Wednesday, January 26, 2011


A quick check in, since I'm heading into that frantic stage before a trip where so much needs to be done and how it will all get done before we step on the plane is a mystery.

We seem to have circumvented the huge blowout fights that we normally have before a trip by instead getting him to quit his job today.

HE DID IT! It took a lot of reassuring him that this is the right decision...but he's fully on board now, and once he made his decision, it was like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders and his heart opened and his eyes got their twinkle back...

I know it won't necessarily be an easy road. But, really, what is an easy road for us right now? There is no road that will bring Otis back to us. So instead, we are faced with choosing the life that best honors our son, making the choice that comes from the same place in our hearts as the space he so clearly occupies.

As we crawled into bed late last night (3 am - we stayed up discussing the work issue for that long...), E said to me, "This is one of those moments that I see how amazing it will be to bring a child into our home, how amazing it will be for a child to see his parents loving each other so fiercely and supporting each other so unconditionally...thank you."

All day yesterday I was saying that it felt like Otis was "flying low." (Thanks to my sweet friend Jen for that phrase, by the way, I use it all the time, and think of our babies and our dads whenever I say it...) Spring is beginning to spring. I noticed the first buds on the trees in our neighborhood; the dandelions were especially huge and bright and fluffy and blow-able all morning on our walk with the dogs; the bulbs I planted in November have just started to pop from the ground...I just felt Otis all around, all day yesterday. When the world started crashing in for E at work last night, it took me awhile, but I realized it felt to me again like it was Otis "flying low" - reminding us of what's truly important, giving his papa that little push into the great unknown - from great risks come great rewards....

So today brings some peace, some clarity, some - dare I say it - hope.

Thanks, friends.

I'll have some computer access while in Maui, but it may be a little quiet around here for a bit...

(Wish us luck please as we still have 36 hours to avoid that "we'll never make it onto the plane" fight...)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I'm doing better.

E is not.

He's having a shit time at work, and it's gotten really bad. He's having horrible anxiety and panic attacks and it's breaking my heart to see him crumbling like this. He works for an abusive, jekyll and hyde manager and it's gotten to the point where it's now giving me anxiety, because I am so upset with how he is treated at work. (His boss said something to the effect of "At any other company if your son died you'd get three days off, maximum..." and he said it in front of E's co-workers as well....and that's just the icing on the cake, he really is such an asshole, it's just devastating to watch E's spirit get trampled on like this.)

E texted me tonight when he had arrived at work that some more bullcrap had gone down, and that he was stressing and feeling anxious and broken. I kind of wanted to leave my work, at that very moment, drive to E's work, and tear his boss a new one.

I had a heart to heart with my mom about it, and she agreed with me that he needs to quit his job. She assured me that we'll figure out the finances of it and that E's health and sanity are far more important. (I hope he agrees that it's time to quit. He's at work right now so we haven't had a chance to discuss it yet. But I think E will be relieved to get out of there, I hope he is ready. I actually would love it if he just up and quit tonight.)

I am scared of how we'll survive, financially, but I am more terrified of him having a heart attack, or falling apart in some other way due to how unhappy he is with work.

I hope he doesn't think that staying in his current job would somehow be the "responsible" thing to do. To be fair, he was going to be going back to school in the fall regardless, so there was going to be a shift in the nearish future anyhow, it just seems like this is going to speed up the process.

Since having this moment of realization that he needs to leave this job, NOW, it feels like I've been able to breathe again. It feels like a huge sigh of relief for me. I hope it is for him too.

I think this is one of those moments that I feel is being precipitated by Otis's death...I was speaking with another bereaved mama yesterday about how my capacity to take bullshit has changed so drastically in the last four months...and I think this is one of those times...where I realize what's really important - and it's not E's paycheck. It is his spirit, our marriage, and living a life of integrity...

I love him so much.

Otis, your papa is one amazing man. I am so blessed to be traveling this path with him.

Please keep us in your hearts and send some good juju our way as we move through this transition.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Oh Who Are We Fooling.... *WARNING* F-bombs Galore

Hesitant to post this, because, well, as you'll see, it's damn ugly right now.

I am swamped in sadness and hopelessness, yet again. And for the first time in a long time, it feels different, this sadness, right now.

I don't want to get pregnant again. This feeling overtook me, strongly, today. I am confused by it, seeing as I've been so driven by it up until now. But it hit me, hard, today. I am so sad. I don't want another baby. I am sad and THEREFORE I don't want another baby, and I am sad BECAUSE I don't want another baby. And the two sadnesses and cause and effects dance together and get very muddled and even more sad. Because really, no baby will ever be Otis. And that is beautiful, he is that perfect and that irreplaceable, and it is fucking awful, because nothing will ever mend this fucking gaping wound.

I want Otis. I want my baby, with his beautiful pudgy cheeks and his huge hands and squishy legs and those lips, and his nose, and a head full of the softest hair you could ever imagine...I remember the way his upper lip curled just like his papa's...

Yes, that baby. I want that baby.

Not your baby, you pushing the stroller too closely to me.

Not your baby, who I swear is glaring at me, with this look of "ha ha, my mama got to keep me..."

Not your baby, you who just announced your pregnancy, so don't worry about tiptoeing around me. In fact perhaps your tiptoeing makes me feel worse.

Not your baby, you who seem to think that I really might want to see those photos, everysinglefuckingdayonfacebook. (And yet even though I don't want your baby, I still insist on hiding friends from my newsfeed at an astonishing rate.)

Not even the baby that everyone seems so confident that I will one day have. Nope, don't want that baby either.

I want Otis. He is supposed to be here, dammit. He is supposed to be here.

I am depressed.

I don't feel like fucking doing anything.

I don't fucking care that I'm going to Maui on Friday. I should at least be able to look forward to relaxing, lying in warm sun, swimming with turtles, shouldn't I? But no. I don't fucking care. I'd be just as happy right now if I was traveling to Antarctica. Or Siberia. I picture myself in Maui sitting in a dark room and crying. I can do that here, for fuck's sake. I just don't see how going there is going to make anything feel any different.

I can't imagine life ever feeling different than this. Even though it has, already, felt different. I have had days where I've smiled, laughed, felt hopeful. But today, I can't imagine that those feelings will ever return. I feel like I've now hit the truth of this grief business, that it will never improve and never go away and I will always, always, always have the hugest hole in my heart where Otis should be.

I don't want to procreate. I don't want to love anything, ever again. I don't want to ever put any eggs in any basket and I don't dare dream of a life other than the shitstorm that is this one right now. How could it ever possibly be better, life without him in it. I feel like I am doomed to a life of forever faking it. Forever pretending that half-full is enough. And it never will be.

I miss my boy, so desperately. I can't believe he's not here. This is so fucking wrong. All wrong.

And I Still Love My Dogs...

Apparently my brain is becoming more and more mushy as the days go on. Maybe the sedatives from yesterday's procedure haven't quite worn off.

I had the HSG yesterday. All clear. The radiologist thought it was pretty ridiculous for me to be having the test, seeing as I had a healthy conception and pregnancy and Otis's death had nothing to do with my uterus or my fallopian tubes. My OB refers to the RE's protocol as "like a pilot preparing a plane for takeoff, there's just a whole battery of stuff she'll do, it has nothing to do specifically with your circumstance..." Which is a pain in the ass, because I have to do a crapton of testing that isn't necessary, in order to theoretically figure out why my periods are so short right now - but, I suspect it's low progesterone, and until I jump through all her hoops I won't get a treatment protocol for that. It's kind of ridiculous, but whatever. Trying some natural remedy type stuff this month. And I did get a prescription for some calming meds for the days before my period, when the world crashes in. Would rather not take them, but I'd also rather not spend the time in Maui wishing I were dead and screaming and wailing.

I hate my job right now and our trip to Maui can't come sooner, except that we are not at all prepared/packed/ready. I had to go buy a bathing suit yesterday. Umm, let's talk about a perfect storm: postpartum body, in January, needing (not wanting) a bathing suit, and going shopping after having had a fight with E so my face is blotchy and my eyes are bright red...I deserve a medal for finding one and buying it, in less than an hour, and not bursting into tears while shopping.

E and I often fight in the lead-up to a trip, I get anxious about all the stuff that has to be done beforehand, and he does things like PLAN A FUCKING PARTY AT OUR HOUSE FOR THE PLAYOFF GAME TOMORROW (wtf) and then puts off everything until the night before we are supposed to leave, he doesn't sleep at all and we fight until we step on the plane when all is forgiven and we set off on vacation. I so wish we could break that pattern, but it doesn't seem like it's going to happen this time around.

Yesterday when I went to get my HSG, there was a woman in the radiology department, in a wheelchair, holding a newborn-ish baby (I can't seem to figure out baby's ages, I never could, and now, especially, they all just look like Otis to me.) The baby had tubes in her nose, and reminded me so much of Otis. They were being wheeled into a room for an MRI or an Xray or CT scan, and oh, it broke my heart, it made me so sad and reminded me so much of that one day with Otis where he had to go have those tests. But her baby was more alert, it seemed, so I hope and pray all is okay. Then I walk into my procedure room, and the tech asks me, "So, you're getting this HSG, are you trying to get pregnant?" and I stammered...(I have to be careful, if it shows up as an infertility test, my insurance doesn't cover it, but the RE is treating me as an endocrinology patient, not an infertility patient.) So I say, "Well, it's not exactly that simple..." and then when the doctor comes in, I tell them both my whole story. I was surprised at how calm I can now be in telling the story. And it kind of makes me sad that it doesn't cause me to burst into sobs. I remember being at the doctor for my UTI in the month after O was born and I just sobbed any time I had to say anything at all related to my medical history. Now, it's like I'm an old pro.


I feel like I'm dancing around my grief right now. It's there, but it isn't. Instead, I race around, anxious, angry, and short tempered. It's not a good look on me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Love My Dogs, and Other Thoughts

Warning: Long, rambling, brain dump of a post!


It sounds like a title I'd give to my essay if I were in 4th grade. That's about how well my brain is working these days, so there it is: I love my dogs.

The Woo went to the emergency room yesterday after eating a chocolate bar out of E's pocket. This is the second time this has happened, this time we were wise enough to know to go immediately, induce vomiting (poor guy) and he was home within the hour, a little sleepy from the meds but in tip-top shape. Last time it was touch and go whether he'd survive for about 24 hours, one of the most terrifying moments of my life. I love my dogs like they are my children. I saw a license plate holder the other day that said, "All my children have paws" and I thought, "me too" and then winced, it made me so sad. There was a day I would've probably thought it was a cute little statement for someone as dog-crazy as I am, but now, it just makes me sad, that the only living beings I have to "mother" are of the four legged variety.


My grandmother has been moved to a skilled nursing facility. The pneumonia has cleared, her heart has stabilized, but she is basically refusing to eat, and she is angry and disoriented about being there. Every time someone visits, she begs them to take her with them when they leave. She says there are "bad people" there. She talks in and out of coherence, at times telling lively stories about little boys and going to "the eating place" and the library in her old neighborhood, then tells me to check the freezer to see if there's any meat in there I need. She is 97 years old. She wants to die. It is breaking my heart to watch her crumble like this. I am angry that she doesn't "get" to die on her own terms, when she wants, how she wants. I am angry that she can't close her eyes, fall asleep, and never wake up. I am angry that her body isn't ready to go when her spirit so very much is.


We are supposed to leave for Maui next Friday. The trip seems tentative at best right now, with Granny in this condition. My family is insisting we go, "no matter what." I can't help but feel that she is going to die while we are on the plane there, and we will have to land, and turn around and return home. I guess I should be thankful I bought trip insurance. I am so angry, so frustrated, I find myself feeling (again) like a fourth grader, crying "BUT IT'S NOT FAIR!!" And I keep hearing this voice, "Life isn't fair, Sarah, life isn't fair."

I think I've had to hear that phrase more times than the average person. At the same time, I've also lived a life of great privilege. I am blessed in so many ways. And yet, my life feels extraordinarily difficult. Unfair.


I've been grappling with major anxiety attacks lately, pretty much full blown panic, I guess. It doesn't feel right for me to say "I'm having panic attacks" but when I hear E, and our therapists, and a few dear friends who I've let in to witness them all say as much, I guess I have to agree that that's what's going on. I've had some major trauma in my past (even before the nightmare of a 71 hour labor with shoulder dystocia and a 15th degree episiotomy came into play). All the therapists "on our team" are convinced I've got some serious PTSD-stuff recurring right now, that the trauma of Otis's labor and delivery and death has compounded the trauma that was already there and my body and brain are having some serious difficulty assimilating it all. It helps to have a name to it, I suppose, to have it identifiable. It feels like E has gotten a lot more compassionate around it too, giving me space to have these fits without feeling he is to blame, or feeling like he has to somehow fix them immediately; but at the same time, it terrifies him to see me so desperate, in so much pain and fear. We're researching some different treatment plans, including EMDR and different meds. I don't want to go on ADs, I know that much, and so far it doesn't seem like that's the route we're going to take. We're talking today with a doc about some faster acting, shorter lasting, "immediate relief" type meds. Totally goes against my style (I hesitate to take advil, for crying out loud...) but it's feeling like right now that it might be important for me to at least have something that can take the edge off when the world turns black and scary.


I go in for my HSG on Friday. This is the test where they'll squirt my uterus and fallopian tubes full of dye and then take x-ray pics of it, to see if there are any structural anomalies or if I have a blocked tube or anything. It's part of a standard infertility work-up, which I don't necessarily think is necessary at this point, but since I'm seeing the RE under the umbrella of postpartum endocrinology, it's covered by my insurance, so she's going ahead with a full work-up just to cover all the bases, I guess. The hysteroscopy, where they look at the inside of my uterus with an actual camera (oooh!), will be next month, since we couldn't get the timing right for this month's scheduling. All my bloodwork so far has come back stellar, with the exception of lowish progesterone, which I had before Otis as well. Hoping that supplements I took then might help me now, so I've started those again. I'm keeping fingers crossed that my cycle really is normalizing - each month has gotten better.

Which brings me to my thoughts (at this very moment) about TTC. Having heard that all my bloodwork looks stellar and having "very healthy eggs and ovaries" according to my RE, I feel like I've got a little more breathing room about the urgency of trying to get pregnant. My hips and joints are still pretty weak - I was cleaning up the house the other day and crawling under the sofa to pull out dog toys and when I went to stand up, everything tweaked out of place and I was in excruciating pain for a moment....It was one of those reminders that pregnancy was really hard work on my body. I had an incredibly healthy pregnancy, and it was still very hard work. My body is still recovering. It's hard for me to remember that, and of course were I to have a baby with me, I'd be much more aware of it, but I am trying to remember that things are still settling back into place. It's why my doctor says that normally he recommends a year of recovery between pregnancies. (Of course they're not telling me that because I am geriatric, in childbearing terms.)

The urgency seems to have abated a bit, at this very moment at least. I really do want my body to be healthy and able to carry a baby to term. Not only that, but I'm going to get greedy here (Fate, do you hear me, I am NOT trying to tempt you, really I am not, I am just wishing and hoping and stating a hope, ok?) and say that I want to do that in an ideal world a second time after that, as well. And so yes, time is of the essence, but my health is too. My aches and pains remind me that my body is still healing. I've made enormous progress in four months - I've lost all but five pounds of my extraordinary ~60 lb weight gain, I healed a torn abdominal muscle, reintegrated a separated pubic bone, I recovered from lots and lots and lots (too many to count, according to my doctor) stitches...I want to remember how far I've come. My OB told me that it was likely I wouldn't be comfortable having sex again until late January - I beat that deadline by over a month (go me!) so I have to trust that my body is doing well. I am not broken. I am not broken. I am not broken. I am healing. I am healing. I am healing. I WILL get pregnant again, I WILL have a healthy pregnancy, I WILL get to bring my baby home from the hospital. Please?


Ah yes, but there is that voice, "Life isn't fair, Sarah" - I live in constant fear of having that phrase pounded over my head again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Off My Game

I had a good run there, a few days straight of feeling good, feeling whole, feeling safe in my skin, feeling - dare I say it - hopeful.

It feels so far off now, like that was just a figment of my imagination.

The panic is back, the feeling like I am running away from something, constantly. The feeling in my body, fight or flight, the trauma response. The inability to find enthusiasm, motivation, energy. My body feels dark, heavy, congested, stuck.

Through the day I am lethargic, slow, it is tough to move my body - and yet, inside, there is a constant agitation. At night, the agitation becomes more obvious, and I lie in bed, awake, trembling, panicking. E was very late at work last night, and when I woke at 1:30 and realized he wasn't home, it didn't take long for me to fly into full anxiety. I called twice and was in the midst of sending a panicky text when he called back - and I screamed at him. He understands, but doesn't deserve it.

I was telling E the other night that if I were making a film about this experience, I would have two different actresses play me, one for the "before" and one for the "after." And they wouldn't look similar, not even one bit. It would be a device and it would take the viewer a long time to figure it out...That is how different I feel. Like if someone were on the outside looking in on this, the "me" now would be completely unrecognizable and completely different to the "me" then. The only reason my family and friends recognize this "me" now is because they were there for the moment it all changed - so they are somehow immune to seeing the fact that I bear absolutely no resemblance to the woman from before. (It's all very sci-fi and hard to explain clearly...)

I got a card from one of my yoga students recently. I hesitate to talk about it because I don't want to sound all braggadocio, but it was a beautiful testament to my teaching, and to the impact I've had on her life. She talked about how missed I am in classes, about how many students are waiting patiently for my return, and reminding me of course to take my time, but that she will welcome me back so wholeheartedly when I am ready to return to teaching. And I stood there staring at the card, trying to remember this woman she wrote about, the woman that used to teach yoga, not so long ago. Laughing, smiling, a twinkle in her eye as she led the group through another sequence of plank-down dog-side plank-down dog-side plank-down dog and then held them in plank for minutes...Opening up hearts, encouraging even the most inflexible to find an opening, taking students to a place where each one of them felt seen, strong, brave, open, and loved. I doubted my abilities as a teacher, I did. I doubted my strength, I doubted my practice, I doubted a lot. And yet, looking back, I would give anything to be that woman, in that body, with those insecurities, instead of this woman, in this body, here, now. The insecurities of my past seem so trivial now. I can't really fathom the fact that life felt difficult for me then. (Is this yet another case of me just romanticizing my past? Perhaps.)

My wrist has been effed-up for weeks, maybe months now. I can't even do one down dog without it sending pain throughout my body. My hip flexors are so excruciatingly tight that I can't stay in child's pose. I do not sit, I do not watch my breath. I tried yesterday in acupuncture to focus on my breath - I lasted maybe four full breaths. I can not even imagine leading a group through a yoga class - it would feel so inauthentic to me right now - my body is a source of such suffering for me - and my mind is anything but quiet. Not only that, but I run away from the practices that might bring me into better balance. My chiropractor, who saw me through my pregnancy, and now treats me after, says that my body is completely unrecognizable to her right now - the tightness in spots that were so remarkably open before, the physical shutdown, the pain. At the same time, she is a bereaved mother, two and half years since her one year old son left this planet, so she knows grief, she knows this journey all too well. She said to me yesterday, "Sarah, if your body wasn't doing this, I'd be more concerned. If you weren't falling apart, I'd be more concerned." When I asked her when I get to take a break, when I get to be "better", her response was, "When I get there, I'll let you know..."

I used to lead my yoga classes through a chant at the end of every class, and then recite a blessing. For five years, usually 4 times a week, I said that blessing.

It has taken me weeks to remember the blessing, and I am still not sure if this is it, or not.

May this practice bring us all into better balance,
with body, breath and spirit,
with each other and the world we all share.

Open your eyes and take in the light of the room,
and acknowledge the light within yourself, and within one another.

That woman, the yoga teacher - she is unrecognizable to me. And I can barely see the light within, it is so damn dark here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


What is it with anniversaries and periods showing up?

Sorry if it's TMI. I record this here partly for my own record keeping, and partly because I wish there were more blogs of mamas on the road farther ahead of me that had the gory details of how screwed up their cycles were in the first few months post partum.

At least it's good for me to begin to see a pattern, that the day I want to die is usually the day before I get my period.

So I'm 4 months postpartum, yesterday. Had a 22 day cycle this month, which I suppose is an improvement. My progesterone tested low this week, so that could be at least partly to blame for the screwy cycles. Though low progesterone can be a sign of a poor egg in ovulation, also, apparently. So which came first, the low P or the bad egg? I'm sure they're all tied together.

Next up, I go in for every hormonal blood test under the sun (I do those on Saturday) and then I start a very low dose bcp to keep my lining thin so that I can go get a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and a hysteroscopy (which will be done 7 to 10 days from now, waiting on the office to call back to have those scheduled.) The hsg and hysteroscopy look at the inside of my uterus and my tubes to see if there's anything irregular in there (fibroids, endo, blocked tube, etc.) Then doctor should have enough info to begin to surmise or hypothesize why my cycles are so screwy, and hopefully get me to a place where I've got some good shots at getting knocked up in the months to come. (Please please please. Please please please. Please please please.)

So much for a 28 day cycle. So much for getting pregnant this go-round. And now it looks like the timing will be perfect for me to get my next period while we're in Maui. So much for that little fairy tale storyline of conceiving there. Instead, I'm really looking forward to the gutwrenching sobbing and emotional catastrophes that precede my period while we're away on vacation. Yikes. E says maybe I'll get pregnant before we go, and I'll get my bfp while we're there...but that's way too hopeful for me to even try to consider as a possibility. It's all doom and gloom around these parts.

Off to acupuncture and the chiropractor - lord knows I need as much support as I can get right now.

Thanks for all the love from last night's post, btw.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

4 Months

4 months ago tonight, we were in the NICU, talking with the neonatologist on duty about what our "code preferences" were...meaning, if we wanted them to use life support, cpr, etc. were Otis to code. We were pretty sure that he was not going to live, and that the results of his brain testing the following day would be catastrophic news.

4 months, and not a single person mentioned it to me today. How quickly they forget, how quickly the promises of marking the dates with me fade, how quickly everyone moves back to their own lives, complaining about their own children...having the nerve to try to speak to me about the "hassles of cold season with two kids under five."

I am feeling so very sorry for myself.

I wailed like a two year old throwing a tantrum today, kicked, screamed, and shook.

E held me, tight, while I wailed, and kicked, and hit, and sobbed.

E and I had a few very scary days this week, where I feared we had lost our connection, where everything seemed to be crumbling all over again, where I was so physically terrified of losing him or our marriage disintegrating that my whole body trembled...

My grandmother seems to be making a recovery. Her heart has stabilized. Her pneumonia is fading. One week ago they told us to say our goodbyes, that they didn't think she'd be with us for another 24 hours. Today she was transfered from the hospital to a nursing facility, her progress has been that good. But she is not lucid a lot of the time. And she is violent and angry that she is in the hospital. This woman is unfamiliar to me - she is in the body of my granny, but Granny's spirit seems to have left. She often doesn't really recognize me, or does, and then doesn't. And she never speaks of Otis, or of my pregnancy - I don't think she remembers that he existed. It is so hard to be with her, for so many reasons.

I don't understand a world where a 97 year old woman who so desperately wants to die makes a recovery, and leaves the hospital, and a baby who we so desperately want to live dies, and only leaves the hospital as a lifeless body on its way to the mortuary.

I miss him so much. I looked at his ultrasound photos today, that little boy, lying there on his back, hands behind his head, kicking back as if he were watching clouds float by from a grassy meadow or hanging out in a hammock waiting for a cold drink...I wish I had gotten tapes of the ultrasounds. I wish I had done the 4D ultrasound, I always thought they looked so creepy, but now, god, I'd give anything to be able to replay the tape, and watch him move, with life, around inside of me.

I miss him so much.

Today was one of those "I don't know how I can go on living" days. They haven't all been this painful, but today most certainly was. It hurts so badly. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. In every single cell of my body, in every thread of my being, it hurts. I don't understand why I should ever want to feel hopeful about anything ever again in times like this. I don't understand how people manage to go about with their lives, in the midst of such inconsolable suffering. The darkest thoughts seep into my mind and get stuck on repeat: I don't want to live without my baby. I don't want to live without my boy. I don't want to live.

I know it will pass. And again, I will say this for my readers' sake: I am not in danger of hurting myself. And many days I do want to live, and many moments I do feel hopeful.

But today, it is dark.

I miss you, so much, baby boy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Circle of Life and other stupid shit

My grandmother is in the hospital.

She is 97. They think she has pneumonia, and it appeared her heart was failing.

Granny has always been one of the most important people in my life. She pretty much raised me and my brother. She is a dear friend, a stubborn feisty, headstrong woman. She has her wits about her and even at 97, is incredibly sharp.

Earlier this afternoon, I was certain she was going to die today. Tonight, her heart has stabilized a bit. She is still having a lot of trouble breathing.

My brother and mom are with her at the hospital. I have visited twice now, but I can't stay.

The beeping monitors, the smell of antiseptic hand wash, the nurses stations...

It's all too close for comfort, too familiar, too sad, too scary.

Doing my best to hold it together the best I can.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Thin Thin Line

On Monday as we left our acupuncture appointment, E and I went to the grocery store. Outside, there was a woman, obviously very down on her luck, who asked for spare change. E and I both gave her the change out of our pockets - a total of maybe a dollar. She went into the store - it's a natural foods market and produce stand, so I felt self-righteously okay that she'd be buying some whole grain bread or some organic clementines or something with her money; but I also didn't necessarily think too long about it.

When we were getting ready to check out, she was in front of us in line. Clearly agitated, like she was desperate for a fix. E looked at her purchase, and said to me, "That makes me so sad." She was buying a copper scrub sponge thing, something that is apparently used to smoke crack. Along with a bag of oranges. The woman in front of her in line made a very rude and judgy comment to the checker at the store about needing to pay by check because she refused to let the woman see that she had cash in her wallet. I was so angry with the judgy woman it just about made my blood boil, but I kind of couldn't figure it out. (At that time, I hadn't seen that the woman was buying crack paraphernalia, so I'm not sure if that would have changed my reaction or not.)

When we got out of the store, and we saw the woman panhandling again, E then relayed to me that he had seen she was buying crack accessories, and that is why he had said he was so sad about it.

It made me sad too. I had this realization, this phrase that I've heard so many times but never before had it had such a true feeling for me, "There but for the grace of god, go I."


E and I are so lucky to have the resources and support available to us that we do. Family close by. Thoughtful family, who talk about Otis and talk about missing him and talk about loving him, instead of pretending this is all just some horrible incident to forget about and move on from. Support professionals galore: we see three therapists - one just for me, one just for E, and one for the two of us. They all have given us reduced rates so that we can afford to go for as long as we need. My grandmother is our landlord, and we haven't paid rent for 4 months now, so that we could afford the therapy. Our acupuncturist has donated all of our sessions, for as long as we need. My hairdresser is going into the salon on Sunday, when they are closed, so she can give me a (no charge) haircut (my first since July, yikes) in a place where I don't have to deal with the crowds and the busy-ness and superficial chit chat of a bustling hair salon. We had meals delivered three times a week in September and October, and then twice a week through December.

Our friends have rallied around us. Made donations in Otis's name to keep his memory alive. Written his name in the sand, in the snow, on sidewalks with chalk, on refrigerators with magnets. Taught their own children about my boy, shown them his photograph, told them his name. Given us such incredible financial support that we can do the things that help us to heal without finances being a barrier. Sent us flowers, warm cozy heating pads, yummy lotions, lavender oils, "grief relief" flower essence spray, vitamins, bath salts, cards, board games, tea, fudge, organic produce deliveries (we have a dear friend who works on an organic farm and every sunday she has brought us a huge box of produce, for 3 months now.) Brought us a christmas tree and set up the lights on it. Sat with us while we sobbed. Taken us out and let us laugh, cry, or just be - without commenting that we haven't showered or aren't dressed for public...

And of course there is the amazing support of the community here, of my blm mama friends and my old bloggy friends. The comments on my blog posts often show up in the middle of the night, thank god I have friends who live all over the planet - because there are times that I wake up, scared, sad, shaking - and I check email on my phone and there in the middle of the night, I am reminded I'm not alone.

We are so blessed to have this support. Because honestly, it's a very very very thin line that separates me from the woman in the parking lot, doing whatever she can to block out her pain, to forget, to disappear.

Thank you for helping me not to disappear. Thank you for reminding me of me. Thank you for holding me up when I can't hold myself up.

Yes, you. Every single one of you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Reposting from Glow ttc thread

I was planning to do two separate posts - a brief update on glow and then more details here - but for now, I don't have time and want to get this "on the record" before I forget.

hi all,
back from the RE.

The good news: she saw LOTS of follicles and enthusiastically said it looks like I have "great eggs" and said it looked like I had *just* ovulated (and basically instructed us to run home and do the deed...) She said there's no reason to wait for two more cycles to try to get pregnant, that we should try as soon as we're ready (and surprisingly, my husband was the one who was more excited by that than I was!) So, we're all in. Raced home and jumped back into bed and said all sorts of silly little wish prayers before during and after. Before the appointment, we blew dandelions on our morning walk this morning and all I wished for was a healthy and happy future. No specifics. Lately I've been feeling more and more like what I really want to focus on is the love he and I share - and being happy and fulfilled in THAT, since that is here and true and in the present moment. Trying not to get ahead of myself and play the "when we can ttc, when I get pregnant, when I have a baby, when I...THEN I will be happy" game. Trying to find the beauty in the moments we've got right here, right now.

E seems convinced that I am going to get pregnant this month. We had sex two days ago, three days ago, four days ago, and again this morning, so we covered many bases on that front. I am much more reluctant to be hopeful. But I am enormously relieved that at least it looks like I ovulated and she liked all the follicles and eggs she saw.

So for now, I'm going to try to be (cautiously) optimistic.

But back to the medical specifics: Today is CD14. I go to have progesterone tested in three days. Then, next steps will depend on if I conceive(d) this time or not. If I don't, then we'll do a hysteroscopy and hsg after my next period. She also wants to do a full battery of tests on cd3 of the next cycle - thyroid, fsh, lh, on and on and on. A lot of the tests she says are standard for pregnancy loss and even though I technically don't fall into that category since we know what happened with Otis and it wasn't due to immune issues or MTHFR or clotting (forgive me if I sound stupid I don't know the details of all those tests) she still wants to run them to see if I am at any risk for (predictable? preventable?) loss this time around.

I dreamt about Otis last night, and it was the first time he was (sort of) alive in the dream. It was like I knew he was going to die, but somehow he was actually still there and still alive with us. And his eyes were open. I got to see his eyes. I got to see what he looked like with life in his eyes. It was amazing. (I then went on to dream that I was at the RE's office and she said, "I'm sorry your other endocrinologist isn't here anymore," and I said, "I haven't ever seen an endocrinologist" and she said, "Oh, then you're not going to have any trouble getting pregnant! Let's go the buffet!" and we walked into her office's holiday party buffet and all we had brought to share was a bag of our dog's food (which looks kind of like meatloaf, we feed him these raw beef patties) and we sat down and I ate the dog food. Wacky.)

Fingers crossed that, at the very least, if I don't get pregnant this month, that I at least have a somewhat normal length cycle - preferably 26 to 28 days instead of the 15 I've had the last few months. Please.

Thinking of all of you....with love and care and hope...

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Hey all

I took down my blessing for 2011 because I got some strange google hits from it and since it was my status as well I got a little nervous that all of a sudden it made me enormously easily traceable and while I don't *really* mind being found here I also don't really want to make it easy for "real life" people to get to me here.

Note to people reading now: if I know you in my everyday or facebook life and I am not already aware that you're reading here, please fess up. Please? I probably am not likely to ask you to stop reading, especially if you're finding it somehow helpful to read here, but I'd really like to know.

So I'm doing okay. (And every time I write that, I find myself the next day on the floor sobbing uncontrollably for hours. Can we skip that this time, please?)

Counting the days (hours?) until my appointment with the endocrinologist on Tuesday. Hormones continue to baffle me. Trying not to get my hopes up that I'm having a semi-normal cycle right now but it is so far appearing that way. Oh please oh please oh please. Even if I don't get pregnant yet (yes I am not being careful and yes I am hoping that if I can I will) I am hoping hoping hoping that at the very least I am once again ovulating and having a somewhat longer regular luteal phase. Please.

We leave for Maui in 26 days.

I miss my baby boy.

That is all for now.