Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Box of Rain

It occurred to me that while my blog's name has meaning to me, it probably does not to most other people.

Box of Rain is the name of a song by the Grateful Dead. Phil Lesh wrote the music when his father was dying of cancer. He presented a tape with the melody, chords, and phrasings, to Robert Hunter, who penned the lyrics. For a lot of deadheads (myself included), this song is one we come to in times of sadness. (As a side note, I am also a gospel fan, so this is far from the only song I come to in such times.)

There is an annotated version of the lyrics on David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics site. Also published on that page is an email exchange between Hunter and a fan in which the fan asks what he meant by the phrase "box of rain." Hunter's response was:

well, I don't like to do this, since it encourages others to ask about what I had in mind when I wrote a song, and mostly you'd need to have my mind to understand even approximately what I had in it. By "box of rain," I meant the world we live on, but "ball" of rain didn't have the right ring to my ear, so box it became, and I don't know who put it there.

So, the song is one I find to be of comfort; further, it has several specific lyrics that have seemed especially apt to me of late (see italicized lines below). And, ultimately, this blog provides a bit of a glimpse into the box of rain P and I live on. Hence the name.


Look out of any window
any morning, any evening, any day
Maybe the sun is shining
birds are winging or
rain is falling from a heavy sky -
What do you want me to do,
to do for you to see you through?
this is all a dream we dreamed
one afternoon long ago
Walk out of any doorway
feel your way, feel your way
like the day before
Maybe you'll find direction
around some corner
where it's been waiting to meet you -
What do you want me to do,
to watch for you while you're sleeping?
Well please don't be surprised
when you find me dreaming too

Look into any eyes
you find by you, you can see
clear through to another day
I know it's been seen before
through other eyes on other days
while going home --
What do you want me to do,
to do for you to see you through?
It's all a dream we dreamed
one afternoon long ago

Walk into splintered sunlight
Inch your way through dead dreams
to another land
Maybe you're tired and broken
Your tongue is twisted
with words half spoken
and thoughts unclear
What do you want me to do
to do for you to see you through
A box of rain will ease the pain
and love will see you through
Just a box of rain -
wind and water -
Believe it if you need it,
if you don't just pass it on
Sun and shower -
Wind and rain -
in and out the window
like a moth before a flame

It's just a box of rain
I don't know who put it there
Believe it if you need it
or leave it if you dare
But it's just a box of rain
or a ribbon for your hair
Such a long long time to be gone
and a short time to be there

My Falling Out With Reason

I kinda wanted to say screw the doctor's recommendation to wait and instead start trying again this month, but P is scared of getting yelled at by our OB. (Also, we both don't want to cancel our participation in what was supposed to be (unbeknownst to my family when it was scheduled) a show-the-baby-off family vacation in July, even though there will now be no baby to show off, and we would most definitely have to if we were successful this month since the vacation would start on what would be my due date.) Now I find myself telling P that we might as well not bother with birth control from hereonout since I'm 4DPO, according to my chart at Fertility Friend, and we would both rather go without. On some level, though, I think I am secretly hoping that there is still some non-degenerated, fertilizable egg kicking around in there that will somehow be fertilized and turn into our miracle baby. I think I am completely losing my grasp on the rational world.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Confessions of a TV Junkie: Heroes

Did tonight's humiliate-the-cheerleader-save-the-lie storyline with West and Clair on Heroes -- and their interactions -- remind anyone else of J.D. and Veronica Sawyer in Heathers and their kill-the-Heather-save-the-school storyline, but without the actual dying of course?


In an effort to make myself keep up with posting and not let a given day-long absence turn into a week-long absence (or a full-on abandonment), I have signed my ass up for Nablopomo, which starts Thursday. I am a little concerned, as I will be on vacation in eastern Europe for the last week of November (more on this later). I need to figure out if I can upload posts remotely from Vienna, Cesky Krumlov, Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest, or if I am going to have to write the posts daily from there but post them upon my return 12/2 with post dates corresponding to the dates they were written. Hmm....
I am also learning new things, such as how to use the blogger image upload feature.

Self-Pity and Just the Crappy End of a Statistic

In order to take the day of my D&E off, I had to get someone to cover a meeting for me, but no one had known I was pregnant, so no one knew what was going on, so I wasn't sure who to ask. A colleague (very pregnant, of course) had previously told me she was free during the time of the meeting, so I decided to tell her and ask for her help. She was incredibly supportive (far more so than I had ever expected -- thank you, M), was happy to cover the meeting, and mentioned that another colleague of ours (who it turned out I didn't know) had, sadly, been through a very similar experience a month earlier. She eventually put me in touch with her friend, C, and C and I have gotten together somewhat regularly ever since. Unlike P and I, C and her husband weren't trying but were planning to start trying soon when they found out she was pregnant. She was a couple of weeks less far along than I was when she learned her baby's heart had stopped beating. But she also learned from her final ultrasound that there was something "abnormal" about the shape of her uterus. She has since undergone another ultrasound and an HSG. The former revealed that the bicornuate shape they observed initially was relatively mild, which was good news; the latter revealed a 2 cm septum, which was not. Two centimeters didn't seem like a lot when I held it up in the air, but then she had me hold it against my abdomen, and it seemed quite a bit bigger. The specialist told her she would need surgery or was almost certain to miscarry again; her OB told her that surgery could be risky and that she should think about whether she was willing to accept the risk that a mistake or complication could compromise her ability to carry a child at all before deciding on surgery. She and her husband have decided to try again before surgery and accept the risk that she is likely to miscarry again. The odds are relatively high. And that's if she can get pregnant again, which the specialist said was a big if.

The night after my D&E, I learned that while I was having my dead baby suctioned out of me, my friend A was having an HSG performed, an HSG which showed that both her tubes were blocked. Completely. There was no possibility of reopening them. She would likely need to have them removed, then she and her husband would need to move on to IVF. For complicated reasons, even though we all live in Massachusetts, they can't get any insurance coverage for even a single IVF cycle until, at best, next summer, and even then it is uncertain. Until then, they have to wait (and save up). They have begun researching adoption. We didn't know they were trying, and they didn't know we were either, but we talk a lot about frustration and disappointment now. We also talk about the inability of our other friends to really "get it," even though the "it" is somewhat different for each of us.

And those are just two of the people I know IRL -- the two who I know are struggling. Thinking of them, and of the people I've "met" out here in blogland, I feel incredibly self-indulgent writing this blog and feel self-involved for feeling any self-pity. I talk to both of these friends a lot about baby-making-related issues and feel absolutely ridiculous feeling sorry for myself -- and especially for expressing it to them. I fear I have become one of those hideously insensitive people who knows better but insists on talking about their relatively inconsequential problems to those dealing with more. I know that one in five (or six, or eight, depending on who you ask) of known pregnancies ends in miscarriage. My doctor was of the opinion that there was no reason to believe ours was anything but us ending up on the crappy end of that statistic. We were able to conceive easily. As best we could determine without any testing, my parts all seem to be in working order, as do my husband's. We are hoping to start trying again next month -- I should be ovulating right around Thanksgiving. I could theoretically have a baby next August. But I am terrified of succeeding -- not only because I now know all too well that it could end the same way again, that there is no assurance that a positive pregnancy test will mean a baby nine months later, but because I will then have to pass my news on to my friends, people who I know would give anything to be pregnant themselves. I resent the hell out of pregnant people right now, whether I love them or not, and I know A and C do too -- we talk about it -- and I'm scared of being next.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

TMI re My Relationship with My Aunt Flo

I got my first period when I was very young. I was only ten, and while my fifth grade class had had a brief intro to sex ed in which the concept of menstruation was explained, we were told that girls experienced menarche when they were 12 or 13 or 14, not 10. So when I started bleeding, I knew what it was, but I was terribly ashamed -- I was sure I had done something wrong. So I didn't tell anyone. It's amazing what you can do with enough toilet paper. My mom didn't find out for a month or two -- not until I clogged up the toilet with all that toilet paper. (She told me she too had gotten first received mother nature's gift at ten -- why she didn't think to tell me this before then mystifies me to this day.)

I have had a love-hate hate-hate relationship with my monthly visitor ever since. Pre-BCP, I would bleed heavily and for what seemed like forever each month. I was the girl who perpetually bled through my clothes, no matter what precautions I took. (In the sixth grade, I wore red pants for days each month -- and I distinctly recall bleeding all over the chair I was sitting on in library class, which was very much not red.) And my cramps were excruciating. I still remember going for a walk once and finding myself doubled over on the side of the road in pain -- I had to hail a cab to get home. On BCP, the flow seemed to get heavier, but no longer lasted quite so long, and the cramps were much less awful. Post-BCP, it mainly stayed how it had been while on, but with the occasionally awful cramps again. Secretly, one of the things I most looked forward to about being pregnant was the joy of not bleeding from my hoo-haa for 9 months.

The one great thing about my cycle has always been its regularity. Always 29-30 days. And I always know it's coming because 2-3 days beforehand, I get overwhelmed with a weird anxious paranoia -- that one day each month, I am sure that the quality of my work is poor, my friendships inadequate, my marriage a sham, all due to failings on my part. This would probably be a serious problem in my life with hard core repercussions for my sanity if I wasn't aware of the correlation and the cyclical nature of my self-loathing. I have come to think of it as a part of my womanhood.

After the D&E, the doctor said it could be anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks before the return of my monthly bill. I wasn't really worried. And, shock of shocks, thirty days later the crimson tide rolled back into town. I am on CD12 right now. I started charting my BBT just to keep myself occupied while in this holding pattern and have been holding steady in the 97.1-97.4 range, so I haven't ovulated yet, but I know my body pretty well, and I'm pretty sure I'm getting ready to ovulate right now. And it kills me to feel like we're wasting an opportunity. I am really tempted to ignore the doctor and just go for it. But I know I'm supposed to be letting my ute build its lining back up. And I know I'm supposed to be letting myself heal emotionally (and I know I'm doing much better but am still a bit of quite a mess). Nevertheless, I'm kinda glad P is on a business trip might now, since it'll keep me from doing anything impulsive. When he gets home, I'm just going to have to keep reminding myself that we have quite a number of condoms due to expire in early 2008 that we need to get rid of. And, for now, I'll try to enjoy the purely recreational (rather than procreational) sex.

(Who's impressed with my mastery of catamenial euphemisms?)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kicked in the Gut Again

A woman I know because we have the same commute on public transit (and because we have the same basic job) told me today that she is pregnant. Like seemingly everyone else alive, she is due the week I was supposed to be. She and her husband weren't trying (she described it as a serious surprise), but they managed to get pregnant, and their baby, unlike ours, didn't die. I like her, but I really resent the crap out of them. And, of course, she is excited about it (who wouldn't be?), and so went on and on and on about pregnancy, and the first trimester versus the second, and maternity leave, and going part time at work, and every other thing that she was happy about. I sat there trying to feign happiness but it was hard. I suspect she could see through my smile and my repeated "congrats, you must be thrilled," especially since I could barely make eye contact.

So, I now know four pregnant women (other than the gazillion pregnant women who work at my firm, most of whom I don't know at all or who are acquaintances at best, but who I nevertheless really want to kick when I see doing the things on my list), and three are due the week I was. Sometimes it's hard not to believe that you did something horribly wrong, something to seriously disturb the alignment of the universe, something for which you are now being punished. I have a lot more to say on this subject (at least three posts worth), but for now I'm just feeling kicked in the gut, again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up

(To get it out there, I was never one of those girls who answered that question with "a mommy." It's not that I didn't want to be one; I just assumed that part. Every woman I knew growing up had kids and a career, so for me the question was what would I do for the latter.)

I was sitting at my desk today, drifting off (I have a minor serious daydreaming problem), and found myself imagining having dinner with someone Jo*sh Bec*kett (I'm working on honesty today), discussing childhood career aspirations. As I pondered my answer, I had the startling realization that my life has somehow veered completely off-track.

In contemplating this question before, I had always thought of myself as indecisive, as someone who had a lot of trouble deciding what it was she wanted to be when she grew up. As a small child, I really wanted to be a pediatrician. I love kids, and I love problem solving. Over time, though, I realized that I just didn't love science, and I definitely didn't love it enough to want to subject myself to medical school. I spent a number of years equally certain that I wanted to be a teacher, ideally a teacher of small children. This turned into a dream of one day working at and eventually owning/running a preschool. I attended a Montessori-style preschool myself and really loved it; I imagined myself running a similar place. In pursuit of this dream, I volunteered as a classroom aide in a local school and taught Sunday School at my church for the nursery school kids. I also ran the nursery at church for a while. I'm not sure what happened to this dream, but a couple of years after my parents' divorce (around the time I really started processing it), I stopped really giving a lot of thought to what I wanted to do with my life.

I honestly don't recall giving a single thought throughout the latter half of high school to what I wanted to do after college. I wrote a lot and I read a lot. Much of my reading and writing focused on issues facing adolescent girls, which makes sense since I was one. At my ten year high school reunion, a number of people commented on being shocked that I hadn't become a writer (including a few teachers), and I felt a burning shame at how little I had written in the ten years since graduation. But I never really imagined that I would write for a living. To be fair, I never really imagined that I would have any particular profession; in fact, I never really imagined my future at all (which seems odd now, given my current tendencies).

As for my lack of ability to imagine my own future, nothing really changed in college. I took a wide array of courses in a wide variety of departments -- my first year alone, I took courses in geology, anthropology, women's studies, government, literature, psychology, religion, and writing. For no reason that I can think of now, I decided to study psychology, and ended up focusing on developmental psychology. I periodically imagined myself going to graduate school in psych and become a child psychologist or a researcher in that area. But my thesis (on body image issues in children) took a lot out of me, so I decided to work for a few years first.

I looked for jobs in consulting because it was the easiest thing and I had become complacent lazy. I took the specific consulting job I did not because I had any passion for it or because it would advance some career aspiration but because it paid well and I liked the people who worked there. I ended up in law school largely because I was bored of my job and felt law school would provide a good foundation for doing something more meaningful, though I wasn't really sure what that something was. In law school, I took a number of family law/children's advocacy courses and, on a number of levels, thought that might be what I wanted to do. But I took a job at a big firm after graduation, mainly because it paid well and offered job security (my father, with whom I lived after my parents' divorce, lost his job my first year of college, so I developed some serious hang-ups about money). I chose my firm specifically because I liked the people and, more importantly, because it had family-friendly policies (i.e. 6 months maternity leave (3 months paid) and a flexible part-time policy), and I knew P and I wanted to have kids, and probably fairly soon. And, two years later, here I am, childless and unfulfilled.

We are in hiring season right now to bring in the next crop of new minions associates, and it has caused me to reflect a lot on how it is that I ended up here and why. And the reality is that I don't really know. Each time I have to write a review of an interviewed law student applying here, I find myself thinking about whether this (Big Law) is what they really should/want to be doing, which is more a reflection of me and where I am in my life than it necessarily is on any of these candidates. The reality is, everything I've ever really wanted to do revolves around kids. But nothing I do career-wise is kid related. And I need to start working on changing that. I think I'll talk to our pro bono coordinator about trying to get staffed to something kid-related (or trying to start something kid-related, as I have no idea if we even get kid-related pro bono projects). I also need to be thinking about doing some kind of volunteer work. Because my life has slowly come off-track, and I need to acknowledge and deal with that.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Living in the Stupid Gap

I read this post by Katie at Taking the Statistical Bullet, and it really hit home. Katie wrote about living in the gap -- failing to live in and enjoy today because you are always planning for and awaiting tomorrow. For me, it's not just about the gap between today and tomorrow, but the gap between yesterday and today as well. I fear I live my life alternating between regret and anticipation without ever really experiencing unadulterated joy.

I have always been a planner, a list-maker. When we schedule a vacation, I spend the weeks leading up to it reading through guidebooks, cruising the web for information, cataloging the sites I want to see and the experiences I want to have. I then spend the vacation checking things off my list, trying to avoid coming home with a sense of regret at not having done everything I wanted and planned to do. Sometimes the greatest vacation pleasure I experience is after I get home, reviewing the photos I took of the things I wanted to do, since I hardly took the time to enjoy things while there. A guy I dated before P told me he hated taking photographs and didn't understand why people did it, as he felt it kept him from enjoying what he was doing. I thought he was crazy. I didn't understand how you'd remember anything if you didn't have photos to show you. It never occurred to me that other people actually remember things because they really and truly experience them.

P and I decided before we even got married when we would start TTC in 2007. When 2007 rolled around, we set a date to get started, and I began my countdown and started looking ahead to trying. Once we started trying, I began looking ahead to getting our BFP. When the BFP came, I looked ahead to the first ultrasound, knowing that the end of the first trimester was the next landmark, then finding out the sex, and so on.

But the first ultrasound was bad -- the baby's heartbeat was irregular, and the heart seemed to be in the wrong place. But I still didn't live in the moment, enjoying the time I had left with our baby -- I spent the next two weeks waiting for the next ultrasound, trying to imagine good news, that the baby was fine, but continually haunted by the idea of bad, that the baby had died. But I still wasn't prepared for that next ultrasound, when we got the bad news that the baby's heart had stopped beating. All of a sudden, I was living in the moment, but it was a crummy moment for that to start. I'm not sure I ever really enjoyed the time before that. Now, I remember pregnancy as miscarriage and can hardly remember the days when I just assumed that a BFP guaranteed a second trimester, then a third, and finally a baby. And I hate that.

I'm not sure how to change. I don't even know where to begin trying to live in the moment. But I know I want to figure it out before we start trying again, so I can enjoy the experience of trying, or at least before I get another BFP, so I can enjoy whatever time I have with that baby, and definitely before I actually have a baby, assuming that day comes. I really want to enjoy all of it, to truly experience every moment, good and bad. Now I just need to figure how to stop living in the gap.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Endorphin kick

I spent a good part of today crying at my desk (man am I glad I have my own office). Nothing much happened to bring it on -- I just alternated between weepiness and full-on sobbing for surprisingly long chunks of time. Awesome. I realized at some point that I had felt pretty down yesterday too, after having felt generally less terrible for more than a week. (At least yesterday there was a possible reason -- I finally responded to the email I received more than two weeks ago from a close, old friend letting me know she was pregnant with her first and, of course, due the week I should have been.) I went to the gym this afternoon, as I had every week day for the past week and a half with the exception of yesterday. And I felt a lot better afterwards. I got some work done, which I had been struggling to do all day. Am I actually needing an exercise-induced endorphin kick to get through my days?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lemonade List

I've been trying to be positive about the must-wait-a-full-cycle (i.e. get 2 periods) directive we got from the doctor, so I made a mental list of things to do while waiting. I tried to include as many things as possible that I couldn't/wouldn't do if I was pregnant and/or able to obsess about making a person, but am also trying to see this as a good time to get my proverbial (and literal, in many cases) house in order. As I am a list person at heart (read: uptight, overly goal-oriented, better at planning than doing), I am going to write some of them down, so I can assess my progress. I also secretly hope that it will make me more likely to do them, as I am generally better at identifying what needs doing than actually doing those things.
  1. Finish the flower garden (pull out the remaining overgrown and unsalvageable bushes, clear the soil, lay nourishing topsoil, and plant bushes and flowers) -- cat poop be damned!
  2. Paint the guest room (it's been white since we moved in, and I bought paint a good while ago but never painted) -- who cares about fumes?
  3. Paint the trim in all upstairs rooms, fix the shower curtain (i.e. replace it and hang it from the newly-painted trim to keep it from sitting in the tub), and hang the custom shades we ordered a while back
  4. Clean out the guest room, including emptying boxes still packed from when we moved in 2004
  5. Ditto for the office
  6. Work out 4-5 days a week, even when it isn't convenient -- I may try to redo the 6 week couch-to-5k running program I did this spring, as I really enjoyed it
  7. Knock some quick and easy (and often self-indulgent) items off my long-term to-do list: hire someone to clean our house every other week; reorder the shade that was missing when the order came; get the dog's nails trimmed; get a haircut; get a massage

I made this list four and a half weeks ago when I had the D&E (around the same time I decided I wanted a tattoo (which I don't) and a lemon tree (which won't do well outdoors here, and our house won't fit a tree)) but spent a lot of time wallowing in self-pity, not really feeling like doing much of anything. I made the list in part because I wanted something to do to pass the time while waiting.

It's hard to believe it's been more than a month, that I've already gotten my period again, that I have gotten to where I can go a day or even two without crying. But it's also hard to believe that it wasn't that long ago that I was a person who thought miscarriage wouldn't happen to her. I don't think I really need to work through the list to pass the time, but I do think I need to do it to keep myself moving forward, instead of standing still while time moves forward around me.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wishing Today Lacked Personal Significance

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone else in pain today.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I haven't been able to successfully bake a bun in my metaphorical oven, but I baked a pie today in my literal one. I did a favor for an older relative last weekend that involved no real effort on my part, not expecting anything in return. I was therefore surprised and grateful when she gave me olive oil, cheddar cheese, and apples. I made a grilled cheese today with some of the cheese and decided to use some of the apples to make a pie.

I consider myself to be a decent cook (which is surprising to those who know me but have never eaten in my home) but have always been terrible at baking. I like cooking because it allows for some improvisation, some creativity, neither of which is firmly within my comfort zone. Baking doesn't allow for that kind of flexibility and requires lots of measuring. The rest of my life is anal, uptight, and over-planned. I like the kitchen to be different. For some reason, pie has always been the one bright spot in my otherwise dreadful baking efforts. I almost don't want to cut into it, it looks so pretty.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My List

When we first found out there was something wrong with the baby's heart, I spent a lot of time thinking through all the things I could have done differently, things I did that might have caused the baby to die. I hear this is common. This is my list:
  1. I consumed aspartame, and lots of it
  2. I ate a piece of brie once without thinking about it
  3. On my anniversary, I ate tiramisu, which someone told me has raw egg in it
  4. I painted part of our bedroom, since when I told P it might not be safe for me to finish it he asked if I was passive-aggressively trying to force him to do something I said I'd do
  5. I had a few sips of beer (really small sips)
  6. I drank Diet Coke with caffeine, which accounts for some of the aspartame too
  7. We forgot to change the water filter on our fridge, and who knows what's in our water
  8. I climbed the Bunker Hill Monument even though it was hot out and it made me feel icky
  9. I ate a lot of feta (made with pasteurized milk, but who knows?)
  10. I may not have washed my fruits and veggies thoroughly enough
  11. I may not have consumed enough dairy
  12. I pulled some weeds without considering that other people's cats might poop in my garden (or so said the midwife)
  13. I used a facewash with salicylic acid, initially not knowing salicylic acid was a problem, then not realizing it was in my facewash

13 things I know I won't do again next time. I'm sure I can (and probably will) come up with more. After things went bad, the doctor said none of these things made a difference, but before we found out there was something wrong, back when the medical community wanted to instill fear in me instead of provide comfort, the midwife said I should stop. I cried (quite literally) when the midwife told me I had to kick my diet coke habit, but at this point I'd stop drinking water if I thought it would make a difference. I'd do just about anything when/if given another chance.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Survived a Family-Heavy Weekend

P and I were holding off on telling people I was pregnant (back in the day when I was) until after Columbus Day weekend because of multiple family events and a fear of taking the focus off those in whose honor the events were being held.

After the miscarriage, we still didn't tell anyone. In the intervening weeks, I developed a serious fear that someone would manage to say something at the birthday party or one of the two weddings about babies generally and/or when P and I were going to start a family and that my reaction would be horribly inappropriate. I tried to prepare myself by imagining the worst that I could and trying to steel myself against the swell of emotions. This plan backfired a bit, as I cried every time I went through the imagining part and couldn't imagine not crying, which didn't exactly help.

The weekend has now come and gone. Of course, no one said anything. The fear was really irrational, since there was no reason for these things to come up now, and they don't come up generally, but the fear was real and overwhelming.

The reality is that the time when I was pregnant feels like an awfully long time ago now. I was standing around waiting for the bus this morning and thinking about that. It was a month ago today that I had that horrendous ultrasound when we learned the baby's heart had stopped beating. A month. I was supposed to be 13.5 weeks pregnant and finally getting ready to tell people. Instead, my boobs are back to their usual (small) size, and that fact no longer gives me pause when I glance down. Instead, I can go more than an hour without going to the bathroom and not feel strangely bitter about it. Instead, I drank almost exclusively (and excessively) coffee, alcohol, and diet coke this weekend without feeling the strange and irrational pang of guilt that haunted me for the past month.

I'm happy to not feel sad all the time but am scared that I am moving on and that there is something wrong with that. I think I may be able to begin letting go but am not sure I want to.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Why I'm Here

P and I decided we would start trying to make a person this summer. I could list 1000 reasons, some good, some bad, but the most honest is really that we didn't want any of our friends or family to get in the game ahead of us. We had/have quite a lot of weddings to attend this year (more than half of which have already taken place, thankfully), in addition to the ton we've had over the past few years, and figured some of these folks were going to jump on the baby-making train at some point in the near future. We wanted to be on board first.

So we started in mid-July with the sex on demand. In early August, I peed on a stick and it said Pregnant in excited letters in less than a minute. We were thrilled and terrified. We kept the news to ourselves, not wanting to steal anyone's thunder (a real issue in my somewhat crazy family) with three weddings still to go.

We went in for the first ob appointment at 7.5 weeks and were told that there was something wrong with the baby's heart, that we should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I was told to expect to miscarry in the next week or so. We were devastated. Nothing happened. Two weeks later, we found out the baby's heart had stopped beating, and I thought mine was going to stop with it. I had hoped no bleeding or cramping was good news. Turns out, they call this a missed miscarriage. I had to have a D&E (the vacuum suction version of a D&C).

It's now been three weeks since the D&E. Some days are a lot worse than others. Some days are better. Very few of our friends have kids, but we have found out in the last three weeks that two good friends are due the exact week I should have been. I cried (and cry) a lot. It sucks.

So that's the story of my brief initial foray on the conception trail.

As for why the blog, growing up I was one of those kids who wrote all the time. I kept journals and diaries; I wrote serial novellas (which were truly awful); I went to a weekly poetry series and was a featured reader. I then went to college and traded poems and short stories for research papers. I wrote a few short pieces, and occasionally I started something more ambitious, but I stopped finishing anything. But even those fits and starts, those quick outbursts of poetry or prose, gave me a sense of release and of relief. I'm hoping to find that again now. Because I can't spend the rest of my life angry and resentful and sad and bitter (or maybe I can but I'd prefer not to have to). And I definitely can't keep crying with the door closed and accomplishing nothing at work.

We have to wait 6+ weeks to try again, and I am both impatient and terrified about getting back on the conception trail. Because few know what my last couple of months have really been about, I've taken to perusing miscarriage-related blogs and message boards in search of anonymous comfort and connection. I have regularly come across the motto "Faith Over Fear." I'm not sure I'm there yet, but I'm working on it. Until then, I am fearful, but full of love, and hoping to be ready to get back on the road again soon.