Thursday, January 22, 2009

99 Things Meme

Things you’ve already done: bold = 44
Things you want to do: italicize = 18
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band. (In Elem School, I played the flute)
4. Visited Hawaii.
5.Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland/world.
8. Climbed a mountain. (not a major mountain, though)
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. (unless karaoke counts, no)
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. (my mom taught me the basics of knitting when I was a kid but probably 90% of what I know now was self-taught)
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning. (And caused food poisoning for the local neighborhood children. Don't boil lemonaide in a copper-bottomed kettle. Lesson learned.)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice. (I was in Venice and offered a gondola ride and turned it down...)29. Seen a total eclipse. (I think so...I remember a school project around the eclipse but not much else)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. (Italy - check. England - not yet, unless the Heathrow Airport counts.)
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language. (Um, I'm not fluent or anything but I've tried multiple times.)
37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke. (like a million times)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance. (is this really something people "want" to do?)
47. Had your portrait painted. (Actually it was drawn with pencil, does that count?)
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen. (Does a food bank count?)
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar. (in sushi)
72. Pieced a quilt. (a 3x3 quilt in 6th grade... I'd like to do something a little larger though!)
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
77. Broken a bone. (does a sprained ankle count? I had to wear a cast...)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous. (hmmm...famous swimmers, yes)
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit. ("involved" like married to a lawyer?)
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Chemical Pregnancy

On December 14th I found out I was pregnant. On December 19th I had a miscarriage. The medical term is a "chemical pregnancy" because it was too early to be confirmed by ultrasound. I hate the term chemical pregnancy because it trivializes the loss and grief that I feel. It was not a "false positive" it was MY baby that I lost.

I thought that I would be over it by now. But, I find that I still break down too easily when I have too much time to think or when something sparks a memory.

The strangest feeling is that I would be completely willing to trade anything for a few more weeks of pregnancy even if it meant I would have inevitably lost the baby. I don't know if it is because a few more weeks would have made the baby real to more people or if I just want a few more time to enjoy being pregnant.

But mostly, I feel angry. I feel angry that after waiting 7 months to get pregnant that I only got 4 days to enjoy it. I feel angry at all the people who get pregnant easily and complain about pregnancy symptoms. I feel angry at the people who get pregnant who cannot take care of their babies or don't want them. I feel angry at my body for failing me.

I found this post in a group on Miscarriage - A letter from women to their friends and family by Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer - and found some of it particularly relevant:

When women experience the loss of a child, one of the first things they discover they have in common is a list of things they wish no one had ever said to them. The lists tend to be remarkably similar. The comments are rarely malicious - just misguided attempts to soothe.
-Don't say, "It's God's Will." Even if we are members of the same congregation, unless you are a cleric and I am seeking your spiritual counseling, please don't presume to tell me what God wants for me. Besides, many terrible things are God's Will, that doesn't make them less terrible. -Don't say, "It was for the best - there was probably something wrong with your baby." The fact that something was wrong with the baby is what is making me so sad. My poor baby never had a chance. Please don't try to comfort me by pointing that out.
-Don't say, "You can always have another one." This baby was never disposable. If had been given the choice between loosing this child or stabbing my eye out with a fork, I would have said, "Where's the fork?" I would have died for this baby, just as you would die for your children.
-Don't say, "Thank God you lost the baby before you really loved it." I loved my son or daughter. Whether I lost the baby after two weeks of pregnancy or just after birth, I loved him or her.
-Don't say, "Isn't it time you got over this and moved on?" It's not something I enjoy, being grief-stricken. I wish it had never happened. But it did and it's a part of me forever. The grief will ease on its own timeline, not mine - or yours.
-Don't pretend it didn't happen and don't change the subject when I bring it up. If I say, "Before the baby died..." or "when I was pregnant..." don't get scared. If I'm talking about it, it means I want to. Let me. Pretending it didn't happen will only make me feel utterly alone.
- Don't say, "It's not your fault." It may not have been my fault, but it was my responsibility and I failed. The fact that I never stood a chance of succeeding only makes me feel worse. This tiny little being depended upon me to bring him safely into the world and I couldn't do it. I was supposed to care for him for a lifetime, but I couldn't even give him a childhood. I am so angry at my body you just can't imagine.
-Do say, "I am so sorry." That's enough. You don't need to be eloquent. Say it and mean it and it will matter.
-Do say, "You're going to be wonderful parents some day," or "You're wonderful parents and that baby was lucky to have you." We both need to hear that.
Above all, please remember that this is the worst thing that ever happened to me. The word "miscarriage" is small and easy. But my baby's death is monolithic and awful. It's going to take me a while to figure out how to live with it. Bear with me.

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