My Halloween Babies

My darling babies,

We didn’t have a lot of time together, just a few weeks for each of you.  Your father and I saw each of you on the screen, just a little blob with a flashing heartbeat.  We heard those little heartbeats and they were so strong.  I don’t think I will ever forget that sound for as long as I live.  We marveled at what nature was doing and the overwhelming love that we felt.  We wondered what you would look like, which of us you would take after.  And, your grandparents were so excited for us and to meet you both.  

And, then each of you was gone.  And there was silence, on the screen, in our hearts, in our bodies.  We were heartbroken.  We still are. 

Today was to have been your birthdays. One of you would be 1 year old and the other would just be making a debut.  I can’t say that either of your losses has gotten easier, but the wounds are less raw.  Losing you both has been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through, especially since we worked so hard and waited so long to bring you both into this world.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about each of you and wonder what it would have been like if you had been born and we had you here with us.  Still, we are both so grateful to have had those few precious weeks and days that we had with both of you.  

I think it is fitting that tomorrow, November 1, is All Saint’s Day or Dios de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), when people remember the dead.  I will remember both of you today, tomorrow, everyday, forever. 



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Something New

In my attempt to stave off another Existential Funk, I have started experimenting with New Things.  I’m sure this doesn’t sound that monumental, or frankly radical. But, for yours truly, it’s Big.  I thrive on the familiar, it brings me a great deal of comfort in an uncomfortable world. But, everyonce in a great while, I begin to chaffe at the confines and tentatively sneak a toe in the greater pool.

This go round of Something New involves food and commenting.  Stay with me.


I know how to cook and I am actually a good cook. But, I’m not a foodie. I eat to live, not live to eat. My parents, on the other hand, are the quintessential gastronomes.  Perhaps it is my one hold out from being a contrary teenager that I pride myself on using food as fuel, not an event for an entire evening (I think the time my mother spent about two minutes rapturously describing mustard ice cream I knew they had officially crossed into a new dimension). So, for me to experiment with cooking is quite unusual.  A few weekends ago, I roasted a chicken and made gravy from the drippings with shallots and chicken stock.  I made a new brown rice dish with shitake mushrooms and parmesan cheese. 

And tonight, I made shrimp with vegetables from my favorite Chinese cookbook, The Art of Chinese Cooking by the Benedictine Sisters of Peking from 1956.  If you ever happen across a copy of this gem, BUY IT.  Seriously, you won’t be disappointed from the hilarious 50’s style illustrations to the wonderful recipes. My mother’s mother had a copy, which I think she obtained in Japan and my mother made recipes from the book when I was a kid.  A few years ago, she found me my own copy and the recipes are my comfort food.

Anyway, the recipe was pretty good – it featured shrimp (duh), snow peas, celery, onion and water chestnuts on white rice with soy sauce. 


A few weeks ago, I came across another WordPress blog and the comments sections included comments from the blog owner underneath the original comments. There have been many times that I have read comments on my own blog and wanted to respond, but was just too darn lazy to start my own comment and scroll back and forth to respond to everyone.  So, I was intrigued that WordPress would actually let you edit a comment to add your own.  Of course, it took me about two days to figure it out. But, I did, and halle-freakin-lujah!  Many of you may have noticed that I have already started leaving responses to your comments. Like little presents under your pillows. I hope to keep up with it, so keep commenting.

I think that’s enough newnewss for one evening!

Words of My Father

Mr. X and I had a fascinating coversation the other day while driving in the X-Mobile. We talked about things that we had done when we were kids that sent our parents in rages that seemed totally disproportionate to the apparent crime.  For example, Mr. X one time sharpened a pencil … on both ends. Oh, the horror! Well, his dad seemed to think so and was infuriated.  Mr. X still has no idea what would have caused such a reaction.  And, his dad, by the way, is one of the most mild mannered people you would ever meet.

My story was about the time I lost my swimsuit.  It was a Speedo, more expensive than your average swimsuit – but I would swim everyday, so it made sense.  I was at the pool so much that my mother had to buy the special shampoo to prevent your hair from changing color due to the chlorine.  So, the loss of my swimsuit was actually kind of a big deal. But, wow, the way I remember it, my father went into an apoplectic rage as if I had broken his most prized possession in the whole wide world. He chastised me for being careless and forgetful, two flaws I still am very careful not to possess.  

I was walking G this morning, contemplating my conversation with Mr. X, when I remembered something my father said to me when I was at least younger than 10.  I must have been talking about trying on the “mother” occupation for size and he said,

You’re too selfish to be a mother.

Putting aside for a moment how breathtakingly inappropriate this was to say to any child, let alone your own child, I still wonder deep down if he actually was right.  I was a told that I was a very selfish child – but then, aren’t all children?  My father worked doggedly to reduce my selfishness and I am still very aware of trying not to be selfish.  But, I still feel as though I am a selfish person. 

I love my “me” time, my time to read in the bath, or to sit on the back porch in the afternoon and watch G roll around in the grass.  Outside of work, I don’t take on a lot of extracurricular activities, in part because I don’t want to give up my free time.  I don’t give a lot of money to charity, and I don’t do a lot of volunteering.  I keep my commitments to a limited few, but I do help out my friends when they need it and I love to do things for Mr. X like making him dinner or helping him with something (although ironing his shirts is not on the list) .

I do believe that there is such a thing as not being selfish enough.  You can give away too much of your personal resources to others in the name of being unselfish, but in the end, you are emotionally bankrupt.  I don’t think I’m in any danger of this as my sense of self-preservation is exceedingly strong.  But, I’m still haunted by the fact that the man who knows me the best, perhaps even better than my own husband, would think this and articulate it and may still be right.

When I was a child, all I knew of selfishness was that it was exceedingly bad – although there was no mention of ‘sin’ in my house.  It was just a bad behavior that was not rewarded.  As I have grown, of course, the nuances in the question of selfishness have developed and I see the argument that pretty much all of human behavior is in some way motivated by selfishness, even having children (I want a legacy! I want someone to take care of me when I’m 80!). 

But, it is possible to be too selfish to be a loving, caring mother? My mother made what would appear to be a very selfish decision to go back to work after I was born, because, as she put it, she would have gone crazy with me sitting at home.  She was happier for the decision and I suppose that I was happier too. 

I’m still puzzled, though, as to what level of selfishness my father was talking about was enough to trigger that threshold where you no longer are a ‘good’ mother.

Good Times

I realized this morning that there are quite a few things happening that make me happy. Since this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want, I’m going to list them in no particular order.  And, hopefully,  some of my quirky happiness will rub off on you, too.  There is never enough happiness in the world, after all.

  • I got my car washed using the gift certificate I bought from the neighbor’s kid to support the high school band program.  Good karma and a clean car = happy Mrs. X.
  • It’s Tocktober on, which means lots of pictures of adorable animal behinds.
  • It’s cold enough now that I was able to wear my fabulous red trench coat. And, I. Looked. Fabulous.
  • I took in the dry cleaning and will no longer have to be asked when I’m going to take it in. I was also able to use the $10 gift certificate that I got just for joining their rewards program.
  • I have a girl date tonight with a friend for dinner and a show.  Yay for girl dates!
  • Last night, I decided on two goals for work today and I’ve complete one and made major progress to finishing the other.  Checking items off the list = happy Mrs. X.
  • I finally cracked open the Atlantic magazine from (ack) January so that I can finish it and work my way up to the brand new issue that showed up in my mail box. 
  • I’m wearing the necklace my mom gave me, and it warms my little heart.
  • I’m getting great feedback on the first chapter of my book and I’m thinking that maybe I really can do this.
  • Mr. X and I had a very good and drawn out heart-to-heart yesterday about whether we still want to have kids (yes and yes) and how to find meaning and purpose in our lives now, without children as opposed to waiting until we have kids.  Getting it all out on the table = happy Mrs. X.

What made you happy today?

A Study in Contrasts

We had our consultation with the new RE this morning and the difference between his office and that of Dr. Uterus was like night and day.  We have entered the day.

Even before we showed up, I was impressed that I was able to take care of a lot of pre-appointment business via email.  No such option with Dr. Ute.  And, yesterday, the nurse from the new office called that they hadn’t received my records from Dr. Uterus’s office.  We wouldn’t have known unless she called, so I was able to intercept them from Dr. Uterus and deliver them to the new office so that the new RE would have time to review them prior to our appointment.

And so, at the appointed hour, Mr. X in his suit and I in my skirt and top walked into the über swanky waiting room of …

Dr. Salsa.

I’ll explain the name shortly.

The differences between his operation and that of Dr. Uterus cannot be overstated.  First, there were no obviously pregnant ladies, which was a definite plus. No pregnancy magazines or old copies of Parenting magazine.  They even had an Internet station in the waiting room. 

The staff were very friendly, and most importantly – all were there with one goal in mind: to get women knocked up and out the door (after 10 weeks) to a new OB. 

We were shown into Dr. Salsa’s office and the swankiness continued.  Lots of plasma TVs everywhere and artwork on the walls.  We perused his bookshelf and found a myriad of titles from “Atlas of Pelvic Surgery” to “The Kama Sutra” (seriously), and at least one title of Noam Chomsky.  I never saw the inside of Dr. Uterus’s office.  He always saw me in an exam room, so this was interesting.

I was very impressed when Dr. Salsa came in that one of his first questions was how we were doing emotionally – not, so when do you want to get knocked up?  We told him that we were on a break at the moment to recharge the emotional credit card.  He then delved right into our case and focused a lot on our losses. 

Enter the plasma screen TV: he has it hooked up to his laptop which he then used to present us with a Power Point presentation on the various causes of miscarriage.  We’ve ruled out some of them already: no uterine anomalies, no thyroid issues, no chromosomal issues with either me or Mr. X.  That left: FSH or anticoagulent disorders.  He recommended a Clomid challenge test and the blood tests to determine if I have Factor V Leiden or other clotting issues.

I never did a Clomid challenge (which always makes Mr. X think of the Pepsi Challenge) with Dr. Uterus. If I remember correctly, he was very certain that my Day 3 FSH would be normal and so there was no talk of it.  Dr. Salsa isn’t too concerned either, but thinks it would be a real waste of money not to do one and then go onto an IVF with less than ideal conditions.  I agree, but I’m kind of annoyed that Dr. Uterus never felt that it was necessary to do one. 

We also got a tour of the facility. They encourage the use of accupuncture, which I’m still neutral on, but it’s nice to know that they have it there.  Also, everything – from egg retrieval to embryo transfer to lab work is done there. One stop shopping!  I had to go to a different office for my IVF and FET with Dr. Uterus.

As for Dr. Salsa, his name is a result of the fact that he is from Latin America and has the most delicious accent.  It takes a certain person to be an RE – they have to have the confidence of a surgeon and the compassion of an oncologist.  Dr. Uterus had it, and so does Dr. Salsa.  He was knowledgeable and answered my questions about PGD very well.  He also said that Dr. Uterus’s Bad Luck Theory of our recurrent losses was a terrible theory.  He offered some more concrete possibilities which was nice.  It could still be bad luck, but he at least made an effort to give us a somewhat concrete explanation.

All in all, I was impressed as was Mr. X.  The visit did nothing however to quell my rising ambivalence about the whole process and wheteher I am ready to embark once more on the rollercoaster.

No Wonder I Listened to Alternative Radio

First it was books, now it’s music. Shelli at BagMomma posted a fabulous meme today that is a flash from the past and a chance to prove that under no circumstances was there ever a time that I liked Melissa Etheridge (sorry, she just irks me). Naturally, I pounced on it like a cat with a nip problem.

As she stated:

The rules:
A.) Go to
B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year.
C.) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you REALLY hate.

So, I graduated from high school in 1994 which will make you groan either because a) you are older than I am or b ) you are younger than me.  For my fellow 1994 graduates, welcome fellow Bicentennial Babies!

Before I post the list, you should note that there are not that many songs that are in bold and quite a few that are crossed out. This is because I didn’t really listen to mainstream radio in high school and I have a serious Ace of Base problem. Still.  In high school, I was within the listening area of the premiere alternative station on the east coast and I was too busy listening to the Pixies, the Cure and obscure British bands to meddle in mainstrem pop.  In short, I was a total music snob.  Frankly, it doesn’t look like I missed much.

Without further ado, here’s the list:

Continue reading

Little Earthquakes

Gentle Reader:

When contemplating my next post last Friday, my plan was unwavering: I was going to tell you all how much October has sucked for me and I would have invited you to sign my petition to officially change the name to Sucktober. I was going to regale you with tells of my melancholy and invoke references to Wuthering Heights and Anna Karenina.  I was going to be depressed and depressing, all at the same time.  In short, I was going to try to make you feel as awful as I did. After all, misery loves company.

All of last week, I was a few tears short of a geyser at any given moment. I went through a lot of mascara and Kleenex.  I was very upset about something, the etymology of which I wasn’t really that interested in determining.  I was too exhausted from being sad and the general wallowing that accompanies it.  Work was also particularly demanding, which proved to be a welcome respite from the other option of staring out the window in silent, slobbering contemplation.  No doubt about it – I was a laugh riot.

I now know that I was experiencinng another little earthquake of feelings about my miscarriages, triggered in part by the national remembrance day. That morning, I sent an email to my three closest friends telling them what the day was – I didn’t even know about it until a month ago, so I really didn’t expect them to know at all.  I wanted them to know that it would be much on my mind and for them to remember someone, myself included, who had experienced a loss.  

I initially felt so selfish sending that email.  I have no problem calling attention to my grief on my blog, but it is something else entirely to send an email whose essential purpose is to say, remember me and the bad crap that has happened to me! But, my desire to do it outweighed my guilt and I don’t regret it –  they all sent back wonderful, beautiful emails.  I also asked my parents, who are out of the country, to light a candle.  I hardly ever speak with them about my miscarriages, mainly because it just doesn’t come up in daily conversation.  They also sent wonderful notes and my mom lit a candle at the church just up the street from where they are staying. 

I lit my candles from 7pm to 8pm and marveled at them flickering so brightly.  I hated to blow them out.  But, Mr. X and I made no formal remembrance with the both of us that day.  I see now that this was a mistake.  I needed to be with him that night, to remember with him and to grieve with him. 

Despite the multiple crying jags I had on Wednesday, I felt no better on Thursday or Friday.  By Saturday, I was in a ripe funk, barely able to smile.  We went to the gym that morning and I was tortured by three different pregnant ladies.  I was so demoralized.

I finally broke down later that morning, on Mr. X.  He let me have a huge, loud, and ugly cry all over him.   I slobbered on him, I blubbered, I’m sure I got some snot on him.   I heaved, and he just let me get it all out.  I told him how I was still so sad and how much I still missed our little ones.  I told him how much my heart still hurts.  And, he said just the right things at the right time.  I knew all over again just why I married him.

And, I finally started to feel better.  I also realized that the entire month of October, despite being the month in which both of our babies would have been here, does not have to be written off in a depressive haze.  I am allowed to have fun, to laugh, to be joyful.  I think I thought I could not be those things given the weight of the month. We went on to have a wonderful weekend. Just the two of us.

So Much to Say

Ah, bear with me, oh faithful readers.  There are quite a few thoughts swirling around this old noggin of mine, but whenever I sit down to put them into coherent thought, they look extremely dull.  So, you’re going ot get a stream of consciousness because I’m in a sharing mood and I’m trying to work on my sharing skills.  And, frankly, this here blog is the closest thing I will ever have to a pensieve, so get comfy, this might take a while.

  • I’m still trying to dig myself out of the rut.  I may need a tow.
  • I’ve been feeling very passive-aggressive lately.  I may blame Shinejil’s cat in an anonymous note.  
  • I’ve made an executive decision to stop listening/watching the news except for the Colbert Report. It’s just too damn depressing, otherwise.  I’ll still read it since I can have a say in what I read, I have no say in what NPR decides to put on while I’m in the shower.
  • iTunes radio is AWESOME.  I’m in love with WOXY Vintage.
  • I love that I had to break out the polar fleece this morning when walking G.  He didn’t need any fleece as he already came equipped with a fur coat.
  • I’m making a concerted effort to see all the goods things in my glass, not the empty space at the top.  I don’t know how much success I’m having right now.
  • Wednesday was a lot harder for me than I thought it would be. But, I told my friends and family what the day was and what it meant and they all sent me wonderful thoughts. It was like getting little heart hugs all day.
  • I loved seeing the bright lights of the candles trying so hard to stay lit.  I also hated blowing out the candles at 8pm.  It was like I was snuffing them out of existence.  I think next year I will let them blow out on their own, just like they did in real life.
  • I think the new song by the Killers is really lame.  “Are we human / or are we dancers/ my sign is vital”. WTF?
  • On the other hand, I really like the songs “Kids” by MGMT and “The Underdog” by Spoon.
  • I really need to embark on some adventures of my own.
  • I’m disappointed that I didn’t hear back from Dr. Uterus regarding my very thought out and thoughtful letter.
  • I’m doubly disappointed that when I did get a letter from his office, I assumed that it would be a letter from him when instead it was a request for $25 to copy my records to send to the new doctor.  That was a forehead smacker.
  • I miss my parents. A lot.
  • The thought of 48 hours of unstructured free time on weekends sometimes freaks me out. What in the hell am I going to do with myself for all of that time?
  • I have to figure out what to make for our friends who are coming over for dinner on Saturday.  I’m very tempted to do a wonderful roasted chicken with rosemary from the garden.  Leftover roast chicken is one of my very favorite things.
  • Why UB40 thought doing a cover of “I’ve Got You Babe” was a good idea is beyond me.
  • I still haven’t made any progress in deciding which sewing project to tackle next. I haven’t really even opened a book.
  • I hope that the kitties get the hang of using the new covered litterbox soon.
  • I hope that G stops trying to eat the kitty’s poo which prompted us to get the new covered litterbox.
  • I secretly love having G on the bed with us when we cuddle in the afternoons.
  • I’ve already started composing my letter to Santa.
  • I have to figure who to vote for in the state races this year. 
  • I’ve been stealing Mr. X’s Sprite Zeros.  I wonder when he’ll notice.
  • I’ve also been using his hairbrush since I think I left mine at the gym last week. 
  • The laundry is piling up. 
  • A lot of little things are annoying me. I’m annoyed that they annoy me.
  • I would like to hibernate until November 5.

If you’re still reading, I’m totally impressed.  Go have a chocoloate. You deserve it.