Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Memories- A short story in real life time travel.

Started out as mind wondering, turned into more than 2800 words. I shall call this one a short story.

Today I write two blogs. Sometimes, writing is all I have left at the end of the day. When I have nothing more to give I still find words to put down on paper. I am laying here in bed next to a snoring husband; this would normally be the time I would allow myself a brief lapse to cry. But, tonight I was thinking over past memories. Part of losing a friend is letting them go. It has been a hard last two days for me because letting her go has not been easy. I have picked up my phone to text her random texts about my day or something I had seen, or to ask about her child. Each time it has been like a dagger in the heart. More so, finding out her response to all this has hurt a ton. Instead of dwelling on the current pain I thought about some of the good times. I would rather hold on to the good times, let the bad times go, as I let the present turn into the past. When people die this is often done as well, people let go of the negative memories and remember the positive ones.

As I was remembering some of the memories I share with that person it lead to positive ones with my friend Veronica. Which lead me to think about memories as a member of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, which lead me to think about high school memories… yep took me down a mighty long pathway on memories road.

Life is not about the days, it is about the moments within the days that make the days memorable. You forget days, you don’t forget memories. I don’t remember all the 10, 523 days I have been alive. Some days I can barely remember what I did yesterday, let alone a week or month ago. If I were to be a suspect in a murder and they asked me, “Where were you and what did you do on September 28th, 2011?” Would I remember? Would you?

There are certain moments that are emblazed into my memory, tattooed there, permanent. People tend to remember the big days: graduation, marriage, babies being born. We all remember where we were on September 11th.  There are other memories that are more personal. Some I can tell you the exact day that the memory occurred, others I only remember the moment.

Of course I remember vacations, road trips, and flying to New York to be on the Montel Williams show. I remember the huge days in my life, as does any other person. But, I don’t think the memories of holidays, vacations, and special events are nearly as fun to remember as the ordinary day to day ones that catch you off guard.

A few of the memories shock me because they aren’t memories you would plan on retaining in the bank: when the house was hit by a tornado and the fire department brought me to a friend’s house to stay the night. I was alone with my siblings while my adopted mother was in Vegas, a boy from a grade above me in high school that I had always looked up to, but seemed to be invisible to, was also there at the house. He told me he was proud of me. It was the first time in my life I had heard those words. It was the summer after I turned eighteen.

I remember when Brian held me in his arms and told me he loved me. It wasn’t a lovers embrace. We were on a large hill looking down at our college town. It was a beautiful fall night in September. I was sitting hugging my knees between his legs; he was behind me, pulled me to my back against his chest. We were laughing, I don’t remember what about. I felt comfortable, at home. It was late, had to be early morning, but that never fazed us. Amazing how late one can stay up in their late teens without feeling consequences from the lack of sleep. He said he loved my laugh that it was one of the many things about me he loved. He loved my sense of humor, my ability to care in the snap of a finger. I tried to change the topic, talk about snapping fingers and whistling. He asked why I did that. Why I couldn’t accept love from anyone. He told me his goal wasn’t for me to love him but his goal was for me to learn to accept love from other people. He said he would always love me and I would always be safe with him. That moment resonates clear in my brain, as clear, if not more clear then November 8th, the night he took his life.

Memories are very powerful. They can evoke strong emotions. There are some that always bring tears to my eyes: Remembering my mother laying in her casket, saying goodbye to a baby that never breathed his first breaths, Brian’s last words the night he died. The feeling of being tossed in a car, it rolling, the blackness. Waking up knowing they were all dead.

There are some memories that you try and try to black out. Halloween is a hard time of year for me. When you find your best friend died, hanging from the ceiling, you try to avoid everything that brings back that sight. Memories of people saying hateful things, of treating you badly, or of seeing things you wish you could unsee, unfeel, unhear. Memories like starving for food, attention and love as a child. Being so cold your entire body is shivering and not sure you will ever be warm again. Memories of being screamed at every single day and night. Of being rejected by home after home. Every once in awhile when I am able to face the demons of the past or when memories haunt me as walking nightmares I think about being abused.

I can feel the steel of the knife slicing into my young arms, the pain of it cutting across my tongue, the burn of the fire racing up my legs. I can feel the sting of the belt cutting into my back, my legs. I can feel the palm of his hand across my face, his fist crashing into my stomach. I can feel his unnatural entry and the blackness overcomes my mind and I escape into a place where his pain can’t reach me.

Those memories you try very very hard to erase. But, even in those memories comes learning, growing, and the comparison to the good. There is value in the negative memories because they make the positive shine so much brighter.

Then there are the good memories. The ones you hold as close as a toddlers favorite blanky. Memories that bring light into your eyes, smile onto your lips, the ones you love sharing.

I remember a night when my friend Megan and I went on a double date with these two cowboys. Literally. I was a bit surprised when after our hilarious dinner at Steak N Shake they took us to an Uhaul storage facility. Turned out, behind the Uhaul Storage place was a wide-open field with the most beautiful view of the never-ending Midwest stars. We pulled up in the trucks, they parked them side by side and opened the doors, put on country music and asked us to dance under the moonlight. We danced and danced. We sat on the end of the truck beds and we talked until the sun came up. It wasn’t a romantic match for either pair, but it was a night that stands out in our memory.

One of my most fond bittersweet memories was when I was in college. A girlfriend and I drove to another college to see a friend perform in a play. We were late getting out of work and drove over 100 miles an hour. Not smart, but we were young and reckless. We made the play. Afterwards we went out to dinner with some of her friends. Then, all young and single, we ended up at a local park the three of us girls with three boys. We swung on the swings while they pushed us, laughing and joking. We broke into pairs, one boy and one girl and wondered around the park, talking, laughing, and making out. Nothing more then a few kiss between adolescents trying to find their way from teens to adults. Gathering back together at the swing set, we watched the sun rise and went to breakfast. We were the first customers at a little doughnut shop. Our doughnuts were hot, melted in our hands and our mouths, the sweetest doughnuts I have ever tasted. I never saw the boy again, cant remember his name or what he looked like, but I remember the doughnuts and my girlfriends. I remember a night of innocent fun, kissing exploration and of time well spent.

I remember the first time I got drunk. I remember because well I almost got arrested. I made it to almost twenty before I drank alcohol. And the night I decided to drink I also decided that a trip to Walmart was in order. Actually, I am not sure who decided to go to Walmart, I just know I was a passenger. We get to Walmart and I suddenly have the bright idea to ride the mechanical horse. I put in a quarter and off I go… and out comes security. Which would have been fine but in my drunken stupor I think the horse is mine and I don’t want to get off, and I cant understand why the guy wont leave me and my horse alone. My friends are dying laughing but not helping matters… security calls the cops and well I guess we were gone before they got there.

Memories take you back in time, make life worth living. You can’t know joy without knowing pain. You can’t appreciate love without feeling hate. I believe all emotions are good emotions. I’d rather feel then not be able to. Sometimes, sad memories are good but most of the time I prefer ones that make me laugh or move me.

I remember where I was when I was informed that Evan was killed in Iraq. In the middle of a field problem, trying desperately to remember where I had left my knife (and not paying any attention to the Cadre.). I remember the older gentlemen who paid for our lunch at the Chinese place after drill one weekend and how shocked I was to be appreciated by a total stranger.

And I will never forget the look on the teenagers face when she rang up the chicken at the grocery store. It was a priceless memory. Mica, James and I had just come in from a long long cold field training exercise. We were in our BDU’s and caked in mud. We were headed to Mica’s house to make dinner. We were freezing, wet and exhausted. I thought making a comfort food dish would be just the thing. We had everything to make chicken and dumplings, but the chicken. Instead of going home and changing, we left and went straight to the store. The girl stared at us for the longest time, finally I said, “The chicken is already dead you know.” And James and Mica started laughing hysterically. Man, it would take days to discuss all the memories I made with them. Days. If you could see the smile that is lighting up my face right now as I think back to those memories. First motorcycle ride, early morning PT’s followed by hot breakfast together, late night taco runs, my first trip to a porn store. There are memories made with friends, memoires made with family and memories made with coworkers. Those of us who have ever put on a uniform, for however long it might have been, will never forget those they served with and those battle buddies that life brought their way.

I won’t forget the night I heard that Hussein was finally put to death or where I was the night Bin Laden was killed, or going to the bar with Steph and Sam afterwards. Feelings coursed through me, as my husband was fighting in Afghanistan at the time, and I had lost so many good friends in battle, the bittersweet conflicting emotions. Fear of retribution on our military, joy that he was dead, guilt for feeling joy over the death of a fellow human being, pride in our Country, a bit of peace and hope that it might, maybe, at some point in time, make the sacrifices more worth it.

I remember falling in love… again and again. Who doesn’t remember their first love? Romance. Ah, romance. What is better then a romantic memory?

I remember my first real kiss. It was at church, in the basement, (where Sunday school was held). I was ten and he was twelve. He wanted to hold my hand afterwards and I liked that better than the kiss. My first date included getting lost on the way back to my house in the country, which meant driving in circles for hours.

Who doesn’t remember losing their virginity? Ill spare you the details.

And I will never forget the first date with my husband. Our first kiss, in the middle of a busy DC street. I wont forget the first time we found out we were pregnant or the first loss of our baby. I remember the first time I saw my male German Shepherd, I can close my eyes and think about his little bitty head and his floppy ears. I can remember the smell of his puppy breath. I can walk by a perfume counter and get a whiff of the perfume my adopted grandmother wore and instantly think of her. Every time I hear a trumpet play I think about my high school boyfriend, Joe, who was killed by a semi truck driver. Whenever I see a mechanical bull I think about the one we rented and put outside our sorority house for the fraternities to ride, a trophy to the house that stayed on the longest, I think about that day, all smiles, and the photo I have of Brian riding the bull that sits on my desk to this day, nearly a decade later.

Memories only take a moment to make. But not all memories have to be big. Sometimes a memory can simply be stopping to take the time to do something together. One of my favorite memories with my husband was an all night Monopoly game. We had started the game on a work night with every intention of stopping when it got late. Suddenly, it is three o’clock in the morning and we are still working on the same game. We had to decide between going to bed for two and a half hours or staying up. A pot of coffee later and we had made one of my absolute favorite memories. I can’t tell you what we talked about or who won the game (pretty sure that was me) but I can tell you the memory was worth the wasted sleep.

I have had this purple stuffed rabbit for over twenty two years. Floppy has held an oceans worth of my tears. I have hugged him on airplanes and trains, during car rides and hospital stays. He has been there to greet me after funerals, birthdays and celebrations. He has gone on every vacation, to church camp, summer camp, trips to the dentist and doctors over his lifetime. He is a representation of memories from childhood to womanhood and beyond. I can hold him and feel the only consistent home I have ever had. His fur is now more gray then purple, his nose went from fuzzy to hard, and he carries the weight he has left in his butt.

But it is he who inspired this blog tonight. He has been touched by those who have meant the most to me in this life and he has held anger, frustration, sadness, joy and hope in his arms. I look at this little stuffed animal that was mass produced in some random factory and sold at some random store that ended up in a little abused, abandoned, and unloved, foster childs arms and I see a lifetime of memories.

Memories are that what makes our lives worth living. They are the breath of the soul. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of everyday life we forget to take the time to make a new memory. Big or small memories are what kept me alive.  A memory takes an otherwise ordinary day and puts it at the forefront of recollection.  A new memory can add life to our routine.

I am going to try very hard to make more ordinary days into memorable ones. 

Control v. Progress

One of the emotions that a woman going through depression- whether chronic, long or short term, event orientated or otherwise, may feel is the conflicting nature of control. When I miscarried I felt a total loss of control. I could eat what the doctor told me, sleep when she told me, take all the medication in the world but whether the baby lived or died was out of my control. I was helpless. Being helpless is not an emotion that I am ok with. I am a very independent woman; I have had no other choice in my life but to be. I can take care of myself pretty damn well. Having been homeless and going through multiple deployments concretes this. As many other military wives know, when you are living alone with your husband thousands of miles away you find the ability to do anything.

I couldn’t do anything about the situation. I couldn’t control the fate of the baby growing inside of me. I couldn’t fix the owie with a Band-Aid and a kiss. I couldn’t wrap my womb in duct tape or call a repairman to fix it. The entire situation was completely out of my control.

Ever since then I have been uber hyper aware of how these situations in the past have brought control issues to the forefront. I have been watching for the signs. When you face a loss and that loss happens to be something completely out of your control, your timing, your hands… you try to find other things to take into your hands. Because this is not my first loss I am able to recognize that and fight off the demons. I will eat. I will not puke. Fighting the demons of an eating disorder= unhealthy coping mechanism for grief. I have really been struggling lately. I can’t go to the gym yet. The all clear hasn’t been given until next Monday. I feel like instead of controlling anything I have controlled nothing and have spiraled completely out of control.

Which is the complete opposite of how I normally cope. Normally after a loss I hold everything as close to me as possible. Right now I am cutting things out of my life, and people. I normally try to control everything around me: money, food, pets, house, everything. Not this time. This time I seem to have let everything go. This time is a new adventure, new learning environment for me.

My house is dirty. To me, to any visitor, it seems not so much. I don’t have dirty dishes or dirty laundry but the floors need a good scrubbing, the floor boards need washed, the windows are dirty, the bedroom has clothes that need put away, my fridge and microwave need washed down… I could go on and on. For some people my house would be considered fine, but to me it’s a mess. It’s a mess and its driving me crazy. That is something I could control right now, but the depression, medication and body have decided to make it impossible to sleep. I am running on two hours (if I am lucky) a night and then running crazy with errands and things to do during the day. I haven’t had a nap in a week and if I was to add up the amount of sleep I have had in eight days it would be less then twenty hours. My energy is drained by two pm.

So my house is dirty. I haven’t paid attention to our spending and for the first time in a long time our account is way below the balance I allow it to get to. I haven’t felt like cooking so we’ve eaten out a lot. My dogs are acting out because they aren’t getting the attention they are used to. I’ve gained a pound and a half.

Want to know something crazy though? I don’t really care. It’s not bothering me much at all. I think that is the scariest thing about all of this. It is all I can do to live day to day and fight away the demons plaguing me, everything else, well is a bonus. I have homemade spaghetti sauce in the crockpot, the kitchen is clean, and my husbands uniforms are washed. That is not much for me, heck that is what I normally do before lunch and then some. But it’s done, and its progress.

Today when I woke up I didn’t think that I wish I hadn’t. That is progress. Instead I laughed at the way the bear my husband bought me on the way home from Afghanistan some how ended up in my bed and poised so it looked like it was watching me sleep. I looked at the clock and groaned at the fact that I had only gotten two hours of sleep. I groaned louder when a ninety-pound German Shepherd landed on my legs, his front paws on my chest licking my face, demanding I let him out. I padded downstairs in my fuzzy robe and my new slippers that I spontaneously bought myself at Target this week, made a cup of delicious hot coffee and took down the calendar and inserted a counseling appointment into the schedule… with a smiley face. But, not once did I wish I had died in my sleep. That is progress. Might not mean anything to anyone else, but it is a big step for me. It is amazing what hope can accomplish.

I know that I won’t be cured instantly from the depression I find myself rooted in. I know that going to counseling isn’t going to be magic, cure all, for what is ailing me. But, it is a step, a big step, in the right direction. It is a step towards the tools I need for rebuilding. It is a step into a better future. A good house doesn’t get built overnight, this isn’t an Extreme Makeover Home Improvement type experience. I have a great foundation right now, but my tools are old and rusty. I need to update them and fix some of the cracks and destruction that has appeared. The hardware store is in front of me, I just need to make the investment into the tools and make the rebuilding a priority.

So maybe its ok that my house is cluttered, my car a mess, and my dogs driving me up a wall. Maybe its ok that instead of decluttering I took time to have a lunch date with my husband. Maybe its ok that I spent a good hour on the phone with a friend, or writing a blog, both therapeutic to me, instead of dusting. Maybe, just maybe, living today and not resenting it was more important.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Glimmer of Hope

I have never been on psychiatric medication. I am not opposed to it, especially if it helps, and having worked at a psychiatric hospital I know how beneficial they can be. Some mental illnesses, like bipolar, need regular medication to control the symptoms. Other mental illnesses: some forms of depression, anxiety etc can be a short or long term medication process.

Having worked first hand at the State Psychiatric Hospital as well as growing up with family and fellow foster children with mental illness it is not something I take lightly, nor is it something that I am embarrassed of. One of the worst parts about mental illness is the stigma that goes along with it. It is the stigma that prevents some people from seeking out help.

That was not my case. My friends Amanda and Amanda can tell you I called Military One Source going on eight months ago seeking help. For the last eight months I have damn near begged for help within the military mental health system. I called numbers, waited at offices and really tried hard to find a counselor. I am pretty sure, (ok I think everyone is sure) that I am depressed. My pcp handed me (several) scripts for anxiety medication (try each and tell me which works best. Same thing he did with sleeping pills a year ago. Apparently the try them all method is his way of doing things) and told me he couldn’t recommend a counselor I would have to call Tricare.

After rudely being turned away from a mental health facility on post because my husband was in a “Non residential unit”(what the heck does that mean exactly anyway?!) and sitting in the Tricare office for two hours where I was told they couldn’t do the referral Id have to call Tricare and then Tricare sending me to an outdated website, calling Military One Source (three times, at averaging two hours a call!) I had all but given up. I was asking, actually I was begging for help. I KNEW what I was feeling was not ok. It is not ok to wake up in the morning and wish you hadn’t. It is not ok to go through the day hoping it will be your last. It is not ok to live in a fog of film. But I was and the miscarriage just added fuel to an already out of control fire.

Luckily, a friend of mine recommended a place. That’s where I found myself this afternoon. The lady asked a few questions about what was going on to figure out which counselor would work best for me (I told her I am certifiably crazy right now. She laughed. I wasn’t joking! Ha!) and I very evenly told here a brief overview of everything. Not only did she set an appointment for me with her but also with a psychiatrist. One who believes as I do that the medication shouldn’t mask the problem or cure it, but help with it. In other words if I get put on anxiety or depression medication it needs to be short term, helping while I get it under control, not a long term lifetime solution. I know from growing up in foster care and from other circumstances that I am not bi-polar, schizophrenic, or any other form which would require lifetime medication. In fact I’ve never been on medication (well I was on one for sleep that had been used as a pysch med before but now is used for the other properties) so I don’t know how it will affect me. What I did not want was medication without therapy.

While I was there I signed up for a support group. The group is only for women and it meets once a week for an hour and it teaches anxiety and stress coping, interpersonal relationship skills, and many other factors. That group is $5 copay. Not bad. So pretty much I will be doing counseling twice a week, a group and a personal. The group one I just thought was a good idea. I will play that one by ear and see how its working and if its worth going to.

The bad part of all of this is I have to spend $150 as the copay for the first one-hour therapy session and about $45 for each after. It gets a little pricey when you’re going an hour a week. But, my husband says it’s a cheap price to pay to get me back to his happy wife. They told me not to worry about insurance. They booked the appointment, will do all the billing for me and will work with me if for some reason the payments are steep. She said not to worry about anything but coming to my appointment. Even if the referral comes through after the fact they will forward bill. I don’t have to wait for the bureaucracy and red tape to get help. I was worried what if the referral didn’t come through? She said they’ve never had a problem but if it didn’t they would still charge me my copay amount and find another way around it. But, Im not to worry about anything to do with that right now. Just come in.

I had no emotion when I was talking to her about what I needed counseling for. Ive had no emotion explaining to people about the miscarriage. I have been pretty numb. The tears I do cry are in private, briefly and just enough to get out some of the pain. But, as I walked out of the counseling center I found myself start to tear up.

I sat in the car gathering my thoughts for about ten minutes before leaving the parking lot and I will admit I cried. I cried because I felt relief. For a brief second in my otherwise dark day I felt a light of hope penetrate. Someone listened and someone offered help, they didn’t turn me away. It felt like a huge giant step in the right direction. I know it sounds ridiculous but I can’t wait for my appointment just to start healing. 

Monday, September 26, 2011


Alarm clock beeping into subconscious relief waking you to the fact that you are alive. Wishing you could turn off your life as easily as hitting the snooze button. Living the day through a haze of actions and reactions. Alone in your head your plan and plot your demise but you know you could never go through with the actions. Wishing you had the courage, the determination, and the ability to provide the relief in which you seek. The plan is complete, absolutely infallible. The location, ideal. No worry about a known person having to find you, the procedure peaceful, the result: relief. Relief from the agony you go through every day alone. Agony worse then any physical pain could be, agony only you can feel. Words can’t express the pain. Only experiencing it can make it real.

The promise that keeps your life moving forward. The promise that adds another day to your misery. The promise to never end it. Someday you wonder if the pain wont overcome the promise, if the pain does not make you say “Enough!” and you realize you’d rather be with the person you made the promise to then to keep the promise to him.

Crying out for help did nothing more but make you feel more alone, more stupid. Telling the one person you thought could possibly care about your day to day obsession with death and getting no response concretes your uselessness in life. Did he tell you to seek help? Did he tell you he wanted you to live? Did he remove the loaded gun from the nightstand? No. Nothing but a back rub. They never take you seriously. Did we ever take you seriously? Did you make me promise because you knew how much your act would pain me, how much I would want the relief you took with your hands that November night? Did you make me promise because you were struggling and you knew how much our souls were entwined and how maybe, someday I would be in the same painful place you were in? Why? Why didn’t you tell me about your pain? Why didn’t you try sharing it and letting others carry some of it?

I know why now. Because asking for help is redundant. Asking for help when no one loves you is useless. Even sharing with your spouse that every single day, several times a day, you wish you hadn’t woken up, you wish you had died in surgery, in the car accident, when your appendix ruptured. When you finally open your mouth and speak the words inside of you and the answer is… nothing. When you call the number and spend two hours talking to a stranger on the other line who gives you a referral, and you call that number and wait. Call again and wait. Call again. And finally get a human who tells you they no longer accept the referrals they received too many, call the number again. You felt so stupid, so ashamed when you did call and now you are supposed to call again? No thank you. Your doctor says what you are feeling is normal, part of miscarriage, except you have felt this way for years, you tell them, and its not simply around a miscarriage. It is around day to day life. You hate your life. You don’t want to live. But hey, you won’t kill yourself, you wont harm yourself, youll just hope something or someone will do it for you. Another referral. Another rejection. Finding a place that is supposed to help military and their dependents but being looked at like I was stupid and being told I cant use the clinic, my husband is not a residential unit.

Fuck it all. How many times can you seek help? How many times can you admit you have a problem just to be turned away, time after time. Be told there is nothing wrong with you. Be refused help before you just give up? I’ve tried more then most people would before giving up. I thought there would be some help somewhere

Isolation. Isolation from love. Isolation from reality. Alone in your head where your plans of relief, plans of escape take shape. Sitting alone on a concrete garage floor, crying into your shirt, physical reaction of the pain inside, a small symptom of how much you hurt. A two minute break from the walls and the masks you wear. Drying your eyes, clearing your throat, back to acting normal, strong, not phased by anything you have experienced, normal to those around you. Isolation from feeling a connection to anyone else and biologically incapable of producing the one connection you want in life without it you don’t want life at all.

Waiting for the snores to come before allowing yourself to exhale. To cry. The weakness that comes from those tears annoys you but you have pushed so much down inside of you that if you do not allow a physical reaction to the emotional pain to come out each night you may actually explode To hate the fact that one more day was added to this punishment, this never-ending torture called life. Nothing you want more then to fall asleep, but sleep doesn’t come. Hours on hours you think about your failures, your lack of living in your life, the constantly day to day.

Content to continue in this process. Foot after foot, moment after moment, day after day. Cook. Clean. Wash. Dry. Shower. Eat. Breathe. Sleep. Wake. It’s the same. Day to day. Pleasure exists only on the surface, doesn’t get past it. No way to get past the walls. No way in. Just the overwhelming pain that each breath of life breaths. The reminder of how stupid you are, of how inadequate, replaceable, interchangeable, unlovabale. Just existing, just moving through, one day at a time. Reckless imagination hoping for a cure to the pain, lack of courage to follow through with plans, in-between living and existing, just moving… moving… moving…

A smile. “Doing well and how are you?” socially excepted response to “how are you today?” The “Is everything ok?” and the “I’m ok.” Because you’re always ok. You’re expected to be ok. You play the role and you continue on. 

Note: I am not asking for help in this blog. I am not suicidal. I am not going to hurt myself or anyone else. I had promised to blog open and honestly... this is where I am.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Two minus One Pregnancy

Earlier today I read a magazine article from NY Times about two minus one abortions. Now, I am not going to get into a discussion about whether or not I believe in abortion or women’s rights. What I am going to discuss is elective abortion where you choose to allow one baby to survive while you kill the others.

The article had a variety of examples of women who killed their babies. Two of the women mentioned made me see red. Both women faced infertility. Both had to have help getting pregnant.

Now, my husband and I are going through the same thing. We have lost baby after baby, pregnancy after pregnancy. We have grown attached to the babies that grew inside of us and were forced to bury one during a still birth procedure. We would do anything for a child(ren). If modern science was capable of allowing us to get pregnant and we found out we were having twins we would jump in excitement. It would NEVER cross my mind to abort one of the twins.

These women went through years of fertility treatment and pain to finally be given the news they were pregnant. Then, they find out they are carrying more then one child. One was carrying twins and already had children. The other was carrying triplets, had no children, and had for years tried to have children. They both found doctors who would eliminate some of the babies so they were each carrying one child.

Mind you, this is not elimination from septuplets to quads due to medical reasons. The mother’s lives were not endangered. The baby’s lives were not endangered. They simply did not want multiples. The cold-hearted choice they made without a lot of feeling. "And somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice." Continuing to read the article I became more and more irate at the hypocrisy. They were worried about money, yet because the procedure was not covered by insurance they paid $6,500 for the abortions.

‎"Even the twins would be robbed, because, at best, she could give each one only half of her attention and, she feared, only half of her love." I found this statement to be offensive to every parent out there with twins. Love isn’t about halves, or quarters. You can have six children and love each child with all of your heart. Love isn’t limited or quantitative. Love, is not a quantitated emotion. A person can love limitlessly. Loving others and being loved is two different things.

The concept of abortion is hard enough for me to stomach. Abortion based on incest, rape, and medical necessity has a bit more of an explanation to me. Abortion for birth control enrages me. Abortion based solely on the fact of a baby being an inconvenient is ridiculous, immoral, and unethical.

After having yet another miscarriage, being told yet again that I am a freak of nature and a freak of biology, wanting nothing more in life then to have a healthy baby I cant wrap my mind around those who are given the gift and turn it away.

If you don’t want the baby give it to someone who does. How are you going to tell your healthy child, hey you had a twin but I choose to kill him because he was an inconvenience to me?  You are only alive because the needle did not hit you.

Maybe, just maybe, weve allowed modern science to go from helping and curing to killing and destroying. How much more can society take before it implodes on itself? 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Post Partum Grief

When a woman has a baby and is depressed there is a lot of help out there for her. They do not want her to harm the baby or herself.

When a woman goes through a devastating miscarriage, or six, there is very little help. When she discusses her emotions and her feelings, her pain and her loss she is told it is “normal” and will pass. If you lose a child after it is born you are not told it will pass, you are allowed to grieve. Women who go through  miscarriages, especially first trimester, are written off. Told, as I have been, to wait for the pregnancy hormones to go away and things will write themselves.

I’ve never truly grieved from any of my miscarriage losses, not the first trimester, second trimester or third trimester losses. It is not socially acceptable. It is as if you are supposed to just go on with your life. The surgery, or if your body naturally aborts the baby, ends the pregnancy and the discussion. Yeah, you lost a baby, but really at nine weeks it was just a pile of tissue, sure it had a heartbeat but its not like it even looked like a baby.

I am not going to post a picture of what a nine week miscarriage looks like, the shock factor is not what I am going for. Google it if you choose. But they do look like babies because they ARE a baby. A baby. A human. And I believe with a soul. I know the exact moment when mine have died. I have woken up, or if I am awake, I simply feel the emptiness where once I felt full.

It is not just the loss of the baby it is the lost of the hopes and the dreams that comes with a baby. I don’t know what it feels like to be loved, but I know a baby, only a baby of mine, could love me. A baby loves its mother. It depends on them. A baby needs you. A baby belongs to you. You love and you cherish the child. I am not na├»ve, I know the work it takes to raise a baby, I’ve raised children, I’ve taken care of them, I’ve been there. I know.

I want a baby to be a merging of my love for my husband, a merging of our blood, a continuance of our blood lines. I want a baby to raise to be a vibrant, loving human being. I want a baby to grow my family, to share my love and my passions for life with, to show the beauty of the world with. There are hundreds of reasons why I want a baby. A blood baby. Both of my parents are dead. I am the only child from them.  I also think the biological aspect is important for other reasons.

So when you lose a baby, when it dies inside of you, the reasons unknown and in one second those hopes and dreams are shattered it takes more then a drop of hcg levels to make the pain go away.

When that occurs time and time again it becomes heartbreaking and unbearable. And when you are faced with staring at women who have babies, healthy, beautiful children and had no problem conceiving and are faced with your inadequacies as a woman it is hard and it hurts.

It’s not so easy to get over. Not so easy to forget about.

I lost my appendix. The process hurt. But I was not attached to my appendix. I don’t walk around looking at other people’s appendixes or seeing them grow inside of them. I physically healed and emotionally it was no problem.

When I log into facebook I see my friends beautiful smiling children. I see growing bellies. I see positive pregnancy test. I see ultrasound photos. When I go out I see new born babies everywhere I look. Constant reminders of the pain.

Pain pills run out, the bleeding stops, but time continues. Your due date happens. And happens again. And if you are like me there are multiple due dates. You see women who were pregnant at the same time as you celebrating the childs third birthday, fourth birthday, fifth birthday. Christmas comes around and you realize you could have five beautiful precious children sharing the holiday with you instead of being there alone.

Infertility hurt. Miscarriages hurt. The pain doesn’t just dissipate and it shouldn’t be a hidden, secret pain that women have to go through alone.