Friday, September 29, 2006
They have changed the interface. When I did finally get it figured out, and managed to get myself out of the main chat room and into the grief and loss room, there were two women in there chatting about circumcision. At one time in my life I might have cared. Now I want a baby that is alive. I DON'T CARE about the pros and cons of circumcision. Idiot1 and Idiot2 were just in the G&L room because the other rooms were too full.
So, into the main room I go and ask if anyone there had a loss and would they like to change rooms with me. I was ignored by all and they carried on their conversation about threesomes. Oh hooray, a bunch of naively blissfully horny pregnant women - just what I wanted (she says sarcastically).
This is what pisses me off - THIS IS MY REAL LIFE. Who wants to talk about dead babies in real life??? No one. Who gives a shit that I am sad and confused and joyous and terrified all at the same time every day of my real life??? No one. So I go to virtual reality to find people I can "talk" to and... no takers. Real life echoed in the virtual corridors of a stupid chat room.
Yeah my problems aren't as bad as some. But they are my problems. And it would be nice to be able to connect into the World Wide Web, populated by thousands of women who are (no doubt) feeling the same way that I am at this very moment, and actually be able to connect.
Yes, if I tried a little harder, I might be able to find another chat room that is discussing what I want to discuss. It just shouldn't be so damned hard. Everything else in my life is so frigging hard. I don't want this to be.
I guess I am just pissed off. And bored. Bad combination.
Updated to add:
I forgot to mention the part that set me off on this rant. I signed into the Grief and Loss Room. By way of introduction, I type "I had a son Jan/05 who was stillborn and am now due Jan/07". The response?
I needed to know. I needed to be able to bond with this kid as much as possible, as soon as possible. I was so angry that I didn't know gender when we found out C. was to be born dead. All that time that I could have been knowing my baby as a little boy that was wasted. He was gone before I knew he was a boy. We all have our weird regrets, and that is one of mine.
We two parents will talk it over and come to some sort of decision if I spill the beans here. Right now, I can't. We most certainly will not be telling any of our family or friends out here in Realville. It sort of goes hand in hand with my current state of avoiding all conversations pregnancy related. In a way, it is sort of mean to have this information and not share it with the people who care. But they don't know we know.
There are a lot of things that we know that they don't know.
This is getting all confusing and espionage-y. Forget it.
In other news, I am thinking that the time has come to join msfitzita in fighting to get some Canadian recognition of Oct. 15th. And perhaps it is time to address the stillbirth certificates issue, too. I could organize a letter writing campaign for my neighbourhood, couldn't I?
Somebody smack me - refer to below post. I am too tired for this. But I can certainly write a letter to my Immeasurably Stupid MP and get him to jump on the October 15th bandwagon of msfitzita's MP's private member's bill. Of course, the government might be defeated shortly and the bill might die on an order paper, but that's beside the point. One of these years, if we stick at it long enough, it might just sneak through and become legislation.
Then, I must write a letter to my Immeasurably Stupid MLA re: Stillbirth Certificates bandwagon, etc. etc. Any other Canadians out there would like a serving of activism with your pumpkin pie, now is a great time to get some recognition for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness in your community. Remember, the general public sees BabyLoss as something that happens to someone else. The only way MPs and MLAs (MPPs) will ever consider advocating for something like BabyLoss is if they get it from all sides.
I am stepping off the soapbox now.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Too tired to blog. And the one thing I might blog about, well, I need to talk it over with my husband first. Too tired to talk to husband. Too tired for complete sentences.
In the mean time, you MUST go here:
It is in Flash format, so be patient while it loads. Then you can see where your name fits.
Me: ranked highest in 1970s
DH: ranked highest in 1920s
C: ranked highest in 1980s
Where did you rank?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
That was good news. The more disappointing news was that she isn't capable of doing the cord monitoring that I was hoping for. Which means that if we want to pursue this, we will have to see an OB in a nearby city. Sigh. What I don't want is to make a whole lot of winter road trips. But I guess that may be in our future.
I have a ton of real work to do (what, blogging isn't real work), so rather than start my own controversy, I suggest you go look at at what's brewing around town:
For stem cell controversy, go here.
For an... interesting... take on prayer, go here.
For birth story trauma, go here.
For a misdirected attempts at comforting the grieving heart, go here or here.
For an amusing take on the latest Mona Lisa news, go here.
Yes, I have opinions on each of these topics. No, I don't have enough energy to share them.
Now go. Argue amongst yourselves. (I love starting things I have no intention of finishing...)
Monday, September 25, 2006
Tomorrow is our mid-term ultrasound.
Maybe all this is real.
Maybe it isn't just a replay of 2 years ago. Why is everything so much the same then? Why is everyone asking me the same questions? Did the last 2 years not happen?
We went to a family wedding this weekend. Tally - 2 "everything is going to be okay this time, don't worry"s and 3 "so only a few more weeks, right?"s (uh, no 4 more months). Not a bad tally, all things considered, and I am now past all family functions for the foreseeable future.
I am nesting like I have 3 more weeks to wait, not 18 or so. A reaction to the fact that we didn't have everything perfectly ready for C's arrival home. I guess I need to have everything ready so that this baby knows that s/he's wanted. So s/he doesn't leave me.
Everyone told us with C. that we would get so many outfits and layettes and blah, blah, blah, don't buy anything, so we didn't. For a moment I considered tallying the money that we have already spent on this baby and decided it would be a bad idea. Suffice it to say that it would be shocking.
I'm not exactly in a bad place right now, but I am not in a good place. A decent night's sleep and a little less work would do wonders for my soul, but I don't know that any of that is going to happen.
Today I am scared and I am sad. I need a break. Or more sunshine. Sigh.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Then, I hummed and hawwed about a bassinet until this one came on sale for minimal money. Then I decided that it might be something convenient to have, even if it only is usable for the first 3 months. Ours is royal blue and white.
Friday, September 22, 2006
So I didn't like the book, but it took me little more than 2 hours to read. I can see the appeal that it may have for other people (it was well written), just not my style.
Sadly, I am a Type A personality and can't quit a book once I've started it. But now, I can cross it off of my reading list and get on to some of the other books you've recommended.
P.S. If you haven't put in your recommendations yet, please do!
Well, I was worried about weight gain. It isn't vanity, it is the "what if". With C., I gained nearly 50 pounds. Most of that happened in the second trimester. One of the arrogant OBs that checked on me during labour, when we already knew we would be delivering a dead baby, implied that his death somehow had to do with this massive weight gain. Mentally, I know that that OB was just an old, nearly-retired quack. Emotionally, I fear he was somehow right. In all of my attempts to blame myself for C.'s death, this is the thing that I can actually peg totally on me - I gained too much weight.
Then I remember how happy all the cakes and pies and cookies that I ate seemed to make C. and I am glad that I was able to spoil my son in that little way. And then I remember that weight gain has no impact on cord compression. And I remember that it all just came off (except 3 pounds) with almost no effort (lack of eating due to grief probably had more to do with it). Perhaps I am genetically programmed to gain more than average while pregnant.
That was perhaps a long and unnecessary preamble to make you understand my scale obsession. I weigh myself daily. Sometimes twice. I know you are supposed to weight yourself once a week, but I feel that it would foolish to go that long without knowing if I was on track for my 1 pound per week recommended gain. Don't worry, I am eating and eating well. I just am not allowing myself all the cakes and pies and cookies that I allowed myself with C.
So I had a bit of a ballooning in weight a few days ago (3 pounds in 3 days), which made me crazy with anxiety. I am thinking I was retaining water or something. I am back down the 3 pounds.
Now, to my S'mores granola bar and banana.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The sauce was good. It takes at least an hour to boil it down to "sauce", not the 20-30 mintues the recipe suggests. But then, I have made fresh sauce before. I knew that 20 minutes was a pipe dream. And hooray for my wonderful husband who did all the chopping.
Now, from today's episode of Criminal Minds:
It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, (protecting its sanity), covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But, it is never gone.
--Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
In the spirit of distracting my negative thoughts, I am looking for good novels. Old, new, whatever. I like all sorts of books, from eclectic genres. I have loved sci-fi, biographies, humourists, travelogues, romantic fiction, fantasy... Basically anything with a good, plot-driven narrative. Long descriptive passages bore me. Sorry that I am an MTV reader, in some respects.
My ultimate favourites are the Jane Austin novels. Romance and happy endings. That's the kind of thing that I go for.
Now, back to my regularly scheduled freak out.
Marinara/Nepoletana Sauce - a la my kitchen
1/4 cup of olive oil
6 cloves of garlic sliced in half
1 Whole Yellow Onion -- chopped fine
1 cup dry white wine
1 L pureed fresh tomatoes, skin removed, seeded
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup Fresh Parsley -- finely chopped
1 cup Fresh Basil -- finely chopped
1 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 Teaspoon thyme
1. Place garlic, onion, and olive oil in large sauce pan.
2. Turn heat to medium and cook until garlic is soft and lightly browned.
3. Add dry white wine. Reduce by half ( one to two minutes).
4. Add tomatoes and butter
5. Add basil, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper (to taste).
6. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook until thickened approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
I have combined several recipes here, so hope it turns out!!! I never follow recipes properly, so it is always a bit of a crap shoot in my kitchen. I will, however, warn you if this recipe sucks.
I should point out that I have updated my list of blogs I visit. There are a couple of interesting things you may want to check out if you have time. Even a blog written by a dad (a highly under-represented group, no?).
Due to the puke-alarm, I am at work an hour before I normally would arrive. What to do, what to do???
I am still getting the odd contraction, but nothing regular. Sigh. Not bad news, but not "nothing to worry about."
Frost on the leaves and vehicles today. I suppose winter is really coming. My formerly favourable opinion about winter was forever tainted in January/05. At best, I can muster a feeling of ambivalence towards this impending chilly season.
A person shouldn't listen to Debussy this early in the morning - too reflective and melancholy.
Monday, September 18, 2006
On my list:
1. Don't get/be pregnant. (** see update)
If you described my emotions for the last 20 weeks in one word, it would be cranky. I will do a proper list later...maybe, if I'm not too cranky.
Now, what are your top 8 de-crankifying tips?
-in no particular order:
1. Eat chocolate. Lots of it.
2. Listen to CBC Radio 2, except on evenings and weekends. Only the daytime shows are any good.
3. Scratch my kitty's chin and coerce her into a cuddle.
4. Pretend that I don't have to work.
5. Have a snooze.
6. Read Jane Austin, or watch a movie rendering of a Jane Austin novel.
7. Cuddle with my husband.
8. Do something creative.
**Update: I am not cranky because I am pregnant, I am cranky because I am a living coctail of hormones, leaving me little or no control over my emotions. And I can't sleep.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
The monitor didn't pick up any contractions and I didn't feel any while I was there. So they sent me home, told me to drink plenty of water, and take it easy. Which is what I was doing. I guess I feel better knowing that I have done everything that I could.
The contractions haven't really come back, though there seems to be tightening when I move around. Maybe they are settling down for another month.
My poor husband. My poor nerves.
My water hasn't broken. I can only assume there have been no cervix changes. I can't see my doctor until Tuesday, and she basically said that there wasn't much to do about them anyway. They are pissing the baby off, since every time I get one, I get the crap beat out of me.
I am trying to keep from moving, which seems to keep them at bay, as much as anything does.
Don't I sound calm? Fatalistic might be a better word. My last trip to the ER was exactly a month ago, for the same complaint. They told me at 16 weeks, there wasn't anything they would/could do. I am 99% certain that I would get the same answer if I were to go again. And spending the day sitting in ER with non-OB doctors looking at me like I am in the wrong location is not my idea of a fun Sunday afternoon.
Like I want another ER doctor to condescendingly tell me (after I told him that I delivered my son at term) that "you will know if they are real labour contractions". Screw you, Dr. Arrogant.
I might be doing the wrong thing here. How the hell can I make objective decisions about medical care at this point in my history? Maybe I should be going into ER and demanding that they call in my doctor. I just don't know.
Why does this always happen on the weekends?
The contractions are not painful. They are not regular. My waters are intact. They baby is active. So here I sit.
Friday, September 15, 2006
It is rude to send anyone forward-this-to-11-people-if-you-don't-something-bad-will-happen emails. Don't do it. Ever. Especially not to someone who had buried her son and is daring to believe that it won't happen again. I have already paid off my karmic debts to the gods of chain letters and I will delete yours.
It is insane to say that the Dawson College shootings were caused because the guy was interested in Goth subculture. Give me a godamn break. I dressed like Kurt Cobain in the 90's and never once considered doing cocaine or shooting myself in the head. This maniac shot 20 or so people because he was mentally ill. Wearing black eyeliner had nothing to do with it.
I don't want to hear about So-and-so from Marketing's perfect pregnancy. Until further notice.
I woke in the night because I heard my son whimpering in the other room. That hasn't happened for a long time.
It is raining here, with thunder, and lightening. My kitty is scared. I like it. It reflects my mood.
The Babe kicked his/her Dad two nights ago. My babies are notorious for going to sleep instantly, the moment his hand touches my belly. I can't tell you how pleased I was to get a little cooperation this time.
20 weeks today. 18 more to go?
Thursday, September 14, 2006
First, this in my inbox...
Wednesday, November 1st is designated across Canada as the annual "Take Our Kids to Work" day. This is a day for Grade 9 students to experience the challenges, rewards and future of the working world, and to gain a better understanding of what it means to go to work.
And then the meeting with Human Resources to start the paperwork for my leave. As the HR person handed me the forms, my heart nearly stopped when I saw the form...the one that I am to fill in to add the Babe to my list codependents for insurance purposes. So that the Babe is covered for health care, retroactive to birth. The form that I didn't need for my son.
I didn't cry today. Not once. I might just go do that now...seems like as good an idea as any.
And please say a few words of prayer or send thoughts of strength and encouragement to the families struggling through this horrifying time following the Dawson College shooting yesterday. Shades of the Polytechnique* shooting and Columbine all rolled into one. How the hell does a person get to the point where shooting complete strangers to death is the answer?
*Dec. 6, 1989: L'École Polytechnique, Montreal
Marc Lépine, 25, walks into a classroom at Montreal's École Polytechnique, separates the men from the women and tells the men to leave. Then he begins shooting from a semi-automatic military weapon, shouting "I hate feminists" as he roams the school's floors. Lépine kills 13 female students and a college employee, and injures 13 others before committing suicide. He had purchased a semi-automatic, a Ruger Mini-14, to carry out his assault. Canadians mark the anniversary yearly by wearing white ribbons commemorating the lost and to protest all violence against women.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I have spent more time in the last month thinking about the specifics of our son (what he looked like, what his personality was like, his favourite foods, his active times of day) than I ever have before. And it isn't really comparing pregnancies. It is more like I start to experience what this baby is bringing to me and I am catapulted back two years.
It is very hard for me to really give this baby his/her due. Each passing day, I get a little bigger and kicks get a little stronger. I spend more time surfing the net, at places like www.babyfit.com or the like. I spend more money on nursery items or baby clothes. It is almost as if I believe that I am going to have a baby to raise.
Yet, I don't think that I really do believe it. We "decided to start our family" in the spring of 2003. A combined 20 months of "trying" and 1 1/2 pregnancies later, we still have an empty nursery. And the fact that my current due date is 2 years + a few days after our son's due date makes this surreal experience into something Matrix-esque. It is like my life is caught in some sort of insane loop.
I have re-lived our son's delivery and birth so many times in the past 3 weeks, it is like someone put a DVD on repeat in my brain. It isn't painful they way it was - those thoughts were once like picking at a scab; it hurt like hell, but I couldn't resist. Now it is more like looking at a car wreck from a distance, like an accident reconstruction specialist. This is what happened, these were the emotions, this is how things looked. Like a list in my brain. God, he was beautiful.
When I try to imagine a life with this baby, it is my son's face that I see. Understandable, I suppose, but it certainly doesn't feel fair. Perhaps this un-asked-for disconnect explains some of my desire to have all new things for this baby. I feel as though someday (and perhaps sooner than I expect??) I may feel a little more at peace with it all, but for now it is all very disconcerting.
Monday, September 11, 2006
When the baby was too small to feel, I had to just believe that s/he was okay. I had nothing else to obsess over. I just had to believe.
Now, however...now I have something to obsess over. Today I have had two panic attacks relating to movement - when did I last feel movement, what time is it, is the baby usually asleep now, are they strong movements? Quick, someone get the orange juice while I lie down on my left side. It's only 10:30 a.m.
This has been my weekend. I am going to keep the good people at Minute Maid in business. If this baby comes out smelling like an orange, you will know why.
I can only hope that this is a short term thing, as I get used to having movement inside me again. I suspect that this fear is something I had better get used to.
I think that I was getting a little over confident (relatively speaking, of course). Wow, what perspective 20 months gives you; I am not as fearful as I expected to be, I thought. Ha! Well, I guess I didn't fear a miscarriage, since I haven't had one. We are really best at fearing the things we know could hurt us.
I just am terrified that, when asked, I won't be able to answer the question "when was the last time you felt movement" again. I guess I am just scared.
My poor husband.
P.S. I want to thank you all for your support relating to my relatively friendless state. I am not exactly feeling better (it isn't something a person can really feel great about, is it?), but my thought process is no longer consumed with the issue.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Yesterday's post was, in the light of some perspective, way too harsh. I was quite hurt and upset at the time and needed to get those feelings off my chest. Writing it allowed me to get some of my frustrations out. That and a good long cry in the nursery, and I was actually able to fall asleep last night. But it was definitely too generalized and angry, without specifics to give it focus. A little like attaching a fire hose to a hydrant and letting it spray and hit who it may.
What was the impetus behind that tirade? I have come to two realizations. I do not have any friends that I can rely on for support here in my town and I can no longer rely on the fellow Mommy in Mourning that I have been.
I recently got together with a woman that I met in a support group I used to be in. We had our losses at a similar point in time, then began to discover that getting pregnant again would be a trial. Recently, about the time I shared the news of my pregnancy with her, she discovered that she may have a serious medical condition that will prevent her from becoming pregnant again.
While I wasn't showing, she seemed okay to be around me. This is over. The last time we spent together, it was terribly obvious that it was killing her to be near me. I can't say that I was surprised. I was aware that she might feel that way, I completely understand why she would feel that way, and I actually expected it. I guess I hoped that some miracle would occur and I wouldn't have to stop seeing her.
It was totally unfair of me to expect her to feel differently about me than about the women that we watched get pregnant and give birth in the time that we couldn't. Then, I was angry and upset and felt left behind.
I guess that I am just grieving that one more person is out of my life. The number of people that took off at a sprint when our son died is now compounding with people who can't be around me because I am pregnant. I get it. I understand. But I am sad and I am lonely.
I don't have any girlfriends who live near me. Sure, I have friends and family who live halfway across the country that love me via phone and email. But, this morning, when I thought "I will phone someone to have lunch - that will snap me out of this funk." I realized that I didn't have anyone to phone.
I wrote my post yesterday because I was hurt, which came out like anger. It was unfair to the person that it was directed to, and unfair to people that it wasn't directed to. Just know that with the light of a little perspective, I have come to realize that it was me childishly lashing out.
Temper tantrum over.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I feel so....well...I dunno. Misplaced. Yeah, misplaced.
So I am not a sweet little naive thing in my first pregnancy, everything is going to be perfect, la la la.
But I feel like I did the very thing that disqualifies me from grieving for my son - I got pregnant again. Like that cancels everything out.
It isn't anything that anyone said. But it is the women who recoil when they see my belly and I know exactly why (remember I live in a smallish Canadian city, where the loss community is miniscule). Or the women who do that thing where they pretend to be happy for you, but their eyes betray it all.
That's what I have done - I have betrayed the grief and loss community. I am now one of them.
I am too damned happy to be around people who know what real grief is. Like I have somehow forgotten. I feel like I have to constantly prove that I have a broken heart too, though I have done a hell of a lot of work to heal it the best that I could.
I have hope in my life, and I know that this emotion is incomprehensible and disgusting to a person who's loss was 3 weeks or 3 months or sometimes even 3 years ago.
But, dammit. I have spent all of my expendable energy for the last 20 months learning how to live again. I have journalled, I have blogged, I have been counseled, I have gone to a variety of support groups, I have created, I have memorialized, I have read, I have researched.
I have worked for this.
Dear (name omitted for anonymity),
I'm sorry I left you behind. It wasn't to hurt you, it was to find happiness in my life again. Where I could. My son is still dead, always will be dead, and nothing will fill that void. If you remember that I always carry that with me, despite the blossoming belly, despite the glow in my eyes, despite me saying things like "I don't know if I will have time in February".... if you remember that, can you forgive me for taking another chance?
I know that you just want your own chance and you can't see past that. I'm sorry. I wish I could give you what you want. I am sorry that your health and your age and your marriage is not helping you in any way.
I feel so damned guilty. And I am sorry that you hurt.
But I am still going to go after my own happiness.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
So then I got up for my ritual 2:00 a.m. pee (I had been asleep for all of 90 minutes at that point) and somehow had to rid my pitiful little brain of all things dead baby. Which of course is virtually impossible. Which meant that the remainder of my sleep was punctuated with dead baby references. Sheesh.
The other night, after watching Walk the Line, I had romantic dreams wherein I was June Carter and my husband was Johnny Cash, you know after the drug problem. That was a pretty good dream. Why can't I have that dream nightly?
Since this has been happening daily since I peed on the stick, you would think that I would be smarter about it all. No dead baby anything in my brain in the hours leading up to sleep. In fact, I should watch a romantic comedy every night before bed. Nocturnal episodes starring dreamy Leading Men would be okay, now wouldn't they? I should use my powers for good. Or at least for smarmy Harlequin Romance dreams...
Hormones, people, hormones!
*p.s. I doubt that my doctor would ever say that.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
- Study for and write final examinations for the two courses that I just signed up for...(yes, I am an idiot and a sucker for punishment. No, this isn't for fun; they are both co-requisites for a class I took in January).
- Get my whole house clean, all at the same time, in the same week (upside of the aforementioned classes - my tutor comes to my house twice a week, so at least the kitchen and living room have to be clean on a regular basis, boding hope for the rest of the house).
- Finish my son's scrapbook.
- Come up with an ingenious method for storing all of the "too-cute-to-pass-up" baby clothes that we couldn't pass up.
- Finish putting up decorative items in the nursery that we have had in storage for two years.
- Actually go to my job and work. What is so hard about that some days? There are projects that must be completed before I go on leave. Also, I must begin the abhorrent application process for my leave and EI benefits.
- Quit watching TV and start reading instead. Better for your brain. I am currently reading Memoirs of a Geisha. Very bestseller-y, I know, but it was in my house, so I started reading it. I resisted this long on account of Madonna's geisha phase. But now that Madonna has moved on, I suppose I can. P.S. I really loved this book.
Now, for a little light bedtime reading (and, obviously, ensuing dead baby nightmares...), I will go and read through Dr. Collins' UCA research (as given here and here) with a highlighter in one hand and our son's autopsy report in the other. Preparation for tomorrow's prenatal checkup, wherein I will request that my care from this point on follow the cord monitoring protocol as recommended by Dr. C. I am such a disciple.
TOTALLY OFF TOPIC - Now that I think of it, could someone please tell me what an HMO is? What does HMO stand for? This is not a part of the healthcare system here...