Friday, September 5, 2014

These Are My Hands, pt. 2: Shit You Don't Need To Say To Pregnant Women (ever)

This is a continuation of my ranty blog post on the way pregnant women and their bodies are treated like public property, and how shitty that is (super, super shitty, FYI.) Here's a handy link, if you would like to go back and start from there.

Part of the point I was making was that people feel free to ask whatever they please, entitled to answers regardless of whether it's personal and invasive. Ditto shitty comments. Apparently you are not allowed any privacy while gestating. Keeping your personal shit to yourself is a privilege granted only to men and the unpregnant.

Ladies and gentlemen...We know you're excited for us, but please think before you speak. Here's a handy guide on Shit You Don't Need To Say To Pregnant Women.

"Finally!" "It's about time!" "We were starting to think you were infertile! Hur hur!"
*sigh* Listen, you have no idea what this person has been through. Maybe they didn't want children at all, and this was a surprise they decided to run with. Maybe they wanted to wait, or wanted a large age gap between kids. Maybe they have been trying for 10 years and only just now had success. Maybe they have had 4 pregnancies and 4 losses in as many (or fewer) years, and this is the first one that got far enough to allow them to feel comfortable announcing. Maybe this was their 3rd (and first successful) round of IVF. You just have got NO idea what they might be going through. Who cares when your co-worker has kids, anyway? This one has the potential to be very, very hurtful.

"He's measuring how big? Oh, he's going to be huge. My aunt's baby measured 8lb in utero but he really weighed 27lb and her whole butt ripped open."
No one needs to hear this. NO ONE. EVER. NEEDS. TO HEAR THIS. Keep your scary stories to yourself!  I shouldn't even have to say any anything else-- there's no good reason to share shit like this with any pregnant woman, ever, at all. We don't tell new drivers horror stories of people decapitated in messy car accidents, so why is this any different? We are already scared enough as it is, and well aware of every possible risk and every possible thing that could go wrong. Just keep it to yourself!

"Detail all your birth related choices for me."

Nope. Not your business. That's between me, my healthcare provider and my partner. Get out of my vagina and go find something better to do. :D

"Ohhh, you have one gender and you're going to have the opposite this time? PERFECT! You can be done now!"
What? No, I'm honestly asking-- what?! I/we will be done when I'm/we're done, eff you very much.

"Awwww, I bet [the father] is soooo excited to be getting a little boy!!!!"
Yes, he has a penis, so he wants a child with a penis, too! How insightful of you to notice that all men always want the very same thing! No REAL MAN wants a delicate frilly girl daughter with a delicate female daughter vagina! All girls want to do is have tea parties and cry about things because of their tiny lady hormones, anyway. They don't want to fish and wrassle and do cool shit like boys do! (Reverse all that for assumptions that the mother wanted a widdle pwinnnncesss.)

"I can't wait to meet my baybeee!!!"
Oh, I didn't know you were pregnant too! Congrats!   . . . Seriously, folks, unless you helped make it (literally), you're carrying it, or you're going to adopt it, this is not IN ANY WAY  your baby.  Think of it in Little Red Hen terms: Who found the grain, planted the grain, watered and tended the grain, harvested the grain, took it to the mill, and made bread out of the flour? The Hen. Guess whose bread that was? The Hen's, and no one else's. Unless you are my husband, my baby is NOT yours. 

"Better sleep now! HUR HUR HUR!!!"
Wait....what? Are you implying my ten solid hours of sleep a night will be coming to an end? Seriously?! Wait-- no one told me about this!! This is painfully stupid. Painfully, painfully stupid.     1) We know. I don't even understand how this is supposed to be funny.
 2) Sleep doesn't even work that way. You can't bank it and save it for later, you fucking idiot. 3) Many women have a very hard time sleeping in the later weeks of pregnancy because they are just super, super uncomfortable. They're already tired, so don't be an asshole and rub it in.

"OMG, you're HUGE!!!!" or "Are ya sure there's only one in there?! a-hyuck!"
How clever you are to notice. How about I go ahead and staple your dumbass lips shut, and then you can go fuck yourself forever. Yay!

"So, are you dilated yet?"
I don't know, you wanna check for me?  C'mon, it'll be fun! You do me, then I'll do you! The first person to ask me this is getting asked the most invasive, personal question I can come up with. Maybe something about how many orgasms they've had that week, or whether they're into anal, or something. I don't know. Again: the only people who need this information are myself, my healthcare provider and maybe my partner. Get out of my crotch, FFS. (Good god, why would anyone even ask this? Why?!)

"Haven't you had that baby yet?!"
Congratulations! You're the smartest and the funniest. No, I haven't. Isn't that hilarious. You know, I'm just holding it in so you'll keep making these very, very funny and not at all stupid comments. That's the only reason. I know nobody on Earth is as tired of me being pregnant, or as ready for this baby to come out, as you are, mail carrier/gas station attendant/distant relative. Thanks for caring. Bonus douche points if you say this three weeks before I'm even due.

And finally, this is a thing not to do, rather than a thing not to say, but: Do not lay your grubby mitts on a pregnant woman's body without permission.
How would you feel if random ass people--sometimes compete strangers-- wanted to come up and grab on you? I don't care how cute the belly is, or how close you think you are to the mother-to-be: Don't EVER touch a pregnant woman without permisson. At least ask first, you presumptuous dickheads. (Is it not a little fucked up that I even have to say this?) You shouldn't be grabbing ANYONE without permission, ever, at any time, unless you're saving their life or something. A baby belly doesn't change that. My body is not public property.

This is my belly, 
It belongs to me
And if you touch it [uninvited],
I'm going to fucking eviscerate you.

Google it.

Okay, not really, but touch my belly uninvited and I'm grabbing your balls/breasts. You've been warned, motherfuckers. :D

We know you all mean well, but please: Think before you speak, people. Chances are, it's none of your business, it's groundless gender based bullshit, or it's the same thing 4,000 other people have already said (or all of the above). ("Well, they're just exciiiitedddd!!!" is not an excuse or defense for any of this garbage-- not now, not ever.)

The best thing you can say to us? Congratulations. You're going to do a great job. It's hard, but it's so worth it. Are you getting excited? You're going to be an awesome mom, I know it. Can't wait to hear the good news. YAY.

Edited to add: Think about who you're talking to. It makes more sense that you might discuss feeding (for example) with your sister, or a close cousin, than a random woman you've never met and and will never see again, stuck next to you in a waiting room. It's just common sense stuff. Some things you can ask of/say to some people, and some stuff you should just never, ever say to anyone at all.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

These Are My Hands

It's pretty widely known amongst those of my acquaintance that I am a (sometimes passionate) feminist. Now that I am pregnant myself, I've been thinking about (re: dreading) the many, many questions asked of pregnant women. They range in how personal they are from "when are you due" to "are you dilated yet." Literally anyone will ask this shit, from mothers to grocery store clerks.

Nobody thinks anything of it, and many people ask questions like these in innocent, idle attempts to make conversation. Some are totally harmless, of course (how far along are you, do you know the gender, are you getting excited, etc.), but if you stop to consider it, a lot of the questions asked and comments made are really very personal, and for an expectant mother they may feel invasive.

When I was pregnant the first time, someone asked me at seven fucking weeks whether or not I was planning on having an epidural. That person didn't mean to be intrusive, but I was completely fucking dumbfounded.  If you are not my midwife or my partner/my child's other parent, there is no reason for you to have this information. This is none of your fucking business. I really can't imagine why anyone would even ask.

The minute a woman announces a pregnancy, her body, her child, and everything about her pregnancy is considered public property, and information about any of them is the right of anyone and everyone who wants to know. This shit is so deeply ingrained socially that we don't even think about it. It's just what you say to pregnant women, right? Apparently privacy is only the right of the nonpregnant. Mostly dudes.

This is so, so wrong! Pregnant or otherwise, I am not public property! My body is not public property. My pregnancy is not public property. My birth is not public property. My child is not public property.  The only people who need intimate information about my body, my birth plans, & etc. etc. are myself, my midwives and my husband.

I am reminded of a stupid poem I learned while working in childcare, intended to help kids learn to keep their hands to themselves [recited while patting one's own chest]:

These are my hands
They belong to me
And I'm going to keep them

Just. on. me.

My body, my pregnancy, my birth, and my baby belong to me, so please: keep your stupid body comments and your intrusive questions "just on you," okay? Next time you feel moved to ask personal questions, please check yourself. Stop and think: Do I really need to know this? What will I gain by hearing the answer?  Is this really any of my damned business?  Because the answers to these questions are probably no, nothing, and hell no.

Pregnant women everywhere will thank you. :)

A somewhat more light hearted part two can be found here.


Friday, August 29, 2014

The Noob: First trimester screening

Just a quick post to say we had our Nuchal Translucency scan yesterday and all is well. Baby was bumping and twitching and moving all around in there, and we got to see him/her open and close his/her mouth.

It took a lot of effort on everyone's part to get him/her into the right angle so the tech could get the necessary measurements. She did finally get them, but unfortunately we didn't get any good pics (hence no upload here), and most of what we saw on the screen was a blur of various baby parts wooshing across the screen as she dug and poked and dug and dug, trying to get the right shot.  No idea what it is yet.

I have traveled through time to post from the future, so I can tell you that the results are....completely normal. No markers for any issues. Excellent news!

As happy as that is, I can't help but remember that I "should" have a three and a half week old (or so) right now. Am I still sad? Yeah, I'm still sad. Happy and sad.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"People view the death of a baby as just a sad thing that happened. These babies that die are not sad  things that happen. They are people, much loved and wanted children. They are brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandsons and granddaughters."  --Carly Marie Dudley, of Project Heal.

Today is a "Day of Hope," apparently, a day to remember and heal. People make prayer flags and hang them, and sometimes send in photos of them. I'm not participating, because I didn't know about it until today, but I saw this quote posted elsewhere and loved it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Due Date

Today is my first baby's due date. I made it through the day okay, just welled up a few times. it is hard, and it sucks, even knowing I have a rainbow on the way.

We weren't sure what to do. I knew I had to do something, but finances are an issue, so planting a tree, getting a tattoo, etc. was out of the question. We decided we'd just release balloons here at our house.  My husband stopped on his way home from work and bought two balloons ( I requested the pink one), and we wrote messages on them. 

On mine, I wrote her name and the date of the miscarriage, and underneath that I wrote, "Mommy loves you." On the other side, I wrote "we miss you," and I covered a lot of the free space with hearts and Xs & Os. My husband took the blue one and wrote, "We miss you, XOXO" on the top. "It's on the top, so she can see it," he said (i.e., if she were looking "down" from heaven, she would see the words on the top.) We are not religious, but that was so sweet, I thought.

We took them outside to the area of our yard we thought would give them their best chance at not getting hung up in our many trees.  We held hands and thought about our baby for a few minutes, then we filled our balloons with love (that sounds so stupid, but I promise it made sense at the time-- just focused hard on thoughts of love for our lost baby, while focusing energy on the balloons). I hugged and kissed mine a few times, and that was that. (The hugs and kisses are for the baby, you see, to catch them off the balloon.)

We let them go and watched them for awhile.

(It's hard to see, but you can just see a dark speck toward the top of the red box (the blue one) and a light speck toward the bottom (the pink one). I cried, and we talked about how maybe my late father-in-law was pointing out the balloons to our Daphne. We watched them until we couldn't see them anymore. And that was it. It felt good. I feel like it was the right thing to do.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Are you still sad?

The other day I talked to someone dear to me who knows about the new baby.  (We have told a few people about this new pregnancy, but have not yet made any formal, public announcements.) She asked me that question: "Are you still sad about the other baby?"
Now, normally, this would infuriate me, but I know she doesn't know any better. She has no idea what she's saying. "Are you still sad about the other baby?"

Let me just clear this up for the universe at large, right now.

YES. I will never, ever not be sad about it. Not ever.

That first pregnancy seems to have been nothing but a blip to most people (even to our own families, I think, especially now that I've been colonized by a new womb tenant). The first pregnancy everyone will forget (has probably already forgotten) was not just a first pregnancy; it was our first baby, and her death was a life changing, soul destroying, foundation shaking, heart rending experience. It has had a permanent impact on our lives, and it has forever changed who I am.

To [general] you, our first pregnancy may have been a blip, forgotten, a sad memory, a nothing; to me, she was my first child, who I already loved. My first child, who I was already taking care of. A million Christmases, birthdays, Thanksgivings, Halloweens, first days of school, had already flashed through our minds.  First car, Prom, teenage rebellion, first boy/girlfriend, first bike, books to read with her, sending her out to pick up sticks in the yard before Daddy mowed-- all this and more (so very, very much more) had already been through our minds more than once.

That was my baby, my child, not something that can be replaced like a burnt out light bulb. How ridiculous would it be if I asked my friend, "Are you still sad that your grandpa died?"

Yes, I am still sad. I will always be sad. I am overjoyed about the new pregnancy, but it does not in any way replace the one I lost. Not now, not ever.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

It lives

And there it is. That's from 9 weeks, 3 days. Kid was measuring 9 weeks, 6 days, and wiggled and bounced all around. S/he is facing left, and you can see an arm with a hand up there by the face. Heart rate of 171. Phew. We go back in about a month for the nuchal translucency test.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Once more, with feeling

Well... Um. Well.


This is hard. I am overjoyed of course,  but this is really, really hard. Pregnancy books are written for the naive and innocent; for people who still think two lines on a stick automatically and inevitably results in a perfect, take-home baby nine months later. If you are reading this, you, like me, know first hand that that is not true. There is no chapter in those books for trying to keep your hopes up; no chapter on how to manage when you are about to shit your pants from fear. You're on your own. I'm on my own...

...with a passenger. A passenger who (please, Oprah, Ellen Degeneres, George R. R. Martin, Kevin Spacey, anybody, please please please) is due March 2, 2015.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day.

Mother's Day has come and gone. My best friend called to check on me and wish me a Happy Mother's Day, and my husband said it, too, although he had to be prompted (he misunderstood my desire to hide from the world that day as a desire to pretend it wasn't happening, even with him.)

Other than that? No one said a word. Not one single person.

....but wait!  I'm not a mother, right? FALSE. And if you're reading this, you probably are one too. I may never have had a living child to physically take home with me, but for 8 weeks, I had my child with me everywhere I went.  I may not have any children living, but I did once, alive in my belly. I may never have labored and borne a living child, but I did bear my child's remains. (Actually, though it may not have been the labor of a full term birth, there was labor of some kind  involved).

From the moment she was conceived and attached to me, she was my child, and I was her mother. When I chose not to have a margarita at dinner with friends for the benefit of my child, I was her mother. When I chose not to have caffeine for the benefit of my child, I was her mother. When I chose to take my prenatal vitamins and eat as well as I could manage for the benefit of my child, I was her mother. She gave me nausea and breasts so sore it often hurt to move or touch them at all. She gave me morning sickness in the form of diarrhea, and made me so unfathomably tired I could hardly do anything. Worst of all, she gave me a significant (and, unfortunately, lasting) increase in chin hairs. And yet, with all of these unpleasant things happening to me because of her, I loved her and cherished her all the more. Because I was I am her mother.

My poor, sweet baby. I hope you know that you were wanted. You were not, as so many of us were, conceived by some idiot/s who reacted to the news of your existence and imminent arrival with panic and fear. When my home pregnancy test was positive, no one cried. No one panicked.  Your very being was intentional.  The news that you were in there was cause for great joy for the very first second. You were (are) loved beyond words. Every single moment of your life was filled with my love for you.

There are so many bad things about you not being here. So, so many. I will never see your smile or hear your voice or your laugh. I will never know what you looked like, or who you looked like, or who you took after. I will never get to hold you in my arms. You will never lay in my chair with me and make me read the same book over and over again. You will never be as real to Daddy as you are to me--I will never see that moment on his face when you become real to him, too. (That one is hard.) It is likely that no one will ever feel you were really a baby--really MY baby-- the way that I do, not even your father. I don't care; they are wrong.

I hate that you are gone. I hate it every second of every day. I have hated every single second since about 10:00AM, January 3, 2014. Had you not died, I would be around 27 weeks now. You'd be kicking me, and I would be reading Pride and Prejudice aloud to you.

I would give literally anything to get you back, but since I cannot, I have to take whatever comfort I can from your short life. While it does not make the loss of you any easier, I can rest in the knowledge that you did not suffer. You were never away from me. You were never cold, lonely, hungry, hurt, sick, frustrated or embarrassed.

I can rest in the knowledge that you will never be humiliated, molested, attacked, or mocked.
You will never bite down on a gross hard thing in your hamburger.
You will never get your heart broken.
You will never miss me.
You will never have one of those days where you're super cranky and you're being a ridiculous asshole, and you know you're being a ridiculous asshole, and it makes you feel worse, but you're so cranky you just can't snap yourself out of it, and you're just a guilty, frustrated asshole all day.
You will never feel the sting of a good friend's betrayal.
You will never be scared.
You will never be trapped in an awkward conversation.
You will never scrape your knee.
You will never have one of those weird, tickly boogers that you can't seem to dislodge, so it just sits there and bugs you all day.
You will never worry about money.
You will never be mugged in a dark alley.

Your absence is a great screaming, frozen chasm in the very fabric of my soul. I feel the lack of you with every breath I take. I can't find the words to describe it, but rest assured, my baby-- it is so much more than missing you. I will not ever be the same after having become your mother, and I will not ever be the same after having lost you.

 I don't pretend to know what goes on before we're born or after we die, but if you see your siblings around, look out for them. (Death might save you from gross things in your hamburger, but it apparently it can't save you from babysitting.) Wherever you are, I hope you know that your mother loves you.

Happy Mother's day, Internet.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's day can crawl into its own ass and suffocate


 Perhaps you are here on some long distant date, brought here by google or whatever people are using in the future.  As you click on a new post, and then another, you are probably beginning to to expect each click to lead to a happy pregnancy announcement. It's only natural, it has been 4 months, after all.

Welll....guess what?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

You thought I was done, didn't you?

Yeah, so did I . We were both wrong. Before I continue, let me warn you there is some major, major, icky TMI ahead and may be triggery for some. Read at your own risk.


I should be 19 weeks right about now. I should have been feeling my baby move, not begging the universe to let me ovulate so I can try again.

I finally had a period March 9th. On March 12th, I used the restroom and felt a pop, then a small gush. This is similar to what I felt when I was passing blood/baby/matter/tissue during my miscarriage. Blorp.  That's not really a word, but that's what it feels like to me: Blorp. I wiped, and there was a fair amount of blood (not menstrual blood, blood) along with...I don't even know. You don't want to know. Let's just call it tissue.

If you're doing the math along with me here, that's 9.5 weeks after the miscarriage. Nine plus weeks later. Still. More shit.

Um, I might also  mention here (because I don't think I ever have before) that one week after the miscarriage, January 10th, I had an ultrasound at which the tech said it was done and I was all clear except for one bit of tissue that looked like it was basically on its way out. I then passed something Jan. 29th.

What I passed March 12th was bigger. It was not the same. And there were two...things. What? I don't know. And no, it wasn't a new pregnancy.

I was terrified and called a nurse, who told me to go to the ER and take the junk with me. They did a pelvic exam, an ultrasound, a blood test, and some kind of testing on the junk. The pelvic and ultrasound came back perfectly normal. Blood work showed no signs of infection, and HCG had finally, finally fallen to zero. No one has ever called me about the testing they were supposed to have done on the junk.

So, basically this has all been super fucking fun. Am I done now?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I've had my HCG quants done twice: once at 4 weeks past miscarriage (404)  and again at 5 weeks post miscarriage (105). That's a drop of 299 in a week. Sweet, I thought. Excellent. At this rate, I should be HCG free inside of a week. LOL FUCKING NOPE! I'm now at nearly 7 weeks post miscarriage, and still getting very faint positives on pregnancy tests.  MAKE. IT. STOP.

And guess what? Meanwhile, everyone everywhere in the history of everything is pregnant. Women on my favorite non-pregnancy related message board are pregnant. My cousins are pregnant. Women in every other commercial on TV are either pregnant or carrying a baby around. Acquaintances who probably shouldn't be pregnant? Pregnant!!!11!1!!1 Oprah. Lindsay Lohan. Richard Simmons. Eleanor Roosevelt. All pregnant. Hell, I'm pretty sure my own grandmother is pregnant at this point. (The dead one. Also the live one.)

WHY WHY WHYYYYY. If I can't be pregnant, can I just not be pregnant now? Is that so much to ask? I had to have the awful, shitty luck to land with a miscarriage-- could not the universe or Shiva or Baby Jesus or Oprah or someone have mercy upon me and get these mother fucking hormones out of my system?!

I'm 29 (getting very close to 30), and when I told some family members about the-baby-that-wasn't, there were some murmurs of "hur hur, about time," and so on. I am just fucking WAITING for someone, anyone, to make a comment along the lines of, "when are you going to have babies already," or maybe make some "hur hur, about time" type comments when we have a "rainbow baby" to announce, because I WILL TEAR THEM THE FUCK DOWN.

I feel like an angry two year old, full of impotent rage, unable to stand it any more, screaming from the hideous injustice, fully aware I'm unable to do anything about it. It's tearing me to pieces. The loss isn't enough, apparently; I also need to sit through a prolonged getting-back-to-normal period. I feel like somebody wiped their ass with the fabric of my soul. I just feel worn and shitty and ragged, with an ugly, gaping hole in the middle left by my baby.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Say my name, say my name

Hi. I'm not okay.

It's coming in waves, I think. The grief. The waves were so far apart this time I actually thought I was kind of okay. I was wrong. Actually, I think what is happening is my brain kind of shuts parts of itself down for a while. Like, you know, the grief processing part. I think it ceases operations for a little bit to give me a break, and starts up again when I'm ready to process it some more.

I find myself sitting at work thinking about her. Little by little, this image of who she was, or would have been, is forming. Image isn't the right word, it's more of a sense. Probably this is a psychotic delusion of some kind, in which my imagination runs away with me. Either that, or her little spirit is somehow sending me subconscious messages. (I am spiritual, but not religious.) Who knows? Maybe she is. She is/was/would've been the kind of person I'd want to be friends with, for sure. I try to stop this kind of thing, but I can't really. It's not conscious. I don't go, "Gee, I bet she'd be xyz," I just know. I feel like I know her the way my body knows it needs to breathe, or remembers to pump blood even when I'm asleep. It just...Is.

Sometimes I sit and write her name. Daphne. Daphne. Daphne. Daphne Clara. Write it fast and sloppy, like I write most things. Write it neatly. Write as if she'd lived and borne this name and writing it had become habit. Write it in cursive. Daphne C Lastname, attorney at law. Dr. Daphne Lastname, DDS. Daphne. Daphne. Daphne. Kat and Mr. Kat invite you to share in their joy at the wedding of their daughter, Ms Daphne Clara Lastname, to Mr/Ms Blah Blah... Daphne.

That is probably weird. I don't care. Okay, I did not write out the wedding thing, or any titles. I thought it, though. Just her name, again and again, all over the sheet of paper. You want to know the best part? For all that I'm so attached to it, that would not have been her name had she lived. Mr. Wise doesn't really care for the name Daphne. It was one of my favorites. I told him I felt she had been a girl and asked if I could call her that, and he said yes. He chose her middle name after one of his grandmothers. He would never have let me have it for a living child, though. For all my "XXth president of the United States of America, Daphne Clara Lastname" daydreams, that wouldn't even have been her name.

I would have been 14 weeks today. This is about the time we would have been announcing on Facebook and so on. Fuck.

Fuck fuck fuck.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

in memory

I'm pretty sure no one has even seen any of this, but never the less I thought I'd share a couple of little things I've acquired to kind of memorialize my baby.

I ordered a heart from A Heart To Hold about a month ago. AHTH is a non profit that makes weighted hearts for families who have lost a baby or a pregnancy, hence "a heart to hold." The hearts are provided free of charge. When ordering you can put in the exact weight (or estimated weight, as in my case) of the child lost. Obviously the baby I lost weighed almost nothing. Mine is in effect just a small heart pillow, but it is sweet, and I'm going to sleep with it. It's a bubblegum pink fleece and they included a card with my baby's name on it.

Okay, this one is kind of cheesy, I admit it. This kind of thing is not at all my usual style, and I have no desire to begin a collection of such things. (My husband describes them as "modern-day Precious Moments for grown-ups.") But...I don't know. I saw it somewhere on the interwebs within days of my loss, and it just struck a chord. If it does the same for you-- or if it doesn't, but reading about other women's experiences helps you-- you might be interested in reading the Amazon reviews on it. This sits next to my bed now. 

I also bought a handmade ring on etsy.  It was very inexpensive, just about $30. On one side, it bears my baby's name. On the other, it has a heart. I can turn it so her name shows, if I want it to, or keep the name on the inside and let the heart show. On the inside it is stamped with the date of my loss.

It's something tangible, something I can see and wear and touch and have on me at all times, but it's so extremely simple and understated that it may very well escape notice 99% of the time. I love that it is so simple, both stylistically, and because it will be easy and inexpensive to replace when I hopefully have a rainbow baby's (or babies!) name to add to it. I'm really, really glad I bought it.

I also have a kind of decorative wooden craft box I bought with intent to paint it, so I had something better (and prettier) than an old shoebox to keep my few Daphne-specific baby items in. A memory box, I guess. Unfortunately I have been unable to get the sticker off the top of the box to paint it! I am working on it, though.

And this blog. I guess this counts.

To some, all that might seem like overkill; but to me all these little things to help me memorialize my baby. So many remembrances help me deal with my grief and process it, rather than trying to stuff it down into a dark corner of my mind somewhere to fester.

So here's what happened: Adventures with Miss Oprostol

This is part two of the miscarriage experience, detailing the physical stuff and my experience specifically with cytotec/misoprostol. Here's a handy link back to part one, if you need it. Before I continue, let me warn you there is some major, bloody TMI ahead and may be too triggery for some. Read at your own risk.


When I left my OB office, I received a lot of condolences, but no information. No one gave me any information about miscarriage. No one told me what to expect with the drugs. No one told me anything. At the time, I was too shocked to care; I just needed to get the fuck out of there and get to the car. I could barely hold the tears in as we walked through the parking garage. It wasn't until later that I realized something was missing!

I asked before I left the pharmacy if there was anything I needed to know about this drug, and the pharmacist literally, and in quite an uncertain tone I might add, read information on the attached papers out loud. Well, fucking thank you; I think I could have done that much on my own, idiot. I called again once I was home to ask for more clarification, and had to insist that they look it up to be sure, since no one seemed to know.

I received four hexagonal pills. The directions on the bottle said to wet them and insert them into the vagina, and to then lie down for at least 30 minutes. (From inserting the pills to bleeding/passing anything, it was about three and a half hours.) I inserted them at about 5.30pm and we put on a movie. I laid down. After 40 to 60 minutes I developed some extreme chills. That's normal, just a side effect.

At about 7.00, I took an oxycodone and a giant ibuprofen in an effort to head off the pain before it began. At 7.30 or 8.00 I began to have some cramping, and I curled up in my chair with a heating pad. At 9.00 or so I got up to get in bed and felt a gush. I also kind of felt like...well, just like something needed to come out, I guess. I can't really think of any better way to describe it. I went to the toilet and passed a very large sort of tubular clot, which I believe contained my baby. There was a lot of blood--a LOT of blood. I stood up to look in the toilet after I passed whatever I passed, and after having done took a few minutes to clean myself up, I'll put it that way.

And then I flushed. That will haunt me forever. I flushed my baby down the toilet like a goldfish. "What else would you have done [with the remains]?", my husband asked. Fuck, I don't know. I guess I would have buried it outside. That's certainly not the point.

After that, I crawled into bed and sent my husband to the drugstore a few blocks away for Depends. (If you ended up here because you googled to see what you're in for, let me just say this: do it, man. Just get the Depends and some cheap ass baby wipes. You'll feel a little silly, perhaps, but you'll be much more comfortable in the end. It's worth it.) Husband returned, I suited up, and he made me a hot water bottle. He read to me for an hour or so and went to sleep in the guest room. I slept from about 11.00 to 12.00 or a little after.

From 12.00 to 3.30, holy shit. Just Shit. I said that my husband went to sleep in the guest room, which he did-- he also told me to wake him up if I needed him. I never did that. Why? I don't know. I think I felt like it was more important that he get some sleep.

On the one hand, looking back, I have no idea why I let him sleep! What the fuck?! It was his baby too, why shouldn't he have been there for what was, well, kind of a birth? It was also a death, sure, but that was all the birth his first child was ever going to get, so why didn't I wake him? Why did I go through it alone? I don't know.

On the other hand, I kind of don't mind. He couldn't have done much but sit there helplessly watching me wail and sob, and witness a good deal of bloody gore. So I really don't know. I guess if I had it to do over again, I'd wake him.

Where was I? Oh yeah. For those, once again, who are here because they're about to go through it, I have good news: physically, there was not much pain. I stayed on top of the pain killers, and it was a little worse than the worst period I've ever had. That was it. Having read other people's accounts, I expected horrifying pain, but it never came. A lot of women report having basically contractions and something resembling labor, even as early as 8 or 9 weeks. I didn't. Maybe that's because my baby had passed at 6 weeks? I don't know. My cramps were kind of rhythmic, and strong, like they were really doing something, if that makes sense. Like they had a purpose, unlike your garden variety period cramps. But as I said, for me, they were not a whole lot worse than the worst period cramps I have ever had, and I would not have described them as contractions. Physically, it wasn't so bad, which is a kind of a gift, I guess.

Emotionally, I don't know how I did it. I basically sat in bed howling, wailing, keening, sobbing. No hyperbole. I cried in way I didn't know I was capable of. My face was swollen. I bought a short kindle book on miscarriage and pregnancy loss and read it off and on, tears just streaming. For three plus hours I sat in bed alone sobbing and bleeding and cramping, occasionally getting up to go to the bathroom to pass something.  I felt like my very soul was being ripped in two, torn away from me. I just fucking cried and cried, rocking back and forth in my bed. Cried and bled and cried and bled.

And that was it. About 3.30, it pretty much stopped. I managed to stop crying and calm down a bit. I was exhausted. I put on a movie and fell asleep.

That was it. After that I had a week or so of light bleeding and 4 weeks or so of spotting. Today I am 6 weeks out and I am still waiting for my hormone levels to return to normal (which they seem to be doing, albeit rather more slowly than I would like).

UPDATE: My HCG levels did not return to 0 until March  12, nine and a half weeks after the miscarriage.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fuck you, Similac.

I just got a huge sampler pack from Similac.

I though about using amusing gifs here to illustrate my feelings, but there is no gif for this. (Also gifs in the way I would use them are probably hideously uncool by now.)

Fuck. It's shit like that. You think you're fine. You are fine. Whatever. And then you get fucking baby shit in the mail.

It hurts. It hurts so much that it actually hurts physically. It makes my sternum ache. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I can hardly move. I honestly can't remember what happened this morning. I can't find words, like, ever. I just can't anything.

"Hey, remember the baby you can't have? Cause it's super dead? Here's some food for it that you didn't want anyway! LOL Byeeee!!!"


Friday, January 24, 2014

So here's what happened

Kind of.

Before I continue, let me warn you there is some mild TMI ahead and my be triggery for some. Read at your own risk.


I had what is called a missed miscarriage, which means the baby stopped developing and died in my uterus, but I did not bleed or pass any tissue. I was carrying around a dead baby for two weeks, basically, which is pretty horrifying if you think about it too much.

I was a member of the August 2014 birth club on a large and very active website. A few women here and there let the group know they had lost their babies and were leaving. There were always a few sick vultures who'd ask if she had noticed any difference, if there were any signs, and I find it so disgusting. The woman just lost a baby, I would think. Leave her the fuck alone. But, for those very vultures (and because in a perverse way perhaps I delight in scaring them), I will answer the question I didn't give anyone a chance to ask me: Nope. Nothing at all. No change in symptoms. Suck on that, you voyeuristic bitches.

At 6 weeks, 5 days, I went to a pregnancy crisis center in sheer desperation to see my child and be reassured that everything was okay. I told people I wanted to go in because I was having weird pains, which is true, but I was pretty confident they were probably caused by uterine stretching and round ligament pain. I was impatient and needed to see him/her. I knew exactly how far along I was, but told the clinic staff I didn't know so they'd do an ultrasound.  I did indeed see the baby, who measured 6 weeks 1 day and had a heart rate of 167. Cool.

The morning of my first "Real" OB appointment was not quite two weeks later. When my alarm went off in the morning, I just wanted to go back to sleep. I should have been excited to go to the doctor and see the baby again (it was going to be my husband's first time to see him/her), but I wasn't. I just wanted to go back to sleep. We ran a couple of errands in the morning, and during all of this, I felt more nervous than excited. I hate hospitals and doctors, like a lot of people, so I didn't think much of it.

So we got there and they stuck a thing in my junk. The ultrasound tech was looking and asked me a few questions: when my last period was, had I had a scan before this one? I told her and relayed the baby's measurements at my previous scan. She looked some more, then said she "didn't see what [she] ought to see" and needed to get the doctor. I knew what that meant. I sat there in shock and horror, clinging to a rapidly dwindling shred of hope, and tears slowly began to fall. She was gone for about twelve years, of course, but I managed to keep it together somehow. They came back and the doctor told me the baby measured 6w1d, as it had nearly two weeks previously, and had no heartbeat. Then they went away so I could put my pants back on.

There are no words to describe that feeling. I laid there clutching madly at my husband, still pantless, feet still in the stirrups. I held on to him as if I would fall off a cliff if I let go, sobbing silently in total shock and unutterable grief. Then I put my pants back on and the doctor gave me my options.
1) wait for the miscarriage to happen naturally (LOL FUCKING NOPE)
2) go home with pills (cytotec/misoprostol) which would make it happen
3) have a D&C (dilation & curretage, which means they go in to your uterus and scrape everything out)
My doctor happened to be female, so I asked her which option she would choose if it were her. She thought for a half a second, and I mentioned finances were an issue. I think she would have recommended the D&C, but with our hideous, uninsured poorness in mind she recommended the pills. I took that option. (On the one hand, a D&C ensures it's all over fairly quickly and with some anesthesia, and seriously limits your chances of something being left behind in there and causing an infection. On the other hand, there is something to be said for being able to go through the process of phsyically passing your child's remains in the privacy of your own home. I wrote about my experience with the pills in another post.)

The rest of the day was a horror show of unavoidable errands that absolutely had to be taken care of, and I spent it alternately howling and wailing in the car, and trying to keep my shit together in public. This was a level of crying I did not know I was capable of. People for miles around probably thought someone in my car was trying to murder a manatee. Hideous, awful wailing and howling and screaming, almost uncontrollable, flowed and poured out of me. It was Niagara falls; wet and unstoppable and deafening.

Fun. Six hours and multiple pharmacy fuckups later, we were home.

Part two.

A quick introduction.

Hi. I'm Kat. My husband and I found out we were expecting the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29, 2013. We were overjoyed. We found out our baby had died January 3, 2014. I should have been 8 weeks, 2 days. The baby had died at 6 weeks 1 day.

What I described above is typically called a missed miscarriage, and you may be more familiar with that term.  If you are not familiar with that term, let me fill you in. Missed miscarriage means the baby has passed away, but remains in the mother's body, while the mother has had no bleeding, no pain, generally no loss of pregnancy symptoms, and no idea that her baby has died. This is typically detected during an ultrasound.

Miscarriage is undoubtedly a taboo subject, and it's not something people talk about much. The thing is, that hole in the very fabric of your being, that howling, keening, unanswerable pain in the pit of your very essence, does not go away when everyone else has forgotten about it. I have friends I could talk to, but none of them have ever been through a pregnancy loss. I am a member of more than one very loving, accepting, helpful community of invisible internet friends I could turn to, but I fear wearing out my welcome if I lean upon them too heavily. So I started a blog.

Here, I can dump out whatever junk needs dumping out, and if it helps somebody else out somehow, great.

Finally, for the curious, the name of the blog was taken from a poem on death and greif, A Dream Lies Dead, by Dorothy Parker.

So, hi. I'm Kat. I was pregnant, and then my baby died.