Baby Girl. 9 months of loving you.

Time is going way too fast.  You are 9 months old now, and I look at the small bin we use to hold your dirty bottles and think “this is what they washed you in when you were born.  You were that small.  We washed you in that.”  Now it can hardly hold all of the bottles. 

You change so quickly, I don’t want to miss writing down the things that I love so much that so quickly disappear and are replaced by another think I love just as much. 

You are too big now to play “what is Gwen doing” with your dad and our friends.  I am so very glad how many times I harassed your father to play it again and again with every new person you met.  So many DJ impersonations, piano playings, roller coaster riding, typing on an old fashioned typewriter, calling order to the court – and always, always pointing to the person who guessed correctly and taking a bow at the very end.

And applause.  You love to applaud.  In month 8, you learned how to clap.  Dave and I got a video sent by Cecelia the day you learned, and you were SO delighted to be clapping to the music!  It’s one of your favorite things.  You do it when you are happy.  When you are sad (Sad clapping.  So entertaining to your mother.).  When we perform for you!  When you wake up in the morning.  Nothing has yet surpassed the joy of waking up to our tiny alarm system: a smiling clapping baby.

You are talking all the time.  Da-da is a favorite.  Once when we were Christmas shopping, I pushed you in the stroller all around the book store as you called “da-da” over and over again.  “Dog” we are qualifying as another of your first words.  You have been known to, recently, look at the dog and say “daw”.  Sometimes though, when your dad asks “Where’s dog?”  You look at me.  I don’t take offense.  It’s cool.  I’m one of those things you love, and “da-da” and “daw” are just words you are using right now to indicate those things you love. 

You are just so wonderfully wonderful, and just keep getting more wonderful, and I’m amazed that it can be possible.  You smile, you sleep, you eat everything (kale!  It’s your new favorite!), you snuggle, you laugh, you are the best thing in the world.  Thank you.


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Feb-Aug(ish) 2011

I know I haven’t posted on here in ages, but I thought it appropriate to document this particular part of my life as without a doubt it will be one that I reflect upon and talk about for the remainder of my days.  That kind of gravity calls for a blog entry.

It was just over a year ago that I posted last.  I was working through all of the emotional and physical hurts pertaining to my miscarriage.  It was a really hard time for me, for my husband, and for my dog.  Really.  He’s super empathetic, but it was a wonderful thing having him to help me heal, along with the rest of my substantial support system.

Things got better.  On the Mae-be baby’s due date (I will admit to the world now that I named that baby) I threw a party.  It was great to celebrate life.  And great to have so many people who came to my celebration and were not too weirded out by the morbidity of the event!

I was surprised by my continued desire to get pregnant again.  Not in a creepy way like I read on numerous miscarriage message boards, but in a realistic way: I wanted to try again.  When we felt like we had healed enough to try again. 

So we did.  I continued to go to my Reiki healer.  I was introduced to her friend, an acupuncturist.  We met with a midwife.  Everyone said “When you get pregnant…”  It made me feel like it was possible.

I went by myself to Walgreens to buy pregnancy tests.  The young man checking me out said “Good luck.”  I thought that was a kind thing to say.

 Like the first time around, getting pregnant was NOT a difficult hurdle (thank you, years of birth control for preventing me from learning this earlier in life!).  I called the midwife group to make an appointment.  The woman on the phone encouraged me to make appointments for the next 3 appointments following.  I told her that was very optimistic, and thank you.  I made all the appointments. 

I ate a lot.  I was nervous.  I didn’t want to lose this one.  I resisted the urge to tell anyone outside of my husband about our pregnancy and I resisted the urge to imagine the possibilities of having a child. 

But, pregnancy felt different this time around.  Like before, I threw up every day, but instead of feeling like it was from a weakness somewhere in my body, I threw up with gusto.  It felt healthy and strong in a very strange way.

As the first trimester progressed well, I began to hope!  I told my family.  I told my friends.  I told my staff. 

Then, on the weekend of my last week of the first trimester, I bled just the littlest bit.  I lost it.  I cried.  And cried.  And exclaimed to my husband that I absolutely did not want to go through another miscarriage.  I talked to the midwives.  They reassured me that this was not out of the norm.  I went and saw the midwives.  The heartbeat was normal.  All was okay.  I was out of the woods. 

I was shopping at Target.  A woman with two small children were in the same aisle.  The young girl pointed to me, turned to her mom and said, “Is she a mom?”  I immediately teared up.  Soon, I let myself hope…soon.

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My Body is a Temple. But it is MY Temple.

Ever since my miscarriage, the ways I have treated my body have been erratic and strange.  For instance, I instantly began Weight Watchers, but also started smoking more.  It’s as if I was attempting to reclaim what was rightly mine – my body.  Being pregnant, even for a brief period, did make me feel as if an alien had taken me over, and everything I did was ruled by those alien needs.  Sleep.  Eat.  Take a break.  Go the bathroom to urinate – OFTEN.  Don’t forget to take your vitamins.  Get off your fattening ass and exercise.

Post-miscarriage, I took back control of my body, and not always in the most healthy ways.  After years of professional dance, I know full well that weight loss does not equate to eating healthily.  I quickly learned that one can do Weight Watchers successfully by eating fast food.  Still loosing weight!  Eating like shit. 

Also, I smoked more than I have in years.  Why not?  I was stressed, sad, and it made me take regular breaks for self-reflection. 

I hid away the pre-natal vitamins, and said, “Fuck you, folic acid.”

Cigales were forgotten instantaneously. 

Then, I moved in another direction.  After the quick-fix of xanex stopped its quick-fixing, I looked for another solution.  I found Reiki Energy Healing.  And, I went back to the Bikram yoga. I know.  The old title of this blog: “Self-Deprecating Yuppie” comes to mind.  Small dog, urban professional, yoga, and energy healing.  Groan.  One time, I told someone about the energy healing, and she said, “That’s so Lincoln Square of you.”  I found this embarrassing.

Now, I’m somewhere in the middle of the two.  Less brutal on my body, but less supportive of it too, mainly due to working every single freaking day of the week.  (Pika has a significantly less room in her heart and life for a baby with a company and a dog to take care of!) 

In the end, it is all a process.  A long, brutal, wonderful, amazing, tiring, exhilarating process.

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I Have a Secret…

…when my bosses aren’t doing the work that they need to be, it makes me not want to work at all. 

Also, warm weather and the promise of March Maddness…that doesn’t help me focus either.

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Too Soon?

I’ve truly gotten to the point where I can have a sense of humor about my miscarriage, although “too soon” may still encapsulate the response if I were to voice this humor in an everyday setting to those around me. 

So many of the miscarriage conversations I’ve had or things I’ve read talk about, “After you expreince a miscarriage, it may seem like everyone around you is having babies.”  Okay.  It does seem that way.  Because it is absolutely TRUE! 

All around me friends, co-workers, ex-co-workers, people I somewhat know and are Facebook friends with who write all about their pregnancies and their new perfect babies all over the internet…people are FLAUNTING their healthy wombs all OVER the place!   Sometimes I think they should keep it all to themselves, and then I feel as if I’m becoming a babyphob.

I’ve been extremely tempted to comment to a number of people, “Congrats on your new baby.  I’m jealous of your womb,” but I fear people wouldn’t see the intended humor behind it.  They probably just be sad.  Or confused.  Or I’d be opening up the door to people who don’t know about my miscarriage to say, “Get on the baby-making, already!”  I’ve experienced that joke in person – it didn’t go well.  My response of “I sure tried!” was met with awkwardness and teary eyes – from the jokester, not from me.  The jokester, for the record, just had a baby!  See!  Everyone!!

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the combination of humor and miscarriages is best handled by Seth McFarlane and Family Guy.  (Geez.  Didn’t realize how many dead baby jokes they had going on until I had a reason to pay attention!)  You guys go for it.  I’ll resign myself to the fact that the people around me care about me too much to indulge me in laughing about my sad occurance and that perhaps for them, it will always be “too soon”, and that is okay by me.

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It’s amazing what one can discover when one pays attention to themselves.  One of the upshots of our semi-recent tragedy is that it made taking time for self-reflection absolutely necessary.  I have to admit, this was the first time in my life that I really dug deep into me.  Not to say I’m not a reflective person, but to say that in general, I am a reflective person, in the fact that often when I see myself, I attempt to see myself through others’ eyes, or if I’m looking at me, I’m looking at how I am reacting to something outside of myself.

In the last few months, I’ve had the unique personal experience of concentrating within myself, in so many different ways.  It’s amazing what I’ve found.  Most importantly, and hopefully something that will improve life moving forward is that I think I’ve discovered that I have a mild anxiety disorder.  And as I look back at patterns, likely, I’ve had it since puberty.  There have been so many excuses attached to it for decades: Sports induced athsma. Hormones. Stress.

For the past decade, it has basically been an accepted part of who I am and has become a part of the rhythm of my life, so much so that my husband lovingly calls them my quarterly breakdowns.  The most increadible realization I’ve made is that it is possible that other people don’t do this, and that perhaps I don’t have to either!  After decades of accepting, and just waiting for the next attack around the corner, this feels pretty freaking great.

Anyway, I have more to say about what I’ve learned about taking time for yourself in a real and true way, and other realizations about how much work it takes to stay happy.  But, that’s for another day.


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Healing is Happening!

Now that I opened a big can of worms here, I feel as if I should make sure I’m communicating the good days as well as the not so good. 

Just now on my Pandora Radio, Michael Buble’s song, “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” played.  While pregnant, I became convinced this was a song about an unborn child, thus any time it came on the radio after the miscarriage, I would quickly turn the channel because it made me sad.

Well guess what.  I just found myself singing along, and once I realized what was happening, I was pleasantly surprised. 

It’s nice not to be a basket case all the time.

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