Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spalicious! Spatacular? Sorry. Both horrible.

So, Tuesday evening, I'm on my way home from work, and I am cranky. I'm thinking about writing in my blog, but I'm also thinking that my least favourite entries in other blogs are the ones where the writers complain about bad days. Unfortunately, I had mostly grumpy things to report: frustrating work stuff that I am too smart to write about here, the fact that I was trudging home in the rain because non-regular bus riders all crawl out of the woodwork and clog the buses on even slightly wet days (Seriously. Where do they come from?), all exacerbated by the fact that my hormones are STILL RAGING OH MY GOD. So: crap mood, not wanting to whine about it. That there? That wasn't whining, that was just background.

Anyhow, I get home, drop my crap, and start to dread heading back out into the rain to pick up dinner as planned. There's a message on the phone. I check it. It's from the awesome spa that I've been to a few times in the past few years. I think: "Hmm. This can't be bad." More background: my lovely mother-in-law gave me a gift certificate to said spa for my birthday last year. When I headed in six months later to redeem the gift, they told me that there was no such credit on file. I wracked my brain to sort out whether or not I had really spent it already, and I decided that it was unlikely, but possible. After getting numerous spa girls to check their records, and coming up short each time, I gave up, because really, what can you do? Anyways, back to the phone call. It seems that yet another spa girl (there are lots) was going through their pile of gift certificates, and found that there was an un-redeemed one for me from 2007. She wanted to let me know, and encourage me to come in and spend it. Well, hello awesome! The coolness of them reminding people to make use of services rather than just pocketing the payment mitigates the fact that they lost the gift in the first place. Also, the coolness of this turn of events overshadowed the grumpy day leading up to it, resulting in a happy Kat, and potential blog entry! All's well that ends with a Baltic sea salt rub, right? Right!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

As sickly sweet as this well ever get, cross my heart.

This past Monday, Lucky and I celebrated one year of marital bliss. You may ask me why I didn't post this then, and to that, I say: shut it. He loves me for my flexible conception of time and punctuality, and you should too. (Lucky will surely try to amend that to say that he loves me despite those flexible ideas, to which I will say to him: shut it. But I'll say it with love.)

I still get asked pretty often how I like being married, and how it's different than our pre-married state. To that, I always answer "I love it," and "not very." Sure, we've got a nicer toaster (with polka dots!) and I still squirm a bit whenever anyone refers to us as husband and wife, and the poor Safeway girl doesn't understand why I look like I wanted to hug her when she hands back my Visa card and says "Here you go, Mrs. Lucky!" but other than that, it's not been that different than the years that preceded it. Which is to say, it's pretty awesome.

On the very scientific scale of up's and down's, this year has been heavily weighted on the up. That's my convoluted way of saying that it's been really good. A person might think that the events of the last few weeks would have pulled it down significantly, but I would argue that there's been so much to outweigh that, particularly the huge joy of knowing that we can get pregnant, and the very pleasant process of trying. And trying some more. Then a few more times just to be safe. Throw in Japan, and joint family holidays, and Rock Band parties with the buddies, and all those quiet nights of sitting on the couch and doing our own things while being so happy to just be in the same room while we do them, and there's just no contest.

We've actually got another anniversary coming up as well. August 26th will mark eight years since my brother married my sister-in-law, and because I like to frame everything in terms of what it has to do with me, I think of that as the day that Lucky and I truly set this in motion, and hooked each other, for better or for worse. It was at their wedding that I saw this boy that I'd first met three years earlier, when I was a 15 year old girl with lofty romantic ambitions. I remember standing at the podium in the church, reading aloud the bible passage my brother had chosen for me, and having very un-Catholic thoughts about him, watching me from one of the pews, giving me just as many butterflies as he had three years before. At the reception, I did my very best, and used all my not-so subtle charms, but the jerk just wouldn't ask me to dance. If I hadn't stepped up as the brave one, where would we be? I like to point that out, and he offers some lame excuse about the dangers of asking the groom's little sister to dance, and blah blah blah, my other brother is scary, and yeah yeah whatever he's chicken. Thankfully, he manned up enough to accept my request, and so it began, to the sound of Gord Downie, explaining that New Orleans was sinking. By the time the bride and groom came around to jokingly remind us to leave some room for the Holy Ghost, it was far too late.

Eight years later, and one year married, I've still got those butterflies. Happy anniversary, Honey.

Friday, August 15, 2008

We're ok.

Last Thursday, at 8:30 am, we found out I wasn't pregnant any more. My stupid body didn't get the message for awhile, even thought the poor ultrasound tech laid the news on us pretty clearly before he beat a hasty retreat.

I had had a bad feeling for a few days, and hadn't been sleeping or focusing on anything else very well. The ultrasound confirmed my fears. The baby was gone. I was about to have a miscarriage. We went home and had a pretty horrible day. Poor Lucky had to go to work, but I was able to stay on our couch and do what I had to do for hours (that is: cry, try to watch a movie, cry some more, ask myself unanswerable questions, cry.) I spoke to my midwives, who were absolutely fantastic, and they gave me just the right mix of empathy and information. They confirmed that this is far, far more common than people accept (1 in 5 pregnancies end in the first trimester) but we just don't talk about it. For the pregnancy to end at this stage, the loss could be attributed pretty confidently to a chromosomal problem that stopped the embryo from thriving, and caused the little life to shut itself off, as it wasn't meant to be. They also assured me that this says nothing about the viability of future pregnancies, but you can go ahead and remind me of that the next time we're two months along.

As of Friday, we started to pick ourselves up. On Thursday night, I slept better than I had in weeks, and on Friday, I had a remarkably productive day at work, even though I broke down a bit when my boss tried to ask me how I was doing. Over the weekend, we really did make peace with this, although I had twinges of guilt for enjoying things, and a big feeling of dread hanging over me for the physical process still to come. My body still hadn't let go, although the ultrasound showed that this had already been over for weeks. I thought we could wait it out, and let my body take care of it eventually, but my midwives flexed their loving but tough muscles and, pointing out the risk of infection, and the need for closure, made an appointment for me at a clinic that takes care of these sorts of things.

That happened yesterday. It wasn't pleasant, but it's done. Really really, we're ok. Our family and friends have been so great about supporting us from the sidelines while respecting our requests to deal with this on our own. Lucky has been a champ as always, and although I never need a reminder of his awesomeness, the article we were given by one of the nurses on the subject of helping each other heal made it pretty clear that other women are dealing with some serious douchebags.

This is worth quoting:
"A husband often encourages his wife to "keep busy," and may react with frustration and concern at her frequent inability to do anything but sit, think, and cry. He fears that this outpouring of grief means his wife is "falling apart," and he may be frightened by her difficulty in coping with everyday."

Another gem:
" 'I guess I did blame my wife for awhile. We never knew why our baby died, and I thought she should have taken better care of herself.' "

Ok, one more:
"Mourning can create a tremendous pull toward anything that feels new and unblemished. It is not unusual for a father or mother to turn to another relationship, perhaps even to begin an affair."

Besides the reminder that Lucky and I have such a great relationship, and that we are surrounded by friends and family that love us very much, we're also acutely aware of how fortunate we are to be able to conceive, and have this reassurance that our parts do fit together. There are other couples that would give anything to have gone through what we've just dealt with, because it means that we have the potential to do it again, and have a baby. There is a couple that we love very much who are in that exact position, and we have thought of them every time we've felt too sad, and remembered that this is really just part of the process. We're ok, I promise.

Monday, August 4, 2008

An Olive in the Oven

I have a really good reason for not having written in two weeks, I swear. There's been something on my mind. It's a little, tiny something, but it's taken up a disproportionate amount of energy. In fact, it's only the size of a big grape, or a cocktail olive, and it hasn't been on my mind, so much as in my belly. If you're following along, and not jumping to conclusions about some kind of dreaded, super-rare grapesickness or olivepox, you may have guessed it: I'm pregnant. Here's Steggy with the proof:

Holy crap, right? Lucky and I have been on this mission since March, and after three months of no dice, we put the bun in the oven in early June. At least, that's when we got the positive test result (see above). The ovening must actually have happened about two weeks earlier, but since pregnancy week-counting is whack, it was already considered week 4 at the time of testing. Now, I am officially 8.5 weeks along, or just over 2 months. I'm still plop in the middle of the stealth trimester, so if you are one of the few people from my real life who knows about this blog, please keep this firmly on the DL. (That means "down low," for those of you even whiter than me. Is that possible? I am scared for you.)

So, here we are. If Eggy Jr. (tm Lucky) holds on, and all goes according to plan, we will have a mini-us in mid-March. I'm in an odd place, in that I don't want to lose touch with the fact that this could still go wrong, but I do want to embrace the process and give in to some healthy, squirmy hope. I had a very good talk with a friend of mine who happens to be a midwife a few weeks ago, and I was reminded that not only is she super hot, she's also pretty wise. She pointed out that when things go bad in the first trimester, it is almost always because the little life had something quite wrong off the get-go, and just wasn't going to thrive. The goal is to find some peace in being proud of what we've made so far (and we are) and being aware that it's now up to the little one to take root. So basically, it's day to day. And it's pretty much all I'm thinking about.

This is why I haven't written. I originally didn't want to commit it to virtual paper until it got a bit more solid, but since we met with the midwife last week, and have an ultrasound scheduled for this Thursday, and I realized that I just wasn't going to write very much unless I could write about this, I thought it was time to sack up. Get ready to hear about my boobs. Which are HUGE.