Saturday, November 20, 2004

Back to life...

I apologize in advance if this is too smarmy.

This is a weird post to write. For awhile I thought of just abandoning this blog all together due to the last post on it. I didn't think I could bear to look at it and even thought about taking down the blog for good.

Let me explain.

I always said I never wanted to have children. I'm a young, progressive, busy, artist type. I don't have much experience with babies. They kind of freak me out. I'm so scared I'm going to drop them, or hurt them, or give them a lifelong phobia of something. When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified at first. What the heck would I do with a baby! How on earth would I make it through 40 weeks of healthy eating! No more cigarettes or caffeine! I was totally freaking out.

Gradually, I began to embrace the idea. I imagined how cool, clever and smart my child would be. How much they would look like their daddy. How wonderful it would be to breastfeed (food from my own wholesome and economical!). I imagined making clothes and teaching a child to paint or teaching them about nature. What a well-rounded kid I would put into the world! I even picked out names: Lola or Oliver. Little Lola. Little Ollie. Cute and even a little Punk!

I embraced the role of healthy earth-goddess mother. No smoking, drinking, caffeine, processed food, or sugar. I bought trail mix to snack on instead of chips. I drank only 100 percent juice instead of soda. I even sloshed down the requisite 8 glasses of water a day. I walked, I did yoga. I stopped being so cynical and jaded all the time. I was actually feeling a little plucky.

When I had my first doctor's appointment and got to see the baby's heartbeat on ultrasound, I was amazed. How neat! I felt be participating in this most basic of human functions...reproduction! I felt instantly connected with women everywhere! We started to refer to the little embryo as the Speck.

Even when the morning sickness and constant fatigue kicked in, I took it in stride. When hunched vomiting into a toilet or dragging my sorry, sleepy behind to work every day I would say to myself "I'm doing this for the Speck!" I even flashed back to the lectures my own mother used to give to me..."I carried you inside me for 9 months and this is the thanks I get!" Now I could sympathize!

In other words, I had gone from practically anti-child to nascent loving mother in 2 months. Life is full of surprises.

It sure is. On Halloween, of all nights, at about 4 am, I woke with a fantastic amount of cramps. I was alone, as my husband works the graveyard shift. I had been having some light pinkish spotting the past few days but was told it was probably nothing as it was so light and pink. Well, the light pink spotting had turned into something else.

It was really horrific, sitting on the bathroom floor surrounded by a gory mess that was supposed to be little Lola or little Ollie. I'll spare you the grossest details, but it's an image I haven't been able to get out of my head. I screamed and cried until my husband came home. When he asked me, aghast, what happened all I could say was "It's gone, it's gone!" I think I cried for 72 hours straight.

So I had a miscarriage. 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, which is a number that sounds fantastically high to me in the era of boner pills and baldness cures. I am now a member of that '20-percenters' club.

Let me tell you, it couldn't possibly suck more.

What was really weird was going to vote on November 2nd. It was almost surreal, walking up to the voting booth in mincing, still crampy little steps and knowing that I really didn't give a crap about any of it anymore. I barely noticed that Dubya won. It really didn't penetrate through the haze.

The worst was going to the doctor afterwards. Sitting in that waiting room full of pregnant women, with baby magazines and maternity clothes catalogues piled everywhere was too much to handle. Seeing an OB is a weird, humiliating experience anyway.

Having another ultrasound and seeing a big empty grey space on the screen where there used to be the Speck really just set me over the edge. I had told my husband that I really, really didn't want to break down in the doctor's office and luckily he saved the day. He started to joke around, making me laugh. He made me a bouquet of those giant q-tips that all doctor's offices have but that seem to have no identifiable purpose. I don't know how I would have made it through that visit without the giant q-tip bouquet!

In general, though, I have just been hating life and the world. I have turned a complete 180 of how I felt when I was pregnant. I am either sad or furious all of the time. When I think of all of the abused children or crack babies or babies who were left in cars and died, or Iraqi children crushed under their homes, or Israeli children killed by a suicide bomber, or Palestinian children caught in crossfire I want to punch a wall. It's so not fair that any old asshole gets to have a child and I don't.

Mostly, though, I am furious at the universe for making me realize that I do want children, that I would make a great mother and I wouldn't scar a baby for life or drop them or give them psychological problems and then taking it all away from me. Why? Where's the life lesson? What am I supposed to take away from this? I don't get it.

In the past few days I'm feeling like I'm coming back to life. I will get back to blogging. It seems like recently all I've had is one medical problem after another that's keeping me from doing so, but not anymore. Even if I have to stray into the personal, this blog has been my venting space for over two years and I'm not about to stop now.

One thing I found out that kind of opened my eyes was that my mother had three miscarriages and my grandmother had seven. Seven! I can't imagine experiencing this seven times. Of course, my grandmother had 13 children (not counting the seven) so she was just super strong anyway. Seriously, women kick ass.

And as a kick-ass woman, I think I'll survive this one after all.

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