Monthly Archives: March 2014

Nameless Disease

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What do you call a woman who has lost a baby? Someone who had a miscarriage or a still born baby? We are nameless. The condition is nameless. Are we just called barren women? Give me a name. Something to label me, because I think I need that. I need a giant scarlet B on my chest. Give me something. I’m struggling with this more and more everyday. No, I don’t want a medal for what I’ve gone through, but some recognition that I once had a child inside of me would be nice. Understanding why I’m going mad would make us both feel better… because I’m just getting crazier and crazier and the outside world has no idea.

For example, let’s say, that I had cancer. I lost a lot of weight due to chemo and my hair all fell out. Would I be ashamed? Would I be screaming at the world, why me? Why did I have to get cancer? No, probably not. Would I have to ask people to give me some time, to let me nap. I wouldn’t have to explain why I was depressed and jealous of all the women who still had their hair. I would be understood and the feelings and emotions that I was having would be understood. I would be wearing pink everything. I would get a pretty fleece jacket with the pink embroidered ribbon on it. I would go out with my bald head and I would be a proud cancer survivor. What’s difficult with these losses is that with miscarriages, there’s no badge of honor. There’s no one who says, “I have three dead babies and I lived through it.” Why do we hide this? Why are we so ashamed? Why is this so taboo? Why do I feel ashamed to tell people that I work with an organization that deals with dead babies dying. Why do I shy away or get angry when someone asks if I have kids? Why do I get angry when they ask if I want kids someday. Yes, someday would be fabulous. Why does it feel like I’ve committed a social blunder why I finally do say yes, I would like a baby, but we just haven’t been fortunate enough to have one yet.

When I was very young, I never dreamed of my wedding day. Ever. I never saw myself having a husband. I don’t know why… But I never saw myself married. The only thing I ever knew I wanted was a baby. I always saw myself as a mother. There was never a question or doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have children.

But now we’re having those talks. That maybe it will just be him and me. This might be it. We might only have each other. And every month that becomes more and more of our reality. And this cancer might just eat me alive.

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Positive Faux Pas

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We all know that question you’re not supposed to ask someone. “Are you pregnant?” Those words should never leave our mouths. Never. Ever.

I haven’t seen one of my good friends in a while… Maybe December? I can’t really recall. We talk on the phone infrequently and we’re actually getting together with another friend of ours next Sunday, the 16th. Well, last night I saw pictures of her on Facebook when she was at a restaurant. My jaw hit the floor when I saw her photo. She’s my only friend who doesn’t have children. She’s been married for ten years and every year she has said that in two years they will start trying. Her husband has a good job and now they have a plan of when they will start having kids. She wanted to be financially secure when they started having children, which is smart. She wanted to be ready. She just turned 30, so she has time. Time. Inside I’m screaming, “you don’t have time!” She said that she didn’t want to reveal her “plan” to anyone. She doesn’t want anyone knowing when they are trying to conceive. She doesn’t want the bad mojo and she also doesn’t want to say anything until she’s past her first trimester–to anyone. Just in case. All smart moves and all, but dammit, I’m over here trying to protect myself from any surprising news.

Anyway… back to the photo. When I saw it, I was shocked. It was her, but with a belly. And not a, I kinda gained weight belly in the last three months, but like a pregnancy belly. Up higher. Round as could be. So, I sit there, looking at the photo. Do I say something? No. That’s just stupid. You never ask someone if they’re pregnant. The repercussions are catastrophic. In my mind, I envisioned meeting my two friends for lunch in a week and trying to pretend not to notice “the bump.” While munching on my vegan chicken, I would wait until she “surprised” us by revealing that she was a blessed 13 weeks along. And I imagined myself trying to be happy. And choking on fake soy chicken. And then, I texted her.

Me: “So… odd question. And I apologize in advance if you’re not, but in some of the photos of you that were just posted make you look preggers. Or you had just ate. Or bad lighting…?”

Me: “Not trying to be rude if you’re not!”

Her: “I’m not. I just gained weight”

Me: “Ok… just checking! It’s hard to tell because in the one pic you and your sister both look normal. And in the other you both look bigger.”

I’m trying to salvage this conversation.

Her: “Honestly, if I was pregnant and at the point where I was showing I would tell people then”

Me: “You’re little like Noel. Little people show early… and I know you didn’t want anyone to know before 12 weeks.”

Me: “Noel starts showing at 7 weeks.”

Fuck

Me: “Sorry”

Her: “It just stings hearing that, I realize I have gained weight.”

Double fuck.

Me: “I recognize that. I’m sorry. I’m just always on the lookout… from everyone. I need to seriously get off Facebook because someone is always announcing a pregnancy, posting ultrasound pics, new born pics, etc. (And six month pics and first year pictures and sixth grade pictures… but I decided I had already made my point…) And I know you said you weren’t going to tell anyone until you were 3 months. I’m trying to protect myself and not be blindsided. Even my sister-in-law announced #6 via Facebook through an ultrasound picture… on a day when my baby was due. Which was April. I am sorry. I’m just hypersensitive in trying to spot any bump.”

Her: “I hear you, when the day comes let me tell you on my terms please. I will keep your struggles in mind.”

My struggles. Struggles. Struggles? Struggles. Huh.

Me: “Don’t take the struggles into consideration. I just want to know. Really. On your terms.”

Her: “Ok”

In the end I don’t know who was more distraught. We were both probably angry, but for different reasons. She was mad because I, a supposed good friend, thought she had a baby bump. I can think of better reasons to be angry at someone. She’s probably also very tired of people (everyone) asking when they’re going to have children. But now she’s going to take “my struggles into consideration…” How perfectly thoughtful. Except these aren’t struggles… my babies aren’t “struggles.” This is Hell. She’s going to pick ABC year and XYZ month to try to conceive and it will happen. And they will get pregnant. And she will tell me. And it will be like every other wonderfully perfect baby story. The End. But for her to make it sound like “my struggles” now inconvenience her life? Not cool. Sorry I thought you were pregnant–God forbid! Sorry I wanted to shield myself from another “We’re expecting story! We just conceived the baby 2 hours ago! Want a to see the nursery?!”

It’s even more difficult with her because she’s the only friend I can call where I don’t have to fight for said friend’s attention while they try control their children. Or hear the children playing in the background. Or have any of my friends say, “Say Hi to little Johnny…” And I’m in a conversation with a two year old for ten minutes with no clue what they’re saying. I’m “Aunt Nicole” to all of my friend’s kids. I can’t take it!

I’m starting to wonder if I can have friends anymore. I seriously can’t handle this. It’s like I’m having the child too, experiencing every birthday, every milestone, and “OMG, little Emily cut her third tooth…” Fuck. How many more teeth are going to come in?!

TWW

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Well, we have hopefully accomplished the goal of getting pregnant. The two week wait has been in effect for a few days now. I started progesterone, Endometrin, a week ago. It’s one suppository twice daily. That’s a whole bunch of fun, lemme tell you!

We’re actually on CD24 and I have not taken a pregnancy test yet. I never test positive on pregnancy tests until week 5 anyway, so there’s really no point in testing. My HcG levels are just never high enough to give a positive result early or at 4 weeks. That won’t stop me from taking a test either Friday or Saturday… but I would be surprised if it’s positive.

Fingers crossed!