Category Archives: grief

single parenting and death

How’s that for a headline? Don’t worry – DW and I are just fine 🙂 Her grandpa died on Thursday and she had to fly to LA to be with her mom with no notice, so I’m on my own with the boys from last night (Friday) through Tues. when my mom will arrive to help me out (she has my brother’s kids for the long weekend). DW returns Tuesday PM.

Grandpa was 99 years old – his 100th was coming up this week. He was a great guy and an amazing grandfather, so of course we are sad at his passing. That said, his quality of life has been bad for several years, so it’s also a positive.

We decided to tell Monkey about it since he visited Grandpa many times and we thought since they weren’t super close, it might be a good way to start talking more about death and dying. He took it well initially and had lots of questions. Later than night, he expressed concern about my dad (“Papa is old, is he going to die?” “We only have one Grandpa left.”) and his uncle (Muncle John) and he cried and said he was sad about Grandpa.

We dropped DW off at the airport last night and came home and started getting ready for bed. My plan was to get the MM down first in his bed, then Monkey in our bed, and move the MM to our bed when I went to bed. I got Monkey involved in a Wii game and told him not to come upstairs so that I could get brother to sleep. It took FOREVER, but I finally managed it. Then I got Monkey ready for bed and we talked some more about Grandpa, but there were no tears. Took from 6:45-8:15, but both boys were offically out and I was on Mama time. It was very exciting: iPad and HGTV!

I went up around 10 and got myself ready, moved the bedrails from the MMs room to our room, moved the baby gate from the MMs room to our room, woke Monkey to go potty, then transferred the MM. I slept in the middle and it was, shall we say, very cozy, even though we have a California king size bed. All was well until the MM woke up yelling at 2:30AM (“I DON’T WANT THIS BED! I WANT THE OTHER BED!”). Monkey woke up, I told him to lay down and I walked around with the MM to get him back to sleep. He did, but the minute I tried to lay down with him, the screaming began again. I decided to try to get him down in his room and then transfer him.

Got him down fairly quickly, but when I tried to get up, he woke up and cried. I brought Monkey into the room and had him get in the (full size) bed. Realized Monkey was crying. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he’s sad about Grandpa 😦 I sat down next to him and comforted him while rocking with the MM. Got him calmed down and got back in bed, this time with the MM in the middle. Then both boys got the giggles. For like 40 minutes. I thought I was going to lose my mind, y’all. They finally dropped at 4:30AM. I had to move the baby gate from our room to the boys room and then collapsed on the 3 inches of mattress I had.

Boys woke up just before 7. Sigh. We moved to the big bed (along with the baby gate) and they played on the iPad while I snoozed for half an hour. Came downstairs, fed cats, fed kids, got ready to shower in our small bathroom downstairs with stern warnings of no fighting. Just as I was stepping into the shower, Monkey runs in and says the MM wants to get in. Sigh. Get him stripped down and in the shower. After the fastest shower on record, I get us dried and dressed. Finished getting ready and headed to the mall to hit STAR.BUCKS!!!!, the play area, the Disn.ey St.ore, Leg.o Store, and Ga.me Sto.p. They did pretty well considering the sleepless night. We have had lunch and they are now watching a movie and eating popcorn, which is how I have the time to write this novel.

Planning to order pizza for dinner, and hit the local kids museum in the morning and maybe see The Goo.d Dino.saur in the afternoon at the $2 theater. Monkey is supposed to be back to school Monday (year-round calendar here and he’s been out for three weeks), but there is a good chance of ice and snow, so I may have both of them stuck inside. Pray for me. I got lucky with work: they give you up to 5 bereavement days that don’t count against your PTO, so I’m taking Monday and Tuesday, and will work from home Wednesday and Thursday while my Mom is here.

Other random updates:

  • Monkey is having his tonsils and adenoids removed on April 20.
  • We found out yesterday that he got into the local magnet school we applied for.
  • My mom will be here for her birthday (2/16).
  • DW’s birthday is 2/22 and I have no idea what to get her. She just buys what she wants during the year. I told her to go on a shopping spree while she’s in California, but she probably won’t. What should I do?????

I’ll try to update again tomorrow with more wackiness. I figure this will be a good post to read when I’m reminiscing about my perfect babies in the future. LOL.

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Filed under grief, sleep, travel, Uncategorized

trigger warning {miscarriage} – remembering

A new friend here in NC found out yesterday that her baby doesn’t have a heartbeat (she was 10 weeks pregnant). She goes in for a D&C today. I am so incredibly sad and angry for her. She was so excited for this (her first) baby. It is really bringing all of the memories of my own miscarriage back and has me feeling so down. Of course, this isn’t about me, but about my devastated friend. But on my blog, I thought I could talk a bit about it and then let it go.

When I opened her email telling me that the baby didn’t have a heartbeat, I felt light-headed. My heart felt like it dropped into my stomach. I began flashing back to all of the details of my miscarriage – the ultrasound that quickly turned from exciting to terrifying, going to the mall instead of home because our housekeeper was there that day, watching everyone go on with their normal day while I was in such pain and misery, the ever sunny Southern California yellow and blue day. I also had an awful cold, so I felt physically terrible as well as mentally.

I remember going in for the D&C, and the uncontrollable, unstoppable crying. The deep, physical wound of it all. I was all of 5 weeks pregnant and it was devastating. I know women who’ve lost pregnancies at 20+ weeks, women who have experienced multiple miscarriages, women who have lost their born babies and children. And I am in awe of their strength – their ability to keep living, and even to thrive again after suffering the worst blow imaginable.

Women are warriors, plain and simple. I’m so very honored to be among your ranks.

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Filed under grief, miscarriage

attitude adjustment

Here comes a MiL vent! My FiL died in January of 08 after a 2 year battle with leukemia. It was awful and sad and terrible. DW and I decided (after several years of discussions) we wanted to try for a baby in March of 08. MiL was very pro-grandbaby, as you can imagine. We thought that it would be a great focus for her after years of illness and death. It has not quite turned out that way, however.

Since FiL died, MiL has been understandably depressed. The way that it manifests itself is that she is always in crisis – health crisis (not to be mean, but often these are either minor [crowns for her teeth] or seemingly imagined [phantom pains that have no diagnosis/treatment]), pet crisis, extended family crisis, money crisis. You name it, she has it. So we have a LOT of extra drama in our lives at a time that we just don’t have the reserves or patience for it. The latest is a surgery for sleep apnea, which she had last Friday. She wanted DW to take care of her during/post surgery, which she thought would be a week or two. DW had to say no since she has a full-time job that can’t be put on hold – raising our kid! I work full-time and she is the SAHM. There is no respect at all for that from MiL. She never acknowledges how difficult it is to be a new parent; how much work it is, the sleep-deprivation, etc., etc. She is very demanding of our time and offers very little in the way of help to us with the baby. Naturally this situation leads to resentment toward her from both of us as well as to disagreements between DW and I on how it should be handled. DW is an only child – there is no one else to share the burden.

MiL got another family member to drive cross-country to help her post-surgery and it has been a nightmare. Not only are they not helpful, but they are actively causing more stress. They let out both of MiL’s indoor-only cats the first night they were there. One showed up the next morning, but the other was missing for 24 hours. Thank God it finally showed up, so that drama is resolved. The family member brought her grown son who is an alcoholic and an asshole. He is causing trouble constantly. DW is wishing she had just agreed to care for her mother in addition to baby. We had an argument about it, as we usually do when MiL comes up. It comes down to me saying that our family, our son is our top priority. We can not be the support that MiL needs. DW says what can she do? There is no one else to help, she lost her husband, etc. I go between feeling guilty and full of rage at the situation. Why can’t we raise our family the way MiL got to? Why do we have to have the additional burden of MiL’s drama – much of it self-created? Not to mention MiL is only 60-ish. It’s not like she’s old and should need so much support.

All that said, I’m trying really hard to alter my attitude and the way I respond to the situation. I need to realize that there is nothing I can do to change MiL or to get DW to relinquish her daughterly duties (not that I want that, really – just a reduction in the amount of support needed). I’m trying to focus on the fact that I have a great DW and I finally have the baby I wanted so so badly. Even if the worst happens and we end up having to care for MiL, I will still have these gifts. MiL loves S and accepts our relationship. See what I’m doing here? Trying to focus on the positives? Yeah, I need to do more of that because the situation looks unlikely to change. The only thing I have control over is my response and I need to figure out a way to deal with it. It all comes down to this: It is really just so unfair that FiL is gone. Totally and completely and wholly shitty on so many levels.

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Filed under family, grief

>emerging from the blahs

>The last few days have been a little rough. Nothing too serious, just kind of depressed and not wanting to do anything. I had trouble sleeping Sunday and Monday nights, so I worked from home yesterday so I could sleep in and just hang out. Not the best idea as I was home alone to brood and think without interruption. Working from home used to be great but since the miscarriage, I find that I prefer to be at work where I have to interact and don’t get the time to think too much. Lately when I find myself feeling badly and thinking about the miscarriage, I get this mental image of Charlie Brown hitting the ground with a WHAM after Lucy has pulled the football away from him:

Photobucket

It is oddly comforting. Weird, right? Baby as football. But the WHAM part is what it feels like. To have that baby dangled in front of you and then just taken away, just like that. That is a cruel trick, nature.

We started the Delestrogen injections last night and our FET is 2 weeks from Friday. Yesterday I started Googling FET and age and found all this doom and gloom and then remembered that in medical cases, Google is not your friend. I’m trying to focus on the fact that I have 8 frozen embryos, all excellent quality, and on my doctor’s insistence that this is going to work. I find myself really wishing for twins so that I never have to even think about going through this process again. DW wants to adopt a second, and I’m fine with that except that it seems like the adoption process could be just as all-consuming as TTC is and right now, I don’t know that I can do it again.

Anyway, today I’m at work and feeling better about things. Hoping April has a nice surprise in store for us.

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Filed under FET, grief, miscarriage

>apologies

>I’m sorry if I upset or offended anyone with my comments on grief in my last post. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that a miscarriage isn’t worthy of grief, or that it is less worthy of grief than other losses. I guess I was trying to make some sense of where this falls in my own personal grief/loss spectrum so that I could box it up and put it away, which is a silly and rather pointless exercise. Mine is a rational, logical mind that tends to want to label and organize, which is I guess where I was going yesterday. Anyway, I’m truly sorry if my comments were insensitive. That was definitely not my intent.

The wife and I talked a bit last night and she is on the “let’s wait” side of things. We are about to remodel our master bathroom and she is worried about the added stress of that and about things like breathing in dust and sleeping on a futon while pregnant. I know logically that she is right, but that would mean waiting about 4 months and I just don’t think I can do that. I’ll be 39 in May and I can feel that clock ticking. We’ve already been at this a year. I told her I would seriously think about it, and I will, but right now I can’t imagine waiting that long. I also want to respect her feelings – I mean this isn’t just about me. Arg.

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Filed under grief, miscarriage

>questioning

>As most people probably do after a miscarriage, I find my moods rapidly changing and I’m questioning everything. I go from thinking maybe I don’t want to try again to desperately wanting to get to my next cycle. I’m afraid to try again. I can’t wait to try again. I wonder how much of this is hormones and how much is natural grieving. Grieving feels like too strong a word for my situation, but it’s as close as I can get to the feeling. Grieving-lite?

I’m also wondering if we should have waited longer between my myomectomy and IVF. I went by my RE’s schedule, but I know most doctors advise patients to wait 3 months (we waited 2). Could that be why I miscarried? If I start this next cycle in two weeks (again what my RE is telling me is possible), is that enough time to have healed after a D&C and laparoscopy? I really want to move forward as soon as possible, but I’m scared that this will happen again if my body isn’t back to normal. I don’t know what to do. I’m hoping that once my hormones level off, I can look at the situation more objectively.

I go in for a post-op check and bloodwork on Friday. I think I’ll run these questions by my RE then and see what he advises.

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Filed under grief, IVF, miscarriage