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.

the machine is us/ing us

I really do hope I’m not becoming just another bloggy YouTube aggregator. However, I am quite taken with Michael Wesch’s take on Web 2.0 so here it is:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE]

I do have more to update, especially with respect to more “101 things” accomplished, redefined, and advice needed.  But I have to go to the washroom then to class, so that’s taking priority right now.

Yes, I just shared that.

removing the darkness

Isn’t learning and growing fun? The asshole who quipped “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” can bite me, because I’m sitting on the fence between annihilated and stronger and I keep wavering back and forth. This week, I wavered towards stronger. I also found a new hateful love of cliches. Apologies for that…

I’m realizing, at least on an intellectual level, that much of my almost unbearable loneliness is based in my mourning, my pain, my loss of innocence, my lack of emotional control. It’s me – and because I suddenly have this loneliness, I had thought that I was suddenly alone when really, not much in the rest of the world changed. I can’t stop my emotions from overflowing when faced with pregnancy loss conversation and I’m now seeing that I’m cheating myself, and people around me, by answering “fine” whenever anyone asks me how I am. It just seemed easier than placing part of this burden, the massive weight of this chaos within, on their shoulders too. I wonder if I poured my heart out, would they listen? If I cried, would they hold me? If I screamed, would they scream with me? My MIL reminded me that I have to give others a chance to shine, even if it means that some will falter.

I had stopped giving people a chance early on after losing the Tectonic Baby because I did pour my heart out to SF (silent friend) whom I thought would be able to help me. Looking back, I’m not sure what I was looking for – I wanted her to whisk in with her magic sensibilities and make this darkness disapate, or maybe just validate that what I was feeling were ok things to feel. I was reaching out of this despair, and I didn’t hold back at all, drowning her. When this gush was met with silence, it was devastating and confirmed for me that some people will be afraid of what I’m immersed in, what I represent. It also reminded me that this chaos is intensely overwhelming to anyone outside of my head. As I obsessed over this lack of response, I let some of that healing that had occurred in the weeks prior fall between my fingers as the waves of grief returned. I retreated back into myself, believing again that this one person’s reaction meant that others’ would also fail me.

In a large circle of friends who are trying to or have succeeded in getting pregnant, it’s uncomfortable for these happy pregnant ladies to talk about their joy, pregnancy aggravations, dreams, hopes in my presence. When they giggle about their ripening bellies, I’m thrown that my own hope and craving for motherhood has been replaced with terror and panic. I’m terrified that our next pregnancy will also have to be removed in a cold sterile environment, under bright lights, dying amidst the chitchat of paper masked surgeons. I’m terrified that these women who are so early in their pregancies will be jinxed by my very presence and something horrible will happen to their babies too. While they laugh about the pregnancy-virus spreading among the group, internally I’m screaming about the possibility of their impending doom. Irrational? Extremely, and this week I’m starting to realize these panicked thoughts are based on anxiety and not hard facts. Again, purely intellectual thoughts which my emotions aren’t really jiving with, but it should mean that my emotions will follow some day, won’t they?

I’m learning and possibly even growing. Keeping the bitterness at bay to stay true to myself and trying to survive have become my main objectives. Maybe those will give way to those less primal as time passes and hope returns. When someone does shine and shares a piece of this heavy load, I now notice the difference in the weight immediately and caress it in my memories. When The Songbird arrived unexpectantly with love and tenderness when I needed her most, the darkness faded a bit. When my friend Y came to hold me while I lost control and fell into a heap on the floor, I felt her take some of my darkness as she whispered fiercely and held me. When the SF apologized for not responding to my grief, feeling that she was a horrible friend, I felt her tears and regret take some of my darkness. When I met with a group who are also suffering from losses and I couldn’t stop crying long enough to even introduce myself, I felt their support and shared tears take some of my darkness. When I arrived home to find thoughtful gifts, Chad & Michelle’s caring thoughts enveloped me and I wept happy tears, with some of my darkness replaced with love. When total strangers and far off friends out here on the internets send thoughts, prayers, and encouragement, the sun begins to shine a bit brighter.

Staying alone and holding tight to my darkness will push me to annihilation. I have to pledge to allow others to shine. I need to lean towards the “strong” side of the fence, and let others lead me over onto the sunlight bathed grass.

I’m lopsided and grateful. Thank you for your outstretched hand.

1999-2006 RIP

I continually tell you that we’re so hot, but you can’t deny this photo taken by Brian U (you can check his other fantastic photography at his Flickr site)

True Love

Speaking of our crazy monkey love, our coffee grinder stopped in mid grind this morning, then promptly began to stream smoke. At first I thought it might just be me since I don’t usually do this sort of thing, but turns out it wasn’t just me. It’s the first wedding present appliance that’s gone the way of the dinosaur (although I’m sure the dinosaurs had some much more impressive death sequence than grrr-rrr-r-rrrr…. pooof). Our marriage has outlived the life of a quite good coffee grinder. Sweet!

It is a good thing that we got two of these things at the wedding. I just pulled the next one (last one? second one?) out of its box, still with a shard of wedding wrap taped to the side. See? I told you that hauling all this shit around for years would pay off someday.

So the day is starting out lovely with a yummy freshly ground, freshly brewed cup of coffee in my hand that symbolizes a marriage that has triumphed!

November literary loveliness

I love November because it National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

If you’re never heard of this monstrous web/literary event, here’s an excerpt from their website under “About NaNoWriMo”:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30… Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Fantastic! Fun! Frenetic!

Denton at Labville 50,000 is the only person I know of that’s taken up the challenge yet again – and his stuff rocks my world. I laugh, I cry, I wonder aloud about the whimsy of clown recovery programs… I live vicariously through him in this. And in many other things, in fact.

Are you writing a novel this month?

…and that’s what little boys are made of

Nephews! Two of ’em! One new at the end of August, the other new as of last weekend. I could look at them all day long – little miracles, they are. And hopefully will survive their fate as little brothers to their older sisters!

Xavier & Tyson are pretty adorable. Xavier thinks I’m extremely entertaining and giggles at me (but I’m not allowed to sing the Rider Pride song to him anymore or this auntie will have her cuddling privileges REVOKED). I haven’t held that little bundle of Tyson as of yet since he’s in Saskatoon and not quite a week old, but boy oh boy I can’t wait to check out those cute cheeks in person. His dad puts him on webcam, but it’s just not the same as cuddling him myself. I bet his parents’ will let me teach him the Rider song. ha! Take that, Stampeders fans!

Check out those cheeks: Tyson Chase who is super brand new in this pic, and Xavier Nathan at about 2 days old. We’re proud auntie & uncle!
TysonXavier