Monday, September 24, 2012

Time Marches On

It's been 8 weeks since Morgan left us.  I wake up every Saturday morning and mark her "birthday".  I think of how old she'd be.  Of what she'd look like now.  While those thoughts are somewhat of a fantasy, they're not really upsetting until I snap back to reality and think that she should still be in my belly, rolling and kicking away.  Will I ever be able to really enjoy Saturdays again?  How long until I lose track of exactly how many weeks it's been?  Will it be like it is for parents of living children -- 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 then 18 months, 3 years?

This weekend, I marked week 8.  Eight weeks gone, yet eight weeks still until term.  I think one of the worst parts now of my losing Morgan at 20 weeks is the symmetry of time.  I found out about my little stowaway when I was not quite five weeks pregnant.  We lost her at not quite 21, so we were aware of her presence for 16 weeks.  She's been gone half as long as we knew about her.  When the other half of that time has passed, we still won't be quite at her due date.  Twenty weeks with her, twenty weeks without her.  Then, a lifetime without her.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Some people are just mean spirited

Some people are just mean.  Downright cruel, even.  A couple of days ago, I was reading a blog post about a 61 year old woman serving as a surrogate for her daughter, who had been unable to carry a baby to term.  The blog authors posed the question of whether the readers would use a surrogate or act as a surrogate for another family.

Now, I know the anonymity of the internet lets people say a whole lot of smack they wouldn't say to your face, but one reader, "James P.", takes the cake.  He first implied that people who pass over adoption in favor of alternative means to a biological child to complete their families are SELFISH, and then also said "I bet infertility is one of the ways God is merciful to children who have parents unwilling or unable to care for them.".

Are you serious?  Even before our situation occurred, I've always noticed how seemingly easy it is for those who are obviously bad parents to have children.  This morning, while scanning the news, I found this story about a woman who lied to her husband about their baby dying in utero, but she really wrapped the newborn baby in a plastic bag and a pillowcase and placed it in the freaking clothes dryer.  Do you mean to tell me THIS woman is a better parent than I am?  Casey Anthony, who was partying at the club while her little girl was missing, is a better parent than I am?

Get the 'bleep' out of here with that nonsense.  If people with infertility issues or other reproductive issues were unwilling or unable to care for their children, would we be so distraught when we lose them?  Casey Anthony was apparently glad to be freed of her parental duties and ran right out to party hearty.  Would we do anything we could, such as clinical trials, alternative therapies, and wading through volumes of medical studies, if we didn't want to have families of our own?

One who hasn't been through these situations would even begin to understand, but how could James P. even begin to think his statement was true?  He must not live in the same world I do, where bad things do indeed happen to good people.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lost in the Middle

The past several weeks, I've either read or thumbed through several books on pregnancy loss.  Some were of the lay person medical variety, discussing the causes and noncauses of pregnancy loss, and how to cope.  These books typically deal with first trimester losses, or "typical" third trimester losses. By "typical" I mean what people usually think of as stillbirth, where the baby dies in-utero unexpectedly, at or post term.  Second trimester losses, like ours usually get short shrift though they are officially designated as stillbirth if its 20 weeks or more gestation.  Cervical insufficiency, in general, also doesn't get a lot of attention.  Chromosomal defects of the first trimester, and cord accidents of the third trimester tend to steal the show.

I've heard that a lot of women take offense to the words "miscarriage" and "stillbirth".  I'm sure they'd be more upset at "spontaneous abortion" and "fetal demise".  I've always been careful to use the first set of terms with those who aren't in the medical or semi-medical fields, but otherwise, I really don't have an opinion.  I do feel that neither of these words fit us very well, and I feel lost in the middle.  I was comforted, early on, when I picked up an article that was buried in a pile of school work that defined stillbirth as a non-living infant born at 20 weeks or more.  A technicality, sure, but a being identifiable as a baby, that I could hold in my hands, did not fit into my mental definition of miscarriage.  At the same time, Morgan didn't die at some point between office visits, either.  She was fighting hard until the very end, and died sometime during the labor and delivery process.  But, she was born, and she was still.

I guess I just feel like I've been forced to join this exclusive club, and I don't fit.  I don't fit in a world of women who have happy, healthy babies. I don't fit in a world of women with  no babies. And, I don't fit in a world of women with dead babies, either.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Am a Tomato

I am a tomato.  Not literally, but figuratively.  This spring, shortly before I found out I was pregnant with Morgan, I started a container garden on our patio.  I planted lettuce, peppers, green beans, and tomatoes.  By the summer, both the lettuce and green beans had petered out.  The peppers were producing like crazy.  The tomatoes grew into these lush green plants, and finally produced some tomatoes.  The tomatoes were spaced too closely, and grew miniature tomatoes, even though they were full sized tomato species.  The first several were ruined by tomato blossom end rot, but we did get enough to toss in a salad.  My husband even put some in a pasta dish.

It was a hot summer, and it was a chore to keep the tomatoes with enough water.  When we came home from the hospital after losing Morgan, the pepper plants were droopy, but OK.  The tomato plants were completely brown, dry, and crunchy.  Even so, there were a few tomatoes that managed to ripen over the next few days.  We assumed the tomato plants were past the point of no return, and paid them no more attention.

Today, I looked out the window and saw this:

Nearly six weeks without water, and there were two grape sized tomatoes.  Plump and bright red, they were a striking contrast to the brown stems.  I am those tomatoes.  Like them, the past six weeks have been the hardest of my life.  We gave up on those plants when our baby died.  At the time, I wanted to die, too.  But like the tomatoes, gathering strength, energy, and sustenance from who knows where, I'm still here.  I'm still alive, and fighting, every day.

It's September now, and even the most well tended tomatoes would be winding down now.  I will keep going, but this picture of the tomato will be a reminder of the inner strength that I possess.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

What Was, Is, and Should Have Been

Just over a year ago was when we decided the time was finally right to try and have a baby.  We had a mini vacation scheduled for August, and that would be the kickoff to baby making.

What was... I'm a couponer, and almost always get the Sunday paper.  About this time last year, the Target weekly add featured their big annual baby sale.  I "casually" mentioned to my husband, though I was in no way pregnant yet, how good the prices were on cribs, and that, if I were pregnant, I'd snap one up.  Without hesitation, he said I should go ahead and get it.  Logic prevailed, and I did not purchase a crib for a baby not on the way.

But, I tucked the little nugget of knowledge that Target had an annual baby sale away in the memory bank.

What was... Flash forward to this summer, and I was, indeed, expecting.  IT was still too early to buy baby stuff, but I was eagerly awaiting the Target baby sale.  If I remembered correctly, the ad would come in August.

What is... The Target baby ad came out today.  Just one week away from what would have been the start of the third trimester.  The home stretch.  But again, I'm not pregnant.  Unlike last year, I was looking toward the future with optimism.  This year, I look back with sadness, at what should have been.

I should have spent this rainy Sunday afternoon curled up with that sales flyer, oohing and awing over espresso finish cribs and pink plaid or polka dot trimmed car seats.  I should have been reviewing safety ratings on baby gear.

Instead, I've spent a portion of this day crying tears of pain for my little girl who should still be in my belly.  Today's tears were of the big fat droplet variety, the kind accompanied by wails of "Why?"  The hardest thing to accept these past few days is that just a few short weeks could have made all the difference in the world.  If I could have carried my sweet girl just a few more weeks, maybe she could have lived.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pissed off

All cried out?  Not so much.

In addition to still being hot under the collar about this past week's visit to the doctor, I'm angry at baby magazines.

A second baby mag subscription arrived yesterday (as well as a Babies R Us baby registry ad).  I brought it inside in order to use the label info to unsubscribe.  It took 20 minutes of searching their website to find a link to email customer service.  The parent company offers several magazines, and every time I'd log in, it would either not recognize my information or randomly send me to the subsites of the other magazines, trying to get me to subscribe.  If I start out at American Baby, don't redirect me to Better Homes and Gardens!!!  Don't send me in circles asking me to subscribe.  Why is there no button to unsubscribe?

Why on earth would you ever want to unsubscribe from a baby magazine?  Because babies sometimes die.