Silver

October 29, 2009

I have moments where I think “it didn’t really happen.  I didn’t really lose my boys.”  I do, really, all these months later – over a year later – I still think, “it didn’t happen.” 

I saw the lady with the silver in her hair at Fosters again.  I’m a little fascinated by her.  I sat there, watching her read her book, eating her sandwich and I thought, “that will be me in a couple of years.”  I’m so far lost in grief and disappointment that I can’t see soccer games, birthday parties and Halloween costumes.  I just see aging – getting older without children to run after.

I don’t know when I starting losing the ability to see a future that has a child in it.  Just last month I was thinking about and actually talking about playing the violin for my baby….now, I just can’t imagine it.  I try really hard to see our baby and all I see are my boys.

Daydreaming…

October 27, 2009

I posted this over at Glow in the Woods and then thought that many of  you might like to read it as well…

This afternoon, I sat at Fosters having a bowl of soup and daydreaming.  I love Fosters.  It’s bright and airy and reminds me of a coffee place I used to go to when I was in college.  I can smell espresso and pastries and pizzas being made in the oven.  There are large open tables with mis-matched chairs and college students, studying history or math or something.  Probably chemistry.  I hated chemistry.  They have their futures in front of them, I think, bright shiny futures – futures full of promise, hope, good times and hopefully, nothing bad will ever happen to these people.  Just as they are sitting here at these tables with the mis-matched chairs, wallowing in clean, pure, happy youth, I sat at tables with mis-matched chairs many years ago.  Years and years ago it feels like.  So long ago that I feel like that wasn’t even me – I’m not the same person I was back then.  I dreamed of working as an environmental attorney, I struggled with my math homework, I dated someone who didn’t appreciate me for me, and I made bad choices (that ended up having benign consequences looking back).  I dreamed of getting married to a wonderful man and having babies, living in a house, not struggling to pay my bills.

Some of what I dreamed has happened – the amazing husband, the cute house that’s all mine.  Some of what I hoped for hasn’t.  Actually, I guess it did but not in the way I thought it would.  I look in the mirror and I’m not that girl in a coffee house in San Diego wondering what I’m going to wear to our next formal because I can’t really afford a new dress.  I’ve gained weight, gone is my cute little size 6 self that ran the beach in a bikini without thought.  I’ve got gray hairs that refuse to stay hidden under an expensive dye-job.  I’ve got pain in my eyes.  It’s the eyes that are the most different, I think.  I don’t have wrinkles like you might think.  Instead, I have a hollowness – an emptiness – that looks back at me from the other side of the mirror.  It’s all my pain and grief and anger and loss and it’s manifested in my eyes.  I smile at people and that smile doesn’t reach my eyes like it used to.

I look around amongst all of these young, bright faces and see another woman sitting alone.  She’s clearly older than I am as evidenced by the fact that she’s lost her battle with gray hair and surrendered to a lovely silver running through her brown curls.  She’s reading (or maybe, like me, pretending to read).  I catch her eye and smile.  She smiles back but her smile doesn’t reach her eyes either.  I wonder, “what happened to you?  Why do you have pain?  Did your babies die too?”

It all comes back to them.  My boys and the fact that they died.

No amount of daydreaming in a coffee house can change that fact or the pain in my eyes.

Spiraling…

October 26, 2009

Yup, that’s me.  I’m spiraling into sadness once again.   This is just another month where I’m plotting and planning when Hubby and I are supposed to do ‘it.”  Yet again, I think “I shouldn’t have to be worrying about this….I should have two little boys to fuss over for Halloween.”

But I don’t.

The unconfirmed loss of last month has left me reeling…again….but why?  Why shouldn’t I be used to these losses?  Realistically, this is going to be our life – our reality –  until we conceive and carrying again past 23 weeks, why am I not used to that fact yet?  These feelings of grief and loss are exacerbated by the fact that I found out we can’t refinance our home to pay for adoption costs.  Apparently home prices have dropped in the area and we don’t have enough equity to take out a loan to cover the costs of adoption.  What a surprise that something didn’t work out for us….I’m shocked (that’s sarcasm in case you are new to my blog – nothing goes the way it’s supposed to for me – the universe hates me). 

Oh and there may be a third thing contributing to my downward spiral….On Friday, I tried to have a conversation with my mother about adoption and for some fucked up reason, she asked me if I was pregnant.  Sidebar: she makes it sound like an accusation when she asks….”Are you preg-a-nant?”  She sounds out the syllables just like that.  It makes me feel like she’s disapproving of me….this is the woman who said, “I don’t know how I feel about that…” when she bullied me into telling her I was pregnant with the boys.  Anywho, why the fuck would I be talking to her about adoption if I was pregnant and then I remembered, I had been pregnant up until Monday.  Just a little bit anyway so prehaps it was a valid question.  Still, she switched the subject after I said no and wanted to discuss her dog.  I try to have a relationship with her but really, I’m just being polite now…I really feel like she doesn’t want to hear anything of substance.  It’s strange, I used to tell her everything…

I want so badly to be pregnant again.  I have a myriad of friends who are pregnant – some getting ready to deliver any day now.  I feel so angry and hurt and left out and why?  This shouldn’t be new to me…this is where I’ve been since April 8th, 2008.  I should be used to standing in the shadows, used to the fact that I envy people who are pregnant, I should be used to disappointment.

I feel like such a disappointment.

Thoughts….

October 15, 2009

Day 39 of my cycle and no period and 2 negative HPTs.  I got all excited because I was queasy and my breasts hurt (still do actually) and I’m tired…damn universe, she’s such a bitch.  I’ve never gone this long without a period (except when I was pregnant).  My guess is that I didn’t ovulate last month because of the flu.  I had the flu the same time I should have ovulated and I thought that I didn’t get a positive OPK because I tested too late (because I was sick with the flu).  It is what it is, right?

I didn’t get invited to a baby shower and it really hurt my feelings.  I wouldn’t go – actually, my best friend is coming into town and I couldn’t go – but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the invite.  I think, because this was an accidental pregnancy, the person thinks I’m judging her.  I’m not.  I don’t have the energy to judge.  It just hurt my feelings.

Also, Hubby’s cousin is pregnant and everyone thought it best to hide it from me until there was no possible way of hiding it from me any longer as she showed up at his mother’s house when we were there this past weekend.  Thing is, I already knew.  I had known for a while.  Facebook does not hide secrets well.  But what if I hadn’t known?  They would have just sprung it on me 5 minutes before she showed up?  That doesn’t seem fair.  I just want people to be honest with me and let me deal with the situation.  Anyway, it hurt me more than I can explain to them so I didn’t.  It made the visit with L more awkward then it needed to be because L didn’t know that I previously knew she was pregnant so she’s holding pillow over her stomach trying to hide it.  Finally, I said something about her being pregnant and she was more open about it.  She wouldn’t even get up to hug me.  I cried all night because I hate the idea that his family thinks I’m too crazy to deal with L and her pregnancy.  Thing is, L is probably one of my favorite people in Hubby’s family.  She’s the most similar to us in our views – both political and religious and when I was there getting ready to go to CHOP, she was really comforting and kind.  Everytime we visit she makes an effort to stop by and see us.  The whole situation just made me feel alone and isolated and really uncomfortable despite the fact that I know the family was only trying to spare my feelings.  How do I explain that?  I’m open to suggestions.  Do I say anything or just let it go?  I feel like such a leper anyway because his family never asks me about how I’m feeling or how things are going for us.  I guess they are afraid of the answer.  This, coupled with the lack of invite to the baby shower, made me feel even worse.

Finally, I’ve spent every minute of every day since we went to the adoption information session trying to figure out how to come up with the money we need.  I’m at a loss.  I told Hubby I wanted to wait until January to try and work something out but I can’t stop thinking about it.  I just don’t know if we can get anyone to cosign on a loan for us – if we can even get a loan. 

As a result of all of this…in my head, there is a constant voice on a continuous loop that keeps saying, “let it go, it’s over, there is no way you are going to have another baby, just let it go, the boys were it, just let it go and move on.”

God, I’m tired.

Losing the Battle…

October 6, 2009

I heard this quote this morning on NPR:

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. ” – Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.

I had forgotten about this book and this quote having read it YEARS ago.  When the person being interviewed said the quote, he was referencing his own war experiences.  He mistakenly thought the quote was a reflection of the character “Henry” and, by extension, Hemingway’s experience of being wounded in a mortar attack in Italy during World War I.

In fact, the quote is made by the character “Henry” in reference to his son being born still, not war.  I realized as I was driving that while the interviewee attributed the quote to the wrong loss for the main character, death of our boys was like a battle.  It was like a war.  I’m hurt, I’m bruised and bloodied.  Hubby is wounded – there exists collateral damage in our life.  There is tremendous loss and a deep well of anger.  There are days when The Battle of Grief and Loss is more costly than any other war I can think of…There are days when I’m sure I’m losing The Battle and those are days I am grateful for The Silent Army…

I just wish The Battle would end soon….

And So I Wait…

September 30, 2009

I went to book club last night not realizing that one of our members, who is very pregnant would be there.  I backed out of book club at her house because I just couldn’t deal and then the next month, Hubby was out of town and I couldn’t get there and let the dogs out after work all at the same time.  Plus book club was the week before the boys due date and I just couldn’t do it.  I can only do what I can do, remember?  I have managed to avoid her until last night.  Honestly, I just simply forgot that she would be there.

So I sat at the far end of the table, in the corner, sandwiched between my people.  K on one side, H on the other, R on the other side of K.  I felt stupid that I needed to feel safe and secure – she’s a damn pregnant woman, not an axe murderer.  But I didn’t want to sit next to her and stare at her huge belly, knowing that I am still waiting for mine.  My tummy never got to be that big (despite the repeatedly nasty comments made by my mother – my tummy at 5 months was probably about the size of most women at 7 months but there were two little boys in there).  My tummy might never get to be that big.  I’m waiting for just a chance to get that big.  I feel like that’s all I do, every month…just wait.

There was the inevitable baby talk since R had her baby a month ago but for the most part, we talked about current events, things going on with everyone – particularly a legal situation with H that was, thankfully, finally resolved and hopefully, she finds some peace.

And we laughed.  A lot.  And loudly.  I needed to laugh loudly and a lot.

Neverending Grief

September 25, 2009

So last nights’ “Grey’s Anatomy” was all about grief.  One of the main characters, “George,” ended last season by getting hit by a bus and was unrecognizable until minutes before the finale ended.  The premiere showed “McDreamy” unable to repair the damage to George’s brain and the decision is made to call his mother and find out if he is an organ donor.  The hospital is collectively devastated.

The voice over talks about the 5 stages of grief, which I think all of us lost baby parents can agree, doesn’t occur in stages but waves, each one overlapping the other at various times and intervals.  I’ve accepted and bargained, felt guilty and angry, hell, I’ve even denied it happened (then of course, I wake up).  Each character was supposed to represent the various stages of grief.

But the phrase that resonated most with me was something that the character “Meredith” said.  She said:

“The minute you think you’re over it, it starts all over again.”

That’s where I’m at.  I went to the bathroom at work yesterday and sat in the stall and cried.  I hadn’t done that in months – cried at work.  I’m even out of practice.  Used to be, I could cry looking down, with my head in a horizontal position and not ruin my eye makeup…yesterday, mascara was all smeared.  I’m still so mad, still so sad, still so angry.  I want to scream as loud as I can, “what did I do to deserve the death of my little boys?!!??  What?!!?  Why did this happen to me?!!?”  After 18 months, just when I think I’m okay, the grief starts in again.  Nothing new has happened, it’s still the same loss, I’m still the same me I was after the boys died.  Why am I not getting any better?

The difference between me and the characters of “Grey’s Anatomy” is, the accident wasn’t real, their friend didn’t really die, they get to yell “CUT!” and it’s over.  I don’t.  There is no “CUT!” for me.  This is going to be my life forever.  I’m going to always grieve, the boys will always have died, this is my life.

I’m overwhelmed by that fact.

Weather always effects my mood…cloudy and dark makes me sad and sullen.  It’s the depression, I’m sure.

My insurance coverage changed in August.  I knew my employer had to make some adjustments to continue to be able to afford to cover us but I had no idea that it would effect the mental health coverage in the policy.  That’s right gang, no more therapy unless we want to pay for it and with Hubby being laid off, it’s not in the budget.  We might try and do 2 sessions a month once we get a little more “in the black” but right now, it’s not going to work out.  Nothing I can do about it except hope for health care reform that will include a mental health option.  So I’m sullen and depressed with no outlet…yeah.

We have to give up our boot camp sessions too.  We’ve been going 3 times a week for the last 5 months and it’s been great.  I haven’t really lost weight but I’ve toned up a lot.  I’m feeling confident that I can continue to work out on my own.  I have hand weights, a jump rope and 3 dogs who love to go for long and fast walks….I just need to make myself accountable to get up every other morning and go.  We just can’t afford to spent the money anymore.

Which brings me to a realization I had yesterday.  I think I’ve gone “soft.”  I used to not have the luxury of therapy and trainers and ready-made food and fancy coffee.  Since our income increased several years ago, I’ve gotten accustomed to “the good life” – which, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy but I’ve lost my ability to survive.  Part of that has to do with losing the boys – I’ve lost my will to survive, not just the ability to do so.  I think, at some point, I just decided I would float along until I got pregnant again – maybe in the hopes that would make “it” all okay and give me more of a sense of purpose.  I don’t know.  Until a couple of days ago, I was feeling good.  I felt confident that we would be having another baby soon.  I was hopeful, I was almost cheerful, even slightly happy.  But that happiness, like my pregnancies, seemed to end as quickly as it started.  I’m filled with doubt – have I ovulated yet, did we “do it” enough, is this “our month.”  So much doubt and fear and sadness…almost overwhelming…

Maybe I just need to sack up, stop feeling sorry for myself, stop feeling bad about myself and focus on the good things in life, things I want to accomplish.  It’s so hard to do though.  I know you other lost baby mamas and daddas understand this.  It all comes back to that one phrase…”I’m sorry, I’m not seeing a heartbeat.”  It resonates with me constantly.  It effects everything I do.

Looks like a 90% chance of rain today.

Self-Conscious

September 8, 2009

I’ve never been a particularly confident person but I’ve never been this self-conscious in all my life.  I don’t know what’s going on with me but I hate the way I look – specifically, my hair, my chubby face, my thick arms and ankles.  I should be feeling better since going to bootcamp three times a week for the last 4 months.  I know that I am firmer and less flabby then before I started my work out routine.  I’ve started walking in the evenings in addition to boot camp in the morning and we have gone back to being vegetarian (Hubby had to butcher a cow and 4 deer for the tigers, he’s off meat for a while).  I should be feeling great…but I don’t.  I hate seeing picture of myself – I don’t look anything like I used to…I feel so unattractive.

In my head, I hear this running dialogue….”look at your fat arms, look at your stringy hair…no wonder you can’t stay pregnant  – you aren’t healthy and you aren’t worthy….”  I realize this is incredibly negative self-talk, I don’t need a therapist to tell me that but her attempts to help me counter this talk, they aren’t working….I don’t know what to do to make it go away.

In an effort to trying and help heal myself a little bit, I’ve decided to go back to Reiki and yoga.  I’m doing Reiki on myself and I’m going to put up a website offering my services…I know it’s not the best time to start something like this with the economy the way it is but as in previous times that I have done this, I’m willing to trade and barter services too.  I’m not in it for the cash – doing Reiki on people or animals pulls the healing energy through me and helps me too….I’m also going to try and add 2 days worth of yoga practice to my workout routine each week…I’m trying here…

I’m also not going to get a refill on the Clomid.  I gave it 3 months, it didn’t work.  I got pregnant more on my own then with the drugs.  I’m tired of headaches, bellyaches, grumpiness, and screwed up cycles…I tried it, I’m done with it.

We are still trying to figure out a way to pay for adoption.  We are waitlisted for the information session this weekend but the mere thought of the cost makes me want to throw up.  I have no idea where to get that money.  None.  No one is giving loans, no one is giving credit cards and we don’t have enough equity in our house to get a line of credit.  The thing that sucks is, if we got a loan now, we could pay it off with our tax refund next year because of the adoption credit.  If we wait another year, that credit may not be there…sigh…

I love this time of year – the beginning of September which leads to Fall and October and Halloween – which is my absolute favorite holiday.  August is over and that’s a relief and it’s too early to worry about Thanksgiving and Christmas and the inevitable depression that will come from missing the boys.  September on the beaches in North Carolina is ridiculously lovely and Hubby and I usually take advantage of the lack of tourists to head out there at least a couple of times before the warm weather is gone.  Here at home, the leaves change to amazing jewel tones that this California girl didn’t think occurred in nature.  I marvel at the fireworks show that the trees put on.  October brings Mullet Festival (the fish, not the hair) and the informal family reunion.  In years passed, I have dreaded going but this year, I’m looking forward to it.  My best friend, M, will be coming for the State Fair in mid-October and I can’t wait.  And then Halloween…my favorite…I’ve already planned costumes for us and priced new yard decorations.  The mums are in bloom already and I need to put some in the yard…Fall and mums to me is like milk and cookies.

But my heart is heavy.  I thought I would be pregnant again.  All the way pregnant – not just the slightly pregnant that my body seems to be fond of but really, truly and totally pregnant.  But not yet, not that I know of anyway….

My birthday was yesterday and I haven’t cried that much on my birthday in I don’t know how long.  I cried for the boys, I cried because of an insensitive comment said to Hubby in my presence that morning (“So Hubby, got anymore offspring?”), I cried for Craig and Mirne and baby Jet, I cried for the baby that would have been had I not miscarried in December.

In the midst of all my tears, I laughed a lot too.  I was reminded how loved I am.  I was reminded that in the midst of all the pain that I feel, people care for me, people think of me, people root for me.  I had over 60 messages on Facebook wishing me a happy birthday, numerous cards came in the mail, and I got a ton of phone calls throughout the day.  For someone feeling all alone with her grief, that’s powerfully healing. 

I think the hardest I laughed yesterday was when I got my gift from Hubby.  Hubby saw my post about wanting to learn the violin or mandolin so he found me a beautiful violin for my birthday and a woman to give me lessons at lunch.  He said that he thought I needed “a little more music in my life.”  He’s right.  I know I don’t deserve him.  He’s amazingly kind, thoughtful and caring.  I’ve never met a man like him. 

Over dinner, I said to him, “I can play the violin for our baby when he won’t stop crying.  You know?  Play him to sleep.”  That’s the first time I let myself hope for a future baby in a long time.  I surprised myself when I said it.  It’s been months since I thought of OUR baby actually happening again.

So, next birthday, I will be playing a concert (using the loose definition of “concert”) at my house.

Hopefully, our baby will be there.