Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I've been thinking lately that maybe it would be nice to be one of those people who remember everything that happened on any given date in history. You know, those people they periodically interview and quiz on the inane morning television "news" shows? Because eight months ago, clearly, I was oblivious to any and every little detail of my life. That is to say, I can't remember what happened that fateful week Calla died.

What I do remember is it was shortly after New Year's, after the blur of the winter holidays. We must have been coming down from that whirlwind. And I remember it was cold. Bitterly cold, slushy, and we were headed down the long road to the heart of winter. I delivered her on January 9th, but learned she was dead on the 8th. It was a Friday, late at night.

I remember all too well that night, that weekend, those sights and sounds.

I remember going, on that Wednesday before, toddler in tow, to the shopping mall, obsessively searching out a bracelet I'd seen a few days earlier. I remember feeling like a lunatic, bringing my wiggly son to a shopping mall, all because I wanted this bracelet I couldn't find online and I had a 40% off coupon and it was good only that day and I was, as you can tell, obsessed with this damn sparkly thing.

I remember the British-accented salesman telling me I should be pregnant always, because I looked so lovely pregnant. I remember saying, light-heartedly, "Oh gosh no! Don't wish that on me!" If only he knew. Did he curse me?

I remember going, on that Thursday night, to the photographer. Somehow during the holiday festivities I remembered I was close to my due date, and we'd better get a move on with these prenatal/maternity photos before the baby arrived. The three of us trooped off on a dark Thursday night and our photographer took dozens of family shots, shots of me and my giant belly. The night before she died.

Or was she already dead? When, exactly did the panic start to set in; when was the last time, exactly, I felt her move? I have no recollection.

I wonder all this now, as I obsessively track Petit Trois' every move. Why wasn't I worried back then? Were there signs earlier in the week that I ignored? Was she squirmy and active, gradually slowing down, or was it all of a sudden, out of the blue? Was I THAT naive that I didn't give it a second thought if she was moving less?

I really can't remember.

What I know now, however, is that week, those last days, are the dividing line between what was, and who I was then, to what is, and who I am now. The calendar block barrier between innocence and loss, happy anticipation and waiting for the other shoe to drop. The former, clearly oblivious pregnant woman, and the panic-at-the-drop-of-a-hat, give-me-some-m&ms-so-I-can-feel-this-kid pregnant me, now.

As Phish once sang, 'Take the highway to the great divide.' If I could, would I go back? Some time-travel fact-finding recon? I just want to remember, without actually having to remember.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Lately I've been feeling self-conscious, transparent, overwhelmed, inadequate. No one particular straw has broken this camel's back, but somedays I feel a steady crumbling inside.

I think it all started with stupid, ridiculous FB. I read a quote, somewhere, that the Internet is "both my lifeline and the plastic bag over my head." So true these days for me. Days when I'm feeling especially low, FB can really send me into a spiral of despair. Seeing other people's fabulous pictures and reading about adventures makes me feel like a lump. Realizing someone de-friended me triggers the beginning of an anxiety-riddled afternoon. No matter I haven't seen or spoken to this person since college, it still makes me question every status update and picture--did I do something wrong? It's the old seventh-grade mentality bubbling to my brain's surface.

And then I think about comments I post on other people's blogs. Am I too self-centered? Do I even make sense? Does anyone even care what I have to say? I should just read, and lurk, and shut the hell up, that's what I should do.

But then it leads to my own blog. Do I sound like a whiny, ungrateful turd? Probably. I am ever so grateful to be pregnant, but am scared shitless 99.9% of every waking moment. My grief glasses taint everything I see, I worry constantly about this baby and my two year old. I can't get to a point in this pregnancy where I can ever relax and "enjoy" it. But still I feel like my words read like a spoiled brat.

And then the minutiae of life starts creeping in around the edges: cleaning my house, dealing with my neurotic dog, toilet training, making dinner, making sure everyone's eating the right food . . . all the little things that are in everyone's life. When something starts to go kerflooey I feel my emotional house of cards start to wobble. And then I'm a real treat to have around.

I am lucky. I have a great life. My husband is wonderful and supportive and caring and great with our son. E is about the best kid a mother could hope for--despite his 2-year-old power grabs, his boundless energy compared with my waning vim, his volume (read: louder than you can imagine, always). I love that little boy with every molecule in my being. I am fortunate enough to be growing this new little boy inside me, and everything, so far, looks good.

But somedays, when I overindulge in the coffee, my head starts to spin and my self-esteem funnels away, leaving me feeling like a complete loser.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sinking, and sinking in

A blanket almost sunk me. Our lovely, wonderful, kind, beautiful neighbors called yesterday, telling us they had a little gift for E and the new baby. So, before C and I took E and the dog for a walk, we stopped over. A book about a new baby for E, and a lamby, darling, soft, cozy lovey blanket for Petit Trois.

So, we just started talking to E about this new baby. I explained why he couldn't kick me--repeatedly--although he seems to find humor in things he's not supposed to do. He's so 2.

Anyway, I explained that there's a baby in Mommy's tummy . . . and he immediately looked down my shirt to try and find him. No, no, I said, he's inside, under my skin. E said, "Oh, he's under the covers, sleeping."

I won't lie and say I didn't panic at his use of "sleeping" with Petit Trois. But I stayed relatively cool. I tried to see it as cute, which, under normal circumstances, it was. And now E talks about the baby , and I wonder if he experiences deja vu. The last time we talked about a baby in Mom's tummy he wasn't quite as articulate. I wonder if he's all, "Yeah right, Mom, I'll believe it when I see it."

Me too, kiddo. Me too.

And tomorrow we're going crib shopping. It makes me want to throw up a lot thinking about it. Unfortunately you can't just go to the store and take the floor model once the baby actually arrives alive. Oh, how I wish. Well, technically I guess you can, but, well, that's not what we're doing. So we're going tomorrow. To the same store that kindly cancelled our order approximately 8 months ago.

So how did this blanket nearly sink me, you ask? Because telling our son, receiving gifts. making major furniture purchases somehow drives the point home: THIS BABY IS COMING. Hopefully alive . . . but either way he's coming out the exit shortly. And, while NOT doing these things wouldn't make it any easier if things go to shit again, it makes it a bit more real in my head. I try not to think about what will happen if he doesn't make it, but it's equally hard to think about what happens if he does. Everyone around me is hoping so hard for us . . . and, truth, be told, so am I.

I know this sounds crazy. Of COURSE this baby is coming, of course he's real. But. Well, shit. I guess I've just been gestating so long, punctuated by utter devastation, it's hard to believe this could actually end by bringing home a living, breathing, eating, pooping child. Now THAT'S some crazy talk.

Talking about the baby, accepting gifts . . . somehow feels like a jinx. And this morning I did have a freak out where Petit Trois was sleeping, not to be disturbed by orange juice or M & M's. And my thoughts flew to the lamb blanket, E, the few things I've purchased. "Fuck. I can take it all back, all but my words to my son . . . " and then PT gave a wiggle, some kicks, and I could exhale. I uttered a "Please and thank you" to the Universe.

The lamb's up in the closet. I can't look at him just yet.

One last thing. I'm going to need people to stop asking me if the baby's moving, or, even better, if he's moving "a lot." Seriously, when he's not, I work hard at not panicking. When he is, it's as though the drugs have started their magic. But when someone asks, and he's not, I can feel my blood pressure rise, I can hear the thumping of my heart in my ears, I fake it and say, "Yep." Through gritted teeth and panicky breath.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The September Issue

Just a quick note before bedtime (yes it's 9:30 PM, so what?!):

The September issue of Glamour came in the mail today. I look forward to September issues of fashion mags as much as some might anticipate Christmas morning--all those glossy ads, fall fashions, TWEEDS AND PLAIDS for goodness sakes!

But this issue, this year, is different. Tucked way into the mag--page 396 to be exact--is a babylost story. In face the title starts"The Baby I Lost . . ." followed by a picture of tiny overalls hanging on the dresser.

Whimsy be damned this year. Truth be told I'm too tired right now to read the whole article . . . and I've had too much of a week to go there at the moment.


There it is. I'm wondering what the reaction will be. The author, I've gleaned, went on to have her second baby. Her story is dramatic and tragic--her life clearly was in danger when the shit went down. I'm sure the women who read this magazine will be horrified and sympathetic. But will they GET IT?

I'm actually happy this story is in a mainstream fashion mag. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Just a couple random observations for you, from me.

To start, I've had it with summer. No, really--feel free to remind me of this in the winter, when I'll be running outside and am able to breathe and won't be sweating through my clothes every 2 minutes. Seriously. Because I am a winter girl. I've come to realize I'm so fat that I'm no longer a solid at room temperature. I melt instantly-as witnessed by the backside of my shorts. Gross.

And also, a fond farewell to Mytch. "Who's this Mytch?" you ask? Well, he was the ginormous ovarian cyst who was residing, well, on my ovary. He was a big effer--16 cm to be precise--and we'd thought he'd taken up permanent residency, with no end to his growing. Until this morning, when he apparently burst. Last night I said to C I felt like the entire left side of my belly was a--pardon the terminology--dead zone, as I couldn't feel any baby moves over there. Then, overnight, I started feeling this little guy in different places, and it continued this morning until KERBLAAAAM! Pressure. And a minor freak out. After a trip to the doctor, and an ultrasound, Mytch was no longer present. Ciao, bitch. Although it's a teence painful right now, Little Trois is doing great in there.

Lastly, I seem to have forgotten how to sleep through the night. Nothing so dramatic as getting up and out of bed, but I tend to wake up nearly every hour, wait for Little Trois to move before eventually falling back to sleep. I'm hoping with Mytch's departure things will improve. But I'd really like to be able to sleep all night. It makes me a little grumpy.

All that on top of another month rolling by, another 9th coming and going and now we are 7 months out. It still sucks ass big time. There's a lot about this that sucks ass, the worst of it being without my little girl who's supposed to be here. And isn't, and won't ever be. I miss that girl, that family I thought we'd have, that future and this summer it was supposed to be. But who am I to suppose that "supposed to" was "supposed to be?" When obviously, joke's on me, it wasn't.

I am ready for summer to be over. And, I'm hoping for one or two drama-free weeks. Please?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Two Little Hats

I have two little hats. One is pink, the other is white. These hats are incredibly tiny, and were knitted by hand by strangers. I came home from a hospital in the coldest part of winter with only these hats as reminders of a life I couldn't have.

A nurse at the hospital kept talking about clothes, outfits, and I didn't understand what she meant. For whom? What would be the point? And then I got to dress my dead child in clothes lovingly made, again, by strangers. At the time meaningless outfits, nothing I would have chosen for her. But it was all we had. And for them I was grateful. Grateful my little girl could wear a little dress, a frilly hat, something pink. If only once.

So when it was time to leave, and we had to say goodbye and leave her there, I took these things. These clothes, the hats. Things that touched her, held her, as I did too. They are all we have left.

Certainly there are pictures, from that day and from the ultrasounds. She was even captured on disc, when she was alive inside me. Her footprints in clay, her footprints in ink. All reminders that she was here, once. But the mind has a way of disremembering, of thinking, "Was that even ever real?" and "That child, she was mine? She was here?" It can all be brushed away as imagination.

But for the hats. One, under my pillow, and the memory of her little face framed by its edges. The other, with pieces of her hair caught in the knitting. Even though they don't smell like her, or of anything, she was in them. I could take the hair to some smart person who could figure out that she came from me, from us. That she was, indeed, here.

I am grateful for these hats, for they are all I get.

Watch Out for The Swings

So we had a little incident yesterday. I was pushing E in his swing out in the garage, while also throwing the ball to the dog, and I must have stepped a bit forward from my spot. The swing, holding my 31 pound child, hit me square in the side of the belly. I stopped with an OOF! and poor E looked back and said, "I sorry Mommy." I told him he didn't need to be sorry, and he replied, "Yeah, Cozzie." Again, the dog to blame.

But it wasn't anyone's fault, except my own for not being more careful. The old me would have brushed it off, as I wasn't hurt and the little guy was still moving around very well. Maybe I would have called my doctor. But, well, we all know what happened to the old me.

So I called my doctor--of course, after office hours--and when she called back she told me I COULD go into the hospital for monitoring. She didn't think there was a problem. But, if anything had happened, I would never have forgiven myself. So we went in.

I didn't freak out. I didn't panic. I knew that things would be OK. I hoped. But things did end up being OK--the little guy was active the whole time, strong heartbeat and lots of moving around. Thankfully. It was a much different visit from the last time we went in immediately.

C and I knew things could have been different. Nearly seven months ago things were dramatically, horribly different. This time we got to go home after 2 hours, and we even laughed a little.

I feel like I dodged a bullet this time.