Pregnancy after loss entails tons of blood draws (more than with low-risk pregnancy), because they test for all sorts of clotting disorders and shit. So the other day, I had my blood taken by a phlebotomist who I thought introduced himself to me as Mike, but then I noticed his nametag said Mondrakus, which is one badass name, if you ask me.
Mark’s mom’s really sweet, and she recently visited for a couple of days, and while she was here she made Mark’s Indian Chicken Curry and blueberry muffins, which was awesome. Mark was out of town during her stay, and our bedrooms are split, with the master on one side of our house and the guest ones on the other side, so Howie had to choose who to sleep with, and he slept with her! And I kind of feel like he cheated on me! (#dogwhore)
Recently overheard in my office copy room – “I’d like to help you christen every room in your new house.” I wonder what this was all about…
My friend AB’s a hustler who makes money always, in all ways, hence the whole selling organic horse manure on Craigslist thing. So I figured I should get her into Uber driving, so she could generate income on her daily commute to and from work. And she expressed some fear, because she’s a smaller woman, and like, what if she were to pick up a scary person? And I proceeded to reassure her that my trainer, who’s also a small woman, is an Uber driver and has yet to encounter a dicey situation. And AB was like, “Yeah, usually everything is fine until the moment it isn’t.” Truer words…
Mark and I are going on a vacation before I hit the point where I have to be in town every day strapped to a non-stress test (NST) or within 30 minutes of the hospital in case I get scared and have to check in so I can then (hopefully) be reassured that Jay’s okay. So we thought about going to San Antonio and then Corpus Christie, Texas, because we went to Florida with Matthew, so it feels weird to go back there, but I still wanted to be able to write Matthew’s name in the sand.
But then my mom warned Mark that Texas is dangerously close to Mexico, so we shouldn’t go because of the Zika virus, which is transmitted through mosquitoes and can cause microcephaly in newborns. And I’m paranoid too, so I agreed. So then Mark and I looked at a map (I don’t know which one) of where the Zika mosquitoes might be, so we could try to decide where else we could go.
And Mark was like, “How about Phoenix?” (Like I think they have some nice resorts with some pools and we could hike Camelback Mountain or something?) And I was like, “Ummmmm, Phoenix is clearly in the ‘red zone.’” And Mark was like, “No. None of Arizona is.” And I was like, “Hun, point to Arizona,” and my poor husband pointed to New Mexico!
Now I (biasedly) consider Mark to be exceptionally smart and talented, but he’s clearly no geography buff – like it’s a good day when he can successfully name all seven continents without making some sort of SNAFU like including Canada. But I think we’ve now decided to take a short trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina. (Which apparently carries the same Zika risks as remaining at home in Missouri.) But I wonder if Mark knows where South Carolina even is… Hehe.
Speaking of Mark, he’s concerned that I regularly refer to him as a shopaholic. But I reminded him that I only do this because it’s true. And he was like, “But Christine, people are really going to think I have a problem.” So I guess I should clarify that he’s not spending us into bankruptcy or anything, in case anyone was concerned.
My dad follows my blog and has been really supportive in this regard, emailing his thoughts on each one of my posts. (It’s precisely the type of immediate gratification, real-time feedback those in my generation need.) I save each email, and I will treasure them forever. But the other day, after posting about where I am in my grief journey, my dad emailed something to the effect of, “I’m glad to hear that you’re mostly okay now.” And I promptly phoned him and was like, “Dad, this wasn’t exactly what I was trying to communicate.” And he was like, “I was just trying to focus on the positive.” And I was like, “Did I sound too positive? Because, to be clear, my life is still very difficult.” And he was like, “Christine, I was just looking for glimmers, and believe me, there were ONLY glimmers.”
My artist friend recently painted us this rainbow heart for Matthew and Jay. I just love it, and it’s very special to me, and I’m sure we’ll hang it in Matthew’s/Jay’s room once I can muster up the bravery to open the door. (Like a few weeks after we hopefully come home from the hospital with Jay, maybe?)
The other day the same person who ragged on my dead flowers stopped me as I walked briskly towards my office and was like, “Does the air get stuffy in your office? You know, from constantly keeping your door shut?” And I was like, “No, but the lobby smells horrible, have you noticed?” And she indicated she hadn’t. So I wondered if I’d only noticed this because I’m pregnant and if I’d inadvertently shared my news by revealing my heightened sensitivity to smell. And I also wondered why some seem so uncomfortable with my continued door shut, lights out approach to work. It’s like some need to know I’m okay for them to also be okay, which is nice. Or maybe it’s that they can’t stand the visual reminder of what happened to me infringing upon their happiness, which is selfish. But within her comment, I sensed a hint of assholeishness.
So one of my baby loss mom friends recently texted a link to an interesting article suggesting, “I have an idea for your next blog post. Tell the fucking Cleveland Clinic to study the goddamn placenta before they worry about uterus transplants!!!!!” And although I don’t want to step on any toes with this, I will say, I think she has a point given 26,000 (~1/160) babies in this country are stillborn each year, many of whom die from placenta issues. (No offense to anyone shopping for a new uterus.)
I was recently asked whether Jay is short for Jayden. It isn’t.
Mark worries that calling our rainbow baby “Jay” on my blog will result in “Jay” sticking forever. I think this would be fine, cute even, but Mark currently disagrees.
So I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m in a book club. I recently finished reading Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. I read it in one Saturday, despite it being unexpectedly triggery in all sorts of ways and making me cry and catapulting me into a bad mood for the remainder of the weekend. But it’s about this woman named Christine (go figure) who lost her memory and thus must record the details of her life before she goes to sleep each night so that, after her memory’s wiped clean overnight, she can then re-learn about her life each morning. So I won’t spoil the story, but I will note that throughout the book Christine starts to recall things from her past. And I find it interesting that so many of her flashbacks (at least half of them?) involve penises.
On Easter Sunday Mark and my parents and I ran a 5K. (My dad and I walked.) It was a great way to honor Matthew, but, if I’m being honest, Easter left me feeling pretty walloped by grief. After the run we visited Matthew’s grave, and I don’t think anything is more sobering and devastating and unfair than standing in front of your child’s freaking grave on a holiday. Though, a few days ago, Mark (who’s in great shape, but granted, isn’t a runner) received a phone call informing him he’d won the bronze medal for the over 30 age group – I’d say Matthew is proud of his daddy (assuming there were more than three racers in this category).
The other day I received a hand written letter from a friend who read our news about Jay on my blog. I’ve not seen this friend in several months, as, honestly, our drastically differing circumstances have made it difficult for me to want to see her through no fault of anyone. In her letter she indicated she wasn’t sure what might be the best way to reach out – via phone or text or email or letter. Not that any of these options would have been wrong (they wouldn’t have been), but I’d say she nailed it. Her letter touched me beyond words. And I’m hopeful we’ll reconnect again someday soon.
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