Monday, February 27, 2012

Accomplishments.

Here are some things I got the last two days.
I must say, I am a bit proud of myself.


  1. I saved a life.  There was a golden lab running in the middle of the street while I was driving to work. I summoned my inner Doctor Doolittle and stopped.  He was incredibly friendly.  In fact, when I opened up my back door, he hopped right in, laid down, and panted the rest of the way to the police station (except for one time when he stopped panting.  Dave said that's when he was peeing on my back seat).  I should have just taken him home with me.  Fergie would have flipped her cork for sure-sies.  If I can't get a baby, I am going to get a dog.  I was so excited to be all animal-saving like Dave that I texted him before school started:
 Me: I just saved a dog.  Just call me doc.

Dave: how (he's got mad super texter skillz)

Me: This golden lab was running down the road, so I stopped, he jumped in my car, and I took him to the police.

Dave: Good job...hope they don't shoot it

Me: He had a electric fence collar on. He was going to take him to the vet.

Dave: Great...you're a hero (how is it possible for him to be sarcastic in a text?!?!)

Me: I should get your salary.

No reply.  It was obvs that he was jealous of my mad dog-saving skills.
  1. I know you don't care, but I just spent the last 3 hours grading and made dinner in between. I hate grading.  I can think of a gagillion more things I would like to do than grade.  Like clean a toilet or listen to a kid tell a pointless story (please tell me you know what I'm talking about) or listen to Dave's crappy old country music station (it's playing screeching Reba right now) or hear a conversation that uses only the words moist and succulent and supple and tender and probe (I hate those words a lot).  But, grading is worse.  Mostly because it is boring.  But I guess that's what I get for not doing that much over the weekend.  But it's done.  Now, when the kids take it home they can recycle it without looking at any of it.  
  2. I lost 0.2 pounds from this morning to the evening.  I reported this to Dave.  He quickly said, "I can take a dump that weighs more than 0.2 pounds."  I tasted vomit in my mouth then, just thinking about that.  That's gross, but he's a boy.  And, honestly, he's probably right.  He then said that if I peed a gallon, I'd lose 8 pounds.  The vomit in the mouth returned.  Kind of.  Even though that's kind of interesting.  Anyways, I am trying to watch my diet for several reasons.  1.) As much as I like buying new clothes, I don't like buying them unless I am pregnant or my rock-hard muscles will not allow me to fit in my clothes. I am not pregnant.  Nor are any of my muscles so rock-hard that I cannot fit in my clothes (do not tell my students this. I think I have them convinced that my guns are huge). Therefore, I shouldn't have to buy new clothes. 2.) I feel a bit chubby.  People say I'm not, but the Muffin Man (who lives down by my waist line) and I are getting to know each other.  I know the Muffin-Top Man well.  That's not cool.  3.) My syndrome (goog PCOS if you're really bored and want to know more about my ovaries) is usually for women that are fat and hairy.  As Dr. Grainger quickly stated, I am the skinny, non-hairy version of PCOS.  I'm lucky, he told me.  (Sidenote: He told me that about 3 years ago.  Before my 2 offspring died and I had 2 surgeries and a D&C and injected myself with all kinds of shots and pills and what-have-you. He has not said any of that nonsense recently.)  However, eating the right food may help my ovaries from not taking a plummeting nose-dive into psychosis.  So, we'll see if it helps at all.  
  3. So, going along with this weight-loss whatever, I am obviously trying to eat healthier.  So, I tried a new smoothie last night for dinner (Sunday nights are hunt, gather, and scavenge your own dinner).  It is the Green Monster smoothie.  If you look it up on pinterest, it's all over the place.  I saw a ton of recipes for it all over and all of them were different.  The basic premise is that they all include spinach (or kale).  Now, before you stick your finger completely down your throat from grossness, stop.  It was really, really, really good. So good that Dave was trying to lick his glass (Ladies, are you totally getting the hottest picture of my husband in your mind?  I'm realizing this post is not putting him in the best light.  But, back off. He's. All. Mine.  Dumps, pee gallons, glass licking and all.).  A lot of the recipes called for wheat grass or seaweed chips or the mold off of a 100 year old organic garlic bulb or whatever. I'm not into all that stuff. I know it's good for you but I'm cheap.  But, I did include: yogurt, OJ, frozen fruit (berries will turn your smoothie brown but it still tastes great)--I had mangoes, pineapples, grapes, peaches, and a strawberry), and then I piled spinach on the top and blended the snot out of it.  So that it looked like....snot.  And, it was great!  I highly recommend it.
  4. I am caught up on my emails (I think!).  My inbox was getting ridiculous.  
Now, adjust your thinking.  We are going from the light-hearted/fun part of the blog to the serious/you might need a drink of some pills of some sort.

Finally- a few things for you to keep on your prayer/thought/meditation whatever list:
  • My doctor's appointment on Wednesday to see how the testing of Nuggs came back.  And, if my ovaries are not psychotic enough to start this mad dash to parenthood all over again.
  • Therapy appointment #2 for my brain and my heart in on Thursday.
  • An internet acquaintance just lost her third baby.  Keep Jenny in your thoughts as she tries to sort out what her next steps are and get over the pain of loss #3 and the loss of hope, once again.  
  • Another email acquaintance, Alli, whom I have gotten to know over the last few months, has been on bed rest with her second son (she lost Harrison last May).  She is expected to deliver any day now and I know she is feeling anxious.  I'm thinking of you lots, Alli!
  • Another stranger/acquaintance I met through email just found out that she was pregnant last Wednesday.  Unfortunately, her levels dropped and she lost the pregnancy.  Keep Brittany in your thoughts, too.
  • And think of my friend, Hope, who is anxiously anticipating what was the due date of her daughter, Faith, whom she lost last Fall.  Hope was expecting Faith to join her tomorrow, February 28.  
  • I am struggling as March 17 approaches (and I know my friend, Heather, is struggling as the birthday anniversary of her son, Isaac approaches). How do we honor the memory of our children?  What should we do that can help us grieve and remember and still honor the short lives of our children?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

When Bad Things Happen To Good People

If you haven't read this book by Harold Kushner, you need to.
That is, if you've had bad things happen to you.
If you haven't, I don't know what to say
except your time's coming.
Totally kidding.
I'm not serious at all.
I hope you never need to read this.
Or that you never feel such
sadness
and anger
and confusion that you read any book you can get your hands on.

The whole premise of this book is that the author, a rabbi, is struggling with the fact that his son, Aaron, is dying.  He asks the question that I have asked many times, "If God is all-powerful, why doesn't he stop these tragedies from occurring?"  And, the whole "It's in His plan" and "Everything happens for a reason" are not comforting because 1.) I don't like to think that God planned the death of my children (or others'). It just makes me angry.  And 2) If everything does happen for a reason, I can't think of a reason why my kids need to keep dying for that reason.  All of this "God has a plan" stuff just makes me angry at God.  It has never sat well with me. If God is all-loving, then it is hard for me to swallow that He would do this to me.  Especially to teach me something. Or have me learn something. Can I give whatever is what that I learned back and get my little nuggets back instead?

So, this book addresses that.

I have read mixed reviews on it...so some of you may love it, some of you may hate it.

But, it made me think and it was better than hearing that all of this crap is happening for some awesome things down the road.  Because, what would be even awesomer is that this never happened.  AND...better things in the future?  So, my kids died because I would have better ones later or what?  See what I mean?  People try to be comforting but it just creates more questions for me.

So, I read it.  I highlighted stuff in it and you can choose whether you want to read the parts I highlighted. I'm including it more for myself so I can easily find these quotes and passages.

So, read on if you'd like.  If not, go take your Sunday afternoon nap. Or start reading and fall asleep.  But, I'm sure this could count for your Sunday morning sermon if you picked Bedside Baptist or Mattress Methodist instead.
Here are the quotes that I underlined.  The colored parts are my additions.


  • I am offended by those who suggest that God creates retarded children (can you tell this was written in the 70's?  Retarded isn't quite the word we would use anymore) so that those around them will learn compassion and gratitude.  Why should God distort someone else's life to such a degree in order to enhance my spiritual sensitivity?
  • I was not comforted by this notion that God had singled me out because He recognized some special spiritual strength within me and knew that I would be able to handle it better (I believe Kushner is referring to the crap about 'He only gives you what you can handle.').  It didn't make me feel "privileged," ...
  • Does He never ask more of us than we can endure?  My experience, alas, has been otherwise.  I have seen people crack under the strain of unbearable tragedy.  I have seen many more people grow cynical and bitter. I have seen people become jealous of those around them, unable to take part in the routines of normal living.  If God is testing us, He must know by now that many of us fail the test.  If He is only giving us burdens we can bear, I have seen Him miscalculate far too often.  If this is the case, I am going to figure out how to be weaker so that I don't have to endure any more tragedies.  
  • God is all-powerful.  Bad things do happen to good people in this world, but it is not God who wills it.  God would like people to get what they deserve in life, but He cannot always arrange it.
  • God is not doing this to us.  He can still be on our side when bad things happen to us.  He can know that we are good and honest people who deserve better.  Our misfortunes are none of His doing, and so we can turn to Him for help.  Our question will not be Job's question "God, why are You doing this to me?" but rather "God, see what is happening to me.  Can You help me?"  We will turn to God, not to be judged or forgiven, not to be rewarded or punished, but to be strengthened and comforted.
  • We will simply have to learn to live with it, sustained and comforted by the knowledge that these trials and heartaches...anger and sadden God even as they anger and sadden us.  God weeps next to us.  
  • Nature is morally blind, without values.  It churns along, following its own laws, not caring who or what gets in the way.  But God is not morally blind...God stands for justice, for fairness, for compassion. For me, the earthquake is not the "act of God."  The act of God is the courage of people to rebuild their lives after the earthquakes, and the rush of others to help them in whatever way they can.
  • It is hard to know what to say to a person who has been struck by tragedy, but it is easier to know what not say.  Anything that is critical is wrong ("Don't take it so hard.").  Anything that tries to minimize the mourner's pain ("It's for the best" of "She's better off now.").
  • Sometimes, if we can't find another person to dump our anger on, we turn it on ourselves.
  • The God I believe in does not send us the problem; He gives us the strength to cope with the problem.
  • I am a more sensitive person, a more effective pastor, a more sympathetic counselor because of Aaron's life and death than I would ever had been without it.  And I would give up all of those gains in a second if I could have my son back.  If I could choose, I would forgo all the spiritual growth and depth which has come my way because our experiences, and be what I was 15 years ago, an average rabbi, an indifferent counselor, helping some people and unable to help others, and the father of a bright, happy boy.  But I cannot choose.
  • Let me suggest that the bad things that happen to us in our lives do not have a meaning when they happen to us.  They do not happen for any good reason which would cause us to accept them willingly.  But we can give them a meaning.  We can redeem these tragedies from senselessness by imposing meaning on them.  The question we should be asking is not, "Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?"  That is really an unanswerable, pointless question. A better question would be "Now that this has happened to me, what am I going to do about it?"
  • God helps us when we suffer beyond the limits of our own strength...Our responding to life's unfairness with sympathy and with righteous indignation, God's compassion and God's anger working through us, may be the surest proof of God's reality.

Amen.
:)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weekend Update

1.  Just Realized

I'm coming down with nasty cold. 
I should have known.
Because just a few weeks ago I was thinking, "Man, I haven't gotten sick this whole school year."
That is dumb to think that.
Because whenever I do, I get sick.
I'm hoping it's something that some extra sleep and a weekend can cure.
There's no way I can miss school next week.
Dreaded state assessments are coming up.

2.  Dreaded Holiday

Stupid St. Patrick's Day is coming up.
I never really cared about the holiday until last year.
Now, it just brings sadness.
Even with all the glittery shamrocks
and green-colored everything.
St. Patrick's Day is the day Maggie was born.
It's her birthday.
(All of the nurses that helped me that day were wearing sparkly necklaces.)
Isn't your child's birthday supposed to make you happy?
I'm supposed to be preparing for a 1st birthday party.
Not that I would go over the top for the party,
but I'd at least have a little cake for her to smash her fatty face into.
And we could sing to her.
And she could sit there and rip paper
and play with the boxes and bags and tissue paper.
Instead, I don't know what I want to do.
I want to do something to remember Maggie.
And her birth.
But what?
What have the rest of you done for 1st birthdays?
The only relief I have is that once this is over, I have officially done all of the firsts with Maggie, right?
And, for those of you who have done it,
please tell me it getting easier.


3.  Stuck my foot in my mouth
A kid at school was taking forever to get stuff ready to go home.
I went over to him and told him, "Hurry up, bud--it's time to go home."
He told me, "Just a sec."
Now, if you know him like I do, you know that 'just a sec' does not mean just a sec.  It means I'll come when I am ready.
I quickly said, "Joe, I do not have a lot of secs."
Um.
Pause.
Holy foot-in-your-mouth.
Read that out loud and you'll realize what my issue was.
He looked at me like, "What.the.#*@&$*$*?"
And I quickly said, "Come on! We don't have time for this. Let's go!"
I think he realized what I meant and just kept slowly trying to clean up.
I walked away.
Mortified.
And wishing there had been another adult in there to share in my mortification (is that even a word?)
So completely sure that I was going to get a phone call asking,
"Why did you talk to my son about your secs life?"
I never did.

4.  Appointments
D and I have our post-surgery appointment this Wednesday.
Hopefully the genetic testing is done so that we don't have to go in a second time.
I'm not sure how I feel about going to this stupid appointment.
I should be 12 weeks pregnant.
Not going in to find out how my second little sparkle died.

Then on Thursday I have my second appointment with my head shrink.
I am excited to go back.
I feel like the 60 minutes I spent with her last time was helpful.
She challenged me with the right questions
and gave me a few things to work on.
And she also is having me read Why Bad Things Happen to Good People
since I've been struggling with, I think, the normal questions of God's involvement in all of this.
If you haven't read it, read it.
It's fantastic.
More on that book later.

5.  In the News
I know most of you probably won't even know who Bethenny Frankel is.
She is a reality TV star and, although she and I live completely different lifestyles,
I find her hilarious.
She recently was on Today and spoke about her recent miscarriage.
I appreciate her honesty
and I appreciate her holding back tears.
That's how it is.
Whenever you talk about it,
you just can't stop those stupid things from forming.


div>

6. I'm Getting Old
My students were playing the game Apples to Apples Junior the other day.
They got a card that said "Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen."
And they said, "Who are they?"
What.
In.
The.
World.
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen?
Every kid knows who they are.
Right?
If you're really wanting this picture for yourself, go here.  But it's weird you want it.

7.  Recently Watched
A coworker showed this to us at lunch the other day.  
We decided we needed a day at lunch each week to watch stupid videos.
It made us laugh.
And made state assessments not so annoying.




8.  Beautiful Blog

Go here.
I found this a while back--it is absolutely beautiful.
It is a place for people to go (women, men, children, whomever)
and publish the artwork (paintings, poems, pictures, etc)
that they have created to express grief, survival, sadness, love, and hope.

Reading the poems
and looking at the pictures
makes me realize that, once again,
I am not alone in my sadness.
And I am not the only one who has thoughts of loneliness
guilt
and anger
and injustice.
And I am normal to still be grieving.
Even if others have forgotten
and moved on.

9. Weird

I've heard your sense of smell brings back more memories than anything else.
I probably believe it.
That and songs bringing back memories.
Like how whenever I hear "To Be With You" by Mr. Big I think of Mrs Brown, my elementary school music teacher.
And any song by Over the Rhine or Natalie Merchant makes me think of JuleBag.
Because whenever I smell sulfur water I think of my grandma and grandpa's farm.
And when I smell Pantene shampoo it reminds me of being in Costa Rica.

When I got home from work the other day
I was hit with a smell that I hadn't smelt in a year or so.
It was the smell of grief 
and Maggie 
and sadness 
and overwhelming heartbreak.
I can't describe the smell
but it was a combination of
a bit of our house
and warm weather
and old flowers (that need to be thrown out).
And it smelled exactly like our house did for the few days after I got home from the hospital.
And I felt a wave of sadness pour over me.
Like, she had just been in here
and I had just missed her.
Like she had slipped out the back door 
on my way in the front.
And I didn't know what to think.
I didn't know if I should be happy 
or sad.


10.  Shoes

I'm struggling with finding some new shoes that are cute.
Either they are heels that I cannot wear all day at work when I never sit down
(and have recess duty which means tromping through rocks and up slides and over monkey bars).
Or the shoes are something that are sold around retirement communities.
Or they are ugly.
Or expensive.
Or so cheap that my feet want to fall off after 1 hour of wearing them.
Any suggestions?
Good shoes for work that are semi-dressy that I can wear with dress pants or khakis?
And that I can run after a kid through the soccer field in?





Monday, February 20, 2012

Buffet of Las Vegas

I've been MIA from the blog world.
I was too busy living large in Vegas.
You know.
I lost all of my cash.
All of it.
I left with $1 so I could pay the luggage guy on the way to the airport.
My $4 was quickly burned up and I was annoyed.
I could have bought an overpriced coffee with that.

The man and I went to Vegas this weekend.
He had a conference that started on Sunday so we headed out a few days early.
To, you know, experience Vegas.
It was fun.
It was fun to be with the hubs.
And see new things.
And watch people.
And all that.
But I don't think I need to experience it again for awhile.
It's just not quite my style.
For the following reasons.

1.  I'm cheap.
Basically, I don't like spending my money on overpriced crapola.  And, in Vegas you have to.  Everything is expensive.  Except the penny slots.  And I never won on those.  We did do lots of fun things, but we realized that going to Vegas was not a place that people who are saving up for life things  (read doctor's appointments and stuff) should go.  Unless you're okay with charging and credit card debt.
Which we are not.  Which is why Vegas is not really our ideal vacation spot.

2.  I'm getting old.
Some of those kids looked like they were 12.  They should have been home with their mothers. Reading books or having family game night.
Or praying.
Or something.
We stayed out and ventured around, but it's not quite as fun going to bed late when the latest you can sleep in is 7 am. And that's without an alarm clock.

3.  I like to be comfortable.
You guys know I like my sweatpants. I don't usually wear them out in public (exceptions: work days at school, if I know I'm not getting out of the car, when I am going to exercise, or if I'm going to WalMart.  The WalMarts allows you to wear anything there.  And I mean anything.
(At this point I was planning on finding a funny picture from www.peopleofwalmart.com.  However, when I went on I couldn't force myself to ruin my blog with a picture from there.  They are gross.  So, if you're curious, go there.  And just know that the sweatpants I wear are like a hand sewn, one-of-a-kind Vera Wang wedding gown compared to what madness you see there.)
I didn't wear my elastic pants out in public (even!to!the!buffet!).  However, compared to some people, I may have been wearing a trash bag.
Let me just say that if I had to wear a dress that is shorter than most of my t-shirts, I would not be comfortable.
I would not comfortable walking at least 4 miles in stilettos that cut off all circulation in my toes and caused me to stumble every 2 feet while walking (I couldn't tell if the girls were stumbling due to the heels, they were pre-pubescent and had recently just started walking on their own, or they had been drinking since 8 am the morning prior). I vote for choice C.

4. I like fresh air.
That does not exist in Las Vegas.  It smells of lots of things.
Some things should not be mentioned if I want to keep this family friendly.
But, gross.

5. I like to be alone.
I wouldn't consider myself an introvert, but I definitely savor my time by myself.  There is none of that there.  So, I am now making up for lost time and I am thoroughly enjoying my time here at home by myself for the next few days. I miss D, I look forward to him coming home, but I am enjoying myself.


6. I like to pretend that only good/normal/not weird/smart people have children.
After all of this stuff with Maggie and Nugget, I like to pretend that even though I still do not have children, that the only people with kids are the ones that should have them.  It's a fun game I like to play called "Completely Ignore Reality and Pretend that Life Makes Sense and You Aren't Getting Screwed." (It's fun, you should play).
Anyways.
Las Vegas made me lose that game.
Because everywhere I went?
At any time of day?
There were children.
Of many ages.

And, just in case y'all forgot, lots of people are still having children.
Not me, but other people.
People who:

1.  Had their children on leashes-disguised-as-teddy-bear-backpacks.
2.  Had their sleeping babies in strollers in the casinos at 2 am.
3.  Had their awake babies and children running around in casinos at 2 am.
4.  Had their children viewing things that, in my opinion, children should not be watching.  Especially at 2 am.
5.  Had their children take pictures with drunk Mickey and drunk Barney.

So, while I am paying hundreds of dollars a month and visiting doctors several times a week to have a family, others are having children for free and then hauling them around the casinos and bars all night.
Seems logical.

I just reread all of this and it seems like I am a complainy jerk that isn't happy with her vacation.
Not the case.
I had a ton of fun-- the show we saw (Mystere), the food we ate (gluttonous), and the company I had (love him) was fantastic.
All I'm saying is that I'd much rather be in a secluded place, without a lot of people around enjoying the time with the hubs.
Got it?

Oh, and remind me to tell you about my "Get My Head Straight" session with shrink-y pants last week. I met with her for the first time.  And I read some books, too.
Thank goodness for psychology and literacy or I might go crazy.

And, for your viewing pleasure.
Some of our pictures and our theme song from the weekend.
Can you find the part of the video that has 3 of my favorite things in one shot?

Update: I had to remove the video because, for some stupid reason, it was taking up too much space and I couldn't upload any more videos.  Dumb.  If you are really interested in seeing it, let me know.  I'll send it to you.  And you can watch the award-winning video.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

10 for the week

1.  On the drive to work

I saw an amazing thing.  
I think it was Wednesday morning.
There were two hawks sitting next to each other in a tree.
Facing me as I drove.
Sure, it could have been a coincidence.
But, I'm pretty sure that it was God's way of showing me that
Maggie is showing the new one a bit of the ropes.
That makes me so happy.
And sad.
All at the same time.

2.  My Saturday

I spent my entire Saturday cleaning with my mom and dad.
We started at nine.  I sat down at 7:30 or so that night.
I did 9 loads of laundry.
Every inch of carpet of our house has been vacuumed.
Every piece of wood (or whatever) has been dusted.
The fridge has been deskunked.
The stove has been scrubbed.
All sinks, tubs, and toilets have been sanitized.
Piles of whatever have been sorted through and organized.
And our recycling bin is overflowing.
I feel cleansed.
It is a great feeling.
Please don't think that the house was incredibly nasty and horder-like before.
It's just that being pregnant does not give you a lot of energy.
Then, having a D&C doesn't improve the situation.

3. Backsplash

It is mostly done.
We need to touch up a few areas of grout
and seal it.
But everything else is done.
I am impressed with the Mr.
I married myself a good man.
He knows his way around home/car/farm improvement projects.
And, I do love how it turned out.

This was our kitchen when we moved in.
The drawers didn't close, the cupboards didn't close.  I hated it.
Two summers ago we put in new cabinets and counters.  Before:
Such an improvement...but kind of bland.
Then, we started getting ready to put up the backsplash.
The timing may have not been the best.
During:
Evening of D&C
A mixture of stone and glass tiles.
My two favorite men.
After:



I love it.
And now the kitchen is only missing
new floors,
pendant lights over the peninsula,
and me being barefoot and pregnant in it.

4.  Flowers
I received some beautiful flowers this past Friday and Saturday.
My sister and her kids sent us some.

And D's parents, my wonderful in-laws, sent us these beauties as well.
They have made our house so much happier.
Thank you.

5. Dessert
Last Wednesday, after I had found out nugget didn't have a heartbeat, I stopped by my mom and dad's house after work.
I was lucky enough to run into a wonderful woman.  
She is the mom of a past student
and a wonderful baker/chef/woman/mom/coffee maker too.
She made a delicious...I mean fantastic Cherry Cobbler.
Now, I'm a huge fan of any cobbler/crisp because of the crunchy topping.
But, folks.
This took it to the next level.
It was amazing.
I'm pretty sure she used a special kind of almond (that I read about on her blog)
because that crunchy topping was the best I've ever had.
Thank you, B.R.
So thoughtful of you to drop off dessert.
And, I have your pan.
I will maybe have to come to the Perk every morning this week
so that I can drop it off. :)

6.  Panic
I panicked a bit yesterday.
I took a break from cleaning to make my students' Valentine's.
Instead of giving them another piece of candy,
I am giving them glow sticks.
I was attaching the glow sticks to the hearts
and I bent over to get my scissors.
My abs of steel must have bent some of the glow sticks
because they started glowing.
I put them off to the side to throw away
but Fergs got ahold of them.
The next minute there was orange spit dripping out of her mouth.
It was all over her mouth and paws.
She started foaming at the mouth and acting like she was going to puke.
I tried to wipe off all the extra
and I tried forcing her head into the water bowl
but she just ran off to hide.
She seems fine today.
Now we are just watching for a glowing litter box.

7. Nugget

  • Dave referred to Nugget as "Ted Nugent."I just googed him to see what he looked like.  I'm not impressed.
  • While cleaning yesterday I made another stack of cards and notes and gifts that we received in the last week or two.  Dave asked if I am adding them to Maggie's stuff or if I am starting a new drawer.  I had just been planning on adding it to Mag's stuff.  He thought I should start a new drawer.  I told him I didn't want to run out of drawers- I only had 8 of them.  He said we could get another dresser if we needed to.  Dude, we better not need all 8 of them. And we sure as heck better not need another dresser.  
  • I wish I would have known if Nugget was a boy or a girl.  I don't like referring to it as an it.
  • And, now that I'm not pregnant, September doesn't seem that long away.
  • Because of Nugget, I have decided that I am going to talk to a professional head shrink.  Not because I feel like I am psycho. I just want to talk to somebody.  And, there are a few things I want to work out for if there is a next time:
    • The whole God question- God's involvement/uninvolvement in these experiences--why?
    • My bitterness towards God, women, pregnancy, fertility, etc.
    • My fear of having another being die within my care.
    • Grieving the loss of two children while caring for and being excited about a new pregnancy/child (not feeling like I have to forget the first two to bond with and appreciate the third).
8.  In the mail
I received a huge box in the mail a few days ago.  A long-time family friend is an amazing potter.
She sent Dave and an incredibly beautiful vase that she made.
But, that's just the beginning.
Not only did she make it,
but she wrote the blessing from the Sister Care Seminar that I spoke at in November.
I absolutely love that blessing- I think it says so much.
Each side of the vase has a part of the blessing.
"May God bless you with healing for wounds from the past and all that breaks your heart today.  May your tears be transformed into live-giving compassion and love for others. Go now with the assurance that you are beloved and called to be a living blessing to others.  Amen."

THEN.
(We're not done, folks.)
Then, she typed a ton of Bible verses, cut them apart, and put them inside the vase.

I have read each of them (so has Fergie) and plan to reread them when I am feeling one of those moments of suckiness come on.
Words cannot express how incredibly thoughtful you are, EB.
Thank you.
This is something that I will treasure forever and will, for sure, make sure to pass the story onto my *fingers crossed* children.
I wish there were words more than "Thank you" that could express to you my gratitude.


9. From 1984
And, just as a remembrance.
This is me as the flower girl in the above potter's wedding.
I LOVED that dress.
I'm just sorry you can't see my white gloves.



10.  Currently Reading
I'm only a few chapters in and I already love it.
(Everything is Illuminated is another good book of his.)
Waiting to see the movie until I have read the book, though.
I will watch it at home.
So I don't have to sob in public.
I've done that enough in the last year.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

More random.

Holy cow, you guys.
I feel like my to-do list is getting longer
and I'm doing nothing to make it shorter.
All I'm doing is working
and washing grout off our backsplash
and going to the Wal-Marts.


Very quickly, here are a few things that I felt I needed to mention...

  • I owe a lot of thank yous to a lot of people for meals and food cards and flowers and texts and emails and packages in the mail.  I have received them, gluttonized myself in them, and read them over and over.  I will talk about them more specifically this weekend (when I am home during daylight hours) but I wanted to make sure you knew that I am not ungrateful!
  • Also, along those same lines, if you gave me something deliciously amazing to eat, I have your pans and dishes and crockpots.  I just need to find them in the mess of our kitchen.  They will be returned next week. Pinky swear.  Except the crockpot, JH. I am going to keep that for awhile.  Just for kicks. For old times' sake.
  • Those of you who have emailed me with comments or stories-especially those whom I have never met- thank you.  I also plan on replying back to you this weekend.  Again, when I am home during daylight.  I am honored that you contacted me and humbled that you have shared your stories with me.
  • Have I mentioned that this whole journey is dumb? Seriously.  I had a great day, felt good, and then...I get home and heard a song or read something or did something (who knows what--maybe breathed for all I know) and I got all sad again.  Not for a long time.  D cheered me up.  But, that just made me mad.  Leave for alone for one.freaking.day. That's it. That's all I want.
  • And, although I don't want this to be a blog about religious or political views, I had to repost this.  Many women I know, personally and through the internet, have tried or used IVF as a method to try to begin their family.  Read this if you are interested on Newt Gingrich's stance on IVF.  All I'm saying is Newt may not be the guy that we want to take our moral advice from.  Secondly, many articles compare IVF to abortion because the do not always survive.  I'm sorry, but there is not a similarity.  At all.  Many writers have referred to IVF and fertility clinics to places of "anti-life."  Tell that to the people who are going there in hopes of starting a family.  No one does IVF in hopes that they embryos will die.  They want them to live.  Seriously.
Finally-
Comment made by my husband during grouting and washing tiles tonight--the song "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida was playing in the background.  (Don't ask- not our usual choice of music, although Dave, for some reason, is obsessed with Pit Bull.  )

D:  Pretty sure Flo Rida has a good feeling because his kid didn't just die.  I'd like to have a good feeling sometime.  Right now our fetal fatality rate is at 100%.  That's really high.  I hope it gets lower sometime soon.

I love my husband.
For many reasons, but only he could relate a Flo Rida song to our miscarriage.
I'm lucky to have him around.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

8 days later

It's been 8 days since we found out little love nugget was no longer with us.  
It feels like a lot longer than 8 days.  
It feels like forever ago that it was so quiet in that doctor's office.

I know some people are worried
or concerned 
or whatever
about how I am feeling.

I told my mom today that I feel like I have gotten over a slump over the last few days.
I feel differently than I did over the weekend.
I feel better.
Of course,
I'm still sad and disappointed that this happened again.
I'm terrified that it will happen again.
But, it's different this time.
Maybe it's because I know how this goes.
I know myself way better than I ever have. 
I know what I need to do to take care of myself,
to help me grieve and process,
and I know how to help myself move through this journey.
And, I'm actively finding ways to make myself better.

1.  I'm acknowledging my feelings.  I realize that I feel anger and sadness and guilt.  And I am admitting and feeling all of those feelings without feeling guilt or feeling like I'm crazy.  I know that if I acknowledge those feelings, I can deal with them.  Suppressing my feelings just makes things worse.  I know that and I refuse to do that.

2.  I'm finding good books to read.  I downloaded some books on my Kindle that I have been reading to help me.  Some have to do specifically with miscarriages and stillbirth.  Others have to do with grief in general.  Others are books on hope and are more religious.  I need a bit of everything and all of those little bits have added together to give me some wonderful things to think about and work on. 

3.  I have a support system this time.  I have people supporting me.  Live, real people around me and interwebz people.  When Maggie died, my blog was nonexistent.  My life of infertility and all that crap was still a secret.  My support circle was small and limited.  Now, it's different.  My blog has become an outlet for me to write and, in turn, I have met some amazing women.  Women that share my feelings and have similar stories.  And, even though I have never met them face-to-face  and I couldn't tell you what most of them look like or even what their last names are, I hold them in a special place in my heart.  These women know my soul and my deepest feelings better than anyone else ever will.  These women know my struggle.  They know my feelings.  Because they have felt every.single.one.of.them and they know how important it is to share our stories.  

Additionally, my real life group of support has grown as well.  People know my story. They know that I am not embarrassed to talk about my grief and that they can ask me about my journey.  I have more people in my life that are helping me and talking to me and asking me questions and sharing in my grief.  And guys?  It's amazing how much other people can help you through this cycle of grief if you let them.

4. I know myself.  I know I am resilient.  I know that I will make it through this second loss.  Because I made it through the first time.  I know what to expect and I know that no feelings last forever.  I know that I will survive and, hopefully, thrive.   In a book I was reading tonight (I'll share more about it in a later post), it said, "This resilient spirit continues despite all sorts of circumstances.  Even when it appears that someone or something is crushed, there is always renewal."  I know this. I have lived through it.  I will do it again.  With a bigger heart and clearer spirit and mind.


Love,
Your resilient friend.




  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Verbal Diarrhea

Just a splattering of things.
Verbal diarrhea, if you will.
And, just to warn you, just like the real thing, this diarrhea is probably just as worthless, crappy,  and just as time consuming to get through.  Enter at your own risk.

***

Today was back to work for me.  I survived.  No kid cried.  I'll take that as a success. 
***
I am trying to decide if I want to buy another stackable thing for my ring.  I bought a ring back in the day when Maggie died.  Remember? Well, I am trying to decide if I want to add another layer to remember the nugget of love.  I'm debating.  What do you think?  The second part of that question then, is if I do get a ring, which gemstone do I get- the garnet for January or the amethyst for February.  My conundrum is that we had the ultrasound on January 30 where there wasn't a heartbeat but the D&C was February 3.  Maybe I should lie and say that it was April. Then I could get meself a new diamond. 
***
Our backsplash in our kitchen is not done.  It is driving me insane.  You know that feeling that when things in your home are a wreck and out of control, then you feel like your life is a wreck and out of control?  Well, that's how I feel. Our kitchen is in shambles since we have only grouted half the backsplash.  So, there's plastic everywhere, the oven's pulled out from the wall, the microwave is on the living floor and kitty is playing soccer with pieces of cut tile.  My point, however, is that when my house is out of control, I feel out of control.  The thing is, I'm pretty sure that I would feel like a wreck and like my life was in shambles, even if my kitchen were a vision of perfection.  So, now the wreck-out-of-control-life-in-shambles feeling is quadrupled.  At least.
***
Because of said mess, I invited my mom over for a mother-daughter date on Saturday.  I have also invited one Mr. Clean and one Mr. Hoover to join us for an afternoon of scrubbing, dusting, and cleansing.  There is something cathartic about cleaning and having a clean house.  And, my mom is a wonder cleaner (among other things).  I'm hoping a clean/calm/peaceful/tidy/organized house equals a clean/calm/peaceful/tidy/organized life/heart/mind/soul.  I'll let you know how that goes. I won't hold my breath.
***
I have my post-surgery doctor's appointment scheduled for the end of February. That seems like forever away.  But, I guess it's only three weeks. We scheduled it later so that the genetic testing results of the tissues would be back by then.  "Tissues" is just a nice way of saying the body of my future child that they took out of me.
***
Update on me:

  • Physically, I have pain, among other things.  I felt really good after the surgery but yesterday and today I've been hurting more.  Not sure what the deal is.  Not bad, just annoying.  Another reminder that a little thing was sucked out of me a few days ago. (Can you tell that I am a bit bitter?)  But, that's why they gave me a prescription for something. I don't even know what it is but I'm taking it.  
  • Sleeping is another issue.  I am helping myself to a nice, healthy serving of Tylenol PM every evening.  Because otherwise I lay there. And think.  And get mad.  And try to pray.  And I don't know what to say.  And then I get frustrated because I should be praying or sleeping or doing something productive.  So then I get annoyed with myself.  And then I'm annoyed that I'm annoyed about not sleeping when there are so many other issues in my life to be annoyed about.  Then, I think about the fact that I'm a mother who has never met her 2 children face to face.  And then I get annoyed because 5:33 a.m. is coming way faster than it should.  So, Tylenol PM is great.  And, even though it makes me fall asleep instead of dealing with my feelings or thoughts, I at least am somewhat rested in the morning.
  • Remember how on Friday I made a pact that I wasn't going to break down?  Well, I didn't.  Impressed? You should be.  The really awesome and cool thing about that is that I just broke down the REST of the weekend. Ask D.  He was here.  He was an eyewitness and an unwilling participant at times, too.  And, what probably made it even better for him was that I wasn't consistent.  I was normal and fine for a few minutes and then the next I was a basketcasereadytobeputinastraightjacket.  I was the poster child for grief.  I know I'm supposed to be grieving, so I'll assume that I am acting developmentally appropriate.  Let me just say, once again, that my husband is a saint for putting up with me and my tears and my stupid reproductive organs.  Give that man a trophy and a steak.
  • Emotionally, I feel like a pile of crap.  And I'm okay with that.
    • I'm mad.  That this happened again. After Maggie.  After all of the effort and energy we put into getting to this point.  Why does this keep happening?  And why to us?  
    • I'm terribly heartbroken.  It's weird when I say that I miss my child.  My children. I mean, I understand why that sounds lame.  But, I can't explain it and I don't feel like I need to.  Every woman whom I have talked to who has experienced child loss at any point says the same thing.  So, people can think I'm nuts for being so heartbroken, but there are millions of other women who feel the exact same way that I do.  I'm horribly sad.  I miss them. 
    • But most of all, I feel incredibly guilty. Before I even start on this, I KNOW I shouldn't feel like this.  I know logically it doesn't make sense, but...I feel such intense guilt for not keeping my children alive.  To put it bluntly, I feel guilty for killing my children.  Now, I know, I know.  I didn't really do that.  But, I did.  My body was responsible to keep those little things alive.  They were entrusted to me to get everything they needed from me.  And, for some reason, my body failed to do that.  My body failed to keep them alive.  And, on top of it, I feel guilt for bringing such sadness to my family.  If it wasn't for me, Dave would have a kid or two running around.  Our parents would have more grandparents. And I keep ruining it.
    • I'm scared.  What if this keeps happening? What if it never ends? How long do we keep doing this before calling it quits? 
And, the weird thing is, even with all of these dumb feelings, with the risk of this happening over and over and over again, I still want to keep going.  I absolutely CANNOT wait to go back to Dr. G's and start again. I want to have that feeling again- the feeling that you can only get after that good news.  The heartwarming feeling that you share with your spouse when you share the good news.  And the feeling you get when you hear that sweet little heart beat or feel the first little flutter of movement.  


I want that.


More to come later, peeps.

Love,
Your basketcase in a straight jacket.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dear Pregnancy,

Dear Pregnancy,

You and I, for some reason, have gotten off on the wrong foot.  I'm not sure why.  I'm not even sure when it happened.  But, for some reason, you have a beef with me.  Did I do something to rub you the wrong way?  Because it pretty much seems like you're not a fan of me. And, I just quite haven't figured out why.

You are a mystery to me.  A miraculous mystery.  I wish I could be writing to you under different circumstances.  But, in fact, I'm not a huge fan of you. I should be, but you really confuse me.

Yes, you have a reason to have a big head.  You're kind of a big deal. I mean, you make people.  You grow little poppyseed seahorses into adorable little babies.  I get it. I know why people are impressed with you.  They should be.  I mean, you do amazing things.  But, for some reason...you and I just haven't clicked.  You keep abandoning me.  You become really good friends with me, you show me some of your awesome tricks, and then...boom...you leave.  I don't get it.  And, I have given you the best accommodations possible.  I've paid extra money for extra special amenities.  And still.

The first time you and I met (Remember? November 2010 or so?), I was ecstatic to finally have met you.  I had been wanting to meet you for a long freaking time. I paid a lot of money to meet you. I drove to many appointments in the hopes that you and I could soon meet up.  When we finally did meet, I was elated.  I was cautious, yes, but completely overjoyed.  Of course, it crossed my mind that you could up and leave at any point, but I trusted you.  I was sure you wouldn't leave me.  Especially when I had worked so hard to meet you.  And, especially after knowing you for 6 long months, I was sure that you wouldn't just abandon me.  That doesn't happen between good friends, right?  They have doctors and technology to make sure that that doesn't happen anymore.

Huh.

I was way wrong.

In March you left, and took my precious first daughter along with you.  My thoughts on you changed.  I wish they hadn't. I didn't want to be bitter. But, the way that things ended between us, it was impossible for things not to be awkward.  I didn't want to be that lady. That bitter lady.  It was hard to know that D and I had worked so hard- put so much energy and time and money- into you being a part of our lives and then you just up and left.  And then other people?  They don't treat you as they should- they feed you the wrong things and don't care for you as I did, and you still stay. I just didn't get it.

I was bitter that you stayed with others when you left us with such empty hearts.  I was sure that we had treated you better than other people. I was sure that others were not appreciating you the way we had. I was sure that we would have been better caretakers of you and your precious gift.

Then, December 2011 came around.  You visited us, stopped by for a bit.  I desperately wanted to see you again.  Experience your miracle. But, I was cautious. You had broken the trust once, I knew you could do it again.  Mom always said that trust is easily broken and slowly gained.  Pregnancy, this is so true about you.  I wanted you and I to be besties. Not like how Michelle Duggar or Nadya Suleman are besties with you.  But, you know, good friends.  I wanted to spend the next 10 months with you, trusting that you would offer me a miraculous child.  I was so incredibly thankful that you had visited us again.  But, it just wasn't that fun.  I knew that you could leave at any point.

During the time you were with us, I didn't know what to do with you.  I wanted to revel in the joy you brought D and I.  But, I couldn't.  Not only did I know your history, but others had been betrayed by you as well.  You have met many of my friends.  And you have betrayed many of my friends as well.  I knew that our announcement of joyous news would bring heartache and sadness and tears to many other people. Many others who have been praying for your visit for years and have been wanting to announce your visit to their own family.  How can I delight in my own miracle when I know that there are others who are hurting from my joy?

And then. You did it again. It's like you ate and ran.  You hardly stayed. But, even in your short visit, you brought D and I so much happiness.  And, that's why you're dumb.  Even in a few weeks time, you brought us such joy and hope and visions of a future that we have been praying for for so long.

So, what I'm saying is I'm feeling ambivalent on your next arrival, if you ever choose to return to our family.  As much as I hate to admit it (am I like the abused wife?), I cannot wait for your return.  I cannot wait to see you again because there is a joy that fills my heart when you come around.

So, what I'm asking is: Can we patch things up between us?  Can you come back for another visit sometime soon?  And can you stay for a lot longer?  Say, 40 weeks or so?

Thanks,
Rachel

Friday, February 3, 2012

Crossed off my to-do list.

So, it's done.
I have crossed if off my bucket list.
(Although, it was never on my bucket list.)
But, it's crossed off anyways.
Have D&C.
Deliver stillborn.
See that, God?
Those are done.
Finito.
I don't need to do those again.
Ever.
(And neither does any other woman for that matter.)
via
**********************************************
First, 
thank you.
For your prayers,
your well wishes,
your tears,
your thoughts.
Although many of you said that you didn't know what to say-
that was enough.
Seeing your name pop up as a comment
or come in my inbox
was enough.
It could have been a blank message for all I care.
But thank you.
You don't even know
what comfort I get from reading them.
And, I would maybe be a bit embarrassed to tell you how many times I have read all of them.
Over and over.
I'll just say, I've read them all more than twice.
Via
********************************************
Second,
how it went.
Everything went well.
As well as something like that can go.
I won't go into details of how the procedure was done
but if you're curious, go to goog.
Goog D&C and have fun.
It will give you more information than you ever need.
I am smart and have learned and did not goog it.
(I'd rather envision 
that the little thing trotted out of me on a golden chariot pulled by unicorns 
and followed the path of rainbow diamonds up to heaven.
It is now playing with Maggie and Uncle Dan.
Or something that is that awesome.
I will not think about what really, actually happened to love nugget.)

Thankfully, there were no complications
and things went smoothly.
The nurse walked me to the bathroom to change,**
Got in my sweet gown**,
got in the bed with the sweet puffer blow up heater plastic blanket thing,
got my iv in,
answered a gazillion questions,
talked to 92 nurses and doctors
and told each one that I was not allergic to latex.

Then, Dr. Grainger came in.
He hugged me.**
We had a list of questions for him,
(like "why the h does this keep happening?"
but I'll tell you about those in another post at some point)
and we got some answers.**

They rolled me out of my little room
and into the surgery room.
I remember them checking me in at 10:15.
Exactly.
Then they strapped both my arms down.**
I get why they do that
but it is still creepy.
Hannibal Lecterish.
Dr. Grainger came in.**
Then they gave me the sweet manna from heaven.
And, I was sleepy mush.
Thank goodness.

By 11ish I was back in my little room.
They gave me a Rho-gam shot (I'm A negative).
And, all I can say is I'm glad I was still a bit knocked out for that shot.
Those suckers hurt.
I laid there more
and became coherent enough to realize what was going on.**

By 11:30 we were in the truck heading home.

And, I feel good.
Physically.
The surgery was quicker and easier than the other 2 that I have had,
so things feel good.
My heart, no.
But, my lady parts.
Decent.
Via
**********************************************
Third,
the aftermath.
When I got home our doorstep had some gifts.
Beautiful flowers from sister and her kids.
And, I wasn't surprised.
My sister is just awesome like that.
And a bag from my dear friend, AS-
some movies
and 2 Cokes.
Perfect therapy for me--she knows just what I like.
And the teeth/organ corroding beverage was delicious.

Pretty much, I've been on the couch ever since.
I've gotten up to eat and drink,
and feed Fatty.
My parents and aunt and uncle came over with dinner
and wonderful company.
For a shitty day, it was actually okay.

And, I decided that today I was not going to cry.
(By cry I mean wailing-gnashing-of-teeth cry, not pathetic-wimpy-cry.)
Because I'd done enough for today.
That will be on my list for other days (the next few hundred, I'm sure),
but I didn't want to do that.
Because, really, crying is an energy sucker
and I was kind of not ready to deal with all that today.
I did one major thing (like a freaking D&C),
I'll save the blubbering, heart-wrenching grieving for other days.
Now, don't get all psycho-babble-freaky on me and think that I'm not handling this well
and I'm not grieving appropriately
and I should just feel what I'm feeling.
Believe me, I have learned how to grieve over the past 10.5 months.
I know how the dealio of grief goes.
So, I didn't really grieve today.
I wasn't a *huge* mess.
Not because I couldn't be (in 0.07 seconds).
I just put it on the to-do list for later.
But, don't worry, I will.
One step at a time.
(Right, Jordin Sparks?)
((And don't even tell me that that song isn't a little catchy.))

And, just in case you still aren't consoled
and you're worried that my heart is becoming as cold as ice,
I did cry.
And, I documented all those times.
That's what the ** are above.
I cried a bit.
7 times, in fact.
Which, I think, is really good.
Only 7?
There's like 24 hours in a day.
That's not even 1/3 of the day that I cried.
Impressive, right?
But, it was the pretty kind of cry.
Not the gross kind.
Via
 **********************************************
Fourth,
the next few days/weeks/months.

I don't expect them to be like today.
I know it will hit me.
And I'll let it.
And I'll tell you when it does.
So that you know when to send extra little prayers up for me.
(I'm selfish like that).
It will hit me.
When I really stop.
And think.
And realize that September 7 is no longer a date that I need to remember.
And when I start making doctor's appointments again.
And when I realize that my nugget is gone.
When I realize my two babies have met.
And when I think about how my body failed a living being.
Again.
I'll grieve.
My heart will always have missing pieces.
And I will carry Maggie and nugget in my heart.
Always.


Via
To be continued...
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