six months old or so?"

It always takes me by surprise that I have such a gut-level reaction to these particular people, rather than other people in my life. I spent over an hour this afternoon chatting with my friend C about her pregnancy and teasing her about how she was definitely having a girl and all sorts of nonsense. I can listen to my friend K talk about her in-utero son with nary a blink or wistful sigh. Maybe it's the distance of states?

I have avoided seeing anyone in person who might be pregnant. I have successfully avoided newborns. And I've done it all subconsciously, which is perhaps the most impressive of all.

But when we talk about these things, what I find is that it simply highlights the emptiness that exists in our lives. Oh, there is richness, and we try to fill it, but there is no getting around the empty room and the unassembled crib and the random thoughts that Gabriel would be so old and even still, the rare thought about what we will do wit him.

You know, I had something special done in honor of Gabe, something that turned out more beautifully than I could have imagine, more perfectly than I dared to hope, and Dh and I were so excited about it. We called people, I displayed it with pride. It felt good, honestly.

But coming up against a simple invitation to dinner made it dim, made it fall like a house of cards. It reminded us of how different our lives are now. People ask us about what's happening and we talk about how neat it was to do something for our dead son. And it's understandable, and it's normal and it's nothing taken away from Gabe. It's just that what we get is the leftovers, the scraps.

We're grateful for them because that's all we get. We share them with each other and we take pleasure and joy in them. But it's still not the same thing. And the reminders are hard to swallow sometimes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why I love my husband

So I was catching up on a couple of boards I joined for some of my specific issues. On a cervix issues board, one woman is freaking out because her doctor told her she is 2 cm and 50% thinned and she's 37 weeks and what should she do!?!?! I read that to DH and he rolled his eyes. Then I read him the post about the woman who is having a cerclage this week and upset because her pre-op orders say she can't wear make-up.

Dh said he guessed she was probably really upset at not being able to vajazzle for the operation. I informed him that I certainly planned to for mine, give the doctor a good show, really cheer up her day.

Dh said, and I quote, "That's a great idea. Bonus points for making it look like Levar Burton."

I nearly snorted water up my nose, I laughed so hard.

Hitch in the plans

'The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley. . .'

And such is the case here. Things aren't going at all as I'd imagined. Not that things are bad, just unpredictable.

Under the plan, we should have had sex last night. What I had not foreseen was a long work week compounded by not enough sleep (thanks Barney) with a dash of allergies thrown in making me miserable. I had a headache. A monstrous headache, that wiped me out. So we didn't have sex.

And I feel guilty. Mind you, it's early enough on that unless I ovulate tomorrow (and there are no signs of that, I assure you), it's no big deal. Still - we had a plan, and I made it break down.

But it's hard to get too worked up, because I have very few fertility signs or signs of impending ovulation. No fertile cm yet, which I find a wee bit worrisome. There are other signs that estrogen is doing what it ought - increasing amounts of on again/off again ovulatory twinges (mostly on the left), a cervix which has moved up and up and up and grown softer (though not yet more open, but that really happens right before ovulation so . . .) and as of yesterday, full ferning on the microscrope and the first signs of opks growing darker. Nowhere near positive yet, but two definite lines are appearing.

So I guess it's still ok.

But despite this, I'm feeling the anxiety mount. I do not wish to be so anxious, but I am. I think it's a general anxiety - it feels like something is in the air, like I'm waiting for something to happen - that is just directed at ttc because, well, that's the focus right now. . . But it's not fun. I'm doing my best to remain optimistic and cheerful and not let it get the better of me, and so far it's been ok. Not great, but bearable. It reminds me, though, of how life used to be before the anti-depressants and I wonder how I coped. Honestly, it is wearying and feels like a constant battle, and this is mild compared to what I used to feel on a constant basis.

It's just hard, because so much is reduced to such simple things. I want to be pregnant again. I want to be filled with hope again, with life again. I want to be moving forward, not stuck in limbo. And I can't do anything about these desires. Nothing different here. Indeed, that is part of the problem. The sameness of this life is getting on my nerves.

Which in turn makes me feel ungrateful and selfish. Because my life is not so bad - a good husband, a family that loves me, pets that are pretty awesome much of time, great friends. It's just that I still hope for more.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I honestly don't know what is more disturbing. . .

Vajazzling - a concept I'd never heard of before Chelsea Handler had Jennifer Love Hewitt on to discuss her book - or what happened when I googled vajazzling to see what the everloving fuck they were talking about.

You know how, when you google something, somewhere in the middle of the page you get the option to review the image results?

The very first image result if you google (normal google, not google image) vajazzling, is an image of Levar Burton and Reading Rainbow.

I could not make this shit up, I swear to God.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I don't have much to say.

Um, FlashForward was awesome tonight, and indescribably better than before the hiatus, and naturally going to be cancelled, which really sucks, but can't be unexpected as all my favorite shows (that are on network tv) either dumb down for ratings or get cancelled for being too eccentric. Still. Sigh.

Beyond that. . . work is going. It's fine. Nothing exciting, really.

Home is fine. So far so good on trying to keep it clean.

Reproductively speaking, meh. Still early days yet. OPKs are very light, the microscope is just now really beginning to display ferning around the perimeters. We completed round 1 of our timed sex plan, no problems. It's sort weird to be taking a night off, honestly. But as it remains early days, I don't see the need to rush.

Things are ok. Well, I'm feeling a great deal of anxiety, but that is fairly standard, I guess. I want to be pregnant, I'm not. Don't know if or when I will be pregnant again and I can't control it. So, I worry about it some. But I'm trying not to focus on that. Some days are easier than others.

And there isn't much more to say. I feel boring. I am boring. I guess that's not a terrible thing, but it doesn't make for good reading. If the boring persists, I promise to find something interesting to post about. For now, though, I'll just leave you with the exciting discovery of what I'm calling 'hair screws' - spiral pins that you screw into a bun to hold it in place. They are amazing. I need another set.

The only downside is that I've found I prefer to wear two smaller buns and consequently look like all I'm missing to complete the look is a pointy cloth cap and wooden clogs. DH thinks my look is entertaining, but fuck all, it's quite comfortable and it stays put, so they stay.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Breaking it down

First, the obligatory update. Today is cd 8. I started the opk's today and the scheduled sex will commence today. Beyond that, there isn't much to report. I finished the soy last night. I had some major hot flashes, including a really bad one today at Target, and there are some twinges, but that's it really. Not much to say.

As for the poll, the results were:
10% Anovulatory
20% CD 17
30% CD 18
30% CD 19
10% CD 20

Cheers for the anovulatory vote, and as for the rest - well I hope it works out like this. DH and I have a little side bet going.

Other than these things, there isn't much to update. My birthday was low-key and quiet. It was lovely to spend time with my mom and I had a lovely nap. I think it worked out much like the scary anniversaries do for me - when it looms, it's a little scary, when it arrives, it's not that bad. I just sort of struggle to realize that I'm 30 and have no living children. It's just so wildly different from how I expected my life to go. But aside from that, there is something exciting about 30 - a new decade, a new age. An age many people tell me is the most enjoyable yet. Bring it on, I say!

But really, where my thoughts are currently headed is my new blog. DH and I started a private blog to keep friends and family up to date. I'm not always the best about making phone calls or even remembering to bring my phone inside the house at night, and I'm not on Facebook much and my parents have said they wish we corresponded more. And of course, my brother will be going to Afghanistan in June, and blogs can be easier to keep up with. And then DH's family rarely has a lot of insight into our lives.

One of the propelling forces was that I have long felt that Gabriel wasn't terribly real to them. They weren't involved in the pregnancy at all - they didn't hear his heartbeat, or see me or even know much about everything that was going on. I suppose I could send them the link to our individual blogs, but, well, I don't want my family or his reading that much detail about our sex lives or my cervical fluid. Nor do I wish to go back through the archives and delete anything that might be unflattering. If they stumble across me and piece it together, so be it. But why invite trouble? But I hope that the blog, which both of us contribute to, will allow both of us to talk about a future pregnancy and allow us to share more. A way to keep everyone in the loop and involved.

So it's live, and we're sending invitations to the appropriate people. So far it's been pretty light-hearted, but I know that I need to address Gabe soon. There is a lot that has never been addressed with Dh's family and a lot that I want to clear up about what happened and about future pregnancies. And if nothing else, I want it to be clear that Gabriel remains a part of our lives, an active part of our lives and that we love to talk about him and love to have him remembered.

DH's family has never really spoken to me about him. I was shocked when I said something about him at the seven month mark on FB and my two SIL's responded. Shocked in a good way, that is. I think they are amenable to a certain level of discussion about him, and I think the blog is a good first step towards that.

But I don't know quite how to break it all down, or quite what I want to say. There is so much I want to say. But it's hard to know where to begin, and how to go about it. I wish very much that there were some sort of instructions on how to talk about your dead son with people who are uncomfortable, but alas.

So I've sat here in front of my screen for awhile, cursor blinking as I type a few words and then delete them. At first, I tried a list. It seemed sterile and cold. Then I tried to write about him, and it seemed choked. Nothing is quite right yet. Maybe I'm forcing it, and it needs to come more naturally, like it does here. I write about him when I want to or when I need to. Maybe on the anniversary of his birth. . . Sigh.

Seven and a half months out is an odd place to be. He's been gone longer than he ever existed and I am largely reconciled to the continued absence of him from our lives. Many people expect that we have moved on and are pleased to see us laughing and happy, trying again. Which is fine. Our lives are not one giant masquerade of sadness, but it exists and I welcome it. I guess I still feel like we ought to be sad sometimes. But it gets harder and harder to express the more time that elapses because I feel the weight of other people's expectations on us. Expecting that we will have moved on or be over it, hoping we won't need to mention it anymore. Who knows whether that is real or simply my own fear of inadequacy as a mother?

So it's difficult. I can easily say to strangers "I have a son. His name is Gabriel. He died shortly after his birth, due to extreme prematurity." But my own family? My friends? Not so easy, because it's so much more than that, and yet less than that too. Our grocery store has had an option to add on $1, $3, or $5 to your purchase, to go to March of Dimes. They regularly have these things, for various causes that change throughout the year - the foodbank, school supplies for underpriviliged children, breast cancer, research, veteran's causes . . . every single time I've been in since it started, I've donated to MoD. It's a cause I support, in Gabe's honor. The last time, the clerk thanked me and I shrugged and said "My son was premature. It's important to me to donate to them when I can. Thank you all for doing this." She smiled and asked how old he was. I said, easily enough, "Oh, no. He passed away shortly after his birth. He was too premature to be saved. But maybe someday . . ." and I trailed off. And she said, "My son was early too, but he's alive. Maybe someday. I'm sorry." And I smiled at her and she smiled at me and there was a moment of understanding between us.

Why so easy with her? Why so hard with them? I am at a loss for words with the people I most want to share my son with. It's uncomfortable, really, to have to struggle to describe how we are to them. To explain all over again what we've learned about his death and how it will be prevented in future. To say out loud what everyone knows but is generally kept secret - yes, we are trying again. To invite questions into how it is going for us.

I think, perhaps, this is why we've not done something like this before now. I've enjoyed the distance that geography has given us previously. And closing that gap electronically is opening us up to something I'm not sure I'm ready for. An invitation into our daily lives and a scrutiny I'm uninterested in. But then. . . they're family. How can they be a part of our lives and how can they be involved if we don't make the effort to let them in? Perhaps if we'd done better when Gabe was alive, this wouldn't be so hard now.

Maybe this will end up being a better thing than I can imagine. But still. I wish I had the words.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I am officially 30 years old.

Well, my mom informs me it is not official until 4:24 this afternoon, so there you are. In fact, she repeats my birth story every single year. In detail. Oy.

But it's ok. She's here with me now and it's been great to see her.

We went out to dinner last night which was fun. We're going out for seafood today for lunch which will be good too. Then she'll go back home, which will be sad.

DH cleaned a lot of the downstairs for me. Cleaner than it's been in a very, very long time. Woooo! Upstairs is next. Woooo!

Really there isn't much to say. This is a birthday I'd been dreading some, but really, it's fine. It's a nice day, really. I think it will be happy after all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shame, shame, shame.

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

Fool me a third time and maybe I'll start looking at the damn calendar.

Or not. You never know.

Happy April Fool's Day.