Friday, April 28, 2006

Due in September

21 people responded to the question, "What is your fear/concern about birth?"

2 people are first timers who say they are afraid of everything.

5 people specifically mention a fear of stillbirth.

Interesting how things have changed from the last time the question was asked.

Big Daddy got to feel the beast move!!!!

That's right. Last night I was able to feel the beast moving around in Cathy's belly.

Keep it coming beast, keep it coming.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Uncle Tom

My Uncle Tom died this morning. Cancer.

I just don't have any more words right now.

Certifiable

There is no way around it. I'm going to lose it in these next two weeks and there is simply nothing I can do to stop it.

I think I'm doing so well...and then my husband very kindly offers to take a couple days off work for Alex's birthday and I fly off the handle with, "I have to save my days off for this possibility of a live baby...I have to look forward...I can't live in the past...what are we going to do anyway, sit around and be sad?"

I think I'm doing so well...and then I get the reminder card in the mail for my ultrasound and OB visit next Tuesday...and immediately feel like I'm going to throw up.

I think I'm doing so well...and then I have a complete meltdown in the car on the way to work because I have to go in early and won't be there to kiss my Sam goodbye (while he's not sleeping).

I think I'm doing so well...and then dear, sweet Jill excitedly announces that she's scheduled to deliver her new miracle on May 11th and I completely melt into a crying mess in my office. It's beautiful that someone will welcome an amazing new little life into this world on that day and I am incredibly happy for them.

But at the same time, the silence of May 11th last year echoes in my mind and the sadness mixes in with the joy and I don't know what to say. I can't even formulate an enthusiastic comment to her announcement (and I'm so sorry for that Jill...I really hope you understand). The day I said I didn't need to take off of work to feel sad. The two weeks leading up to the anniversary of the worst day of my life...when I was so sick and I KNEW something wasn't right, but nobody would listen to me.

Yeah, right, I'm obviously doing so well living for the future and not living in the past. sigh

I look at the next two weeks and think, "Was this the day? Did he die inside me on this day? or was it tomorrow? did he suffer? was he in pain?" I don't really want to know...but I can't help wondering.

And the obvious, "What was I doing on this day last year?" pops up. Did I have a good day? Was I laughing with friends while my son was dying? And how am I going to do any better with this one? I don't deserve another chance...not after I was so oblivious.

Oh yeah...this is going to be fun. Does anyone know if the white coats with the arms that tie in the back run small or large? I want to be sure I get the right size. No sense giving up style just because I've given up my sanity.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My brain is so fried

In my ever-increasing need for distraction I have attempted to busy myself with this, that, and the other thing.

I have plowed through almost all of the legal research requests sitting on my desk. Some of the older ones I'm going to "re-file" in the "been waiting so long for an opinion that I'm sure they don't care anymore" file.

I am organizing the Chinese auction/raffle fundraiser for the Public Animal Welfare Society (to be held on Mother's Day).

I brought cookies in to our Victims of Crime office Open House (store bought...so not THAT impressive).

I volunteered to make sausage gravy for the office breakfast we're having tomorrow morning.

I am altering a costume for a friend who participates in the area Medieval Faire.

I'm dragging my husband and a couple of the ladies from work to an Indians game tonight (the boss gave us four tickets he couldn't use).

I'm having fun. I enjoy everything I am doing.

So why don't I feel "better?"

Because two weeks from now I will be commemorating the worst days of my life.

Denial and distraction apparently only get you so far.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I want to stay home with you on Wednesday, Mommy

Good God, does it never end? The guilt...the worry...the ever-increasing doubt?

For almost a year, I stayed home on Wednesdays with Sam. It started out as a self-preservation measure, as I wasn't at all mentally stable enough to deal with a full week of clients and co-workers. But it quickly morphed into something much more, when I realized that Sam needed it too. His little world had been rocked of its axis and he was struggling so very valiantly to try to regain his balance. Words like "hospital" and "dead" and "angel" popped into his three-year-old vocabulary much too soon and without any preparatory foundation. He tried to understand why mommy and daddy were crying. He tried to understand where Baby Alex went. He tried to figure out, in his own way, what this all meant for him. And in true Sam fashion, when the chips were down, he needed mommy.

So I gave him Wednesdays. We never did anything special. Mostly we hung around the house and played. Occasionally we would make an outing...but it was really just "our time" to hang out and just be together. He even started to understand the calendar in this routine. Wednesdays were days that he stayed home with Mommy.

I went back to full time at work last week. It was punctuated with a day off for funeral attendance...and resulted in extra time with Sam that I would have otherwise lost. This week, however, there are no funerals to attend and no reasons to take time off. I need to save up some cash for leave at the end of this summer...which we will optimistically refer to as maternity leave from now on. I need to earn up some extra vacation days so I don't have to spend so much time without pay on my maternity leave. There is no way around it. If we want to keep paying our bills for the six weeks after the Beast is born, I have to go back to work full time right now. And I hate it.

But what I hate even more is when Sam looks at me with that begging look and says, "I want to stay home with you on Wednesday, Mommy." I don't know how to make him understand things like vacation time and savings in the bank. I can only tell him that we're trying to make it so that Mommy can stay home on Wednesdays again in a few months. But I can see that it doesn't make sense to him. Hell...it barely makes sense to me. It's all so logical...not emotional...yeah right.

See, I'm not one of those moms who wants to stay home with her kids. Or, at least, I wasn't. I spent the first 15 months of Sam's life at home with him. And when I was offered a job, I jumped at it. Not only because the money meant we could keep our house, but because I was simply going stir crazy in that house with no adult interaction. I simply wasn't cut out for the stay-at-home bit. And when we saw how well Sam developed in daycare, we were convinced that it was the right choice for us.

And now I guess all that delayed guilt and whatnot is starting to catch up with me.

August Sam...can you please just hang in there with mommy until August?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Insight all over the place

Step back, I'm about to get some more insight all over.

I'm ticked off that I have to deal with a managed health care company, the high risk division of my insurance company, the perinatologist and the OB.

Why?

Well, first, because it means I have to leave my safe world of denial and face the mental and emotional turmoil head-first. That's an obvious one.

But even more than that, I'm ticked off because I keep thinking, "Where were all of you when I was pregnant with Alex? Why did he have to die before you care about my/our healthcare?"

Now, don't get me wrong. I will do whatever it takes to deliver the Beast alive and get him/her home safe and sound. But I am soooooo beyond irritated that it had to be like THIS for someone to pay attention.

So who do I see about this anger? I've got a TEAM of people who are willing to cluck over me regarding all the physical stuff. But insurance still won't pay for the kind of counseling I need...and racquetball is too expensive. Where's the willingness to help emotionally?

Wait! I get it! It all makes sense! I'm going to have to freak out completely before that happens, aren't I?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Happily ever after?

Why do we strive all our lives for love when, in the end, it will leave us anyway? What is it about that boy who is so cute that we must date him? That man that we must marry? That friend that we must get to know? That baby that we must have? Why pursue something that will eventually leave us and rip a huge hole in our lives and our hearts?

My Aunt Pat is saying goodbye to her husband of I-don't-know-how-many-years this week/end. He has terminal cancer and has been given "days" to live by the doctors. He is in the hospital and will never go home. This is how their life together will end. Their two kids will lose his guidance and their five grandkids will simply not get to know him beyond this week. He will become a sweet memory for all of them.

At Ted's funeral this weekend, I watched his wife cry for him and try to steel herself for the next few steps without him. I could sense that she was trying to find that mysterious hidden reserve of strength to allow her to keep putting one foot in front of the other...when all she wants to do is sit in a dark room and cry. She said, quite proudly, that she was so happy to have had not one, but two, amazing husbands in her life.

I spent weeks carrying a baby that I would never get to know. And even if I had that opportunity, there is no guarantee that my time with him wouldn't have been otherwise limited. He could easily have left me at some other point in life.

We all work so hard to find love. And eventually that love will leave us. The inevitability of it all is a curious thing. We all have the same ending. There are no happy endings.

What a strange thing life is.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The cost of happiness - Visa style

Parking: $5

Tickets for kiddie rides: $18

Exotic flavor lollipops: 3/$1

"Flashing thingie" to play with at night: $5

Greasy french fries and diet pepsi: $8

Watching the giant smile on Sam's face: priceless

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Poetry in motion

There is something poetic about memorializing a man's lifetime with a festival/street fair happening just three doors down the street.

Tomorrow we say goodbye...and then maybe go ride a ride or two.

Ted would appreciate the fun, I think.

Funny how life seems so normal until...

You would think that with everything we've been through, we would be beyond saying, "But things like this don't happen to ME." But here I am. Long story short, the dog has some bad ick. I will not describe because it will induce vomiting in the weak-stomached and will cause nightmares in the squeamish (it did both to me).

The vet says he will recover with medication and extra TLC. It won't extend his life. He is, after all, according to the age chart on the wall of the vet's office, 90 years old. But he's still got personality, so we'll give him the best quality of life that we can until it's absolutely necessary to say goodbye. And yes M...it HAS been that long since college. :o)

Anyway...when we discovered the ick...and today at the vet's office when the vet said, "These things happen a lot," I heard myself say, "Not to us. We're good pet owners. We take care of our animals like they are family members. There is no excuse good enough that this happened." Again with the blame! I could kick myself in the head for even THINKING these things. But when I actually said them out loud...it was sort of like a big old boot fell out of the sky and squashed my brain cells into a big pancake. Did I not learn ANYTHING?!?! Like the vet said...these things happen. I should understand that point better than most. And I should also understand that the unnecessary guilt is a waste of time.

And here I thought I was so evolved now. Ha!

-------------------------------

Yesterday I ran into yet one more person who didn't know Alex is dead.

"The last time I saw you, you were expecting a baby!" (Expectant pause for me to gush about how well our sweet child is doing...)

"Yes...he died."

"Oh, I'm so sorry. You know, my sister lost a baby once and we were talking and she said, 'These things happen for a reason.'"

And you know what I did? I looked her dead in the eye and said, "Well, I don't know that I believe that, but thank you for caring enough to offer an attempt at understanding."

And you know what she did? She didn't get offended. She took a second for the realization of my words to hit her and she said, "No, I guess you might not believe that, would you?"

That's me...educating the world...one person at a time. I think I need a superhero cape. :o)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

So...another day

-----------------------------
Anam had her baby! Congratulations to the whole family!
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The nurse came out to visit last night. She had my name wrong on EVERY SINGLE form. Yep...I'm going to trust my healthcare to these folks. (/sarcasm)

But the doppler worked! The Beast is running in the 150s. I'm thinking another boy.
-----------------------------
Our old dog, Isaac, isn't doing well. I hope he rebounds, but I'm just not sure it's going to happen...and I'm having a hard time just thinking about letting go.
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Tomorrow evening are the calling hours for our friend, Ted, who passed away. The funeral is Friday. I haven't been to a funeral home since I visited one to make arrangements for Alex. I'm feeling quite a bit of apprehension about it.
-----------------------------
What do you get when you give three lawyers three hours to come up with a solution?

A 30-day continuance. sigh
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The Maple Festival is this weekend. This is the last all-good memory I have of being pregnant with Alex. I'm feeling quite a bit of apprehension about this too.
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Sadness, fear, apprehension, aggravation...don't you wish you were me? lol
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Goodbye friend

Theodore P. "Ted" Stone

Funeral services for Theodore P. "Ted" Stone, 85, of Montville Township, will be 11 a.m. Friday at Burr Funeral Home, 116 South St., (Route 44, 500 ft. south of Route 6/Chardon Square), in Chardon.

Mr. Stone died April 15, 2006, at the family farm in Montville Township.

Born May 6, 1920, in Ashtabula, he had lived in his home, the family farm, in Montville Township, since 1933. He worked on that farm and passed away there.

He was an active member of the Montville Community Church and Hambden Congregational Church. At the age of 16, he became a member of the Civilian Conservation Corp, during World War II. Mr. Stone was the sole surviving founding member of the Montville Township Fire Department. He was a member of the Geauga County Farm Bureau, Western Reserve Co-Op, and former Montville Grange, where he was a past master. He loved to share fruits of his labors from both his vegetable and flower gardens. He also loved to spend time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was very proud of all of his accomplishments and enjoyed sharing memories with family and friends.

Mr. Stone was a truck driver for 42 years and a self-employed farmer since 1937. He drove truck for the Montville Milk Cartage in Montville, R.W. Sidley in Thompson and Rimes Trucking in Chardon.

Survivors are his wife, Joan L. (Bradshaw) Thomas, whom he married Dec. 4, 2005, at Old South Church; daughters, Carol (Ralph) Mausling of Perry and Martha (Daniel) Grondin of Florida; son, Theodore C. (Connie) Stone of Kent; uncle, John Stone of Florida; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; and four stepgrandchildren.

His first wife, Edwina E. (Whitney) Stone, whom he married March 16, 1940, in Montville Township, died Aug. 6, 2000. His mother, Elizabeth Stone Sippola; grandson, Charles Ralph Mausling; and stepbrother, Charles Sippola, are also deceased.

Friends may call 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. The Rev. Gretchen Wagner of Old South Church will officiate the services. Burial will be in Montville Cemetery in Montville Township.

The family requests you plant a flower or tree in his memory.

Information and condolences online at www.burrservice.com.


We will miss you Ted. You reminded us every day of what is important in life...family and friends. You made us feel less like fish out of water wanting to live in the country and raise a family. You made our friend, Joan, so so happy...for which there are not enough thank you's. We love you both and we are so sad to have to say goodbye. Rest in peace. And if you happen to see our Alex, give him a kiss and let him know mommy and daddy and Sam love him very much. Until we meet again...

Questions from work.

Why am I the last person offered the assistance of the office intern when I'm swamped with work and have FOUR hearings this week?

Why would you think the refrigerator is off if you can clearly hear it running?

Why is the bathroom shade always open after you come out of the bathroom that faces the courthouse?

Some reading for the fathers

Too often, when a baby is stillborn, the story is all about the mother.

Here is something for the fathers.

We need to do a better job of letting them know they are not alone.

My convoluted thoughts

Rachel posted this a few days ago in a comment and asked for my thoughts/opinions on it.

Here are my problems with the entry...

On one hand it says "Birth is not safe."

And then goes on to say, "The other misconception driving this question is the fear that anything can happen! Anything! Well, some things are more likely to happen than others, and those things that are most likely to happen can be handled at home."

The disservice that the female reproductive medical establishment has done here is that they have convinced us that anything can't happen. At least it can't happen to ME. Those bad things only happen to OTHER people.

Home birth isn’t just about safety, it’s about not having a team of experts pressuring you to induce labor or accept an epidural or lie down quietly. It’s about having some say in what happens to your own f***ing body.

You don't have to run from the medical setting in order to have a say. This is a common misconception that a LOT of women have. But again, we present only two options to women in a lot of cases and our own medical care suffers as a result. It's not about either/or...it's about making it work for you.

What part of ‘unnecessary Cesarean’ do you not understand? The C-section rate keeps getting higher and higher, and is expected to hit 50% by 2011. And yet. And yet the infant mortality rate remains the same. And yet the cerebral palsy rate remains the same. Increasing the Cesarean rate has not saved any babies from death or disability.

This lumps in the category of women who receive "elective" cesareans...a rapidly growing group by any accounts. If you take them out of the mix, I would be curious to see how the statistics stack up. I don't know. But I do know that the confusion over emergency c-sections and elective c-sections is a misrepresentation of the reality.

Well, C-section is even less safe. For both parties involved.

Again...let's not confuse the two groups of c/s.

As a healthy woman in a healthy pregnancy, it was more likely that hospital care would have complicated the birth, rather than alleviate any complications.

This may very well be true. But again, risk assessment is based on the concept that the really bad things aren't likely to happen to ME. Not a risk I would ever take again. But I had to learn the hard way. Try to tell a low risk woman that it is POSSIBLE her baby will die during labor and she will do EVERYTHING within her power to discount what you have to say. We let women live in a protective bubble because it is somehow more important to be "glowing" and "happy" than to entertain the very real possibilities...to accept the truth that birth is NOT SAFE.

Further, the argument that travel time to the hospital would result in minimal time lost if an emergency c-section is needed is dependent on a LOT of things going your way. No flat tire, no traffic, no road construction. That's a lot of trust to put in the universe. And having now met many women who lost their babies during birth...who were low risk and were in a hospital setting...I'm pretty sure the risk assessment method is totally screwed up as it is currently used.

So that's my take. Feel free to discuss, argue, etc. My feeling is that we, as a society, need a much more realistic approach to how we deal with the idea of childbirth. SIDS claimed less than half the number of stillborn babies when it was at it's "peak" as a problem...and EVERY mother knows about SIDS. There is a huge public campaign to eliminate it. But when it comes to stillbirth, we're still teaching the old "that only happens to THOSE women...not me." It's an insane philosophy...but it is one that is so closely protected by so many. I don't understand it and I never will.

Is home birth safer? Who can tell? There is such a lack of information about stillbirth at all levels that it is impossible to say. I do know that there are stories about stillbirths during home births. Are there more or fewer than in a hospital? I don't know. The numbers just don't exist to tell me whether one is safer than the other. We need to so more to prevent stillbirth...no matter where it happens. Do I feel that a hospital is safer? Yes, I do. But I may not be right.

Study

Another study

Another study

Monday, April 17, 2006

Do you know what this is like?

Some days I just want to scream at the universe. Nothing in particular...just rant and rave and yell like a lunatic. Do you know what this is like? Do you have any freakin clue? Do you care at all? I want to get in the face of every single person I see and let loose all my anger and frustration and fear. I feel such horrible emotions welling up...threatening to consume me. I just want to lighten the load.

But I don't. I remain calm and cool and collected. Never one to show too much, I listen quietly to others' frustrations and problems. I offer supportive advice in matters that mean nothing to me anymore. I smile and say all the right things to let someone know that I believe in them. And I only briefly let on that I feel like I'm dying inside. To which they respond with uncomfortable glances and a change of subject back to what matters to them. A civilized lunch suddenly feels like all the blood is being drained out of my head. I feel like I'm in a vacuum and I'm going to implode.

Just ask me. Ask me how I'm doing. Pretend like you care about ME! Pretend like I matter. Don't pretend like things are normal. Acknowledge that life is different...that I am different.

I'm going to scream!

This is fascinating

As I have indicated before, I'm truly interested in learning about the origins of various religions. This was posted elsewhere and I find it absolutely fascinating.

From religioustolerance.org

Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the ancient Mediterranean region had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at, or following, the spring equinox. In one religion, Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was said to have died and been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25; i.e. at the time of the vernal equinox in the Julian calendar.

Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians "used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation." Since the worship of Cybele was brought to Rome in 204 BCE, about 250 years before Christianity, it is obvious that if any copying occurred, it was the Christians that copied the traditions of the Pagans.

Today, no consensus exists on the linkage between the Attis legend (and the stories associated with many other god-men) and Jesus Christ:

Some religious historians believe that the god-man's death and resurrection legends were first associated with Pagan deities many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans in the Roman Empire.

Ancient Christians had an alternative explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit Pagan deities with many of the same life experiences as Jesus had. Satan and his demons had done this, in advance of the coming of Christ, in order to confuse humanity.

Most modern-day Christians regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value. They regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being an exact description of real events, and unrelated to the earlier Pagan traditions.

Among the Roman Catholic church and Protestant denominations, Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after MAR-20, the nominal date of the Spring Equinox. Its ancient linkages to sun and moon worship are obvious. Many sources incorrectly state that the starting date of the calculation is the actual day of the Equinox rather than the nominal date of MAR-20. Other sources use an incorrect reference date of MAR-21.

Easter Sunday can fall on any date from March 22 to April 25th. The year-to-year sequence is so complicated that it takes 5.7 million years to repeat. Eastern Orthodox churches sometimes celebrate Easter on the same day as the rest of Christendom. However if that date does not follow Passover, then the Orthodox churches delay their Easter - sometimes by over a month.


Now I need to find more about paganism...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy ending

Orbit's new mom loves him and is spoiling him rotten.

And as a thank you, she sent the rescue a donation of $1000!

Can this get any better?!?!

I'm so sorry

Sometimes it's the only thing there is to say.

Please, if you haven't already, stop by Julia's place and offer up some good thoughts to support her.

I'm not so complex after all

Yesterday's anger has passed. You're right Jill...time for me to go into education mode myself. People who deal with people like me should know better. And since they so obviously don't, it's time to give them the proverbial kick in the ass.

So...

I figured out why the gestational diabetes thing bothers me. It really is no big deal physically. I mean, I took care of it with Sam and I'll take care of it with the Beast. And, quite frankly, I could stand to lose more than a few pounds anyway (yes, I actually lose weight during pregnancy when monitoring my blood sugar...proof that I eat terribly when I am not pregnant and am not really at my body's true equilibrium weight...but I digress). But this morning I had an epiphany of sorts.

It's not really the counselor that I object to. I'm hurt by idiocy still, after all this time...but I can manage that. I do what I do...cry...and then educate. It's really not all that bad of a lifestyle for me. But I couldn't figure out why this one brought forth so much anger. I don't want this person coming into my life uninvited...telling me how to behave...what to do. Everything in my revolted at the very thought that I, once again, did not have control over my own life. And then it hit me...

I've been dealing with this by using denial. I don't think of myself as pregnant every waking moment like I did when pregnant with Sam and Alex. I just can't bring myself to really acknowledge that that is what is going on. Sure, I limit my caffeine, drink more water, eat slightly better, take my vitamin, don't lift heavy things, and I can't run around like a maniac in the back yard anymore...but the everyday normal routine is pretty much the same for me as when I'm not pregnant. Before, where I would spend time surfing the internet for baby names or cool baby gear/clothes, I just do my normal stuff. I concentrate on my work (and have gotten a surprising amount done in the last month). I chat with my mommy friends on my June 2002 message board. I go home, clean up after the old dog, walk the foster dog, feed the horses, make dinner, sit down and watch television or sit down and play trains with Sam. It's actually been EASY. I freak out about once a week, but it passes when I realize there's nothing I can do about it anyway...so I might as well chill. See what I mean? Almost normal!

Now I'm going to have to pay attention to this pregnancy. I'm going to have to pull my head out of the sand and face it head-on. And to be quite honest, I'm not ready to do that just yet. I want to hide some more...no...I NEED to hide some more. 17 weeks is too soon to have to deal. I'm not even wearing maternity clothes yet (except on an occasional gassy day when I'm feeling like a blimp and know I'm not going to be seen in a professional setting). So what the heck am I supposed to do? I'm supposed to sit across a table from a counselor and have her instruct me on how to manage this pregnancy. MANAGE. Some days I'm still lucky to manage to acknowledge that I AM pregnant. I'm standing at the bottom of Mt. Everest with no climbing gear and I have no idea how to take that first step so that I don't fall to my death.

What's worse is that I'm going to have to face this pregnancy as though it will result in an actual living baby. How the hell am I going to do that? Distance is the only way I've thought of to keep my heart from being broken into a zillion pieces if the unthinkable happens a second time. But this is going to require me to think, "I have to do this so my son/daughter can have the best start possible," four times a day (to start). I'm going to have to do this in preparation for a living baby. What if...?

What if I do all this and this baby dies? What if I do all this and this baby lives?

Both options terrify me.

You know, after Alex died, I morbidly joked with Steve that if I had been "sticking myself" during that pregnancy I would have been REALLY PISSED that Alex had died. Now here I am. Why do I tempt fate by saying such stupid things anyway?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

155 > 120

Let the fun begin on the road to gestational diabetes!

Ain't this great?

And to add more thrills to the ride, the healthcare corporation who is going to "counsel" me on how to manage the gestational diabetes is staffed by the clueless.

Telephone questions:

You had a IUFD? a stillborn? My SON was stillborn.

This is what number pregnancy for you? three

So you have two living children? no...my second son died and was stillborn

With your first, was that an actual delivery? excuse me? what exactly do you mean?

Was that a birth? a miscarriage? It resulted in my first living son but he was born via c-section

Why did you have a c-section? failure to progress

And the second was a miscarriage? No, he was stillborn

How far along were you? That depends on who you ask. 34 to 35 weeks

You had gestational diabetes before? With my first

And with the second? No

I could seriously have a field day with the lack of sensitivity and the ignorance exhibited here...but it'd be like shooting fish in a barrel...too easy.

I think I'm going to go have a good cry and eat some chocolate before it becomes a forbidden food.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Weird Dreams for $100 Alex

1. Being in love with Peter Fonda...and he being in love with me (but not a sex dream...just hugs and kisses and love).
2. Playing Centipede with lauralu (don't worry Laura...I always lost).
3. Eating a huge salad made of pretty flowers.

No idea, so don't even ask. But it was an interesting night, that's for sure.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

16 weeks alive - 11 months gone - 3 1/2 years my heart

I don't even really know how to feel today.

First off, everything is good with the Beast. Still alive and kicking. I can really feel him/her moving...irregularly...but movement nonetheless. So that took quite a bit of the stress from my OB visit today. I didn't have to worry too much about the question of whether we'd find a heartbeat or not, since the Beast had been doing flip-flops in thanks for the Philly Steak and Cheese sandwich I'd eaten for lunch.

And then there is the counterbalance to the relief and happiness. Alex was stillborn 11 months ago today. There hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't thought of his sweet face...the feeling of him in my arms...the memories of being pregnant with him. But as the one-year anniversary of his stillbirth approaches, I'm trying to process my whole life...including the chapters that relate to my sweet baby boy.

But more than all of that, there is a smile and a big hug for me when I show up at daycare to pick up my son (a treat, since his daddy normally picks him up). And hour or two of sitting outside and blowing bubbles together...and all is right with the world...for now.

I can't really explain it other than to say that it's as though I'm shoving two magnets into a box with the ends that repel each other forcing the sides of the box to bulge outward...threatening to explode the box completely from the inside out. I hope the tape is strong enough to keep it all together for me.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Life's little coincidences

I was talking with new mommy co-worker today (I really should call her something else. I'll just call her R from now on, I think.). Anyway...so we were talking about our personal issues. Me and my insanity surrounding my upcoming OB visit tomorrow. Her and her concern over her ailing grandfather who is in the hospital and isn't do well at all. Naturally, the conversation travelled all over the place and we ended up talking about OBs. She knows all about my experience with my old OB and how during my pregnancy with Alex I was complaining that she didn't listen to me, etc. I guess, in all our conversations, I never bothered to tell her my OBs name.

So anyway...she told me her OB was a bit too far to travel and she was thinking of trying the OB who delivered her son last July, because she has a satellite office in a closer town (the same town my old OB is in). Now, I know we were using the same hospital system...and I only know of one satellite office in that town...so I asked the OB's name name. You guessed it...my old OB.

She was surprised, to put it mildly. She said, "Well, that's out then," and I hope she means it. I pray to God (just in case he's listening) that I have conveyed enough information to make her steer clear of that "doctor."

And now I say a little thank you that Xavier was born healthy and without complication. Because heaven knows what could have happened with that woman in charge of his delivery.

(Note to self...start saying the name of the doctor who cost us our child in conversation...it is an important bit of information for women of child-bearing age in our geographic area. She can't sue me if I stick to the facts, right? I'll just tell people what happened and let them decide if this is someone they really want taking care of them during their pregnancies.)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Age and Experience

I had a strange moment yesterday morning. We were sitting in our kitchen discussing possible home renovation plans with a contractor/acquaintance, Bob. This is someone who knows what happened to us but has never outwardly acknowledged Alex our our loss. Not making excuses, but he is an old country bumpkin type guy who isn't probably comfortable with any sort of personal discussion, let alone THAT discussion.

So anyway...he says, "Things happen...life changes." Steve and I looked at one another and nodded our heads in that sad, understanding way, as we both said, "We know." So Bob says, obviously not understanding the implication of what he was saying, "I'm sure nothing's happened to you that hasn't happened to me two or three times."

Now I don't know that he hasn't lost a child. In fact, it's quite possible he has. But in that moment, I felt as though the years between us melted away and my experience equalled his age. Suddenly we were much older than the 34 and almost 35 years we have lived.

I'm going to have to be careful not to discount everyone's age and experience. But I can see how it could easily happen. I realized it was there when talking about the young and naive. I never imagined it would translate to someone older. But age just doesn't matter. YOU haven't been through what WE have...YOUR experience can't speak to OURS.

I guess it's true that age is a state of mind.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Good news (snicker)

According to my online pregnancy calendar, "The chance of miscarriage gets much lower after this week too."

I'm just so relieved.

How hard is it?!?!

I bought some yarn to make a sweater, used part of one skein, and decided I hate the yarn and the idea of the sweater. So, I sold the yarn on eBay.

Regarding payment...I specifically said in two different places in the listing (in all capital letters), "NO CREDIT CARDS."

So what does the winning bidder do? Yep...tries to pay me with a credit card!

Learn to read people!
----------------------
*update*

Oh, isn't eBay fun? Why do I bother?

I responded, "As indicated in my listing, I do not accept credit cards. Therefore, your payment has been denied. If you would like to pay by money transfer, I can accept that. Thank you."

And her response...

I am sorry.... any other time I would have the time to run to the bank and get a money order.... but since bidding on this item we have had an accident in the family (mother-in-law fell and is in Intensive Neurology Section of the hospital) and therefore am not able to make it to the bank right now. I do not have the energy (spending twelve to fourteen hours at the hospital a day) to think about yarn right now. Put the yarn back on the market and give me the black mark that you want to give me for this.

OK...she had me until the last snotty comment. I mean...wow! Snotty much?

I think after this I may just donate the damn yarn to charity and forget about it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hello Secret Pals!

Welcome to my blog Chauntel! I've enjoyed being your secret pal during SP7 and I hope you've enjoyed at least a few of the things I've sent (I already know the chocolate was a hit...lol). I promise I won't bore you with too much crochet talk. :o)

Now who is MY secret pal? I haven't heard from you in a while and you didn't reveal your identity to me. hmmmm...???

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

More stupid things people say

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Steve's manager at work : Wow...x weeks? second trimester? You're out of the danger zone now.
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And the prize winner...(been stewing about this one for a few days)...

The letter from the lawyer declining to take our case to court...

Enclosed you find all the records in our possession (none were included by the way). We understand that what you went through was a tragedy and we offer our deepest sympathies. In many ways, however, it is better to simply move on now than prolong the suffering by filing a medical practice action that may not lead to any comfort or recovery for the two of you, and, by all accounts, was a tragedy not directly attributable to the neglect or recklessness of any physician.
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I DO NOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Yep

Definitely the Beast.

Tap...tap...tap...tap.

I guess they move up higher faster when you're fat and they don't have room down low where they're supposed to be. :o)

Well that was fun

I've just been a barrel of laughs here lately, haven't I? I guess a little self-indulgent pity-party is always the thing to clear out the cobwebs and start with a better attitude.

I THINK I've felt the Beast move. Don't quote me on it just yet, but I want to record the date for posterity sake. I failed to commemorate all those special moments with Alex and I deeply regret that there is no record now. In fact, this weekend, I'm planning on going out and buying a pregnancy journal! I probably won't write in it until after my appointment on Tuesday (just to be sure I'm not wasting my time...I mean, I thought I felt Alex move when he was clearly already dead, so it's best to be cautious at this stage...for my own mental health). I think it's a step in the right direction, even if I do say so myself (who better to be my cheering section, right?). A small leap of faith that things will be ok on Tuesday afternoon when we visit the doc is better than nothing.

Think I can find one with an appropriate photo on the front for the Beast? I will definitely be steering away from the ones with the happy pregnant women on the cover.

Maybe while I'm out shopping I'll get my hair cut! Now there's a great idea! Oh...and I need to pick up a little gift for a friend! This is turning into a great plan! See...I'm smiling again! It was only a matter of time. :o)

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm tired

I don't have the energy to think about why anymore. There are two schools of thought:(1) We deserved it...for whatever mystical reason/punishment; or (2) Shit happens.
It makes me sad...but I just don't want to think about it anymore.

I don't have the energy to pretend to people that being pregnant makes everything just peachy. I don't have the energy to pretend that I'm not still lost in my desire to have Alex here with me...not this baby. I don't have the energy to think about this baby at all. To wish away who is here and long for who isn't...what kind of person does that?

I don't have the energy to pretend to county my blessings. Damn it...I hate this and I'm going to hate it forever.

I don't have the energy to hope that what I've been feeling for the past three days is actually a living baby...and not just gas.

I don't have the energy to smile and say that I'm fine when someone asks me how I'm doing. Quite honestly, there are days, like today, where I just want to curl up in a ball on my bed and do nothing by cry and eat chocolate.

I don't have the energy to smile when Sam tells me Alex isn't at the cemetery, he's "way way way up high on a cloud...in fact...I think THAT'S his cloud." I want to dissolve into a massive puddle right there in the middle of the rows of dead people and just let the cloud float overhead.

I don't have the energy to work. I feel like my real life is outside this office and I should get to it. I'm not sure what that would include, since there's nothing else out there to do (except maybe play with my animals and my son). Work just feels like a big waste of time...every day...time wasted. Even though I know it's not...even though I know people rely on me...even though I really do like my work. I just feel...distracted.

I don't have the energy to resist the Reese's easter eggs a co-worker left in our kitchenette.

I don't have the energy, when someone talks about their progressing pregnancy, to smile and be excited. It takes too much to stamp down the feelings of, "Don't count your chickens..." And I don't have the energy to get rid of the negativity either. It's just a fact of my personality now...and I hate that too.

I don't have the energy to look forward. It's too hazy. It's too uncertain. It's just there...with no detail or definition. And I can't focus on it because I'm too tired to keep my eyes open.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Things that make me sob

It's so strange the things that will take me back, or throw me forward, in time to an emotional place that I'm still not really sure how to handle other than with tears.

I was listening to some country song on the radio the other day on my way home from work. It was some song about a young couple in love (what else would a country song be about?) and heard some line about looking toward the future together. At that moment, I felt the sadness rush into my soul with such force that it literally ripped the breath from my chest. I haven't felt that intense knock-you-out pain for quite some time. Perhaps I'd just bottled it up somewhere and it needed to come out...whether I wanted it to or not.

When you are first in love...first married...first facing the world together, you look forward without hesitation. There is an anticipation that is so sweet that it far outweighs any fear and reservation that you might feel. No matter what happens to you, you are together and you know that you are building a life somewhere in the future together. You look forward...certain that whatever lies in front of you will be better than what came before.

I don't have that anymore. I'm not sure Steve does either. We look forward as much as we can. But we always have one foot firmly rooted in the past. Not only do we know how bad things could go, we are always painfully aware that the future will never be as sweet as the past was. That thrill of looking forward is tempered with the keen awareness that it will never be the future we dreamed of. That future is gone forever. We will always look back with a longing that makes the future a little less exciting.

I feel as though I cheated him. I cheated Sam. I cheated everyone we love. And I KNOW people will reassure that it wasn't my fault. But really, I am responsible for that black mark on our future.

Standing in TSC, I asked Steve if he was going to buy me a rosebush for Mother's Day (per my annual request). He said he wasn't sure I wanted to celebrate Mother's Day this year. I told him, "Well, I AM still a mother, even though I dropped the ball on that one little bit." Not so little, was it?

This Easter I bought a bunny garden stake for the cemetery. Oh, how I took for granted the "my first easter bunny" I bought for Sam. I should be buying one of those again this year. Not a cemetery decoration. Never in my life did I imagine I would be visiting my child in a cemetery. But then again, I doubt anyone ever imagines visiting someone they love in a cemetery.

I just can't help but think about all the plans and dreams. What would he look like now? He'd be starting to walk, wouldn't he? He'd be learning to say words. But he's not. And he never will.