Sunday, September 26, 2004
To quote Julianna ( http://myeggsarecooked.blogspot.com/ ), I feel like I'm in a pool of calm the past few days.
I'll take it.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
But you know what? That kinda sums up where my life is right now! Let's see. In no particular order of importance or magnitude, here are the current activities and issues in my daily life:
- married into a step-mess with two awesome little guys for step sons who are being coached by their knothead mother to hate and ignore me....that's always fun
- overweight by about 40 lbs and not seeming to be able to get motivated to do much about it....except lay on the couch and pop bon bons (ok ok....Skor bits really) into my mouth while hubby works out addictively
- in the unique position of reorganizing the part of the department I am currently directing on an acting basis, the result of which will be that my home position will no longer exist, and trying to smile and welcome back the person that I was acting on behalf of so that I can go back to a position at the level I started here in 10 years ago....oh and leading the employee recognition program in the section while doing so....way to feel valued
- trying to deal with the sudden death of a close friend whom I didn't get the chance to say goodbye to
- approaching the two year marking of the date that I lost the only child I managed to conceive (September 27)
- making like a bunny on a regular basis and never even a hint that I might be able to conceive again!
So, although I know there are folks in this world that have much much more on their plate, this list helps me to give myself slight permission to be in a funk!
Now my job is to figure out which of these I have control over, take some steps to control and/or change those funky situations .... and stop dwelling on the shit I can't change.
Oh yeah, and get wittier in my blogging!
Saturday, September 18, 2004
And this week it was convincing myself that since the world had lost my friend Sylvia, and I was on day 35 of this long cycle, surely that meant I was carrying the soul that was meant to enter the world as my friend's earthly body left.
What a load of bunk. I came home from her funeral yesterday and started my period.
I really have to get my head into reality.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
She was the kind of friend that you could fall out of touch with, pick up the phone a year later and pick up exactly where you left off. I used to refer to her as my "grown up low maintenance" friend.
A short time ago she was diagnosed with cancer ... stage 4. She kept it fairly quiet, travelling to other parts of the country in search of an alternative treatment, before finally going public here and seeking traditional treatment.
She had requested a few weeks ago that the crew of us that used to hang out together, get together for a girls weekend. We never were able to make that happen because she went so quickly.
And she and I didn't speak again before her death. We had a good game of phone tag going. I'd call her, leave a message to tell her I loved her and was thinking about her ... she'd call back, not leaving a message but I'd see her number on my call minder when I'd come home ... so I'd call again, get her machine and leave another message. The most recent message I left her was this past Sunday morning.
Oddly enough, the friend that called me today to relay the news of her passing said that Sylvia had just told her how pleased she was that we had managed to connect and talk in the last few weeks.
So even though we didn't, I'm at peace with the knowledge that she died thinking we had talked. Perhaps we did. Sometimes when you're really good friends that have that connection, your hearts speak to each other without words.
She was one of those phenomenal, energetic, loving, life filled, crazy ass women that bring joy to this world. I will miss her.
Sunday, September 12, 2004
I don't often remember my dreams. Except for that one where a group of Hell's Angels took over my house, pulling up in camper trailers and dressed in farmer's overalls. It was a long dream that was very detailed and involved my running to a friend's house (a mansion located on the same street as my dreary little duplex), asking for a place to hide out while the Hell's Angels were busily tilling the land behind my house. She brought me in but told me I could only stay 30 minutes, have one hot dog and then had to return to my place because it was her daughter's birthday. I actually had that one analyzed by a friend who does dream analysis as part of her psychotherapy practice.
But this morning I woke up ... well I was nudged up by the dawgs who don't realize that I'm allowed to sleep in on Sundays and get concerned if I'm not out of bed by 6:30 every morning .... unless hubby is home and then I'm just another time drain on him as far as they're concerned and they'd leave me sleeping until noon ... but I digress.
I woke up this morning with the most vivid recollection of this dream.
Knothead and I were actually in the same place together. I left to go to a coffee shop, and was sitting there with a work colleague, when she walked in with this guy and took the table next to us. She got up to go to the restroom at one point, and took a long trench coat with her, holding it in front of her stomach. The next part of the dream involves me trying to get a look at her stomach.
Flip to she and I being together at my home, where she is in the kitchen, and I'm out front with this guy of hers, loading up a vehicle of some sort. He and I drive somewhere together, and he tells me that yes indeed, Knothead is pregnant. He goes on to say he doesn't know if it's his child, but he doesn't seem too concerned about it.
Flash back to me being magically in the house, where she remains in the kitchen ... cleaning up by placing my dining room table over my kitchen table and having lifted it by herself. I'm joined by a few colleagues from work .... interesting choice of colleagues because they are ones that are particularly supportive of me but wouldn't be folks in my home ... and I'm all concerned because Knothead has been lifting tables, and she's pregnant, although she won't acknowledge it to me. This time I can clearly see the pregnant belly, complete with popped out belly button.
I awoke with this feeling of great concern for her pregnancy and her.
What's with that? I've been trying to figure out the triggers for the dream. A few that come to mind:
At Mass yesterday, the homily was all about letting go of anger and forgiving those who have hurt you ... how when we engage in sinful acts we want mercy for ourselves, but when someone else engages in one, we want justice. I've been holding a lot of anger toward Knothead....
I've been creating another blog that contains the journal hubby and I kept for our baby boy, Brodie. http://journalforbrodie.blogspot.com/ It's been a very healing experience, but has also brought back the experience of being pregnant vividly through the words we both wrote in it.
I've been grappling with whether to go this baby shower today, or to just send my gift.
And then of course, I'm in that really rotten part of my cycle .... day 30 ... that day where you're wondering "ok, did I ovulate this month? Is this just a long cycle? What's going on with my system?" ... and at my age you have to kick in the queries about being peri-menopausal.
Gawd....why can't I just dream about hunky men, or dancing pickles, or skydiving or something?
Saturday, September 11, 2004
I'm hoping that going through it and typing out what we lovingly wrote to him over the months that we were waiting for him will be healing.
I can't quite figure out this blogging thing ... how to link it to this blog and vice versa, and how to have the posts appear in the order that I want them to in the journal blog. I hope it won't be an exercise in technological frustration!
Because of our different spots on the continuum, we really pay attention to ensuring "the girls" have time together. One of the ways we do that is by using our regular brunch gatherings to plan our annual trip together. This tradition started about 15 years ago when we descended on a small fishing town in another part of our home province, took over four motel rooms and spent disgusting amounts of time and money in the two local bars...entertaining the locals. Eventually we matured our way out of those habits, and began taking more elaborate trips ... resorts in Cuba, other provinces in Canada, and this year, a late summer excursion to NY City for theatre, dining and shopping experiences.
So in June, we sat together at brunch planning the NYC trip....each of us doing the out loud wondering of whether she would be able to commit to the trip being planned for end August. One of the single no kids (and no apparent significant other) announces that she must decline participation, as she will likely be either in hospital giving birth or at home nursing said offspring.
Way to silence a table.
There she sat...almost 7 months pregnant....letting us in on this little development for the first time. None of us had really noticed any difference in her body shape. She has always favoured baggier clothing.
She continues to break the deafening silence by sharing that she hasn't yet let the father in on the news; she wasn't sure if she wanted "it"; she's kind of accepted "it" now and is sort of getting excited about "it"; yada yada yada.
I sat there ... perma smile on my face. Trying to be congratulatory toward this woman who has succeeded in a completely unintentional way to accomplish what I want so desperately, and is sharing that she's not sure if she wanted "it" and is "kind of" excited about "it".
Spring forward to today. She has since given birth to "it", who turned out to be a gorgeous baby boy. I haven't yet met him, nor have I seen her since his birth, which is not unusual for our group of friends.
But that will change should I choose to accept my next mission.
Attend her baby shower tomorrow.
I have been to exactly one baby shower since we lost our baby boy in 2002. And that was one of those at work ones, where I was able to sneak in as part of a large crowd, stand by the door for a minute or two...be seen and then sneak out quietly. Worked great for me.
But this one tomorrow is at someone's house, and will be complete with food, games, gifts and of course the baby.
I had accepted the evite, and even agreed to bring veggies and dip.
Today I'm waffling. With all the emotional roller coaster riding I've been doing this last week, I don't know if I want to purposely put myself into a situation where I might react negatively. Not to mention the need to hit a baby store today and pick out a gift.
I know that every woman who has lived through the loss of a baby (or babies) can relate perfectly to the mix of emotions I'm grappling with today. The desire to be there with my friend, share the happiness and miracle of new life, not punish this little boy because of my emotional instability in this area.... fighting against the need to be kind to myself, listen to my heart .... wrestling against the societal muzac of "get over it...move on".
I'll let you know what wins out.
Friday, September 10, 2004
I had the day from hell at work yesterday. Love my job, and I've worked hard to get to where I am in the organization. When I returned from my sick leave after the m/c in October 2002, I was asked to take on a senior management role on an acting basis. I was glad to have the opportunity, and although it was only supposed to last for three months, I am still acting in the position. The person that the position actually belongs to had been away on a secondment, and it seems will be returning to our department around the end of October. We've worked together in various configurations for almost 20 years, and I was fine with the return.
When I got called into my superior's office (who can be a real, to quote other blogs, asshat) and presented with a new draft organizational chart.
It seems the powers that be have been huddled behind closed doors...busily reorganizing our entire department. My true position is "manager" of the section of which I am currently acting director. So this reorganized 'vision' would see my section reduced from a staff complement of 12 to 7, the manager role technically eliminated and converted to a program coordinator role...but (this is the good part)...none of the work or responsibilities removed. No one will technically lose a job as they will be placed elsewhere in the organization.
And the task I was presented with was to decide who goes, who stays, and how the work will be divided up.
Including placing myself somewhere in this new configuration.
Interesting position to be placed in. Redefine the division I currently 'direct', knowing that someone else is coming back to the director role, and placing myself two rungs down on the organizational ladder...back to where I was 10 years ago position wise.
And smile the whole time. Nothing like being a good civil servant.
Then on the way home today, I stopped at the vet's to pick up dawg food. I love the vet we take the dawgs to ... she is a kindred spirit. In April of last year she and her husband suffered a miscarriage as well. Now I haven't been in recently because hubby has been on pooch food patrol, so haven't seen her. She hesitantly shared her news with me that she is 5 1/2 months pregnant. I had that mixed delight feeling, and hated that she had to feel hesitant about sharing her good news with me, although another part of me appreciated her sensitivity. I just hate that loss and infertility has impacted us this way! While I was there, someone brought a dog in that had been hit by a car. They were crying...the dawg looked so forlorn...glassy eyes and just sort of staring...scared...and I couldn't handle it. I left in tears. Again.
Only to get home to receive a phone call from my sister telling me our mom had been taken to emergency with chest pains. They released her, and she's fine, but it was still a wake up call.
I always did hate roller coasters.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
I cried when a Klingon gave birth on Star Trek yesterday.
Hope: I must be pregnant!
Reality: I need a life, and my kidneys are too close to my eyeballs.
Hubby and I travelled to the other side of town yesterday to satisfy my craving for pasta.
Hope: Food cravings! I must be pregnant!
Reality: I'm getting ready to rejoin Weight Watchers, am chowing down on all my favourites and was just too lazy to cook.
I'm tuckered right out and all I want to do is sleep.
Hope: I couldn't get out of my own way when I was pregnant the last time. I must be pregnant! Reality: I haven't been exercising; my energy level is down; I hate my job right now and am using sleep as an avoidance tactic.
And on it will go ... the mind battling the heart battling the body for the next three to five days. Until I have one of two things:
A positive hpt....or a continued downward slide into low self esteem because I'm a carb addicted, Star Trek watching crier whose only exercise is climbing the stairs to sleep.
I love it when royalty comes to visit.
Monday, September 06, 2004
I'm done growing.
Well ok, I'm not really, but damn, I'm tired of growing and would like to be done!!!
Hubby is very athletic, and has been training all summer for a national paddling competition which took place yesterday. I was very excited at the prospect of hanging out at the club and cheering him on. Enter ex-wife (hereafter known as "Knothead") with Frodo and Mini-Me in tow. Cool.
Except that I'm in one of those vulnerable states yesterday. You know the kind? That "I'm overweight-my-clothes-don't-fit-my-hair-is-limp-not-feeling-too-confident-and-oh-yeah-my-eggs-are-too-old-to-hatch" moods?
And within an hour, I've left the clubhouse in tears. Came home and journalled for about an hour, and have come to a new realization.
It's hard to watch the man you love with his family.
I realized that no matter how deeply I understand that I am the only woman who has ever actually entered his heart and soul, they share children, and they are, therefore, a family. He and I will never be able to share that as a first together. I was an outsider yesterday, and there wasn't anything that my husband did to create this feeling of alienation for me. It's just the way it is.
So, stir the alienation in with the impending realization that we may not ever have a child of our own, add a pinch of vulnerable state, ice with a heap of Knothead arrogant "I had him first" air, and the karma boomerang cake was ready to hit me square in the face.
Infertility is a big ol' piece of baggage on its own to deal with...that's for sure. Most days I'm able to have that pollyanna attitude of saying "well, at least we have Frodo and Mini-Me" but yesterday it wasn't there.
I'm incredibly blessed with this soulmate, handsome hunk of an emotional man-boy husband of mine though. The antidote for boomerang cake.
He came home after the races (three bronze medals by the way!) and listened while I bawled, cursed, called her names I won't write here, spewed hatred and frustration. He hugged me. And he cried with me. And he held my hand to his heart, and told me that we were family because true family has to involve the heart.
It didn't fix my step mess, but it sure helped my heart ... and took a bit of the boomerang icing sting from between my eyes.
Sunday, September 05, 2004
I'm focused on the step parent part of my life this morning.
The joys of it....the fact that I have these two awesome little gifts in my life ... aged 7 and 9. I call them Frodo and Mini Me because that's who they remind me of when they are with their dad. Mini Me has stolen my heart. His quick smile. His total giving over of himself once his dad and I got married. Prior to that, I used to whip him into good behaviour by threatening to "smooch" him. He couldn't imagine getting smooched by me. Now he arrives at our home for his regular visits, runs in and throws himself around my waist for a big hug, and says goodnight to me with a big kiss...a "smooch". And I treasure each of these because I know that they are hard earned and given with total honesty from this seven year old being's heart. Frodo is a bit more like his mother's side of the family. Nice, but guarded. More into the "gimmes...what can you gimme" than he is into honest relationships. Typical nine year old stuff in many ways, but in other ways both his dad and I can see that he is adopting more and more of his mother's behaviours and ways of looking at life.
Which brings me to "her".
They had a 12 year relationship, seven of those years in marriage. They brought out the absolute worst in each other, and although both are good people in their own right, they were like oil and water together. I wouldn't pick her as a friend or even an acquaintance, and yet she has this presence in my every day life. We are tied to her because of these two awesome beings we share.
And truth be known, I am jealous of her some days. Like today.
I sit here with my aging eggs, wondering if I can ever carry a baby to term, or even conceive again. And she ... the one who has the perpetual knot in her forehead ... has given my husband the one thing we want more than almost anything. Children.
My logic (which I have an overabundance of by the way) tells me that this means nothing. My husband tells me that this means nothing. That he sees more of me in the boys than her. I have been in their lives since the very early days, and I know that my way of living...my values...my humour...my gifts...rub off on them. I see them taking on some of my characteristics. And yet, they are not biologically mine. They share her genetics.
When he told her that he had met someone, her response was "she can't be better than me". My husband, incredible diplomat that he is, responded with "she's different than you".
Different in many good ways. I don't have a knot in my forehead from frowning at people all the time. And my nose isn't pinched from looking down it at the rest of the world.
But also different in that apparently I don't work the same way fertility-wise as she does.
When we became pregnant with our baby boy, she didn't want us to tell the boys. I was almost six months pregnant, and had gained 30 lbs (I know...way too much!) and we were saying "ummm time to tell the boys". She was content to tell them that I was just getting fat. So the boys never knew that they had a brother.
And when we lost the baby, she sent them over on the weekend of the loss with a potted plant.
And then said to me "I hope you don't think I'm not just as upset about your baby as you are, because I am you know".
It just doesn't seem fair to me, that this woman...who openly admits that she likes no children but her own gets to have children.
My rant for the day. To quote Wil from Big Brother 5...."if karma is a boomerang......."
Saturday, September 04, 2004
It's been 22 cycles since our miscarriage. I've had 22 two week waiting periods.
Which means that I'm approaching the second anniversary of the loss of our baby boy.
Which also means that I'm quickly approaching my 42nd birthday.
I remember actually complaining about the fact that I was going to be spending my 40th yelling in the labour and delivery room. Man, what I would give to have been yelling in that room on that birthday.
Feeling kinda sorry for myself today, aren't I?
Friday, September 03, 2004
What is it about our society today that we have forgotten how to relax? I remember reading a poem once that asked whether in thirty years anyone was going to remember that you had dust bunnies under your bed. I like that question. Maybe I can get them to remember me by naming my dust bunnies and adopting them as pets.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
This week, it's the refocus on weight loss, exercise and the link of both of those to my ability (or inability) to conceive. High on my resolution list for this September is getting back my focus on healthy eating and exercise.
It's a cruel joke that the first weekend of this fresh season is called "Labour Day". It's like a taunt ... a jab ... and I'm starting to realize that it's not directed at me personally. Just as I've finally accepted that there's not a conspiracy amongst all the currently pregnant women in my city to congregate at the Walmart at the precise time that I enter to shop there.
The world isn't out to rub my face in my own infertility. It does make me wonder, though, how some women manage to get pregnant by apparently just having a uterus while I try daily with no result.
But I will try to accept that there isn't a world wide conspiracy. As a matter of fact, I resolve to add achievement of that acceptance to my 2004 September list of resolutions.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
I go back and forth about how I feel about this. I had long ago come to terms with the fact that I might never be a mother. Then I met hubby. And then I found out that I was pregnant! My whole outlook changed. Suddenly career seemed less important, or rather was put into the appropriate perspective. Our house, which previously had been too small for all of us, suddenly sprouted all kinds of possibilities that were absolutely achievable. Habits that I never thought I could change were changed without any pain at all (read drinking, smoking and staying out late here). In fact most of those habits have not been resumed.
And then all hope was taken away again by one ultrasound in October 2002 that revealed a previously happy, waving, moving, wiggling baby to be silent and curled into a fetal position at the bottom of the screen.
Every month after that was torture. Would we conceive again? Yes...there was one positive home pregnancy test that was followed just a week or so later by the start of the dreaded period. Every month we'd hold our breath, hoping that the dreaded visitor would not appear. And every month that it did, I cried and apologized to my husband....feeling like a failure.
Then there was the "let's just not talk about it" stage. We'll just go about our business (nod, nod, wink, wink) and maybe it will just happen.
Then we hit the "should we try some other means to assist us" stage. We moved through that relatively quickly and decided to stay with the let's just keep going about our business stage.
But lately, as my 42nd birthday looms and I realize that even if I were to conceive now, I'd be well into my 42nd year before giving birth, I'm starting to wonder if "it" will ever happen.
And to wonder whether I can once again get my head around the fact that I may never be a mother.