You would think after last night I wouldn’t be feeling so awful. But some days are still really bad, the kind where all I want to do is curl up into a ball and let the tears fall. I want to cry for the unfairness of it all, for the social awkwardness and for being forced to give up my babies. I guess it could be the weather; this rain makes it easy to want to stay in bed and not face the world, to hide from anything or anyone out there that would remind me of what I lost. Maybe it’s why I don’t seem to want to go out any more. I’ve been perfectly content staying in every weekend for months now. All I’ve wanted to do lately is bury myself in flour and eggs; but even on days like this I don’t even want to be in the kitchen. Right now I want to let the tears fall that I try to hold back the majority of days instead of being out at a bar. I guess it’s possible the seminar drummed up the emotions I’ve been working so hard to overcome. As helpful, informative and hopeful as it was, I had to relive the pain and trauma in order to see the cuases and treatments — to remind myself where it all started. In addition to this, I posted a craigslist ad earlier this week in hopes of starting an informal miscarriage support group and no one responded. Everyone keeps saying all these women out there have suffered miscarriages, but where are they? I can look in the direction of an empty parking lot with only one person in it, and that person turns out to be a pregnant woman (it happened), but I can’t seem to find one person locally that knows what this feels like. All I want to do is reach out to other women who are going through this so maybe they don’t have to feel alone, and I can’t find them. And if it isn’t obvious, I want to feel less fucking alone in all of this. Someone to make me realize I’m not the only one being left behind. Because right now? It’s what I feel like. And I just don’t want to feel like that anymore.
I know that it’s fall and we’re not supposed to be seeing pictures of green this time of year, but in Northern California this is the start of the green season. As excited as I get for the ugly brown of late summer to disappear, I ache for autumn in New England. I always think summer is the hardest time of the year to be away, but once fall hits, I’m reminded this is the time I wish to be back there the most. Don’t get me wrong, there’s fall here, too. The air gets a little crisper and the vines change colors. I have to start wearing a jacket on our walks in the evening and in the morning I cling to my coffee and bundle up in my warmer scarves. I’m sure I’ll start to love the subtle fall here…but it’s just not the same. In Maine you’d finally be feeling relief from the heat, but would be bearing down for what was ahead by reveling in every last second of sun on our bare faces and sweatered bodies before the cold of winter hit. Fall is the last few moments of comfort before the bitter air and I just feel like it’s appreciated more.
I actually took this picture in July but I hadn’t shared it before and felt like adding a picture to the blog instead of sleeping. Don’t you think there needs to be more pictures on here? Brighten the place up a bit? Tim and I went camping at Blairsden with the pup and had a wonderful time. We hiked up to a lake that we were suprised was even there (a lot of the lakes dry up in California during the summer) and this was on the way. It was a beautiful day.
Will you do me a favor? Will you put on a cozy sweater and go outside for me? Shuffle through a pile of leaves. Feel the warm sun and the cooler air. Go inside to a fire and some tea. We’ll soon be seeing green, but in the meantime, I’m longing for autumn.
Last night I had a dream I was 25 weeks pregnant. I don’t usually dream about being pregnant, but when I do I’m barely pregnant or I’m 9 months along but don’t even have a belly, so this was a new occurrence for me. I had a big round belly and I remember thinking “Wow, I made it this far, that’s good. Only 15 more weeks to go.” Then right after that discovery, I realized I hadn’t been to the doctor since finding out I was pregnant and I had no confirmation that the baby in me was still alive. I had this overwhelming feeling that it was dead and even though my belly was big, it had failed regardless; yet I felt compelled to continue thinking positively because maybe it could change the fact that it was already gone. It’s so funny this positive thinking thing. I’ve believed for a long time that we have power over our bodies with how we think, but now I just don’t know. I believed it in the second pregnancy and even managed to continue it in the third. But it failed both times. All my positive thoughts did nothing. My babies still died. I think that’s where the part of me that feels like I failed comes from, that I did what I was supposed to do, and it still didn’t work. Even in my dreams I realize that in the big picture, it still doesn’t work if something isn’t right. I wonder how I will be when I get pregnant again, if it will be a struggle or if I will wonder if it’s even worth it. I don’t know. What do you think? Do you believe in the powers of our mind? Is there even any proof that it works? Should I just think I’m doomed from the beginning since thinking otherwise does nothing? Do you want to slap me yet?
I’m feeling like posting this today because it’s raining out and a little gloomy and I just retold my whole year to a friend I hadn’t talked to since before all this happened and I need the feelings it gives me to listen to it. See, I have a knack for finding songs that drum up painful feelings from the past (um, Clem Snide anyone? No? How about Ray LaMontagne circa 2004 before he was in commercials for insurance and on prime time tv shows?) So it’s rare for me to find one that fills my heart with contentment and makes my soul smile. This song does that for me, and maybe if you haven’t heard it before (or you have and agree), it will do that for you, too.
Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s – A Take Away Show by La Blogotheque on Vimeo (And if you’re still watching at that point, it continues on into 40 Day Dream, which is another good one.)
(This particular video is from the streets of San Francisco and makes me smile even more. I think it’s been making its rounds in the blog world, but just maybe you still haven’t seen it. Enjoy!)
Okay. Guys? On Sunday I’m going to see a band I’ve wanted to see for the majority of my life. I’ve had a love affair with Pearl Jam since 1991 when Ten first came out. I would shut my preteen self in my room and blast their music, stare at the magenta album cover and lift my hand in a high five salute to the band. Not only was it my first discovery of real music (before that it was the 80′s – enough said), it was accompanied by new flannel shirts and baggy corduroys and a deep, passionate crush only an 11-year-old girl could have on Eddie Vedder that has since lasted 19 years. NINETEEN YEARS. And guys? I’m finally getting to see them this weekend. I’m trying not to be a whiney little baby and ignore the fact I’ll be a mile away from the stage because I’m poor and it’s going to pour down rain on us but I don’t care because I’m finally getting to see Eddie, Jeff, Stone, Mike and Matt.* And although I would be closer if I just watched them on YouTube, I’ll still be there. Almost 20 years later I’ll finally be seeing the band that changed music for me. I had better go find those flannel shirts. Hey, 1991 me — I’m totally going to see Eddie! High-five!
* who was not an original member, but I’ll take him.
(Photo courtesy of this site where they don’t cite the source)
I think I’ve turned a corner. Things have started to feel brighter and I seem to have a little more life to me. I think it’s a combination of things — the fact that I started a new year with my birthday and with that came a gift from Tim (a ring) that symbolizes all that I’ve been through this past year, a connection with someone who knows what all this feels like, and some hope from a seminar I’m going to attend recommended by another blogger. They’ve all added up and I’ve even started having feelings of wanting to try again. Except I’m aware I’m not quite ready. The fear is so strong I’m not sure it could be overlooked at this point, but at least it’s lessening.
Of course, I say all this and today on my way to therapy I was feeling light and the smiling wasn’t being forced, and the moment I walk in the door the tears fall and don’t stop for the entire hour I’m there. It amazes me the amount of sadness I still have, despite all the healing I think I’m achieving. But I guess that’s how we keep on going in life, we just learn to deal with the sadness, to cover it up when we need to and let it all out when we’re given the space to do so.
Last week a blogger that I’ve read for years announced she was expecting her third child. She was only 6 weeks along when she told her readers, and even now she’s only 7 (I know, I’m impressed with my math, too) and all I can think is “don’t get attached” or “wow, that was brave to announce so early.” I hate that those are my first thoughts. That I can’t just feel confident, that even for a stranger I expect the worst. And you know what the worst part is? The part that I’m sure many of us feel that have been through this, but don’t ever want to say? My very next thought was that a part of me hopes she loses it. Because maybe then someone else would know how I feel and I wouldn’t feel so left behind in the world of pregnancies. Isn’t that just awful? I’ll understand if you go away and never come back. But before you go you should know that I don’t really feel that way, because I wouldn’t even wish this on my worst enemy. I tell myself it’s because I’m human and as humans we don’t want to be alone in what we feel, and I hope that that’s why I have these awful thoughts. Because she’s a wonderful woman with struggles of her own and I hope nothing awful like this ever happens to her. I’m happy to go it alone the rest of our lives so that no one else has to feel this way. But 7 weeks? 7 weeks has been ruined for me. In fact, anything before 40 weeks may very well be ruined for me.
So, um, yeah, it’s a good thing I’m still in therapy.
Today Kate Inglis, from Sweet | Salty, posted words that every woman that has suffered a miscarriage, a still-birth, a death of a child, should be required to read. It is difficult to describe the thoughts that women - mothers – have after losing a child. But Kate takes it further, she puts a new twist on these thoughts, giving new light to the often dark (internal) voices that accompany this kind of loss. Kate gave birth to twin boys 3 months early, losing Liam six weeks after birth. As awful as what I have gone through is, the pain she experienced I cannot comprehend. Not only am I posting this here so that you will go and read it, but so that I can remember her words, to remind myself that I may still be lucky after all. Please take the time to read the post, you won’t regret it.
“Forgive this invisible parenthood.
Forgive your body.
Forgive your luck.”
I want to write these words on my body so that maybe then I’ll start to believe in them. Thank you, Kate. Thank you for seeing and believing in something so many of us are struggling to find ourselves.
I’m having a difficult time with the term “miscarriage survivor.” Really, it’s more the “survivor” part of it because I don’t feel as if I have survived anything. I think that the term “survive” should be saved for times where you had a near death experience but you ended up coming out of it alive. Like my friend who was just electrocuted by 12,000 volts and managed to live…that’s survival. He survived stepping on a power line and trying to put out a wildfire. For me, besides the brief moment where I wanted to drive into the river after the February miscarriage instead of go to the doctor’s, I can hardly say I have been close to death. And let’s say for arguments sake you don’t need to be close to death to survive, even then I can hardly say I’ve survived. I’m still trying to survive if that’s the case. And when will I stop surviving this? When I finally succeed at a pregnancy? Even then I’ll be mourning the deaths of my babies, that won’t disappear, so can you really say I’ve survived the miscarriages? But will I then be a survivor because I did succeed in my initial goal of becoming (and remaining) pregnant? I just don’t feel like it fits. But what does? It goes along with that feeling of not fitting in — the feeling of being between motherhood and before. If there were two groups of women, as our society often puts us into, those that have never been pregnant and those that are mothers, I would have to stand alone. Of course, there are many women that would join me, yes, but what exactly would we call ourselves?
Anyway. There’s my ramble for this Friday afternoon. I think I might be a little stir-crazy.
Have a great weekend!