Money, fame, and power can do many things, but they don’t shelter you from the pain of pregnancy/neo-natal loss.
An interesting link that lists famous (and infamous) women who have been through this pain.
When I was pregnant with S, I did not believe my pregnancy would actually result in a baby. This persisted through labor right until the point when my midwife told me to reach down and touch the top of his head as he was crowning. I could feel him move, saw him on many an ultrasound, and knew he was in there, I just couldn’t make the mental transition to “real baby.”
Needless to say, I didn’t set up the nursery. I had a baby shower so we were swimming with the requisite stuff, but it all just got piled into the back bedroom. The previous owners of our house had already painted the walls a nice green, so I was not motivated to change that. Aside from cleaning out extra stuff and buying a dresser and a nightlight, there was really no advanced preparation. I never “nested.”
Then my dad attempted suicide. Then S came 3 weeks early. Then my dad killed himself. Then I had a newborn to take care of.
Needless to say, decorating was not high on my list.
S, as far as I can tell, is not scarred from spending time in a laundry basket or having undecorated walls for the first few months of my life. Once he was about 3 months old, I did feel the need to organize and clean, but I think this was because I was spending most days at home, not because of any hormonal or maternal impulse.
This time, although I will admit that I still have a mental disconnect between pregnancy and wailing baby, I do feel the need to get organized and clean before the baby arrives. This time, I can actually imagine a baby arriving and I know that once they arrive, nothing else gets done.
I also did not accomplish what I wanted to achieve, professionally speaking, while I was on research leave. I think once the shock abated, I had to grieve and instead of throwing myself into my work, I just tried to emotional heal and take care of S. Now, however, I have a lot to do so that I am a viable tenure candidate in a few years.
So, to the nursery. This time there will be one, not because she-beastie gives a hoot, but because I am going to be spending a lot of time in that room and the white walls, metal blinds, bare floor, and hideous light fixture are just not doing it for me. Currently, it is being “de-mancave-ified” so I can not take pictures, but here are some bits and pieces to give you an idea.
If you have been there, you know that the days and weeks after your (first) loss are excruciating. You are sad. You are angry. You are empty.
The only people that understand, really understand, are those that have been there.
If you have been there, here is someone who is muddling through that awful time right now.
This post is how I wish I could write, but don’t. It’s not just what she says, it how she says it.
I have other talents.
I spent the last 5 months fussing and fretting over my milk supply and now, to mangle a phrase, my bewbies runneth over. I would feel so guilty giving him formula when his demand outpaced my supply because I felt like my boobs were failing him. (I know, I know, but I felt guilty anyway.) When he was a newborn and nursing every two hours, I also felt like he was going to nurse forever. I had no idea how quickly he would be on solids. Six months seemed like a lifetime away but here we are, feeding him butternut squash puree from his BPA-free spoon.
Baby S started on solids a little over a month ago and now, finally, has started sleeping a solid 11-13 hours at night. My bewbies, however, have not gotten the memo and are still producing copious amounts of milk. I am stocking our freezer, my mom’s freezer (she babysits Baby S when I work), and then I am slowly going to cut down on pumping. I am afraid if I don’t pump, I am going to get mastititis, so I am hoping that if I cut down gradually I can avoid this.
I am also making all of Baby S’s food and quite enjoying it, actually. I am learning a lot about vegetables and enjoying picking out organic food stuffs at our grocery store. Mr. MC does most of the cooking at our house, but I feel this overwhelming desire to cook for Baby S, perhaps because I am his main source of food now? Or because it gives me something concrete to do during the day? We now have a freezer stocked with home-made baby food and boob-juice-cicles.
A great website: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/
Having recently gone to Babies R Expensive and Tarzhay Boutique whilst 8 months pregnant, I now really, really understand the appeal of on-line shopping. I can lay on my couch with my tennis ball under my pelvis (i am telling you, it really does work for sciatic pain but you have to put it directly under the most tender spot and then lay there for a while) and order stuff he-beastie will need without pain shooting down my left leg.
Artsweet told me about a great site: Diapers.com
They sell diapers, of course (including cloth diaper supplies and Seventh Generation), but lots of other stuff (baby food, toiletries, toys, etc…) as well. I bought a bunch of Mustela products was amazed how quick and easy it was. (Mustela is my baby product vice; the kid can ride around in a rather unattractive car seat, but there is something about smelling like French baby that brings a huge smile to my face! The stuff is also really gentle and I am anticipating, given our family histories, that this kid is going to have sensitive skin.)
So, if you need baby stuff, check them out!
If you use my code (ELFX3625), you get $5 off your first order! You also get free shipping if you spend more than $49, so if you order in bulk, it is actually cheaper than going to the mega stores.
Now, back to my regularly scheduled tennis ball session.
All this relaxin in my body, and I still suck at yoga. (I know, I know, yoga is an individual experience not a stretching competition but I am still not able to do poses that others seems to do with relative ease.) I thought, erroneously, that relaxin would allow me to do all sorts of fun poses or, at the very least, touch my toes. Instead, all I do is trip over my own feet and fall down on the sidewalk in front of polite Indian engineering students who don’t quite know what do with an 8-month pregnant lady sprawled out on the sidewalk in front of them who can’t get up gracefully on her own. My ankles, it seems, are very loose; my pelvis and hips, not so much.
The good news: I have found the most comfortable bra ever. I bought one and I am now going to order at least three more, one in a larger size for when my milk comes in. Behold the glory of the the Medela soft-cup nursing/maternity bra. (Free shipping if you order more than $49 on-line at JCPenney.com; also a great-big thanks to Wendy at G&K’s Mom for pointing me here for bras!)
On a very different, less optimistic note, I find that sorting through baby stuff makes me very fearful that something will still go wrong. There is nothing to indicate this, but all this baby stuff in my house makes the physical reality of he-beastie more real and therefore my anxiety over a future loss more pronounced. I am trying not to think this way, or to judge myself for thinking this way, but I still have a hard time believing that everything is going to be okay. Many first-time mothers describe having a hard time connecting the abstract reality of pregnancy with the concrete reality of an actual baby. When that abstract has emotionally crushed you before — twice in 9 months, even — I think it makes the concrete reality even more difficult to contend with.
That being said, I really wish that my abstract baby would stop kicking me in the cervix.
I feel a bit pervy even asking this, but here goes:
Anyone in the NYC area want to grab dinner with me on Saturday, 12 April?
I am going to be in the city, Mr. MC can’t come with me, my best friend in NYC moved to LA, the people I am meeting up with do not arrive until Sunday, and I am DYING to go eat real Neopolitan Pizza at Pizza Fresca. I can always go alone, of course, with a good book, but who wants to dine alone on glorious food when you can have company and bitch about infertility, pregnancy loss, and pregancy after a loss, right?
The rest of Saturday will be spent getting a facial, shopping for something maternity-ish and fancy-ish to wear later that weekend, and trying not to buy a ton of cute baby stuff that we do not need (but I do kind of want even though I am currently having a strong reaction to the “baby-as-accessory” phenonmenon).
Leave me a comment if you are interested!?
Many Evangelical Christians do not let their children celebrate Halloween because they believe that it is akin to Satanic worship.
You know why I don’t let my children celebrate Halloween?
BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ANY CHILDREN.
51 12 minutes until I can call about beta #2.
The OPK I took this AM is very, very dark so I optimistically did my Lovenox and my HCG injections even before getting beta results back. Mixing the water and powder was the hardest part for the HCG; the shot itself was nothing. The nurse told me that they can recalibrate any future results (she was sure they would do another draw on Friday) because they know how much HCG I injected myself with. She was also not at all alarmed by my 15.5 level on Monday and reassured me that Dr. SBS is not concerned with absolutes, only the rate of change.
Update, Part II:
I called back at 11:03. Guess who is working today? THE EVIL, PAINFULLY SLOW LAB TECH. I am to call back at 11:30.
Update, Part III:
I HATE my RE’s lab. H.A.T.E. I know it is a strong word, but “dislike” is not nearly powerful enough. I called back at 11:30. They don’t have the results because THEY NOW HAVE TO RECALIBRATE THE MACHINE THAT DOES THE HCG TEST. THEY HAVE TO DO THIS NOW. IT MAY HAVE BEEN GIVING INNACURATE RESULTS. Yes, I am glad they caught it but FUCK did it have to be this week? Today? I have to call back at 2:00, which is right before I teach. I am going to take a shower and try for another several hours not to think about it.
Update, Part IV:
HCG: 60 (more than doubled since Monday — still looks low to me but it did quadruple if it was 15 two days ago, right?) I am between 13-14dpo.
Repeat beta on Friday.
Deep exhale for first time since Monday.
Niobe thinks I am a Rockin’ Girl Blogger. The award itself doesn’t translate into much (there is no cash prize or free healthy baby giveaway) but it is such an honor to be named as such by someone who writes one of my favorite blogs.
From what I can deduce, I know get to nominate my favorite five Rockin’ Girl Bloggers for this award.
In alphabetical order, they are:
A Brief History of You: Anns is one of the few people who can write about the heartbreak of miscarriage, information about her uterine polyp removal, and her “Quest to Find the Perfect Shoes,” in such an endearing way.
Artificially Sweetened: I know ArtSweet IRL, but even if I didn’t I would love her blog. She is bitter, acerbic, and funny as heck. Also, pictures of Pepito always make me smile.
Babies or Not?: Amy has a fascinating story, one that continues to unfold, and I find myself checking back several times a day to see if she has posted. She is brutally honest, touchingly vulnerable, and writes in such a way that is poignant and engaging.
Into the Rabbit Hole: Alice just got some back news, and for anyone who has been there, it is painful to read. Sometimes she has lots to say, sometimes she is dramatically brief, but reading her blog makes me want to be her friend.
Ms. Planner: Ms. Planner and I are in almost the exact same situation with regards to our miscarriages and our lives, so sometimes I feel like I am reading conversations I have had with myself, but that is not the only reason I enjoy her blog. Her 3 August 2007 post, “About That Job Thing,” is a hauntingly beautiful piece of writing.
- My very cool friend just started a blog: babystep.wordpress.com She is trying to get pregnant at 38, help raise a pre-teen step-daughter, work full-time, raise a puppy, and stay sane (not necessarily in that order).
- For those of you who obsess over pee stick results, here is my mostest favoritest website ever that deals with pee-stick technology: peeonastick.com
- If you want to buy inexpensive but accurate pee-sticks (either ovulation or pregnancy tests), check out early-pregnancy-tests.com
“When the Duggars were married in 1984 (she was 17 and he was 19), they didn’t want children immediately, feeling they could not afford them. After four years, Michelle stopped taking birth control pills to have their first child, then went back on birth control after giving birth.
When she got pregnant anyway only to suffer a miscarriage, which they attribute to the birth control pills, the couple felt that they had taken a child’s life. They prayed for forgiveness and for as many children as God decided to give them.
Inside of a year, Michelle gave birth to the first of their two sets of twins, and she hasn’t stopped since.” For the rest of the story, click here.
(And if you are sick to death of smiling, happy Duggars, click here.)
What impresses me is that she has only had one miscarriage. If about 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, she is defying the odds with only one.
Yes, I should have better things to do than play with this thing. Yes, someone who can not seem to stay pregnant more than 10 weeks should have more important things to worry about than baby names. In my defense, I am in the midst of a baby-name emergency. The girl’s name that my husband and I picked out years ago has appeared on a monogrammed kid’s towel in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. He told me it was getting very popular but seeing it right there on a towel was just too much. Fucking Pottery Barn.
He now wants to name a daughter after his grandmother, which I am totally in favor of in theory, except that she had a name that only a grandmother would have. I am not sure if it isn’t just a wee bit too old-fashioned for a little girl.