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

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

If You're In Seattle...

Hey Rainy-City-and-Thereabouts Readers!

Come over and down some drinks with me and my homegirl Corbin Lewars at our BITCHIN' BOOK LAUNCH PARTY - 7:00pm on Wednesdsay, April 28th. I would be so honored to have you there. We will be celebrating our respective first books, both released by Catalyst Book Press: Knocked Up, Knocked Down and Creating a Life.

There will be music, booze (of course!), snacky snacks, a few short readings, cool people, and - if I can get my nerve up - possibly even a live performance of the Stillbirth Theme Song (don't hold me to that, though - I type this on caffeine). And of course, if you're there, I fully want-hope-expect you to come up and say hello so we can exchange a gigantic KuKd/TTC sister-to-sister hug. Kapeesh?

Cool. Contact me to RSVP and get the full location and deets. I promise it's not in a dark forest or strip club.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Time for Goodbye

Howdy, KuKd/TTC'ers and Inquisitive Guests,

Last year, I made big, bitchin' promise to myself, my husband, and the ball of babe-age in my tummy: that I would end this blog once Sean came into the world. Well, here he is - so that time has come.

(eyes watering, gawd)

I'm sure you can understand my reasons for this. Mainly, I knew that my own focus would shift to the present child and away from the past, which it has; that this particular space wouldn't be the most appropriate place to document Sean's life and my experience as his mom; and that - ultimately - this blog's shelf-life would have ended by that time. I sure as heck wasn't going to turn this into a mom-diary sort of thing. There are about eight gadzillion of those blogs out there already - many of which are funny as hell and awesomely written - so why duplicate what others are doing so well.

I thought of this cool image of the KuKd/TTC world while I was up at 2am this morning: all of us on our own individual journeys on a labyrinth of dirt paths in a huge forest (can ya picture it?). Sometimes we bump into each other on the same path and walk together for a while, arm-n-arm, clinging to each other for companionship. Just as we get used to one another as comrads, one of our paths suddenly branches off in a separate direction - like when one of us has or loses a baby, for example, or gets pregnant. And then BOOM - we're alone again in the forest. But even when that happens, I'd like to think we never drift too far from each other - because we all have this same intense shared experience that bonds us together. I can see it in the amazing compassion and ongoing support that I've seen right here on this very blog, time and time again during my own KuKd ups and downs over the last few years. Even as my own path branched off abruptly, I could hear the supportive shouts of others, echoing through the forest.

(end crunchy-Zenlike forest euphemism)

I want to issue a humongous THANKS-A-ROO to the many long-time readers and supporters of this space (y'all know who you are) and occasional dabblers, as well as our respective Knocked-Down Hunks. It's you who have made this blog what it is, and inspired me to keep coming back to spew out thoughts, knowing I could be honest without being judged. I've learned so much from your insight, learned what compassion really means, and acquired this awesome and unexpected sense of KuKd/TTC community just from coming back and seeing the same familiar voices and faces piping in each week. Isn't that weird and cool how that happens, how supported one can feel just from virtual chatter? If there were a way to do a big group hug over the Internet, I'd do it now - a hug for all of the folks in various stages of the KuKd/TTC journey, voices and faces I've come to "know" over the past few years here.

And of course, an ultra-huge shout out to ALL of our loved children up in the MTV Realworld Penthouse for Bitchin' Stillborn Babes. I look at infant Sean's face, and I see - finally - what Zachary would have been, what we lost, why it sucked so horrifically. And I see, finally, the untapped potential of all miscarried and stillborn and died-after-born babes in the entire world, the could-haves and would-haves.

(eyes watering again, gawd)

* * *

Although my posts will stop, the blog itself will stick around in one form or another - probably as a holding place for information about my new book, occasional related updates, and archives of earlier stuff posted here. The hunks will stay; why deprive the world of that eye candy. If you're really interested in the Sean-updates that my physical-world friends and family receive, feel free to connect with me on Facebook, or shoot me an e-mail.

I'd like to end with a few last photos. I'll call this gallery: Death, Life, and Dog Poop.

Zachary, where it all began (holy goodness, I loved him so!):

Lil' Sean Murf, new seed of life (holy goodness, I love him so!):

Tebow the dog, getting used to little bro:

My Knocked-Down Hunk with baby hunk-o-babyness:

Bath time:

Last but not least - and totally unrelated to anything: here's Tebow's bag-o-shit clamped in the car window on the way back from the lake because we couldn't find a trash can (hee hee!):


Adios, amigos.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Second Baby

Howdy, Guests-n-Regulars!

Baby numero dos, second to baby numero uno (that ball of cute babe-age, Sean Murf), landed on my doorstep a few days ago:

Waahhhhhh! Can you hear it crying a-la-just-born-baby? Mommy, look at me! Here I am!

Why, hello sweetie! Yes, I'm glad you're here, after more than two years of working and waiting and gestating!

Unlike Sean, produced in a heated moment of intercourse, this second baby started out differently (and if you've seen little ditty before, scroll down and ignore):

One night in Ecuador, 2007
I sat on a wall with a hot guy named Kevin,
Sipping a beer while I bitched about life.
And then Kevin said, "Hey, my sad little wife!
Take all those thoughts swirling 'round in your head,
and spin them into something funny instead!"
"But what's so damned funny?" I asked with a frown.
He said "you won't know if you don't write it down."

So I did.

Now after two-and-a-half years of typing,
of adding, deleting, hoping and griping,
of family and friends pushing me hard,
of whining to Kevin that "writing is hard!"
Finally it's here: my very first book!
It would sure mean a lot if you'd go take a look.
It might make you chuckle, or find yourself crying,
but in Kevin's words: you won't know without trying!

It would mean so much to me, really and truly a lot, if you'd give this book a read and help me spread the word about it - particularly to newly KuKd or TTC mommas/daddas who might be feeling like crap. It's hard for me to say that here without sounding really slimy and self-promotional to my own ears, blegh. Rest assured, my goal is not to make a million bucks off it (as I recently told a friend, I hardly get a dime off each copy sold - so I'll consider myself lucky if this book buys me a couple of Coronas and a new laser ink cartridge). ]

Really, I want it to be read by you and others because I'm hoping that readers will connect with some of the feelings and thoughts expressed on its pages. The book - not so much a literary classic story with a beginning and end, but rather a series of snapshots of surreal KuKd life - is the product of my own feeling weirded out and isolated over the past few years. And it's got drawings, too - which I did on the #174 bus on route to work. Things like:

Me, pretty sure there's a tumor in my brain slowly killing me (see it making my face melt?)

Me versus Mammary Glands: realizing in horror that my boobs think there's a real-life baby to feed.

And of course, Zachary. The Zachary of my imagination, what he would have looked like in his teens.

I'm also hoping that a fellow KuKd'er might tell me something like: "OH YEAH - I totally felt that exact same way!" And hey: if you live in the Seattle area, why not come to my happy little BOOK LAUNCH PARTY - 7pm on April 28th? E-mail me if you'd like the deets -

ANYWAY. You can find the book at Amazon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Birth versus Dirth: Chode Stitches

Greetings, KuKd/TTC'ers and Inquisitive Guests!

This post is about chodes.

But first of all, a quick prelude: huge and huggy thanks for the outpouring of support and loving words. Baby Sean Murphy felt the love. I briefly held him up to the laptop screen and read some comments out loud to him, stopping only upon hearing a telltale train-rumbling sound from his butt-region. A poop spurred by joy, no doubt (quickly followed by an abrupt, 5-foot arc of pee that spritzed the ceiling, my & Sean's forhead, and the opposite wall...he really must have been in a spirited mood).

Coming from my fellow KuKd folk, and eSPECially those fighting the TTC/IF battle, those loving words carry extra weight, strength, and complexity, like bars of quartz dug up from the earth. Dude, I've been there. Perhaps it's that personal history that leads to my current urge to start every post from now on with the mantra: "I am thankful for this child." I'm not really going to do that, because that would be borderline annoying, but the thought is there. I am thankful for this child.

Moving on...

Where to go from here? Don't worry. This blog is not about to become a minute-by-minute account of my surreal new parenthood or Sean's spitting-up patterns, of what it's like to subsist on four broken-up hours of sleep per night for eight days in a row. In a later post, I'll add a few more Sean-pics and and a brief blurb about Sean's birth for people who are interested. The most important detail to me is that it was a birth, and not a dirth.

Speaking of dirth (which, correct me if I'm wrong, we decided is the verb to describe what happens to a stillborn baby: death + birth), that's a nice segue into what's on my mind this afternoon:


Specifically: chode stitches in birth versus chode stitches in dirth.

Okay, hold your horses, you linguistic perfectionists. I have no idea if it's spelled "chode" or "choad," or if that's even a universal term for the ridge of flesh between one's anus and one's vaginal opening (or penis). It's just what Kevin and I call the damn thing. I've also heard it called a "taint" - but of course, these terms came from my old Peace Corps buddy J, who notoriously smoked way too much weed. So I wouldn't trust what he says.

ANYWAY. The point is this: with Sean's BIRTH, as with Zachary's DIRTH, I've got stitches down there in the "chodal/taintal" region -compounded by the elephantitis-like swelling of the crotch, and some lovely token hemorrhoids (I opted to spare you of photos). (insert: I am thankful for this baby). Looking only at these physical aftermaths of baby-delivery, one might think that BIRTH and DIRTH are exactly the same.

But they're not! Here's my experience.

With Zachary's DIRTH, the physical aftermath - the pain, the swelling, the chode stitches, the everything - was an oddly welcome, temporary centerpiece in my world. Everyone was fixated on it: Kevin, me, the doctors and nurses, our parents. We were coached endlessly in how to care of my battered post-delivery body, sent home with printed-out instructions. I could recite to anyone exACTly how many stitches I had, and where. Upon getting home, it was all about my physical recovery. Me, lying around in bed, airing out my bloody crotch (how's that for visual imagery?). Kevin running errands to and from the drugstore, picking up Tylenol and things to make me more comfortable. Me, taking drawn-out sitz baths and relaying the details to Kevin. Man, we thrived on that shit! And when the pain finally began to subside...that's when real bitch-ass sadness sank in.

Looking back in hindsight, now I get it. The pain was, I'm pretty sure in my detailed psychoanalysis, was something for everyone to focus on other than the real horror: the missing baby.

Now, fast-forward to Sean's BIRTH. Different story. Nobody at the hospital really talked about my chode, my stitches, my bruised post-delivery body. To this day, I'm still not totally sure what the hell went on down there - I've got stitches and it hurts, that much I know. The pain, eclipsed by the baby himself, has become more like this annoyance in the background, an afterthought. So, it's really taking me longer to heal than last time - just because I keep jumping out of bed and roaming around (hard not to do when there's a fussy kiddo clawing for my booby). I wish I could just bat it away like a gnat in my face.

* * *

So, chodes.

I just think it's weird: how physical pain can be welcome one moment, and not so welcome the next.