Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ah hell, what kind of post is this?

October 30

It's been two years since... what exactly?

since I last had faith that things would work out well

since my heart didn't constantly ache

since I was maternal

since I felt my family was proud of me

since I felt that the future would be gorgeous

and those don't adequately describe it


What was I doing two years ago? Was it a great day? Was it a happy day?


It's been two years since I wasn't taking a single antidepressant

since I was happily sober

since I was happy to be living my life, with my own baby on the way, with my own husband - three unique souls together

since I believed that I would fall into the majority side of a very important statistic

since I didn't know the words "bilateral renal agenesis"


I had been bleeding for weeks and frequent check-ups always turned out great - the baby had a strong heartbeat so everything was presumed to be fine. None of us knew that his heartbeat was contained in increasingly cramped quarters. So many people told me that some women bleed through an entire pregnancy and they have healthy babies. Over and over women have healthy babies. Everyone believed I would be one of those women. I was cautious but at 18 weeks and 4 days, after hearing that heartbeat so often, I thought it was just about safe to seriously argue about names and sign up for birthing classes and prepare his room.

Two years ago I believed that in just one more day, after the anatomy ultrasound, I would breathe a sigh of relief. Surely I had already had my big scare on the day so much blood came rushing out of me weeks before.


Two years ago today I believed that in two days I would be showing off new ultrasound images of my little boy; I would be e-mailing the pictures to all of the would-be grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

Two years ago I believed that my family was growing. I believed that I would never be on birth control again because siblings would be very welcome before premature ovarian failure hit.


Two years ago today I never ever EVER would have guessed that that my husband would be GONE... that I wouldn't be balancing family life and work... that the baby's room would be rented out... that I simply wouldn't give a fuck about credit scores, mowed lawns, my career, basic car maintenance, home cooked meals... that it would be so easy to sleep with other men. Two years ago today I'd be shocked at the amount of alcohol I can now consume without getting sick.

Two years ago today I wasn't bitter, jealous, or consumed by anger; I didn't rage against being a member of the unlucky.

Two years ago today Halloween was my favorite holiday. I loved the parties and giving out candy to children.

Two years ago today I had more friends.


ONE year ago today I believed that I was going to make a big comeback very soon, in fact I was secretly sure that I would have a new baby or be very close to birthing by today. I had hope.


Today... I have a bottle of wine which I will drink without judgment since excess drinking doesn't happen all that often anymore. I don't have hope for beauty in my life but perhaps I don't need it anymore. I sometimes get out of bed because I'm excited for the day instead of just because that is what is expected of me.

Today I hope that by this time next year Toren and I will have a revised relationship that allows for more love and less agony in my life on Earth. Today I still secretly hope for a family or at least something good enough to replace that craving.


This post sucks, but it's important.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just sayin'

The breakup of a long term relationship is HARD. Wow is there ever a huge collision of conflicting emotions involved! No wonder my head is spinning so much of the time.

That's all for now - too dizzy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stalling to "submit"

I've made my health insurance selections for next year, except for clicking the "submit" button to make it official. I'm just ordering insurance for one, just me. I get to select whatever plan I want and don't need to discuss the pros and cons of each plan with anyone, and this freedom makes my head spin and my stomach ache. Perhaps tomorrow I can submit to a solo insurance plan.

Papers have not been filed yet but I plan on getting divorced soon and today that thought squeezes my chest. I miss him. Just right now. And I feel guilty for missing him because I have found another great guy, and I feel guilty for being so happy with the great guy because I cared for my husband so much it seems impossible that I could move on from that.

Today something happened that upset me and my husband knows exactly what to do in situations like that but the new guy totally bombed in offering support.


It's just been one of those weeks (already!) where I can't seem to do anything right. Although, just when I was SURE that I had just skipped my first period, signaling premature ovarian failure, today it arrived in full force, lured to the white panties I'm wearing. The now stained, soggy and sticky panties.

Anyway, that's good news. To kill time while waiting for my period I P'dOAS twice. Fuck if that action isn't exploding with emotions.

Last Friday I added new medications to my antidepressant cocktail. Sunday I'll add in hormonal contraception.

The calendar is ticking down to October 31 and I feel like I'm going to scream as people chatter on about costumes and parties. I can still feel being in room after room getting ultrasound after ultrasound, watching my son moving, seeing that he was alive with a strong heartbeat, while at the same time hearing about the organs he didn't have - kidneys, both missing... stomach ... bladder... all absent.

Anything that pretends to be scary repels me. Forget stupid, gory costumes, houses of horror and scary movies - the sequence of events at that ob visit were truly terrifying, true horror. Part of me is still stuck feeling overwhelmed by sorrow, fear, and rage at having to make the decision of when my son would die... I see no sense in feeling terrified by fake dead bodies and such.

I need to move to a smaller, windowless office at work to make room for new faculty. I'm trying to be accommodating and gracious about it but really I feel embarrassed, like I wasn't doing a good enough job to stay in my office, even though I know it just has to do with educational seniority.

And my car smells like it has a fuel leak. And my bank account is overdrawn.


With all of those worries and hormones and new medications and memories it's no wonder I feel "off". It's time to be good to me and take care of me. And it's time to go home and change out of these icky underpants.

Love to you all, thanks for listening to my whining.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I have diligently tried for two years to drown the memories of the life I almost had in a sea of alcohol - unfortunately my tolerance for booze has become too high for these thoughts to be swept away... so grab another glass of wine and a huge bowl of ice cream and let's stroll down memory lane!

In the handful of days before entering the hospital to terminate Toren's pregnancy I did a lot of reading and learned that a fetus at a mere 20 week gestational age can be born alive. They don't stay that way for very long though. Toren died before he was delivered. I knew he wouldn't live no matter what gestational age he made it to and it was both a relief along with huge a disappointment that I never got to see him alive outside of me (I wanted desperately for him to die with me rather than with nurses tending to him so I did get this wish). At the 6 week follow-up visit with my doctor I asked her why he wasn't born alive and learned that with delicate fetuses who are not cushioned by amniotic fluid the force of the contractions often kills them. My uterus crushed Toren to death.

Another confession - I like to watch the show "I didn't know I was pregnant". Doesn't that sound ideal?! No known pregnancy to worry through and everyone on the show ends up with healthy take-home babies! Unlike the women on the show who recognize no signs of pregnancy I have frequent pregnancy symptoms, despite the absence of sexual encounters (until recently) and the baby. I have pregnancy daydreams. Almost two years after Toren and I DAYDREAM about being pregnant. Why not daydream about fantastic vacations to Greece or discovering a major cause of bilateral renal agenesis? Or why not at least daydream about paying all of my bills on time every month or being caught up on laundry?

What next? I am still suicidal every so often, like earlier tonight, and I think I have figured out a major contributor... add PMS to the list of self-diagnosed health issues! (Also on the list are PTSD and a sprained toe) Before August when my housemates moved in and I met the snugglebunny I was depressed 24-7; during the last couple of months I have been truly happy at times, but then around a week before my period I become so "moody" (as in amazingly depressed, suicidal, and out of my mind crazy). I'm afraid I will drive this awesome guy away by being insane and that makes me very, very sad to think about. I'm really trying to hold it together and I take my meds everyday and see my therapist once a week but I still can't quite make it to "normal".

And back to the start - at least I think Toren was dead when he was born. He and I were alone and I didn't quite know what had just happened due to the sedation I'd been on all week, pain medication for labor pains in the form of morphine which it turns out I'm allergic to so benadryl was added into the mix too. Gravity took over and it seriously took a few moments for me to figure out what I was looking at. He was all curled up and just when I was starting to stroke him with a finger a nurse leaned over me, cut the cord and swept him away.


I have confessed my way to sober. Good night.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


... and I just wanted to numb out more with a bottle of wine and, before bed, a sleeping pill.

The no alcohol thing didn't last too long but I have cut back...truly.

Earlier today at my annual "female" doctor's visit I was getting my finger pricked for the blood iron test and suddenly a loud cheering came from down the hall. I looked at the technician and she said someone just found out what they were having - as in a boy or a girl baby. I said they must be happy with what they are getting.

Although maybe they would have had that response no matter the gender since if the gender is the major finding of the anatomy ultrasound you are doing pretty good so far. Not like one of those ultrasounds that start out with excitement from the parents and silence from the ultrasound technician.

"Oh, there he is all curled up at the bottom."

Without amniotic fluid present I couldn't see a baby at all, but it wasn't until later that I realized that this was a very bad thing. It wasn't just about not being able to see him clearly, it was deadly, but they don't tell you that right away.


I like my doctor very much because she is so patient about answering my questions. The visit turned out well in the sense that all of my concerns were addressed. I am being tested for all STI's (because since the last exam I have had sex with a new partner and (last fall) my ex-husband, who was questionable in the faithfulness department), I have a prescription for the Nu.va Ri.ng (plus 4 samples, yay!), I will go in on day 3 of my cycle to get the FSH test to see if I am in premature ovarian failure PLUS my doctor ordered the anti mullerian hormone test to check on my ovarian reserve. I'm seeing if my insurance will cover the AMH test (it's normally part of infertility diagnostics, which are not normally covered, but I since I have a family history of premature ovarian failure my doctor and I are hoping that insurance will cover it as more of a preventive health thing) but if they don't I'll get it done anyway (if I can afford it out of pocket!) because I need some idea of how much longer I have to try for another baby.


And I have gained less weight than I thought I did!


I used the Nu.va Ri.ng for many years before quitting birth control and I'm glad to have a contraceptive that I'm familiar with. It has been about 2 and a half years since I last used a hormonal contraceptive so please cross your fingers that I adjust well to it and don't scare off my reason for using contraception! I'm glad I don't have to take an anti-baby pill everyday.

It truly is a wonderful thing that women are able to prevent pregnancy with a near 100% success rate, but the same cannot be said for conceiving. What will happen when circumstances are right for me? Will I still be fertile?

And it's not that I'm just complaining needlessly - since I'm not ttc I don't know if I have the ability to conceive anymore or not. I have a great deal of compassion for those with diagnosed infertility and hopefully my worrying about infertility that may or may not be present or near won't be upsetting. But I'm not in any position to have a baby. I know I could have unprotected sex right now in an attempt to conceive, but then what? I don't have a lot of money since my ex left me with the house and the bills that home ownership entails. I have two housemates now that probably wouldn't be too thrilled with a newborn entering the house. And most importantly, I like this guy I'm seeing and I wouldn't want to ruin what we have right now by getting pregnant. He is worth seeing how things develop between us without stressful complications or deceit on my part.

My mom and maternal grandmother each entered premature ovarian failure at age 35. I turn 35 in 4 months.


After the doctors appointment I wandered around doing errands. I needed fancy salon shampoo, socks, a new bra, and after getting all of these things I still felt so unsatisfied. It was that feeling of knowing that regardless of whatever "treats" you bought yourself you would still want for more.

Empty. Numb. And only craving more removal from my thoughts through glasses of Merlot.

It isn't so surprising really.

It has been a good day. Really.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

P.S. thank you Goddess for the great sex!

"Have you held your own dead child? Has your husband left you? Have you lived through losing your immediate family?"

Sometimes I feel very judged by other people and that is what I want to say to them. Believe me, no one is more frustrated than me at my lack of stellar, or even adequate, performance.

I don't know where my energy went.

I can't find my mind.

My memory and concentration have been so poor for so long that I'm losing confidence in their eventual return.

Can I function like this for the rest of my life? Will this level of distraction and lethargy be enough for me to get by?


It's one of those days where it's best to lay low and only attend meetings where I'm definitely needed.

Yesterday a crying baby was bounced and soothed and paced around the hall outside my office door. Today there are coupons for diapers, baby formula, and gym.bo.ree left on the breakroom table for anyone who needs them. And there are plenty of people around work with babies who will appreciate these thoughtful money savers.

You never see coupons for useful items for deadbaby mamas. Where were the coupons for cabbage leaves and sage tea to dry up milk that flowed for a tiny baby in the morgue? What about the specials for cases of wine and bottles of xanax?


I suspect this extreme bitterness is brought on by P.la.n B. I don't know if it's a normal hormonal side effect or if the problem is more emotional. Next week I'll get a prescription for birth control at my annual doctors visit. Even as I type those words a deep ache settles into my belly and I wonder if I'll be able to say them outloud or if I should bring a written note expressing what I want to my doctor.

"I'm ready for birth control. Please give me the kind that keeps you period-free for 3 months because I want as few reminders as possible that I have functioning reproductive organs that are being unused. Furthermore, is it possible to do the three month thing with the N.uva R.ing so I don't have to be reminded every single day that I'm not getting a rainbow baby of my own?"

It's been almost two years and my arms still ache to hold Toren; my body still begs for a baby.

It's all very overwhelming sometimes. I can accept where my life is on most levels but there is still part that knows nothing other than the need to mother a child.