Monday, May 31, 2010

lots of crazy over here

I feel pregnant. It's making me crazy to be so hopeful and so sure it won't happen at the same time. I'm only 6 dpo right now so testing is pretty futile; but I am crampy, my boobs hurt, and I am having migraines again. I have migraines constantly while pregnant and haven't had one in a couple of months.

Part of what makes me crazy is that I'm pretty sure all of these symptoms are also side effects of the clomid. My temps are not much higher than they were. I can't tell if my recent anger and sadness comes from trying again or crazy hormone soup. Maybe both.

Yesterday when I wrote about ending the pregnancy I had just finished cleaning out my room. I haven't been able to deal with that until now and there was a huge stack of papers and things from when we lost Aiden. It was like I was back there in those horrible weeks. I think I finally found and cleared out all the land mines but it left me exhausted and depressed.

Thanks everyone for all the comforting words; please pardon the craziness for the next few days.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sometimes curiosity really did kill the cat

I just did something stupid, that I knew was stupid, out of morbid curiosity.

After we were told that something was really wrong with Aiden, we were referred to the MFM specialist here. He works for the catholic hospital, but he was supposed to be the best. Our OB had already indicated that Aiden's problems were incompatible with life. She assumed he had trisomy 13 or 18. She told us that even though the hospital was catholic, they would allow an early induction (before viability) if the ethics board agreed that the baby had no chance for survival.

We knew before going to the specialist that there was no real hope that Aiden could survive. We knew if he made it full term he had numerous surgeries in his future with no hope of life without constant care. It broke our hearts, but we thought it would be better to spare him pain. All we really wanted to know from the specialist was what exactly had gone wrong and if the ethics board would okay an induction.

The specialist was a horribly insensitive ass. He wouldn't answer any of our questions. He was obviously pro-life (anti-choice). When we asked him if the ethics board would consider Aiden's problems lethal he looked horrified and told us the they would not look at his case. He wouldn't even offer to try. We didn't have the answers at that point but trisomy 13 or 18 were still the most likely. When we asked what to do now, he said "just wait." He didn't elaborate on that, didn't say Aiden wouldn't make it full term, didn't say what we would do if he did. He gave me the blog address of one of his patients that had a boy with trisomy 13. When we asked what had happened to him, the doctor only said that his parents celebrated his life. I never went to that blog until today. I really wish I hadn't. I stumbled across the paper while cleaning and checked out their story. Now I am so angry.

I'm angry at how the doctor treated us. He didn't care that we wanted the best for our baby, just that our wishes didn't mesh with his values. I'm irrationally angry at those parents. They KNEW their baby would die soon after birth. They KNEW no one would force them to permit multiple surgeries. They KNEW that their son wouldn't suffer after being born. He died of heart failure, which I know is not a very painful way to go.

But Aiden would have suffered. He was already paralyzed in the womb. His poor little brain was being squeezed into his spinal cord. He probably couldn't swallow, or breath on his own. He would have suffocated, or he would have been born well enough to go through surgery for the spina bifida, cleft lip and palate, and heart defects. Only to be a paralyzed vegetable for the rest of his life. Those other parents got forty peaceful minutes with their baby. I got a day old dead fetus who's skin was starting to slough off. I hate them. I don't even know them and I hate them. I would have given anything for what they had and that asshole doctor denied me that chance because he thinks everyone should conform to his beliefs.

If anyone, ever again, tells me that "choosing life" is the only moral thing to do, I think I will be in jail shortly thereafter. I lost my baby. Isn't it enough? Do I have to be vilified by people that don't know me or my story? Every day I have to drive by the baptist church we live behind. They have a field of crosses and a huge sign that says "Everyday in the US X number of babies die BY CHOICE"

Yeah, well fuck you. Sometimes there is no choice.

Friday, May 28, 2010

To my future (hopefully) offspring:

This time I will eat raw spinach every day and religiously take my prenatals.

This time I will buy a stuffed animal right away. Your little brother shouldn’t have been cremated all by himself.

This time I will make a blanket to wrap you in and a hat that will fit a 20 week old fetus, just in case.

This time I will do all the testing, I need to know sooner if you are sick.

This time I will try not to think of tomorrow.

This time I will sing to you and talk to you, no matter how silly I feel.

This time I will never complain if you use my bladder for a trampoline.

This time I will not tell anyone that didn’t support me when things went wrong.

This time I will be more protective of myself and ask for what I need.

This time I will be terrified every moment, I hope you can handle the stress hormones.

This time I won’t be able to hope that you will be okay, I’m sorry.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crying day

I have no hope of cheering up today.

I heard (unofficially, so don't get excited) that the top kill worked and the well is capped, but then I watched this.

I am just going to cry today. What a fucking mess.

What the hell is wrong with people!?

Yesterday, just after I posted about my cycle and the oil spill, one of my co-workers made a colossal ass of himself and ruined my day. Some of you may remember a problem I had with a different co-worker, who I like to call the crazy one. The co-worker yesterday is over sixty and a dirty old man. He likes the girls (as he calls all attractive women) and has no concept of appropriate behaviors or physical boundries at work. I try to stay away from him because he is always trying to touch me (grabbing my arm - not sexual). Yesterday I was in the lab feeding the fish I had collected for a kid's day program. He always joked that I am the mommy fish and I am taking care of my babies. I never associated that joke with my loss so it didn't bother me. Yesterday, however, he made the joke again and I laughed and said I needed a dog (as something to care for that I could pet). He said, "You just need a baby."

What!! Um, hello, dumb ass, I tried that, it didn't go so well. He knows about my loss and has never said anything to me about it. But I couldn't believe he said that. I almost burst into to tears right then and there. The smart thing would have been to glare at him and leave, but no, I had to stand there and let him rip my heart out all over again. I ignored the first comment and he said something else I didn't hear. I thought it was something less idiotic so I said, "What?"

He said, and I quote, "aw, a puppy is better than a baby anyway, you don't want to be kept up all night."

Cue enraged screaming (in my head) YES, ACTUALLY, I DO WANT TO BE KEPT UP ALL NIGHT. WHY DO YOU THINK I WAS FUCKING PREGNANT? IT WASN'T JUST SO I COULD HOLD A DEAD BABY, I ASSURE YOU!

What the hell is wrong with people? I can see not knowing what to say. I can see being afraid of death or hysterical women or dead baby cooties. But to suggest to a mother who has lost a baby at all, let alone recently, that a puppy would be better? I just don't have the words. Some people are just not human beings. I seriously need some valium or I may start killing people.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

bad news all around

First, I am very saddened by two new losses this week. My wonderful friend, Kelly, who has been such a rock for me during the worst part of my life, had another in a long string of chemical pregnancies this week. She was treated horribly by the ER staff here and I am angry for her. I am also heartbroken that Ali at I am a Mommy also just suffered a miscarriage. She deserves some goodness in her life; please go give her a hug. This has been a horrible week for those I care about. A couple of my online friends are having serious problems related to IF and loss, and I am so frustrated that I can’t help. If anyone has a voodoo doll, would you please dress it up as a guy and shake some sense into it? Maybe then certain people’s husbands will act like reasonable people towards their grieving wives.

The oil spill is all anyone can talk about here and Leslie asked me for an update so I will fill you in on what I know, which is very little. The agency I work for is ostensibly in charge of the response in this state but so far not much is being done. We haven’t had any oil reach our shores yet so there really isn’t much anyone can do, but what frustrates me is the lack of information and the feet dragging. We get an email update everyday on the oil spill. Everyone (meaning the public) knew as soon as that siphon pipe was inserted that the spill was much larger than British Polluter said it was. They were pulling out 5,000 gallons a day from their pipe without an appreciable difference in the overall plume. Since 5,000 barrels is what they originally said was the entire spill, they obviously underplayed the amount. Scientific estimates put the rate at 10 or 20 times what BP originally said, making this the worst manmade disaster in US history. Our emails continued to say 5,000 barrels a day until today. Now it says at least 5,000. We are supposed to be protecting the environment, dammit! Not BP. So why are we (my agency) not being honest with the public?

I am at the very bottom rung of this agency with the job I have. I only started last August. I am not privy to executive decisions and no one consults me on my opinion. I wouldn’t expect to be anything but peripherally involved in this, but the scary thing is that the biologists with 20+ years experience with environmental disasters are just as in the dark as I am. We were all told to go to training put on by BP but not what the training was for. Turns out it was just to give us the credentials we needed to enter a secured clean-up area. No one has any idea of how or where to get trained to rescue wildlife or help in remediation. It’s really damn frustrating watching this all unfold and being so utterly helpless to do anything.

We are having affects; they are just intangible at the moment. Our tourist industry has tanked and that will have wide, wide ripples for a very long time. Fishing tournaments and festivals are being cancelled and the numbers of unemployed are starting to rise sharply. It is going to be a long, hard, miserable summer for most people here. Our economy depends on tourism; we will not survive this intact. I am so grateful I have a job in pollution management right now, otherwise I would be unemployed. Although my conscience is objecting to working for the people that are trying to help the polluters keep their profits. The thing that keeps me going is that the people I work closely with care, it’s just the upper management that don’t.

On the reproductive note, I have just started my first tww post-loss and I am trying hard to stay sane. I debated fiercely on whether to wait or not, and in the end just closed my eyes and jumped. Now, of course, I am second guessing myself and thinking I should have waited for my back to be better. If I get pregnant and it doesn’t relieve the sciatic pain like it has before, I am really screwed. I keep catching myself just assuming I’m going to be pregnant in two weeks because it worked that way last time. I know I’m going to be crushed if I’m not but I can’t seem to keep from hoping for and expecting the best. I’m sure I’ll change my mind a thousand times, but I told my husband this was it. If this round of clomid doesn’t work, I’m not trying anything else. I already called and requested an adoption packet from the local foster adoption agency. They said they would work with parents who are trying to get pregnant. My plan (for now) is to pretend I am not trying to get pregnant (HA!), go ahead with the adoption classes, and pretend I am having sex for fun. Hopefully by the end of the year we will have completed the classes and home study and either gotten pregnant or decided for sure to adopt. I made this plan with the understanding that I am free to change my mind and go back to obsessive charting at any time. Of course, this plan is assuming that this round of clomid won’t work, which I am assuming it will, because I am crazy and a glutton for punishment.

Side note: my ovaries HURT! Has anyone else had this with clomid? I’m on the lowest dose and this happened last time, but I swear it feels like I am pushing out all of my eggs at once. I am a little freaked out that I’m going to be the next octomom*.

Oh no! I just saw Misfit Mrs’s post. What the hell is going on this week? Fuck! Please go give her a hug too.

*Just so no one gets upset that I am being flip about getting a bunch of babies - if I were to have a multiple gestation I am sure they would all die, that is why I'm terrified of it. Surviving large order multiples are very, very rare.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

*snif* I love you guys

Seriously, and I am not even drunk.

Every time I am feeling really down I log on and someone says something so loving and supportive that I feel better. I still feel like I need to be alone but I decided to skip work and stay home by myself and that helped. I am seriously considering cutting my hours back at work so I can do this more often. Maybe I will in a month or two when my back is better and I'm not spending $125 a week on physical therapy.

Anyway - something important I've been meaning to say.

I am trying to get pregnant again. I am scared shitless about it. I will need lots of support whether or not it works. HOWEVER (the caps means pay attention and take this to heart) if it is painful for you to read about a pregnancy - DON'T. I will absolutely NOT be upset or hurt or disappointed if you stop reading if I get pregnant. I PROMISE that I understand completely and will not judge anyone for not wanting to hear me talking about morning sickness (pleeeeaaaase, universe!). I know there are lots of women who are still in the terrible grip of IF, or trying to heal from a loss with no live baby yet. I know for many of them, they cannot bear to be around pregnancy or babies or anything related. I hurt for them all the time and wish so much I could put that baby in their arms. I would never, never want something I said to add to their pain. So if you drop off, don't worry. I will still think of you and check on your blog to see how you are doing. And I will be the very first to yell in joy when you get that baby you deserve. I hope you will understand that I have to write about my (pleeeeaaaase, universe!) pregnancy because I will be CRAZY.

And man, I love you guys! *snif*

I don't know what to say

I often compose posts in my head when something happens that I want to talk about. I usually create a rough outline of an entire post and then write when I have time and my computer handy.

Lately I haven't gotten past one or two sentences. I need to talk, but I just don't feel like it. I want to be alone. No family, no work, no friends. I don't understand where this is coming from and I can't do anything about it, it is making me really anxious. I feel like I don't fit in my skin.

I mostly wanted to say I'm still around, in case anyone is wondering. I just can't think of anything to say.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The end. Day 1. Cognitive dissonance.

So, today was it. The day. The day we were supposed to be four. The day I have been terrified of for weeks now.

It was nice, which is weird. We went camping, at my insistence, at a beautiful little state park an hour away. I wanted to go fishing and crabbing before the area is ruined by the oil slick. It was amazingly beautiful. Kira was the perfect, cute, adorable little girl that everyone dreams of when thinking of a future child (this rarely happens). The water was perfect, the weather was perfect. I was blissfully happy. Even when this morning I had a random image of another Jennifer, the one that got to keep her son. She was talking to a friend on this same day and complaining, in a happy way, about the stubborn baby that hadn't come yet. Didn't he know today was his due date? Even having this weird little alternate reality flash didn't make me sad. I actually smiled when I thought that.

I can't really wrap my mind around the weird dissonance. In one universe this was the perfect day of celebrating our beautiful family. In another universe there was a mother living through Mother's day without her baby. In yet another universe there was a woman on cycle day 1, about to take a round of Clomid that is likely (she hopes) to result in a pregnancy. I couldn't be all these things at once. They didn't fit together. I was mostly happy and that was the universe I lived in today and yesterday. Aiden was not much on my mind, and when he was it was brief and not all that sad. The grieving me was very distant until I started composing this post. Remembering the flash of the alternate Jen made me sad tonight. Once the happy parts of the days were over, I was free to become the unhappy me again.

It's odd that I can't fit these together. Shouldn't I be able to be happy and sad at the same time? Do I always have to be sad when I think of Aiden? I realized tonight that the due date was so important to me because I could imagine being more pregnant, but I could never imagine having the baby. I guess it's because I knew how sick he was. I knew he was never going to live on his own so the only way I could hold onto him was to stay pregnant. Today marked the end of the alternate world where I could still be pregnant. It doesn't mean much to the me that has a beautiful daughter, at least not today. But it does mean a lot to the me that might be pregnant in two weeks. What if I have to repeat this date over and over again for the next nine months? That is some kind of mind fuck. And why the hell do I keep starting cycles and ovulating on Mondays when my cycles are so damn irregular? It boggles the mind. And then there is the grieving mother that desperately wants a happy memory of her lost son and can't seem to find any, no matter how hard she looks.

I feel like a crazy person, speaking of myself in the third person and talking about alternate realities. I suppose this too is normal. I will take being happy right now and the enjoyment I got from this weekend. I just wish I could fit Aiden in with the happy moments. I miss him. I don't want to forget him just so I can be happy.

Edited to add: For all of my online friends that don't have their first living babies yet and are dealing with infertility - watch this video, brought to me by the lovely Uppercase Woman.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Doing okay in some ways, not in others

My husband and I took this Friday and the following Monday off so we could do something for Aiden's due date. I decided I wanted to go camping on the water before the oil gets here and ruins everything. So mother's day and Monday I will be fishing, swimming, and canoeing. I haven't been all that upset this week, but today proves that I'm not far from the edge even if I feel okay.

We took Kira for her four year old checkup today and she was due for several shots. It was a total of 3 shots with 8 separate vaccines. She had a bad reaction at four months to multiple vaccines so I insisted that they split them up. So she got 2 shots for a total of 4 vaccines. As we were leaving I realized I needed something signed so I told Sean to let Kira play in the waiting area. When I got back and we got ready to leave he asked me what was wrong with her face. At first it looked like she had a couple of mosquito bites but when I moved her hair I realized she had hives all over her face. Her face was also starting to swell. I panicked. I scooped her up and yelled at the nurse that we needed the doctor and ran back into the back. The doctor checked her out and the reaction was pretty mild - no trouble breathing or worrisome swelling. He gave her benadryl and had us wait 30 minutes to make sure she was fine. She was fine, but I had to spend that entire 30 minutes convincing myself that she was not dying. I just completely lost it. I was holding myself tightly and trying hard not to sob hysterically.

I spend a crazy amount of time thinking about all the terrible things that could happen to Kira. I don't know if I could have gotten through losing Aiden without her. I know I wouldn't survive losing her. I'm so freaking terrified of losing her that a slight rash made me completely lose my shit. I realize this is pretty much normal, but it doesn't help the fear one little bit. I feel too lucky - too blessed, and I worry constantly that one day the universe will realize I don't deserve it and take it away. Obviously I am not as okay as I think I am.

*Sigh*

I will eventually be able to function like a normal person, right?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Withdrawing

Last night my husband was desperate for some intimacy and I just couldn't do it. He understood, I think, but I think he is hurt. I can't bring myself to care all that much. I feel guilty for that, but I have all I can handle in my own head, I can't take care of anyone else's right now.

He said he feels that I am withdrawing into my own little world, and I said of course I am. I am the only person that thinks of Aiden all the time.

That thought keeps echoing through my mind. I am the only person on this planet that thinks of my son all day, every day. No one else is wondering right now what he would have looked like as a newborn. If he would have been born with a full head of hair like his big sister. If he would have screamed as loud as my friend's son does. If he would have had my eyes.

So of course I'm withdrawing. My little world is the only world that still has Aiden in it.

My precious, beautiful, loved baby boy. God, how I miss you, all the time.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Another loss

This is where I live


- Gulf Islands National Seashore


This is what it is about to become


- Picture from Exxon-Valdez


I'm heartbroken all over again. It will be decades before this area recovers. We will lose so many, many things that I hold dear. This is not only my home, it is my living, my passion, my career, and nearly everything I care about. I am so sensitized to death that I don't think I can handle washed up dolphins and pelicans drowning in oil. My god, how can I watch this? In my job (a biologist with the state Environmental Protection) I will be called on to help - I would anyway. But I will do it with acid in my stomach and a bigger hole in my heart. This time it isn't just me and my little family that will lose. It is everyone and everything that lives here. I find myself in denial right now. I keep thinking I will wake up and someone has found a way to stop it. If only. I feel selfish for not wanting this on top of my son's loss. But it would have been devastating to me anyway. I can't watch, but I have to.