Friday, November 24, 2006

We have the GO!

I haven't felt this kind of relief and weight off my heart in weeks. Geo accompanied me to my doctor's appointment last night, waiting outside while I was going to have judgement passed onto the condition of my post-scrape uterus.

My doctor, a male by the way, was the biggest sweetheart he could have been, considering how I broke down crying in his office the last time I was there, and was not to be consoled by anything he said or did. Immediately after I came in he asked about how I was feeling, how I passed the last month, if I had any physical concerns after the D&C. I asked him about the time I need to wait before we can "try again", because I do not want to wait the recommended 3 months. I told him about all the controversial opinions I have found when I did research, and how insecure I was about how to proceed. He really took his time to talk with me about this, explained how the standard response of "three months" isn't really based on any scientific/medical reasoning. and that there really is no correct answer. The only one knowing that answer is my own body, and it'll get pregnant again whenever it is ready to.

Of course there is always a risk of miscarrying again, he said, but if I will - I will, and there is nothing anybody can do about it, and it also has nothing to do with when I got pregnant again. People oftentimes blame it on getting pregnant again too early, he said, but that's usually just an attempt to find reasons and meaning behind such tragedies, that are in nobody's hands. He gave me the medical OK on going right ahead again, and the joy and excitement I felt about that, after all these weeks of sadness, hopelessness and desperation, I can barely put into words.

Of course he conducted a physical checkup as well, and confirmed that everything seems perfectly alright again. He was pleased that I got my period again within a normal time span after the scrape, and reassured me that my extreme pains that accompanied it this time where within boundaries of normalcy, after the operation, and that it should get better.

I finally asked him if he would monitor my baby more closely than usual once I come back to him with a positive test, considering my miscarriage. He smiled and explained to me that up until there is a heartbeat pretty much nothing can be done at all, and after that monthly checkups are the norm. However, if I wanted to, up until week 12, he could conduct them bi-monthly to ease my fears and insecurity. After week 12 the risk of miscarriage is considered negligible, if the pregnancy progresses normally up until then. I was very happy to hear that, to see him treat me so nicely and understanding, so I had to laugh and told him that I just had to warn him: I will probably run to the phone to call him in panic with every little twitch or cramp in my abdomen, to which he laughed heartily, saying that this would be absolutely no problem and I should go right ahead, but that there will be no need to show up at his doorstep every other day.

I love doctors with which I feel so taken care of. Most others I encountered over the years for whatever reason have the tendency of treating their patients like numbers, like items on a conveyor belt passing through their offices. There have been few exceptions, and my gyn certainly is a BIG one. I would recommend him to ANY girl out there; I've been visiting him for years already, and whatever the issue was, he's been fabulous - both on a personal level, and medical expertise as well. I just feel taken seriously by him, and - sad as this is - unfortunately this is rare with most doctors I have met before. I am really happy to have such a great doctor who will be taking care of my baby before it will be born. He's like a lotto jackpot, seriously.

Now... all we need is the baby.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

"It suits you well..."

Yesterday in a break between our fistball-games, while keeping my friend's 9-month-old on my lap to watch her while she went to the bathroom, an acquaintance walked by. Seeing me rocking the baby and playing with her, he put on a grin and said: "Looking at this, I must say... a baby suits you really well! How 'bout it?"

So, yeah. How could he have known. It's not like I am walking around with a sign around my neck that says "JUST LOST BABY. NO BABY REFERENCES IN A RADIUS OF 5 KILOMETERS, PLEASE." But dayamn... OUCH. I just got done getting over the fact that another friend from my team had just announced - about an hour prior to this - that she is expecting her second baby in June (the same time my Little One would have been born), and now I had to fake a smile, and... what? Nod? I guess that's what I did. Along with some kind of inarticulate noise that could have been anything from "yeah... you think so? thanks!" to "fuck off asshole, can't you see I am suffering???".

Yesterday was the first time I went back into "public", that is: I put myself back into a social situation that involved more friends and acquaintances than the few from the innermost circle which I have allowed close in the past month. Most of which I have last seen at our wedding. There were people that knew about what happened, and more that didn't. Some of whom I told there, and a lot with whom I executed happy-happy superficial small-talk with. It felt alright, and that feels good. I could hold and play with my friend's 9-month-old, the first baby I was faced with since, and it didn't throw me right back into my hole, as I had feared and kind of expected it would.

I have also, 5 weeks after the D&C, gotten my period again. Two days ago. 4 painkillers did do exactly nothing to ease the pain and the cramps, and for the first time in my life I understood that women who complain and claim to be suffering during their periods, are not necessarily the pussies I always accused them of being. I have never experienced anything like this before: the pain drew tears into my eyes, I was unable to walk, or sit, or stand up straight. Thankfully it's easier today... but I sincerely hope that the miscarriage and/or D&C hasn't pulled my ovaries over to the dark side now permanently. My mother had the comforting statement to offer that "once you gave birth" it'll be all back to normal again.

Oy vey.

At any rate - despite all the suffering I am going through now, I am very glad that AF came back all by itself, and on time too. It's a good sign that things in my body have returned back to normal, and I most likely ovulated again 2 weeks or so ago. Next Thursday is my checkup with my Gyn, and if I get his okay, we'll definitely get back to "trying" again very soon. It's a very exciting thought to say the least. :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Utilizing Art...

Today I would like to share with you a piece of art that I have created during my mourning process, and which has - surprisingly enough - made dealing with it significantly easier:

(please go here for a complete reference of sources and copyright information)

If you know a little bit about my attempts of getting into Buddhism a while ago, you may understand this piece better. I am not religious, but the thought certainly helps.

It's more comforting than any other thought/idea/philosophy I have come across so far, and especially FIL's question a few weeks ago, while I was probably on my lowest yet:

"Have you thanked God, already?"

"Thank god, for what???" I exploded into Geo's face, when he retold his phone conversation with his father to me. "Well, for the surgery having gone well, I suppose...?" was his clueless and certainly innocent reply. I know that he got upset with his father's question too, but, ever the gentleman, he had responded to him with a simple and polite "no" instead of exploding the way I had done. I admire his gentleness a lot.

That question was bugging me a lot, and still is, when my mind drifts back to that day. Thank god? Okay! "Thanks, dude, for making my baby die inside my body and sending me to the hospital to have its earthly remains scraped out of the very organ that was supposed to be its shelter and save haven for 9 months! I guess I am glad that I woke up alright with stabbing pains in my abdomen and an empty soul, and was sent home into my personal hell the same day! That is really something to be grateful for!"

I do not believe in god, and up until the miscarriage I have considered myself a true athetist. Now I find myself taking comfort in entertaining thoughts of afterlife and rebirth and soul travel, and so I poured these thoughts into my piece. I felt relieved when it was done, I felt like I had created a lasting monument for my baby. I believe that its soul is out there, that it is not lost to the world, and that it will come back to me when the time is right. I am grateful that the D&C went well, and that I did not suffer any complications. I am grateful that I am very likely to be able to carry a baby to full-term next time. I am grateful that our marriage did not suffer irreparable damage from this trauma. I am grateful for the support I received when I needed it. But "thanking god"??? That's the most offensive thing in such a situation I have ever heard.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wrapping Up & Starting Over...

Well, how do I start this post, over one month since my last one? It is not an easy thing to write down... not after I have read through all my previous enthusiastic posts here, not after what has happened. No matter how much time has passed. Or little. I guess that's a matter of interpretation, isn't it? Everybody is different, and after I was told 2 days after returning from our honeymoon that our baby has died at probably 5 weeks, I fell into a very deep hole.

I am not sure if I am entirely out of the hole yet, but certainly my hands are on the rim already. It's been very hard... nobody could tell me why I lost our baby, everybody told me that this is something that happens a lot, to many women, and it's usually natural causes. It was probably for the best. Probably. That knowledge doesn't help. Neither did the reactions of the people around me. I know they all meant well in their loss for something helpful to say, so they usually just stuck their feet into their mouths in their well meant attempts.

"Hey... don't think you lost a baby, it really was just a bunch of cells, m'kay?"

"Dear, don't be sad... there's always a next time, but if you get so depressed, it'll be bad for your next attempt..."

"Well, it happens to a lot of women. Try not to be too sad about it."

"Be glad it happened so early, I can't imagine you already had some emotional connection to your baby yet at this stage..."

I don't think I need to continue. It was all well meant. I know that. But all it did was to make me retreat into solitude for the whole month that followed my D&C. I did not want to see anybody outside my family, I did not want to go out, I did not want to talk on the phone. I had a week off of work on sick leave after the D&C, and a week after I went back to work and tried to live Life as Usual(tm) for about another week, I had a complete breakdown. I retreated completely into myself, relying only on Geo for emotional support. Geo has been great... he's been strong for both of us, for I needed him 100% to lean on. I felt extremely guilty, numb, hopeless... and he went to great lengths to alleviate most of these feelings. I think that he has suppressed his own process of grieving for the longest time in favor of supporting me, and - in all honesty - I still don't know much about how he's feeling up to this day, for all his shielding me from the burden of his own emotions on top of mine. His grieving process was a quiet one.

The D&C was a rather uncomplicated matter. I checked into the hospital at 7am on October 13th, the operation was performed around 9:30am, I woke up from full anesthesia about 20 minutes later, hooked to a bottle of painkillers dripping into my veins, and I was released around 5pm that very same day because I was physically not impaired at all. I was told things (i.e.: my cycle) should get back to normal within 4 to 6 weeks. I have a checkup with my gyn about a week from now, and was recommended I wait with trying again for about 2 to 3 months.

I have since done a LOT of research on the internet, and the overall tone is that at least 1 cycle should be gone through from a physical point of view - 2 to 3 is out of consideration for the grieving process of the woman, for this is "normally" how long a woman statistically needs to get over a miscarriage.

I am still waiting for my first period to set in. It's been almost 5 weeks since the D&C, and I have been feeling cramps for two days in a row now - usually a sign that Aunt Flo is on her way. In retrospect, I haven't had my period since late August... I can't say that I am upset about these few "free" months at all, this is really something I could get used to.

Recently, I have felt like I am getting a grip on Life as Usual(tm) again, and I have decided to keep writing in this journal, instead of deleting it. I want to remember my little baby, and the euphoria that its little presence has made me feel, not delete the records of it forever. To me, it was significantly more than "just a bunch of cells" I have lost - I have loved its presence from the second I definitely knew about it.

I also do believe that I did not lose the person that this baby would have become - just a potential physical shell. I do believe that this little soul is still out there, waiting for Geo and I to provide it with a functioning vessel to be born in.

This is why I have decided to keep this blog, afterall: to document our journey to this new moment of standing in the bathroom, breathlessly staring at this second pink line slowly appearing on this new stick.

Little Love... we are waiting for you with open arms.