emotions are dumb

new doc during intro session: “And how many times have you been pregnant?”

{{{ crumble }}}}

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Octogre

(blink)

Is it over? (calendar ruffling)

Phew. That was a long one, it was.

You might think that this year’s sudden phobia of October is unrealistic, irrational and just plain silly but I don’t really care. Screw you, naysayers! I hunkered down with wool and clay (not together), watched a whole lot of America’s Next Top Model , boycotted most of the internet and walked the dog in beautiful off leash parks throughout the city. It was a quiet existence, overwhelmed by a fear of the early morning ringing phone and any physical symptoms that would lead to The End Of It All.

The first week was the overwhelming suspicion of pregnancy and the fear of loss which quickly migrated to the anxiety of a possible Crohn’s flare up and the fear of the removal of all of my intestines which quickly migrated to a solid reminder that I just really needed to stop eating so much sugary fatty crap. My guts calmed down but my mind remained a spinning anxious puddle of superstition. I spent late afternoons guiding The Dog through beautiful displays of autumn foliage and open fields trying to calm my mind and convince myself that All Is Right In The World. I read mindless novels and Buddhist sutras. I knit. I threw clay and created some lovely pieces. I organized our recycling closet. I played online games with The Husband. I did all this while walking on eggshells, watching over my shoulder and staying close to home. I made lists of things that would have to be done when October came to pass, often doubting that I’d make it to November.

The hiding must have worked because here we are, in one piece and feeling much relieved that October has come and gone with only a couple problems. No one died. Yes, me hiding and the resultant peace and harmony in the world does too have a cause-effect relationship, right? We didn’t escape completely unscathed, one person I love dearly has been put on organ transplant waiting list (and if anyone has a half a liver they’re willing to part with, call me, k?) and it’s mind boggling. My brother did have surgery on another appendage which is painful and cast-causing, however I don’t count it as overly tragic since he undergoes appendage surgeries like I have abdominal surgeries (that would be “lots”). We’re really two nuts from the same tree, on first name basis with x-ray technicians and surgeons.

Actually, I guess I should be afeared of other months rather than put all the blame on our friend October. Truly, the two car accidents I’ve been in, my diagnosis of Crohn’s, my appendectomy, The Husband’s industrial accident, the loss of the Amazing Tectonic Baby, the death of my brother-in-law – none of these occurred in October. Very few deaths happen in October, and in fact, very very happy things happen in October such as 2006’s gift of the birth of little T, the Enthusiastic Adorable Nephew.

Have I been hiding for no reason? Have I been unnecessarily hovering over a quiet potters’ wheel or clicking knitting needles with a deep suspicion that the next moment holds disaster? Have I put it all on hold for nothing? Has superstition only led me to longer baths, more time to myself and more exercise?

Rational or not, I feel like I’ve completed my penance so let’s move on, shall we?

And hey, if I hadn’t been a hermit, would I have been able to make these little gems so quickly?

canalien socks

Exactly.

Happy November!

impending doom

Our theme today is impending doom. Quite nice for a Friday, don’t you think?

1. This article aims for a historical look at the quiet and slow breakdown of democracies as compared to the actions of the current Bush administration. It makes me want to do something, but I don’t quite know what. I’ll throw it out to you and welcome comments and suggestions because I’m still processing. Thanks to Chad for pointing it out.

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps
From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.

2. Speaking of impending doom, it’s Another Baby Shower! This little girl was born the week of our due date.  Last fall we were all knocked up and here we are with four (five? six? I’ve lost count) new babies with baby showers to match! Oh the social anxiety! The painful memories! The screaming envy!

What does one wear for the occasion?

how many pregnant women can you fit in a room?

Home sales parties.

I like to buy things at friends’ homes. It means I can carry around a beer or glass of wine while shopping, and last I checked, it’s still not acceptable to do that at the mall. Tight asses. I’d shop a hell of a lot more if there were cocktails involved. And I do – some things at these parties are far more expensive than they would be if I’d just head to Z.ellers, and I always buy more than I need (candles anyone?) but again, Z.ellers gets uptight when I BYOB.

So there I was last night at another home party, and I walked straight into a mingling crowd of giantly pregnant women. The doorbell would ring, and another would hoist themselves through the door. At one point, I was actually wondering how many pregnant women could actually fit in Brigid’s house before we’d have problems with structural integrity of the wall they were all leaning against.

Braxton hicks, morning sickness, skin rashes, the never ending fight to keep the eyes open even with 10 hours of sleep the night before – it was an amazing nightmare conversation. I’d finally talked to the first pregnant person only two weeks ago without having a complete breakdown, so I tried to look at it this invasion as humorous to keep my emotions in check. I thought about hiding all but one brownie, then watch them fight to the death for it. I arranged them mentally by height and by belly size, contemplated them from the back under the old wives “if ya can’t tell she’s knocked up, it’s a boy!” and predicted we’d have a overflow of blue themed baby showers in the next few months. I studied them as they’d drop appetizers on the floor, staring down with brows furrowed, mentally rehearsing maneuvering their new bodies to get all the way down to retrieve it. I heard my voice become more high pitched and my eyes wider as the evening progressed, trying to tune out details, tune out comparisons, tune out grief.

It’s still there in the back of my mind – approximate due date July 15. The Amazing Tectonic Baby stopped growing normally while confined in my wee fallopian tube and from final measurements the surgeon couldn’t tell an exact gestation age, so they do what doctors’ often do best: guess. I wish I knew the date so I could hide away for a day or two rather than looking to the summer in fear that I’ll fall back down that dark hole for a month of “would it have been today?”s, dreaming of holding our child before the peak of summer, fighting jealousy for longer than I already have. I have some peace from the Silent Hopes service, but I wanted to yell “July 15!” while the ladies last night were comparing due dates. Somehow, I don’t think they’d have appreciated my talk of a lost pregnancy while they glow in theirs.

So very jealous.
So off my “normal” self.
So full of sad.
So full of regret.
So full of wishes.

And with reason or not, so full of hope.

tomorrow the ashes hit the ground

The wide prairie field, the warmth of the sun and spring breeze evaporating my flowing tears, dog running with unbridled exuberance, my feet still, my eyes to the heavens, my heart so broken.

Was her heart still beating when they took her away?

Did she have a soul?

Does she miss me as much as I miss her?

Where did my hope go?

Will this ache ever go away?

Will I ever be whole?

Am I ready to say good-bye?

four more sleeps

Saturday is the internment of The Amazing Tectonic Baby’s ashes.

It snuck up pretty quick, didn’t it?

So… yeah.

I’ve booked Friday off from work because I was kinda weepy (and by kinda I mean drooling nose blowing head holding) every morning over the past few days and I can’t imagine it getting much better before Saturday. This week, those tears are of sadness and of joy as I hear from people, re-read supportive emails and notes, turn down yet another offer to be accompanied to the memorial. An amazing friend of mine who I’ll call Brigid has also contributed to the tears by being so loving. She offered first to come with us to the internment then, seeing the greater need, offered to host friends and family so that we would have a safe haven to come to after the service. I became frozen- I couldn’t make a decision on where, what, or who I wanted because my emotions really are pushing aside my logical brain, and all I could do was stare at her, wide eyed in panic. I wanted a safe place afterwards where I can be myself, have a beer, hug lots of people, hoping for laughter and warmth, but how does one do this and who do I invite and what about the “friend” jerks I don’t want to invite and what if I can’t handle seeing people afterwards and what if…? I was flailing so she, with complete permission, took control.

Brigid made up the wording of the email invitation, offered to phone those who don’t use email, suggested the local people to invite and validated me on my reasoning for those I didn’t want to invite, arranged the location and booked a private room, and arranged the timing to be sure that it was short enough to not drag on but long enough to comfort us. And she booked it at a licensed foodie paradise to boot with a plan for a quiet gathering at her house later that will have as many or few people as we can handle to ask along, and also she gave me a type of permission to just go home to bed if that’s what I’ve gotta do.

I daily re-read the invitation she put together to express what I poured out to her when I was flailing and it makes me thankful for the people I have in my life. It also makes me realize that I’d be even more of a nutcase without the love and support I’ve received so far. The road may be long but it’s easy when I’ve got great company to walk with me. Thanks in advance for thinking of us in the coming days. And I really think Brigid should be doing this professionally – she was the perfect balance of thoughtful, sentimental, fun-loving, and hopeful in organizing this occasion.

It also makes me see that the internment is not the end but a checkpoint. I have changed, The Husband has changed. We have different relationships with each other and with others now, and as much as I mourn those who I thought were friends and turned away from us, I celebrate the deeper friendships and family relationships I now have. I celebrate escaping yet another crazy body badness that tried to kill two but claimed just one. We see life in a new light and say “Why not” more often – which we thought we’d been doing regularly before but now we let even fewer restrictions guide us when I’m strong enough. Some days I’m not strong enough and sit alone in my pity party, and I know now that that’s an ok reaction too. Losing the Amazing Tectonic Baby also brought about the right time for us to open our hearts to Voodoo The WonderMutt, a dog we’ve talked about having for years but never acted on it. I think that we are kinder people, even more honest, and we definitely laugh more.

We laugh more. How’s that for a twist of irony?