Friday, July 31, 2009

On the mend


Somehow this phrase just came out when my brother texted me to see how I'm doing. Oh, I'm on the mend.

Considering the surgery and the (so-called) stitch that is inside of me.

Considering the progress I'm (sort of) making.

Considering the process of (all kinds of) healing...

Sorry it took me so long to come back. All went well with the TAC and the surgery, and I am home. C is taking care of me, the animals are taking advantage of prime snuggle time, despite the pillow over my belly.

I have a lot roiling around in my head, a lot that I think I probably need to process and articulate, but I'm not quite there yet. I guess it will come out in dribs and drabs, or in one painfully long post... I don't know. It will come, soon.

I just wanted to stop by to say hello, and thank you so much for all the love and good wishes. All of you were there with me in Chicago, keeping me very good company. Sneaking me non-hospital food and diet coke, and staying close while I dozed.

In the meantime, I'm reading, though I'm not always able to respond -- to my great frustration -- as b.berry is temperamental, as is the internet connection. Something substantial will come soon. Promise.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Heading Out, Again

Waiting for my ride to the airport, headed to Chicago. It's pouring rain. (Hi, Mom.) Still have about 45 minutes to wait.

I am really nervous. I'm not really sure why. I was fine until last night.

It's not that I'm having surgery, rather, I think that it's what it represents. Stepping back into the ttc process, hoping that this will do the trick. Though I have other issues, beyond the IC. Thinking about what's going to required to get me through a pregnancy, if I can even get pregnant. How many cycles, failed cycles, losses, will it take?

And I want it really badly now. Even more than before.

I'll try to post more later. On the way to or at the airport, hotel, hosp...We've been without internet, so it's been hard to do a thoughtful, comprehensive post.

While we were in CA, my dad decided he wanted to meet me in Chicago for the surgery. This is fine; initially, I was feeling mixed, but since C won't be able to be there, I think it will be good to have that support. Hope he takes advantage of being in Chi and sees some of the city.

Thanks, again, for being there.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Heading Home

Boarding my flight home.

Thank you all so much for your support and thoughts on my last post. I have lots to process and no time right now.

Just one or two things: my sister and BIL have set up a sleeping in shifts thing, which seems to ease things for her. He is still a p.i.t.a. This trip was not always easy, but it was not the nightmare I feared it might be. (Maybe it was the anger?)

The baby is still just wonderful. And seing the joy on my sister's face when she's singing to and "dancing" with her daughter on her lap... Just the thought brings me to tears, for so many reasons (as you know well), but mostly because she is so very happy to finally be a mother to a healthy, funny, contented, beatiful child.

I didn't know I could be this happy for someone else's joy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Hello from southern CA! Warning: lots of ranting follows, with a question at the end -- I'd love your feedback.

Mostly things have been going well here. My niece is gorgeous and a very sweet baby. Really only complains when she's hungry or need her diaper changed.

Yesterday was a little rough, and the last couple hours have been rough. It occurs to me now that I'm on my own w my sis and bil, and I really don't like him. Really. Don't.

Aside from the fact that he "refuses" to get up with the baby when she cries at night, and will only change every other diaper, at most, he's just rude and contemptuous of anything he doesn't understand.

This house is enormous. Gorgeous. At the top of the Bel Air section of LA. 6 bedrooms. 4 Full baths on the bottom floor (2 guest rooms, his office and a BA for the rec room. The house is built into the side of the mtn and the master bedroom is on the secobd floor, guest and rec rooms on the bottom and kitchen. Family, living, and dining rooms are all on thr top floor.

He goes out of his way to talk about the custom-made everything ib their freakibg house, down to the egyptian cotton handmade sheets.

This guy has no grasp of reality.

He also refuses to acknowledge the magnitude and scope of what my sister is doing. BFing every few hours, and essentially taking care of all the baby's needs. He will hold the baby if A asks him to, or change her for the same reason. They are talking about getting a night nurse to give my sister a break. Because he won't give her one. Spending tobns of money on a doula so A can learn about taking care of a baby (since my mom is not available, obviously, and his is nuts, and probably had a nanny raise her kids anyway).

And then he bitches to her because she hasn't made phonecalls about household stuff. With all her free time. Thr doula missed last night because she had to attend a birth, so my sister was up most of the night with the baby.

He doesn't even have a real job. He is helpibg take care of the finishing touches on this mansion and I guess he manages his/their investments. From the house. The baby is 10 days old, but he can't, won't get up to help. Whether or not he can is immaterial to me. He's just leaving it all up to my sister.

My sister, who was up at 12:30/1:00 am to greet me when I got in on Tuesday. She said she tried waking him, but couldn't. Nice to see you, too.

So he takes care of the house construction and she takes care of the baby? That's bullshit in this day and age and she deserves way better. They both do. This guy gets to have a child and we don't? They had a 2nd trimester loss, too, but really?

Also, the first 24 hours I was in the house, all he did was bitch and complasin to her, and criticize her. In front of me and in front of our dad. Finally, my sister called BIL into the other room, and he came back much better behaved -- even if he was faking it.

I heard my dad use a word today to describe BIL that I havew only heard him use a few times in my life. He's really worried for her. She's paying a high price to live the high life and get her baby.

And she is great with the baby. It's freaky how she looks and sounds like my mom. More than that, it's amazing to see the joy on her face, in her eyes when she looks at her daughter, talks to her, soothes her.

Okay, here's why I titled this quandary. After dropping off my dad at the airport , b was chided for taking topo long helping him in with hisb things and getting him pointed in the right direction. All becauseb they *might get a ticket* by the airport police. God forbid. I weanted to say, Well, I would have paid for it, okay? The man is 76-years old and has a big tremor and is movinbg slow anbd is emotionally wrung out. Joy and frustration. Fuck all of you.

So when they're alone (not with Dad), they fall into regular relationship dynamics (:-p). He is condescending and judgmental, openly (like, why would anyone disagree or take offense?)

Okay, here it is: after riding back from the airport, riding up front so my dad could coo at the baby, and then so she could keep an eye on her, he doesn't hear, totally discounts my contributions to the conversation,(again: how could any reasonable person think differently from the way he does?) We find a parking space in Westwood. (One that I point out, that he openly questions "is that a real spot? Really? Well, there's another if this isn't one. Oh, it is a real spot." I'm 39 years old and working on a Phd, but I ant identify a real parking spot? I guess 13 years in Boston was no help either.) My sister walks down the street to pay the meter. I'm wandering a little looking at the shops near the parking space, waiting. (Not even attempting convo.) I turn around to see that he has set the baby (in carrier) on a cafe's outdoor table and went back to the car at the curb, easily 15 or 20 ft, leaving the baby comepletely alone. Granted, it was maybe 30 seconds, but this was Friday night in west.wood, we had seen at least 2 sketchy looking characters as we got out of the car. His back was completely to the baby. Reflex drew me to go to the baby (MY niece!) But I moved away a little because I wanted my sister to see this. Unfortunately, the moment was over before she got back.

As we walked to the diner, he said to her, "do you want to walk be hind me so you can watch her as we walk?" At the table, she was watching the baby to make sure she was still breathing (she was sleeping).

Do I tell my sister? If so, how? Or is this no big deal? To me this seems like the stuff lifetime tv movies are made of, someone turns their back for 30 seconds and the child is gone. Maybe I'm over-reacting, trying to compensate 'cause it's not my kid...

I can see that he loves the baby, but he seems to have no clue. I think my sister's head might explode if she knew. Or it might cause a fight, and the last thing she needs is more aggravation and stress. But is this kind of thing something she should know about? She freaked at the prospect of leaving the baby alone with my dad and me for an hour today (definitely too soon for everyone) how would she feel about this?


**As you might be able tp tell I am really wanting to rip this guy a new one. I've been biting my tongue so much there may not be any left by the time I get home. Trying to be supportive. Ack.

***edited to add:
My biggest concern is that he walked away from the baby on a city street. Maybe he thought I was there, maybe not. (It's not like he has any respect for me anyway.) She's pretty aware of all the other stuff. But do I tell her about this? I agree, it may start a fight, which causes my hesitation. Maybe he just doesn't know. Doesn't think it's a big deal. I just don't know.

Thanks, though for all you thoughts on the subject!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tomorrow night

I've got an 8pm flight to California. I'll be there until Sunday night, when I take a red-eye back home. Dad will be there til this Friday night.

Certainly, I have a lot of mixed feelings.

Mostly, I can't wait to meet my niece, can't wait to hold her. I've seen pictures of her (gorgeous), of my sister holding her, looking at her (and looking exactly like my mom, btw), looking like a mother with her child. Which, of course, she is. Then the picture of my dad holding her, which makes me choke up every. single. time. The last time I saw that look on his face was my wedding day. He's positively beaming at her, and totally smitten. Finally holding his live, healthy grandchild. On the phone, his voice sounds happy.

And yet it hurts. C looked at a picture of the baby, but doesn't want to see me or my dad holding her. Too much of what should have been. What almost was. I don't blame him. Not at all.

[[My grandmother asked me to kiss the baby for her, but on the back of the head, so as not to give her germs: "on the back of the head," she says, "not on her face." In traditional family style, she initially tried to avoid the subject of the baby. It took me an hour to recover from that 10-minute phone call. Thankfully, my brother sent me a text, and he let me vent, and cry and recover. I'm so glad we're in touch again.]]

This baby is only about 6 days old, and already she has brought so much happiness to my whole family. Long-awaited happiness. Even for me. Especially for me. And yet.

I have no idea how this is going to go. My sister had some bleeding from her incision after she was released. By after, I mean she and my BIL (and niece, of course) were on their way to the car, in the garage of the hospital. So, they went back up, and she was admitted again, overnight, fixed up and released again yesterday.

She's going to have to be careful. She's going to need more help, I think, than she originally thought she would. I told her I would cook, and shop, and run errands, and help put things away. So long as I got baby-holding time, I joked.

I'm afraid I'm going to be sad, and fall into old patterns. I want to be the Me I've become. The grown-up. The strong. The brave. I want to.

I'm afraid I'm going to be overwhelmed and not helpful. A's little sister, with her (sister's) baby, and her (sister's) huge new house. Little Suzi, again.

She doesn't expect me to be waiting on her hand and foot. She says, the only one who's going to be attached to her hip will be the baby. I'll have time to myself, on a separate floor. I'll bring stuff to do. My 'scripts, of course. And I'll be getting out of the house, visiting some of C's friends -- well, I guess they're mine, too. Friends who are happy and busy and financially stable.

CLC wrote about Green Eyes recently. I get it. I have them, too. Someday, maybe, I'll be holding my own child. But this loss will always hurt. It will never make sense. I think I will always feel different.

It will be okay, I'm sure. I won't fall apart. It won't be easy all the time, but I think -- hope -- it will be good.

To thank you for all your good wishes, and all your support, I'll leave you for the week with some pictures of the kitties and the dog, for your viewing pleasure.

Hazel on the left, Abby on the right:

Hazel and Abby, again:

A sleepy Stella, chin on her paw:

And one more of Stella:

Take care, everyone.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's a Girl!

Born around 8pm Pacific Time, a healthy girl named for my mother.

Mother, Father and Daughter are all doing well. The baby is already nursing. Brilliant, of course.

So far, I'm doing okay. Didn't start to cry until I talked with my sister's oldest friend to tell her the news. Happy, happy tears.

So far, so good. Couldn't get through this without you -- thank you so much for your support, your good thoughts and patience through all my kvetching.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Thank you so much for you comments and support. It's amazing how much it helps.

I'm feeling a better for now. Very distracted, but got some reading done for my meeting tomorrow.

Two hours and counting now. Crazy. Good, but crazy. Glad I'll have a week to recover before heading out there.

Thanks again, everyone.

Monday, July 6, 2009

One Day

One day until my sister has her C-se.ction. Yup, it's scheduled for tomorrow. 28 hours from now, actually, my little niece or nephew will be born. My dad will call to tell me the news.

28 hours and 30 minutes until I lose it. (Or is that just cynical?)

I knew from the beginning there would be tears. My sister and her husband's, my dad's, even my brother's. And we all knew that I would be bawling. (I am a crier, after all.) With happiness for her as much as sadness for myself.

As much? Well, okay, that might be wishful thinking.

Had a little mini-breakdown last week. I'm sure it was all the stress from making plans to see her and help out, and managing expectations (hers and my own) about how that would go, excited tears about the fact that after 6 years of a brutal struggle with infertility, my sister is having her baby. Her living, expectedly healthy, 8 or 9 pound baby.

Really, I don't think I could be happier for her. Yes, tears now. She's been through hell, and I love her so much. And I love this little one already.

So there's all of that, plus 2 independent readings at school, prepping my own section of class for the fall, as well as getting ready for a full load in the fall, too.

And the fact that we decided to go ahead and get the ce.rclage, the TAC, this summer so I would have time to recover from it, and we would have a little more flexibility with TTC. The way we initially planned it had us in Chicago over winter break, and meant we could only try one or two cycles so the timing would be right for the surgery. And that I"ll be 6 months older when I do have the surgery.

And the fact that I'll be, --er, cough, cough, another year older in 9 days. 39. Tick tock. Just as it did for Capt. Hook, that clock just gets louder and louder. It hurts even to say that I'll be 39. All of a sudden I feel old and grown up and washed up all at once. And childless.

I just got the statement from my loan servicing agency and, I will admit it. I have no idea where I'm going with this degree anymore. Yes, I'm interested. Yes, I'm passionate and yell about things I think are wrong. I just feel so disconnected from what I was connected to before. TWO years ago.

C is awesome at compartmentalizing. Just pushing through. That's how he got his dissertation written and defended the semester after we lost the boys. He tells me I need to try to do this. Just trust that what was important to me then will be important to me again. It IS important. But,... But.

It's like I don't know how to be a student anymore, don't know how to care about this stuff. Don't know how to really engage in it again. I was just getting my feet under me. How many times have I written that? Even I'm tired of hearing it.

I haven't been writing, not here, not in my journal, not for school. I haven't been reading, not the stuff I signed up for at school, not even cheesy mysteries, not O.bama's memoir about his dad. Just blogs. Comments, here and there. Freaking fb.

I did start exercising, though the gym was closed over the weekend and I can't seem to make myself get over there. At least not today. I tell myself, I can't go because I have work to do, but does the work get done? Surely you jest. That's what I'm supposed to be doing right now.

So I'm doing laundry, I'm bitching about the house being a mess, but not doing much about it. I look friendly and approachable, make small talk with strangers, but what comes out of my mouth is often so angry. Sad. Negative.

Scared, really.

Sad. Really, really sad. It feels different from the initial grief. Like pure sadness, boiled down from the loss, and the fear, and the anger. I don't know how to describe it. When I try to, I kind of picture crystals, or something sheer, clear, hard. Cold.

I don't know.

I think I'm kind of pulling C along with the TAC thing, with trying again. I'm a little worried that once we get started again, he's going to be really sad again, and resent me. That he's going to be ready to stop, and I'm not going to be ready. But how could I put him through it? The trying, the risk of loss, pain.

I'm scheduled for surgery on the 23rd of this month, in Chicago. Dr. H, the TAC guru will be doing the procedure, and I'll be in the hospital over 2 nights. Normally it's just one night, but C won't be able to come with me because he'll be teaching. So I'll stay an extra night in the hosp, just to make sure everything is okay before he sends me home. I'll take a car to the airport, and a car back. And I'll have some time to myself. People (both my sibs, actually) ask me if I'm scared, or if I'll be lonely. Nope. It's weird, I've been spending a lot of time by myself lately.

So, one more day, I'll be an aunt, again. My dad's first living grandchild. He is flying out there tonight, and I'll be flying out a week from tomorrow, for 5 days.

It occurred to me the other day that something could still go wrong (please, please, let nothing go wrong) and this child may not make it. I think we are all counting on this child to be healthy. I think that if it weren't, it would be the end of us all. Well, it would take an awful lot to come back from that. We are all acting like everything is going to be okay.

And so it will, right? She is 39 weeks, and a couple of days. It will all be okay.

One day until her C-section. 27 hours, now.

One day, I'll be where she is, right?