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Monday, November 23, 2009

In Search of WOW!

Greetings, Folks!

First, the basic 411 for anyone who happens to be inquiring: the testicle-equipped fetus is alive and thriving, with a four-chamber heart that is pumping actively. Aliveness: that's all that I, my cautiously eager parents, and my even more cautiously eager husband can hope for. On the ultrasound screen today, which I peered at alongside my uber-smart-specialist-doctor-lady who essentially knows everything about everything, I saw his little fetal fists moving up and down as though he were doing the Mashed Potato or a frenzied ethnic dance. The doctor laughed, and I laughed too - hard enough to expel what my friend N calls a "pee pellet." Don't ask.

* * *

Moving on.

I walked home from my ultrasound appointment today in one of my belly-poppin' shirts. A young, fresh-faced guy waited beside me at the corner, and turned to ask how far along I was. Nearly six months, I told him in the normal, non-excited, matter-of-fact (even a little bit flippant about the whole thing?) voice that usually surfaces when I talk about such things. His eyes lit up and he extended his hand.

"I'm Taylor! My wife's six-months pregnant too! See her over there in the car across the street? Look, she's waving! Ours is a boy. What's yours?"

I glanced up and waved back, and then shook his hand. Ours was a boy too, I told him. This was their first pregnancy; I could tell by the sheen in his eyes and the number of white teeth showing in his youthful grin.

"WOW!" he said. "Both of us with boys!"

I know. Theoretically, yeah: it was a WOW! moment. We stood there a few seconds longer, shuffling our feet and talking small-talk, and it came up that they had just moved to Seattle. There was a distinct moment where I sensed him about to state the obvious: we should all hang out sometime. But I said something silly like "well, bye!" and turned to dash across the street before either of us could say it.

* * *

You know what I want? What I had for a fleeting moment on that street corner, my hand enclosed in that guy's warm palm with our breath showing in the chilly air, my eyes locking for a split second with his wife's in the car across the street?

I want that WOW!-feeling.

I've had it before, of course. You might have had it too: that first-time pregnancy high that overcomes you the minute that pink plus-sign shows up, like you've just inhaled happy-drugs off a smoking joint of joy. Give that pregnancy-high to someone like me, one of the most uber-social and extroverted people I know, and here's what I would normally do: ask this guy for his phone number, dammit, because dude - we should totally hang out, the four of us! Soon to be six of us! His wife and I could be friends! WOW! We should start scoping out baby-friendly bars together! Let's build a heady friendship, one in which we all deliver around the same date in March and send each other flowers. WOW!

But what prevails in the end is my own scrooge-like attitude: I can't relate to you, and you can't relate to me. Period. This makes for a very lonely pregnancy experience. I wonder sometimes if it's like this for all KuKd-prego gals: lonely. Things aren't as simple as they used to be.

I arrived home and found myself searching online for prego groups in Seattle, almost desperate to regain that sense of...what...belonging? That WOW! feeling that I had before, but that's now dried up? The "Urban Expecting Parent Group" that I started while pregnant with Zach is still there nearly three years later, burgeoning with so many hundreds of prego peeps that the site now says: "closed to new members." Fuck that noise! I could go back there, boasting about myself as the ORIGINAL FOUNDER, thank you very much, and they'd have to let me back in!

(wouldn't they?)

And even if they didn't, I could start a NEW group of my very own! BOO-YA!

But then I realized, just being with a bunch of first-time prego gals might not be the "tribe" for me, tribe-lover that I am. It might not actually bring back that first-time communal prego-high that I miss, and want. I'd probably taint their giddy atmosphere with my scrooge-like cynicism. In fact, I might hate it there altogether, being with those gals, pretending to be someone I'm not, hiding Zachary from them because there wouldn't be a place for him in the conversation. In the end, I decided maybe I'm looking up the wrong tree for my tribe.

Suddenly, I remembered the local "Pregnancy After Loss" support group that meets the last Tuesday of every month at Children's Hospital. That would be tomorrow - yipeee! Now if there were ever a tribe for me, it would be that, right there! Just imagine: a whole roomful of prego KuKd-gals who get it, who understand that weird, special variation of muted excitement that comes with pregnancy after a shitstorm of other pregnancies-gone-awry! That would be my WOW! moment - I just knew it!

But after a bit of quick research, I discovered the group no longer exists.
I could practically hear those horns of disappointment in my mind: wah-waaaahhhhh - like a stand-up comedian's joke had just flopped.

Ah well. It's not so bad. As I bumble through this one on my own, at least I know I've got my mother calling every day to check in, my husband keeping firm watch like a military guard, a blog to post on from time to time. And if I get REALLY desperate, I could always post an ad in the "Missed Connections" section of the newspaper, looking for that guy again and his six-month pregnant wife. I wonder if they'd remember me.


Kris said...

Monica - Oh to be oblivious, tra-la-laing down the yellow brick road of the superiorly fecund. But hey you had that WOW moment, when you laughed at your little one doing the Funky Cold Medina, it is just a different kind of WOW. Everything is a little different now. I will say if I ever manage to get preggers again I will gladly be part of your tribe.

angie said...

Dude, I soooooo hear you. I have become the most curmudgeonly pregnant lady. Small talk with doe-eyed, small armed bun-baker. Harumph. I will nonpluss (it's a verb now, ladies) you out of my life, Petty Maker of Pregnancy Chitchat. "How far along? What am I having?" Answer: 19 and Yes.

I would join your KUKD, the redux, group. We could get all effed up on Bach's Rescue Remedy and relentlessly mock What to Expect.

Amy said...

I shared a pregnancy with a friend when pregnant with Liam. We were a week apart in due dates and it was so much fun. We compared symptoms, complaints, cravings.. all good times for first time moms. And we were both having BOYs! Woo hoo! Then my baby boy was born and died and the fun ended. Their baby boy was born a week later and lived and the deep divide began. It took over a year for us to find some sort of common ground again, and it is not the way it was before babies.

The thought of sharing a pregnancy with someone now freaks me out. No thank you. I'll have my own lonely one (or not as it seems I can not become preggo). But if I could I can not see how I could happily share preggo time ever again.

Glad to hear the baby boy in your belly is growing and healthy.

Kara's Mom said...

I shared my pregnancy with my SIL (and my DH's ex-wife) who both gave birth to live children just weeks after my baby died. I will never feel that niave, happy-go-lucky feeling again if I am ever fortunate enough to get PG again. I will not share so much with everyone either. I will cherish every bump, kick, hiccup, morning sickness, ache and pain though - becuase sometimes that all you get.
I am so happy that your baby is healthy and doing well. Much love to you.

Desiree said...

I so get what you're saying. My cousin and I were pregnant at the same time and I miscarried and she's doing just fine, thank you very much. When we talk it's about everything else BUT her big fat belly.

Next time around, we've already decided that this trip is a journey for two - me and the hubs. No one else.

I'm so glad that you and your baby are doing well and you just let me know if you find/start another tribe - I'll be your Dallas chapter.

Jem said...

Haven't had my WOW moment yet, but, given the craziness of IF, not sure it will be the same as what Fertiles experience.

Glad your little guy is doing well, and Makarena'ing away.

namastemom said...

Lonely - yes, it is a lonely place to be post-Kukd. For me, the Wow moment never came in pregnancy. When I did get a live child, I held her in my arms, and Wow, I had a baby that was alive.

*~*Lis*~* said...

So glad your boy is doing well!

As namastemom said - I didn't have a WOW moment until my daughter was safe in my arms.

It's a very lonely place indeed - but you've always got us :)

jen said...

glad to hear the little dude is thriving in your warm bump.

i think that kris hit it. you'll have your WOW moments...they'll just be a little different. i don't want to point out the painful here, but you were already kukd x1 when you started that urban expecting group.

i can't pretend to understand what it's like for you now. i hope that you are able to enjoy those WOW moments when they come.

and hey, if the group doesn't exist, why not start your own. again.


Anonymous said...

i agree with namastemom. i never had a WOW either, and my first child was born fine and healthy. lost the second one. now i am almost 7 months into a very lonely pregnancy. supposedly i am "sharing" it with 2 of my SILs but not really. i will believe this child is OK when i hold her in my arms...i just can't be that naive. i never could.

Kris said...

Angie -
So I am not the only one to find "What to expect..." severely lacking. They forgot the whole chapter on what to expect after you gave premature birth to 19 weeks old boys, have to say goodbye, and then can't get pregnant again. I mean come on, now that is when you really need someone to tell you what to expect.
Somehow, though, I think if we wrote an "updated" version, it just would not be really marketable to the masses.
Maybe I do need to try some of that Bach Flower....

KuKd Chick said...

Ya know, it's great to know that the weird-n-lonely KuKd-prego feeling is actually shared by a lot of people. Whoever said we go thru this alone? And yes, Jen - I thought about starting a new group. Heh heh, that's my usual course of action. "The Seattle Urban Knocked-Down-and-Now-Expecting Group." Winner!

Kris -

About the "What to Expect" book, don't even get me started on that.

Karen said...

I am gobsmacked that I was oblivious and happy for four pregnancies only to lose baby number five. I want to smack the old me in the head, really. How could I not have known how many babies die? I keep meeting women now. I am so anxious for friends and family having babies (and it seems so many since George died in May) and I'm a wreck meeting women at the school and playgroups with my surviving children. I can't imagine calm and pregnant ever again. I think your first group should take you back because certainly some member by now either has or will lose a child, just going by stats and they could use you there. But founding a new group for mums who get it sounds better. Glad to hear you and that y-chromosome babe of yours are keeping well. (((Hugs)))

Karen said...

ps - Curious if you did get to the Great Big Sea concert in Bellingham???? I wish so much I could have. One band member writes his dog's blog on their site and it cracks me up....Tosh Tells No Tails.

KuKd Chick said...

Karen - didn't make it to the Great Big Sea concert but will look for it in the future!

Anonymous said...

I can relate to a lot of your posts.

I had 6 losses before my WOW moment came with a healthy baby boy in 06.

Pg just isn't fun when you know what you know and have had a loss. I am always in awe of those people who have no clue. They actually enjoy it like we are suppposed to.

Our newest pg journey ended mid ivf cycle when my bp was up and they found out I have a heart valve issue. The biggest WOW of my life happened when I realized the son I have is it and Thank God because I can't carry again.

I hope the rest of your journey is smooth and that you find the support you need. congrats on another baby boy!!!

KuKd Chick said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for sharing your story - and commiserating with that lack of WOW feeling. It's great to know there are others who get it.

Lara said...

I just had a WOW moment reading your blog. I have read what I consider to be hilarious, heartfelt, laugh out loud and cry, beyond Levity, blog on and off for the last year plus. WOW I am going to carry the WOW and excitement for you since I know how it is it be KuKd. Having our boy-baby taz born with undiagnosed incompatible with life head to toe issues and die two days later I know what it's like to loose the WOW. I had a pretty WOW pregnancy with our daughter Lily, then baby taz, then what I refer to as an elephant pregnancy-as in worlds longest with Lucia-and WOW when you get a pink crying nursing baby after a dead one that is it! People use to congratulate me while I was pregnant with Lucia and I would to want to run and hide-what the f--k was wrong with them-how can you congratulate someone before they have their live baby? I have a friend who carried the hope and joy for me when all I could do was not loose my marbles. So know I will do the same for you because you are so funny amidst the sadness we all know. I will be checking your site all the time.

"Because laughter is the wisest easiest answer to all that is queer" -The guy who write Mobby Dick


KuKd Chick said...

Lara - thanks, girlfriend, for your kind and amazing words! I can totally, totally, totally relate to your story. Thanks for reminding me why I keep coming back here.