Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Toys! I love new toys!

For our impending 5 year anniversary, DH bought me an iPod touch, which I really, really wanted.

It arrived tonight (squeeeeee) and I've been playing with it ever since.

You know what I did right away?

Downloaded iBook and started trawling through the free books to stock up on favorites like Jane Austen and Shakespeare.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Holy Mother of FUCK


Not so much pregnant as FERTILE.

Mother of god.

I was having a lot of fluid and some cramping throughout the day, so for most of it I kept thinking - ok, period is coming, period is coming, ok then. That's that.

Until I got home and had to pee and had gobs of stretchy ewcm going on. In a bit of disbelief I checked my cervix, and it is high/soft/gaping open.

Body, you can go fuck right off, as far as I'm concerned. I don't think we're on speaking terms any longer. I know I've been causing you no small amount of stress, and I'm sorry, I really, really am, but this is UNACCEPTABLE.

So for the moment, I'm sitting here in relief mixed with outrage mixed with disappointment mixed with the urge to grab my husband and insist he inseminate me immediately mixed with reminders of just how bad I felt yesterday.

Also, splitting headache. Fertile. Ugh. Work it out, reproductive organs. I'm not joking. You cause me far more trouble than you are worth, and you're not cute enough to make it worthwhile.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I hate it.

And I know that much of life is uncertain - unpredictable anyway. But after a month or so of shifting sands under my feet and instability and uncertainty, I've been in a good mood since Wednesday or so, when I was finally let in on the plans for the immediate future and the outline of plans to come at work.

And from that, we sat down and worked out something of a plan in regards to ttc and I felt comfortable for the first time in awhile.

And then, because my cycle was fucked up by all the stress and I'm not clear if I ovulated or not, but FF says so and further says that I should be having my period at any moment now, I took a pregnancy test.

And like so many tests I've taken, there is something there. Now, I grant I am a master at spotting the slight indentation and shadow that indicate where the line of hormones are - the line that ought to turn pink. So good in fact, that I have marked both test lines before wetting the stick and been 100% correct. It's like the lamest super-power ever.

Consequently, I don't trust many brands of tests, or my ability to read them. I could probably see a line on anything at this point. So I don't assume a faint line means much anymore, even when both of us see it in the time limit. Unless it's a lovely pink color, nothing doing. Too many chemical pregnancies and dashed hopes for that.

So I haven't seen anything I'd call positive. But I saw enough to make me bite my bottom lip, feel a frown crease my forehead and turn to DH and say, "Shit. Now what?"

Because, honestly, I don't think I want to be pregnant.

And of course, I do, oh I do, with all my heart.

But not right now. Because I just won some stability and pregnancy for us is so enormous and huge and consuming and frightening and such a very long time filled with uncertainty. And it's expensive and we have no money and we're working so hard on paying off debt and how the fuck am I supposed to find time for appointments twice a week and oh GOD, I cannot take another miscarriage right now, let alone another dead baby, please for the love of every thing precious on this earth, I don't think I can do it again.

I mean, maybe I can, at some point, but I don't feel that point is now. And if you look at my chart, it's fairly clear we weren't really trying so much this month. From the moment things went wonky and uncertain we backed off. So the odds are . . . not good at all! So I shouldn't even be at this place of wondering again, not after 10 cycles of beautifully timed sex with clear ovulation. And that I am makes me feel guilty.

That I feel conflicted at all over the possible outcome, when a few months ago it's all I wanted, makes me feel guilty. That I am in bad shape and have forgotten my vitamins a lot over the past few weeks (but hell, I've also forgotten lunch and snacks and sleep) and have so much debt also makes me feel guilty.

I want a child. I want a living baby. I want a pregnancy to progress far enough for me to feel my child moving within me and pinpoint what is poking me. I want to see my husband change a diaper and watch his face light with love as it does on the rare occasions he speaks of our son.

But I don't want all the uncertainty that accompanies that. I don't feel mentally or emotionally prepared for it, and in fact, I wonder some that I thought I could handle it a few months ago when I was still so overcome by grief. Really I'm grateful to have gotten to a place where I feel more at peace with the events surrounding our son.

I doubt, honestly, that the faint line turns into anything darker or more present. I expect, really, that in a day or two, I'll start spotting again, and this time it will lead to a new period and I'll start taking Vitex again and we'll go ahead and buy the elliptical we keep talking about and our plans will fall into place. The speck of doubt though is making me fear the outcome. And I am ashamed of that fear.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wii would like to fuck with you.

Worth noting:

I suck at Wii baseball (and even more at the real thing. There was an incident in which my father, who coached baseball, tried to play with us, and I shrieked and ducked when he threw the ball because I was upset he was throwing it at me. He was saddened and disappointed in the sports skills of his progeny and refused to do it ever again).

That is worth noting because anytime I take their stupid fitness test and there are baseball sections I fuck it up.

I went from my best 48 to 80 tonight.

I chalked it up to 2 baseball tests that I performed abysmally on.

So then I decide to make myself feel better by doing the Power Throw Bowling training. I like making the rows fall down.

Only no matter what I did, the ball kept hooking left (irritatingly like real life). DH confirmed that my arm and wrist were straight, so I started getting upset and demanded he fix it.

Turns out SOMEONE (who wasn't me) moved the effing television. So the stupid little bar thing the Wii uses for the motion sensor wasn't straight and was skewing everything.

I am NOT 80 years old. But I'm still pissed because in my growing frustration, I think I threw out my shoulder.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not a bad day, really.

All things considered, not bad.

Which makes for a pleasant change. Feeling moderately better about things, at least for now.

Left 'on time' today - it feels early. But since I've brought a fair amount of work home with me, that's fine, I suppose. Got good feedback from my supervisor, from her supervisor and from the chair of my new gig, which, really, is all I can ask for at this point.

We'll see how things progress, but I'll take any good I can find right now.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I am beginning to dread work in a serious way and it's casting a pall over everything. The worst of it is that insofar as I can know about my position and stability, things are fine. I'm working hard, and I've been told I'm safe and that my superiors will fight hard to keep me if it ever comes to that. But with the situation seeming to change every week, I'm a little terrified that my personal situation will change too. And that makes me a lot terrified about everything else. What if I get pregnant? Will that alter my situation? I'll have to miss work, and then be out, and will that unconsciously shift my position downward and make someone else more seem more valuable? What about our debt and our house, which seems to need more and more repairs? What about our savings (hahahahaha) and our car, which still has over 3 years left on payments?

I'm biting my nails and grinding my teeth and no answers are forthcoming. I should have faith in what I'm being told, but my mind isn't shutting off there. It's an utterly nerve-wracking sort of experience. This is precisely why I stayed in the field I was in - because I thought it was more secure than your average pick-i-nick basket job.

I realize in all of this is that recurring tendency towards fretting and my old friend loathing for not being in control of an outcome. You would think, hard as that lesson has been driven home, I'd embrace it. And I do try . . . but I'm not good at it. I've listened to my meditation things, I've done deep breathing, and will consider yoga, should my back ever cooperate (when I feel down in the elevator last week, I think I did some damage). But when I'm alone, my mind starts spinning and spinning and spinning and you can see from the above where it goes.

Throw in a massive headache and a digestive system that seems to be protesting all the ways my current assignment has me abusing my body, and I simply couldn't do it today. I stayed home, practically whimpering with exhaustion. I wish I were braver, or able to trust more easily, or that I had an off switch.

Yeah, an off switch would be quite handy right about now.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Event

I think it is fair to say that Gabriel's death is one of the top five Defining Events in my life.

Getting married was one of them. My mother's suicide attempt was one, I think; my not-yet-husband's was too. Gabriel of course. I'm not even sure what precisely else, but you get the drift.

Defining events - those big things (well, perhaps it could be a small thing that had a huge, reaching impact on you) that shape who you are as a person, that delineate the time of your life between into a clear Before and After. Those things that impact us in unprecedented and unanticipated ways, that alter who we are as people.

Certainly, the death of your child is one of those things. No way around that.

But I begin to wonder, as the pain is less acute and it has become mostly another fact about me, as central to me as being married to my husband or having long hair: is that becoming all it was?

Eric, on Glow, talks about 'it' as an event, and points out that there is no it, it's really them - him, in my case. He points out that it is an absence and a not-knowing, because our children were not long in the world and not cognizant enough to have a preference - at least none we were aware of. All the personality that they (he) displayed were mostly provided by our own flights of fancy. Elizabeth McCracken mentions that as well, that the personality is drawn by the parents and based on potential rather than reality.

It is in idea and a hope that we loved, and certainly, we loved our little boy, the realization of those hopes and dreams in the flesh, and now in a box of ashes and a photographic image. But that is so fragile. It often seems that what Gabriel really was is somehow less of a person - though he was that, yes - and more of an event that occurred.

As if the death of our son eclipses the personhood of our son.

But the personhood is such a small bit, he lived for such little time, and so much of it is conjecture, that maybe it's natural that the event take precedence as the thing which lingers on and continues to haunt us.

I don't like it though. It feels disloyal, unfair. It feels like a criticism, it feels selfish - as if it is the whispers of everyone who views us and thinks - Move On Already.

These days I'm feeling ok. I don't mean to say that Gabe is any less loved or missed, just that it is the normal ache, barely noticed any longer. The hole in my heart is still there, as open as ever, but I've learned to function with that, and I do. There is guilt that overshadows it though. I looked at the box of Gabe's ashes and wondered for the first time what to do with them. Is it morbid for them to be in their little box, sitting on the mantle? We don't think so, I can't even necessarily say I notice it that often. That's simply where Gabriel's remains are, much as the placement of the couch or the lamp - yet another simple fact. I wonder though if it's morbid, if perhaps I should move them. I feel no more emotional attachment to that spot for them. Rather like the tattoo I have planned. Originally meant to be Gabriel's footprints, I have shied away from that. Struck by a lyric in a song that spoke to me about enduration (the event again, rather than the person?), I recalled a previous idea and now plan something more symbolic and esoteric. I still think of it as Gabriel's tattoo, but it's not as transparently so as his footprints would have been.

And then I feel guilt. I have no desire to hide away the fact of my son's existence. I do not want to imply that I am ashamed or pretend he did not and does not exist. So moving his ashes feels wrong, and I won't do that; changing the tattoo feels right, and I will go ahead with the new design. But what is right and wrong? I know now that balance will change with time, that while the pain is less acute now, it may wash over me in full force again tomorrow. That as we age and as our family changes - however that occurs - we will have to re-evaluate Gabe's place and presence in our lives. He is fact, that doesn't change; how we balance his presence and absence does.

I get tired of it sometimes. I wish for a day away from being the mother of a dead child; perhaps that is one area in which my motherhood is universal - a momentary longing for time away, freedom from the mantel of responsibility that we wear as mothers. And yet, I do not wish it so, if it means wishing he never was. I only wish for the impossible, for him whole and healthy and alive - that which cannot be.

One of the biggest events of my life, perhaps the biggest to date. A painful one. Shocking how such a tiny, tiny little boy, known for such a short period of time, could have so large an impact.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I'm not sure I know what day it is. Time is morphing in a weird way. Never enough of it for everything, and simultaneously flying and dragging.

Work is . . . well. I think I'm getting my feet under me and making concrete progress in things. Which is good for my self-esteem and whatnot. At the same time, everything's going to be changing again and I've no idea what it will look like in 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks, three months from now. And that level of uncertainty combined with the underwater feeling and the horrid feeling of not helping and slowing everyone else down . . . well. It's not fun. There have been some positive developments over what was proposed to me on Thursday, and I'm doing my best to try to be positive and simply do the best I can.

This past weekend went a long way. My husband did indeed attend the football game and saw many folks and it was apparently a great game. I, on the other hand, got a new book and drove myself to Benihana's. I sat at the end of a table filled with lovely Asian people (I apologize, but I never did catch where they were from) who seemed to enjoy talking with the chef. I had beef sashimi (a favorite), sushi that I love and DH doesn't (so no compromising or sharing), and the best meal I've eaten there in a long time. Seriously, everything was perfectly cooked. The scallops were to die for - perfect caramelization. The filet was the epitome of medium rare. Simply beautiful. All washed down with a Sapporo.

It was fantastic.

Then I slept, and slept, and slept, and slept.

Had a nice lunch with a friend on Saturday. Browsed a bookstore. Bought pie. Bought a nice heffewiezen. Drank too many Saturday night. Slept and slept and slept.

I'd intended to go into work for 3 hours on Sunday, but I slept until noon. And when I got up, Texans were playing the Colts and since those are the football teams I support, I had to watch. And not only was it a fantastically fun to watch game, the Texans WON. Talk about a shocker. Looks like it could be a great season for them.

And of course, the Dallas game was a divinely entertaining bit of schadenfraude, so *snicker* to that.

And then . . . sadly . . . back to work.

Oh, and to make it all fun? All the stress pushed off ovulation, though I was on the very brink of it. I've been spotting for 6 days. Terribly annoying. And now, ewcm makes a return. Because why not? I cannot believe an egg could still be good, but if it will put a stop to the unnerving spotting (so eerily similar to the ectopic pregnancy that I've taken 3 pregnancy tests just to be sure), then why the hell not?

For the most part, I feel like I'm doing ok. I've been off the anti-depressants for a couple of weeks now. The downside is that without that pill every night, I seem to be forgetting to take my vitamins. Guess I need to start that in the morning again. I think that one of the biggest factors in last week's bad feelings was the lack of sleep I was getting, which I think may have been attributable to the anti-depressants. I can only hope this continues to get better - I'm in no way opposed to anti-depressants, and wouldn't mind continuing. I'm just sick to death of fighting the OB's office to get the prescription and I haven't gotten a new PCP and I don't know when I will.

So. . . that's the update. I'm trudging along, trying hard not to get snippy with my husband, as if only I am allowed bad days or to be stressed. I'm trying hard to focus on one thing at a time and to be kind to myself. I'm looking forward to a time when I can sit and breathe for a bit.

Oh. And today, I fell down in the elevator. I have no idea how it happened, as I was standing still at the time. Just thought I'd share.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm not happy right now.

I started typing it all out and without going into specifics, it makes little sense is only whinging.

But I just want to cry. I want to, and I'm too tired to do so. Work is simply miserable right now. Just when I felt like I was getting a balance and starting to build trust, the entire plan has changed again and I'm not happy with the direction of the changes. It's just depressing.

I feel depressed. Tired, tired, tired. Uninterested in anything. Defeated.

I'm tired of being unhappy and overworked and maybe the newest changes will help that, but it will be at the expense of career development and potential advancement and I just want to cry about it all. What my job is becoming is not at all what I want to do. And I'm so very, very tired of being told to be grateful I have a job.

I am. Really. We'd be in a lot more trouble if that were not the case. But the gratitude doesn't erase the fact that this is not the job I signed up for and I don't particularly want to do it.

I just . . . fuck. I'm not happy. And I don't really see a way towards becoming happy. Only stress and drudgery and unhappiness.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yeah, I'm going to just hide a wee bit longer, thanks.

I'm completely buried under work and doing things like trying to tease out a thread in the cobwebby-back-door of a FileMaker database and figure out how the HELL anyone could work in that mess and where the internal logic is and why the FUCK I can't do data entry in that relational table when I have admin access and that is where the look-up is directed and OMFG I will be bald from ripping my hair out before this is said and done.


How YOU doin'?

Anyway, this is just a pop in to say that given the above, when I received a request via FB to join some old college pals at the game this weekend, I seriously considered it for a bit. I knew it would mean seeing the newest baby, but I feel ready for that.

The other stuff I saw from the invitation list and ensuing discussion have effectively insured that I will be staying far, far away.

Of the 6 couples invited:

- two have infants under a year old.
- one has an infant under 3 months old.
- two are currently quite heavily pregnant
- one is us.

We were the first ones married, the first to start trying to conceive and the only one with any difficulties.

I'm not terribly close with most of this group - obviously, or it wouldn't have been a shock to see all the pregnant women and babies - but this is the time of year we generally get together and catch up. Last year, I missed the gathering at a baseball game because of the bleeding and bedrest and skipped the football games because of a burning desire to hide in bed.

I think I'll skip again. That is too many children, and too much pain. Whether it really is this way for others, I feel like an outsider, like a bad omen, like a reminder of all the bad things that can happen. I feel like I make others uncomfortable - probably because I feel so. I mean. . . can I talk about when I was pregnant (uh, any of the times?) or how my son looked, or about a registry I started and baby products I never used and am a full year behind the times in researching?

It is perhaps cowardly to hide. And no doubt, someone will say it's ridiculous to hide from pregnant women and babies a year after losing Gabriel.


I've learned self-preservation, if done nicely and neatly, is not a bad thing. I just wish I had a way to see into the future. I begin to believe that I could live a generally decent life without children, but I would have to resign myself to that. And the thought of a painful struggle to resignation over the course of, say, a decade is just so depressing. It would be easier to bear it all in the short term if I knew what awaited us.

But that is the dilemma of all time-travel, no? Alas.

Friday, September 3, 2010

An oddity.

I talked yesterday with a co-worker about The Room. I think many people have a catch all room where shit gets thrown as guests come over and the door is closed. Coworker said that she'd just added shelves and was excited it was starting to get organized. I laughed and said I hadn't touched it since we just didn't know what to do with it. She asked why and I said, "Well, all the baby stuff is in there. We aren't ready yet to make it a guest room, but well, all the baby stuff is in there."

She nodded, and then offered up a daybed if we are interested in a semi-permanent solution. I'm quite tempted, actually. We're not putting ttc on hold - not officially - but neither are we trying right now. In fact, we've not had sex in over a week due to one thing or another.

I feel so conflicted about that. Not for the reasons I think a lot of people might/do - it doesn't bother me that there is baby stuff in there. I don't actively avoid it, though it's rare for me to go in there. I simply have no reason to - DH changes the cat litter, and there isn't anything in there I need. Most of the baby stuff was purchased well before I was pregnant with Gabe, so it's not attached to him, specifically (thank God).

I haven't really looked at baby stuff in the past year, because doing so was acutely painful.

And yet . . . on a whim, I looked up something on CL tonight. I was there for something else, but I found myself doing a search for a co-sleeper, an item we wanted but never wanted to pay full price for. And then emailing to inquire about one. Maybe because there is no baby on the horizon? Maybe it just feels safe? I ... don't know. Can't quite analyze it. I also looked at the bathtub I wanted and saw an ad for a used PNP in the style we wanted (now discontinued . . . it's so odd that the stuff I looked at gleefully when we'd started ttc and it was all easy and going to happen soon and babies never died - it's almost all discontinued now.)

I also recently looked at cloth diapers of all things.

It feels pang-y. Like returning to a place that used to be familiar, and feeling nostalgia. Not pain, exactly, but looking around with a sad smile at a place that used to be something and isn't the same anymore.

I don't know what I'm doing. Looking for baby items and discussing daybeds. Caught in the middle. I don't feel angst-y about it, I'm not torn up over our decision to ease up on the ttc (in fact, I've been looking ahead to the progress that will be made on the credit card debt with the additional comp I'm getting for the new dept, and hoping it will be extended beyond the initial agreement, because of the possibility of paying off the debt entirely). It's just that . . . we're still in between, a year later. I never expected this. I would have thought we'd be well into a pregnancy now.

But life, well, life's plans have always been different than mine. Maybe I shouldn't examine this too closely. Maybe it simply is. There is a contradiction, and there will always be a contradiction for us, won't there? We're parents without a living child. Maybe this is just the urges that can't be fulfilled running up against the practicality of moving on. A daybed isn't a big investment - and yet.

A year later, and so much has changed. But the complications haven't faded. I've just become used to living them, I suppose. A fractured existence, but one that feels natural to me now. Odd to think this isn't how everyone lives. Or maybe they do, and it's just hidden away. These days, I don't know.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

*Cue Hysterical Laughter, with a Dash of Mania For Good Measure*

As if things weren't crazy enough - as if there weren't enough happening at work . . .

(oh, how I long to go into detail about what my division is doing and thus explain everything fully!)

. . . as if we weren't already stretched beyond the limit . . .

Today, someone resigned. Which is fine.

Except . . .

we can't replace that position.

It took me three hours to figure that out, because I was so caught up in everything I was doing when I heard the news. I can't even conceive of how this could possibly work. It's absolutely, awfully, comical. If by comical you mean 'laugh because crying and drinking aren't options right now.'

I don't feel bad for me. I feel bad for my coworkers. I'm dealing with a massive beast and massive clean up efforts that will take months, so I won't be available to ease much of this burden. It's like a bad joke, really.

But hey. Job security, right? That's not as comforting as one might hope, but it'll do for now.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's September, Vomit, and that Weird Dream from Last Night.

1) The shittiest month of the year is over, thank the good God. Allow me to officially say - Fuck you August!

September brings a welcomed paycheck, a new fiscal year and I hope the start of something better than previous things.

August didn't leave without a fuck you to me though!

2) Spent yesterday at home resting after being awoken to vomit throughout the early morning. It was like being pregnant again. Ah, terrible, terrible memories. Fortunately, there were no eggs involved and I didn't have to resort to chicken broth for breakfast. While I still feel sick today, I think it's solely associated with my job and how overwhelmed I am. I'm still sticking to smoothies.

3) Said job is enormously stressful. The basics I have to go back to with my new department are shocking and not a little frightening. I'm currently gearing up for a talk with my business staff about some stuff and the words "Never do this again or I will begin progressive discipline and write you up" will have to pass my lips. I'm terrified.

And I'm still unsure how I can possibly do 2 jobs in the space of 1 work week.

The good news - because I'm trying this new thing where I look for the good in things, though the cynic in me is doubled over with laughter - the director is totally on board with the changes I've proposed. It may or may not be a result of my completely unsubtle attempt to scare the shit out of him by cheerfully explaining all the ways in which their situation could be so much worse than having me around only half-time.

It worked.

But all of this working late has led to not working out and exhaustion and fuck, I'm tired.

Which has led to the weird dream from last night - and others, I just remember this one quite vividly.

4) I was at a Harry Potter . . . thing. Most of the actors were there, and I guess I won something to be there? Whatever. Unimportant. Everyone's mingling around, starstruck but me. And of course, DH is with me. Standing in a corner - which is what I tend to do at gatherings of more than 4 people anyway, stand back and observe.

So, I really want to talk to these actors, but I'm shy, and thinking - Good Lord! You are 30 years old! WTH? It would be totally embarrassing to be all fangirl about this. So I just watch. DH asks why I don't go meet them and I finally explain that while this is neat, what I'd really like is to get to know them as them - not as that guy/gal who played X in Harry Potter. So I didn't want my memory of meeting them to be a pleasant smile and handshake and me geeking out over that.

Which is about when one of them (don't remember who, only that it wasn't a twin or Daniel Radcliffe - Matt Lewis, maybe? does it matter? not at all) comes over and shakes my hand and proceeds to ask the same question my husband just did. I give an abbreviated version of how I wish I could get to know them as, like, people, and he says that a group of them are going for beers after if I would like to join them.

Naturally, I jump at the chance. Because I would kill to have a beer and actual conversation with some of those guys. DH, however, is bored and would rather go back to the hotel. So he does.

I arrive at the bar - isn't dream time travel fun? - and nurse a beer (even in my dreams I avoid alcohol now) and engage in a real conversation. I'm having a blast when James Phelps (who plays Fred Weasley - one of my favorite characters in the series) sits down next to me and introduces himself. I got really, really excited and blurted out the following (which DH found HI-LARIOUS today):

"Oh my god! This is awesome. I was really hoping to meet you because I was hoping you could do something for me that my husband has never been able to do!"

Naturally, James Phelps looks HORRIFIED because he thinks this dumpy, 30-year old (MARRIED) American woman is propositioning him.

Then I realize how that sounds and quickly expand on my statement in a flurry of embarrassment - "Oh, god. No, he gives me plenty of orgasms. Really, our sex life is great. I was hoping you could explain soccer to me."

Smooth, dream me, really smooth.

I go on to explain that I started to like football once he finally explained it to me, and I love basketball, but still find soccer terribly boring and I was hoping I might like it better if he explained it.

He graciously did, but I don't remember the explanation, so it will remain a mystery, I guess. Thanks, dream James Phelps!

Even in my dreams, I embarrass myself.

Cheers all - I hope that things slow down some for me soon. I wanted to write and started about 10 posts over the last week; unfortunately, there is too much I want to say and not quite enough energy.

Overall, hanging in there.