Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why October Is Not My Favorite Month...

I've been through a lot of strangeness in my almost forty years.  A LOT!  So much, that when I tell people my life story, they think I just have a very vivid imagination and that I'm off my meds again or something.  I basically live the real life version of a soap opera.  Every now and then, I'll have some normalcy and things will calm down and we'll have months go by without anything out of the ordinary happen.  October usually isn't one of those months.  Some of my worst things ever have happened in October.  But also, one of my best.

I'm one of those "good news first" people, so I'll tell you the good first.  When I moved back home to California from Ohio, it was the first week of October in 2001.  That was a good October.  That trip was pretty cool really.  I didn't do the bulk of the driving, my husband did, and we did it in three days.  Only two nights spent on the road and the third night we were home.  Back home to everything that was familiar.  Back to my desert, my mother, my family, and my daughter who I'd been separated from since August 23 because she'd come back with my mom to start school on time.  The separation had been hard on both of us.  9/11 happened while we were apart.  She had come back to California with a terrible case of head lice that was resistant to all but the prescription version of the shampoo because we'd been battling the little fuckers for months prior.  Every time I'd gotten rid of them on her, this one particular neighbor girl would give them right back to my daughter.  Thankfully, head lice isn't something that's very common here in the Mojave Desert.  I and she are forever grateful to her aunt Jorena for picking nits out of her hair for hours on end until she was lice free.  Finally.  And that was the good.  Now to the bad.

I've suffered some pregnancy losses.  While I'm aware that it's very common, and there are many women that have suffered through the same thing, my documented losses were not common at all.  I say it that way, because I've had an undocumented loss as well, where I had a series of positive home tests and then began bleeding and my body was able to clear the products of conception without a doctor's intervention so I saw no need to seek medical care.  My first documented loss was the year after we came back to California.  I had had an endometrial ablation in Ohio several years before so I was not concerned with birth control and we weren't using much of anything other than natural family planning (watching the calender).  I had a very regular cycle at the time and although it had been many years since I'd been pregnant, it didn't take me long to figure out I was.  I took a home test, got a positive and went to the doctor.  At about 6 weeks, I started to spot.  It was not unusual for me to spot during a pregnancy, I'd had that happen every time, but this was bright red spotting, so we went to the ER.  They did an ultrasound and found a heart beat.  They assured me that since they'd found a heartbeat, statistically, the chances were slim that I'd lose the baby, but to be safe, see my doctor the next day.  I did just that, and she refused to do an exam.  She refused to do anything but a urine test, which was still positive and told me to go home and keep my feet up and I'd be fine.  So that's what I did.  I continued to spot, but it was very light and the doctor just kept telling me I was fine.  Four weeks later, I bent over and felt a gush.  I went to the bathroom and discovered that the gush was blood.  I called my husband, and we went to the ER per doctor's orders.  The ultrasound confirmed I'd lost the baby.  The baby had died the day I'd had that first ultrasound at 6 weeks and I'd carried a dead embryo for weeks.  It's called a missed miscarriage.

The ER sent me home.  The doctor there told me my body would pass everything since I was bleeding now, but the next day, the bleeding stopped.  That was October 14th, 2002.  For the next three days we struggled with the doctors and the insurance company to allow me to have a D&C and be done now, they kept trying to tell me my body would pass the baby, but my body was not doing it's job.  Go figure right? My body, NOT doing it's job?  Like that never happens/  Finally, on the 17th, they agreed to allow me to have a D&C at the county clinic in the area.  When I got there, we had to wait another several hours while I convinced the nurses I did not need yet one more ultrasound at the ER to confirm my baby was dead.  I just wanted to be done and grieve and move on.  Eventually, a kind nurse signed off on the paperwork, and they allowed the procedure.  I went home to grieve and realized that if I could get pregnant that time, maybe my body was capable again, and maybe, if we planned it next time, the outcome would be better.  So we talked about it, and we decided that we'd try.

The next year I spent trying to get and stay healthy, I tried really hard to quit smoking, but I didn't.  I did manage to cut way back and I was down to less than a half a pack a day.  I took vitamins and supplements and we watched the calender, but didn't try very hard.  We didn't NOT try either though, and I ended up pregnant and due in May of 2005.  But on September 30, 2004, at 19 and a half weeks, my water broke because of an amniotic infection I didn't know I had.  MacKenzie Zane was born just after 1 am on October 1st, 2004.  Because of his gestation, he was considered a late term miscarriage, but I had to labor and deliver him.  It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.  It changed me.  It altered my being forever.  When I get really weird in October, this is probably why.  This particular loss, was devastating to me, and even though I went on to have two more healthy children after him, I have still never recovered completely.  The labor was the most painful I've ever had, I think, because I knew the whole time I wasn't going home with my baby.  I went home with a box of keepsakes.  A copy of his tiny footprints.  A bluebird pin from the chaplin.  The outfit he wore for the few precious moments we got to hold him.  And two polaroid pictures that you can barely tell what he even is because he was so premature he still had transparent skin.  I get crazy this time of year.  I lose myself in my sorrow.

I always try to figure out what I can do to fix things.  How I can fix myself.  I come up with all of these plans to do it too and then I don't follow through.  I think it's because I'm scared.  Scared of what, I'm not entirely sure, but I spend my whole life scared of one thing or another.  Outcomes.  Fear of outcomes.  I know, I'm weird.  Having told everyone those things though, it probably explains a little more about why I've been so down the last few weeks.  Also, I'm going through some "everyone hates me, everything is my fault"  head trip that I can't seem to get over.  The people that I live with are absolutely no help at all and in fact are contributing to that so much, I'm pretty sure I'd be over it by now if I didn't have a house full of people to tell me every thing is all my fault and to remind me how much they don't like me.  Also, I have no real life friends.  Like none.  Like, I have absolutely no one to call to go hang out with on a regular basis because I'm so socially awkward I have no idea how to make them.  The only local friend I've got I'm related to by marriage and she's got so much shit to deal with of her own I don't want to intrude.  I WISH I knew how to make friends and that I had at least a few of them, but I just don't.  I didn't used to be so awkward with people, but I am now and I'd like to figure out how to change it.  Anway... So I've got my one online friend that is so far away and in a different time zone and I ALWAYS feel like I'm bothering them with my weird shit and not being a good enough friend back.  I am really awkward with people, have I mentioned that?   I need a class in friend making or something, but it'd need to be taught online, because I can't handle seeing that many people in real life.

Until next time...

1 comment:

Lois Griffin said...

I could have mentioned my heart failure diagnosis came in October of 2007 and I almost died in October of 2011 after Memphis was born because one of my four heart chambers gave up and I had to have a CRT - D put in (a fancy state of the art pacemaker) which rendered me pacemaker dependent. October isn't usually a great month for me!