This blog is in chill-mode, but you'll still find archived posts and book updates/events.

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Monday, June 30, 2008

A Deliciously Shameful Addiction






There is one important HEALing strategy that I neglected to mention in my four cornerstones of KuKd survival: developing and fostering an addiction to (or obsession with) something that feels good, and reveling in it. I'm sure it fits into HEAL somewhere - perhaps part of Embrace your childless self? Oh, how I love vices! I picked up plenty of them after what I shall hereby refer to as the Ultimate Shitty Event (that is, losing little Zachary), and I'll go into those later. For now, I'll just talk briefly about one in particular that's come to dominate my life:


TEBOW, aka Baby Boo, Scruffy Boy, Widdle Boy.
Cats and dogs have always made me sneeze and wheeze. But six weeks after the Ultimate Shitty Event, I was so full of pent-up mothering energy that I felt I might seriously start carrying a stuffed teddybear around at work and talking to it. I really didn't want to be that person. So I decided not to be allergic anymore, and told K that I needed a little furry friend to nurture. K was reluctant, for we've always said that a pet wouldn't fit in with our cram-clothes-in-a-backpack-and-catch-the-next-flight-to-wherever mode of travel. But I SO didn't care at that point. So K finally agreed to it (that's one nice thing about baby loss; as the woman in the relationship, it's a really prime time to get exactly what you want), and we wrote a ridiculous, embarrassing $550 check for puppy with an even more ridiculous, embarrassing namesake: a Westipoo. No, he wasn't a poor, abused creature from the shelter. There was no higher good associated with this transaction, nothing progressive-minded or benevolent about it. It was just an exchange of goods and services for the pure, selfish, I-don’t-give-a-shit purpose of indulging myself in puppy love.

Not much different from buying meth on the street, really.

Whether you are a KuKd Strong Momma or Inquisitive Guest, any other addictions or life-saving indulgences you care to add here?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Roughing It

I took down my last posting related to the V-word because I got hit with lots of spam-like substance. Way too much time deleting messages and not worth it - blegh! In more recent news, this weekend K and I took our dog Tebow, crammed a bunch of clothes and foodstuffs into our backpacks, and did a 2-night backpack trip up to Lake Waptus. If you're wondering what that is, it's a great big shimmering alpine lake nestled in a crevice of the Cascade mountains. Getting there requires a 10-mile hike into ruggedness, which is the max I can do without getting seriously cranky. That's one of the reasons why it costs half your paycheck to live in Seattle: you can get to the middle of nowhere, or what feels like it anyway, in hardly anytime at all. Strange that we put such a premium on being able to get away from our own lives.

I actually have a love-hate relationship with camping out in the wild. It's not the getting dirty or sleeping on hardened earth part that bothers me; it's the fact that once you're out there, there are no distractions, no gadgetry, no laptops to flip open and stare at. You're left with just your own thoughts, the bare relationship of whatever other humans/dogs are with you, if anyone, and the great big silent earth surrounding you. At times, it makes me feel lonely and vulnerable.

This was our first real-out-in-the-wilderness experience since Zach's birth/death in August 2007. Staring up at the black starry sky through the tall pine trees, I felt some waves of...well...sadness hit me briefly in the stomach and then continue along their merry way. It's strange, the human mind. Why feel melancholy, right then and there, in such beautiful surroundings? Perhaps it was the silence, the nature, the aforementioned feeling of having nothing to distract me from that emotion? Perhaps it was Kevin's summer-boy smell, salty with residual deodorant, that always makes me think of what our own son would smell like after football practice? Perhaps because I just imagine our baby up there in the sky, drifting around and looking down at us?

Probably embarrassed to have parents that hadn't showered in like three days and had bugs in their hair, which we did. Probably up there with all the other miscarried and stillborn and other "short bus" kids in the schoolyard of heaven, assuring them that those homeless-looking people down there sh*tting in the woods weren't actually weren't his parents.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Finally, Some Answers!

Holy Smokes, Strong KuKd Mommas! Get this: I have discovered the most profoundly stirring words of wisdom EVER on the subject of pregnancy loss on http://christianblogs.christianet.com/.

The brilliant question: "Why does God allow miscarriage?"

Answers from the Moderator and other helpful contributors, including someone named "Lovable Linda:"

"We live in a fallen world."(Gosh, why didn't I think of that!)

"God is showing me that He is in control."(God, you might want to brush up on your employee management skills. There are better ways to maintain a productive workplace.)

"A miscarriage is not even remotely close to choosing an abortion. A child that dies of heart disease is not the same as a mother that drowns her children in a bathtub." (Um, okay. I'm not sure how that relates to the topic at hand, but I appreciate the clarification.)

"God decided that the child you were carrying would be better off in His loving arms."(Hey God, stay the fuck away from me and my family, you baby-napper! You already have a son, don't you?)

"The bible teaches that only children of believers are deemed holy. Children of two non-believers, that die in the womb, infancy or early childhood are sent to hell." (Wow, that is deep. Your brilliance is one-of-a-kind. Not exactly related to the question of why God allows miscarriages, but deep nonetheless. Let's get together for dinner sometime and chat!)

About This Blog! KuKd Basic Survival Tactics

Hello, Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests! KuKd Survivor Tribe Members Unite!

KuKd is, simply put, getting knocked up and knocked down through miscarriage, sometimes bizarrely referred to as "spontaneous abortion," stillbirth, termination (yes, a lovely word...call it "interruption" if you'd prefer), or other infant death through yucky medical disasters. Since one in three pregnancies ends in such a way, there is a much more extensive tribe of KuKd females than most people think. We look like ordinary humans, like that chick from from Species; no physical identifying traits, no special code names (although I do propose a secret palm-tickling handshake).

Let me say this up front: I'm not a wallow in misery kind of person - at least I don't want to be one. I do relish the occasional wallowing-and-nose blowing session and sympathetic remark, but - inspired by the beautiful Kris Carr (that CrazySexyCancer blog queen) - this is not a wallow in misery kind of blog. Getting through my own KuKd without allowing it to harm my inner core has been a key priority of mine. Ten months after my own Ultimate Shitty Event, I wouldn't say I'm totally over it, but I've done a lot of thinking lately and have nailed down some key elements that have helped me HEAL, or at least get closer to it every day. At risk of sounding like a preachy-ass bitch, let me outline them below:

HOARD: that handful of superhumans who remain after everyone else has moved on, who continue to ask how I'm doing, who honestly want to hear my answer (the long version), and who encourage me to keep writing my book. They look me in the eye as I'm talking, without interjecting with some comment about how their hamster just miscarried too (how awful!). They're a rarity, those friends and family members (they know who they are), so I'm hanging on to them for dear life, milking the hell out of them, snorting them like crack cocaine, fully and unabashedly reveling in the fact that they still feel deliciously, juicily sorry for me. Bring it on! And I'm learning not to feel bitter toward the others, not that I'm not still astounded that the entire fucking world doesn't quit their jobs, stay home all day, every day, forever and ever, and sob over the loss of my and Kevin's baby(ies).

EMBRACE my childless self, the me that I was before becoming a Mom, the one I am now, having been shaped further by being KuKd. Okay, so this whole baby-having thing didn't work out, and might never work out. So I didn't satisfy my own sick desire to contribute a miniature-me to the world, at least not this time (and honest to god, how many more babies do we really need anyway?). I'm figuring out ways to be okay with that, such as using my dog as an esteem-booster instead of a child, going on every weird and rustic vacation I can think of with Kevin, and exploiting my own personal trauma by writing a dang book. That sure as hell wouldn't happen if I had a rugrat to attend to.

ALLOW sadness when it comes. I was a Mom. I suffered a whole huge bitch-ass loss, let me just put that out there. I feel melancholy sometimes, guilty as charged, and we permanently keep a role of toilet paper by our bedside for when the tear damn cracks. So sue me.

LET go. The last, most brutally difficult aspect of HEALing and surviving, and possibly the most important element, has been letting go of this life of motherhood that I had planned out for myself. I'm not totally there, but I'm getting there. It means letting go of my prego friends, mommy groups, baby clothes, resistance to eating tuna, baby name books, all that crap that once consumed me. I've tossed them out, stashed them away. It helps to walk over the 92nd st. bridge near my house, look down at the permanent snake of unmoving cars on I-5 south and the identical, grim-faced adults sitting alone in those cars, and realize that the two little ones I've lost wouldn't be little forever. Eventually, they would have just turned into a couple of bland, white adults sitting in and contributing to Seattle's wretched traffic scene. Just two more ordinary average people to consume useless electronics and take up space. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.