I have felt especially anxious these past few weeks and I always feel better when I write, so I am back. This isn’t really about miscarriage, really, so it doesn’t really fit the “miscarriage blog” theme, but, well, so it is.
Things that are making me anxious (part I):
1. Baby E, just like her brother, spontaneously stopped nursing. He did it in one day; she did it in two. I love nursing her and this breaks my heart. I am hoping that we can still have an early morning feed, or that she will have a change of heart, so I am going to still pump. She is 11 months now, so we have had a pretty good go. Still, it makes me sad. I was hoping it would last longer. We spent 4 days on a work/vacation trip to the SW and she did not nurse a single time. I thought perhaps it was a change in her routine, but she still, after 2 days at home, has no interest. She had virtually lost interest before we left, so this is not a surprise, really.
2. Baby E is not a baby anymore. She is little girl E. I do not have a baby anymore. I am SO VERY HAPPY to be past the pregnancy phase of parenthood, but it is a chapter closing, and it makes me a bit sad.
3. I am gaining weight. Oh, and I didn’t lose a single pound while breastfeeding. And my thyroid is working just fine. I need to get to the gym, but I am just too pooped at the end of the day to motivate myself to go.
4. S is super-gifted and, in a nutshell, his school doesn’t know what to do with him. He is developmentally all over the place (gross-motor delay but he can read at 2) so they gave him what I think is a bogus diagnosis so he can get early intervention services. This is good for him, but very hard for my maternal pride. Through all the testing, all they did was tell me where S was behind. I kept wanting to add “but you know he can read, right? You know he can write words, right? You know HE’S ONLY 2 YEARS OLD, RIGHT?” He doesn’t fit the mold. He’s different. The system can’t deal with different. So, yes, on one level, I get it. On another level, though, can’t they at least acknowledge that in some areas, he so beyond their norms that their tests don’t even register this? His skills do not show up on the tests for his age group, so instead we just ignore them?
5. Money. We owe a lot. We are owed a lot. What we are owed is not here yet.
6. My neighbor is bat-shit crazy. She’s a hoarder and owns two houses on our block that are totally full of shit. We are now in a property line-dispute over inches. Also, we own a third of her backyard and I am just annoyed enough to redo the fence so we get our land back. This is mostly amusing, but I had living next to someone who doesn’t like me, even if it is mutual.
7. Work. Tenure. Publishing. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
8. My brother and his wife are going through IVF. I feel like I should reach out to them, but I don’t like them. They are honestly two of the most selfish people I have ever met and last year, the metaphorical straw broke, and I decided it was best for me to just stop trying to have a relationship with them. I know how suck-tastic infertility is, but I just can’t reach out to them. And this makes me feel like a terrible person. But I just can’t.
I am sure there are more, but these are the big ones right now. I would really like my new anti-anxiety medicine (actually, same medicine, higher dose) to kick in soon, please.
When I so desperately wanted to be pregnant I remember being annoyed at women who complained about being pregnant. And then I got pregnant. And then I started throwing up. And then I kept throwing up. And then I had 3-5 migraines per week. And they I got dehydrated and ended up in the hospital. And then I had home IV therapy so I wouldn’t get dehydrated again. I learned to divorce being pregnant from wanting a baby, in the same way the miscarriages taught me to divorce being pregnant with having a baby.
Niobe put up another Niobe’s True Confessions. I found the first edition horribly unsettling (is everyone really cheating on their spouse and/or having suicidal thoughts?) and I can’t bear to read the second. Instead, I will post my own version of “true confessions.”
1) I do not enjoy breastfeeding. On 22 June, I will have made it a whole year. Baby S has refused to nurse for over a month, so I pump between 2-3 times a day. I do it exclusively because the health benefits for him, which are particularly important given all the auto-immune issues in our families. I don’t even remember loving it when he was actually nursing. There were days when it was okay, but mostly I felt like it was a chore. Still, it is a minor chore and may bring him a lifetime of health benefits, so I pump. And pump. And pump. I will continue to pump until I go back to school in the fall.
2) Giving birth was not a transformative experience. Having a baby was/is a transformative experience, but pushing him out of my bajingo did nothing for me except, well, to get him out. I would have been fine with a C-section if it had been necessary.
3) I weighed 30 lbs. less when I was 9 months pregnant. Fuck.
4) I have the worst acne I have ever had while breastfeeding — huge, cystic zits that really hurt. I have gotten facials, I have applied zit creme, I have used every product imaginable; nothing seems to work.
5) The only thing that keeps me from wanting to try again for another baby right away is my trip to Europe scheduled for next spring. It’s the hormones talking, I swear. My logical mind is no match for my hormonal mind. A 2+ week European trip, however, is no match for my hormonal mind.
6) Having my own biological baby has made me more interested in adoption. Go figure.
I was grocery shopping this evening and the late teen-ish, very early 20-ish Japanese couple behind me were buying groceries. And an ovulation kit. Which I think she thought was a pregnancy test. But I didn’t ask. Because that would be really rude. And I am sure they were totally trying to get pregnant on purpose.
“Are you pregnant?”
I hated this question because I always wanted to clarify what was meant by “pregnant.” Do I have HCG in my system? Is there something in my uterus? Is there something alive in my uterus? Is there something alive in my uterus that will eventually grow into a healthy baby?
And, if one were to answer yes to all of the above, how long would it stay that way?
“Is this your first baby?”
Yes, Baby S is my first baby.
“Is this your first pregnancy?”
No, this was not my first pregnancy. It was my third.
If you have ever had a miscarriage, however, you know that being pregnant and having a baby are not the same thing.
“Is this your first?”
Well, it depends on whether you mean pregnancy or baby. When people ask me this, I usually just say “yes” because I assume they mean child.
“I am very sorry that you lost a baby.”
I don’t feel like I lost two babies. I lost two pregnancies. It was crushing and sad and awful but it is not the same kind of loss as a still-birth or a child that dies very young. I never got to hold or see my child; the idea of a baby was completely an abstract concept. I lost the hope, joy, and potential that a baby represents, but I did not lose a baby.
“You got the baby you were supposed to have.”
What do you say to this? I had two embryos die in my uterus, had the insides scraped out, bawled my eyes out, etc…, just so I could arrive at the “right” baby? Baby S is here, yes, because I had two miscarriages. The particular sperm/egg combination was unique to that month. Yet, without knowing why the other pregnancies failed, I do not know how to process the idea that those pregnancies were somehow wrong or “not meant to be.”
Anyone want to add anything else?
The most popular search term that brings people to my blog is “Hugh Laurie,” which I find very odd. In the past 30 days, 330 hits have been for our dear Dr. House. Other terms, as you would expect, are “miscarriage,” “tww,” “fetal heart rate,” and the like.
Except for these.
These people really, really need help.
“dirt on the duggars”
MC: They have sex, especially when she is fertile. And then she has a healthy baby. Bitch.
“if a baby dies in your uterus do you pee”
MC: You pee because your bladder is full. If you drink liquid, assuming a normal renal system, you will eventually pee. Pregnancy can make you pee more frequently and when you sneeze, but dead babies don’t make you pee. You make you pee. Dead babies, I have found, make you very, very sad.
“can lavendar baths create boobs in baby”
MC: I am guessing not. But perhaps boobs and lavender bath salts can create a baby? And “lavender” has two “e”s and one “a”. Spellcheck is awesome. Make it your friend.
“wifes revenge on sissy husband”
MC: See above.
“not very known facts”
MC: As an educator, this makes my head ache. Facts are “well known,” not “very known,” so something can be “not well known” but not “not very known.” Unless, for example, you do not very know grammar very well.
“doctor i swallow my husbands cum last night”
MC: What is your doctor going to do, besides correct your grammar? No, you can’t get pregnant by swallowing your husband’s cum, in case you were wondering. But if you could, you would, like Mrs. Duggar, probably have a perfectly healthy baby after a nausea-free pregnancy.
“my brother is a selfish bastard”
MC: He’s family. Someone in your family is going to be a selfish bastard. Better your brother, I say, than a parent.
“i like peeing in my maxi pad”
MC: Okay, each to his (or her) own. But why look this up on the internet? Are you trying to find a discussion group of like-minded maxi-pad pee-er aficionados? Also, they have a great new product for people like you: adult diapers.
“natural birth tylenol”
MC: Yeah, good luck with that.
When I was a few weeks early and I thought that I was leaking amniotic fluid, my midwife said “go to the hospital immediately so that you can be evaluated.” My water broke a few hours later. Once your water breaks, she said, you need to deliver within 24 hours.
She did not say “get on a plane, fly 8 hours to Alaska, and take your sweet time getting to a hospital with a sub-par NICU.”
I’m not accusing anyone of anything; I’m just sayin’.
Edited to add: Here is a link regarding the soap opera story: Newsminer.com
I would really, really, really like an overpriced Fourbucks drink right now. Something iced, caffeinated, milky, and filled with lots and lots of sugar. It is 10PM and I still have 8 papers left to grade for tomorrow.
Iced drinks are bad for colitis.
Caffeine is bad for colitis.
Milk is bad for colitis.
Sugar is bad for my immune system, which is ultimately bad for colitis.
Instead I am having hot organic herbal ginger tea.
This is what I have been reduced to at 32 years of age: I now sit around at night, sip unsweetened herbal tea while mumbling a feigned “mmmm” with every sip, (pretend to) grade undergraduate papers, fantasize about overpriced coffee drinks from a chain coffee shop, and write on my miscarriage blog to avoid having to actually grade said papers.
ArtSweet and Pili moved today. And they took Pepito with them.
I am very, very sad.
And my shoulder/neck still hurts. I am so excited to see the doctor tomorrow at 4:45.
But mostly I am sad that the town where we live is now lacking two fabulous women and one awesome Guadababy.
And this town could really use more fabulous and awesome people.
It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it is that I am in a lot of pain and that makes me want to take my pain medicine and do nothing all day.
I have pulled something in my left neck/shoulder and sitting and typing are quite possibly the worst things for it. Thank goodness I had a few pain killers left over from miscarriage #2. They are coming in very handy.
So instead of just bitching about that, I am just not writing anything more until I can write something aside from bitching about pain. Even I am tired of listening to myself complain.
Today is the first day of new student orientation at the university where I teach. The place is crawling with students and their parents. It is terrifying (summer is really over) and I want nothing more than to go home and pretend that classes do not start in a few days.
I had meetings all morning, and at 2PM, shaking with hunger, I popped in the student center to grab some lunch. Just as I walked in the door, I realized that this place too is packed to the brim with the students and their parents. Just then a huge clap of thunder sounded, as if in direct relation to my emotion. Then it sunk it what the thunder meant — I am trapped in here until the storm stops.
So here I sit, in the midst of all these anxious and nervous families, trying to look like I am doing something important with my laptop. When my parents dropped me off at college I could not wait for them to leave. I hated high school and college to me symbolized freedom: from my old-self, from my school, and from my parents. I went 500+ miles away from home and sometimes even that did not feel far enough away. These kids do not seem to want their parents to leave them (one girl next to me was even crying) and seem hesitant to embark on their newly independent life.
I first started teaching full-time when I was 24, not much older than the upperclass students in my courses. Now I am 32 and I realize I relate more to the parents of these students than the students themselves. There is nothing in the world like 18-year olds and their parents to make you feel mature and responsible.
This is going to be a hard year for these students. They are going to have to grow and change and that is never easy, even if it is for the better. Most of what they learn will occur outside of the classroom — “life lessons” — but I do my part to try and inspire them in the classroom as well.
I wonder what I would say to my 18-year old self. Would I tell myself what to expect? Would I want to know about the heartache and the miscarriages? I would want to tell myself, but at 18-years old I would not want to know what lay ahead. That is how I am trying to approach my life now. Would 40-year old me want to tell me what is coming or is it just better to live life as it comes? I still do not think I want to know the future. It is hard enough dealing with what comes along every day.
In the words of Paul McCartney:
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, rah [or bra or there, depending on what you hear]
La-la how the life goes on.
My song edit:
And on. And on. And on. And on. And on.
Especially when you are trying unsuccessfully to have a baaaaaay-bi-da.
Would the show Beauty and the Geek (geeky men and “beautiful” women) work in reverse?? Would people tune in to watch geeky women and “beautiful” men? [NOTE: I put beautiful in quotation marks because I actually find some of the women not so very attractive.]
More importantly, why am I up at 11:12PM on a Friday night playing solitaire, reading infertility/miscarriage blogs, and wondering about the plausibility of the inverse of Beauty and the Geek?
Here’s a newsflash: I am not cool.
That may come as a surprise to some of you, but I am really not cool. In fact, I am like the black hole of cool: coolness approaches me and then gets sucked in, never to be seen again.
Given that, it is quite amusing that I was on-stage last night at a rock concert. I got to stand behind the drummer for two different acts: the one we were there to see and one that my husband totally loved in high school. We know a member of one of the bands, and he gave us a behind-the-scenes tour, including “bus land” (where all the tour buses park), the inside of their tour bus, and back-stage passes. My goal for the night was not to get in the way and not to out myself as a huge dork.
I had to laugh because standing on stage is surreal. All these kids were here to see these bands and were in complete and total awe of the performers. Instead of one of them being on stage and having what I am sure would be a life-changing experience, there stood my husband and I. I was impressed with the music (the volume itself was just amazing) but the whole time I couldn’t help but fixate on how much I really wanted a diet Coke. It was really hot and dusty (mosh pits will do that, apparently) and while the music was good (and loud, did I mention it was loud? what? did you say something?), I was so totally out of my element and felt so awkward that it made me feel like I was in high school again.
The good news is that alternative rock-star musicians and their wannabe teenage fans think about many things, but pregnancy/miscarriage do not typically make their radar. It was a blissful evening where I got to do something I had never done before (and will probably never do again) and I was not constantly reminded that I can’t stay pregnant.
Actually, pregnancy came up only once. We took our friend out to dinner and my husband asked him what he was reading. Without even blinking, he replied Prenatal Parenting. He and his wife are trying to get pregnant, which is difficult because he is on tour, and she wanted him to read it. (I guess even cool rock-star musicians and their wives have to worry about timing like the rest of us.) I just nodded my head. Sharing the intimate details of your pregnancies and/or miscarriages is definitely not cool, especially with unsuspecting rock-star musicians while dining over inexpensive road-side burgers.
So instead I blog, because, let’s face it, can only pretend not to be a huge dork for one night.
p.s. Has anyone read that book? It looks, well, quite awful. I can’t wait to read it.
Yesterday, I got to play with this for hours and hours. It was terrific, even if I didn’t get to see such an awesome snot bubble. I did get a babyfood raspberry that was pretty impressive, though. I can’t believe how adorable and good natured he is. Artsweet and Pili are very, very lucky and Pepito is so very, very lucky to have such great moms.
However, I now officially hate them because they are moving to a new city and are taking Pepito with them.
For those of you that know the lingo, “ttc” means “trying to conceive.” On miscarriage boards, you will see a lot of “ttm,” which I assume means “trying to maintain.” Well, “maintain,” for me, doesn’t quite cut it.
ttmittftwhted = trying to make it through the first trimester without having the embryo die
tntppwttmttjktewmnpwbjf = trying not to punch people when they tell me that they “just know” that everything with my next pregnancy will be “just fine”
ttgttpwidhwasadac = trying to get to the point where I don’t have to worry about scheduling a D&C
ttmittftwfbimu = trying to make it through the first trimester without finding blood in my underwear
ttgabtddbihf = trying to grow a baby that doesn’t die before it has fingers
ttcaetdhmewbdctcffw = trying to conceive an emrbyo that doensn’t have to be monitered every week by dildo-cam to check for fetal wasting
ttgaaeiojaes = trying to grow an actual embryo instead of just an empty sac
tthabtwlletbtoskat = trying to have a baby that will live long enough to be that obnoxious, screaming kid at Target
Here is a conversation I had with one of my students yesterday:
(Necessary background information: she left early last week — visibly shaken and upset — because she went to go with her cousin who, at 25, was getting the results back from her breast biopsy. My student’s aunt, her cousin’s mother, had died at 35 from breast cancer.)
Me: “How is everything with your family? Did your cousin get her test results back?”
Student: “Yeah, yeah, she did. She has stage IV breast cancer that has metastasized to her spine and lymph nodes.”
Me: “Fuck. Oh, I am so sorry. How is she coping with the diagnosis?”
Student: “Well, she and her sister were both being screened every 6 months for breast cancer, and this was a lump she found on her own between mammograms. She always knew this might be a reality, but she did not expect it at 25.”
Me: “I don’t think anyone expects it at 25.”
Then I proceed to tell her about one of my high-school friends whose mom lived for 7+ years with stage IV breast cancer. We talked about chemo, radiation, etc… , and how medicines that can save your life can have very unpleasant side effects. I told her my friend, who was only three years older than I at 35, was thinking of having children, but she was not sure if she wanted to potentially pass the cancer gene that had killed both her mother and grandmother on to a daughter. If she adopts instead, she is seriously considering having a radical mastectomy, just to abate the risk.
Student: “Wow, that is really bad.”
Me: “Having a mastectomy before even having a cancer diagnosis? Well, I think it will give her peace of mind and she is planning to have reconstructive surgery. It must be so hard to even have to think like that.”
Student: “No, I meant having a baby after 35. They are usually born with Down Syndrome. It’s just not a smart thing to do.”
I thought of launching into a complex explanation of the hows and whys of chromosomal abnormalities, how these relate to the age of the mother, etc … , but I was just too tired, and, frankly, I just did not want to lecture this poor kid.
I am sure when you are in your early twenties, thirty-five seems very, very far away.
NOTE: This is a post about how many pills I take a day. If you thought anything different, well, sorry.
I have a chronic medical condition, so taking tons o’ pills is nothing new to me. However, as I sit here and swallow my retinue of pills, I can’t help but wonder just how big a weirdo I am for taking this quantity of pills every day.
Here is my swallowing schedule:
20mg Prozac x 2
1 Pharmanex Life-Pak Prenatal (3 pills)
Brewer’s Yeast Tablets x3
Fiber Capsules X6
B-6 Supplement (2 pills)
B-Complex (2 pills)
Omega-3 Capsules x2
Brewer’s Yeast Tablets X3
Fiber Capsules x 6
1 Pharmanex Life-Pak Prenatals (3 pills) [You take them twice a day; not a typo.]
Brewer’s Yeast Tablets x3
Fiber Capsules x6
Pro-Biotic Power (that I have to mix in a non-carbonated liquid, but I still have to swallow it)
For a grand total of 40 pills per day.
This is my maintenance routine. If my colitis flares, I take 20+ more pills a day. When I am pregnant, I “just” take the pro-biotics, prenatals, prozac and the fish oil.
Does anyone have me beat? What do you swallow every day (non-pornographic answers only, please)?
Ever since I started trying to get pregnant over a year ago, I have been very aware of how many women get pregnant every day. I also noticed, since I have had my first miscarriage, that there seems to be some complex formula in my head regarding how happy (if I am happy at all) I am when someone announces they are pregnant. Is there some notion among women who have infertility or pregnancy loss that some women “deserve” to be pregnant while others do not? Can this be codified into an algebraic formula?
Happiness regarding announcement of pregnancy =
How much you like the woman and/or couple
Plus number of months trying to get pregnant
Times number of miscarriages
Times number of neo-natal losses
Divided by how closely related they are to you
Divided by the degree to which you will have to directly experience the pregnancy
Minus the number of children that they already have
Any thing to add (or subtract, multiply, or divide?) Please post a comment!!
I just want to thank Aliza from Babyfruit and Artsweet for posting about my blog. My readership has grown exponentially in the past two days thanks to their promotion. I have only been blogging for a little over a week, so it is amazing to have
200+ 300+ people even look at my musings.
One of my husband’s friends is a medical librarian who also happens to publish Women’s Health News. She would like to learn more about miscarriage and infertility blogs so she can make this information available to her broad readership. Since I am new to this game and there are so many of you who have been blogging/reading much longer than I, can you tell me your favorite miscarriage/infertility blogs? I have Julie’s list from A Little Pregnant but I just want to be sure I am not overlooking anyone.
I just got a BFP (Big Fat Positive). Bugger.
As anyone who has ever had a miscarriage knows, there is a huge difference between having HCG in your system and actually being pregnant. I am most certainly not pregnant, but I still have HCG in my body, according to my internet cheapie pregnancy test. It is actually still quite a dark positive.
Bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger.
It has been 11 days since my D&C, and I was hoping the hormones were out of my system by now. My last beta (before my D&C) was 44,000 and it had gone down to 1300 a week ago, which is quite a substantial drop, but, alas, it is not back down to zero.
The good news is that my hyper-sensitivity to smells (like, to take a totally random example, dog diarrhea) is not a product of my imagination. The bad news is my OB doesn’t want to do the “miscarriage blood panel” (at least she didn’t use the term “habitual aborter”) until I have a menstrual period, and that isn’t going to show until the hormones are well out of my system.
In the middle of typing this post, my local RE’s office finally called to schedule my consultation. IN. OCTOBER. Yes, it is June 15th right now. OCTOBER 3. He must be a magician or something, because she assured me that “he has things he can do to help maintain a pregnancy.” Yeah, okay. I can call for cancellations once they get my paperwork and it is “very likely” that I will be seen before then. Super-duper magical RE is super-duper popular (or he could totally suck but he is the only game in town? Naaaah, I am sure it is because he’s magical).
I am so tired of waiting.