Valleys

Oh lawsy.

The time of year is fast approaching where I spend a lot of time drinking myself to sleep while watching British comedies. Thankfully, my friend Sha has recommended one new comedy to me. And she better deliver. OR ELSE. Also, life has been going pretty darn good lately. Thus, my tolerance for alcohol has dramatically decreased. So it should be a cheap, easy couple of weeks.

“Why?” you might ask, “despite the general upswing, are you foretelling an era of streaming Netflix and booze?” and I would be delighted to share, because that’s what this blog is for.

Well, folks, the end of February and the beginning of March herald badiversaries. These are dates that shall live in my own personal box of Infamy, because they are dates of official pregnancy failure.

Booooooooze!

(lithograph by Mr. Munch)

The crappiness of these dates is only comparable to the crappiness of the dates of would-be-birthdays, which are the crappiest dates of all. Thankfully, the would-be-birthdates fall right around the end of October, which is when everyone is getting good and grumpy for the winter, so my misery usually has plenty of company.

Anyways, the Punch in the Gut by Manos (hand of fate, duh) is still smarting, since this’ll be the one and two year markers. It hasn’t been that long, really.

(And can I just put it out there that I almost DIED! last year?! I mean, I wasn’t on the cusp or anything, but if it had been the 1800s I definitely would have had a bad go of it.)

I am freaking amazing and my husband/mother/sister are the best hospital watchers on the face of the planet.

(view from the hospital bed in 2009)

I will share with you some random thoughts I am having, without attempting to make them amusing or coherent as a whole:

  • I’m really REALLY glad I’m back in school. I’m excited that I have something to work toward, concentrate on, be stressed out about that doesn’t involve my stupid uterus and it’s stupid epic fails.
  • I don’t think we (culturaly) really have a handle on grief in general, and especially not on miscarriage-type loss. I want people to remember these dates along with me (which I can actually force you all to do because of the blog, bwa. ha. ha.) and commiserate along with me. But I feel weird for wanting that. And people, for the most part, feel weird knowing I want that. It’s… it’s weird.
  • I wonder if I’ll ever stop being pissed off about this whole situation. I’m pretty much over being sad, but I’m not really over being angry. I feel gypped. I especially feel that my husband is being gypped. I’m kind of relived that the medical stuff is done for a while, but maybe Hubs would like some rugrats before he hits 40? Maybe?!
  • I think about how this will all look ten years from now. I can’t help but hope that we managed to procure some kids and totally corrupted them by then, and I read over this and think, “geez, get over yourself!” So despite it all, I still hope things turn out the way I want.
  • Speaking of the “way I want,” who are we kidding? As soon as I’ve regained some self confidence and some serious sense of purpose, I’ll be barrelling through the next option, won’t I? For now, that thought scares me. But I’m thinking it. So nothing has actually changed.
  • I started physical activity a few months back as a mood enhancer and I am loving how unexpectedly delighted my husband is with my newfound participation in his most favorite of all pasttimes. He had zero imput in my decision to start moving, so his joy in it is like the best bonus of all time. His delight is better than endorphines. Seriously.
  • Pets rock. I’m glad we have that stray turned princess feline.
  • MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” is an evil show.

I have a few more thoughts. Although I’ve worded this as a directive list, think of it more as an insight into how/what I deal. THAT’s interesting, and much nicer than feeling like I’m dumping a bunch of rules on you.

It’s all loosely based around this phrase: “I’m so sorry. Please let me know if you need anything.”

  • This is ALL you should say in a casual conversation to someone who is dealing with miscarriage/infertility. (I don’t know about other kinds of loss, but this is all I can take from anyone. Pretty much any other comment begins to be selfish, and it’s totally all my (pity) party and I will (attempt to) cry if I want to. It has nothing to do with you, how closely you can relate, what you believe, etc…)
  • Do not say, “I know how you feel.” Even if it’s true (it’s not true) it is not helpful or useful to me.
  • Do not say, “God has a plan for you,” or “All things work together for good,” or any variation of the above. Even if it’s true, see above.
  • If you must tack on something about God (who caused this whole mess, if you really want to get down to the nitty gritty), you can tack on “we’re praying for you” but that is IT.
  • You may share a similar story with me, but this is a personal preference. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, and that’s what your story communicates to me. (Please note that just because I want to hear your stories doesn’t mean everyone does. And sharing a story doesn’t mean it’s okay to then say, “so you see, I really do know how you feel.” Because that’s still wrong. “I can relate” is different from “I know.”)
  • Moms really shouldn’t attempt to discuss this situation with me in any detail. It doesn’t matter what your history is. There’s a vast gulf that separates us, and it’s one I have no control over, and it’s one you seem pretty oblivious of. And I don’t LIKE IT.
  • Don’t bitch about your kids, or being a mother. Ever.
  • If you have information you think might be useful or helpful (eg: docs, procedures, agencies, websites, groups, heard-it-through-the-grapevines) please share. It shows me you’re thinking of me, and in constructive, positive ways.
  • If I bring it up without prompting, try to be gracious and respectful. Don’t act like it’s a huge deal, you’ll just make me even more uncomfortable than I already was. (I’m used to not talking about it. If you’re going to feel anything about me sharing with you, feel trusted, not overwhelmed.)
  • Above all, be generous. If you ask how I’m doing, don’t make my answers about you. If you think of me, let me know. Don’t feel offended if I don’t chat about it with you. In your interactions with me, regarding this situation, make it truly about me.

I’d like to thank the Academy, and my wonderful Hubs, who continues to cheer me on, encourage me, and reassure me that everything will be alright.

“Peaks and valleys, babe,” he tells me, “peaks and valleys.”

Hubs is attractive in every photo. Ever.

(so wise…)

“We’ve got a major peak coming up.”

****Update: Just to be clear, when it comes to an event that’s actually in the past (as mine is), saying the wrong thing is BETTER than saying nothing. If you’re thinking about me, let me know. Because the biggest sucky-thing is feeling like I’m the only one who remembers or still cares. Err on the side of reaching out and touching someone.


So, to sum up: DURING event, nothing is better than the wrong thing. AFTER event, anything is better than nothing.

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12 thoughts on “Valleys”

  1. Just wanted you to know I am also, angry for you and TY for the second half of this blog. It makes me smile to know that even though I don't have the words to write – you do, and you are happy to share.

  2. First of all, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.

    Secondly, SO WELL-SAID. People who get pregnant easily and/or have no experience with infertility often just have no clue how to act around poeople with infertiliy. It's good to let them know. So thanks for that.

    Thirdly, I saw this wonderful video clip about how to treat someone with infertility (made by someone with infertility) that I am going to see if I can find on you tube for you to watch.

    Forthly, after my year and a half of infertiliy and then finally a pregnancy and then a miscarriage, I was terribly sad on that day that that baby should have been born too. You're not alone. I validate you! (Although it sounds more cheesy than validating when I write it like that, huh?)

    I won't ask. Because having people ask you once they know you are trying just makes you want to punch someone. But keep us posted, OK? And feel free to vent ANY TIME YOU WANT.

  3. I was just thinking of you earlier. I was remembering that the anniversary of my last miscarriage is coming up in a few weeks. One of the things that stands out to me is how very supportive everyone was. I remember thinking at the time that I could just TELL who had been through loss of their own. Sometimes it was just something that I could see in their faces, but it was mostly that they didn't TALK a ton. They just were there. They just let me know that they would love to help if I needed anything. I remember your tear filled eyes as you handed me a plate of cookies (that were gone very FAST!) and told me how sorry you were.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing about something so personal!

  4. I am so sorry. I know you don't know me but all the same, please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

    I am praying for your next peak to be high and wonderful.

  5. Grief is weird. Pokes through into consciousness at unexpected times and unexpected ways. Loss sucks.

    A 16 year old son of a friend came up to me not long after my wife died (Dec. '96) and said, “Don, I don't know what to say.”

    I smiled and said, “That's okay. And thanks.”

    End of conversation. He accomplished his mission. He wanted to say something, but didn't know what to say.

    Ditto.

    End of comment.

  6. Like this post. Thank you. And and an even bigger thanks for the shout out, hopefully I will not find out WHAT ELSE is in store for me.

    Sha

  7. Rae, I think it must have been around March last year that I first came across your blog. You've been through a lot in that year (and the year before) and I really admire the way you've been dealing with things and blogging about it.

    Btw many of the points on your list are good advice applied to meeting people who have suffered other kinds of loss and grief as well.

    Wishing you a view from a mountaintop soon… ♥

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