Archive for October, 2007

And now for something completely different

October 30, 2007

So now that I’ve gone pwp, I feel like I can discuss an unrelated issue that has resurfaced in my personal life. If you read One Smart Mama, you may have come across this letter – yes, I am “Perplexed”! Well, here’s the next episode in this docu-drama.

So today I was walking home from the library, and saw a familiar figure coming across the quad. There was no avoiding running into my old flame, the guy who broke my heart so many years ago. Following some inane chit-chat (“it’s so funny how I never run into you on campus!”) I ended up agreeing to have coffee next Monday afternoon. It’s the same day as my next ultrasound – so I’m reserving the right to cancel if I get bad news. But anyway, regardless, there it is.

The previous overture, the one mentioned in the letter to Mel, I was able to brush off and ignore, and that was a month ago. A whole month!!! Wow – so much has happened since then.

But I digress.

As I got closer to home, I wondered whether T. was still here or had already left to go back to VA. I’d left my cell phone at home by mistake and wasn’t able to call and find out. I thought, “I’m going to cry if the car’s not there.” Then I heard the car door slam and I broke into a trot. Yay, he was still here! So happy!

I love my husband with my whole heart, and the last thing I want to do is anything that could hurt our marriage. I told him about the run-in and he cracked his usual jokes about how he’s going to go to A’s office and widdle in the corners. Or call his cell phone and growl. 🙂 But I’m not entirely sure how much of this is pro forma and how much is actual anxiety.

To me, there is just no comparison. It’s like the difference between Hercules and Twiggy (T. being Hercules).

Ok, so while we’re on the topic, here’s the other story behind the story, events that I’m still pondering.

One Thursday evening in September, I had dinner with another old friend, we’ll call her Sally. Sally and I met about a year after the falling-out with A, so she got the whole sob story while it was still fairly fresh. In a strange twist of fate, Sally ended up in grad school at the same institution where A. got his first job… which is where I am now. So anyway, at this recent dinner Sally asked me whether I’d seen or talked to A. since I came here last year. I said only once, but that I still felt that there were a lot of issues left unresolved from the way the relationship had imploded so long ago. She said, “I’ll pray for you.”

Cynic and skeptic that I am, I just thought “HA!” But then I thought, “ok, why not? Bring it on! Let’s see if this prayer thing has legs.”

Exactly one week later, I was walking across campus with a new friend (referenced in my comment on Mel’s post) and we ended up talking about A, and it turned out she KNOWS him, and boy did she ever have some choice words to say, none of them positive. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. Everything she said rang true – as she described his relationships with women she knew, it was like hearing my own life being described to me. And suddenly I knew – it wasn’t me – all this time, IT WASN’T ME! Or, ok, it was partly my fault that things imploded, but in another sense it was inevitable. The way she described the particular vulnerabilities of the women he’d dated here were the same vulnerabilities I had 10 years ago. But not anymore. So much has been made whole through T’s unqualified and generous love. I felt freed of the remorse, self-recrimination, and self-doubts that had plagued me for 10 years. For the next four or five days I felt almost giddy with happiness. The word “rejoice” actually feels about right for how I felt.

And then exactly one week after that conversation, I got the e-mail invite to dinner. And diverted it.

T. and I nicknamed the new friend “Messenger from God,” or MFG for short. It’s so funny, because it wasn’t the resolution I had imagined AT ALL, when Sally said she’d pray for me.

So when I ran into A this afternoon, I thought, maybe it’s time to face this too. Maybe this is the next step in the process. We’ll see.

This post has gotten really long, but I’m going to make it longer. After the conversation with MFG, this is the song that was in my head:

Everybody loves you
and they want to know your story
you go riding out a mystery
concealed in all your glory
but when it comes to flesh and blood
you remind me of Shallott
only made of shadows
even though you’re not

I remember how I spent
all my energy and time
in affected conversation
trying to pry inside your mind
you are as beautiful as truth
and as empty as a shell
and I came to you one night
and it made me feel like hell

Oh, to reach through all your surface
just to find an empty pool
and to suffer all your pride
as I lay down by your side
and you swallowed up my heart
left me a fool
left me a fool



I resign myself to silence
I will never blow your cover
no one ever has to know
who the hero took for lover
but it comes to mind as you blaze on
as brilliant as a star
how many you’ve left behind
how many causalties there are
(Indigo Girls)

Not me. Not anymore.

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Oh, and something else

October 26, 2007

I find that I still look away from baby bumps (especially the big ones) and “that” aisle at the grocery store. Can’t quite go there yet. Like maybe it’s not meant for me after all.

Things that make me go Hmmm

October 26, 2007

Last night I called my dad and told him (mom and sister were getting weary of sitting on the news). He cried, which made me cry. It was very sweet.

You know what makes me feel sad though, is how different my parents’ reactions are from when my sister announced her pregnancy several years ago. She wasn’t married, and my folks went POSTAL. It was really ugly for awhile. I wish they could have been as happy for her as they are for me.

It makes no sense to me at all.

Bea at Infertile Fantasies is discussing preginfertilispeak protocols – what kinds and extent of complaining about pg symptoms are ok within the context of a history of IF? I’m constantly monitoring symptoms, and constantly worried about every little variation. I don’t have morning sickness. I get acid reflux starting early- to mid-afternoon, most days, but not everyday. In the evenings, I am most sensitive to strong smells – they make me gag but I have yet to yack. The closest thing to a craving I’ve had is I want to eat bananas all the time, and I normally don’t like store-bought bananas (I was spoiled growing up by the great variety of fresh bananas we had available in tropical Peru).

My tiredness and shortness of breath have been somewhat ameliorated by taking a multivitamin with iron. And of course, there’s the constant monitoring of breast tenderness. The difference in size is finally noticeable to T., and I’ve had to start wearing a bra under my pajamas. But the question is… does it mean anything?

I’m so impatient for the next 222 days to go by FAST. Especially the 11 days until my next scan.

Telling

October 23, 2007

It’s a beautiful day here, clear and sunny with brilliantly intense autumn colors.

The weekend was good: I told my sister, and she was so excited – she jumped immediately to questions about whether I was considering a home birth, etc. (her road to motherhood has been completely different from mine – from the surprise pregnancy and shotgun wedding, to living in a tent until ten days before the home birth). I’m not quite ready to go there yet, except for a vague notion that if all goes well we’ll probably get an extention on our lease through June (right now it’s up May 31) and then go move back to VA for the rest of the summer. But it’s way too soon to make those plans.

She also told me she’d been worried I might be ovulating this weekend, because T. and I were in the guest room next to the upstairs bathroom, that doubles as a hallway… yeah, no worries!

I told my mom while we were doing dishes after the huge turkey dinner she put on for my sister’s birthday and engagement. She cried and hugged me for a long time. I asked her not to tell my dad yet because he has been known to blurt things out, especially if he’s tired, that he’s not supposed to share. So I’ll call later this week and tell him once they’re done socializing and ready to go back to Peru. She told me that she’d been thinking about the costs of treatments, and had been working on a plan to go in together with T.’s parents to help pay for us to go see a specialist in Mexico that she heard about on TV, “who is supposedly this miracle worker.” I actually found that really funny. It’s so Mom.

We called T’s parents over Skype on Sunday night and showed them the ultrasound picture. My MIL was incredulous – I said “this is your first grandchild!” And she was like “Really??? Are you SURE?” She told T. to take good care of me. 🙂 He does.

Best of all, my antsy Aunt C. was completely discreet, as was cousin V. Thankfully.

So I’m starting to get used to the idea. Even if it all goes south (and every weird feeling from the belly button down has me worried), for now I’m just really, really happy.

p.s. oh yeah – I did put up a new ticker, but it’s at the very bottom of the page… I still feel like the old one is good luck and am loathe to move it…

North Star and Southern Cross

October 20, 2007

Sara S-P’s recent post about miscarriage and menstruation reminded me of a conversation I had with Tara some time ago that I’ve been meaning to blog about, til I got distracted with current events. (Scroll down on Tara’s blog to the post from August 24, titled “Random Thoughts.” I can’t get blogger to link to it directly.) I thought I had saved a transript of the online chat but can’t find it right now. Anyway, we were talking about how difficult it is to talk about miscarriage in certain social spaces (our church being one of them), but how helpful it is when you do find people who’ve shared the journey in some way. They become your north star, your point of orientation, and without them you feel lost.

Part of why I delayed going pwp for so long was because I didn’t want to lose any of you readers. You are all points of orientation. In the southern hemisphere where I grew up, we couldn’t see the north star (obviously) but we could see the Big Dipper, and we could see the Southern Cross. My dad majored briefly in astronomy in college so has always enjoyed pointing out constellations to me and my sister as we were growing up. I remember when I went to college in the US, the first time I saw Orion, how excited I was – everything else seemed upside down and disorienting, but Orion was completely familiar and dearly loved.

Recognition of your own journey in someone else’s experience is so reassuring. This makes me think that I should be more public about my IF journey, but it’s hard.

Whew!

October 19, 2007

I am so relieved. I should have gone PWP a long time ago, but I was trusting in my family’s lack of tech-savvy to keep this blog private (if you look under my profile, I blog more generally about my life at Knitting Through the Valley, or ep-knits.blogspot.com – my whole extended family has that url). It actually took 8 months for a family member to find The I Word, which was actually ok with me, because of who it was, but then word began to spread – and it started to feel too risky. This blog is a bit more raw than the persona I usually present to the family. I think my parents would be SHOCKED to know that I occasionally use foul language and enjoy drinking wine.

Anyway, the reason I’m so relieved is that my Aunt C. has been reading my news this past week and she is just way too excited! I swore her to secrecy but if T. found out that she knows? He’d be, well, more than a little put out. So I wrote her a long e-mail about why I’m going PWP and blah blah blah, and she was totally understanding and not hurt or put out at all. Hence the relief.

Man, negotiating family relationships can be such a minefield.

So this weekend we’ll be at the family farm seeing my parents who are visiting from Peru, my sister, my niece, cousins, aunts, uncles, all. I’m only supposed to tell my mom and my sister though! And on Sunday we’ll Skype my in-laws with the news, for parity. I have to remind T. that we need to tell my SIL too. They are going to be *over the moon*.

I know it seems early, but I figure that I’d rather share the joy than not. I KNOW my MIL is going to be just way too excited – but I’ll just have to find a way to deal with that. It will be nice to make her happy.

Last night I dreamed that I was at the family farm and started spotting red. Then suddenly started gushing a yellow liquid streaked with red. Gushing, like water from a hose. I called 911 but gave them the wrong address. Some of my Peruvian/Japanese relatives were there, and three of them were actually doctors (this is not true IRL); they examined me and said I was almost certainly going to miscarry. I was crying and crying and trying to dial 911. But I was sure I wasn’t going to miscarry, absolutely certain of it, I just needed to get help.

I think this is all about the stress of telling family. Even though I’m so excited to tell, there is that fear of jinxing it, and the fear of having to go back and tell everyone about a loss. It’s also about the complications of family and relationships with family – the complicated claims that we have on one another through kinship and marriage, the constraints that are entailed, and the the concommitant support and love.

The day before the scan I felt really zen about it. I was hesitant to entirely trust that feeling, but I had some kind of sense that everything was going to be ok. I’m trying to relax into that zen when thinking about this weekend. But I’ve bitten all my fingernails short today.

Good News, Y’all

October 17, 2007

I SAW A HEARTBEAT!!!!

The critter is measuring on track for 7w1d.

It took like 2 minutes for the tech to get to the bottom line. I just said “oh my god!” and then I was speechless, tears running into my right ear as I turned my head to stare at the screen.

“Happy” doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel.

(Yes, Niobe, you can say the “c” word now :-). Although most of you already have – and thank so much.)

The P word (symptoms, etc.)

October 16, 2007

So, I put it into the title of my blog, in part as a forewarning to anyone who doesn’t feel like reading about this topic.

I’m still dreading the scan on Wednesday, but at the same time the past 2 weeks have seemed like the longest EVER. Unfortunately T. can’t be here that morning, but if it’s bad news he can get someone to cover his Weds/Thurs classes since he’s giving exams, and can drive right back and be here by late afternoon.

I am still a little uneasy about lack of morning sickness, although I have been having acid reflux and sensations of slight gastric unease if I let myself get hungry (which is like every 3 or 4 hours). It’s more in the afternoon and evening, though.

I continue to monitor the “twins,” which stay sore and tender but aren’t getting as big as I think they should be. It really seems like they’re smaller in the morning and bigger by the end of the day.

I get totally out of breath at the slightest thing. It feels like living at a high altitude. Not as high as Cuzco, but maybe like 5,000 feet or so. T. expressed surprise that I should get out of breath when carrying something the size of a lentil.

I have also mastered the art of falling asleep in the middle of the day. Normally I’m not a napper – I have to be pretty far gone to be able to fall asleep during the day. But now it doesn’t seem to be difficult at all.

Speaking of which… bed is looking awfully good right now!

Thinking of You

October 16, 2007

Well, I can’t figure out how to post the little picture here, but this post is for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Today I am thinking of:
You, who told us at knitting group about the two little birds you found, too late, that had fallen out of their nest, and how it made you cry as you thought about your two miscarriages within the year.
You, who cried during staff meeting “check-in” over two losses in seven months.
You, who casually mentioned your miscarriage during knitting group at my house and then quickly moved on to something else.
You, who wanted a little girl so bad you could taste it, who lost your baby and your brother-in-law the same week.
You, who tried so long for your “Bug,” and then for the little brother or sister that was lost last summer.
And You, who called while I was in the parking lot outside P&C last February and cried as I watched the snow falling all around and tried to think of something to say.

Thinking of all of you.

Thank you

October 15, 2007

Thank you to everyone who has left words of encouragement and congratulation. I know it’s not the easiest news to hear from the trenches; there is always that feeling of “when will it be my turn?” no matter how much goodwill you also feel towards a fellow SQ.

Leave it to Caro to point out the Kantian perspective :-). Of course it is hubris to think of one’s self in exceptionalist terms – but that seems to be a hallmark of a tendency towards depression. I remember at my lowest points believing that everyone else’s children would grow up happy and healthy, but if I had children, they would only grow up to suffer and hate me. Not very logical.

I’m finding it very weird and a little unsettling to keep this under wraps with people I know. Every time I talk on the phone with someone I’m close to and don’t tell them, I feel like I’m deceiving them – especially those who have been most supportive on this journey. But I’ll wait until Wednesday, then see what T. will agree to. (Actually the cat’s out of the bag already with a few folks – but we’re not telling him that!) (Too many secrets!!!)

Anyway… counting the days, hoping everything will turn out ok.