Thursday, March 20, 2008

On the bright side: sushi

Okay, there is no bright side, but today after a doctor's appointment Jim and I decided to get sushi, since we could. I'd missed it a little, as I'd missed wine a little, but neither had been very difficult to do without. Still, a glass of viognier did taste good the other night, though it made me sleepy.

Today was a follow-up appointment with my obstetrician, and she told us basically that none of the tests she has run have yielded any explanation for my miscarriage (again, I hate that term, but the medical term is even worse: "spontaneous abortion."). Here's something I want to say, and it's not in response to anything anyone has said to me, fortunately -- everyone has been wonderful -- but I know there is a pervasive feeling that if a miscarriage occurs, it must have happened "for a reason." In general, I do not subscribe to the life philosophy that things always happen for a reason. I see plenty of randomness out there. True, the most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality in the baby, but that is not always the cause, and though we have not gotten those test results back yet, it is not believed to be the cause for us. Neither is there any sign of an infection. So, if you know someone who has had a miscarriage, do not suggest it was probably for the best, or that it was Mother Nature doing her job, or whatever. Even if this is the case, there is no need to say it, and if it isn't the case, it's just painful. Just say how sorry you are. That's enough.

A friend of mine actually had an acquaintance tell her "I told you so," because she told people she was pregnant before she was safely out of her first trimester, and then miscarried. I told you so! How awful. And safely out of her first trimester? Tell me that. I was out of my first trimester; I was not expecting my amniotic sac to rupture. Nothing in any of the pregnancy books warned to look for that, because it is not common. When I called the doctor's office they told me the fluid leakage must be urine. Even now, searching online, I find nothing in the sites about miscarriage that is at all similar to my own experience. It was a freak thing.

Now, my OB wants me to see a high-risk OB for an evaluation, just to be on the safe side, and it is a very strange thing, being high-risk anything. I've never had a health problem in my life. I still can't believe this has happened to me. The names of doctors she gave me are almost all men -- I definitely prefer women docs for everything, even for my teeth, but most especially for this, but she vouched for them. I jokingly asked who was the least attractive, because I will never forget my mortification in college when I went to the Naval Hospital for my annual exam and my doctor was a very handsome, very young man! Awful! Young handsome docs should choose another specialty -- Podiatry or something!!

Anyway, I just wanted to say: there isn't necessarily a reason. Sometimes awful things just happen, and you never get to know why. And as common as miscarriages are (at least 20% of pregnancies, possibly as high as 40% if there was a way to know how many occur before the woman knows she's pregnant), the sense of loss can be huge. Jim and I have this feeling we wish we could fast-forward to being pregnant again, especially now that the doctor has said she wants us to wait about 3 months, but then, life just flies by so fast anyway. I don't think we even need to fast forward. It is already late March! Holy crow. How did that happen? I'm sure the next 3 months will fly by all too quickly too. I look forward to summer, not just for that, but because we've decided not to go anywhere this year, not to any writer's conferences or conventions or anything. Just to stay home, with the exception of maybe doing some exploring in Oregon. The house, I'm happy to report, is very tidy. I've moved on from the major bedroom overhaul to the art studio. I'm going from room to room, pushing clutter ahead of me until there is nowhere left for it to go.

I even feel a little like gardening which I have failed in woefully for the past few years -- we were excited about our big yard when we bought this house, but early on, it utterly defeated us. But now I'm thinking back to the amazing dahlia bed we had our first year here, how I could cut a whole big boquet every day and not even seem to diminish the number of blooms in the garden! I think I might want to do that again this year, especially since we'll be home to enjoy it. If only I could snap my fingers and make it so. ha ha. Oh yes, and tidying up the house is not quite enough. I am back on Weight Watchers, which I have shirked terribly this past year, along with exercise, while in my Silksinger cocoon. It is funny how going to a meeting, making that resolution and going through with it, can effect a complete mental shift. The year I finished Blackbringer was also the year I lost about 25 pounds, and meeting the two goals together was hugely empowering. Hugely. Those two things had perched atop my New Year's Resolution list for years, taunting me, so much so that I stopped writing them down, not wanting to see them sitting up there like two unclimbable mountain peaks. Well ha! goals. I got you then, and I'll get you again.



Deirdre said...

So glad to hear the nesting is going well. And gardening too! I seem to have misplaced housewife ghostie who used to live here - have you kidnapped her?

On to more serious things - I'm always stunned by the things that fall out of people's mouths, even when they mean well. I also believe bad things happen randomly and without reason. Something good can come out of it, but it's not the reason it happened.

My heart aches for you and Jim. I'm so sorry this has happened.

Lillefnugg said...

Sweet Laini. You are wonderful, and brave, and I see how you are working through your sorrow with hopes and resolutions and words.

When my father fell ill last fall I tried to stich words together and failed miserably, and although everyone kept asking me how I was, all I could say was a lame "fine".

I understand your need to underline that this did not happen for a reason or as a result of something, or that it was meant to be. To me, a pattern that measures out grief and happiness in such sceramingly unfair portions just can't be called anything other than random.

And of course it wasn't your fault! Things just happen, and this did, and you are working your way through a jungle here, hacking at foliage, swatting at flies and clearing out brambles, and on the other side there is quite likely a beach. Or so someone I like very , very much told me.

Lillefnugg (tone)

Amber Lough said...

Thank you for saying what you did in this post. I wish more people thought this way. When I told my mom we might lose this baby b/c the tests aren't looking good, she said not to get too attached or sad since I'm "not that far along." I didn't know what to say to that, but I wasn't happy with her. I know she means well, but still...

Here's to a bright summer filled with flowers, rest, and creativity!

Natalya said...

i am sorry about your loss.. went through that myself not too long ago, well actually five years ago, but in a way seems just a week ago... do grieve, there isn't a thing wrong with it...

Q said...

Oh, I wish I had a garden with so many flowers like that!

I wish I could respond to your thoughts on miscarriages better, but I don't have any experience in that area so I can't relate.

chest of drawers said...

In the past gardening and housework have certainly helped me get through some hard times...aswell as painting walls, getting creative and making new you´re on your way. Time is the only healer sometimes.

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Right on sister--it's so human of us to want reasons and answers for our tragedies, and nice when there is one we can hang our hat upon, but I agree that freak things happen. That there does not have to be a reason--the fact that you see this is beautiful, because I think it means you embrace life over pain (gosh that sounds screwy). I am so deeply sorry, but I also think you will have exactly what you want--that beautiful child, and more beautiful books.

Thanks for your constant honesty and vulnerability.

Anne Kelly said...

Beautiful Laini!
Just breathe.
Stand outside, close your eyes, and breathe.

You have so many people who love you, and there's only one way through this... and that's 'through'. Many, many hugs to you and Jim.

lizardek said...

great post, Laini.

Amber said...

Very good, what you say here. One of the things that has bugged me about the whole "Power of Attraction" craze this last year or so, is how I have heard and read people beating up on themselves when something bad happens. Trying to figure out what they are doing or thinking that attracted this bad thing...It's crap. Bad things-- sometimes very bad things-- just happen because this is the human journey. The lesson, if there ever is any, should always come in how we deal with it after the fact. Not in looking for the reason it happened.
We can all only work with what we are left with...In this case, people can send you love and care. And you can-- as you have here-- in your gifted way, express things other people have felt and can't say so well.


Caty said...

I just didn't know until now...Just wanted to tell you that you are very courageous and wonderful!

Good things will happen to you :)

Celeste said...

I just wanted to thank you, like some others did, for this post.

The worst thing someone told me was that my miscarriage happened for a reason. At 19 weeks, that is not something you want to hear! At 1 week that's not something you want to hear. And besides lil guy was quite active and healthy and perfect. It was just an accident. He got tangled in the umbilical cord. There was no reason for it. It was an accident.

I think that some people don't realize that for a lot of women blame comes into play, and saying harsh things only reinforces a womans feeling of blame towards herself for what happened to her perfect little baby. It's a silent suffering, I suppose, that we must endure.

Like you I also took up gardening. My patio is a forest of green now, dedicated to my little one. It filled, but did not replace, the feeling I had to nest and grow something beautiful.

May much peace come to you.

(P.S. I love your red walls!)

anniedc said...

I am so sorry to hear of your and Jim's loss. I, too, appreciate your posting about the things people say.

A dahlia garden sounds wonderful. I have two plants that greet us every year.