Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I am happy for you

I truly am happy for you. I am happy for you if you want that child growing inside you. I share your joy if you are grateful every single day that you are pregnant. If you cherish every feeling and symptom, even the morning sickness and swollen ankles, because it means a life is being created in you. I am thrilled for you if you are going to love being a mother, give your heart completely to raising that child, and thank God that you are blessed enough to be able to give birth.

I am only jealous and bitter towards those of you who don’t recognize how lucky you are. You who never wanted to be a mother. You who are only worried about stretch marks and getting fat, who care more about what your body will look like than how healthy your baby is. I despise those of you who take the new life you have been blessed with for granted and don’t give it the care and nourishment it needs to grow properly, you who still smoke, drink heavily, take drugs or abuse your body. You who neglect or abuse that precious child after it is born. I don’t understand why you have a child and I do not.

But you good mothers, you deserving, loving women who want and adore your child, you do not make me angry. It makes me sad that I cannot have what you do, but I am happy for you. I may cry when you share your healthy ultrasound photos as I remember how terrifying and disappointing my ultrasounds were. I might not be able to look at the pictures of your perfect growing belly without thinking about how much I wish I looked like you, but I am happy for you. I want you to be a mother, you deserve the happiness you have because you appreciate and cherish it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing

I've heard this Shania Twain song a few times recently and I was touched by how well it captures how I've felt over the last few months. Not just the sadness, but the way those of us suffering through the pain of a miscarriage try to act okay because everyone expects us to be fine.

Hope life's been good to you
since you've been gone
I'm doing fine now--I've finally moved on
It's not so bad--I'm not that sad

I'm not surprised just how well I've survived
I'm over the worst, and I feel so alive
I can't complain--I'm free again

And it only hurts when I'm breathing
My heart only breaks when it's beating
My dreams only die when I'm dreaming
So, I hold my breath--to forget

Don't think I'm lyin' round cryin' at night
There's no need to worry I'm really all right
I've never looked back--as a matter of fact

It only hurts when I breathe

Friday, August 6, 2010


My mom had another scan on Tuesday to see how her tumors were reacting to the chemo. From the outside, from what we could observe, she seemed to be doing great. Since she started chemo she’s been breathing better, looking better, able to walk and talk and go out and do things that prior to her treatment she could not do. The chemo never exhausted her, made her sick, nauseous, or anything. Her hair has only started to thin and she still has so much that she hasn’t had to wear a wig yet. Her doctor could feel that one of the tumors in her lymph node had shrunk, and the fact that she was breathing easier seemed to be proof that the tumors in her lungs were shrinking.

But, despite all that, she was scared, and understandably so. I tried reassuring her, all the outward signs pointed to an improvement. I also used the logic that I brace myself with when facing scary results: the truth is the truth whether you know it or not. Knowing doesn’t change anything, for better or worse. I don’t think my words helped much, and I get why. It would be like someone trying to comfort me when I was waiting for the final ultrasound to determine if my baby had died: “Don’t be nervous, if your baby is dead, knowing isn’t going to change anything.” It wouldn’t have helped and I didn’t help my mom. All I could do was tell her to try to relax.
This morning she got the results and they were great. Her doctor called her today and said the results were “spectacular.” The tumor in her lymph node is almost gone, the tumor in her liver is gone, and the fluid in her lungs (which was making it hard for her to walk or talk before she began chemo) is almost gone!
Her oncologist said at first he was worried when the radiologist called him, because normally he only calls when the news is really bad, but the radiologist called because her results were the most dramatic he had ever seen!

I am so happy for this wonderful news. It is such a wonderful blessing for my family and I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you to everyone who has offered support to me and thoughts and prayers for my mother through this. I truly appreciate all the kindness that has been extended to our family and I know that the prayers are working for my mother.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I just returned from a week in Hawaii. I went with my husband’s 15 year old sister, Jackie, to visit their other sister, Jenn. Her husband is an officer in the Marines and they are stationed on Oahu. He is currently deployed to Vietnam so Jackie and I spent a week with Jenn and our nephew Straton, who is 3, and our new niece Lyla, who is now 6 weeks old.

We planned this trip months ago, back when I was still happily pregnant. I was so excited, Hawaii is one of my favorite places, I vacationed on the big island growing up, and we went to Kauai for our honeymoon. I was thrilled to get to see another island. I also adore both of my sisters-in-law, and was eager to meet my new niece and spend some time with my nephew. After our loss, I decided I still wanted to go, but I was anxious about how hard it might be to spend a week living with a newborn baby and a 3 year old. I feared it would be too painful, too upsetting, and too hard, considering when I see babies out in public it still stings a little, and I often have to turn away rather than smile at them like I used to.

But, it was fine. It was more than fine, it was amazing. Our first day there, we went out to lunch at a local burger place and then went out for frozen yogurt. Jenn is adorable and sweet, it’s always good to spend time with her, and Jackie idolizes her big sister so she was in heaven getting to be around her. Straton was shy and wary of us, he’s only been around us a few times in his short life, and I’m sure he doesn’t remember who we are. But by the time we got back to their house, and after he opened up the gifts of toys we brought him, Straton warmed up and we were his new best buddies. He remained excited and happy around us throughout the rest of the trip.

We spent most of our time there just hanging out around the house or out shopping. Most days we went out to lunch and then came home for dinner. We went to the beach twice, and Jackie and I went to Pearl Harbor. I was happy to be a part of this little family, hoping I was helping Jenn with the kids and loving seeing what my life might be like if I were a stay-at-home-mom like I’ve always wanted to be. It showed me what I want, reminded me of what I don’t have yet but what I’m working and waiting for. Even when Lyla was screaming and Straton was throwing a temper tantrum, I still felt like I was in paradise, and not just because we were in Hawaii. I want that life. I want a baby to hold and feed and love more than anything, a child to call my own.

As I explained to her, being there didn’t sadden me. On top of giving me a pleasant look at what I am dreaming of and showing me that I really want it, with all the good, the bad and the ugly parts of it, I think my sister-in-law and her husband are good people, great parents, and truly deserve the joy they have. Though I have to admit I have some jealousy towards all the women out there who are blessed with children, I get more upset and angry and sad when I hear of or see women who don’t seem to deserve or even want the children they have. I know it’s not up to me to determine who gets kids and who doesn’t, and I know I cannot and should not judge other parents, but when I see people who are neglectful and dismissive of their kids, who smoke or drink heavily while pregnant, who hate being moms or have kids they never even wanted, I get more upset and jealous than when I see beautiful, functional families like my in-laws. For all the sacrifices they make for our country, I feel that they deserve the utmost happiness and joy and I am glad that they have been blessed with 2 beautiful healthy babies. I just hope that I can give them some cousins soon!

So, I didn’t cry, even when I realized I was staying in the new baby’s nursery, or when I tried on the maternity clothes my sister-in-law insisted I take home with me. I didn’t cry when Straton decided it was a really funny joke to greet me as “Mommy!” every time he saw me, or when I held baby Lyla in my arms and she turned her face towards my chest and tried nursing through my clothes, expecting me to be able to feed her. I didn’t cry when Jenn showed me the baby book she’d started for Lyla, with all the ultrasound pictures that reminded me of the six terrifying, tragic ultrasounds I had, all of which showed my lifeless child, unmoving on the screen.

I did cry once alone at night, but not because of them, or because I was there, just because I missed my baby. I always miss my baby. I always will.