So yeah, I changed my mind.
First – I wanted to thank everyone who has left kind and lovely comments here over the last month. It really has meant a lot.
A quick update for those curious:
Cerclage was placed 2 weeks ago, at which point I began bed rest. I can’t believe it’s only been two weeks – because my word, has it been dragging.
Also – we found out the gender – It’s a girl!
This is a huge relief for me because I think it would be a million times harder carrying a boy again.
Mood in general: freaking out because this is when things went downhill last time, and counting down the days (way too many left) until viability.
Now on to business.
Wouldn’t ya know it, even with this space being on a sort of “hiatus” I managed to get two more “at least you can get pregnant you ungrateful bitch die die die” comments here. My reaction to them was not good to say the least.
But it did make me realize the big mistake I made when I moved over to this space.
I gave out the address.
As much as I wanted this blog to be a non-ALI blog, the moment I left the address out there on my old blog, it was inevitable that the ALI crowd would follow, and with it all of the pomp and circumstance. It was silly of me to think otherwise.
Having been a part of this community for three years now, I’m a vet. I’ve been lapped by many a blogger. Most of the women who I started blogging with have long since moved on. And I have to say there are elements in the new crowd that I just don’t like much. There’s a lot of bitterness going around. I don’t need that. I don’t need people who have NO IDEA of the hell I’ve been through leaving stupid, petty comments. As much good as this community does for people, there is an ugly underbelly to it that I no longer want to stomach (wow, that phrase “ugly underbelly” coupled with ALI makes me think of women swapping frozen embies for drugs in a dark alley).
So yeah – most of my “contemporaries” closed up shop on their ALI blogs long ago and are now happily parenting. I’ve been left behind. But I’m ready to move on as well.
I may open up a new blog to chronicle the hell that is bedrest. I may not. All I know is that I’m not going to post the link here.
So once again, I’m closing up shop here. And closing the door on the ALI community, because I just don’t think I belong here any more.
Being a “babyloss mom” is a sucky title to have, and not only for the obvious reasons. It’s a title that I was given, I never wanted it. And being a part of this community, I will always be tagged as that.
But losing my baby boy also gave me something else: perspective. I’m over “pain olympics” BS. I’m over “this is worse because” I’m over “baby dust” and “rainbow babies” and everything happening for a reason, and revelations, and acronyms.
I am bitter. I am wounded. I am tired. I don’t want to be labelled a babyloss mom. I also don’t want to be judged for suffering through my current pregnancy. Because guess what? I’m getting even fatter and I hate it. I’m going stir crazy. I have horrible heartburn. And I’m a hysterical mess. I love B5 and I want to keep her cooking as long as possible, but I HATE being pregnant.
IT IS MY RIGHT TO BE ALL OF THOSE THINGS. If I want to write about them, I don’t want to be judged. And inevitably, that is what will happen if I connect myself with anything ALI-related.
So I have to turn my back on this community for my own sanity. Because if I want to bitch and moan, it is my right. Because I have been to hell and back and I don’t care for that hell to be compared and weighed against others. Because I don’t give a rats ass about etiquette and no matter where I go in this community, I will be judged based on it. So I have to turn my back on this blogosphere.
BUT – not on the amazing women who I’ve met here.
Guys – with all the ugliness that I have dealt with recently I may have not said this enough, but I really need you to know this:
I owe you my life.
When my world collapsed around me last February, I was held up by you. By the literally THOUSANDS of emails, comments, and letters that I received, assuring me that Nadav will not be forgotten.
During the nightmare that was the days and weeks following his loss, you gave my life meaning again. I will never ever EVER forget that.
So I close this space down, with the amazing gift that the ALI blogosphere has given me. Women who I no longer count as bloggy friends, because so many have moved on already – but more importantly, so many have become an integral part of my real life. Because they – you – saved me. I would like to thank some of you by name. Don’t worry, no links, so no one will ever need to know. But you are beyond this blog, and I need you to know how grateful I am that you are a part of my life.
Rachel – my dear friend and sister. You stayed up with me on the phone in the middle of the night, in an empty hospital car park, reminding me that even though I was losing my son, I was still his mommy. You held me together then and for so long afterwards.
Marie – Really do I have to elaborate? I love you. Hopefully we’ll get to go to Disneyland again soon (but not too soon! I’ve got some oven-related work to take care of first).
Nisha – Thank you for keeping me sane during some insane times. One of the best parts of my day is seeing the amazingly cute portraits of your daughter on facebook. I still feel like one of the luckiest people in the world, because I had the honor of being one of the first people to know that she was on the way.
Kristin, Amy and Shaunalee – thank you for being the first women to make me realize that I was not alone in this world.
Courtney – My kindred spirit. I hope we meet sometime in the future.
Sarah B – You give me strength. I don’t tell you that enough. But there you go.
Cristy- The glue that has held me together over the last year. I don’t know what I would do without you.
Alissa, Maria, Amy, and Petra – Thank you for reaching out to me and helping me get over the hardest humps. Your strength inspires me daily.
Sarah H, Jessica, Kait, Jamie and Trina, Thank you for letting me be a part of your life and your journey.
And all of you countless wonderful women out there who always have a good word to say. Forgive me if I don’t list you all, but know that you are appreciated.
I am leaving this community because it is time to move on. But know that I am not leaving you with it. I am always ALWAYS here for you. And yes, I am going to keep reading.
If I do feel the need to open a new blog, I will happily share the URL with anyone who emails me or just leaves a comment on this post asking to be notified. But I will ask you here and now – if I do open up a new blog, please don’t link up to me from your ALI blogs, or put me on any ALI blogrolls. I just need to move on.
Also – If I manage to get B5 home safe and sound, I will post an update on my old blog – mommyodyssey.wordpress.com. It just makes the most sense that way. So check there in (please please please no sooner than) 26 weeks or so. Hopefully not sooner. Please not sooner.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for showering me and my family with love. I hope that I have at least in some way given you a bit of hope and comfort through my words. Or at least made you chuckle every once in a while. That’s worth something, right? Because I have no idea how to begin to repay the kindness that has been shown to me.
All my love,
Ok so I really don’t know who I’m trying to kid by claiming I’m not going to talk loss in this space and I’m going to do some other posts right now. That’s just not happening.
Guys – it’s the one year anniversary of Nadav’s death on the 21st. That’s soon. And the truth is I’ve been feeling the burden of it heavily. So heavily that not only has it been clouding my emotions, it’s been clouding my judgement.
And you want to hear the worst part of it? The cerclage and the bed rest? They start at the same time as the anniversary. I once thought that might be a good thing, you know – two birds with one stone or something. Now I’m not so sure.
Let me backtrack though for a second by telling you guys something I’ve never shared publicly before to give you a context:
Two days after coming home from the hospital after we lost Nadav, some psycho posted a comment on my blog calling me a murderer. He didn’t know what had happened. I guess he just assumed that I had had a late term abor.tion or something and he decided to advocate for a cause by tearing me to shreds. The psycho obviously was not there looking for context. He (or she) didn’t care to find out how loved, wanted and hard-fought Nadav was. He didn’t care that he was posting a lie.
I never published that comment of course, and over the course of a week or so a group of online friends did my moderation for me, just in case any more psychos wanted to come out of the woodwork. I pretended that I wasn’t hurt by this psycho. But the truth is that his (her, whatever) comment dug deep and haunts me to this day.
I know logically that I had no control over what happened with Nadav. But any woman who has had the failure of her own body cause a loss can relate to this: you always blame yourself on some level.
So on bad days – the ones that require a lot of anti-psychotic meds and a lot of tissues – I hear that word echo in my head: Murderer.
I wish I could say that this experience immunized me against hurtful words. It did not. And the circumstances have of late made things a thousand times worse.
Because I’m on seriously shaky emotional ground right now. The cerclage, the bed rest, the anniversary. Trying to prepare for all of it. A perfect shit storm.
So like every emotionally unstable person even the slightest provocation on my psyche sets me into a tailspin.
I won’t name names or link links, but in the last few days, some shit has gone down. I didn’t want to be a part of it. But then I was. And then I made things worse by losing my shit because I’ve been on such rocky ground to begin with.
Let’s just say things have not been pretty around these parts.
I’ve been wanting to come on here – to write ranty manifestos as I tend to do when I deal with conflict. But I find myself deathly afraid of what will come in the comments. I find myself deathly afraid of reading any comment thread anywhere for fear it will send me into a hysterical crying fit.
After all – a wise woman pointed out to me yesterday – you put yourself out there and people react. You are a public entity merely by having a blog.
My husband also painted a clear picture for me:
If I was in a room with 10 people, 9 of whom told me I was beautiful, and one who said that I was fat and ugly, what would I remember – the sea of compliments or the single insult?
Alas – these days I harp on that single insult. It sits in me and festers. Even well meaning people who simply want to have a discussion make me feel like a thousand knives are being stabbed into my body.
And yes – I know that’s a bit dramatic. Because that’s where I am right now. I’m falling to pieces at the slightest provocation.
The last 48 hours have brought up a lot of questions. Those of you who follow me on twitter know that there was a moment that I lost it and said I was shutting it all down: The blog, the podcast, everything.
But I can’t do that. The podcast firestorm happened on the ALI blogosphere. That makes up about 10 percent of our listenership. There are hundreds of women out there that have no idea what happened, and never will know. And they love the podcast and send us emails every day thanking us for it. I can’t just abandon that. And I can’t abandon this blog. Because I know that at the end of the day I need it – and I need all of you.
Like all of your amazing comments on my last couple of posts.I felt loved, held, and supported.
But there were still a couple of comments that gave me that stabby feeling. Still the assholes who decided that somehow I’m “lucky” to have a dead son. There is still all of this shit happening right now behind the scenes that I simply cannot handle emotionally. I find myself making bad decisions, alienating people I care about, and crying over this stuff way more often than any stable person should.
Yesterday I was recounting all of this drama to a friend of mine who happens to be a therapist. He wisely pointed out that every person’s role in any group dynamic usually reflects their hidden desire to be heard. So the person who put on the guise of support while vying for sympathy in their subtext has a specific need to be heard. The person who posts a passive aggressive attack under the guise of being apologetic simply needs to be heard. The person who flames me completely just because I can get pregnant has a specific need to be heard. The person who posted questions for a discussion – has a need to be heard. And yes – my adamant and lovely supporters readers and commenters have a specific need to be heard.
I write here. I podcast. Obviously I have a need to be heard.
But I am not in any sort of emotional space to do any listening right now. I have a hard couple of weeks coming up. I have enough salty wetness ahead to last me a lifetime. I don’t need to add the salty wetness that can be caused and has been caused as of late in this space, in my email exchanges, or on the podcast.
So at the urging of a few close friends, I’m stepping away for a little while. From everything. I’m taking a break from listening and from speaking. Because my sanity comes first.
I don’t know when I’ll be back. I may come back here to commemorate the one-year mark on the 21st, I may not. I may come back right after going on bed rest. I may come back later than that.
I will be back. But only when I stop being afraid of opening up a comments section. Only when I know I’ve managed to rebuild some sort of thick skin. Only when I know that the hurtfulness, malicious or not, will not echo in my brain like that psycho did a year ago. I have enough demons and ghosts, and I choose to not create any more right about now.
Hope you guys are here when I come back.
And in case I’m not here on the 21st, please light a candle – whether physical or symbolic – for my son. Because he deserves to be remembered, no matter what else is happening.
See you all on the flip side.
Once again I was struggling this week with this space. Though most of your comments on my last post were awesome, there were still a couple of people who just didn’t seem to get it.
To make matters worse, people have been attacking the legitimacy of the podcast. The podcast I spend 20 hours a week maintaining. The podcast I pay for out of my own pocket.
Needless to say all of that left me rather ranty. Then Cristy, who is infinitely wiser and more rational than I am put up this great post about the podcast. I don’t think we need to defend ourselves or apologize for anything, but Cristy does an amazing job at both with this post.
So before writing up the post I am about to publish, I wrote up another one. One that was really angry and said “fuck” a lot. I will spare you all the details. But most of you know me. I think you can guess where I was coming from.
But this is the bottom line:
This blog is not an ALI blog. I am now moving on to other topics. Anyone who still decides to judge me “lucky” after all I’ve been through – well – you’ve got a really warped sense of what lucky is. I certainly don’t hope that you ever get any of my luck. But the thing is I don’t like to dwell or feel sorry for myself for too long. Ok – I do usually dwell and feel sorry for myself – but not when it comes to grieving my son. So I’m putting my frustration aside. I don’t need the world to understand me. I’m just going to stop approving the insensitive comments. This is my space. As Carman says:
Also – anyone who decides to debate whether I am “worthy” to host the podcast that I STARTED and that I work hard at – go start your own. Let’s see you dig up the over $100 a month and twenty hours a week it takes to maintain it.
Ok – now I’m getting ranty again. Sorry. I swear Cristy does this so much better than I do.
Here’s my point: I’m done with this BS. You don’t like my perspective, please don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out. A few trolls and insensitive comments shouldn’t overcrowd the awesomeness that is my readers and the listeners of the podcast. Cause they rock and stuff so I’m just going to concentrate on that.
Otherwise I’ll get ranty. And though that makes for some entertaining blogging, it’s not so great for my psyche.
I’m going to get back to regular blogging now. Feel free to hang around if you like. I’ve got a great post about network TV shows brewing that hopefully I’ll get around to in the next couple of days.
Edited to add: Cristy’s post has been taken down due to a long and rather petty story. Will update with more when the smoke clears
A few days ago I received this lovely comment on my pregnancy announcement post:
Wow, maybe you should stop being such a prude, i am glad you stop following most bloggers who post all those things that annoy you, so what if you have to go on bedrest for 6 months, i am 24 and i am going through early menopause while i was trying to conceive and guess what now i cant get pregnant, i least you can!!!, you should thank your lucky stars you have that ability, i used to follow you, but who wants to follow an ungrateful person such as yourself, i truly hope your pregnancy goes well, but when other people try to support you then you make fun of them, it makes me wonder. Get Over yourself!!!
Even though I replied to the lovely “Momoneymoproblems” in the comments thread, her AWESOME showing of both insensitivity and ignorance compelled me to dedicate a whole post to her, and address some issues regarding this space while I was at it.
To save you the clickover, here is my reply to MMMP:
Yay my first hateful comment!
Though I’m truly sorry for what you’re going through, don’t belittle what I have been through. The “at least I can get pregnant” sentiment ended when I lost my son. Repeat pregnancy loss is devastating and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Late term loss is beyond devastating. I wouldn’t wish that on freaking hitler. And I’m Jewish so that’s saying something.
I am nothing but grateful to everyone who supports me. But just like you feel the need to trash me- and on my own blog to boot! – I have every right to let out a little bitter when I am scared out of my mind. It’s how I deal. If you don’t want to follow me, don’t. I gave sufficient warning when I started this space that I was throwing etiquette out the window here.
I hope against all hope that you find a place to let out some of your pent out anger. Maybe start your own blog?
In the meantime, I truly wish you the best.
But if you DARE belittle the loss of my Nadav again I will have no choice but to unceremoniously delete your comment and wish you ill. Sorry- but that’s my son. He was here and he was loved. But for now I only wish you the best, truly. Also maybe some prozac?
Keep it classy!
Oh dear readers, where do I start? Shall I address the Pain Olympics that are such a huge part of why I ran away from the ALI blogoverse? Shall I talk about the ignorance regarding my specific situation? Shall I address the complete belittlement of my losses?
Actually – I first want to clarify. I actually wasn’t upset by this comment. This poor woman’s comment on that post was so misguided and misinformed it was laughable. I was so amused I even took to Twitter to encourage people to come in and keep flaming me. No takers, surprisingly. So why am I addressing it so publicly? Because I don’t address my history in this space, and it makes me think that some people don’t have a context. So yeah – I don’t want my “About” page to be all about my lady parts. But I guess that my history should be noted. And this sort of ignorance should be addressed.
One year ago I lost my son at 22 weeks. I. LOST. MY. SON. He was alive. I felt him moving inside me. He was loved. Losing him was by far the hardest thing I have ever gone through and like I said in my reply to MMMP, I wouldn’t wish that experience on the most awful person in the world. Being pregnant after that kind of loss is TERRIFYING. Being pregnant after that kind of loss while being stuck in a bed for 6 months with PTSD is both terrifying and SUCKS MONKEY BALLS.
Before losing Nadav, I had had 3 first-trimester losses. In between I also had a dose of infertility, with problems conceiving my current (5th) pregnancy, and having one of my tubes removed after my 3rd pregnancy.
Basically, in short, I have suffered quite a few forms of pregnancy loss, and a little of your “standard infertility” to boot. And yes, all of that sucks. But can I be honest?
None of that even holds a candle to losing my Nadav. Nothing has ever hurt that much and I hope to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that I will never have to suffer that kind of pain again. I lost a child. That. Fucking. Sucks. To say the least.
Anyone who belittles that loss, or the hardcore PTSD that comes as a result of it can suck it. Seriously. If one more person dares to come on my territory and say the words “at least you can get pregnant” I will lose. My. Shit.
When I was sitting in my living room after losing him, keening with grief, contemplating hurting myself, barely holding myself together, I doubt you would have come to me and said “well – at least you can get pregnant”.
When I was up all night a few days back, freaking the fuck out, crying again over my son and at the same time being scared out of my wits over my current pregnancy with B5 – my PTSD in full effect – I doubt you would have come to me and said “well – at least you can get pregnant.”
MMMP – I dare you – heck – I fucking double dare you to get pregnant, feel your baby move, get to know him/her, love him/her completely, and then lose the baby and live with the aftermath. Put that up against infertility and you tell me which is harder since you’re so experienced with these things.
I don’t wish what I’ve been through on anybody. I definitely don’t wish it on you. But if you’re so eager to compare our pain – please, by all means, walk a mile in my shoes.
When I moved to this space I warned my old readers that I would not take “ALI Etiquette” here with me. I have every right to rant, be bitter, and criticize. This is my space, if you don’t like it, walk away. Don’t let the internet door hit you on the way out.
I fucking hate pregnancy memes. I’ve written about that a couple of times on my old blog. I don’t dislike or even judge the people who write them. I just think the memes themselves are annoying and completely unoriginal. If somebody wants to compare their baby to fruit they have every right to. If that’s what they want to use to document their pregnancy they can feel free. And I will feel free to skip those posts and mock them for it. Not the writers of the posts, but the posts themselves. Because I think they’re stupid.
And if somebody wants to mock me back, write a thoughtful rebuttal (always welcome!), or stop reading me because I am outspoken about my opinions, so be it.
But don’t you ever EVER attempt to quantify my pain. Just because I don’t talk about it here every day doesn’t mean I don’t spend every. Waking. Moment. Feeling it.
So yeah – MMMP – feel free to go fuck yourself.
The same goes for anyone else who dares question the pain I have gone through, the difficulty I am currently going through, or anyone who dares to belittle the memory of my son.
Take a flying fuck. Eat me. Fuck you. Or as MMMP so ignorantly put it: Get over yourself.
Ok all – time for a bit of a confession.
Things haven’t been all sunshine and roses in Shmerson-land over the last couple of weeks. In fact, up until a couple of days ago they were downright shit-tastic.
That’s the truth of why I hadn’t updated here in two weeks.
The truth is – I spent most of that time scared out of my mind, and not wanting to post here for fear of becoming a freak show.
So at our 6 week scan of B5 the doc wouldn’t confirm seeing a heartbeat. It was barely visible if at all, and B5 was measuring behind. This was my RE, so that same day I called my regular OB/GYN freaking out. Just like the RE, he told me to wait a week and then come in.
I spent that entire week in emotional detachment. This was a total self-defense mechanism, but I did what I could to get through the week. Mostly slept really.
The next week we came in. I was 7 weeks 6 days and B5 was measuring 6 weeks 5 days. There was a strong heartbeat and the Russian, my OB/GYN, wasn’t concerned.
He told me to come in at 12 weeks for the NT scan. That was it.
Only anyone who’s been reading me for a while knows that immediately after the NT scan, because of my history, I’m having a cervical cerclage and going on complete bed rest until 37 weeks. Which means that where I was at the time, just short of 8 weeks pregnant, I had some preparation to do.
I’m going to be housebound for 6 months. That means:
1) I have to put school on hold
2) I have to stop teaching
3) I have to find content clients who are willing to hire me knowing that I will not be able to meet them in person.
4) I have to tell my existing clients that I can only have skype meetings from now on.
That means telling a bunch of near-strangers that I’m pregnant, when I’m barely 8 weeks and measuring a full week behind.
I don’t know about you guys, but that’s just effing surreal to me. Telling a random HR lady. Telling the head of the psychology department at my college. Telling the administrative head of the film program where I teach. And this week – telling my students why I was leaving them, because I already had to stop teaching a few of my classes (and no, I don’t believe in lying about these things, so I had to put my money where my mouth was).
So inevitably, on Tuesday, just after writing my last post, I freaked the eff out. I just lost it completely.
At some point I had a major anxiety attack, and after taking to twitter for support I finally woke Shmerson up crying about how I was sick of being “brave” and “strong” and I just wanted to be a freaking stupid ignorant pregnant lady.
I bawled and keened. Over being a freak show. Over the fact that this is my FIFTH first trimester. Over the fact that I will never, ever have a calm blissful pregnancy. Over having to share my pregnancy with total strangers when I’m barely ready to acknowledge it myself. Over my freaking SSRI withdrawal. Over everything.
The next morning I called the Russian’s office and asked for a sanity ultrasound. He obliged, though said that he can only humor me so many times.
So at 9 weeks 2 days, B5 was alive and kicking. Measuring 8 weeks 5 days, so catching up. Strong heartbeat. All was well.
So I felt better. I feel better all around now, having seen B5 again. Though I know I will have to pass most of this pregnancy emotionally detached in order to survive it. Hoping against all hope that all of the steps we’re taking to protect B5 will be enough to make him or her a healthy full term baby.
During the two weeks of sheer terror I was considering coming here and writing about it. But each time I thought about it all I could envision were empty platitudes and sentiments in the comments section. Lots of “I’m sorries” and “I’m hopings”. All nice and good, but nothing that would have helped me in the slightest. And lurkers coming in and rubber-necking the babyloss freak show once again. I just couldn’t stomach it. It’s not that I don’t love and appreciate all of you guys and your comments. It’s just that they don’t seem to help one bit at this point.
The proof was in the pudding: though the twitter ladies were awesome and supportive when I came clean there, it didn’t make me feel better. It made me melt down. Because each time I write about things going wrong it’s just a reminder that I’m not a normal, blissful pregnant lady. It’s a reminder that I’m a freak of nature. It’s a reminder that I will never be normal.
And that freaking sucks.
So yeah, now that I know things are fine I can talk about it. But things are fine for now. This whole pregnancy will be about waiting for the other shoe to drop, and hoping against all hope that it never does.
I just wish I was a normal stupid fertile person. It would make things so much easier.
So most of you guys know that I’m a major advocate for staying on anti-depressants during pregnancy.
This time for me however, things became complicated because I was on a very high dose of cym.balta and my psychiatrist thought it was better if I taper down to a lower dose once I was knocked up.
So as soon as I saw two lines, per my shrink’s orders, I cut my dose in half. The thing about that was that it meant the cym.balta wasn’t really doing the job it was supposed to any more, leaving me to rely on pregnancy-safe anti-anxiety meds.
Last week, I had a follow up with my shrink to see what was up, and we both decided that since I couldn’t re-up my dosage of cym.balta, and I was relying on the anti-anxiety meds anyway, I may as well just quit the cym.balta altogether.
I took my last 30mg pill on Thursday.
The day before yesterday, I went out to lunch with my mom. On the way home I decided that for the first time ever, I was going to buy Baby-lon 5 a present. I have never done that in ANY of my pregnancies. I don’t know what came over me but I just decided to do it. Some sort of magical thinking BS I’m sure.
So I bought Baby-lon a stuffed bunny.
Then I came home and started crying, and couldn’t stop for the next 3 hours.
At the time, I seriously just thought it was the bunny and me taking such a huge leap.
Then I woke up the next morning and the brain zaps started.
Basically, for those of you lucky enough not to know, “brain zaps” sometimes happen when you stop taking an anti-depressant. It pretty much feels like someone connected a live electrical wire to your head and is upping the wattage every few minutes.
In short – it is not fun. Needless to say I spent the day in bed yesterday.
While in bed, I watched TV. A promo for the finale of our local Masterchef competition came up.
And I started crying. And I couldn’t stop.
Today, still at home contending with the “zappies” as I have decided to affectionately call them, I was scrolling through Buzzfeed and they had posted a modern version of Mmmbop, claiming it was better than the original (spoiler alert: it is):
So I happily watched it and halfway through I lost. my. shit.
I cried over Mmmbop. For almost an hour. That actually happened.
Please oh wise and powerful spaghetti monster, make the withdrawal stop.
Last night I had a fight with one of my oldest friends.
He was frustrated with me because he felt like I was pushing him away, and I was having some seriously complicated feelings about him.
Up until a year ago, whenever he and I met up, we would get into these intense conversations that almost became therapy sessions. We both got a lot out of them and left them feeling not only better about ourselves, but truly appreciating our friendship.
Then, last year, 11 months ago, the shit hit the fan and I lost my son.
Since then I haven’t only been pushing my friend away. With the exception of a handful of people, I’ve been pushing EVERYONE away.
My fight with my friend last night brought that all into sharp relief. I realized why I had been pushing him away. Because I didn’t want to talk about Nadav all the time. I didn’t need more intense therapy sessions. I didn’t want to spend every single conversation analyzing my feelings. I didn’t want that kind of help.
A strange thing happens when a true tragedy strikes you. Well, a couple of strange things actually.
The first is that you stop sweating the small stuff. Whereas once you would spend hours or days over analyzing little intrigues, or thinking the small problems to death, that all kind of stops. Because everything is tiny in comparison to the shitstorm you just went through.
The second thing that happens, is that rather than wanting to talk about it, you long to escape it. Hopefully you’re seeking professional help so you have some sort of outlet, but other than that you just want to get away from it. Because whenever you realize the gravity of what’s happened to you, you simply can’t believe that this is your life.
So you talk about it when you absolutely have no choice, yes. But if a few months have passed since the shit has hit the fan you don’t seek out the topic in conversation.
You don’t want your friends’ help. You don’t want them to help “fix” your problem. Because true tragedy is NEVER fixed. The volume may come down on it, yes. You may go from thinking about it 24/7 to once or twice a day. If you’re lucky, once or twice a week.
But none of it can be “fixed”.
And through the fight with my friend last night I finally realized this. It finally became clear. I keep away from people because I’m afraid they will try to “fix” me.
I keep away because I’m afraid they’ll want to talk about it when I don’t want to talk about it.
And then I realized that a much better solution would be to just tell them that I don’t want to talk about it. To just make it clear that they shouldn’t treat me like I’m made of spun sugar. They should treat me like they used to, with one exception:
To listen when I am ready to talk, and to respect me when I don’t want to talk.
And to never ever try to fix what will eternally be broken.
I once tried playing Farmville, just so I could understand what the big deal was and why everyone kept asking me to send them cows. I didn’t last long. A couple of days maybe before my crops withered and I got bored of the concept. I just didn’t get it.
I thought I was above it all.
I was so incredibly wrong.
A while after Farmville I got a request for Frontierville. That’s when I first got hooked. It wasn’t because Frontierville was revolutionary. Instead of building a farm you built a home on the frontier. There were still cows to be milked, crops to be planted, and trees to be chopped. So what was so different?
Ahh – it was the quests!
You see, Frontierville introduced us all to quests. You didn’t just plant crops, you got REWARDS for planting certain crops on demand.
And what were those rewards, you may be wondering…?
It was more crops. Or Xp. Basically the online equivalent of gold star stickers or smiley faces, only you didn’t actually get a sticker. I mean, you got a virtual sticker, but you can’t decorate your fridge with a virtual sticker, now can you?
But somehow I was hooked. For 6 months I built up my frontier. I crafted things in my work cabin. I was an online pioneer! Or something!
Then one day I woke up and realized the futility of what I was doing. I wasn’t actually getting anything out of this game. There was no winning of any kind. Just a perpetual level-up system. I felt cheated. I deactivated my account and moved on.
Or so I thought.
About a year later I was introduced to yet another “ville”. Castleville. I couldn’t resist it. There were fairies! And cute bunnies frolicking! And…! Princesses! And….! Fairies!
(and planting crops and milking cows)
Yes folks, I had fallen in the trap once again. Once again I was milking cows, harvesting crops, and crafting virtual goods, all for the sake of those freaking virtual gold stars.
I became obsessed with “leveling up”. Whenever I was a few points away from it I would desperately use up my energy sources just to reach the coveted next level.
And guess what happened when you reached that next level?
Nothing. Nada. Zero.
I got a pretty little picture and blue stars erupting on my screen. That’s about it.
How in the holy hell did I fall for this again?
You know how the last time I fell into the clutches of Frontierville for six months?
This time, folks, I fell into the clutches of a ‘ville for over a year and a half.
Yep – a year and a half. Because of fairies, bunnies, and blue XP stars.
How the mighty have fallen.
I’m a supposedly intelligent, well-educated 32-year-old woman, and I spent a year and a half of my life milking virtual cows and harvesting virtual crops.
I finally broke free of this, the latest of the ‘ville addictions a few weeks ago, when I once again realized that YOU CAN’T WIN THESE GAMES.
For some reason I keep forgetting that.
Let’s just hope I remember it long enough to ignore the latest invite I have for “Chefville”.
No wonder Zynga is a multi-billion dollar company. Le sigh.
I will start by finally letting the cat out of the bag:
I am pregnant. Again.
That would be pregnancy number five for those of you keeping count. That’s 5 pregnancies, no healthy alive children as of yet.
I’m about 5.5 weeks along at this point, and surprisingly feeling rather zen about it so far.
Part of the reason I moved on from my old blog was that the thought of keeping up the “norms” of a newly pregnant infertile blogger made me a little queasy. And not from morning sickness. I just wanted out of there.
Let me explain.
Here’s what the blog of a pregnant infertile woman is supposed to look like:
Week 1: The newly pregnant infertile posts a picture of her positive home pregnancy test. If she’s truly ambitious, she may even show a progression of pee sticks and how the test line got gradually darker from day to day. Then the preggo infertile will proceed to say how happy and grateful she is, and of course she will not forget to mention how she’s kind of nervous that things will go wrong.
Week 2a: The pregnant infertile will post her first blood test results happily, then proceed to analyze that result ad-nauseam, speculating about whether it’s a good number or a bad one. If she’s truly ambitious, she may post her first “bump pic.” Not because there’s anything to see yet, but so she’ll have something to compare it to later.
Week 2b: Blood test number 2 happens. She speculates about how fast it doubled. She then once again gushes about how grateful she is, and how cautious she is, and how anxious.
Weeks 2-3: It’s first ultrasound time! This is a crossroad. Some pregnant infertiles don’t get past this point, and that sucks. But most see a lovely heartbeat on their ultrasound, then proceed to go on their blogs, post a picture of the black speck that is their soon-to-be baby, and make up a pithy nickname for said black speck. Truly ambitious women will at this point start doing the weekly “bumpdate” where they list their symptoms and start comparing their soon-to-be-babies to fruit. Yes, fruit.
Week 4: If the pregnant infertile started her pregnancy under the care of a fertility clinic, this is the point where you will find an excited, perky post about “graduating” to a regular OB. The bumpdates and fruit comparisons continue. As do the claims of gratefulness and anxiety. The pregnant infertile will not dare to complain about morning sickness, weight gain, or feeling gassy, for fear of an angry bitter backlash from her infertile readers.
Second Trimester: After the pregnant infertile reaches the 12-weeks-pregnant mark, more often than not, the only signs of life on her blog will be those weekly fruit comparisons and listing of symptoms. This is because once the pregnant infertile reaches the “safety” of the second trimester, she no longer knows how to handle her readers. She is most likely no longer anxious, or is not nearly as anxious as she was during the first trimester. She therefore feels guilty about being happy for herself, and is deathly afraid of being shunned by her infertile readers.
Third Trimester: The pregnant infertile will go back to updating more often because ZOMG she just started planning her nursery, and most of her infertile readers have either abandoned her at this point, flamed her anonymously a few times, or have made peace with her pregnant status. Therefore her guilt and resulting over-sensitivity abate slightly, and she begins writing again. At this point the daring pregnant infertile will also start talking about birth plans.
After Birth: There are really three paths here. The first, is that the now mommy-infertile posts a picture of her take-home-baby and birth story, and then abandons her blog completely without an announcement or fanfare. The second, is that the child ends up in the NICU for a while and the mommy-infertile posts a bit about that experience then disappears. The third is that the once infertility blog becomes one of thousands of mommy blogs, chronicling everything from breastfeeding to cloth diapering.
And there you have it. I’ve seen it hundreds of times.
And I’m sooooo over it. I’m sick of being the “pregnant infertile blogger”. I’m sick of reading them. I’ve been reading them for years. No wonder I want to abandon the herd.
Yeah, I’m pregnant. For the fifth time. So I’ve been there. I’ve posted the black speck pictures. I’ve gushed and spilled my anxiety, all while remaining “sensitive” to still-in-the-trenches readers. I’ve made up pithy nicknames. I’ve taken a picture of my muffin top in the bedroom mirror. I am however proud to say in all of my pregnancies I have not once compared my baby to fruit. Thank goodness for small favors.
The fact is, that if all goes well, approximately 6.5 weeks from now I will be going on six months of strict bed rest, in the hopes of keeping this thing in my ute as long as possible. So yeah, after four rounds I’m kind of over the tightrope walk that is being a pregnant infertile woman. No wonder I moved on from my old blog. I don’t want this to be a pregnancy-after-infertility-and-loss blog. Just writing out the expectations left me exhausted. I just want to write here about anything that’s on my mind. My ute is secondary to my mind.
I’ll keep you all posted about how it’s going, when there’s something interesting to post about. But please, if you see me doing any of the above BS, kick me or something. Just not in the stomach please. That would be bad.
Also – if all you’re interested in is the outcome of this pregnancy only from a morbid “when will this go south” perspective, and if you’re curious only because of my history, please go away now. You will be disappointed, because this blog was not created to chronicle the goings-on in my ute. I’m done with that. Even if those goings-on will be trapping me in bed for six months.
Oh – and I do reserve the right to create a pithy nickname, strictly for practical purposes, because I hate using the words “fetus” or “embryo”.
In fact – the pithy nickname has already been chosen. And it has nothing to do with fruit.
Ok, now you want to know the pithy nickname don’t you? Fine.
It’s Baby-lon 5 .
Sci-Fi geeks rejoice.