Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Now, Discover Your Strengths

If you must. Guy is reading some books that are giving him great insight into how to work and talk to people without pissing them off. Not that he did before, but still. Self improvement is grand.

He is, according to this book, Individualization, Competition, Strategic, Learner, Analytical. After he took the test and found this out, we then went to the cooresponding pages in the book and read pages of material that described him.

You have to have a code to take the test. We only had the one code. So I don't get to take the test.

That's okay because I'm pretty sure Bitchtastic wasn't on their list. And I am so that.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Before and after

In August, 2001, I wanted to buy a house. The ex was agreeable, but as usual I did the leg work, the mortgage, the looking, the work. If that sounds ugly, I don't mean it to be. That is just how we were. I thought he was too slow and unmotivated, so I just took over. I might have been right, but that doesn't mean I handled it commendably.

Whatever. Not the point.

In August, 2001, I wanted to buy a house. There were two people who didn't tell me I was crazy. The first was my granddaddy. He told me it was the smartest idea I had in a long time. Go for it. The second was my friend (and student) Bach. She recommended a mortgage gal and a real estate agent. The mortgage gal is fantastic and I never met the real estate agent, but I met her partner and love her.

There was a house that I didn't want to see. It was ugly on the outside. The inside looked boring from the pictures. I went anyway. I just so happened to go right after Bach's lesson, so she went with me. I have the world's crappiest memory, but I will never forget walking in the door of that house, with Bach right behind me and turning to her to say that I loved this house.

There were only four rooms and a bathroom. One freakishly large bathroom. One freakishly large bathroom that my former mother-in-law painted purple while I was at work one day. Again, not the point. I love the open floor plan and the huge kitchen. It was 1200 square feet of cozy 1940's bliss. We bought it.

Then, we proceeded to do nothing with it except some random painting of rooms. There were new windows and a new HVAC, all on loans that I'm still paying, but no real improvements beyond that.

Until Guy.

Guy helped me give this little house dignity through tile. My father-in-law helped me give it a new bathroom sink. I bought paint and carpet. We worked in the yard. We updated the kitchen.

We took care of my little house.

Today, Bach and I went, after her lesson, back over to that little house. We walked in the front door, and came full circle. She has been with me through the most significant events in my life now. She has given me advice on everything from house buying to adoption to making the most kickass dressing there is.

Just in case I haven't said thank you enough, or ever, thank you.

The before and after of my little house are so closely linked to the before and after of me. It's friends like Bach, who have been there for the before and the after, and stick around, that leave me speechless.

Speaking in literary terms, speechless. Of course. Since I have now rambled on for paragraphs upon paragraphs. I'm going to stop now.

Playdate


If you don't have a baby, can you still have a playdate? If you have good enough friends with babies, the answer is yes. JD and his momma came over this morning for blueberry scones and coffee. JD skipped the coffee though and just enjoyed the scones. As did Pupstar who already knows that baby with food = food for Pupstar. She also enjoys licking the snot off baby faces, but I won't go there.

I thought that this picture of JD was funny. His parents, or his dad rather, are very high tech. Dad runs a techno blog with reviews, recipes, and other goodies, and big sis already has a pc in her room at age 5. JD with his "future blogger" shirt is appropriate for this family.


However, notice that now, at almost 14 months old, he plays with tupperware. And a spatula. God love him.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Alone and rambling

Guy is gone. Flying to Boston as I type. It is a job interview, so that is good. He will be back tomorrow, but for now, I am alone.

Pupstar has positioned herself at my feet doing her best pillbug imitation. She will follow me around tonight, wondering when things will get back to normal. When Guy will get back home.

I'll warm up some pasta, have a glass of wine, and then most likely try and put things away. There is a never ending collection of crap in this house that has not found its place yet. I should get rid of most of it.

Do we really need 1000 cd's? No. We haven't even gone through them to see what duplicates we have yet. I guarantee we have two of every Crowded House cd, most U2 cd's, all the Police, and a lot of the Beatles.

What he doesn't have is any Nirvana, Pearl Jam, or Juliana Hatfield. What I don't have is any Johnny Smith, Diana Krall, or John Pizzarelli. My music is music to out grow; his is music to grow into.

There is a whole lifetime that we didn't get to live together. He has been on stage so many times playing, and I never got to see it. He never got to see me be angry-rock-chick either, but that's probably a good thing. Sometimes though, I actually get sad that we missed so much of each other's lives.

That is completely retarded and I know it.

So far tonight, truth be told, I've drunk the glass of wine without eating the pasta. I've not picked anything up. Instead, I've read blogs and been in a funk.

I'm sorry to have to say, there is another member to the growing club. It is not a club that you want anyone to have to join. However, Karaoke Diva had a D&C 4 days ago now and has been writing eloquently about it since. I should pop in and mention to her that having her blog turn into "miscarriage central" isn't a bad thing. Especially for 4 days. I'm going on a month and can't seem to change the channel for very long. She is already back at work. I marvel.

Guy had a great idea. He gets laid off on February 5 (so he hears), and I should ovulate by the end of that week. He suggested we take the first bite of his severance and go away somewhere. Go try to make another baby. It's a great idea. Except for the timing.

I think that's why I'm a little bummed. I want nothing more than to say yes to him, but my kiddos are getting ready to compete. February is the last month before competitions, and I just can't miss their lessons. They have been working for months on these pieces, and I need to give them all the time I can to finish getting them ready. They have worked too hard to not have the best chance possible. The best chance possible includes me being here for them.

Plus, we have symphony tickets. Plus plus, I have a gig that Saturday.

Now I understand why he wanted me to quit my other job.

I would love to go away. I'm going to have to make it special right here though.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a stay at home vacation? Romantic get away where you don't actually leave?

I need some help here, ladies. I'm romance deficient.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Open House

So tired. Tried to make the yard at my house look like I ever cared about it. There is an open house tomorrow. Several bags of mulch and a few dozen pansies later, it still pretty much says, "Dogs owned this yard." And possibly also says, "Watch out for petrified poo."

So tired also because of Scotty. One of my former foster dogs is staying with me again. His mom is out of the country for 2 weeks and she wanted him to not have to stay in the kennel for two weeks. He is a sweetheart and I was happy to get to have him with me again.

That was before he peed in my house 7 times in 32 hours. That is 6 times on the carpet and once in the kitchen. That is once on a chair, once on the couch, and twice on a leg of the dining room table.

Today, he topped it all off by digging his way under the fence and disappearing. Remember now, he is not my dog. His tags do not point him back to me in any way. So I take a break from the yard work, and Guy leaves the plumbing of our bathroom to look for Scotty. For hours.

Finally, tonight, the call comes. I had contacted the rescue group so that if someone called the microchip number, they would know that Scotty was with me and not his mom. Three people had called him in, but he kept escaping.

And when we found him? He came running over and rolled over on his belly. He just wants to be loved. And he just doesn't understand that he needs to stay home to do that.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A good day

It's a good day. Guy and I are sitting on the couch with dueling laptops. I've had my nails done, hands and feet. I have some serious bad cramps (hooray! I work again!). And, I've ventured off of my own blog for the first time.

You can see my review of the boxed Target wines at Props and Pans. Thanks very much to Izzy and Margalit for being so welcoming.

Tonight we are off to the symphony. I bought season tickets, and this is the first of them we are using. That's pretty sad. Such has been the year though.

Tomorrow, there is a run here in town called the Krispy Kreme Challenge. I invited Zoot to come join in, because it is right up her alley. Unfortunately I only invited her yesterday, and we aren't so close. Her wedding cake was made of Krispy Kreme donuts, and she has recently taken up running. You wouldn't think those things belong in the same sentence, but then that means you haven't clicked on this to find out more on the Krispy Kreme Challenge.

Have a great evening with all your fellow Schmoopies.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

To therapy or not to therapy

My dog is drinking out of the toilet. After she is done, she will come in here to get in the bed, snuggle up, and possibly lick my face. Yum.

My bro is a therapist. A marriage and family therapist. Tonight I told him that I was thinking about going to therapy. He said that it was good because it could help me deal with a lot of stuff.

At the same time, I was telling him that I didn't want to go because I had a lot of stuff packed neatly away, and I didn't want to deal with it. He had to ask me what I had said because he was talking. I'm not paying him if he sends me a bill.

I wonder if I can order off the therapy menu?

I would like to deal with my miscarriage and the loss of our baby please. No, I do not want a side of daddy issues with that. No, no teacher molestation either. Just the miscarriage please.

All of our issues overlap though. If I go to therapy, won't they just come crashing down until I'm buried in them?

Maybe I should just shop more. You know, retail therapy. I need more throw pillows and men's sweaters. Geez.

On a happy note, Guy is getting his severance on February 5. Answers to that mean that we can open the baby making discussions again. Although House had a good point in the previous comments about how therapy could also help the lonely. Maybe. But then again, maybe baby lonely is different.

Maybe I should just go and find out.

For now though, I'm just going to bed.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Well, shit

There I go dirtying up this beautiful blog template by Zoot. Sorry about that. It's just that I feel up to getting a little funny the past couple of days and then there is today. Today sucks. I would like to have no more todays please.

Guy thinks I need a therapist. There is only one problem with that. I suck at talking. Put me in front of a live person and I will invariably tell them what I think they need to hear in order to think that I am alright. I am strong. I don't need you to listen to me, write on your little notepad, and say "um-hum" a lot. No thanks.

I can handle it.

Right on then. Today, when Guy mentioned that we shouldn't try to get pregnant now because we don't know about health insurance in the job change and his severance insurance only runs through October, I freaking lost it. Freaking. lost. it.

I have been charting temps and even sent in the moola for the v.i.p. membership on Fertility Friend. Who named that site anyway? That is so gay. Anyway, I've got down the days in February that we need to get busy with our bad selves. They are marked and ready. Then, you know what is the coolest? I could pee on a stick on my birthday. My 34th birthday. It was perfect.

One of the first goals Guy told me he had was to get me pregnant before my 34th birthday. At the time, I thought it was an incredibly strange thing to say. I hadn't known the drive of a man to impregnate me before. Then, I thought it was incredibly cool, and I wanted nothing more than for it to happen. Bring it on, sperm shooter (that one is for the Google searcher out there).

Granted, he did it. I was pregnant. But now I'm not. And dammit, I want to be again. I am
so goddamn lonely. I have good friends. I have family. I have students. But I don't have a baby, and I am lonely.

And okay. I'm depressed. I am possibly on a quest to be the most stubborn person alive, so I forge ahead and make sure that I seem okay. Guy has asked me to be okay. The stress level at his job right now is unbelievable. They still haven't handed him a package yet. We want that package. Fifteen years and a whole lot of work - they owe him a package. And if they were humane, they would extend the health insurance for his hopefully pregnant wife. Who was in fact pregnant when they laid him off. Bastards.

I am trying to be okay. For everyone. And because doesn't it feel better to be okay? Can't I just decide to be okay and it happen?

Well, shit.

When Guy told me that we might need to wait to get pregnant again, I felt like I was losing a baby all over again. A baby that didn't even exist yet. He tried to explain to me that getting pregnant wouldn't make me not be sad about Cleatus. I know that.

But won't it help with the lonely? I would like for it to help with that.

First I think I'm going to try yoga. It sounds like a good suggestion, and it doesn't involve talking. I emailed a couple of places tonight to find out about private instruction because most of the classes are offered in packages and have already started. So. don't. want. to. talk.

Guy wants to fix it. He wants to make me not hurt. Take away the pain. I love him for that. But he thinks that if he can't fix it, then I might not love him. I might want to not be with him. We are both insecure. But we are both so in love with each other that we think we ourselves are the lucky one. I am the lucky one, by the way.

He can't fix this. He didn't break it. I have to just hurt, and he has to let it be okay.

God that sucks. If there is a different solution than that, I am so completely open to hearing it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Think I'm from the South?

All the states I have visited. Fun.



create your own personalized map of the USA


Thanks, Lizzy!

The Dude and his dude

That's the Dude there in the blue shirt. Policeman to the right. Obviously.


Here they are again. In this one, I think that the policeman is suspicious of Pilot, who is taking the photo. Or maybe he was just wondering if there were going to be any of the cookies covered in powdered sugar left when he went off protective duty.


I'm telling you, the people who put on this show in Hamlet had thought of everything. Nice dressing rooms, plenty of food (although I'm the only one who likes to eat before the show), plenty of bottled water, copies of the programs for us, and security. We have arrived.

My phone hearts Boo

Boo is tiny. She does not look like a child, as sometimes people say she does, rather, she is a petite woman. Very petite and very pretty.

Boo runs marathons. She can wear a 0 petite, and gets some awesome clothes on sale. In the pictures from her wedding, I look a little like Hagrid while helping her into her dress. We are a true Mutt & Jeff.

This past October, we were at a gig at Campbell University (Boo plays violin with the Dude). During a break, her phone kept ringing from a private number, but no one was there when she would answer. It happened three times before I realized that the way my phone was wedged into my purse was causing it to call her, speed dial #9, over and over again. It was me calling. It was me making fun of myself for not answering her when she said "hello."

Today, I was returning fan blades to the Home Depot. While I was completing the transaction, I could hear the faintest sound of Boo's voice.

"Hello?"

"Hello, is anyone there?"

Boo was trapped in my purse! She is that small! I had to get her out! Set her free!

Or perhaps it is more truthful that my phone, not being set to keyguard, had simply begun to call her again, and this time even put itself on speaker.

My phone hearts Boo.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Insult to injury

Another bill came today for the baby that isn't coming. It sucks that we will now have to start filing paperwork with the insurance company, find out why they aren't paying, and be generally annoyed by customer service menus numbers 1-9. What further sucks is the one that came today is for the ultrasound where we saw his sweet little heartbeat.

The bill for the anesthesiologist came Saturday. It was $950 and so far none of it is covered which makes me wonder if they consider that unnecessary? Just let her stay awake, it's no big deal. Guy says not to worry that we just file it again. They are just making sure it is really me. If they keep sending me bills like that, they are going to have to pay my bills for the coronary that is going to send me to the hospital each time I open one.

I guess the worst piece of mail so far though is the survey I received from the hospital where the D&C was performed. I know they are just trying to make sure their "customers" are satisfied and all, but you might think they could be a little selective about who they sent the survey to. Maybe a happy lady who had a successful knee replacement? How about the young man who had emergency appendicitis and they saved his life? I'm sure those people would love to fill out a survey. Me, not so much.

1. Was the check-in process efficient and easy?
Why yes. Except for the part where the nice lady felt obligated to share the story of her 3 miscarriages with me. And then she ran out of tissue at her desk. I wasn't quite ready to bond.

2. Were the nurses friendly and helpful?
Of course they were. When the first nurse realized that we had been sitting in a room for over an hour with no contact from staff, she rushed right in to help us fill out pages and pages of forms. Then she forgot what D&C stood for, but it was okay because Guy reminded her. Kim, the night nurse was exceptional, but then again I was drugged.

3. Did your surgery go as expected?
Yes, thank you for asking. I left your hospital without my unborn child, but as far as we know, you didn't poke any holes in my uterus. You sent him to pathology and I never heard from you again. Until this survey. Two thumbs up.

Really, there are no complaints about the hospital. It was dark and old smelling, but then again, I so completely didn't want to be there that it could have been Club Med and I would have said the same thing. I certainly had no complaints about the doctor though. He wasn't even on call that night, but he came to the hospital anyway. He didn't think I needed to meet another new doctor on the worst day of my life. He cut out of whatever family activities he had going on to help me. Can't I fill out a survey about him instead?

Or better yet, can you please just stop sending me mail about my miscarriage?

Maybe I've mentioned this before, but this all sort of reminds me of the time that Guy went to the vet the first time after we had to put Tippy down. He went to buy flea medicine for the two girls. The woman at the desk kept insisting that Tippy was also due for his flea medicine. Guy kept saying that he was quite sure that he wasn't, yet the woman wouldn't stop. Finally, Guy had to raise his voice at her and tell her that indeed, our dead dog, who had been put to sleep in this very vet just a week prior, did not need flea medication. Thank you very much.

It has just occurred to me that I have the opportunity to write my first review for Props and Pans. The West Jefferson County Hospital. I give it 2 thumbs up for all your miscarriage needs. I am just so wrong, aren't I? Check them out though - Props and Pans, not the hospital I hope. I'm totally going to buy some of the suspenders that you hook to your bra. Maybe tomorrow. For my size 16 jeans, not maternity clothes.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

No autographs, please

I take a multi-day break from blogging now, and when I finally have a chance to sit down in front of the computer, all the thoughts come pouring out in multiple entries. Oh well.

This afternoon I had a gig with Dude. Being a morning news anchor and a top of the charts new age artist, we get some pretty cushy gigs. And most of our audience is over 60.

Don't knock this though. The over 60 crowd tends to have more money, more time, and more sweet things to say to you when you are done playing. Most of the time they serve cookies and coffee too. While you sign autographs. It's really quite fun.

Today, we traveled to Hamlet, NC. There is a community college there with an amazing auditorium. The sound crew was also amazing, which is such a relief. Our last gig was in a much more posh setting, and the sound crew wouldn't allow me to have the other instrumentalists in my monitor because they were filming for TV and they couldn't figure out how to give me monitor without it interfering with the taping. Let me explain why this is a problem. I'm not playing from written music. I don't know exactly what I'm going to play each time. I'm playing by ear, which means I have to be able to hear. It is of the utmost importance.

Anyway, today was one of those punch and cookie reception gigs. We loaded up and went to the banquet hall to smile and shake hands while Dude snapped pictures and sold CD's. The room was packed, as it was a sold out concert, but I swear to you there was not a soul under the age of 60 in the room. Most looked over 70. And they were so sweet. They talk to you like they are your grandparents being so proud of your performance. They want to hold your hand in theirs while they talk and tell you about how they loved the concert and thank us very much for coming. It is so very different from the late night smoky clubs I used to play. People listen and are so very nice.

So why then, was there a member of the Hamlet police force standing behind Dude the whole time - arms folded - brow furrowed?

Mob control?

CD theft?

Make sure the canes weren't used as weapons?

We just told all the nice older people that he was there to make sure Dude didn't trash another dressing room.

And the Colts are going to the Superbowl. We are happy about this. Because Guy says so.

Home "Improvements"

Guy and I finally got my house on the market. After 6 months of some pretty heavy renovations, we have successfully polished a turd and find ourselves asking a ridiculous amount of money for it. Location, location, location.

It was only fitting that we start on our home right away.

Here's the kitchen. Guy and his Dad ripped out the ceiling on Saturday. Wheeeee.

Guy's dad is a retired plumber. His joys in life are finding a bargain and being a bargain to other people. Whatever the going rate is for a plumbing job - Papa can do it for half the cost. His other joy in life, Lovely. That's another entry though.

The master bathroom is above the kitchen. So was the master closet. However, since it is impossible to stand up off the toliet without banging your elbow into the tissue holder and your head into the door handle, we are changing things a little. The master closet is becoming part of the master bathroom and we stole part of a bedroom for the master closet. The closet is finished excepting flooring, but I'm waiting to include it in the "finished" shots.

To the right is some of the ductwork that had to be removed.

To the left, the beams of the ceiling and a door that we are covering. And my calendar. Regardless of all the technology, I still like a calendar hanging on the wall.

And again to the right, are the light switches for the kitchen. I have been portraying Guy as nothing but perfect, so here is his imperfection. A probably dangerous light box. At the very least, it is ugly. I am so tortured.

Just wait for the finished shots. I'm going to regret that I posted that lightswitch box.

While the boys worked in the kitchen, I tried my hand with wallpaper removal. The half-bath downstairs looked like this:

Mmmmm. Floral.

Then it looked like this:

Mmmmmmm. Seashells.








And then, it looked like this:


This is bad because the darkest spots are the places where the drywall is ripping off with the seashell wallpaper. The wall was not primed prior to wallpapering. I am going to have to mud and sand this wall before I can paint it and hang the really lovely Bob Rankin painting I bought at Artsplosure this year. This is only one of about 38 reasons why wallpaper is evil.

Finished pictures of my house. Outside, note the gravel driveway that I spread myself. Like an idiot. Pay someone to do this from now on. Inside, here is the eat-in kitchen. Meaning, there is no dining room in this tiny house. I so love the paint colors. We tiled the floor and counters, put in new appliances and new hardware. My Sonoma wine festival rootster print does not convey.

Happy Mascara Day

Hooray.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Steps through the melting snow

Snow today. Not a snow day, just snow today. It has been forever since we had a good snow. I'm still waiting. Today was just a tease.

The next chance is on Sunday. That's no fun. Sunday isn't a snow day - only Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are good snow days. Plus, we have a gig in Hamlet, NC. I have no idea where that is, but it's been over a month since we had a gig, and I love matinees. I'm hoping it doesn't get snowed out.

An old friend emailed me a couple of days ago. He is a good guy. He had heard about my recent marriage and probably said to himself, "Hmm. I went to her wedding 8 years ago. Is that recent?" So he dropped me a line to find out what was going on.

It is interesting which friends you can catch up with and which ones just stall. There was another instance where I ran into a very good friend from high school in October. We exchanged hugs and email addresses and promised to stay in touch. A couple of weeks later, I sent her a heartfelt email with the nuggets of my life now (complete with web links) and told her how glad I was to be "back in touch."

Then, I never heard from her.

(Insert photoshopped picture of me in a dunce hat with the title "Loser" on it, ala OTJ)

What is it about the people you can fall back into step with?

There are friends I have had who I thought were like family and then all of the sudden, that relationship crashes and burns. Those are rare, but the scars never seem to leave.

Then there are the old and dear friends. The ones who don't mind if you haven't spoken in 3 months. Sometimes 3 years. You just know each other. And you fall right back into step.

With the incredibly supportive comments lately, I find myself contemplating these online friends. I have found myself wondering if bloggers make friends more easily and connect with other bloggers more quickly because we aren't hiding behind the rules of social graces.

Here, we write. We bear our souls, most of us. There is a safety of a screen between us and other people, but honestly, anyone reading this knows me better than most anyone not reading now.

I wonder if we aren't making friends here that are so comfortable. Comfortable like the old friends.

All this to say, thanks again for helping get through the absolute worst weeks of my life. I count you all as friends now. A new type of friend, but friends nonetheless. I honestly (not melodramatically) do not know if I would have made it so soon or so unscathed without you. You, yes you there - reading this now, rock.

If I missed anyone, please forgive me and let me know. You know how I am about editing.

Also, if you have a moment, drop by and share some of those healing thoughts and comments for the Momma of Five Little Monkeys. She has a beautiful tribute to her sister, who she lost on January 14. Your words mean more than you know.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dreamland

Today was supposed to be day 3 of no tears. Mascara could return into my life. Maybe even eyeliner if I'm feeling up for it. But no.

Target was full of the cutest babies. Then there was the baby section. The tiny baby things. The cashier who is my next door neighbor who hadn't heard the news. It was my first time flying solo on giving it. From my mouth that is. I've gotten pretty good at typing about it.

Anyway, she came up to me with all of her Ukrainian enthusiasm for pregnancy (which pails only to that of my Turkish friend) and wanted to know how me and the baby were. I told her. Then, I cried. Not sobbed. Not fell apart. Just cried.

Guy said he was proud of me and that I was doing just fine. I did have some Kleenex packed and ready in my purse so my tears were as graceful as possible. Whatever.

Just now while fixing dinner, my sniffling in the kitchen brings a call in from the other room.

"You okay, Schmoop?"

It's not what he thinks. I'm sneaking a piece of white bread and dipping it in Dreamland BBQ sauce. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Heaven. Spicy as hell, but oh so heavenly.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Puppies therapy and I'm still crazy

There are a lot of women in the circle of friends I have that are pregnant. They are more friends of friends really, so I don't have to see them unless I choose to see them. Let's be honest, I don't have that many friends. This one friend I do have, has a lot of friends and a lot of them are pregnant. That is much more accurate.

I spent some time with this friend on Friday. She has new puppies. What can cheer you up if it is not puppies and a good friend? They are so incredibly cute (the puppies and the friend). This picture is of the 5 minutes that they were actually still:
The other 50 I took are not so good. Well, except this one:


If that doesn't make you smile, you might be dead.

Anyway, our conversations had been centered around pregnancy. There was a friend in each month from March to July, and two in a couple of months, who were pregnant. She would tell me how each one was doing and then get my update as well.

Thank God for puppies. I can't explain it with any sort of logic, but I was dreading hearing about those women. Lucky for me, my friend didn't bring them up. I should have known she would know better. I just can't bear to hear about them and their happy appointments and cute maternity clothes right now. Maybe soon, but not yet.

The pregnant women I want to keep up with are here. Online. I feel safe reading about their pregnancies here in my little shell and am still genuinely happy for them.

I hope she doesn't mind, but I'm singling one out tonight. There is a website that most of you probably know about already called Babycenter. On Babycenter, there are bulletin boards where you can post with other women that are due in your same month. I shouldn't say this, but am going to anyway. There are a lot of young, not so smart people posting there. I know that isn't the nicest thing to say, but it's true. There was one woman though who kept appearing in the same threads I would explore. She would comment with intelligence, patience (if someone was being a moron), humor, and had great signatures. Surely she is a graphic artist. Or a photographer. Key word here though: artist. When I saw a link to her blog, I had to go. It got bookmarked and that was that.

We would have been due the same month next year. For the first few days after I lost the baby, I avoided that bookmark like the plague. Then one day I decided to check in. See how she was doing. She had posted about how annoying it was to have people bitching about the gender of their unborn child. You all know me. I left a snarky comment about how they should be so lucky (sorry about that, by the way) and somewhere in my head, I decided to keep reading.

So at the risk of being some sort of crazy ass stalker, I have decided to sort of adopt her blog. Follow her pregnancy. Take joy in each week that passes. Get excited about the good updates from the doctor. Wait for the belly shots. Wait for the July baby. Celebrate the July baby.

Maybe it sounds completely and utterly insane, but it makes me happy. Lately, that is rare, so I'm running with it. Here's to a happy healthy baby in July with a mommy who is kind enough to share it all with crazy internet land. Thanks for that.

Fertile Mertile

100 things

So I had been totally planning to do the whole 100 things about me post at post number 100. Because I heard that is what you do. When I go to look at how close I am to 100 today, it says I'm at 105. Story of my life. Now I sit here quite sure that I can't think of 100 things to write about boring me. That could be number one I guess. Then if you don't want to read the other 99, you won't think you missed anything

1. In reality, I'm actually rather boring.
2. I am a musician.
3. My degree is in music composition, but I teach piano.
4. I play and sing with a new age artist who is also a morning news anchor.
5. Old people love us.
6. I have twice played with the symphony and arranged Dude's music for them.
7. That gig and my old job have required that I be on TV a lot.
8. I freaking hate being on TV.
9. I used to be a rock star wannabe and played clubs, signed an indie deal and made a superbly terrible album.
10. I no longer want to be a rock star because they stay up too late and smoke too much.
11. I am married to Guy, the most perfect man in the world for me.
12. We have been married since July, 2006.
13. It wasn't a shotgun wedding, but we figured that we had wasted enough time in our lives. We knew what we wanted, and getting married was the first step in starting, so we did it.
14. My unworn wedding dress is still hanging in the spare bedroom.
15. The same preacher has now married me twice, and thinks this one is a much better plan.
16. I married a Yankee and now know how to make pirogi.
17. I'm better at making biscuits.
18. I am a complete freak for baking.
19. The only food I really know how to cook though is cajun and deep south goodness.
20. Crockpots frighten and confuse me.
21. I have a stepdaughter, Lovely, who is 10.
22. I have several students who started taking from me when they were 8 and are now about to graduate from high school.
23. I feel old.
24. I also feel good about that.
25. I like for my students to compete and do well. That way they have a goal, and something to be proud about at the end of the day.
26. I don't fit in at the monthly piano teachers' meetings. At all. Boy howdy.
27. I told my mother about 80 million times that I would never teach piano.
28. I took the LSAT 2 weeks after graduating from college and was planning to go to UNC Chapel Hill for law school.
29. That plan was derailed when I taught for a year while gaining my residency and figured out how much I liked it. Plus we were already paying for my ex's unused graduate degree.
30. I worked for 6 years as the Executive Director of a non-profit. That seemed to satisfy my administrative, career oriented, writing, and public speaking needs. Now I don't do that anymore.
31. There are people that don't like me. I try not to care.
32. There are people that don't like me because I am so focused on getting things done
that sometimes I disregard how others fit into the mix.
33. There are people that like me because I get things done.
34. I used to foster English Setters. They are awesome dogs.
35. I am down to 2 dogs and now like it that way.
36. Cats freak me out in general, although I do have a few kitty friends.
37. Fish seem pointless to me.
38. We have a guinea pig who I tried hard not to like, but he is actually quite adorable.
39. Reptiles and amphibians are also not on my pet list.
40. I am very close to my family.
41. Sometimes that means we hurt each other.
42. My father is a retired lawyer and my mother is a retired Presbyterian minister.
43. My bro is 4 years older than me and also works in the Presbyterian church.
44. I will never ever in my life work for a church again. I think they are selfish and generally take advantage of their employees.
45. That doesn't mean I hate God.
46. I think though, that he might hate me, so I always warn people of that before I agree to keep them in my prayers. And I ask them to let me know if bad stuff starts happening so that I can quit praying for them just in case it's my fault.
47. I used to be a youth director. My youth group drank the clear liquor in my apartment and replaced it with water. I didn't know this until 10 years later when one of them told me.
48. I can be a complete tool.
49. Now I don't go to church. I don't really miss it either.
50. I just looked over my shoulder as I typed that.
51. In college I developed an eating disorder. Until recently I still looked at pictures from that time and wished I was that skinny again. Ick.
52. My body image sucked until I was pregnant.
53. I am 5'8" and maybe a half, but maybe not, but I'm usually wearing 3-4 inch heel boots in the fall and winter. Sometimes in the summer too.
54. I have a boot problem. Unless you love boots too, in which case, I have a fabulous boot collection.
55. I hate floral prints.
56. There are no tatoos on my body. I had one picked out and never could see my way to spend the money.
57. I am now glad that I was broke.
58. There is a small part of me that wishes I knew how to dance.
59. I am completely and totally clumsy.
60. The only charity I send money to without batting an eye is Mustard Seed, a group home and day center for mentally challenged adults. They make awesome ceramics.
61. I don't like much TV. Grey's Anatomy. Boston Legal. Homicide. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, I'm award that at least 2 of those shows are off the air.
62. Local artists are always my favorites. No matter where I live.
63. Movies bore me. I did like Little Miss Sunshine though.
64. My brother thinks I have ADD.
65. I've closed this post and opened it at least 7 times now. Because I'm bored.
66. I hate that these tabs don't line up correctly.
67. After I married Guy, I found his voter registration card. He is a Republican. I fainted. Never assume people. Never assume.
68. I love him anyway.
69. My taste in music is in direct conflict with my education. I tend to like simple songs with good lyrics. Liz Phair. Sarah MacLachlan. Tori Amos (okay, not so simple). Wilco. Damien Rice. And a host of others.
70. I used to have a lot more cd's until I let my ex divide them up while I wasn't home.
71. I still have entirely too many.
72. I have owned 2 Stratocasters. Played neither. Only wished I had in some odd corner of my head.
73. My boobs are ginormous.
74. I was a National Merit Finalist.
75. I haven't been very smart since there has not been an opportunity for standardized testing in my adult life.
76. I make all my own stock. Chicken stock is on the stove as I type.
77. My granddaddy was one of my best friends.
78. I love houses. I secretly wish I could be a realtor. Then I remember all the smiling and looking cute that is required.
79. I have never ridden a yellow school bus.
80. Chopin is my favorite composer to play. Followed by Haydn.
81. I hate listening to recordings of classical music, but I like going to the symphony.
82. I love to read.
83. My first and second live concerts were both Amy Grant.
84. Since then I have seen Sting, Steely Dan, Rolling Stones, Mark Eitzel, Sarah MacLachlan, Tori Amos, Cocteau Twins, Patti Griffin, Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton, Sixpence None the Richer, Bela Fleck, Emmylou Harris, Marcia Ball, Pearl Jam, U2, Cyprus Hill, Smashing Pumpkins, Tres Chickas, Lyle Lovett, Nancy Griffith, James Taylor, Bryan Adams, Counting Crows, Victoria Williams, Buddy and Julie Miller, Juliana Hatfield, Tesla, Wilco, and a bunch more.
85. I started blogging to talk about my parents and their health.
86. The blogosphere was a total unknown to me.
87. I had a miscarriage in December. It was my first child.
88. Blogging probably saved me.
89. So did the other bloggers. Guy thanks you.

And because of #64, I'm going to let Guy give you the last 10 things about me. The only rule is that he can't talk about my boobs (see #73).

90. She should have been named Grace due to her klutsy mannerisms.
91. She loves baseball, hotdogs, and PBR in the summer.
92. She trained me on wine and production and consumption. She loves great wine.
93. She can't play guitar well. She tries and is really cute trying.
94. She is a great singer.
95. She is a great cook and makes really great meals every night.
96. She is really great in front of a video camera. She is on TV all the time and somehow she can ignore that the camera is right in her face.
97. She hates mimes and loves midgets.
98. All my friends think she is the greatest girl ever.
99. My father thinks that she is the perfect woman.
100. I think that she is absolutely perfect.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Many congrats and mini congrats

Many congratulations to Whymommy and Whydaddy on their newest addition of Whybaby who was born today. I might supposed to be letting her announce this herself, but I cannot help myself. I am beyond wildly happy for them. The little guy will be growing up in one pretty amazing family.

Mini congratulations to me. Today I did not cry. Not once. Guy and I even talked about Cleatus and how much I missed him. Plus, I had a very surreal moment when I thought to myself, "Damn. I forgot to bring home some of Sil's maternity clothes to borrow." That was right before I thought, "Damn. That's stupid. There is a reason I didn't do that." Then instead of crying, I told Guy and we had a good chuckle over it. No tears. That has to be a good sign. If I go 2 more days, then I'm going to think about wearing eye makeup again.

There are waves. Walking into Target, I had a wave of wishing I was still pregnant. It happens. I guess it probably happens to a lot of women who have been pregnant, and not just those who miscarry. I don't know though.

The waves don't knock me down anymore though. Stagger, yes. But I'm still standing.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Confessions

Dear Whymommy,

I have a confession to make. I am not a natural blonde. If the shock of that doesn't send you into labor, then I'm afraid nothing will. You knew me best as a blonde thanks to Sun-In. As the years progressed, I had to take more drastic action and sought professional help. Yes, Whymommy, I color my hair.

I know that this is probably a lot for you to take in, and I hope that I haven't upset you too much on the eve of your giving birth and all, but I felt that I had to come clean. You needed to know that I wasn't the "golden girl" that you thought after all.


So there you have it. Yesterday I broke down and succumbed to my roots. With a hint of chesnutty red just for fun. I hope you will still be my friend. You can still make blonde jokes about me, because this doesn't mean I am any smarter.

Love,
Canape

Tomorrow morning, Whymommy is going in to give birth to her son. Her pregnancy has been very difficult and she has dealt with tough decisions, pain, and every other situation with intelligence and grace. She sent many of you my way lately, and I will be forever grateful. The support you all have shown me has kept me ane and pushed me to keep moving forward. Please stop by and wish her well for tomorrow!

Best of luck, tomorrow, Sweetie. I love you much and can't wait to see your precious Whybaby.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The report

I must be getting better. We made it through the doctor's visit with what I think was a decent amount of tears, and no complete meltdowns. Plus, when the nurse came to take us back, the way she treated me caused me to immediately think, "How will I ever get this accurately across in the blog?" That has to mean I'm getting better.

Guy and I show up exactly at 2:00, not a minute earlier, because I don't want to sit in the waiting room. Only one pregnant woman was waiting. I focused on the fake tree I was sitting next to and managed to forget about her and her belly. It was fine.

The nurse called us back with a chipper, "Mrs. Canape?" followed by a great big smile. Then she looked down at my chart. I am so not even kidding. Her face dropped, and as I walked through the door, the nurse who had just sounded like Snow White, began to whisper at me. Everything she said was a whisper from that point on. A whisper and a question. And she touched me a lot.

"We are going to go right around here and weigh you, okay?"
- hand on shoulder

"Can you get on the scale for me?"
-hand on elbow

"We are going to go right around this corner now and go into this room to wait, is that alright?" - hand on back

"I'm going to get your blood pressure, okay?"
-hand on knee

"Now I'm just going to check your pulse, can I do that?"
-hand appropriately on wrist

"We are going to just wait a minute for the ultrasound room to be ready, okay?"
-tiptoeing backwards out the door away from the apparently volatile, fragile, scary, non-pregnant-anymore-woman.

Whoa! Not okay. Not okay at all. Nobody said anything about an ultrasound. There was no way on God's green earth that I was going to be okay with them sticking Mr. Happy Wand back in my vajayjay to get a good view of my now vacant womb. No thank you.

Since the nurse seemed like she would not be able to handle one single tear from me, I waited until the door had completely shut to say to Guy, "I don't want an ultrasound." Tears. Calm on the outside, but tears. "I do not want an ultrasound. There is nothing there."

The doctor came in and thankfully, said that we weren't going to do an ultrasound (how is that for anticlimactic?), and that she was just going to examine me. Nurse Whisper got someone else to stand in for the exam. Thank you very much. I'm sure she was being careful with me out of sympathy, but please. I am a woman who had a miscarriage, not a five year old whose puppy you just ran over. Talk to me. Treat me with a little dignity.

The bottom line is that everything looks fine. I asked when Guy and I could be doing the Happy Dance again and she said as soon as I stopped bleeding. I guess that was all I needed to hear because I haven't bled a drop since. In my best baritone, Oh Yeah.

We are supposed to wait until after one cycle to try again. That is fine. I'm not ready yet anyway. Although I know that if we do get pregnant again right away, there is going to be overlap between grief and joy, I am okay with that. I think that maybe that will be how I learn to live and how I learn to heal.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pockets of laughter

While I'm in a listing mood, there has been this post floating around in my head for a few days now. Most of my writing has been me just throwing it all up on the keyboard and hitting publish. That has left 99% of the past several entries pretty damn depressing.

I think I said one day that there were "pockets of laughter." If I didn't type it, I certainly thought it. Guy and I have laughed together. Lovely and I have laughed. Laughter still pops in occasionally. Since I'm pretty sure I have nothing funny to write today, I'm offering up the things I've seen or read that have made me laugh. Thanks a million to each blogger who gave me a chuckle, a nice hearty laugh, or in the case of Izzymom - the need to dry my eyes from laughing instead of sadness. These moments have been wonderful little breaks in the boohooing.

1. Mindsticker. Even if you have a slow connection, you must watch this (Izzymom).

2. Contagious laughter. There is nothing more beautiful or fun than baby laughing (Mommy, Ph.D).

3. Oh the Joys. I could link to just one, but then you might miss some of the other hilarious moments. I do love the term, "Yipee Yahoo Region." She is going right on the blogroll without the typical "wait and see if my attention span holds" waiting period of a week or two.

4. Christmas cookies, hers and his. You should read the whole thing, but make sure you do make it down to the cookies. (Mom-101)

I thought there was more, but then I realized that I had just watched the Mindsticker video about 12 times.

Hope you got a chuckle or two. The least I can do is have someone else make you smile today :)

What I fear

Alright. So thanks to massive amounts of crying and lying awake until somewhere around 3:00 AM, I think I know what I am scared about in regards to the doctor's visit today. Since I am so very fond of lists, here goes:

1. Sitting in the waiting room with all the pregnant women
2. Having to pee in a cup
3. Having to lay on the table and hike my legs up
4. Having yet another something prodding around my vajayjay
5. Someone at the office forgetting that I'm not pregnant anymore, much like the time the receptionist at the vet insisted that we needed to buy heartworm medication for the dog we had just had put to sleep there the week before.
6. Having a panic attack in the bathroom while peeing in a cup and just curling up on the floor
7. The news I'll get. Too soon. Not healed. Didn't get it all. Poked a hole in your uterus.

But the big prize goes to:

8. Crying through the whole thing. Crying in the waiting room. Crying in the bathroom. Crying on the table. Crying during the exam. Crying at the receptionist's counter. Crying over the news.

I don't want all the pregnant women seeing me cry again. They know what it means. I'm not ashamed, but I also am not the type to show my business to everyone. Excepting the incredibly public blog for all of internet land to see.

My friend Bach used the phrase "circled the wagons" around herself yesterday. That's what I feel like I'm missing. Each day that goes by back in this real life, I feel less and less protected, and I'm not ready for that yet. It was better when Guy was with me, or at least nearby. And now, he has focused all of his thoughts and energy into this job search. Granted, I'm glad that he is so intent in finding something awesome to do next; I'm just being selfish. I can't seem to circle my own wagons, and I'm feeling a little naked out there.

It takes a lot of energy to teach one-on-one, and with competition season coming up really soon, each student needs 100% of my attention and energy. One poor girl had to play the same 16 measures of her Rachmaninoff about 8 times - not because of anything she was doing wrong - but because my mind kept wandering and I couldn't remember what I was listening for in the first place.

At the end of the day yesterday, I just felt spent. Done. Tired, sad, and used up. I'd like to feel different now. This is the first time in my life that I don't have some kind of control over how I feel and it sucks. I always thought that you could choose how to feel. Like, I'm deciding to be happy today even though this one particular area of my life reeks with badness. La la la.

Well today, I'm deciding to get through it. I can't decide how I'm going to feel, but I can decide to go ahead, do what I have to do, and feel whatever about it. That's about all I can commit to at this point.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fear

I'm driving my family away. Tomorrow is my doctor's appointment and I'm scared - manifesting itself in incredibly prickly. Although I'm not totally sure what I'm scared of, I think it has to do with the last time I went in, I left without my baby.

If she has bad news tomorrow, I don't think I can handle it. I really need her to tell me that everything is healing as it should, and I should look for a cycle soon.

I'm into multitasking. I would like the rest of my mourning to intersect with the early weeks of pregnancy. Maybe that isn't right for everyone, but that is what I'm hoping can happen. Cleatus is going to have some siblings. I just hope it is soon.

Thursday I go in and have my roots taken care of. I'm going back to dark hair so that I don't get caught with roots again. That's a positive attitude, right?

It's National De-lurking Week, as Lizzy pointed out. Thanks, Lizzy. If I wasn't such a big mouth, I would go around and de-lurk on all the blogs I read. However, I have commented on all of them I think. So, I guess I could just ask for the lurkers to step in and say hi. I know I'm not the easiest to talk to right now. Just "Hi" would be great though.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Where you can find me

Thanks to Sitemeter, I now know that this blog was the first hit of 116,000 for the search, "do pregnant women smell awful when they pee?"

I am sorry that I didn't answer that question.

There was also a search for "couldn't hear my baby's heartbeat." I hope they weren't searching for themselves.

Someone also searched for "sperm shooters" and found this entry. I can't even believe I wrote that. I really should learn how to edit.

Back in the saddle, then running screaming from the horse

I made it. It is 7:05 PM and all of my students have come and gone. Four blissful hours of laughing, music, catching up, and barely thinking about being sad. I'm glad I started back today. It was exhausting though and lonely when they left. My first student asked me politely if I had had a good Christmas. She was old enough that I could say, "No, not really. It stunk." She understood.

There was only one moment of pure anxiety. It was over a milkshake. Lovely wanted a milkshake and without going into the completely boring details, the world was against us on our quest for a freaking milkshake. We finally had success, but not before I had to pull over and compose myself for a moment.

I talked to one friend today. My hairdresser and friend, who I have not given a nickname yet. I'm open to suggestions for that one. She is tall and beautiful, patient and kind. And she tames my mane and brows which take immense talent. Anyone got a good name? Anyway, she didn't know about the baby yet. I had left her a voicemail earlier in the day and when she called me back, she immediately asked me what was wrong. Was I okay? Was the baby okay?

I was able to answer her and tell her what happened with only a little crying. It was easier than I thought it would be. Here's the thing though, I had honestly tried to sound upbeat on my message. That was me trying to sound happy. Crap.

Guy told me the other night that my eyes look sad. I asked him if they would always look sad now. He said no, but I wonder.

There was a photo on the cover of National Geographic when I was a child. It was of a little girl in the Middle East. Her eyes were so beautiful and intense. They were vibrant and looked through the camera into your eyes and said, "Tell me things I've never heard. Show me the world. Let me grow up and learn everything there is to learn." A couple of years ago, they went and found the child who had become a woman, wife, and mother. The men of the house let them film her and try to recreate the picture that had been captured years before. Her eyes were not the same. The color was different. The luster was dull. They said nothing.

I wonder if she had lost a child.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dipping my toe in

Tomorrow normal life starts all over again. Lovely is still tracked out from school, so she and I will have the beginning part of the day together, and that will be nice. However, Guy goes back to work.

It has just occurred to me that I'm quite scared for him to be away from me for that long and not be able to help me through whatever meltdown I might have. Luckily, having Lovely at home will be a good transition into what is going to eventually be a lot of alone time for me.

I start teaching again tomorrow at 3:00. I can do this. They are such wonderful kids, and I am looking forward to seeing them again. I'm not worried about getting back to work.

Last night, Guy and I ventured out into a social setting. Bassman called and said that he was playing nearby, opening for Don Dixon. Guy wanted to go and Papa was already here, so Guy asked him if he could stay with Lovely while we went out for a little bit to hear some music. Papa said he would and that I needed to get out of the house. Stay as long as we like. He is awesome.

At first, it was fine. We found a place in the back corner and entertained ourselves by being snotty about everyone and everything around us. It's not for real, but just this thing we do between the two of us. Guy had me laughing and almost relaxed. Then it happened. The one thing I dread most.

Someone saw us. She started towards us and I began trying to run down in my mind if she knew I was pregnant. I leaned into Guy and braced myself for it.

"Congratulations! I heard you are pregnant, and we are so excited"

Guy interrupted and said that I had lost the baby. I sort of hate that phrase. Like I just misplaced him somewhere. He was here just a minute ago, now let me think . . . But Guy covered me, protected me, while I just turned away so that I wouldn't have to see her face as he told her. I knew that it was most likely one of two reactions. Sympathy or embarrassment. I asked Guy later which it was. Embarrassment. I thought it probably was.

The bands were good. The music was enjoyable. I had a couple of beers. It was all fine and dandy until I had to go to the ladies room. It was clear across the bar from us and for whatever reason, I just didn't want to go. I almost had a panic attack trying to get up, leave Guy, walk through all the people, and pee. I don't understand that at all.

But I did it. Regardless of my unfounded fears, I went by myself. This is the type of thing that I consider an accomplishment these days.

Go me. I peed all on my own.

It's a wonder there is anybody left reading by this point.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Best laid off plans

Guy has been laid off from his job. He saw it coming with the reorganization that began back in July, so he has been talking to people and working on some networking since then. When they laid off most of the geneticists whom he supported, the writing was on the wall for him.

On December 19, some random person from his company, not even his boss or the VP for his division, call to tell him he had been made "redundant." Then proceeded to tell him that they needed him to stay until April to train people. But he is redundant. Sensemaking.

The past week has been consumed with him trying to figure out the best scenario for our family and his career. The best offer he has is in Connecticut. I have never been that far north even. The next best offer is right here at home, but it is a far cry from the best offer. There are jobs in New Jersey and Boston too. We are trying to plan how to move, what happens with custody of Lovely, and how do we sell a house that we are in the middle of renovating?

Beautiful 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in desirable location. Kitchen is missing a wall and part of the ceiling. Master bath has no sink and only part of one wall. Front flower beds have all been dug up and are waiting for planting. A blank canvas for the creative home buyer!

Right on. I don't see that working very well.

Today, he was talking some more about the order of events in trying to get the houses we would need to sell in shape. I just started crying. A big heavy cry. The kind of cry that I thought would have stopped by now. I can say that it didn't last as long.

All of these plans, all of these conversations, used to be about the baby. We planned the nursery. We talked about a nanny. We planned the birth. We planned for names. Everything we planned was centered around Cleatus. Then, all of the sudden, he is gone. The baby is gone, the plans are gone.

All we have left to plan is a life without him.

Then I got mad at myself and felt so awful because regardless of the sane thing I wrote last night about having him for every bit of his natural life, I had this thought: I wish we hadn't wasted all that time. It will be that much longer until we have a baby now.

Oh my God, I wish I had never thought that. How awful is that? We did have a baby. For 12 weeks. For 12 weeks, we had a baby, and I just dismissed him in that thought because it didn't turn out like I wanted it to. I hope he doesn't know that I thought that.

If I'm going to heal and move on, I'm going to have to stop having stupid bad thoughts like that one.

Time to continue putting away the Christmas decorations. Except for the dishes. My Christmas dishes are called "winter dishes." That way, I can use them until Valentine's Day. Hooray.

Friday, January 05, 2007

All preggo and no baby makes Canape a dull girl

Maybe I shouldn't have addressed a letter to the baby. Today, I walked around talking to him in my head all day. It has left me feeling a little crazy. Not the yelling and hitting crazy though. I'm finding it difficult to write though, because I liked writing to him so much.

Adding to my insanity are the two 10 year old girls in the other room who have been playing Karaoke Revolution for most of the afternoon and evening. It would be alright except that the only 3 songs they have sung are "Complicated," "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," and "You're the One That I Want." Once, they started "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." I chimed in from the kitchen that it was a great song only to be answered, "We don't know this one. Is it old?" Funnnnnnnnny.

It's Lovely's first sleepover at our house. I've forgotten how much fun kids are when they are silly together. Disregarding the quarter tone off they are from the real pitches of the game, they are adorable. There is laughter, burping, and of course the cries of, "That's not fair!" In truth, it is great timing for her to have a friend over. She is having fun. Someone here should.

I have received some of the kindest emails over the past week. Women that I never knew shared this grief have come to me and told me their stories. It has been unbelievably helpful. The comments that have been left here have been read at least a dozen times each. Something else I never knew was how much comments mean to a blogger. Thank you.

We put up the walls in the baby's room today. The lights will be run tomorrow. We also went and picked out a treadmill. I have not completely figured out why these things are important to me, but they are.

I am planning to put myself on a schedule. There is cleaning and unpacking to do. There are things that can be thrown out. There is reading and writing. And for some reason, there are miles and miles I want to walk. When Guy goes back to work on Monday, I want to make sure that I am occupied and not holed up in the bedroom.

During my separation and subsequent divorce, I walked everyday. By the time I stopped, I was walking around 90 minutes a day. While I walked, I dreamed. It wasn't just your normal thinking about life and its events, it was full fledged dreaming. I dreamed of finding someone who I could be their partner. I dreamed of a family. I dreamed big dreams while I walked.

The thing is, most of those dreams have come true. Guy embodies every dream I have ever had in a husband, a best friend, a partner. Lovely is a fantastic girl, a wonderful stepdaughter. The pups are happy. We are renovating a couple of houses, working, playing, and generally loving life.

I just miss my baby. Is anyone tired of hearing that yet? I can't be sorry for saying over and over again. If I said it as much as I thought it, my blog entries would look something like Jack Nicholson's typing at the end of The Shining. I miss my baby. I miss my baby. I miss my baby. I miss my baby. I miss my baby.

I want to walk enough that I can get into those dreams again. The last time, they came true. I want that to happen again.

The book I mentioned before, more of a booklet really, said this:

"Even if you had a miscarriage a short time into your pregnancy, you are still a mother. You conceived this child, and carried her inside your body for her entire natural life."

I love that. That single statement is helping me see that I did have a child and I did take care of him for his entire life. His life was much shorter than I wanted it to be. Shockingly short. But considering this as taking care of him for his whole life, it is better.

The book is called, When Your Baby Dies Through Miscarriage or Stillbirth. It is short, to the point, and very helpful. My mother would disagree since it "made me sad again." And of course by "made me sad," all I mean is that I cried when I read it.

There is a chapter for fathers. I read it aloud to Guy on the way home yesterday. He said it was right on the money. It described how a father's connection to an unborn child is mostly intellectual. It is still an abstract concept to them. After the birth, the father bonds more closely with the child. There was even a section about how masculine grief is often demonstrated by "doing." While reading it to him, I inserted all the chores he did at my parents' house into the list of things the authors said fathers sometimes do during grief. For a moment, I had him believing that "building cabinets" was actually a noted form of grief. For him, it is.

This is rambly, isn't it?

The stream of consciousness thoughts of a woman in mourning are not always great writing. Sorry about that.

One last random thought. I got to spend some time with Boo today. It was great, and I marked it as my first "normal" outing since the baby died. We went to my most favorite shoe store to exchange the most fabulous boots I have or will ever have owned. She thinks that she doesn't know what to say, but she is wrong. She knows just what to say and when and how to say it. Today she made me think. We know another woman who lost her first child. She now has 3 beautiful children. Boo said that when the oldest child was born, she sent a card and the note she wrote mentioned something about, "their first child." She said that after she mailed the card, she realized in horror that "their first child" was the child that had died in an ectopic pregnancy. This was their second. Personally, I think her friend understood.

People do know. Friends do understand. You don't have to have felt the grief to understand that your friend is hurting. You don't have to know what it feels like to wish it hadn't happened to them. And the other thing is, they have had a loss too. My friends were genuinely happy for me and Guy, and they were genuinely excited about this baby. I can find some solace in the fact that they are sad for me, and sad for the baby that they won't get to meet either.

And here is a gratuitous picture of the fabulous boots. Thank you, Guy. They were the perfect Christmas present. I love them, and I love you more.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

In your room

Dear Cleatus,

Yes, I am aware that you have a ridiculous name. For that, you can blame your uncle. We were working on a name that you would be called throughout your life, but as you can see, I'm still calling you Cleatus. Now, it reminds me of how silly-happy-giddy we were about you being created. Your whole family was excited, right down to your cousins. I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to keep calling you Cleatus. It makes me smile and reminds me of how much I laughed while we were together.

Your family is home now. While we were away, cards came in the mail telling us how happy people were about you. I told lots of our friends about you in our Christmas cards. They were so glad for us. I also got your baby book in the mail. It is really nice. I won it in a raffle for Her Bad Mother's nephew and Muscular Dystrophy research. In the spirit of my often untimely and slightly inappropriate laughter, I thought to myself when I opened it, "Well this is going to be a short book."

I am sitting in your room now. In our rocker. And I miss you. I am determined not to be that mother who burdens her children with her pain. I will not ask you or your siblings to shoulder my grief. I just want you to know that I miss you. It is empty here without you.

Today, we stopped in Montreat and took Lovely to the spot where Guy and I were married this summer. It was a place I wanted to take you as well. The creek had risen and drowned out the noise my breathing made as I tried not to cry. You would have gone to kids' camps and youth conferences in Montreat. We would have rock hopped together. I bought a book in the bookstore there that was about helping women deal with grief after miscarriage. The last page said something like this:

The depth of your grief is a measure of the love you have for your child. If there was no love, there would be nothing to grieve.

If that is true than I love you more deeply than I had even thought was possible.

I don't know if I believe in heaven or not. I wish that I did now. I wish that I could imagine you somewhere that we could be together again someday. If it is true, and you are not simply just gone, then I hope you can hear me when I still talk to you. When I still play for you. You can ignore the whole crying thing though. I'm told that will subside with time, and I will be okay.

If I believe that you are not simply just gone though, then it leaves me to worry about if you are alright and if you know how much you are loved. Yes, your mother is a bit loony. Sorry about that.

The walls of your room are missing and there is no light. Part of me wants to shut the door and never open it again, another part of me wants to never leave it. I can sit in here, in the dark, and no one wants to come in. There is only our rocking chair and piles of my junk. This weekend your daddy promised to get the sheet rock up and buy me a treadmill. We are going to put it in your room. If I am going to think about you nonstop, then the least I can do is work off those milkshakes you asked for. By the way, thanks for that. You stinker.

This didn't turn out how I wanted it too. Well, I guess more than one thing applies there. Your life didn't turn out how I wanted it too, but I meant this letter. I wanted to tell you about what I had planned and dreamed for us. I wanted to tell you about what I picked out for your nursery and the Mother's Morning Out programs I had thought about so that you could make friends. I wanted to tell you about the Jeep that Guy bought me and deemed the Mommymobile. I could fit all my gear and a baby seat too. You and I were going to gigs.

Truth is though, those things are not for you now. They will be for your sibling. You did not need those things from me.

There will be a time when I can be thankful for the life we did have together. I am already, but the pain of losing you so before getting to see you and hold you is making it hard to remember how grateful I am to have had you as long as I did. I was already proud of you.

I will always be proud of you. I will always love you. You will always be my first baby. Thank you for showing me that I can love enough to be a mother.

With Love,
Your Mom