Nothing Gold

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. -Robert Frost

My Photo
Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

I am a white American middle class suburban housewife trying desperately to tell herself that that is not who she is. One time I was a glowing young ruffian. Oh my God it was a million years ago.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More crap about my feelings

I have a hard time talking about how I feel. I guess it just feels self-indulgent or something. But I think that my friends do want to know how I feel, so I'll just try to be honest and straightforward and not try to sound good.
I am feeling worlds better this week than I was last week. Last week was really hard for me. I don't think I handled it very well. It didn't feel like mourning so much as depression. I just wanted to lay on the floor and not ever get up. It was an unhealthy self-centered kind of sadness. Sometimes I felt like nobody cared about me and I cried about that. Sometimes I felt like people were too nice to me and I cried about that. I said that I felt lonely, and that's true, but it doesn't quite describe the feeling I had. I was desperate for affection. I just wanted someone to hug me and let me cry. A friend who found out about the miscarriage and how I was feeling from reading my blog called me and just said she loved me and cried. That was perfect. It helped. A family member sent a package with healing candle and "seeds of hope" for planting and a nice note. That helped too. A friend sent a long email. That helped too. My husband gave me lots of attention over the weekend and we cried together. That helped too. A friend who felt bad for not saying something last week called and talked to me. That helped too. Some friends came over yesterday and brought me a cake (my favorite kind) and just hung out. That helped too. I haven't gotten over the miscarriage, but I feel pretty normal most of the time and the sadness that hits me sometimes feels a lot healthier and somehow more productive. I'm ready to light those healing candles soon and the attachment says this:

Light of my Heart

I light this candle in celebration
For all I know you would have been.

I look into the light, feel the brighness
Of your spirit and the spark touches my heart.

I am filled with the aroma, a tangible reminder
Of the depth of my love for you.

As I extinguish the flame, the smoke rises
Giving flight to some small part of my pain.

Your precious light will remain burning
In my heart forevermore.

The package of seeds says this:

Seeds of Hope Blessing

I sow these seeds in remembrance of you.
As I tuck them into the soil,
I plant my hope for the future
while I bury my dreams
of holding you in my arms.
I entrust you to the loving care of the Earth Mother.
As you are received with open arms,
May your transition be peaceful
and calm.
May your spirit be warmed by the sun
May the rains wash away your worries and cares
And may the winds carry you
safely on your journey.
I now surrender you to soar
with the angels.
My spirit will heal but you will
remain in my heart forevermore.

Obviously that is slightly cheesy and there are parts that are questionable. But I'm touched by the thoughts and lighting the candles feels like something tangible to do. Parts of these make me cry (especially while I bury my dreams of holding you in my arms.) but that crying feels so much better than the crying I did last week. It feels almost good. Not good in the sense of crying out of happiness but good in that it feels honest and somehow productive.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Don't Cry, Sweetie

Levi has been saying that to me a lot. It's really cute and it usually works. I have a lot of questions and other crap in my head right now and maybe if I write some of them here, they will leave me alone.
I want to know exactly what the baby (should I call it a baby? An embryo?) was like when it died. But I don't know exactly how old it was. Somewhere between 6 and 9 weeks gestation. Here's what WebMD says about those ages:

Week 6: The embryo is starting to look like a tadpole. It's about 0.08 inches to 0.16 inches -- the size of a BB pellet -- from the top of the head to buttocks. (This crown-to-rump length is used more often than crown-to-heel length because the baby's legs are most often bent and hard to measure). The eyes and limb buds also are forming. A heartbeat can sometimes be detected by an ultrasound around now. This is also an extremely important time in the development of your baby, since between 17 and 56 days the embryo is most susceptible to factors that can interfere with its normal growth.

Week 7: Your embryo makes great strides in size this week, growing to between 0.44 inches and 0.52 inches from crown to rump by the end of the week, or about the size of a small raspberry. Leg buds are starting to look like short fins, and hands and feet have a digital plate where fingers and toes will develop. The heart and lungs are becoming more developed, as are the eyes and nostrils, intestines and appendix. By now the brain and spinal cord are growing from the neural tube.

Week 8: Your embryo, now about in its sixth week of development, is about the size of a grape -- 0.56 to 0.8 inches from crown to rump. Eyelid folds and ears are forming and even the tip of the nose is visible. The arms have grown longer and bend at the elbows. Places where fingers and toes eventually will grow are becoming notched.

Week 9: The embryo measures about 0.9 inches to 1.2 inches from crown to rump, or the size of a strawberry. The arms and legs are longer, and the fingers might be a little swollen where the touch pads are forming. The head is more erect and neck is more developed. Your baby now moves its body and limbs, and this movement can be visible during an ultrasound, but you won't be able to feel it yet.

The age I use according to my cycle was not the same as the age according to the size, but that's probably because it was not growing properly. Also there is a week wherein it could have died at any time.

Was it a boy or a girl?

Does an around 7 week gestation embryo have a soul?
If no, when does it get one?
If yes, well what about sperm and eggs that don't connect properly and grow a little but never really live, do they have one?

Sometimes I think about the heartbeat I saw on a sonogram and about the blob of tissue I flushed down the toilet and kind of miss it. Sometimes I think about the full grown baby we were expecting to have and won't and feel disappointed. I just came to the realization yesterday that they are the same person. I don't know why that's so hard.

Sometimes I think about how common this is and how much worse things people go through and I wonder, am I overreacting?

Sometimes I read online about ceremonies people have for miscarried babies (even first trimester!) and 18 month grieving processes and I wonder, am I underreacting? Am I not honoring this baby (?) enough?

Should I have tried to catch the blob? Is it bad that the baby (?) went down the toilet?

Sometimes I look at my belly and think, "poor little baby, I'm sorry I couldn't take better care of you" and then I realize that my uterus is empty and the baby (?) is in the sewers.

What if the baby (?) came out alive and died in the toilet?

The doctor and everybody and the articles all say, "it's not your fault and it's nothing you did" but if they know that for sure than how come women who threaten miscarriage are put on bed rest and no sex etc. And why are there so many studies about things that increase the risk of miscarriage? (ie tooth decay or smoking)?

What if the thing that was wrong with it was something small and my body is overly picky?

I've been nursing for so long and now I'm not nursing or pregnant and I feel strangely useless. People keep asking how I'm feeling physically, which is sweet, but I feel better, physically, then I have in years, which is weird. I want to feel crappy and useful.

My friends and family have been great. I have a lot of support. A lot of people have asked me if there's anything they can do, and there really isn't. But, I feel really lonely for some reason. So if you'd like to do something, feel free to email, or call (although I'm terrible on the phone, so it might seem like I don't want to talk, but I just don't know what to say on the phone) or even visit if you don't mind the drive and the mess.