Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eating gas station trail mix and swallowing my own tears to wash down the salty dryness.

Last night I went to bed with tears falling down my face and this morning I woke up with tears falling down my face. When I try to tap the underlying feeling behind the tears, I cannot quite find it. And I know I do not have to find it, but still I want to make them stop. Or at least subside here and there so I do not feel like my heart has been painted gray and is floundering for footing that never seems to come.

This has all been harder than I though it might be. Being physically diminished and emotionally wounded is like being trapped in some kind of cavern. I can feel the rocks wet and hard and thick around me, but there is no light. I think bats are overhead and pools of water below me, and maybe I want to be swiped by the bats and fall back into the water and sink for a while and then come back up and see some kind of glow over the cave that is holding me captive and have the jagged edges become defined with reason and guidance for what is next.

I keep wondering if I need to make sense out of any of this or come to any kind of conclusive state of mind. For now, I am trying to just be in this unusual, unfamiliar state of mind and heart. I am trying to be okay with being depressed and full of anxiety and grief.

I keep contemplating how there are two wombs involved here. I mean how lucky am I that the first time some sliders of life were sent up my vagina they clicked with my egg and I found myself pregnant? But, please remember that we have been trying with kk for almost two years. And we have been let down over and over and over again. And for just once we had a respite from the negative test.

Oh, and then shock hung over my chest like a murky ocean wave. And I felt sick and hijacked for weeks. And then I started to feel better and then what had been living inside of me was dead. And then its deadness came dropping out of me and sent my hormones raging yet again to a place where I have no control. Or as I have been discovering I’ve been in a place where I let my fear have all the control. And, every time I go pee there is still the reminder of the life that was once in me on the surface of the plush pads that I have been wearing for nearly two weeks.

And while I still am asking the question if sense does need to be made…I have to think that maybe this hard road does have some meaning—meaning with conclusions attached. Like maybe we are not meant to be parents. Maybe we are meant to love one another fiercely and love our community with pure attentiveness and work for justice with all of our might, time, and energy. And maybe I am not really cut out to carry a child in my womb—maybe my strengths rest in other arenas of creating life and giving back to this larger than me life force.

Well, I am still sitting here with the bag of trail mix next to me; the tears tucked up in my eye rims for now; the snow falling more; the day gray and cold; the cave still dark; the glow maybe waiting beneath it all.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


um, i spoke way too soon about thinking it was all almost over. yesterday what came out of me was like a horror show and the pain for a few hours was insane.

at 1:30 i started having pretty steady regular cramps. then i had a healing session/massage with a great therapist. i had cramps all through it but handle them okay. then k and i went and had sandwiches and ice cream. i ate it all through some rough cramping. when we got home. around 5:20 i stood up and a gush of blood dropped between my legs. i ran up to the bathroom and passed the first of about nine clots in total. they were large clots like lemons and long fingers. i documented many of them but won't gross you out.

All through the passage of the first six clots, i was in excrutiating pain. i thought my uterus my come sliding out into the toilet.

i called the midwife on call, cause i was bleeding a lot, she told me to get off the toilet because you cannot tell how much blood is really coming out and if i was filling more than a pad an hour i should go to the er. well i filled up a few pads pretty quickly, but they were the thin overnites, so who knows...

i also called my midwife friend and she told me to take the cohoshs (blue one half hour black the next half hour for four hours). i did so and the bleeding seemed to lessen. i let out some more liquid and clots around midnight and then hit the bed. through the nite i did not bleed very much.

and now i am here writing hoping the bleeding stays less throughout the day.
it is the 7 year anniversary of k's mama's passing so she is going to be with her dad and brother and my mama and dad are coming to hang out with me just in case i start to bleed too much.

i have to say all of the bleeding freaked the utter hell out of me. i got panicky and scared and thought i might die. keep in mind i have very light periods--light bleeding for two to three days tops. and passing semi-large pieces of tissue is weird.

here's to hoping it is almost really, really done.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

fixing my gaze on other things

still bleeding. still having cramps here and there. wanting it to be over and done with. thursday night was the worst so far. I was up all night with pretty hard cramping. every hour i got up to piss and a quarter size clot would disembark from my vaginal canal into the not so sacred place of toilet water.

i'm trying to just go on with life, minus work. I skipped work last week. I hung out with k at her work on thursday anticipating hard pain. But the pain did not come until that night. I went for a walk yesterday with pookah, our sweet whippet. I walked through the pain of some pretty heavy cramping and felt better for it upon my return home.

my plan now is to train hard. after that which once lived within me is totally expelled from my womb, I plan to get back into the groove of cycling hard and fast and long. My new goal is to participate in the ODRAM (a ride across michigan in one day--150 miles) in september of 2009. last year 20-25 miles a day was normal for me. This year I want a 30-40 mile ride to be normal for me.

I also cannot wait for spring. I look forward to gardening like a mad woman. I might not be able to grow a human just yet, but I sure can grow living things that come out of the earth. I'm really going to focus on herbs this year. I want to quadruple my chamomile plants. I am hoping to get some bergamot growing throughout my yard. I want to up the ante with lavender and coriander (I've already used up all of my coriander from last harvest). and I also want to explore the possibilities for creating my own herbal essential oils...

i am focusing on things far away from the creation of children. i have to to keep my sanity. as i explained to the midwife on the phone after she confirmed the miscarriage was happening (which was first confirmed by the really calm and nice ultra sound tech), there have been two wombs involved in all of this trying and loss and it has been going on for almost two years and it is tiring and trying.

so on to other things that give me the deepest sense of being alive--physical activities out and about in the beautiful surroundings of this earth and growing things in the soil then harvesting them and taking the bounty into my being and providing sustenance for the bodies of the people I love.

at night the emptiness of what we have constructed as a desire for our lives--the desire for children + the absence of those children = the emptiness--does surface and haunt my heart, but I steady my gaze on other life-giving ideas and plans and then it doesn't hurt so bad.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Music for a miscarriage

Over the last few days, I really did not think that which had been living inside me was still alive. My body just knew it. Perhaps it was my mind preparing me for the finality of the ultrasound images, but whatever it was, a graceful intuition let me know that today there would be no heartbeat. And now I am swallowing this pill laced with loss a bit easier than I might have otherwise (at least for now).

Last night when sleep would not come, I started a soundtrack of music for a miscarriage in my head. Below are the songs that surfaced for this day with some lines I like and my little reflection next to them. Thank you all for your kind words and support throughout this crazy and befuddling time. Our hearts are achy and numb and jagged around the edges. If anyone wants me to burn the tunes listed below, just let me know and I will send them your way. You really have to hear them to get the full impact of the soundtrack!

Music for when a heart is little bit cracked

Red House Painters—Song for a Blue Guitar Some lines: “In the room all I feel is the cold that you left/ In the air all I see is your face full of blame/ What’s left to see?/ What’s there to see?” Reflection: Because Mark Kozelek’s voice is familiar and his words touching and the tone of his music reaches that sweet space in my soul.

Patty Griffin—When it don’t Come Easy Some lines: “But if you break down,
I'll drive out and find you/ If you forget my love, I'll try to remind you/
And stay by you when it don't come easy/ I don't know nothing except change will come/ Year after year what we do is undone/ Time keeps moving from a crawl to a run/ I wonder if we're gonna ever get home” Reflection: Patty Griffin's voice is like a healing balm. Her lyrics hit at the core of so much involved in the mundane and extraordinary of the human experience. This song reminds me of my mom—I know she would always come out and find me if I was lost or confused. Throughout the fragile time of my short-lived pregnancy, I was reminded of her tenacity for loving her children as I listened to this…

Mahalia Jackson, Take My Hand, Precious Lord Some lines:
Precious Lord, take my hand.
Lead me on, let me stand.
I am tired, I am weak, and worn.
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home
Reflection: I simply love this song. I love Mahalia Jackson’s voice and the depth of her belief and the grace and guidance she calls for in these old words.

Bob Dylan—Let me Die in My Footsteps Some lines: “And some people thinking that the end is close by, instead of learning to live they are learning to die/ let me die in my footsteps before I go down under the ground.” This song makes me want to live and live well. In my depressive teenage years, I used to listen to this song over and over to help me make it through the days. I still need it.

Robert Johnson—Stones in my Passway Some lines: “I got stones in my passway/ and all my roads seem dark at night/ I got stones in my passway/ and all my roads seem dark at night/ I have pains in my heart/ they have taken my appetite/ I have a bird to whistle/ I have a bird to sing/ Have a bird to whistle/ and I have a bird to sing” Reflection: Cause the blues are good for me right now.

Dirty Three—The Restless Waves Instrumental. The music simply reflects the rises, dips, and plateaus of my emotions over the last many weeks.

Phil Ochs--When I'm Gone Some lines: "Won't see the golden of the sun when I'm gone/
And the evenings and the mornings will be one when I'm gone/
Can't be singing louder than the guns when I'm gone/
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here." Reflection: This is our song (kk and me). I first shared it with her when we were newly together, nine years ago, and it is our reminder to work for what is just and right while we are here, to love with a fierce persistence while we are alive, to take in the beauty and plainness of everyday while we still have breath in our lungs.

Chris Bathgate—A Problem in Dissonance Solved Some lines: “The kids they will come out the kids will come out they come, so I will withdraw now cause enough within this world is broke.” This song always makes me well up with emotion. It is melodic and melancholy and touches a nerve of truth somewhere in the cavity of my chest where my heart lives.

Townes Van Zandt—Snow Don’t Fall Some lines: “My love I need not see to know she casts her glance at me/ snow don’t fall on summer’s time/ wind don’t blow below the sea/ my love lies ‘neath frozen skies and waits in sweet repose for me” Reflection: This is my favorite Van Zandt tune and it makes me happy in Winter. It makes me think of hope and how I need it in my life.

Joy Division—Disorder Some Lines: “I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand/ Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man/ New sensations bear the innocence, leave them for another day/ I've got the spirit, lose the feeling, take the shock away.” One of my favorite Joy Division songs; it always makes me contemplative and excited at once. I feel on the edge of something bigger and better and scary when I listen to it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

red blood

Well. the blood has turned to red and there is more of it. talked to the nurse and the on-call midwife today. i have an appointment for wednesday at 8:00am. it is the first slot they had available. we are preparing for a let down and keeping a small bit of hope. it is hard to be balanced in a time like this.

we rented some movies and took tomorrow off of work in order to rest and keep ready for the possible onset of more blood and tissue.

i had my bloodwork today.

while i could go to the er, i'd rather ride this out at home in a space where i am comfortable and more peaceful.

just wanted to put the news out there. it is not all bad, but far from good.
i've been crying a lot. just weeping out of nowhere.
what a week for this to all come down. sunday is year seven for the loss of kk's mama. so k's emotions are already so fragile and wound in a tight cloak of loss and grief.

till the next time...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

the uncertainty is maddening.

around 11:00 this morning i had some spotting. just a little, but some nevertheless. then some more around 1:30. it is brown and old looking with no cramping. i called a midwife friend and she explained that it could be the 9/10 week fetus now living off placenta blood. i've also had some burning in my crotch--not while i pee, but after when i am sitting around--the bacterial vaginosis/yeast infection kind of burning.

i did end up calling the on-call doctor at the clinic. and he was really nice and wants me to call and make an appointment for monday or tuesday. he said he wanted me in way before february 6th especially cause of the spotting and rh issues and all of that. he told me he understood how the receptionists at the east ann arbor clinic were about scheduling appointments (which is basically not so flexible or nice) and so he said he would leave a note and he wanted me to call monday morning and get an appointment for monday or tuesday.

in the meantime, if cramping and heavier bleeding occur, i need to call back and then make my way to the er.

i am trying to be positive and understand that k and i will weather whatever befalls us, but keeping my mind centered and at peace is so hard. my heart is sort of sputtering--flipping around trying to make sense of all of these opportunities before me for practicing patience. i want answers and heartbeats. but alas...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Making it through the days of winter

It is cold and snowy here in Michigan. So far this year, we have been hit with many downpours of snow. Beautiful and slushy; thick and slippery; cold and miracle-like how it bends to the curves of the landscape and holds its place among us like a new skin.

I like the snow. I like taking evening walks with kk and breathing in the crisp, cold air and the life that comes with it. Instead of crashing at 8:00 a winter walk gives me the energy to make it till almost 10:00. Then I head to bed with an overwhelming fatigue that is a kind of tired I have never experienced.

While the winter keeps us bound to our home quite a bit more than warmer weather, it also gives me a space to reflect on all of this newness in our life. I am still befuddled at the fact that I am pregnant and worry / nervousness tends to come barreling at my thoughts even though I am trying to stay positive.

Still, not seeing the midwife for another three and half more weeks is a struggle for me. I want to know about this little critter sucking all of the energy out of my flesh and blood and bones. I want to hear its little heart beat, so I can confirm it is really there. It is almost like that yearning to know that god is really living. I want to know that this life inside me is really just that and that it is alive and okay for the time being.

Facing unknown territory is difficult for me. Going toward the blankness—the blanket of not knowing—the gray with no objects, is a challenge that I both am willing and wanting to venture on and at the same fear is potently striding beside me. And I know some of it is so unfounded and ludicrous, but…I tend to paint my own stories onto the blankness; hence, my urge to make up fantastic stories about what is happening to my body.

For instance, on Saturday, k and I snowshoed a good long while. I kind of overdid it, but it felt good. However, I sort of bunked my right shoulder out. It hurt me all night and then it hurt the next two days. And instead of attributing it to the snowshoeing, I started attributing it to an ectopic pregnancy (cause shoulder pain is one of the 10 or more symptoms) and then any little pull on my lower abdomen started spiraling me into researching it more… and well… you get the picture.

I know that no matter what the future holds in these coming months k and I will plunge through it and she will hold me and I will hold her and all of the good, gracious people in our lives will stand with us. I just need to tame my thoughts a bit more and then accept my peaceful moments as gifts.

Winter provides so much pondering time. Maybe too much; maybe not.
I look forward to another winter walk this evening before an arctic cold front comes crashing in on these parts and leaves us more tied to the indoors (9 degrees F not factoring wind chill into the mix is way cold). Tonight I will focus on the good, the positive, the beauty hanging all over my life.

Monday, January 5, 2009


i know it has been a long time...

i've been down and out. learning to cope with this critter living in me, has been quite a ride so far. as kk so eloquently put it, i've been feeling downright crappy. i lost about eight pounds, but i am gaining it back. i straight up lost my appetite for two whole weeks. for one week, i shoved bits of food in my mouth, but not enough food so i felt like even worse crap. i was glued to the couch and depressed--depression to the point of no shower for almost one solid week.

i went from being super active to no all. now i am walking at least 40 minutes a day which helps immensely. and i plan on visiting the bicycle at the gym as soon as i am eating more veg and protein again.

anyhow, this ride is something. it is miraculous that the sperm took after one time. i feel blessed and scared and thrilled and more scared and excited and scared.

i also feel loved. i feel loved by my bio-family and my chosen family and neighbors and old friends and new friends. i am so thankful for this abounding love. i am so thankful that k and i get to bring a wee one onto this life surrounded with good and strong and caring and loving people.

i have my first phone interview with the clinic next week and my first appointment with the midwife is on february 6--one more month of waiting. it seems like forever, but i know it is not.

that's it for now.

happy,happy new year!