Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Birth Control? REALLY???

Am I really moving backward?  Am I seriously considering birth control?  You know it takes some kind of astronomical event for me to consider going back on BC after all these years of wrestling with this topic.  Every form of birth control I have ever tried has had some kind of negative effect on me which caused me to shy away from it.  I'm allergic to latex. Nothing all that major occurs.  I usually just break out with a rash on my chest, sometimes my stomach (and other obvious areas).  Every pill I've ever tried has made me a hormonal mess.  Female condoms are just... messy, uncomfortable, and scary.  With my allergies I've had some strange experiences, like the time I thought I had an STD and it was an allergic reaction.

I know there are other options, obviously, but the easiest way for EH and I was the pill.  It was simple, not messy at all, I wasn't allergic to it, and it served its purpose.  We didn't get pregnant when we didn't want to.  However, after being on it for nearly a decade before deciding to have children, we always thought it played a role in our infertility.  My doctors have never really agreed with that theory, or rather they have neither agreed nor disagreed.  They've always said it "may have something to do with it" but don't seem sold on that hypothesis. 

Considering the position I'm in, it makes perfect sense for me to be on the pill.  I'm essentially dating two men for one thing!  It sounds so magnificently terrible to admit it out loud, but there is incredible potential for intimacy between TJ and I at this point. However strained and delusional it may seem, I am also still maintaining a relationship with Jay and we are still sexually involved on a regular basis.  For all intensive purposes, he is my boyfriend. However, I am not sold on the idea of having a child with him.  He's far too immature and has absolutely no plan for the future - not to mention his drinking problem and past drug use.  It makes me extremely resistant to even taking the risk of getting pregnant with him.  We have no real plans for the future.  How could we?  At this point, he HAS no future.

As much as I want a child, I don't think I could have one with Jay.  I know I've seriously considered finding an "anonymous donor" type.  I have thought long and hard about just screwing around until I get pregnant, for the simple objective of getting the baby I've always wanted.  I was especially serious about that possibility after losing the twins but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I want my kids to have something that I never had - a real family.  At the very least I want my children to have an excellent father who is an upstanding member of his community, an active part of their lives, a good influence on them. The more time I spend around Jay's family (they really are the Cleavers!) the more I realize I want a family like theirs. Well, I want the 21st century version.  I don't think marriage is absolutely necessary.  In fact, I don't know that I fancy the idea of remarrying.  However, I want my kids to have a mom and dad that love them, nurture them, and protect them from all the bull I had to grow up with.  I don't want my children to ever feel abandoned, ignored, or abused by me or their father.  If I go out and find a sperm donor they will feel abandoned.

So, birth control seems like a viable option right now.  I don't want my children being raised by an immature drunk like Jay.  And I certainly don't want to get pregnant with TJ again anytime soon.  Even if he and I do end up back together, we won't be ready for that for a while and his anxiety levels go so high so fast!  I wouldn't want to send him into a coma or something.

I do worry about the side effects of going back on the pill, but I'm not sure what other options I have.  It has to be something covered by the state of IL medical card (for now) that I will still be able to afford once my card runs out in a few weeks.  But more importantly, it has to be effective, comfortable, and conducive to my lifestyle.  I work two jobs and am taking care of my dying grandmother.  I don't have a whole lot of time to have to deal with this!

Does anyone out there have any recommendations of fairly inexpensive birth control methods aside from the pill, condoms, or abstinence?  =)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I Thought It Was Over!

The past year has been the worst year of my entire life.  I've been through a divorce, miscarried three babies, lost my job, lost the love of my life (well, maybe), and wrecked my practically brand new car less than two weeks ago.  I thought I broke my arm but in the end it was just a bad abbrasion, whiplash, and a twisted pelvis. Oh! And two broken fingernails. LOL.  I'm still healing from all of that.  My car is still in the shop.  I'm struggling badly to come up with the deductible, and I was already struggling anyway due to going two months with no work and paying $700 for new tires/rims last month after I was run off the road by a truck driver.  I thought the car wreck would be the end of it.  I thought if I could just get through the remaining six weeks of the year I would be okay.  I thought surely fate was finished doling out its punishment on me, for 2012 anyway.  I was wrong!

"She is my rock.."

My grandma and I have been living together for several months now, almost a year.  Her back has been in bad shape the last few months.  She went to the doctor and he told her the spinal fusion she had done three years ago and come apart.  Essentially, her back re-broke.  He took a no-contrast CAT scan which proved his theory.  However, his nurse was under the impression that my grandmother was addicted to the pain medication she was on so she convinced the doctor that, even though my grandma's back is BROKEN, they should lower her dosage.  They dropped 175 mg off the dose and supplemented it with aspirin.  In the meantime, my grandmother started having serious stomach issues.  She never mentioned it to the doctor, although I begged her to.  I also said that I thought her pain was due to another issue in addition to her back, but he doctor insisted it was just her back.  This past Wednesday I had to work late so I slept in a little.  My cousin comes over once a week to clean, usually on Thursdays.  I heard her come in early Wednesday but stayed in bed to be lazy for once.  I'm working 50-60 hours a week and needed the rest.  I never heard my grandma leave, but apparently, she did.  My cousin came in an hour later and told me that she had driven herself to the hospital because she was vomitting blood.

Later that day while I was at work my cousin called and told me they did a CAT scan with contrast and found a mass in my grandma's pancreas.  At first glance it seemed like it could be a solitary mass, not necessarily cancer.  However, later tests showed a mass in the liver and that the lymph glands are affected.  There's a PET scan scheduled for next Wednesday and a biopsy will follow...  I'm at a loss.  She has been my rock my entire life. She raised me most of my life and she has been my refuge every time things got bad.  If not for her, this last year would have killed me and now I might be losing her.  I've already lost my beloved ex-mother-in-law in September and now losing my grandma just MIGHT kill me.  She's my greatest source of support, the most important woman in my life.  I'm not ready for this.

Jay has been super supportive but he wants to spend every single waking minute with me, as if we weren't already spending every free moment together.  Since I live with Grandma, I'm alone in the house now, except the cat.  He doesn't like leaving me here by myself.  It's not like I'm suicidal, and quite honestly, I NEED time away from him, time alone in general.  Yes. At first I was glad he was here because I was so in shock, so devastated, and so unprepared for the news that I was almost unable to function at all.  All I could do was cry.  So I was glad to have someone here to be with me and help me get it together.  But now I'm at that stage in this process where I need to be alone and he won't let me have my space. 

To make matter worse, things have gotten more complicated with T.J.  As soon as T.J. heard about my grandma, he called.  This, of course, made Jay jealous.  He knows T.J. and I are still friends and that we spend time together on a regular basis.  He doesn't like it but he knows I won't tolerate him trying to control me in any way so he doesn't push the subject with me.  However, when T.J. called, I saw instant fear glaring in Jay's eyes.  He is so afraid I will run to T.J. for support.  I'm not saying he doesn't have a right to be afraid.  In fact, it's a very legitimate fear for him to have.  T.J. and I went through the worst possible tragedy in our lives thus far.  We went through the miscarriage of twins together, not to mention how I feel about T.J.  I agree that Jay should be worried. 

The End of Open Mic??

In addition to the tragedy going on in my "real" family right now, my very close-knit group of friends is being torn apart.  The two "main" friends of the group - Harper & Mayzy - got into a fight and he threw her into a wall, a couple of times.  She's badly bruised and has pressed charges.  Harper runs open mic nights on Thursdays and Mayzy is one of the prominent performers.  She said she isnt' returning to open mic and Harper has basically landed the responsibility of running it in the laps of the rest of us.  No more after parties at Harpers and most of the core members of the group are really worried that the group will split up and we will lose friendships.  The worst part is, T.J. is involved.  He is really torn up over it.

"So you wanna hear some amazing news?"

With all the heavy emotions floating around, perhaps spending time with T.J. wasn't the best decision, but he asked if I wanted to have a drink Thursday.  We found out that Harper and Mayzy weren't going so we knew that drama wouldn't interfere with our conversation.  We went to open mic.  One of the other core members was there with some of his bandmates running the show while Harper was gone.  We had a few drinks and then T.J. dropped a bomb.  He told me he bought a house!!!  He's been living with relatives for three years!  He showed no signs of getting his own place again anytime soon, and he hadn't told me or any of the others about potentially buying a place.  Out of nowhere, he suddenly owns a house?  It was kind of weird.  He just whispered in my ear, "So you wanna hear some amazing news?"  I was terrified he was going to say he met someone but he whispered, "I bought a house."  I was obviously shocked.  Then, he REALLY shocked me.  He asked me not to tell any of our other friends and asked me if I wanted to come over to see it.

I followed him to his house.  It's so cute!  It's a small, two-bedroom older home with a vintage kitchen.  New windows, fresh paint - super cute, and perfect for T.J.  Better yet, it's not the kind of house where you have a live-in.  It's definitely a single man's house.  I hate to admit that I'm relieved there won't be room for a girlfriend to move in, but I took a huge sigh of relief when he showed me the second bedroom and said, "It's far too small for someone to live in here. It'll probably be my office or music room."  I hope he didn't sense my relief. 

After showing me around, he turned to me and said, "I've missed you the last couple of weeks." 

I shrugged it off and said, "Well, I was taking a break and Thanksgiving kept me busy."  It got quiet. 

T.J. put his hand on my arm and asked, "How are you holding up?"

I shook my head.  "I'm not.  I'm just faking it."

He sighed and put his arms around me, pulling me to his chest.  I just closed my eyes and breathed him in, trying to block out all the bullshit and just focus on how his arms felt wrapped around me.  I said, "You smell like bar soap and cigarettes."

He laughed, pushed me away from him a few inches, and asked, "Can I kiss you? Is that allowed?"

I stopped breathing for a second but I could feel my head knodding has he used his finger to tip my face up to his.  I can't tell you how dizzying it was to feel his lips on mine again.  I didn't know how to react. I wanted to cry.  We kissed for a few seconds and then he excused himself for a few minutes.  He returned with a couple of blankets and a pillow and asked, "Can we just lie down and talk for a little while?"  He looked down and blushed a little.  "I don't have any furniture yet."

We lay on a blanket in his living room floor cuddling, talking, laughing, and occassionally kissing for a few hours, until Jay texted me and asked if I could come over.  T.J. asked me not to go.  He wanted me to stay the night.  I didn't want to give Jay any reason to be suspicious so I hugged T.J. and gave him a kiss on the cheek.  He said, "You're the only one in the group that knows about this place.  Let's keep it that way for now, okay?"  I promised I wouldn't tell anyone and rushed off to meet Jay.  I may have imagined it but I think I saw disappointment in T.J.'s eyes as I left.

I am trying so hard not to get my hopes up.  This doesn't mean that T.J. wants me back.  And he is obviously not looking for a serious long-term relationship or he wouldn't have bought a bachelor pad.  However, the fact that I'm the only one in the group who knows about the house shows how much he trusts me, and he point blank asked me to stay the night without ever asking for sex.  He wanted to spend time with me and said he missed me.  Though that makes me really excited, it also scares the hell out of me.  Jay and I have a good thing going.  What if T.J. does something that convinces me to leave him and then I just get my heart broken again?  Mayzy says that she can tell T.J. is completely in love with me but he is so scared of being hurt and of having to sacrifice who he is to make someone else happy that he won't give in - not to mention how the twins and the miscarriage have affected both of us.  It's SO complicated and scary!  Mayzy has known T.J. a really long time.  I believe that she truly believes the T.J. loves me, but he has never said that he does and that is what keeps me guessing...

I could walk away from this.  It would be especially easy right now considering the drama in the group.  I would have the perfect excuse to leave and never come back but I can't do that.  I can't walk away from them all, and I can't help how I feel about T.J.  I have to at least keep them at arm's length until T.J. has time to figure out what HE wants.  In the meantime, I still have no clue what I'm going to do with Jay...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Love Sucks - My own personal love triangle

I've learned quite a bit about love in the last year.  Quite honestly, I don't care for it much, not the romantic variety anyway.  My experience has proven that romantic love generally ends in romantic tragedy. 

I long ago decided that "soul mates" are mythical couplings made up by ancient authors of fairy tales.  More often than not, we do not reciprocate equivalent love and affection to the ones who love us the way we deserve/want/need to be loved.  And the same is true for those I have held unrequited love for.  I love them with all my heart, would die for them, and though they may care for me deeply and even love me, they don't love me the way I love them.  Such is the case with my present love life.

The most tragic aspect of my marriage to EH was that I didn't know how to love him the way he needed me to and didn't truly appreciate his love for me until it was far too late to salvage the relationship.  The last time we made love, it was the most passionate, amazing physically romantic experience I've ever had in my life.  That's not to say it was the best sex of my life but it was the most passionate, the most romantic.  I felt more in that lingering hour than I did in the eight years we were together.  The last few months of our relationship, before the separation and before all the truths came out, they were some of the best months of my life.  Too much too late.  It was the first time in my life that I understood what true, undying, passionate love really was all about - the emotional and the physical.  I finally knew what it was like to both love someone and be in love with him.  Losing that so soon after discovering it was so utterly devastating. 

I wasn't sure I ever wanted to feel that way again.  There's such a risk of losing it, or that the other person may not return my love.  Nonetheless, I allowed myself to fall in love again - and let's get something straight here.  Being "in love" with someone and "loving" them are different.  You love your mother, but unless you're some kind of sick psychopath you're not "in love" with her.  I've loved many people.  I've loved more than one man, but until three months before the separation, I wasn't in love with EH and by the time I was it was too late.

I now find myself in a relationship with a really great guy who loves me unconditionally.  In fact, I can be a complete bitch to him sometimes and he just continues to love me regardless. I would even feel safe in saying he is in love with me, though he has never used those words.  He does everything he possibly can to show me love.  He does the sweetest things for me, showering me with kisses and sweet nothings.  He defends me fiercely against anyone who would disrespect me even the slightest.  He wants to spend every single moment with me (which sometimes makes me claustrophobic).  He tells me every single day how much he loves me,and I do love him in return, but I am not in love with him.  I wish I were. 

Of course, he's not perfect.  I feel that he drinks too much too often, sometimes alone, and I don't like him when he's drunk.  In fact, I told him over the weekend that I hate "Drunk Jay".  I honestly wish he wouldn't drink at all but how can I ask that of him when I have absolutely no intention of quitting myself?  It's not his only flaw.  He is in school full-time, in a program that he absolutely loathes, but he refuses to discuss how he feels about it and will not discuss his options with me.  The problem is, due to the circumstances that pushed him to go back to school, he can't quit.  He's stuck until May in a program he absolutely hates.  It's the one thing about his life that overshadows everything else and he can't escape it, but he refuses to discuss it with me or look into any options for different careers or educational paths after graduation. He becomes almost irate any time someone brings it up. I walk on eggshells! Furthermore, this makes me very unsure about my own future.  He's nearly 36 y.o. and I am 31.  Our remaining baby-making days are few, and I'm not even sure I WANT to have a baby with him.  As far as I know, he is a depressed, aimless drunk with no future.  Since he won't discuss his plans with me (I don't think he has any), I'm afraid to stay with him to even see if I am capable of falling in love with him.  He's the sweetest, kindest boyfriend ever, about 80%-90% of the time.  The other 10%-20%, I'm frustrated with him and left wondering if I'm making a mistake.

It gets worse... Much worse...  I'm in love with T.J.  I can't help it.  He's everything I have ever wanted.  He's much like EH in some ways.  He's tall, dark-haired, has brown eyes, and is very sure of himself in most aspects in life.  I can't help it that I apparently have a "type", but that's not even the least of it.  T.J. is just...  He's talented, and so damn smart!  I could spend hours talking to him about the stupidest things and it would still be an intellectual conversation.  He knows nearly everything about everything.  I love the way he talks, the way he sings, how he plays guitar, how he brushes my bangs out of my eyes, the way the callouses on the fingertips of his right hand always scratch my face when he brushes my cheek.  I like that he's smarter than me, and that has never happened to me before. I rarely find a man who's smarter than me (you'd have to know the area I live in), and when I do I usually find them arrogant, rude, and annoying.  It's different with T.J.  I know he's the father of my babies, and that undoubtedly plays a huge role in my love for him, but I don't just love him.  I'm head over heels in love with him.  The problem is, he is NOT in love with me.  Hell, I don't even know if he loves me at all.  He says he doesn't love me, not romantically.  The best thing he's ever said to me was, "Obviously there is affection on my end. That is all it will be though."  He's not exactly confessing his undying love for me, but he doesn't stay away either.  He's "broke it off" a few times, twice before we found out we were pregnant.  Then, a couple of weeks ago he said that he wants to try to maintain a friendship without any talk of a romantic relationship, and certainly no "hanky panky".  It's not that I've been cheating on Jay.  It's just that it's blatantly obvious that there is something between us.  Practically everyone can see it.  Jay questions me all the time as to if there is still a relationship there.  Of course, I tell Jay there isn't because as far as a romantic relationship, there isn't.  But in the deepest recesses of my soul I wish there were.

Don't get me wrong. T.J. has his flaws too.  He's highly inexperienced in love, has never had a real girlfriend, has a tendency to get into relationships with unavailable women, is incredibly self-critical at times, is sometimes depressing to be around, sometimes cynical, highly judgmental, disappointingly unromantic, and he's often unwittingly harsh with his words.  He isn't very good at saying what needs to be said without hurting someone's feelings. He once told me that I would probably have to be willing to give up on some of the things I want in a man if my greatest wish is to have a family.  What he was saying was that the type of man I deserve is hard to find (again, especially in my area).  He too believes that most people fall in love with people who don't love them back in the same way. We don't believe in fate or "the one" so we have resigned to the fact that sometimes the only way to experience true love is when it is coupled with disappointment or heartbreak.  We fall in love with people who don't love us back, or worse yet, are in love with someone else.  I may have to be okay with being loved and loving someone back without being in love.  It's true that I am picky, so what T.J. was saying was not that he is perfect and I should just settle for less because I'll never find another like him.  No.  What he was saying was that I may have to make a choice between being in love or having a family with someone who loves me.  His exact words were, "You can't usually have your cake and eat it too.  Most people aren't that lucky."  The sad truth is, he's right.

I'm not sure what to do.  Jay and I have been together for a few months now, the longest "exclusive" relationship I've had since the divorce.  My friends have joked that he has outlasted my "two-month limit".  I do love him, and I adore his family.  I went to Thanksgiving dinner with them and met his "perfect" sister.  She called him today to tell him that she REALLY likes me. :-)  I suppose that's good, but is he what I want?  Jay is tall and does have brown eyes, but he's unsure of himself, has no plans for the future, or if he does he won't discuss them with me.  His body is attractive, but not in the way I want it to be (I know. I sound selfish and spoiled), but he's hairy - except his head, which is bald.  I'm used to tall, athletic, and a head full of dark hair.  It's what I like (again, am I being selfish?). He angers easily sometimes and I don't like his drinking habits. I'm worried that I am dating a ticking time bomb and I'm scared that if I stick around for too long that I won't be able to leave out of fear of being alone or hurting him.  I don't want to hurt him and I do love him.  I love that he is kind, selfless, good with his hands, loves his family, and that we both want the same things for our future - as far as kids, family, etc. But I have no CLUE how he plans on getting there.  What kind of job does he want?  How will he take care of a family?  I'm ready NOW and he obviously isn't.  And of course, the biggest problem is that while I do love Jay I am in love with T.J., who is NOT in love with me and probably doesn't love me at all.

Perhaps I should start playing the lottery so I can afford A.I. and not have to worry about a man at all. Sigh...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A New Normal - Part 2

Comparing my life now to what it was a year ago, NOTHING is the same. Everything has changed from my weight, to my job, to my lifestyle and friends.  I was married, had a house and a dog, was raising my stepdaughter and nephew, and had what I thought was a close-knit, tight group of friends.  I was a trophy-winning demo derby queen, spent my summers riding horses and building derby cars, and was trying to get pregnant with my husband, who I spent eight years with and had known most of my life.  I was finishing my bachelors degree in Business and had only been working my new job for a few months but really liked it.

My daily schedules were pretty much set in stone.  I worked until 5pm Mon-Fri. Picked SJ up from Milly's after work.  Sometimes I would have to pick up my nephew, Lil G, from the sitter if my sister was working.  When we got home, SJ would start on homework while I started supper. Then, SJ and G would play until bath time.  Sometimes SJ would have a TON of homework (because she has issues with staying on task at school) so she would skip playtime and finish up.  While the kids played and bathed I would do homework or work on Relay for Life projects and then get them to bed.  Sometimes my sister would get home before G was ready to lie down so she would handle baby duty while I cleaned or did homework. 

Three days a week, I had Zumba.  I would go from 6-7:30pm.  EH was off one of the days I went and Milly would watch the kids the other days, or my sister would, depending on whether she worked.  In fact, my sister's work schedule was the ONLY variable in my life.  Everything else was pretty much constant.  EH would get home at 11:26pm sharp every night.  He wanted to sit on the computer for an hour or so when he got home.  If I had homework, he would get mad that he couldn't get on the computer and he would ask me "how much longer" over and over until I finished (or just gave up because I was tired of him nagging at me).  Then, we would go to bed.  There was no point in me going to bed before EH got home.  He would come home every night and wake me up.  I don't think he did it on purpose.  He's just kind of like a big gorilla. He can't help it, but he could help sitting up watching TV in bed every night, which he felt was absolutely necessary.

"I loved having children in my life every single day."

As annoying as all of that sounds, I miss it sometimes. At least I actually HAD a "normal", a routine.  I knew what to expect every day.  Now, none of that is true.  Even though my old life lent me very little time to myself, I liked that I had people who needed me and depended on me, especially the kids. I LOVED having children in my life every single day.  It made me not hate myself quite so much for waiting so long to have my own or for being infertile.  Even though my husband controlled my every move & complained about every single thing I did, I still miss him sometimes, and I miss being someone's wife, someone's everything.  As much as he mistreated me, I was his entire world.  Granted, he OBSESSED over me, which isn't healthy. I would NEVER go back to him.  He's a sadistic, controlling mama's boy, but I never doubted how much he loved me and I always knew I had someone to go home to, someone who would never leave me.  Even in the Hell I was living in, that was a comfort to me.

"... I never know from one day to the next where I'll be sleeping..."

My life now is so entirely different.  It's pretty much the opposite of my old life.  I don't make many plans. I'm jobless.  I'm finished with school.  No one depends on me, though my grandma does ask me to help out with the heavy cleaning (she has a bad back).  EH kept one cat. Sassy made him get rid of it, but they still have the dog & I got to keep the other cat.  He's at my mom's.  I rarely cook. When I do, it's just for my and Grandma, or whichever guy I'm dating.  I even drive a different car! Most of the friends EH and I shared don't talk to me.  I have moved to a different town, though it's nearby.  I've lost 40+ pounds (depression), if you exclude the 14 pounds I gained while I was pregnant.  I dress differently. I wear jewelry now, and I never leave the house without fixing my hair and make-up.  I wear skinny jeans, sexy shirts, and EARRINGS!  EH would never let me wear earrings before.  Most of my friends live in a town 25 miles from my old home and I stay with them more than I stay home.  In fact, I never know from one day to the next where I'll be sleeping so I have taken to keeping a bag in my car with extra clothes, toiletries, and make-up.  I can't afford Zumba.  Instead, I go to the bars and flirt for free drinks. (Haha - just kidding... sort of.)  I have started singing in an open mic group on Thursdays.  It's my new church and the highlight of my week.  In fact, my spiritual outlook has completely changed - everything has.

SJ is living with her maternal grandmother because apparently she doesn't get along with EH's girlfriend (Sassy) and Milly can't afford to keep her.  SJ's mother has four children who were all raised by their fathers.  SJ, of course, isn't EH's biological daughter but he has raised her since she was six weeks old.  He is her father for all intensive purposes, but even she isn't immune to Sassy's wrath.  I think the straw that broke the camel's back was when SJ's phone was at EH's house and Sassy's little brother was messing with it.  He texted me and called me a "hore" (he meant whore of course). At that point, SJ pretty much backed away from EH and Sassy entirely, and Milly encouraged it.  Milly would keep her if she could but her husband is disabled and doesn't work.  Aside from keeping up with work and the bills, she has to care for him. She can't add an 11-year-old to the mix.  When she does have SJ, she always lets me know so I can see her, and the only time I have been able to speak to EH since the divorce is when he calls SJ when we're together. She plays the mediator. It's a shame we can't talk, but Sassy ruined that too.

For some reason, Sassy is incredibly threatened by me. It's a LOOONNNNGGG story that I may have to detail in a separate page.  She forced EH to block my number on his cell phone and has even gone so far as to physically threaten me.  Last I checked, she was the 21-year-old dating a married man nearly 10 years older than her and I was that man's wife.  But who am I to say how she feels? I've never been desperate enough to be in that position.  I don't know how I would react if the man I stole was still talking to the woman I stole him from.  The sad part is, in the few times we were able to talk before Sassy put her foot down, EH and I got along really well, like friends almost.  I'm not saying I would trust him again or even consider ever getting back with him, but I could see us having an amicable relationship if not for her.

Like I said, most of my old friends no longer speak to me.  Our best "couple" friends were a husband and wife who did the derby stuff with us. They don't speak to me. In fact, I'm certain the wife would kick my ass if she could and the husband put an ad for EH on Facebook trying to find him a "new woman" prior to us even separating.

The one thing I got out of the divorce was my car, Gigi.  I LOVED that car, but the maintenance and repairs got to be too expensive. That's what I get for driving a "sports sedan" I suppose.  I spent over $1400 in six months on repairs, tires, etc. I just couldn't do it anymore. The other asset I was awarded from the divorce was a pair of testicles. LOL.  I called the owner of the dealership where I had purchased my car just two years prior and demanded he make it right.  I walked away the next day with a compact sedan with a bumper-to-bumper warranty, 40 mpg, and paying only $20 more per month for a car two years newer.  Granted, being unemployed, that car payment SUCKS but it's better than paying almost the same payment on a car that is always breaking down.

My sister and Lil G have their own place now.  G is in pre-K and growing up SO FAST. Every time I see him, it seems like he's learned 10 new things and grown an inch!  His mom is still working at the same place she was when she and G lived with EH and me.  She has been there for a year and a half and received a decent raise. Her boss really seems to like her and from what I can tell she is the only regular employee there who has half a brain.  I miss seeing G every day, but it's definitely good that he and his mom are doing it on their own!  I was worried she would never grow up and that I would raise him his entire life.  The thing that tortures me is that every time I see him, I can't help but to think of EH.  He was the closest thing G will probably ever have to a father figure and now they never see each other.  After Sassy pulled all of her bullshit, my sis made the decision to keep G away from EH entirely, for the most part.  She does allow him to go watch the derbies and to see EH when they do go.

The demo derbies are (for now) a thing of the past for me.  Some of EH's old friends have come to me and told me that he is burning bridges.  He was fired from his job at the Sheriff's office, which has made several people see that I wasn't full of shit when I said some shady stuff was going on there.  I also found out that he confessed infidelity to one of his friends, with a girl he worked with at the jail.  I cornered her once and she swore nothing happened. I believed her then, but I don't guess it matters now.  EH has stabbed a lot of people in the back or turned his back on them since he got involved with Sassy.  They're not going to tolerate it.  I've never asked anyone to choose sides and I think that has helped to speak for my own integrity.  Some of them have come to me and offered to help me build a derby car.  Obviously, with the pregnancy right in the middle of the summer, that wasn't going to happen, but I'm considering it for next year.  Hopefully I'll have a job and be able to afford it.  For the meantime, I still go to watch and I've managed to keep the peace with all of EH's derby buddies (so far). I can't attest to what they may be feeling or how they may act in the future.  At this rate, he may not have any friends left by next year.

I have two good friends left from back home (Missy & Beth), both women, surprisingly enough.  One of my best friends from kindergarten and another girlfriend I went to junior high with and befriended later in life have stuck by me.  Everyone else has either moved away or fallen along the wayside.  I've never been one that needs a lot of friends. I just need a few that will be faithful.  That's a hard thing to find in this life, but tragic life events (like divorce) tend to do the weeding for you. 

"It's easy for me to love people who accept their humanity..."

My new friends are all great people, mostly guys.  I don't completely trust all of them. Obviously, the trust factor is kind of a difficult thing for me.  But I do have a few people who have befriended me that I absolutely adore. Only time will tell if they are lifelong friend material!  A good chunk of them are in my open mic group.  TJ is one of them, believe it or not.  I love him, in a special kind of way.  It's not a romantic love as much as it is a deep respect and admiration for someone who stuck with me in the hardest time of my life.  He's so brilliant, and usually honest, yet still deeply scarred and timid, and incredibly selfish at times, but he's admittedly human.  It's easy for me to love people who accept their humanity and don't hide from it behind a veil of superiority or the shadow of the spotlight.  The other two are Harper and Mayzy.  I could sit and talk music and lyrics with Harper for days (& we really like getting drunk together too).  He's a great lyricist, and not at all the type of person I would have befriended before.  He's basically a hippie, but he showers.  Mayzy is one of those women who pierces your soul with a single glance.  She's so... vivacious, full of life, and deeply spiritual - not in a religious way, more in a human way.  She captures the essence of humanity in her words, her music, and her ability to love people so openly.

Of course, there are others.  Ken is TJ's best friend for all intensive purposes.  He and his girlfriend, Barbie, bring a little class to the group.  There's Bobby, who used to run open mic. He's a little A.D.D and extremely easy to piss off, but he's really an amazing guy deep down. He has a strong spirit and a good soul. He's an amazing guitarist, singer, and performer. He's recorded several songs with TJ and some of the others.  I put my arm through his kitchen window and (partly thanks to TJ), he never mentioned once to me what an idiot I was for doing it.  Someone once spilled wine on my carpet and I almost kicked his ass over it. A broken window would have resulted in murder I'm sure.  TJ paid for the broken window (it was only like $50) and Bobby never mentioned it to me, not even once.  Frog is a true hippie.  He backpacked across the country in his 20's, and his occupational/recreational activities are.. questionable at best, not that I'm judging. To each his own.  Frog also happens to be Harper's roommate, so we have jammed together on several occasions and even written some lyrics together from time to time.

Other than Thursday night open mic night, I have no plans.  I go to my doctor appointments as scheduled, show up for family events, eat lunch with my current boyfriend's family once a week (usually), and that's about it.  Depending on where I wake up, I might do some cleaning. (Can I just mention how GROSS men are?) I wake up whenever I want. I only set an alarm if I'm afraid I'll miss a job interview or doctor's appointment. I usually try to schedule those later in the day and avoid drinking the night before (no Friday appointments, obviously).  Most of my friends are usually sleeping, hungover (both), or working when I wake up so I work on the blog, nose on Facebook, and look for jobs.  Sometimes I'll sit and write in my journal or go over my finances obsessively (since I'm always wondering where my next meal will come from).  If it weren't for Grandma and my friends, I would be out on the street and sober.

Today I am at the boyfriend's apartment.  It's almost 4pm and I haven't showered yet.  He'll be home soon and I should really not be sitting on his couch all skanky when he gets here.  I spent the morning on the phone with the doctor's office and I'm kind of in a rut today so I've just been sitting here on the computer the rest of the day. I supposed I'd better get going.

Next time I'll try to explain the whole "Sassy" situation on a separate page or the Bee Fertile synopsis.  The only other thing I need to update is my latest doctor's appointment and after spending half the morning on the phone with them, I really don't feel like it right now. In the meantime, I'm still searching for a new normal...

To be continued...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Storm

A few days went by and I still felt fine. I was still sleeping more than I did before I was pregnant, but I was able to do just about anything anyone else could do (except have sex). That was a serious frustration for me because I felt normal, for the most part. Monday was a different story. I woke up with those nagging pains in my back again. It couldn't have been worse timing. The family would start coming in from North Carolina, Indiana, etc TOMORROW. The pain was unbearable, far worse than it had been two weeks prior. I called Dr. C's office to see if they could call in a prescription for the Vicodin he had promised. The nurse explained that it couldn't be called in but she would get with Dr. C to discuss the possibility of me picking up a written prescription from the office. It meant driving 25 miles to pick it up, but it was worth it! I could load up on Tylenol long enough to get to the pharmacy.

"I'm sorry but that is your only option."

The nurse called back FIVE HOURS later and suggested I go to the ER. I explained that I hadn't taken the Cytotec, the miscarriage had re-started on its own. She still insisted I needed to be SEEN to get the prescription. REALLY? I had just been seen a few days prior and he told me that once I started miscarrying again I could get Vicodin if I needed it. Chi could testify to that fact. The nurse said, "I'm sorry but that is your only option." Like Hell it was! I would NOT sit in that ER for another seven hours just so they could tell me what I already knew; not to mention that I took the risk of running into that ER U/S tech again. They would undoubtedly want me to get an U/S in the ER, and I would KILL that bitch! 
The previous trip to the ER had left me sitting in my own blood and in a lot of pain for five hours before I was ever seen! I was in far more pain and passing clots the size of my fist! There was no way I would sit in the ER for HOURS feeling like this! I was pissed. I told the nurse, "Ya know what? I can get my own damn pain meds. Thanks for all your help!". I hung up on her. Then, I called the main number for that medical group and asked to get in with a different doctor ASAP. The soonest they could get me in was Friday... I'm not proud of this fact, but I know people, who know people who take medicine for chronic pain management. I was able to get pain meds on Wednesday (two days later) that got me through until I was able to see my new doctor on Friday.

"I knew I would be able to handle it, that it wouldn't kill me, and that I would need to be alone when it happened. "

 I continued to pass clots the rest of the week. Some were HUGE. At one point, I literally had to PUSH out a clot about the size of an orange. I could feel my cervix stretching and the sharp pains in my lower back were nearly unbearable. There were a few times I thought I might pass out, and I was alone most of the time during that week. I think that's what forced me to keep it together and NOT pass out, the fact that I knew no one would be there to help. After I passed the large clot, I couldn't help but to look at it. It was somewhat difficult to see because the water in the toilet was an orangy-red and cloudy but it looked kind of like an internal organ. I've seen some organ tissues before and it did look quite similar, but it was kind of oval and wrinkled, like a giant raisin. I'm assuming that was the larger of the "sacs".
At that moment, hunched over the toilet, staring at what I had once thought would be my son/daughter, I started crying. I hadn't cried much since we initially recieved the news. I felt very conflicted as to whether I should try to save the tissue or just flush it. It seems SO WRONG to flush it, but then I remembered what TJ said. He said, according to his research, the baby was never really formed. It was just tissue, no worse than flushing away a blood clot passed during a heavy period. TJ had gone to school for journalism. He is an excellent researcher. I'm certain he researches EVERYTHING - from what kind of underwear he should wear to all the baby research he was doing. In fact, his research was a comfort to me as we were going through this mess. The truth was, it WAS an unplanned pregnancy. We WERE just friends with priviledges. And as I said before, my body knows what is best for me. I don't know that I would be able to carry twins, and these twins would have most likely had a lot of physical complications juding from the slow growth of the sacs/embryos. We're still not even sure that the larger sac even had an embryo. Trans-vaginal ultrasounds are not an exact science. There's no way to know for sure what happened inside my uterus, but what TJ and all the health professionals were telling me was that this lump of tissue was not my child and this was not my fault. "Baby J" was more of an apirition, a spirit, a spiritual connection between me and what might have been. I had to think that way, at least for a few seconds, while I held down the lever on the toilet. And even as I was thinking that and psyching myself out, I still said goodbye to BJ. I think my spirit needed to say goodbye, and I think I needed to be alone to do it. 
I still don't believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that we are preconditioned to behave in certain ways. I believe that I know myself and my body better than anyone else. I knew I would be able to handle it, that it wouldn't kill me, and that I would need to be alone when it happened. I find solice in that.
I saw Dr. S that Friday. I went alone, and I was completely honest with her. I explained that, since Monday, I had taken over 60 Tylenol, 32 Midol, 30+ Motrin, and three 7/750 Vicodin that I had gotten "from a friend". I had no idea what to expect. I thought she might call the cops. I had never done anything like this before, much less would I normally tell anyone! She asked me why the other doctor wouldn't give me pain medication and I recounted what happened on Monday. Dr. S was livid! She pulled my chart and noted that the previous doctor had never ordered a blood type or done a pelvic exam, which is one of the first things they do for pregnant women. Blood typing is to test for Rh factor. I told her that my blood type was AB positive and asked if she needed to know TJ's type. She then informed me that if the mother has a positive blood type the father's type doesn't matter. (I didn't know this before so I was relieved to hear that Rh was neither a factor in my miscarriage, nor anything I will have to worry about in the future.)

 "The worst is finally over"

Dr. S ordered another U/S to see if everything had come out. If the U/S looked clear, they would have to do a pelvic exam to see what was causing the continued pain. The U/S looked fine, so I stripped down for my new doctor. Upon inspection it seemed a piece of uterine tissue had attached to the inside wall of my cervix. It would have to be removed. Dr. S warned me it could be quite painful and there wouldn't be a local anesthetic. I figured after all the pain I had already been through and the meds I was doped up on I would be fine. WRONG! It hurt like a.....

Well, you get the point. She wrote me a prescription for Vicodin and an antibiotic to prevent infection where the tissue had been removed. Then, they drew another HCG quant to monitor my hormone levels. She said she wanted to watch my HCG until it was back down to zero and explained I could go back to my normal activities (including exercise and SEX) after my hormone levels dropped. I would have to have blood work done every week until then. Then she put her hand on my shoulder and said, "The worst is finally over."


The Calm Before the Storm

By the end of the day on July 23rd, most of the bleeding had stopped and the pain was moderate, if not minimal.  I honestly thought the worst of it was over.  Yes. I was still experiencing some pain and spotting, but it hadn't been near as bad as what I had been told it could be.  I counted myself lucky to have lived through it, and with no pain medication. 

"It was the worst possible time to be getting a call like this"

The next morning I received a call for a job interview.  I had been seeking a second job for quite some time. It was the worst possible time to be getting a call like this.  The woman who called explained that if I couldn't make an interview on Wednesday (July 25th) that I wouldn't be considered for the position.  Hearing this, I felt I had no choice but to explain what was happening.  The woman still wanted me to interview if I felt up to it so we scheduled the interview for Wednesday morning with the understanding that I may have to call and cancel, passing up the opportunity if need be.  My doctor had taken me off bed rest, stating that bed rest would only prolong a miscarriage.  He wanted me to keep to my normal routine as possible and do whatever I felt I could do, take it day by day.  I figured if I could spend five hours sitting in an ER waiting room I could attend a 30-minute interview.  I would have my grandmother drive me and go back to bed when I got home.

Tuesday morning (July 26th) I called the OB clinic and spoke to a nurse. I explained that I had passed several clots and the spotting was very light now and most of the pain had subsided.  She said it was most likely that I had miscarried. I asked if I needed to bump up my August 1st appointment with Dr C to an earlier date and she said it wasn't necessary. 

Since I was still experiencing some pain and was having a difficult time dealing with it emotionally, I figured it was okay to wait it out.  After all, the longer it took me to be released from the doctor, the longer I could have off work so that I could learn to handle it emotionally; not to mention there were a lot of underlying issues at work... 

"You should probably take care of it before it kills you."

I had recently covered an 8-week maternity leave for my team leader.  The entire time she was pregnant, she complained about it.  All I ever heard was how bad it was to be pregnant, how miserable she was.  I jumped her case about it once, telling her a million women would trade her places in a heartbeat and she should be thankful not only that she can even GET pregnant but that her baby is healthy.  She knew the trouble EH and I had faced with IF and yet she felt it was okay to complain about being pregnant right in front of me?  And to add insult to injury, I was the fortunate soul who was covering her maternity leave! Fantastic!  She was already back from leave before I found out I was pregnant, but just barely.  But surprisingly enough, she was probably the most supportive concerning my pregnancy.

There was another woman who worked in another department and sat at my lunch table with Blondie and another friend.  She had experienced a miscarriage a year prior.  She thought she knew everything about, well, EVERYTHING, but especially my life for some reason.  I honestly think she was jealous of me, but I'm not sure why.  As soon as I had the slightest problem (like the dehydration on July 5th), she started saying really cruel things about my pregnancy.  She said I was "probably going to miscarry anyway."  She once told me that it was "probably a tubal pregnancy" and, "You should probably take care of it before it kills you." She talked constantly about how her baby "looked like a little piece of liver" and how she was "only eight weeks along" when she lost it. Then, she had the nerve to tell me, "It's not even a real baby at that age.  It's not like it has a heartbeat or anything." I nearly snapped! I had to leave the room. I had dealt with it for weeks and just couldn't do it anymore.  I apologized to my friends but I couldn't stand being around that woman anymore so I started going to lunch at a different time just to avoid her.

Then, there was the HR manager.  She had been a hateful bitch to me from day one. It was like she was constantly waiting for me to mess up.  I could make the slightest mistake and she was the first one to jump my case for it. The worst of it was that she reprimanded me for mistakes that I saw my team leader and other long-standing employees making all the time.  My team leader "scheduled" her lunch breaks with her friends in other departments via email almost every day.  A sent an email to a co-worker ONE TIME to let her know how much she owed for take-out and was called into the HR office for it and reprimanded.  That's just one of a dozen examples I could give.  When I discovered I was pregnant, I was afraid to tell her.  I told my supervisor and team leader and they said they would handle HR for me.  I was never so relieved.  Then, on July 5th when I had to leave work early to go to the ER, both my supervisor and team leader were on the phone so I went to the HR manager to tell her I was leaving.  Her response was "Fine. Go."  When I returned to work, her question was "What do you mean 'high risk'?  You're still going to be coming to work, right?"  She never once asked how I was feeling.  Somehow, she caught wind of the interview I went on while on medical leave "due to illness".  She called me, pretended to be checking in, and then fired me. She accused me of lying, insinuating that I lied about my pregnancy and miscarriage, and FIRED me.  That's just what I needed after discovering I was unexpectedly pregnant with a man who doesn't love me and going through the pain and turmoil of a miscarriage!!!  My common sense was telling me to be upset - to freak out.  Granted, I did give the Dragon Lady a piece of my mind, but I really didn't react the way I thought I would, the way most people would.  Relief swept over me, a sense of peace even.  I no longer had to deal with those insensitive, sadistic slave drivers, AND I was pretty much guaranteed unemployment. There was NO WAY they were going to be able to get out of it.  You can't control what your employees are doing when they're not working and I was on medical leave "due to illness".  Sick people go to job interviews all the time.  It was a 30-minute interview, not an 8-hour work day!.. In case you're wondering, I DID get unemployment. 8~)

"I knew his liver would thank me for relieving him of his duties"

August 1st came quickly.  I informed TJ that I didn't feel I would get the emotional support I needed from him.  He was still welcome to come along to the doctor's office but I had a friend who would be joining me.  Chi has been my friend for going on 10 years.  She has been by my side through a LOT of shit!!!  We've been there for each other through college, careers, my divorce, the bullshit our husbands put us through, the deaths of SEVERAL loved ones, and all the crap in between.  Plus, she has a whole brood of children.  I knew she wouldn't be shy about all the crap they could potentially do to me, wouldn't leave the room when the needles came out, and if I got to a point where I felt I couldn't speak up for myself, I knew she would.  TJ opted out of that doctor's appointment.  In fact, I told him he was perfectly welcome to opt out of every doctor's appointment from then on out.  It had nothing to do with my feelings about him.  I know he would have been there had I asked him to, but I felt it was time for HIM to get back on track.  I could see what all of this was doing to him and I knew his liver would thank me for relieving him of his duties.

By the time Chi and I were driving to the appointment, I had done a lot of soul searching & had really begun to gain some serious ground as far as my emotional recovery.  The depression was subsiding.  I was eating again and sleeping well.  The relief of not having to deal with all the BS at work was a huge help.  I was a little worried about making ends meet in the meantime, but I just had an inexplicable peace about all of it...  While Chi and I sat in the waiting room, I heard a familiar cherub-like voice.  It was Blondie's little boy. She was there for some blood work and he had spotted me through the doorway. (He's my little buddy.)  Blondie came out into the waiting room and it dawned on me that she and Chi had never been given the opportunity to meet. I introduced them and Blondie complimented me on my dress.  I explained that I wanted to spare Chi the embarrassment of seeing me strip from the waist down, as had happened with TJ.  I figured slipping my panties off under my dress would be less awkward.  Chi laughed and said, "Awkward?  Are you kidding?  I haven't seen any action in weeks! That was going to be the highlight of my day and now you've ruined it."  We all shared a big laugh.  I know the people in the waiting area probably thought we were all crazy, but it was that kind of laughter that I needed.

"By then I was just tired of waiting, tired of hurting, and exhausted by the emotional ups & downs. I wanted it to be OVER."

In the U/S lab, the mood was not quite so jovial.  There was still a mostly empty sac and that long-lost anomaly had re-appeared.  That was NOT what I wanted to see on the GIANT television screen between my knees!  Chi and I shared a discouraged look as I did the whole "squat & wipe" routine under my dress.  By then I was just tired of waiting, tired of hurting, and exhausted by the emotional ups & downs. I wanted it to be OVER.  Dr. C. came in with a grim look on his face.  He confirmed that what I had passed two weeks prior was likely the placenta.  His immediate suggestion was the Cytotec.  He really discouraged me against the D&C due to my retroverted uterus, but he mentioned again that passing the material on my own (with or without Cytotec) could be an extremely painful and prolonged process.  He asked if I wanted pain medication (he suggested Vicodin).  I said I really don't like taking narcotics and asked if there was an alternative.  He said, "Tylenol".  Apparently any NSAID pain relievers will counteract the effects of the Cytotec.  He offered to give me the Cytotec "for now" and if I had too much pain I could call back to get the Vicodin later.  He said that a natural miscarriage would open up our options as far as pain management.  That was good enough for me.  I knew it would be at least a few days before I would take the Cytotec.  The great thing was that I could choose when to take it. (And by "take" I mean insert four tablets that looked like aspirins up my crotch.) 

The day following my appointment, Dr. C called to inform me that the "anomaly" looked to be a second sac that had never fully formed.  He said I had most likely been pregnant with Twins and for some reason my body rejected them. This made sense because twins run in both mine and TJ's families.  I was a little saddened by the fact that I had lost, not one, but two babies, but I was okay with it.  I just have a strong peace in knowing that I know my body VERY well. I'm very self aware, and my body knew what was best.

I had a busy few days ahead of me, with open mic & a family reunion.  Quite honestly, I had been feeling GREAT physically.  I wasn't looking forward to going through the whole clotting process again. I was enjoying my time AWAY from the toilet.  So, I filled the prescription for Cytotec and left it sitting on my dresser for a few days. I figured I would wait until the following Monday, after all the family had gone back home and things had settled down.

"to second chances"

In the coming days, I started feeling better and better.  I even went to Open Mic with TJ and our friends the day after seeing Dr. C.  We had an after party where the music and the voices and the feeling in the room were just absolutely PERFECT.  I can't explain the exhilaration and pure joy I felt that night. Everyone that was there talks about it like it was some kind of spiritual experience.  In my opinion it was!  TJ stole a bottle of cheap vodka from one of our friends and pulled me into the kitchen.  He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Ya know, you CAN drink now."  I hadn't really occurred to me until then that it was okay to drink.  It may have been a dirty kitchen & cheap, lukewarm vodka from a plastic bottle that God only knows WHO else had been drinking from, but we shared a shot "to second chances" that night and it was a monumental moment in my life.

Roller Coaster Ride from Hell

I already had an appointment at Dr. C's clinic with a different doctor for 9am on July 18th.  When I called on the 17th to schedule the appointment with Dr. C, they left me at the same time.  This worked out perfectly so TJ could go with me.  I honestly wasn't sure how supportive he was capable of being but it was better than going alone. I never wanted to do that again!!!

I was on bed rest and needed to be close to the hospital so I stayed with Blondie the two days leading up to the appointment.  I was 25 minutes away from our hospital.  She was about 9 blocks away.  TJ and I arranged to have him pick me up from Blondie's.  He was obviously a nervous wreck.  He had that "spooked horse" look the entire time, but he was far more attentive and supportive than I thought he would be.  He helped me out of the house, opened the car door, and asked about 15 times if I was hurting.  I was, but I kept telling him I was okay.

We arrived 15 minutes early.  I filled out the paperwork and then we waited.  It seemed like we waited forever to be seen.  It was awkward.  I wanted to be quiet, but at the same time, the tension was killing me so I chattered about pointless nonsense the entire time.  We whispered about the pregnant woman we saw walking through the parking lot smoking a cigarette and rolled our eyes. I guess I don't truly understand what it's like to be a true smoker and have to quit, but I WAS a true drinker, and with all the stress, all I could think about some days was how badly I "needed" a drink.  I still didn't take even a sip of red wine - which is supposedly "allowed". 

When they finally called us back they had me pee in a cup and then escorted us to the U/S room.  They left TJ in there with me and instructed me to undress "from the waist down".  He was embarrassed by this and turned his head.  I laughed, saying, "We're here because I stripped from the waist down. Don't act like you've never seen it before."  He laughed nervously and said, "I'm just trying to be a gentleman."  The U/S tech came back in. I immediately explained what happened with the last U/S and she was just as appalled as we were.  She turned on the machine and began the exam. 

In utero ultrasounds are ALWAYS uncomfortable.  I don't care what anyone says! In fact, I usually spot for a couple of days every time I have one (& I've had a LOT of them).  The probe is usually bigger (and certainly longer) than anything else that has ever been up my crotch!  And that doesn't even account for all the twisting and moving they do while they're in there! Who knew taking a picture of your ovary would require them to angle that thing SO far???  When she examined my left ovary my right knee was damn near parallel to the table to make room for her arm and the wand!!!

I was already getting sick of seeing pity in everyone's eyes.

The image at the ER was only shown on the screen on the U/S machine itself and the tech was the only one who could see it.  There were no TVs or anything.  At the OB's office, there was a HUGE flat screen TV on the wall, facing me, positioned oh-so-perfectly between my knees.  The thought of seeing it THAT BIG on that huge screen terrified me, but it didn't really seem like I had much of a choice.  The image came up, and there it was, a seemingly empty sac. No heartbeat. No yolk. No fetal pole. NOTHING.  But that "anomaly" the ER U/S tech had described wasn't visible either.  The tech quietly and calmly instructed me to clean up (handing me a box of tissue). She would come back for me in a few moments.  She looked down at the floor as she spoke and I knew my fears had been realized.  TJ was also looking down at the floor as I cleaned up.  I stepped toward him to pick up my clothes from the bench beside him.  He handed me the black polka-dotted panties I had worn and then my pants and looked up at me with pitiful eyes.  Even just two days after finding out, I was already getting sick of seeing pity in everyone's eyes.

We went into Exam Room 2 and waited.  Dr. C came charging into the room at full throttle a few moments later.  He carried a laptop.  He focused primarily on the screen while he spoke to us, and it seemed like he was speaking mostly to me and ignoring TJ.  He was "all business". I really didn't sense much compassion coming from him whatsoever.  He said there was basically a 97% chance we would lose the baby. He gave us our options.  He said we could...

Option 1 - Do a D&C right away and this would all be over in a matter of a days.
Option 2 - Take Cytotec.  It's basically an abortion pill, but it would induce the miscarriage so that your body passes the tissue naturally without a D&C.  It's more painful and takes longer than a D&C but some women have a need to pass the tissue naturally and/or wish to avoid surgery.
Option 3 - Watch & wait. There's a very small chance that the embryo has been slow to grow. I was only at 5 weeks. At five weeks, the embryo is often difficult to see, even with an in utero ultrasound.  Continue the Progesterone and come back in two weeks to see if I have any progress.

As much as I know TJ would have loved to do a D&C and get it over with, I couldn't do that.  The doctor gave us a few minutes alone.  TJ sat next to me on the table and put his arms around me. It felt good to be comforted by him, even though I knew his wishes were different from mine.  I couldn't do the D&C or the Cytotec without knowing for certain that the baby was dead.  I cried.  He held me and we talked a little.  I asked if he understood why I wanted to wait and he said he did & that he would go along with my decision, whatever it was.  He also said he was sorry.  It did mean a lot that he felt sorry for me, but it still hurts to this day that he was actually happy about the possibility of losing a child. That disturbs me.

Dr. C returned and we told him we chose to wait.  He ordered an HCG blood test to see where my hormone levels were. They had done one at the hospital and he wanted to compare my levels now to that of two days ago.  If they had dropped, we would be completely certain that I was having a miscarriage, most likely due to a blighted ovum (also known as an anembryonic pregnancy).  If they had risen, we would know that it was okay to wait before taking any further action.  Rising HCG levels indicate pregnancy. 

Instead of making us move around, the nurses came to the exam room to draw the blood.  TJ pretended to be busy in the hallway, but I know needles make him squeamish.  Dr. C made sure to reassure TJ before we left that once the miscarriage was fully completed I should be able to have sex again in a week or two.  I thought that was very kind of him to mention (jackass). The nurses were very kind. They let us exit through the back door so I wouldn't have to walk through a waiting room full of pregnant women as we left.

Waiting was the right thing to do.

When I recieved the call for my results the next day, my HCG levels had risen (in just a few days) by over 2,000 points.  That assured me that waiting was the right thing to do.  This news was, of course, encouraging to me, but it sent TJ into a mental tailspin.  He texted me...

"This is just too much of a roller coaster for me. After thinking it was over I started feeling relief. And now we're still waiting. I'm not trying to hurt you but please don't ask me to feel the same as you do." 

I should have been feeling hopeful and uplifted but TJ's attitude and all the stress put me into a depression like I had never known before.  I know hormones play a huge role in these situations, but I couldn't blame ALL of it on hormones.  I could barely eat, even though that was what I should have been doing.  All I could do was cry and sleep.  I couldn't work. I was in constant pain and all I could take was Tylenol; However, I refused to take any pills other than the Progesterone and my vitamins.  I didn't want ANYTHING to harm my baby. 

I tried desperately to hang onto hope.  I made a notebook where I could keep track of all the doctor's appointments and keep my notes.  On the front, I decorated it with scrap booking stickers and put "Mommy's Notes & Daddy's Worries".  Blondie and I had taken to calling the Baby "Baby J" (BJ for short).  It's a play off of a nickname that TJ's friends gave him.  I used some of the scrap booking stickers to put "Baby J's Stuff" on the lid of a Rubbermaid container.  Milly had given me some baby clothes and I kept all of the paperwork, the notebook, and the folder I carried to all of the doctor's appointments in the container under my bed (It's still there in fact).  Blondie and I even laid on her bed one night and talked about what the baby would look like.  She said she hoped she was tall like TJ, with his dark hair, my blue-green eyes, and my smile.  We made a list of baby names and talked about if I would use TJ's last name or my own.  Since my last name is my married name, I said I was considering changing my last name and giving the baby my name, since TJ was still insisting on a DNA test after the birth.

In the meantime, my employer had been contacted concerning my inability to work.  I chose to take the rest of the week off and go back to work the following Monday. The doctor agreed that would give me time to adjust emotionally. 

"...They didn't think it was necessary to see me."

I started feeling better on Friday morning. I thought things were looking up, but late Saturday/early Sunday I started feeling pain again.  Judging from how my friends have described labor pains, I'm guessing that's what it was.  It was excruciating!!!  It felt like someone was stretching my cervix from the inside out and tearing it open, and the pain in my lower back returned.  The pain continued into Monday.  I called Dr. C's office. They explained I was probably having a miscarriage and it wasn't anything they didn't expect.  They didn't think it was necessary to see me. I asked about a note for work and they suggested going to my regular practitioner or the ER. I got into my regular doctor that afternoon. She gave me a note to be off work "due to illness" until July 30th.  She said that should give me time to have the miscarriage (if that's what was going to happen) so that I wouldn't have to worry about having it at work.  My next appointment with Dr. C was August 1st.  I immediately called my team leader and explained the situation.  I said I was worried about my job.  She assured me it was fine and to keep them posted on how I was feeling. 

I kept TJ posted via text message. It was very difficult for me to see him, but later that night I started having pain again and the miscarriage started.  I passed several clots of various sizes ranging from pea-sized to silver-dollar-sized.  I didn't WANT to talk to anyone else about it other than TJ, despite his attitude about the whole thing.  Even when he was being more honest than supportive, it still helped to talk to him for some reason.  It was such a roller coaster!!!  Just six days prior TJ had come over to my house, sat on my couch, and even gave me a few reassuring kisses, telling me it would be okay.  We had even discussed baby names for a few brief seconds...

"Oh. Grace I kinda like."

TJ and I both have brothers with the same name. We decided that if it were a boy, our brothers' name would be a definite option, at least for a middle name, but from the very beginning, I had felt like I was having a girl.  TJ hated the idea of having a girl, but he kind of left me to my own devices while I was pregnant. Bless his heart. He really did try not to upset me too much...  TJ and I sometimes sing at a local venue.  The first song we sang together was a song by Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter.  I made the suggestion of Chesney Grace for a girl's name. His response was, "Oh. Grace I kinda like."  Even now that memory makes me smile.

"I would have loved him/her more than I could stand."

As I was dealing with all the pain (and spending a LOT of time on the toilet) I was texting TJ, explaining how I was feeling and all that was going on.  At one point, I told him that I was well aware of how happy he was that I was going through all of this.  In fact,  a friend of mine had overheard him say he still doubted the paternity.  He replied that he didn't hate me and he wasn't happy that I was in pain, that he hated what I was going through.  He hated the entire situation.  I called him jaded and cynical. I asked him, as much as he hated it all, would he have ever truly loved BJ?  Was he even really capable of loving anyone but himself?  His response softened my heart toward him forever.  He said, "I would have loved him/her more than I could stand."  He went on to say, "I'm sorry. I'm being honest about that."

At that point, I felt bad for hating him, for blaming him.  I realized that this was hurting him just as much emotionally and mentally as it was me, even if it were hurting him in a different way.  We were both so different and had such different beliefs.  We were dealing with it in different ways and saw it from different perspectives.  At that point, I was okay with it all.  I still had a lot of pain to face, and I had a lot of changing to do before I would be able to deal with it in a completely healthy way, but reading his words started the healing process for me.