The Complete Egg

The before, during and after of a molar pregnancy, with a side of chemo and a 12 month wait before ttc. And most recently: experience of a healthy pregnancy.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

People say stupid things. I wish everyone would talk less and listen more. Especially when they have no idea of what to say.

I was talking to a new staff member at our school and I let her know that I was still getting to know a student because I started back in January. She assumed that I was "filling in" for the previous teacher. I said no I had been on leave and she said, "Oh, maternity leave?" with big smiles. Ah, NO!! I was very polite and with a forced smile said "no, medical leave" and left out the "just shut up" part that I was itching to add. Really, I should have let it rip and opened her eyes to the wacky things that can go wrong with pregnancy but that few people talk about - like getting a precancerous condition from a pregnancy. That would have blown her mind. Poor thing. She would have likely just felt pity and "oh, that poor woman" and I just couldn't go there. People do that because they don't want to feel like it could happen to them too. They want to believe that tragedy only strikes those who are unlucky. But every tragedy effects everyone and eventually everyone has a tragedy. I remember hearing from this one woman who had a molar pregnancy a long time ago and the women that she worked with treated her like she was contaminated.

I had another experience this week though that affirmed to me that women need to talk more about their pregnancy losses. A parent of one of my students shared with me how she had had multiple miscarriages before her son was born and multiple miscarriages after when her and her husband were trying to have more children. I'm not sure if she had heard of my experience somehow through the grapevine. She shared it easily as if we were having a conversation about the weather. It came up as we were talking about how her and her husband met. Her son was present and piped up "Mommy, what's a miscarriage?" and the way she explained it was that the baby "went away" and was no longer in mommy's tummy. That seemed to satisfy him and he didn't have any further questions but I wonder what he really thought about that. This mom is Thai and Buddhist and I wonder how pregnancy losses are viewed in the Thai culture.

That had an impact on me all day, how she felt so at ease (it seemed) talking about her personal tragedy. It can help others when we share our experiences, both positive and tragic. I'm so happy that they have a son who happens to be really bright and inquisitive.

It's beautiful and sunny here today. When I first got up, the fog was slowly lifting and it was so magical. I feel a bit sad today. I know there is no answer for why I had to go through this. It's how I am throughout this experience that counts. I want to be authentic and open to feeling my feelings. Perhaps, slowly, I will begin to talk and be more open about what I've gone and am going through.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A year minus a day

That's how long ago I had my last massage. That's also when I was first pregnant and didn't yet know it except for that irrational connection I made with a new life inside of me during my massage. I remember lying there as the shiatsu massage therapist manipulated my limbs and I thought, "I'm pregnant" and a few days later I confirmed it. I was so sad tonight to realize it was exactly a year ago. What bad luck I've had. I'm trying to count my blessings but I couldn't believe the coincidence. I don't think I can wait the full year. My body is screaming about wasting time and get on with in already!! Fuck, fuck, fuck! Sorry, I don't usually cuss but that sums up how I'm feeling. I AM SICK OF WAITING! Where is the patience? Gone and out the window.
So mad and upset tonight.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Self care

I can't believe it's already the end of January. Soon it will only be a 7 month wait left. That's closer to 6 months and that doesn't sound too bad. I may even consider trying after 10 months but likely not. Last time we rushed to get pregnant after the first miscarriage and look how that turned out. Having a baby is a big enough risk without worrying about having GTN coming back while pregnant.

I joined yoga last week. Another teacher organized this and it's really inexpensive and held at school, right after school. It was great! I wasn't going to join at first because I wondered if the pregnant staff might be there and there would always be references to how to modify the pose if you are pregnant. I just don't think I could handle that. But, I decided that I'd try and if it bothered me, I wouldn't go. Well, it turns out that there are not pregnant women there so I was able to relax.

This week I have a shiatsu massage booked at the student clinic. Also, I'm having dinner with friends on Wednesday and I'm going to a play on Saturday. So, I'm trying to build in self-care into my weeks. I'm still not getting enough exercise but I did take transit last week twice and it made a huge difference to my stress levels. M drops me off and picks me up at the skytrain station. It makes it so much easier and I'm happy to have tried it.

Life is good. I feel like I am doing okay. I still "pine" for a baby when I see other babies and moms. I try to affirm that that will be me one day. I will treasure my little baby and if I ever feel like I'm taking him or her for granted, I would look back and read this blog and remember all I went through.

Time seems to move along really quickly so I know that we will be trying to conceive again sooner than it feels like right now. I feel like parts of me are softer (figuratively speaking) now than before. My heart has opened and I'm more committed to nuturing and mothering myself.

Currently, I'm planning my birthday weekend. It will consist of skiing at Whistler, hot tubs, good food and wine. I am all about enjoying life right now. A little hedonism goes a long way for someone like me that usually tends to dwell and suffer. No more!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This is the post I wrote last week

...but I didn't publish it because I couldn't think of how to end it:

I'm in the land of full-time work and I'm trying hard not to be consumed.

My first week back went well. We had some snowstorms and so I had really small groups of students many of the days. The staff were good and no one brought up anything about my time off (as I requested). I'm comfortable with that even though it means that sometimes I feel like it's forgotten about. In some ways, that's just fine. When I feel like talking about it with certain people I will, but there's not a lot of people with whom I would want to discuss that time.

I've been leaving at a decent hour every day and that is helping my outlook and health. I need to try and get more exercise. Also, I'm reducing the amount of caffeine I'm consuming. That's been hard and I felt pretty grumpy today.

I took time on Sunday to journal about anything that might come up around greiving. The thing that I wrote about the most concerned work and keeping in balance. I'm really making a conscious effort not to get too wrapped up in everything, including politics. I'm noticing when my body feels tense or stressed and I'm trying to stop and figure out why. I've also decided to start taking transit some days instead of driving the 35 to 40 minutes. That has made a big difference actually. I find the driving adds a lot of stress.

I'm still pondering the wait time of 6 months or 12 months. I received a really nice email from a woman who had a twin pregnancy with a healthy baby and a mole. I think this would be a particularly painful loss because you lose the healthy baby and usually, your health is extrememly compromised. Her email was very encouraging though and she now has a 10 month old baby. I hope that her comment has posted in the comment section below because even though I "approved" it to be posted, the last time I noticed it hadn't. Anyways, thank you for your note. It means a lot to me when people delurk and comment.

I am feeling like I have to do something nice for myself soon. I haven't had some nurturing and I can tell that I need it. Also, I'm feeling low energy because I got my period (yay, it's regular!).

Last Saturday I started monthly testing. Thank Goodness for that. Now I go for a blood test on the 15th of every month.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Morning of Mourning

So Sunday mornings are my set aside time to grieve. I did a bit of journaling this morning and allowed myself to feel all the "poor me" thoughts that I often try to hastily suppress when they come up.

A friend and I have scheduled a "Honour the Goddess" day for each month. It's our intention to make a habit out of nurturing ourselves. Yesterday was our first HtG day. We went to a spa and I got a pedicure while she got a manicure. It was very nice. It was my first time having a pedicure. I didn't know how I'd feel about it but I enjoyed it and my feet do look and feel a lot better. Other ideas that we have are to go for a steam or sauna, facials and reflexology and shiatsu massage. If you have any other ideas for Honour the Goddess days, please leave a comment by clicking on comments at the bottom of this post.

My grief seems to be less intense these days. It sneaks up on me these days. Like at the spa. There was a pregnant employee and the thought that immediately popped into my mind was, "Oh God, not me, not me. Let her work on my friend's hands but don't be so cruel as to send her to me." How ironic really. I'm going to the spa (for the first time I might add) to nuture myself and recover from the 2 pregnancy losses I've had and who do I get as an esthetician? The pregnant one. The universe has a good sense of humour. But actually, thankfully, she was not the one who helped us out. This is my day of mourning so I am not going to apologize for that thought. I know I could have "handled" the whole situation just fine but I didn't want to. Not on the day that I'm being totally selfish.

I tried to do a bit of art therapy this morning. Basically, it consists of writing down your intention (like, "My intention is to discover more about how I'm feeling and what's under the surface) and then closing your eyes and relaxing or meditating. Then, you shift your attention to your body and notice any areas of tension or pain or other physical symptoms. You gently let any images arise. Sometimes they do and other times they don't. Then you put the images down on paper or you select a colour and just start to put down colour or do a scribble drawing and look for images in the scribble drawing. I have very little drawing ability and my drawings often look like they are drawn by a five-year-old. This has provided a chance for me to come to understand my inner critic (who is loud and very mean). After creating the image, you journal about the experience of creating it and what it brought up. Some good books that describe this kind of journaling are: "The Creative Journal" by Lucia Capacchione and "Visual Journaling" by Ganim and Fox.

I've been having a lot of vivid dreams these days. Last night it was like I was viewing a movie and I was one of the characters in the movie. I was being chased by these people who were demons. These people were my highschool classmates (ha!). I was looking for help and found some protection with this one guy but then I realized that he was on their side. Paranoia. All of this took place in Prague and I was running around trying not to encounter these demons. There was more to it but it's so confusing that I don't really think I can explain it. I think that this is perhaps about some anxiety that's coming up because of returning to work after 4 months off. I think it's also related to trying to escape the grief or fear of grief. Check out this post to see some great motherly advice about trying to avoid grief.

Sometimes, I feel so bone dead tired of the grief. When I say "grief", I am labeling those feelings that come up like: "What if I'm never blessed with a child" or "Look at that sweet pregnant belly" or "I'm suppose to have a baby right now!" or "The only reason I can ski right now is because I don't have a baby" or "Maybe this time next year I will be pregnant again" or "When should we try again?". Those sorts of things. The feeling of 'lack' in my life. I know that my grief is a lot deeper than about what's happened to me in the last year. I grieve for my brother who died and my parents divorcing and even for the grief of my parents (they both each lost a parent at a very young age). I guess it is part of the human experience. The Buddhists would say that we need to make friends with impermanence because it's all that we can count on. Everything changes.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A wonderful woman sent me this link : to a site that has a radio program about molar pregnancies, Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia (GTN) and choriocarcinoma (metastasizing cells). There is also a BOOK being published on molar pregnancies and it is advertised at the site above. It is also going to be available through soon.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Double O Seven

2007. Goodbye 2006 filled with stress and sadness and trauma. Hello new beginnings.

I have a hangover today and I'm ashamed to admit it. I haven't had a hangover in so long that I had forgotten exactly how it felt. And yes, I realize now that the day after my chemo did feel exactly like a hangover. Ugh.

I went to a party. I am mystified that I actually agreed to go to a party. Hence, the consumption of toxic liquids to dull my sensitive nature. I hadn't seen any of these people since Before Chemo (BC). It wasn't mentioned (thankfully) except by two people who I hardly know. That was surreal, especially because the one woman (Japanese) is learning English and I know that she wanted to say something sympathetic and encouraging but she didn't know how to put it and then she seemed really embarrassed and apologetic. It was still nice though.

I was glad not to talk about "it" or think about "it" for a night. It's weird, I've felt a bit like I have an invisible cojoined twin called "my loss" or "my grief" that comes along with me wherever I go. I almost want to introduce it sometimes because it takes up space in the room. I don't want this but there you have it. I am willing to let it go. I am willing to let the grief go.

I'm proud of myself for having gone last night. I was strong and courageous to go when I really didn't want to go. I would have preferred to see my husband's friend and his girlfriend at a smaller gathering and not one seeped in so much significance. A part of me thinks that they don't really want to have to talk about what I've gone through so it's simpler to invite me to a large gathering where they don't have to talk to me too much. Or, maybe they think it's kinder just not to remind me of my pain and what I've gone through. Give me a chance to forget about it for awhile. I think there's some truth to both of those ideas. I think what I've gone through scares them, maybe even repulses them. Perhaps that word is too strong. Well, it scared me too so why should it be any different for them?

My foggy brain needs a rest now. I'm off to start New Year's resolution #1 which is to spell-check my posts. Over and out.