And why I act like a weirdo around pregnant people and babies.
The first one I had was April 1212. I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant. It was my first one, we had been trying since December of 2010. I wanted to tell the world! I couldn't stop smiling and I could FEEL the warmth of the life growing inside me. It felt like my stomach was glowing. This must be the Chi, that some speak of. I had problems immediately in the pregnancy and try as hard as I could I still lost it. It didn't matter what Drs I called or how much I prayed or wanted it.
From that moment on, it felt as if every woman in the world was pregnant but me. Some of my friends were moving on to having their second child, and I couldn't get pregnant - nay keep the pregnancy that I had, to even get #1. I felt a failure as a woman. That I couldn't even get a simple biological function right. Fuck, BACTERIA do it and they don't have brains.
We tried again immediately. I saw more people get pregnant around me, growing round, glowing with pregnancy. I saw them rub their bellies, I saw the way their husbands looked at them with adoration. And I had nothing. Each new cycle when good ole Aunt Flow visited, I would cry and rage. Disappointed yet again. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't help being crushed every single time she came.
November rolled around, I had hoped to at least get pregnant again before my due date. On my very due date, I got my period instead. And it was a wicked one to boot AND I had a fibro flair AND I was at a friends house for Thanksgiving. I fear I was no fun that visit. What a kick in the teeth. I felt like the worst house guest ever. Sorry guys.
My cycles are never regular (TMI for many of you, but I don't believe in TMI, we all know this stuff happens) I never know when I am going to get my period. So when my cycle creeps up to 42 days, 52 days and the longest ever 75 days, you start to hope. You symptom spot, and wonder, are my boobs sore? Does that hamburger smell bad because I am pregnant? Am I sick in my stomach because I am pregnant? You start to hope. And then you test. And it is negative, later on that day, my period would start. It was like the universe was being EXTRA cruel, or that taking a pregnancy test actually brings on my period. It never failed either, someone would announce they were pregnant on FB those days too.
The guy at the dollar store once saw that I was buying 5 tests one time- "Just want to make sure eh?" he said joking. I wanted to punch him in the face. Well being that I NEVER know when my period is coming, I end up taking a lot of these, Bub. I hung my head and walked out ashamed and angry, saying nothing to him.
More friends have babies or get pregnant. I am happy for them. I REALLY am. I wish I could partake in their joy, but I am not strong enough. I block them from my news feed, and on days where I am feeling stronger, or I don't know, particularly masochistic towards myself, I would go check on them to see how they were doing, and I would leave some nice comments. I really did care about them and I wanted them to know that, but I just couldn't pop on FB and see their belly pics, or pics of their newborns with out some warning you know? Especially if I was having a really bad day. I felt like a bad friend.
I would have DREAMS that I was pregnant. I would feel labor pains, and have a baby in my dreams. But everyone was always mad at me, and in those dreams no one cared that I had a baby. I never could see my baby either, just a blurred shape, or something swaddled in blankets so I couldn't see them. I would wake up and my abs would be sore, they would hurt for days. I must have really been clenching them in my sleep hard.
Baby shower invites would come. So would my tears. My shame of not being "woman" enough to have a baby would mock me. I couldn't answer those invites, and I TRIED get or make people presents, I have several unfinished baby projects lying around that I just cant look at. I really did try, I just couldn't finish them. I just couldn't. If they read this, I am sorry. I wondered if I hurt my friends feelings by not responding, by not sending a gift. I wondered if I looked hateful or something awful bad. But every time I sat down to respond, I would start to shake and cry.
I felt my friends and I drift apart. The year drug on.
I hoped to get pregnant this time by the miscarriage date. That day passed. A friend had their baby. I looked at their pictures, they were beautiful together, this mother and child. I wished them well. I turned off the computer and cried. I felt ashamed that I couldn't give my husband a child. I knew I was isolating myself. But they needed no part in my sorrow or failures. I KNOW this isn't my fault. I KNOW I didn't ask for this, nor did I do something wrong. But it doesn't matter. It FEELS that way.
I saw pictures of children doing cute things, heard the stories friends posted about this or that. I want that. I would think so hard. I really want that. I want the small things of being a mom. The hugs on the legs, the homemade cards, the first day of school, the overkill marshmallow stick they collected themselves. I want ALL that. I want the tears, the tantrums, the skinned knees, bath time, bed time, story time. I want to show them the world, and have them marvel at a spider or a flower. I still couldn't seem to get pregnant. And I could sense peoples irritation with how I felt about, or how I acted towards/about pregnant woman/babies. I couldn't help it and I couldn't stop. How do you steel yourself against this? How do you harden your heart, or learn to accept this, when it is all around? Some days I swear pregnant women followed me in the grocery store (I would even avoid the aisles they were in, never mind going down the baby/formula aisle)
This summer I kept telling myself I didn't want kids any more. I thought if I kept telling myself this, I would eventually believe it. I told myself, I got to sleep in. I didn't have to deal with tantrums in the store, or ear aches. I would be able to have breakable stuff (who am I kidding I have dogs) I didn't have to deal with sticky fingerprints on glass doors, or have extra laundry, we could travel... I told myself all that and more. It just isn't going to happen for us, that is all. Get used to it. Accept it.
You see my insurance won't pay to help me GET pregnant. It will only help if I AM pregnant. We don't have the money to go to a reproductive specialist. They are 2500 dollars to walk through the door. Not to mention the indignities that you suffer through when getting all of those expensive tests. Every bit of your intimate life on display, laid out on a cold hard medical table for all to see. You get poked and prodded, Dr's look up where the sun doesn't shine. They perform tests that are downright painful. You could go through them all and still never get pregnant.
I can't afford IVF, or any of those fancy high tech ways to get pregnant. I told myself if I couldn't afford that, I couldn't afford a baby. Period. It just was never going to happen for us. Get used to it, accept it, grieve and move on. Maybe I will be able to I don't know, look at my friends baby if I can accept this. Gosh, by golly maybe I could hold the baby and take joy in one once again.
You see, by the time Matt and I could afford a reproduction specialist, I will be well over 35, then it may take years to get pregnant, and I may never be able to anyway. What testing my drs have done, came back perfect. I saw the results myself. There is no reason for this. I just don't get to be a mommy.
I stopped hoping and I stopped testing.
Early in Aug I looked at myself in the mirror. I look pregnant I thought. I couldn't be. I cant be. I can't get pregnant. My nausea was getting worse, and I could *feel* something happening. I had been nauseated all summer from MAV. There is a good explanation for this nausea. I can almost always tell when a woman I know is pregnant. I can see it in her face, long before the first trimester is up and she starts telling everyone. I could see it in my own. Matt made me take a test at one point, it was negative. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw the hope on his face. I told him, "nope, toldja so." I tried to be all business about it. I could see his disappointment. We both tried to be all rational about it and not mind. But I saw his face. I chalked another mark up there on my ways I fail to be a "great woman", right there above my housekeeping skills, and my ability to dress smart.
I had been unusually cramping all month, my boobs were getting sore, my period is coming I just know it. I went to the dr again for the MAV. As I got sick from the computer screen at work AGAIN. How the hell can I work or go to school if I can't reliably use a fucking computer?! I thought my period started Tuesday night. Ironically right as I sat down with a test in hand justincase I told myself. Well at least I didn't waste that one. I thought, as I saw that my period had started. I dreaded this one, felt like it was going to be a bad one.
Wed AM my period totally went away. I felt myself pale as I did some mental calculations. I sat down and took a test and watched it turn positive in my hands. I started shaking. I started smiling. I started crying. I had to get myself together again. Matt had a HUGE test that day, and I COULDN'T tell him, till after he was done with all his prelims, that would blow his mind, he needed to concentrate. So I slipped the test into my pocket and went to school. I told a few people that day. I kept looking at that test, making sure I wasn't dreaming. I was *so* happy. I was amazed. It drove me crazy to wait to tell my husband.
My belly didn't feel like it was glowing this time. I was having some one-sided pain, and spotting. The pain was pretty bad, I called the dr, I went there, I had some tests, To early to tell if it is a tubal pregnancy, or even to see the baby at that time, they ran more blood work on Friday. Everything looked just fine. I was still paranoid I would miscarry. The spotting stopped and I felt great. My cramps started to let up a little. I relished every discomfort. Morning sickness wasn't FUN, but I knew it meant I was getting a baby. The thing I had prayed for, and wished for, and dreamed of for so long.
After SO long and SO much heartache and after this really shitty year. I thought this was my one big good thing I had coming to me after all this shit. Right, isn't that how it goes? I finally told Matt on Saturday morning. He was so happy. He was so proud. For the rest of this week he kept touching my belly, kissing it, smiling, laughing, blushing. We teased each other. We started thinking how our lives would have to change, what room would belong to the baby. Thank god this house fiasco happened BEFORE I had a baby! I would put my hand on my belly and smile.
I would look at myself in the mirror, turning sideways Imagining what I would look like when I was the size of a planet. I started looking at midwives, considering adding a Dula for the birth. I bought a pair of yoga pants as jeans dug in and I couldn't stand the feeling, even though the pants were too big and even though I wouldn't show for months yet. I felt the pressure in there. I knew there was something happening. I marveled at how fast babies grow, and the changes in my body.
I played by the rules. I waited till I was married. I ate well, I don't smoke, I rarely drink, and when I do I have one or 2 moderation don'tcha know.. I took my meds. I wear a seat belt EVERY time I am in a car. I finally DESERVE this baby. The universe has finally decided that I am worthy. I will be such a good mum. I promise I will be the best mum I can be.
I started to let my guard down. I let myself get more excited. My craving for lemon aid was fun. I got to tell Matt, the baby wants lemon aid. I started looking forward to the future, for the first time in a LONG, long time.
I dreamed about my baby, and for the first time ever, I got to see him. Yes Him, it was a boy, and apparently his name was Kyle. He had the hair Matt did as a baby and green eyes, like my mother. He kept pointing at things and going "oooo" excited about his new life. I knew I was going to have a boy. I know the hard sciency people I know and love, will guffaw at this, unbelieving. But I believe in something else, something bigger than us. I think there is a spiritual connection to everything. I just don't know what it is. I have had dreams come true before. It was no surprise to me that I had this one. I just had to wait 8 months to meet him, for it to become real earthside.
I went to the store on wed night, and I bought some chicken feed in 50lb bags. I lifted them myself one at a time into my cart. Something I do all the time. I am pregnant, not sick. I don't want to be coddled. I know I am allowed to more or less keep up my same activity level. I know I can still ride, and hike and snowshoe and travel. Plus the more active and fit I am now, the easier my labor will be. My body will tell me how much I can do. I debated asking one of the workers, just in case, you know. But I lifted it myself. I felt something, something tear? It hurt. I worried. I didn't start to spot, I figured my uterus was just being irritable. It ached, and I started cramping. I told Matt about it. He told me to let him do all the lifting. I could see the worry on his face, and hear it in his voice. I agreed. I was sorry I lifted. I went home and went to bed as I wasn't feeling well, I was having motion sickness again and cramping.
I dreamed I started spotting and having a miscarriage. I woke up, I told Matt about it. He hugged me and told me it wasn't true, it was a nightmare. At midnight I started spotting, by mid-morning the next day I was out and out bleeding. I had already called the dr twice. He finally ordered blood work. I went to the bathroom. I was really bleeding now, and passing clots. I started to cry. I knew what was happening. Not again. Not again. PLEASE not again. I can't do this. Not again. What have I done to deserve this? What crime did I commit in another lifetime. Why me AGAIN.
My friend hugged me, cried with me. Took me to have my blood work. She took me home. I sobbed and sobbed, I am so sorry I lifted that. She settled me in at home, she went back to work, and checked in with me. I went home to bed, avoiding the construction men in my house. I cried and cried I. I will never lift something again, I promise. My blood work came back, it was only 511, it should have been over 1,300, The baby died days ago. It wasn't my lifting that did it. My lifting just started the flow if you know what I mean.
I am crushed, I am hurt am angry. I wish I had never got pregnant again. If I am going to loose the pregnancy and never get a baby, I don't want to be teased. To be given this horrible hope and then to have it dashed to smithereens. I had just about convinced myself I didn't want one. I was even considering having my friend and her baby out so I could get over this thing I have of dreading pregnant women and babies. Why me AGAIN.
I am terrified to get pregnant again, what if I keep loosing pregnancies and never carry to term? I can't deal with this. I can not take that level of heart ache over and over again.
So here I am at home alone, stoned on pain meds and bleeding. Feeling the comfort and safety I had provided for my child leaving my body. I am cramping, it hurts bad. I get to have the labor, but I get none of those feel good chemicals I am entitled to during labor. I don't get my prize at the end of the pain. I get nothing but a broken heart and empty arms. Sounds dramatic I know. It really is this dramatic.
I dread the coming winter. I dread the cold and the dark. I dread Halloween with happy kids in costumes and a serious sugar buzz. I dread Christmas, I should have been able to feel him kick by then. I was going to get an ornament to celebrate this. I can't wait to see the back side of this fucking year. I am only looking forward to January 1st. I dread May 13th. My would have been due date. I hold out no hope I will be pregnant before then. I will try to convince myself that I don't want kids. That I can look at pregnant woman and babies. That this doesn't hurt any more. I will lie to myself until I believe it is true.