24 May 2009

whip, thorn, sliver

Today I hiked for the first time since my pregnancy- last time the snow was knee-high in places, and today the blueberry bushes are all in bloom.  It was just a few months, but it feels like forever.

God it was hard hauling myself up that first uphill (it always is, it always kicks my ass). But today, heart pounding in my ears, I just hiked. I went farther than usual, turned because I did not want to be gone long enough to worry anyone, but I felt I could have just hiked and hiked and hiked. Mosquitoes are rampant right now, the black flies seem to have faded early (usually not until mid June but I am not complaining)-- but they did not bother me until I was on my way back down.

On my way down, I noticed a cairn had been vandalized into a firepit that was filled with broken beer bottles and a half melted styrofoam cooler,  so I fished out the cooler fragments to carry down with me.

Then the mosquitos found me.
And then I stepped in dog shit, and with the immense nooks and crannies in the soles of my hiking shoes, that means I was able to spread it onto my other shoe too before I noticed.
Then, as I walked the short walk back home, swarmed and smelling, I noticed a puddle of antifreeze on the road. So once home, I asked for help and we walked back with cat litter and a bag, something to scoop, and got up as much as we could.

But the walk was transcendent although I sucked at staying in the moment. My brain just pingponged around. But I noticed things- I heard the wood thrushes, and saw the blueberry bushes in bloom and the tiny starshaped wildflowers that grow so low to the ground. And I felt good. I really did. You know, until the firepit and the dog poop and the mosquitoes and the antifreeze.

I am not sure what to say today about my heart. Grief often brings up past grief and regrets, and suddenly I am facing old losses small and large, as if I have opened the well cover and "the stuff I don't want to deal with" is all right there, waiting, just where I left it. Heartaches, even ancient ones, seem to be stopping in. Visiting hours and all that. And the most frustrating thing is that there is nothing to DO to resolve them. People are lost, opportunities lost, moments lost. But I tell myself, a wild rich life is being lived anyway. By my heart, ahh my heart, knows how to hold grief and knows how to wield regret like a whip or a thorn or a sliver.

I peed on a stick (sundays, wednesdays), and the line is still as dark as it was on wednesday. Goddamn it.  I see the D&C doc on friday for the follow-up. I know I need to just ask for a blood test. I just don't want to have to. I want to ask for more than one day's worth of hCG levels. I want to ask for my prolactin level (I am still off the dostinex for my prolactinoma, and I do not want my level to rise to the point where it makes things impossible).  I think I will ask my RE's office for these. Yes, I decide, I will.

I am testing for LH each day and have not had even the faintest faint LH line since my one faint one. And my temperature is pre-ovulatorily low. It has just been over two weeks so I know this means nothing yet, but as I said, patience is not one of my virtues.

And I am realizing that I would have been at 11 weeks, nearly 12. Would have been. Nearly out of the woods. Yeah. I swear I can barely imagine that now.

One of the things I miss is the obsessive checking on each week's embryo development, you know the "your pregnancy at 6 weeks" (peeking ahead to 7).... seeing what was next for sprout, what was next for me. As a sciencey person, my complete lack of outside reading about this amazed me. I did not research pregnancy, bought or borrowed no books, was content with 2 paragraph summaries about heart chambers and fingers.

And now I can hardly believe I was even pregnant. It feels impossible and dreamlike. 

Last night it rained so hard it woke me up, even before the thunder and lightning-  I closed windows, staggering through the dark house, trying not to stumble over the cat. I lay in bed watching and listening, while my body tried to drag me back into sleep-- wait, I said, I am not done yet, but I watched the lightning though my eyelids, and listened to the rain and the wind and the thunder and fell back asleep faster than I wanted.

As Sprogblogger so wonderfully put it, in the "Three cheers for the “sometimes this works”" category of things to celebrate, let me be among the many to congratulate Mo and Will on their positive after IVF#5. Holy moly, with extra points for tenacity-- CONGRATULATIONS. Tomorrow they get an idea of how things are going with another blood test. I find I am praying to whatever gods might be listening: Please, just let this work.


Nic said...

Your writing is amazing, it is from the heart, yet as always is clear and strikes a nerve.
Glad you went on your hike, sorry about the poop etc!
Sorry all your grief is coming out, if only we had a switch we could shut our brain down and stop all the thoughts swirling around, even if it was just for a minute.
Take care
Nic x

Grade A said...

Dear Kate,

So many things going on with you, I hardly know what to comment on. The hike sounds like a metaphor for life: beauty and dog shit. The grief well? I get it. It sounds like the cover just isn't ready to contain it all, like you don't have a choice about falling in, but it also sounds like you're trying your darndest not to drown. And from those docs? Ask for whatever you need. Demand it even.

Take good and gentle care of yourself.

Michele said...

It rained like crazy here last night too...

I still keep up with each week of my miscarriages (the baby would have been...) and we celebrate each month that our babies who died as infants would have lived, even though it is hard. It is hard. And sad. And unfair.

Sending you warm thoughts...

Mo and Will said...


Beautiful post. Sounds like quite a hike! And yeah, we've found grief like that too, like this huge chasm that opens up and leads to all the other losses.

Thanks so much for the congratulations!


Jenn said...

My dear Kate,

Just holding you in my heart and prayers.


Hang in there hon!

IF Optimist said...

It is so wonderful to hear about your hike. I love to hike in the Cascade and Olympic mountains around here, even just for a few hours. Thanks for picking up after those who were less kind to Mother Earth. I score to you many karma points. I'm sorry you are going through this. Hugs from far away.

What IF? said...

Thank you for taking me along on your glorious hike. I know life is all about balance, but why can't there be more beauty and less shit? I'm thinking of you, and admiring your strength as you grieve.

karen alonge said...

hi sweetie-
sending love and hugs. thanks for sharing your beautiful self so freely.

alyssa said...

i love you, kate.

alas, i have no words of wisdom... but i will share a dog-shit/cow-shit story with you that will hopefully make you laugh: when we were seniors in high school my family came to visit and somehow jonathan stepped in cow shit. he FREAKED out. i washed his stupid sneaker in the puddle, but that wasn't good enough. so he spent the res of the weekend with the show in dad's trunk, hopping around on one foot. ALL weekend. can't you just see it??

oh, and i love you.

Doug said...

Your words sound so dear to me. I know we talk a lot but reading what you are thinking is great. Love You.

Elizabeth said...

Just a note to say: thinking of you and sending you peaceful wishes from the west coast.

Anonymous said...

Kate - I think of you often. I am so glad you were out hiking. Your description reminds me of when I finally move out of myself to do something healthy or positive, and then I step in dog poop - literally or figuratively - and we just have to dig it out and keep going. It sucks and it hurts.

You are amazing. ((HUGS))