At least . . .

At least . . . 

  • I have an amazingly supportive husband
  • I have my daugher, my miracle daughter 
  • I still have my uterus
  • I didn’t end up needing a blood transfusion
  • My body doesn’t allow ailing babies to grow into the 2nd trimester – as horrific as it has been to lose three babies in a row in the 1st trimester, I am fortunate that I haven’t lost a baby after the 1st trimester or at birth
  • I have health insurance – hopefully they will pay for the extensive blood testing that may be recommended here in the near future
  • I have friends and students who are trying to help me figure out what to do next
  • I can think of 7 or 8 things to be thankful for this evening

Thanks to Mara for her at leasts . . .

Every Day Is Different

Every day people ask me how I’m doing.  When I can tell that they really mean to ask “how are you doing?” I tell them:  “Each day is different.”  Actually, each moment is different.  I can be going about my daily routine and completely get caught off guard.

Today my only child wanted “up” for “snuggles.”  “I can’t pick you up right now, baby,” I explained.  “How come???”  And I told her that when the baby went to see God that it hurt my belly.  Then, feeling her soft baby(ish) skin against me I was overcome with sadness.  “Mommy, are you crying?  Do you miss the baby?  Mommy, you miss the baby just like I miss the baby.”  I picked up my 40-pound toddler even though I’m not supposed to do so, and she dried my tears with her shirt.  Ugh, when a 3-year-old is consoling a 35-year-old . . . pretty sad.

Monday was my first day back at work.  I had seen a psychologist the Wednesday before.  He thought it was incredibly poor form for the OB to have suggested that I would go back to work 2 days after a curretage procedure for a third-time miscarriage.  Indeed, I felt incredibly guilty but relieved not to be at work the rest of last week.  I went to a student recital on Tuesday night, and I could hardly take the sadness, concern, and sympathy in my students’ and colleagues’ eyes.

This past Monday I was more or less ready to be back at work.  Tuesday I was already feeling tired and overwhelmed.  Today was awful.  I taught 6 voice lessons and a theory class and didn’t have time during my lunch break for lunch.  I got home and my husband had to leave, so I was left to figure out dinner and put our daughter to bed.

I am not winning any mother of the year awards.  I found a pizza in the freezer.  My daughter is watching Noggin’ while I type.  My husband should be done with his stuff in 5 minutes, but I need to put her to bed before he gets home.  I dread night time still.  Night time means sleep which means that the next day sneaks up on me.  It’s been 2 weeks since I first became aware of problems with my pregnancy.  How can that be?  How has nearly 2 weeks passed since the ultrasound that revealed my dead baby???

I’ve slept some since then.  I’ve drunk some since then.  I’ve taken zanax since then.

Every day is different.  Perhaps that is what gives me the strength to keep waking up “tomorrow.”  No, that’s not it – it’s knowing that my little family depends on me.  Right now there’s not much more that gets me to “tomorrow,” but maybe that’s ok. 

Avoiding Tomorrow

It’s 11:10pm and I’m still awake.  Ludicrous – I suffered a miscarriage and endured surgery a mere day-and-a-half ago, and I know my body and mind need rest.  After hours of surfing the internet and spending time on fringe subjects, it dawned on me – I’m avoiding tomorrow.

I am avoiding tomorrow because I need to get back to work.  Life needs to go on.  I can’t stay in bed forever.  I can’t continue doping up on hydrocodone, anti-anxiety meds, and wine.  I can’t keep avoiding family responsibilities.  I can’t refuse phone calls forever.  So, I’m still awake spending time on insignificant things (like this post) because as soon as I shut my eyes, I’ll have to face tomorrow.

My “work” today has been interesting.  I watched a Bill Moyer lecture captured on video a few weeks before his death.  I learned about “cultural creatives” and decided that Obama must be one.  (What really helped me put this together was a recent Hillary Clinton rant which I can no longer find but had something to do with his supposed pie-in-the-sky rhetoric.)  I tried – and failed – to find a good diagram of Toffler’s * wave theory to share on an on-line forum and came across a thought-provoking futurist post about something called “future shock.”  I surfed digg.com, compared it to reddit.com, and decided that I prefer digg.  I thought about how I can incorporate social activism discourse into the philosophy of music education course I’ll teach on-line next spring.  I started watching an interview with Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth (which I haven’t read) and The End of America (which I am now interested in reading).

And now it is 11:40pm and I must face going to sleep.  My DH is still upstairs playing World of Warcraft.  That’s how he escapes the horrid reality of our current situation.  And I go to bed again alone . . .

* Evidently the neutrality of this wikipedia entry is disputed to which I respond, “when is communication ever truly ‘neutral’?”

Pregnancy Depression? Anxiety? Stress?

I am in my 9th week of pregnancy when calculated from my LMP.  This is still a vulnerable time for me even though I have passed both miscarriage dates/points and am visibly pregnant.  I still worry every day about the health of this baby and if I might yet lose it.  Perhaps my fears are irrational, but they are real – they are with me – and I am certain that in part they are driven by hormones.

What else is hormonally driven is my mood, for lack of a better term.  I am prone to tearfulness, exasperation, anger, and the like.  I’m feeling quite emotionally volatile, and I’m having a difficult time maintaining an even, positive disposition at work.  A student or two comes unprepared for lessons and I read them the riot act.  Do they deserve it?  Hell yeah, but I’d probably be less likely to throw down the law were I not so emotionally sensitive right now.  Today I show up for a faculty meeting, and my colleague’s face is all twisted and sour.  My other colleague and I can tell that she’s pissed off about something, but instead of telling us which one has offended her, she just spends an hour giving dirty looks and being sour.  I must admit that my entire day has been thrown off.  This colleague has been so NASTY and ANGRY lately, and it’s really affecting my quality of “life” at work.  I am in such a bad spot emotionally today that I went home at 11:00am, cancelling two students’ lessons (which I hate hate hate to do).  I was on the verge of tears in front of my 11:00 student which added to my anger.

I suffer from depression on a regular basis.  I have, what was diagnosed a number of years ago, chronic mild depression.  Even though I am pregnant, I am still on a decreased dose of depression medication.  So, I am not surprised that my depression and anxiety may be exacerbated at times.  Look what I found today via google alerts:

A whole year, including pregnancy, childbirth and time after childbirth – is time of big psychological and physical changes. Women need both emotional and physical support during this period.

During pregnancy women can experience quick mood swings that are caused not only by hormonal changes, but also physical and psychic transformations. During pregnancy women can experience depression more often. However, this mostly depends on emotional importance they attach to pregnancy, their attitude to change of shapes, care of themselves during whole period of pregnancy.

The rest of the article doesn’t really apply to me so much, but if you’d like to read 6 ways of prevention for pregnancy depression, click here.  I was so glad to find that paragraph today of all days when I am feeling so low and worthless and anxious and depressed that I can’t even function at work.  I share this in case someone else ever feels the same way when pregnant and trying to balance personal and professional demands.