Thursday, December 17, 2015

Actually, I Can Imagine

I can't imagine. I've been thinking about this expression lately. About how it's not a terrible thing to say to a friend in a terrible situation, but how it's not great either. Anyone with any degree of empathy probably CAN imagine...they just don't want to.

It's the 3-year-old version of "I can't."

Put on your shoes. I can't.

Wash your hands before supper. I can't.

Imagine having to decide whether your baby should live or die and then get an abortion at 25 weeks, after you've physically felt the life within your baby and watched your belly grow for him. I can't.

I just can't bear to do that. But I did. I had to. I mean, I had to decide whether Blue would live or die. I know that I didn't have to choose the abortion. My dad told me afterwards that had I chosen to let Blue live, my sadness would only have been delayed. Protracted. I was going to watch him die. At some point. And to think of that is fucking misery. And so I can't imagine.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dead Orchids #Microblog Mondays

I'm not sure why I kept this dead orchid. I suppose I like the way the dried flowers hung on to the plant. My other orchids have wilted and drooped and fallen from their stems before they could dry and hold on. I bought this orchid the day I thought I miscarried LJ. I had taken an early pregnancy test and gotten a faint positive. Five days later I was bleeding a bit, right on what I had expected to be Day 1. I dragged myself to work, disappointed and sad, and bought this plant at a grocery store at lunch, hoping to cheer myself up. The bleeding did not continue throughout the day, so I took another test that night, and had a dark positive. Relief! Excitement! I had hoped for another boy. The orchid thrived in our apartment, but when we moved to the house it quickly faded. I blamed the damp conditions in the house (now fixed, thankfully). So, I guess the orchid reminds me of perseverance. The little baby that didn't die. The house that was fixed. And of course, my memory of Blue, that wilts and fades from time to time, but will never, ever die.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Trip to the RE

It's almost Blue's due date but the date (November 19) doesn't seem to carry that much weight anymore. I mean, whenever I see the date written down, it slaps me in the face just a little, but I'm not afraid of it. It's just another day in the months that are heavy as the light wanes and I subconsciously if not consciously realize that my first born was supposed to be here but he's not.

I went to the RE today for an initial consult and had to talk a little bit about having the abortion, why we found out so late, which mutation for CF that I carry. I didn't get emotional. Later I wondered if the nurse thought that I hadn't really cared that much when it happened, either.

So...the RE. I thought I was just being proactive and trying to sort out what might be wrong for when I really want to get pregnant again, which is not now because I am starting the new job in two weeks. I guess when you go to the RE you have signed up for aggressive intervention though because she was like, "um, you're 38, there is no more waiting." She didn't really say that, but when I said that if she thought, for example, going on birth control for three months might sort out my problem...she shot that down super quick. My OB had suggested waiting another six months after the Low P test in August, which I thought was too conservative. Now I want to go back to him instead!

I will be getting lab work on Nov. 28 and again on Cycle Day 3. Once we have those results I guess there will be a more complete picture of my problem. She also said Mr. E will have to get a semen analysis prior to any treatment, and I guess there's nothing wrong with being comprehensive, but I just wanted some encouragement that, having had three prior pregnancies, maybe my odds were different than your ordinary 38-year-old's. I had an ultrasound and she saw 13 follicles. She said that anything over 12 is good. So like, what's the problem? Look, I know nothing, but I think I just need a trigger shot for ovulation and then everything will be good. If that is naive, fine, I would like to wallow in ignorance for at least a little while. Also, I doubt we can afford any expensive treatments. Years ago, before I even wanted to have kids, I remember reading about a women who had two children and who was going to great lengths to have a third. She was spending over $100,000 to try to achieve another pregnancy, and I remember thinking, "Lady, count your blessings. That is extreme for someone who has a family with two children in it." Am I going to be that lady now?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Somebody Turned 1 Today

It was me:

LJ is one! We had donuts and all the kids played in the yard. No one cried. It was awesome. There were two 9-year-olds who were very good sports about playing with all the younger kids and everyone got along. We did not have any activities or anything planned. We didn't even put a candle on LJ's donut and barely remembered to sing Happy Birthday. Poor, second child! I wanted to put up more photos but something is weird and I can't preview them first, so this is all I have the patience for.

LJ was an angel all day today as always. Sprout fell asleep in the car on the 6-minute drive we took to go take a hike (literally), so we will be up until 11:30 tonight. Good thing, I guess--did you hear there is a super blood moon tonight?

A quick update on everything:
1. I am still networking and such, as I have not even gotten any interviews lately. I realized that graduating law school into worst legal economy ever will haunt me for the duration of my career. There are over 100 applicants, according to the job boards, for many of the positions I consider. FML.

2. I peed on a stick on Day 28 in the middle of the night. My logic went something like this: "I've missed my period, as I was expecting to start on Day 25 or 26. I should test if I get up to pee in the middle of the night. Why am I getting up to pee in the middle of the night? I'm probably pregnant." Peed on stick at 3:08 a.m. Started period at 7:37 a.m. NOT pregnant, and wasted a test. I'm bummed, but not that bummed.

3. Sprout has been sporting a buzz cut for the past few weeks. He got lice. Then I got lice. Then Mr. E got lice. Gag. Sprout had long hair and I'm sad that we cut it all off, but then on Friday a kid had to get picked up from daycare again because he had lice again, so I guess I'm glad that Sprout will not be likely to get it again because if he does we will be able to catch it right away. Speaking of catching it right away...if your kid gets lice and you realize he may have had it for a while and that he was sleeping in your bed before you KNEW he had lice, you should probably not wait to start combing your hair. It wasn't THAT bad, but just don't.

4. Sprout used Blue's quilt the other night when we went to bed. It was really sweet, I told him it was his big brother's quilt and that I would tell him about him someday. He liked that the quilt was so colorful. I missed my oldest boy.

Gotta go. Time to check the moon.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Nothing New, Nothing Interesting

Anyway. LJ is now definitely bipedal. Actually that is new and interesting. He took his first steps a few days before turning 11 months, so I guess I am one of those parents who can brag that my child started walking at 10 months. His forehead is pretty beat up from a few falls, mostly while I was standing right behind him--it happens so fast. But he's a good sport. Always a good sport. He's so easy-going and lovable. The only time he's not lovable is when he takes a part of your face in his fat hand and scratches and squeezes as hard as he can. It really hurts! I even find him lovable in the middle of the night now when he wakes up, because he doesn't do it every night anymore and if Mr. E and I take turns it ends up only being once or twice per week. He's so sweet and cuddly then. Sprout has been sleeping until at least 7 recently, and I know for a fact this morning that he went downstairs without telling us and was doing whatever he was doing, because I woke up to his footsteps coming UP the stairs. Everything and everyone was fine. So the sleeping part is getting better for all of us.

Sprout is not quite out of nap phase, but if he naps--at all--he is up spinning and jumping until 11 pm or later. It's not OK. We took him for a walk around 6:15 tonight and he fell asleep in the stroller, which he typically refuses to sit in. I should have known! He was out cold when we got home, and when I tried to pick him up he burrowed back into the stroller. Mr. E took him to his bed, somehow getting his shorts off that were dotted with play-dough and snack remnants and sliding on a pull up without really waking him up. I'm happy to report that we are mostly done with pull ups, but tonight called for drastic measures. Let's hope going to bed at 6:30 won't mean he's up at 5 tomorrow. LJ also went to bed a bit after 7. I can't even believe it. What to do? What to do?

So that's it. My babies are growing up. LJ turns one in 2 weeks! Thanks to the great ideas on the interwebs, we are hosting a donuts and pajamas party. I figure it can't cost that much, even though I did say mimosas will be served. If I remember correctly, at Sprout's first birthday party we ran out of alcohol (a special gin lemonade) before I even had any myself. I will make sure not to make that mistake again. Next post I will upload some pics! Have a great week!

Monday, August 31, 2015

#MicroBlog Monday--Test Results

I can't blog right now because I am finally really seriously looking for a new job. It sucks. I know why I didn't focus on this process sooner. Also as soon as LJ started sleeping well at night (though he still wakes up once or twice a week), Sprout started staying up until 11, midnight or even later because he does not need to nap anymore except that he sort of does and he always naps at day care (three days per week). I just want to sleep for one whole night!  For the love!

Also I am not pregnant. Which is fine. Except I was kind of mad at the pregnant women I saw at the park today with her toddler and older daughter. So maybe it's not.

As promised: My AMH and thyroid results were normal. Progesterone was .3 in the supposed mid luteal phase. So that's not good.

But I apparently have a 25-day/26-day cycle and this month I did not spot before getting my actual period, which apparently is a sign of Low P (lol), so perhaps my hormones are still figuring out what they are normally supposed to do. I stopped nursing four months ago so I don't know why my body still thinks it should not get pregnant but as I said before I guess I will go with that until I get a new job. But, for the love, a need a new job, stat! Instead of wishing for a pregnancy with a girl at 11:11, I will wish for a new job, stat, tonight.   

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Four Years Come and Gone

Well. Last week was Blue's birthday. Only my favorite cousin remembered this year. Probably because I talked to her the week before and said it was coming. It's OK. I wasn't that sad. Honestly, I was way more focused on missed opportunities for a new job and getting kicked in the pants to finally move into high gear with the job search. I have an interview in NYC in two weeks. Not sure what I am thinking except that I can't let inertia be the controlling factor in this process. I could commute 2-3 days per week, at least for a while, until I found something local. It's getting desperate that our family needs more income. Our mortgage payment went up $146 per month due to an escrow shortage, and I don't think not escrowing is the right solution, so I realize we are now paying almost 50% of our take-home income on the mortgage. So as you can see I really don't have space in my brain for much else right now, including dead babies and unsatisfying personal relationships. Despite our income shortages, we have a lot of available credit on our credit cards so I am going ahead and booking a beach vacation for next month. It's irresponsible but I feel like saying "fuck it!" It's pretty affordable in the off season after all.

Maybe it's because of money shortages and looking for a new job, but something amazing happened in the past few weeks in that I no longer freak out when seeing pregnant women and families with a lot of small children. The rational part of me is finally starting to win out over the emotional side. Who cares what other people's families look like when that has absolutely no effect on the family I want to have? I'm not completely cured, but I'm slowly getting back to a place where 4-5 kids sounds like a ridiculous amount to have. I still stare at pregnant bellies. I still try to do the math when I see a young toddler and pregnant mom or newborn, and wonder if her kids are closer together than mine and how close and how can anyone be that fertile? But apparently a lot of people are. That doesn't mean they are having a better parenting experience than I am. Right? Sounds so funny when you say it aloud.

We are definitely going to try for a third (living child). We hope to have a girl. I don't know what we will do if we have another boy. I know for sure that I am not going past four. I thought I could be pregnant by now, but nature is doing its thing and I am not that upset about it. I am getting a progesterone, AMH (egg reserve) and TSH (thyroid) test on Wednesday to see if I'm ovulating and if everything else is normal. I'm kind of worried about getting these results actually. There's no reason to suspect a problem but I'm 38 now so who knows? We haven't used protection at all since LJ was born and he is 10.5 months now. I started my period at the very beginning of June and have had two more periods since but they have been super weird. Ideally I would get pregnant and be due in May or June, so I still have 2 chances to achieve that. The reasoning for that is so we can rent a beach house for the summer and spend my leave at the Shore. I can't decide if we will wait another year if we miss on that timing. I mean, that's kind of a non-reason to have a baby at that time. And I won't be getting any younger. I guess I will see what the tests show. I really don't want to start a new job and be pregnant or soon be pregnant, but I'm not sure I want to wait that whole year. Maybe I do. Maybe it would be nice to actually plan things to work out the way they would work best, rather than get pregnant as quickly as possible because my heart hurts without being pregnant. Maybe having LJ and his younger sister :) 2 3/4 years apart would be perfect. To be honest having the boys 23 months apart kind of sucked for a while, and it's only now getting slowly better. So anyway...dilemmas. (Not really.)

It's been four years and I think it just doesn't hurt that bad anymore that Blue is not here. I have 2 beautiful sons with me. I have a happy marriage. Mr. E reminds me that as long as we have our family we have enough. I'm speechless trying to tie this all together. Blue is part of our family, but we'll never have "enough" kids because he is not here. Of course we need money to live, but we need love and the amount of love we share is more important than the amount of money we have. I'm sorry that I can't stop and think that what I have now is good and is good enough. I've always been this way and maybe will always be. Um...yeah...

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Weaners for a while, actually. LJ decided he was no longer interested in the boob around 7 months old. I was a little sad but also pretty psyched because of all the things I promised myself I would do once he weaned. One of those things was to have a 90-minute massage (have not, yet), plan a weekend away with girlfriends (I've neither gone nor planned one, yet), and try to make another baby (have not, yet). I've been thinking about how easy it would be to stop here, but I also know how much I want another baby, another child, another teenager to add to my family. After the way I felt when Sprout was born--I wanted another baby immediately--I didn't think I would start to feel okay about only having two kids. I'm not sure that I do feel okay about that, which is good because I could be pregnant. Sometimes I still think I want 4 kids, and that 5 doesn't even sound terrible. But I think it would, actually, be terrible? I am ready to get back to some of my normal, enjoyable activities already. Two Sundays ago I went rock climbing the entire day as my birthday/Mother's Day present from Mr. E and it was so awesome! I wasn't as bad and incompetent as I expected, the weather was absolutely perfect, and I spent a whole day with an old friend. It had been 3 1/2 years since I climbed on a real rock. You can see my guest post about it on Seth's blog. 

LJ is totally the perfect baby (with one flaw that wouldn't be that bad if it weren't for his older brother). He smiles a lot, plays by himself, loves the bath, doesn't even cry anymore when his brother hits him in the face, eats food, and never cries when it's time for nap or bed. I can't believe it either. When he's tired he just wants to suck on his binky and lie in his crib by himself. I worry that another baby could not possibly go this easy on me. His bad habit is that he is still waking once per night. Every once in a while he sleeps all the way through. When he wakes in the night it's for 20 minutes so he can have a bottle, which he surely does not need, given his size, but then he sleeps until a decent hour. It's Sprout who gets up before 7 most mornings, and after interrupted sleep from LJ, getting up before 7 is just rough. Mr. E and I mostly take turns with who's doing what, but I still wish I could sleep without waking up at night. That is the one thing I am not ready to give up on if I am in fact pregnant again already. Those few nights that LJ sleeps through and doesn't wake up angry like this morning, when thanks to him we were all up at 6:00. Annoyingly I randomly woke up before 6, maybe wondering why I hadn't been woken up yet.

We've also been making milestones over here. LJ has been rocking back and forth on all fours for quite some time now, and can lunge forward when he moves just right. I'm surprised he hasn't figured out how to actually crawl yet but he is only 8 months old so I guess I am glad about that. I haven't found him standing up in his crib yet or anything, though he does like to stand and is now taking little steps when you hold his arms. At this age Sprout was really walking with support, but LJ is way ahead with the crawling stuff. Sprout is talking up a storm and is totally adorable when he's not throwing tantrums and being a total 2 1/2-year-old butthead. Great news from him is that he's potty trained! He's almost independent at home (needs wiping, but I don't think I've ever heard of 2-year-olds wiping their own assess), stays dry at school most days, and is starting to have some dry overnights finally. He wears a pull up at night and I think we are totally done with regular diapers. He doesn't like to go when you ask him, and always says no when you ask if he has to go, but then a few moments later he walks into the bathroom and goes on his own. I don't know where my expectations were, but I ahve to say that potty training was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I do understand that we are by no means out of the woods, and have yet to deal with traveling and public toilets. But I am okay with not dealing with traveling and public toilets until he is more firmly trained. 

Back to TTC. We don't really want to get pregnant this month, but decided to go for it because Mr. E wants them close together so he can get back to work sooner than later. Ideally we would get pregnant in August or September, but I wasn't willing to skip months in case it took long or I miscarried or something worse. I feel really rational and calm about those possibilities. Like it could happen, but it probably won't. It's been a few weeks since my first period since LJ was born. I realized it was only my third period in over 3 years. I have no idea how long my cycle is and I didn't use OPKs, so who knows? I will be testing around July 1. I have no idea how I will really feel if I am or am not pregnant this month. I am just so happy my cycle is back. I am happier still that I can think about pregnancy as something I may or may not want right now. I am happy I am getting to a place where other people's pregnancies don't always stab me in the heart. I wasn't that long ago that I didn't think that would ever happen. I guess you could call me weaned, too. I am weaned from the pain and discomfort that accompanies baby loss for way longer than you would ever believe it to last. I don't mean the real grief, the missing of my boy. I mean the weird, fucked-up, irrational pain of wanting things I never wanted, of wishing things I never wished before. I am happy to see that go.                    

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Annoying Day

And I don't want to talk about it. It wasn't a bad day, just annoying. Like having professional pictures of the boys in the park while the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, but the photographer had to cancel and this is the best I could do holding the camera:

LJ refused to smile and Sprout is absent from most of the photos because he insisted on tackling his brother, as shown above. There were bees in those purple flowers in the grass. Big ones. It says something about my skills behind the lens that the best picture is this last one of the back of Sprout's head. Annoying all around. But I do like the pics.*

*Made in "Scene" mode because everything I learned in my Intro to Your DSLR class I forgot. Yep.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I'm Not Angry

This may sound angry, but I'm not angry about it. I'm really not. I'm a little sad. I am mostly neutral.

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend who was pregnant with her first and finally over the hump of the worst morning sickness. She knew about Blue all along and in fact was very supportive after he died. We were talking about morning sickness in pregnancy and I made a comment about how I felt with "my three." She interrupted and excitedly asked, "Are you pregnant?" And I said "No, but the dead one counts too." I said this in a light-hearted way, I mean, as much as possible. I wasn't angry in the moment. I wasn't sad. I know that she was thinking that maybe I was sharing some new news, not reminiscing about the past.

But it felt kind of weird, like maybe I wasn't supposed to acknowledge my first pregnancy in the context of this conversation? That is what makes me a little sad. Either that Blue is forgotten or that I ought to be leaving him out. But if we're going to talk about first-trimester morning sickness, isn't it OK to talk about the pregnancy that lasted more than 25 weeks? I want to talk about that pregnancy sometimes. I want to remember it, not forget it. The conversation between us then just kind of died itself. Or moved on, or whatever. It wasn't that awkward. But I felt kind of ... silenced.

I'm not angry. But I'm not cool with that either.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Acts and Omissions

It turns out I have a friend who is a social conservative, fiscal liberal. I didn't know those exist? We were able to have a somewhat normal discussion about why abortions should not be allowed (the friend agreed to rape, incest and life/health of the mother exceptions, which is how we got to talking about it*), but later that day and the next day I had a hard time reconciling the fact that I was friends with something who was judging me. Not really, personally. I didn't tell my story. But I felt like there is nothing but judgment when you decide to substitute your decision for someone else's. I think that's actually the definition of being judgmental. A few more days passed and I was fine and we can still be friends. I'm pretty sure.

Last weekend there was a dinner party for my horse trainer who turned 50 the weekend before. I was talking to a friend who is late in pregnancy with a baby boy who used to have a twin. When she posted on Facebook that one of the twins had died, that's what she said. He died. She told me the other night that he had anencephaly and they decided to terminate. It came at great risk to the other baby, but continuing with the pregnancy as it was would have come at great risk to her. The doctors predicted that he would have lived eight hours at most. As we were talking I was the one fighting back tears. I mean crying. It all started because of the story of our broodmare giving birth to a stillborn foal, whose body was malformed. The mare foaled right after another mare whose baby lived, and apparently she showed signs of longing and jealousy. One day the mare didn't come when called, and the woman who took care of her thought she might have died. Like of a broken heart. And I remember this story from years ago and I was so sad about it, imaging what it might have been like. For a horse! And then it happened to me. And I turned to my friend as I was then crying and said, "I thought that was sad but then it happened to us." She didn't cry but she opened up and asked me if I had gotten therapy. "Probably not enough," I said. I didn't even know I felt that way. It was strange to see her so composed, so much closer to her loss, while I cried more than, you know, I may have wanted to. When I asked if my mascara was running, she said no and that she had already checked. Maybe she wasn't as sad about her loss as I was about mine. It's hard to believe that, but we are all different and emotions affect us all differently. She has an older child. The other twin is doing well. But it was interesting to also hear how the loss affects the older child, and how my friend was struggling to explain it all to a 4-year-old, especially without the use of God books. We agreed to write a book. I don't know how to tell an older child that her little brother died before he was born, but some day I want to figure out a way to tell my younger children about their big brother who died.

And what do we say? What is part of that story? And what, if anything, is left out? It's because of people like my first friend that people like me and my second friend don't tell a significant part of our story when we tell people that we had a baby...but he died.

I will never tell Friend 1 that I had an abortion because my baby had cystic fibrosis. It's her opinion that when you sign on to have a baby, you just "figure out" anything and everything that comes along with that, no matter the quality of life issues, the financial issues, the effects on every other relationship you have in your life. She's confident in this position because she can imagine life with a child in a wheelchair, and it doesn't seem that bad to her. I just wish I had had the presence of mind to say, quite kindly, that you don't really know what you would do in a certain situation until you are actually in that situation. Because there are a 1,000 other scenarios that she did not imagine. And if you can't know what you would do, how can you possibly know what someone else should do?

I am sad, and frustrated, and angry, that part of my story is stifled. I agonized over my decision, and agonized over the loss of my baby and the life I wanted with him. So few people truly understand this. And the ones who don''s like, you can't tell them.

*Is incest not rape? Because if it isn't, then allowing an abortion in cases of incest is an acknowledgment that we don't want to have babies with birth defects, right? And if prohibiting abortion is about protecting the innocent life of the baby, then it is not morally justifiable to allow abortion for rape. And is anyone actually opposed to abortions where the mother will die if she doesn't get one? It would be interesting for someone opposed to abortion to make a Darwinist argument in that case, no?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Back to the Grind

I would like to blog more but I just don't know how to do it. I left work at 5:39 tonight. It felt like I was leaving late, but I thought about how early that would seem if I didn't have kids. What would I do? I would go to the gym, maybe go grocery shopping after or meet someone for dinner or a drink. (Not that I equate grocery shopping with a social life.) And I would come home and realize how much time there still was before going to bed and maybe I would read something enjoyable.

I guess in a way I have done this because I ran circles around the house playing "chase" with Sprout for 5 minutes and did one 10-second downward dog, then met LJ for a drink (i.e. nursed him to sleep), put some frozen perogies and "chicken" nuggets on a baking sheet and ate them standing up well after they cooled down because Sprout screamed his head off about going to bed and I was stuck in another room upstairs so as not to disturb him further by walking past his room, then I read something enjoyable by fucking around on Facebook for a while. Actually I poked around on the New York Times which I do find actually enjoyable, in addition to Facebook time which I find pseudo enjoyable.

Being back at work continues to be not as bad as I might have thought but I am realizing just how much another kid changes your life and how selfish I would really like to be. I received some advice today that "the world favors a 4-person family." If we decide to "go for the girl" we will have to go for another vehicle because my Mazda3 definitely does not seat 3 car seats, and kids are in car seats these days until they are 12.

I have also been more sad about Blue lately than I would have expected. There is nothing about this time of year that is a grief trigger. In particular anyway. I was holding LJ the other day over my shoulder and he was so content, quiet and still. I was getting ready to go outside for a quick run but he felt so delicious and I whispered, "I will hold you forever." Which if course I won't and which of course reminded me that it was something I never did and could never do with Blue. A few moments later as I tried to put him down so I could leave I told him, "I can't put you down." And suddenly tears were just streaming from my eyes and they were happy and sad all at once and it was just so confusing.

I would say being back at work is actually kind of good, but I don't have enough time after work to see my babes, and I don't have any time after work to exercise, which is something I really enjoy besides being great stress relief, but that makes it even harder to see my babes but I think being away from them sometimes is good but then I hold them and I can't put them down.

LJ is still only three months old. Someone please tell me this is still hormones????

Monday, January 5, 2015

#Microblog Mondays: Exceeding Expectations

Because if your expectations are in the basement, it's easy to do. First day back to work today after a 14-week leave. I cheated though, because I came home at lunch to see LJ and nurse him. But at any rate it was not that bad. When I got home in the evening, Sprout opened the door for me and then we ran around the house a bit. I realize he doesn't laugh out loud with me very often, but tonight I got to hear some of those adorable toddler giggles as we played tag. Both kids went to bed just before 8:00 and I am getting ready for a 9:00 candlelight yoga class. Not bad at all. Happy Monday!