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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Letters to my inlaws

After visiting my inlaws over the weekend, I had a lot I wanted to say to them, but I wasn't able to do it because I didn't want to cause a scene or a fuss. So, I decided to draft letters to them here where they won't be able to see them, but I can vent a little of my frustration. Here they are:

Dear Father-In-Law,

When Brian told you I had a rough week and you asked why, he responded with, "It was Jenna's due date," to which you replied, "What the hell is a 'Jenna?'"

First of all, she isn't a what, she's a who. She's your fourth grandchild, your second granddaughter. I carried her for 21 weeks. She moved inside of me; she had a fatal chromosomal disorder. She matters enough that you should know her name. Tessa, Brian and I all cried over her. People we haven't even met in person cried with us, yet you don't even know her name? I have always known we weren't the type of people who could have ever seen eye to eye on anything, but now, I know you are a horrible, horrible person who doesn't care about anyone other than yourself. And, seriously, after that comment, I hope you rot.

Also, I don't have to beat my child to discipline her. I want my child to do as I say because she loves me and respects me, not because she fears me. That is the only reason your two sons ever did anything you told them to do, because they were scared of being beaten if they didn't. No five-year-old does everything the first time she's told to do it. No five-year-old likes every single food on the planet. I will not hit her simply because she didn't do what I told her to the first time, nor will I hit her because she won't eat something she doesn't like.

Do you know why Brian visits you? It isn't because he loves you and wants to see you. No, it's because he feels like he is doing his duty toward you. Two visits a year is what he considers his duty, and he doesn't plan to do more than that. It's your fault he feels that way, but the truth is, you are so selfish that it doesn't matter to you. Honestly, if I never saw you again, it would be too soon, but I know I will have to, because Brian feels as though he must do his duty by you and I don't want Tessa to be exposed to you without me around.

Dear Mother-In-Law,

If you hate father-in-law so much, divorce him and go live with your sister. You will be a much happier and easier to get along with if you do. When you are around him, you are bitter, ill-tempered and hard to get along with, but away from him, I can actually tolerate your company.

I realize you think if you had divorced father-in-law when your sons were younger, it would have hurt them too much. However, allowing them to be beaten and mistreated by father-in-law did more damage than a divorce would have. How could you have been so stupid to even think that, unless you feel it is OK to beat your child? Since I don't know if you feel that way or not, you should know you will never be left alone with Tessa.

When I approached you about looking at Jenna's pictures, you should have looked at them without hesitation. She is your granddaughter. My mother saw her in person and held her. You should have been there for Brian and done the same. And, after looking at them, the wrong thing to say was, "Well, that was kind of sad, wasn't it?"

Naw, it was the best thing that ever happened to me! Seriously, how the hell could you say that to me? It was tragic, probably the worst thing that I have gone through or will ever go through in my life. You don't know how close I came to losing my mind this summer, and all you can say is, "Well, that was kind of sad, wasn't it?"

That's the other thing, you could have at least brought Jenna up to me. You could have said you were sorry about everything we had gone through. I even mentioned something about when I was in the hospital in August, and you didn't even take that opportunity to say something. I would have liked some indication that you even cared, not so much for me, but more so Brian. Your lack of concern, lack of attention, shows him you don't care.

One more thing, 95 percent of black people (which is not the word you used, and you know how much I hate that racial slur) don't think Obama is going to pay their bills. How would you even know when you don't socialize with black people? You barely tolerate the ones you run into in public. You, along with your husband and oldest son, are racists, and I am so glad Brian isn't like that and glad Tessa will never be that way either.

Actually, I hope Tessa is nothing like any of the three of you, and I am going to do everything in my power to keep that from happening.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Christmas Surprise

I had been dreading Christmas Day as it was my due date with Jenna. How can you celebrate when it was the day your dead child was supposed to be born? However, I put on a happy face and tried to do my best.

We were up until nearly 2 a.m., the night before, wrapping presents, eating Santa cookies and arranging the gifts artistically. After Brian went to bed, I sat down in the recliner with the lights off, just looking at the Christmas lights. Of course, my mind drifted to what I would be doing if Jenna had lived, and I cried myself to sleep in the recliner. I wasn't expecting to do that, but when I first found out I was pregnant, I envisioned myself feeding her by the lights of the Christmas tree. It just made me so sad that instead of celebrating her birth, we were grieving for her loss.

Tessa woke up about 4:30 a.m., and I convinced her to wait a little while to open presents. We snuggled in the chair until 6 a.m., when she couldn't contain her excitement any longer. Brian took his time getting up, just to aggravate her. She was shaking from the excitement. Every time she opened a present, she would say, "Oh my gosh. It's what I always wanted." Brian and I were actually cracking up at her, each time she would say it. The two gifts that went over the best were a Littlest Pet Shop House and a Rescue Pets swimming dog. She even liked the clothes we got her.

After this, we went to my mom's house for breakfast and to open presents over there. It wasn't as sad as I was afraid it would be. I tried to immerse myself in the children and enjoy their reactions to the presents. Momma made an awesome breakfast, baked ham, scrambled eggs, homemade biscuits and gravy. I love Christmas breakfast at her house.

Last night, we went to my aunt's house for Christmas. It was one of the only Christmases I can remember that we didn't have it at my granny's house. It's just too hard to go over there now, so I'm glad we decided to hold it somewhere else. The day was already hard enough on me.

Before Granny died, we always drew names for a gift exchange, but this year, because of money being tight for everyone, we decided to do a $5 to $10 "Dirty Santa" exchange and just buy presents for the kids. We all decided to let the kids open presents first, so they passed those out. I helped Tessa get her presents organized to open and received a box on my lap. It had "To the Belinc Family" written on it with no from information.

When I opened it, I found a dragonfly candle holder made out of wires. It was so beautiful. Tears welled up in my eyes, but I fought them off. I asked who gave it to us, but no one answered because they were all so busy watching the kids open the presents. Later, after we did "Dirty Santa," I asked again, but no one knew who did it, or at least, pretended like they didn't know who did it. One of my aunts said, "If no one says they gave it to you, I guess that means Santa brought it to you."

The aunt that said that isn't known to do random acts of kindness, especially anonymous ones. If she does something nice, she wants everyone to know. My other aunt, the one who lives across the street, would be the most likely one to do it, but it wasn't her handwriting on the box, nor was it my cousin's, who helped her wrap presents.

I would love to know how did it, because this surprise made my Christmas. It made me realize someone else was thinking of Jenna that day and remembered her with a gift. I felt all alone before and like no one really knew what I was going through, but after that, I didn't feel quite so alienated from everyone else. Here's a photograph of it.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Due Date

I have been holding up pretty well since I started taking my anti-depressants pretty regularly. I still have moments when I break down thinking I should have a baby in the house. I know she would have been here by now.

I tried not to break down in front of anyone, but I did last night. It was in front of my aunt, and she told me it would get better. I know it will; it already is better than it was in August.

I am debating about going with Brian and Tessa to his parents. Everyone here says I should go, but I know I will say something if they even look at me wrong. Brian wants to avoid that. How can I forgive them for not coming to her memorial service? Brian told his brother what was wrong, and he said, "Well, Dad just doesn't do funerals."

Brian asked if something had happened to Tessa would he have come to that. Marty said yes, that she was his grandchild. Brian said, "Well, so was Jenna."

I wonder if she really matters that little to everyone on that side of the family.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feeling extremely bitter and guilty

This has been a rough week and day for me. I'm pretty sure Jenna would have been born today because Dr. McGowen said she would induce me a week early due to the fact I had pre-eclampsia with Tessa. I also started my period today, leaving no doubt that I'm not pregnant.

Tonight, I called one of my best friends to confirm our lunch plans for tomorrow. She said she had just put her granddaughter down for the night. I asked her if her daughter was at work, and she said no. I could hear the tears in her voice as she explained that her granddaughter had been taken away from her mother due to the fact she was doing drugs and providing an unsafe place for the baby.

I feel bad for my friend. She told me she almost hates her daughter for what she's done. Well, so do I. She has a beautiful six-month-old baby girl, and she threw her away. When DHS said she could have her back if she went to drug rehab, she wouldn't do it. I would give anything to have my baby girl here with me, but she wouldn't. My baby is in an urn on a shelf in my living room, not in my arms. Her baby could be with her if only she had done the right thing. Does she even know what she's giving up?

I know I'm a terrible person for thinking this, but I keep wondering why my baby had to die and her baby lived, especially since she isn't willing to do anything to keep her. I feel so guilty for thinking that, but I can't help it. I'm angry and bitter. I'm mad my baby is an urn and not in my arms. I'm angry my friends daughter doesn't realize what a gift she has been given.

A healthy pregnancy and subsequent healthy baby is a gift, no matter how you want to look at it. She should be thanking everything she has her baby is healthy and holding her tight against her, but she would rather do drugs instead. I just don't get it.

I also feel guilty for thinking this way, but I keep wondering why couldn't her baby have been the one to have it instead of my Jenna. I feel like the lowest scum on Earth for feeling that way, but I can't help it. She had what I wanted and threw it all away.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Moving on to Clomid

My temperature dropped even lower this morning. I'm still above coverline, but I'll be starting my period tomorrow, because my LP is 14 days and today is day 14.

I'm trying really hard not to let myself get down, but it is so hard. I was so hoping for a "Christmas Miracle" this time, but I won't get it. I guess I lost my Christmas miracle in August when Jenna died.

I called my doctor today, and her nurse is going to call in my prescription for Clomid. I'll be taking it Cycle Days 3-7. I took it that way when I got pregnant with Tessa and when I got pregnant with Jenna. I'll also be using my fertility monitor again and taking my temps.

I really hope this works out. My fear of not having another baby is growing daily. I know that if we don't, I'll have to accept it, but I've got to give it a good try first.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Breaking my heart

Everyday after school, we go through Tessa's backpack to get out the work she has completed and is being sent home and to see what kind of homework she has to do for the night. Most of the night, it's just a little book she needs to read.

One of the papers she had today was a letter to Santa she had written. It said "Dear Santa, I want you to bring me a babe sistr." That's how she spelled it, too. I almost broke down. I told Tessa that she wouldn't be getting a baby sister this year at Christmas, but maybe by next year, she would have a brother or a sister. She was Ok with that.

It just breaks my heart that she wants one so bad, and I can't give it to her. I don't think I'm pregnant this cycle. My temp dropped this morning, and I'm getting my typical pre-period headaches. We'll be moving on to Clomid next cycle.

I have this overwhelming fear we will never get pregnant again. I love Tessa, and I am very happy with her. But, I don't feel like my family is complete. If we don't get pregnant again, how do I move past that?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Working with the Trisomy 18 Foundation

I've been meaning to blog about this for the past week, but my bad mood has kept me from it. Last Wednesday, I had an interview with Victoria Miller, the executive director of the Trisomy 18 Foundation.

I had contacted them about wanting to do some volunteer press work with them, and Victoria asked to see some of my clips and my resume. I sent them to her, and she reviewed them and then asked to do a telephone interview with me.

It went really well. We were on the phone for more than half an hour. I felt as though I was talking to an old friend. She knew exactly how it felt losing Jenna and how it felt to be called to action by the loss.

She wants to work with me and said if everything goes as planned, it could turn into a paid position. That would be wonderful all the way around. I would be doing something I feel really passionately about, and I would get to tell wonderful, but sad, stories of families affected by Trisomy 18. I love both aspects of it.

I wanted to do something to help, and I think this could be the best way to do it. I feel like I've already touched a lot of lives through this blog, and I will continue it no matter what. I want to help those receive this tragic diagnosis, but working with the foundation will allow me to do so on an even greater level.

Bad mood lately

Lately, I've been in a terrible mood. I snap at everyone, and everything gets on my nerves. I know that part of it is because I went off my anti-depressants. I did so because we are trying to conceive, but I have decided to go back on them, at least until after the holidays and Jenna's due date.

I think that's even larger part of the problem -- the fact that Jenna's due date is coming up and I don't have a baby growing in my belly, waiting to be born. It just isn't fair.

It isn't fair that Casey Anthony was able to have a baby, only to kill her. It isn't fair that teenagers all over the world just have to jump in a backseat, and they are pregnant, when we have to jump through hurdles in order to achieve that goal. It isn't fair that I'm analyzing my basal body temperatures and my Fertility Friend chart to see if I've ovulated instead of analyzing every little symptom to see if I'm going into labor.

Saturday night, we went to eat, and I saw brand new twins. It isn't fair that she got two babies, and I came home with none. It isn't fair that I'm probably not pregnant this cycle, even though I truly wanted to be pregnant by my due date. It isn't fair that a mean girl I grew up with is now pregnant with her third child. I just want one more. Is that too much to ask?

It isn't fair that people try to get away from me when I share my story. They don't want to be around the sad woman, even though I try very hard not to portray that to the world.

I guess I'm feeling a little bitter right now. Jenna probably would have been born anyday now. Yesterday when the season finale of Survivor was aired, I thought it would have been funny if she had been born then, because Tessa was born on one of the season finales, and I made sure to watch it even though I had just given birth.

I have two more days until I can test if I ovulated according to when Fertility Friend said I did. I doubt I'm pregnant, but wish me luck. I think it might totally change these moods.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Four months ago

Four months ago at this time, I was in the hospital. I had just had my first round of cytotec inserted to make my cervix dilate so Jenna could be born. I can't believe it's been four months. I have learned so much and grown more than I could ever imagine during that time.

We had a great nurse that night. Her name was Dawn, and she was so sweet. She listened when we needed to talk, and we had a lot in common, too. Her husband was also a truck driver. I didn't really start to feel any contractions until later in the night, but my heart was full of pain.

Now, I'm coming up to my due date. It's just two weeks away. Tomorrow, we are delivering our angel tree presents to Wal-Mart. We wanted a newborn baby, because each year we are going to do a child that would be Jenna's age at Christmas. However, I looked at the card wrong, and the baby was 18 months old. It didn't matter. Her list was only for clothes, shoes and baby shampoo, body wash and lotion. We bought her two dresses, two sweat suits with really cute designs on, two long-sleeved t-shirts, a pair of jeans, some tennis shoes, a baby doll, a teddy bear, a Winnie the Pooh, some puzzles and one of those baby telephones. We might have gone a little overboard, but we had fun doing it. I'm going to put a card in the box that says, "In memory of our angel, Jenna Grace, Aug. 12, 2008."

I was hoping to be pregnant by my due date, but I don't know if that will happen or not. My fertility monitor still hasn't given me a peak, just a high since CD 8. I know I can't have had just a high for 13 days. Anyway, when I entered my temp and the high for today, Fertility Friend changed my ovulation date from CD 13 to CD 18. If I ovulated on CD 18, we are completely out of the running because we didn't BD at all at that time. I decided to take out all of the monitor information after CD 13, and it changed it back from CD 18 to CD 13.

I think I ovulated CD 13 because I had EWCM and ovulation pains. On CD 18, I didn't have any mucus at all. But, what if I'm wrong, and we missed it completely. I just don't know. If any charting experts are looking, please tell me what you think, and please remember Jenna today.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Can you see her?

This post is going to be short and to the point. We took the grandchildren's picture the other night. Can you see Jenna in it and the way we remembered her? Oh, and I think the grandparents are definitely going to love this picture


Ok, here are a few others. This one is Tessa, fed up with having her picture taken. I just love it, as it says so much.


In this one, Tessa is helping Alex, my nephew, to smile. I've been keeping him and the baby for the last few weeks, and he is an absolute dream.


Best friends and cousins, Tessa and Luke, show each other a little bit of love.


Tessa is now saying she wants to be a model. Do you think she has it in her with this pose?


Our trip to Dave and Busters

We had so much fun Saturday night. We kind of got a late start, and honestly, the day before, I wasn't expecting to be able to go due to a family thing we had going on. It ended a little early, so we were able to celebrate.

Honestly, the food wasn't all that great, but it was good enough and the service was wonderful. After we ate, we played the games. Luck was really on our side that night, as we won over 5,000 tickets. I played this "Spin to Win" game and hit the jackpot twice on it. I also played Wheel of Fortune and got 500 and 300, the highest amounts you can get, many, many times.

We got things for Tessa with the tickets. They had a Tinkerbelle lamp that is just her head and arms. The head lights up. I know she will love it. We also got her a huge stuffed cat and dog that looks like our dog Rosie, a few things to put in her stocking and a Care Bear. Brian got a Pilsner glass that has the Dave and Buster's logo on it, and I got a pen with the logo on it, too.

It was nice to have fun and just be silly for a while.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's over, it's over, it's over

This year from hell is finally over. My husband and I are going out on a date tonight to Dave and Buster's, Chuck-E-Cheese for grown-ups.

I won't be having a drink because I'm three days past ovulation, but I'm going to have fun and going to celebrate it being over. No more bad news for me. I'm banning it. This is a bad news free zone from now on.

I will still feel sad and will still probably blog about it, but I'm going to try not to post any bad news here.

Please, if you are reading this, leave a comment and join me in my celebration.

Friday, December 5, 2008

One year ago today

One year ago today I received a call that it was almost over with my granny. She had been in the hospital, and we had brought her home on hospice so she could have her wish and die at home. I lost my hero that day, the woman who helped shape me into who I am today.

My granny wasn't perfect. She had a temper like you wouldn't believe. It took a lot to get her mad, but when you did, you had better watch out. I remember once she had her central heat and air system replaced, and the men wore deep tracks in the yard with their trucks. She took pride in her yard, and she was so angry they had messed it up. She came out on the porch to talk to them. Without raising her voice, she let them know exactly what she thought.

Beyond the temper, Granny was very nearly perfect. She taught me their is no difference in people due to their skin color. She often said that we weren't any better than anyone else, but we weren't any worse either. She was a Christian, but she truly believed in "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" and "Judge not for ye shall be judged."

Granny had a hard life. Her father died when she was 13. Her mother lost the farm, and she had to go to work, sewing baby outfits and softballs for the Wilson Ball Factory at home. After she married, she lost two children, one at three months due to a heart defect and one before she was even born at five months gestation. I really missed her when we were going through the pain of losing Jenna, because I knew she knew what that felt like and no one else in the family did either.

My Papa died young, so they didn't get to spend their golden years together. There is a song called "Rocking Years" by Dolly Parton and Ricky Van Shelton that she loved. It talks about rocking chairs and rocking babies and sitting and rocking on porch swings when you are older. She said she and Papa never got to do that.

Granny was stubborn. That's really an understatement. If she hadn't been as stubborn as she was, she would never have made it through all the health problems she had over the years. Most of the time, she came back stronger, except for the last few years. She taught me that if you want something, you have to work hard at it, and even if you fail, at least, you know you tried and stuck it out. She never gave up, even at the end. She waited around until she knew we would be Ok.

I loved this story about my granny. She wanted to learn how to drive, but my Papa didn't want to teach her. One day, when they went to the store, she asked him to let her drive home. He said no. So, she went outside, jumped in the car and drove it home. She nearly tore the transmission out of it, but she showed Papa she meant business. He taught her to drive after that.

Granny was my hero. I didn't think I would be able to live without her, but I have. I have lived my life for the past year without her here. I know I can go on, and I know it's because of the love and strength she showed me.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The year of hell will soon be over

I'm having a party Dec. 6. That day, my year of hell will officially be over, and I'm going to celebrate. If anything else bad is going to happen, it needs to do it between now and Saturday, because I'm putting an official ban on bad things after that.

It all started with my granny's death on Dec. 5, 2007. I honestly thought her dying was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. Even though it was terrible and it still hurts, losing Jenna was worse. I knew Granny had lived her life and was ready to go. Jenna never even had a chance. She was doomed from the start, which wasn't fair to her or to those who loved her.

Then, just two months after we lost her, I was unfairly fired from my job. Of course, after the hell my asshole ex-publisher has put me through for two years, this wasn't exactly the worst news. I just wish it had happened in a different way. Then, another person my asshole ex-publisher treated unfairly, my mentor, the man who hired me at the newspaper, who was like a surrogate grandfather to me, passed away. He was buried on Saturday, a cold, drizzly day. I wasn't working at the newspaper that day, of course, but Bob would have been proud to know they finished the paper in time for Betty, Rita, Larry and Justin to attend his funeral.

So, I'm officially done with bad news. After Saturday, I don't want to hear anything bad. I only want to hear about the good. I've banned bad things from happening in my life. I've had enough bad to last a lifetime in the last year, and I'm not going to allow anything else bad to happen.

Saturday, I'm going to have a party. I'm going to go out with my friends. I might even have a drink or two (depending on where I am in my cycle). I'm going to eat decadently, probably even some rich chocolate dessert.

I've decided to re-invent myself after this year of hell. I went Wednesday and had my hair cut really short (think Mia Farrow and Rosemary's Baby) and dyed a brownish red. I've lost 36 pounds, so none of my clothes fit very well anymore. I'm going to buy new clothes, younger, closer fitting clothes. I think I might even do that Saturday, too, and I'll take my friends with me. I'm no longer a mom and a Lifestyles editor. I'm a young, hip, fresh and cool mom who is an award-winning journalist and freelancer, who is staying at home to take care of her family.

On Saturday, I'll post a Woo-Hoo, It's Over Party thread. Please join me in a virtual celebration of the end of the year of hell.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Goodbye Old Friend

Nine years ago last month, I was 22 years old, taking a break from college and hating the job I had. Everyday at lunch, I checked the newspaper to see if I could find another job.

One day, the job of my dreams was listed in the paper. The newspaper itself was looking for a general assignments reporter. I had been the editor of the high school paper and worked on the college paper staff. I submitted my resume and a Mr. Bob Kyer called me to do an interview.

Bob was old enough to be my grandfather, but we hit it off really well. Instead of feeling like I was talking to an intimidating stranger, I felt like I speaking to a relative or an old friend. He told me that in order for me to get the job, I had to take a writing and spelling test. When I finished, he said, "I knew I liked you. You're the only person who has ever spelled all the words correctly." He also said I did a good job on the writing test, told me what I could do to correct it. He then told me to call him the next day, and he would tell me if I had the job.

I could hardly control my excitement the next day. When I left work that day, I stopped by a pay phone (I think I was one of the only people even then who didn't have a cell) and called him. He told me I had the job. I said, "Oh, Mr. Kyer, you don't know how much this means to me."

He laughed and said, "I'm not Mr. Kyer, I'm just plain old Bob."

So, even though it felt funny to call him Bob, I did it because he asked me to. And, it really was my dream job. Two years later, I was made Lifestyles editor, becoming the youngest one the paper had ever had. Bob gave me top reviews every year. When I went into his office for him to look my pages over, we often talked about his daddy, who was a Southern Baptist preacher, or about his dogs (including his beloved Pekinese, Cricket), or his children and grandchildren (He had a granddaughter he thought the world of who he called "Allie-Oop"). He become more than just an editor to me. As someone who grew up without a grandfather or much of a male influence, he became a surrogate one for me.

Bob always went to bat for his newsroom staff. At one point when the asshole publisher who fired me wanted to write me up, Bob refused to do it, because he said I didn't deserve it. I was so afraid he would be fired over it, but he told me not to worry. He was just that way.

About two years ago, he suffered a heart attack while sitting in his office on a Saturday morning. They almost lost him in the parking lot out front, but he made it over to the hospital. His doctor told his wife that he was brain dead and to turn off the machines. She wouldn't do it and by the next morning, he was sitting up in bed, eating his breakfast and talking to her and their children. We didn't know if he would come back, but we hoped he could.

However, that decision was taken out of his hands. The asshole publisher went into Bob's office and cleaned it out. He threw away an old typewriter that Bob wrote his first story on. He threw away books and anything personal Bob had in there. One of my co-workers went to the dumpster and rescued as much of Bob's things as he could. Asshole threw a retirement party for Bob and told him he could do freelance work and a column out of his home, so he could keep his insurance. But, about six months later, asshole fired him. I know the asshole did me very dirty in firing me, but the way Bob was treated broke my heart. When I wrote to asshole after he fired me, he commented that I never treated him with respect. How could I treat him with respect when I lost every bit I had for him after the way he treated a man I cared deeply about?

I got word last week that he was in the hospital. I wanted to go see him but came down with a bit of the flu. I didn't want to make him worse. Last night, my friend Rita called me and said he wasn't doing well at all. She said if I wanted to see him, I needed to go today.

I did, and it brought back memories of my granny last year. The doctor had been giving him morphine to keep him comfortable. I talked with his wife for a while and shared my memories of him. I told her that I thought the world of him. I don't know if he could hear me or not, but I talked to him and said, "Bob, it's Tamara. I had to come and see you and let you know that I love you. All of us in the newsroom did." I hope he knew how I felt and heard me.

I got a call tonight, saying he had passed away. I feel so bad for his wife. They had been married for almost 24 years. Last November, she lost her son, and this November, she loses her husband.
I'm going to share a quote from Charlotte's Web that sums up how I felt about Bob, "It's not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer."

Bob was both.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dragonflies and remembering Jenna

On Friday, I had to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things, and they had a display of pins to be given as Christmas gifts. I decided to take a look to see what options they had.

Would you believe they had at least 10 different dragonfly pins? I thought that was Jenna's way of telling me I needed to signify her presence with a pin. I bought one for me, Brian, and Tessa. We will wear them in our pictures we are having made, plus Tessa will wear hers in the grandchildren picture. I put mine on my purse and will take it off when we do the pictures. Then, I'll put it back there.

I also ordered two angel pins from Avon. They have birthstones inset in them, so I got one for Tessa and one for Jenna. I'm going to put them on my purse, too. It's going to soon be full of pins.

We went to the mall last night, and a glass shop had opened inside. Tessa saw an angel and said she wanted to get one for Jenna. So, we looked around and found a little one. The shop also had little mirrors to sit them on. The mirrors were etched with sayings, like "We love you," "Best Friends" or "Best Teachers." I asked the lady if we could get it custom embossed, and she said no. We kept looking at the ones she had out, and she said, "Who is it for? A teacher, grandmother?"

Brian and I looked at each other and at her and back at each other. We truly did not know what to say. I finally just squeaked out, "Our baby was stillborn this summer, and it's for her."

Tessa piped up and said, "Yes, our baby died. Her name was Jenna."

The lady didn't know what to say. She stammered out that she was sorry and came back with one that said, "We love you always." We decided to get it. I just hate having to say that to people.

I wanted a Christmas ornament for Jenna, but I didn't think a Baby's First Christmas ornament would be appropriate. One of the ladies on my board makes ornaments out of lightbulbs, and she's going to make me an angel one. I might get her to make two, so we can have one for Momma's tree, too.

Maybe I'm going too far in doing things to remember her, but she was supposed to be here at Christmas this year. She was going to be my little Christmas present, just as Tessa was my little Mother's Day present. I just don't want anyone to forget her.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A new quote

"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go." ~Author Unknown

I found this quote on another blog I visit, and it really touched me and brought tears to my eyes. I understood all of it.

I didn't want Jenna to have Trisomy 18, and I didn't want her to die, but I had to accept the fact that it was going to happen. The trip to Atlanta and the outcome, I didn't want that to happen either, but it did and I had to accept that.

I wish I had never had to hear about Trisomy 18 or its effects, but I had to learn so I could help others who have been in this situation. I never wanted to know what it felt like to lose a child, but now I do and can be there for someone else who has lost a baby. I want to teach people about this disorder, to educate the world about it, and I never could have done that without Jenna having it and learning about it that way.

People we can't live without -- well, I have lost two of those, my granny and my Jenna. Life does go on, but it's changed. You can live without them, just not the same life you had before. Sometimes, letting go is the hardest, but best, thing you can do for someone. It wasn't for the best that Jenna had Trisomy 18, but because of all the defects the disorder caused her, it was for the best for her to die in utero before she had a chance to feel pain. Letting go of her was hard, but it had to be done. Granny had a series of strokes and Parkinson's Disease. She wasn't really living. Bringing her home to die and letting her go without prolonging her agony was the most loving and humane thing we could have done. It didn't make it easy. It doesn't mean that we didn't wish we didn't have to do it. It didn't keep us from feeling sad and hurt, but we knew we had to let go.

That quote just sums up my life for the last few months. I'm displaying it on my blog so others can see it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not pregnant and coincidence?

I started spotting tonight, so I know I'm not pregnant. My temps haven't dropped yet but I know it's because I've got a touch of the flu and have been running a high fever.

I'm ok with it. I've never gotten pregnant without Clomid before, so it was no shock. I was hoping to have my COBRA benefits all taken care of so I could do Clomid this cycle, but since I haven't gotten my new cards yet, I'm going to wait and see what happens. We'll try again this cycle on our own with me just taking my Metformin.

The funny thing is that if I ovulate like I have the last two cycles, I will ovulate Dec. 5. Last year, my granny died on Dec. 5. It's bound to be a terrible day this year, as I'm already having trouble thinking about her being gone a year. But, maybe, just maybe, she'll be helping me along, and if a new baby is conceived that day, I'll feel better about it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas Pictures

For Christmas, we are going to have a picture taken of all the grandchildren to give to my parents.

While we are doing this, Brian, Tessa and I are also going to have a family picture taken as it's been three years since we've done so. I want to include Jenna in these pictures, but I haven't figured out how to do so.

I asked on for ideas, and the ladies there (who are always wonderful) gave me some great ideas. I thought at first about placing her urn in the photograph, but I'm afraid that will be too morbid and no one will like it.

Someone suggested that we somehow use a dragonfly because that is my symbol for Jenna. I think that's a great idea, and I'm going to look into getting some for all the kids to wear.

Another person suggested an ultrasound picture, and I like that idea, too. I don't know if anyone will go for it or not.

The thing is, she existed. She's our child, a part of this family, and I don't want anyone to forget about her. I want to find a way to honor her memory and include her in these photographs. Does anyone else have a suggestion?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Summer memories

Tonight, I was watching television and saw a preview of the movie "Wall-E." It came out this summer, but I don't remember seeing a preview for it. I think I would because it is something that Tessa would want to see.

This made me think back to the summer months. Starting from the week after the Fourth of July until the end of August, I don't have that many memories. The one feeling I remember is desperation.

I was desperate to have the ultrasound done, then desperate to have the amniocentesis. Then, I was desperate to get the results, going so far to call and call until I could get them. I was desperate to end my pregnancy, to keep Jenna from feeling any pain. I was desperate to find the money to pay for it without wiping out our savings. After Atlanta, I was desperate to find another way to say goodbye early. When we decided to try and carry to term, I was desperate for a miracle, desperate for just a little time for her. After she died, I was desperate to get rid of the pain, which I now realize will never completely go away.

I don't remember ever feeling this desperate in my life. I bargained with a God I'm not sure I believe in. I cried. I went to work and forgot stories I was supposed to do, but somehow managed to still put out a quality section.

I don't remember anything we did as a family after we found out the diagnosis. I was collecting stories from the archive system at the newspaper after I was fired to have to use as clips, and I found several stories I don't really remember writing. I did a good job on them, but I barely remember doing the interviews.

I believe I was in a fog, the forgetfulness a defense mechanism to keep me sane. Those two months this summer nearly made me have a nervous breakdown. Thank goodness for Zoloft.

I remember wishing for the world to stop, to slow down, so I could think and make decisions. Everything moved too fast for me. I had stopped, and I believed everyone else should, too. Of course that didn't happen. I've been going to the Trisomy 18 Foundation support Web site, and seeing posts by parents with a new diagnosis just breaks my heart. I know exactly how they are feeling, and I wish no one would ever have to feel that way again.

Time did move on, and I'm healing. Life goes on. I'm doing better, but I sincerely hope I will never have to go through something like this again. I wish I could remember, too, because it's my few months with Jenna.

Woo-hoo: Finally got my coverline

I put in my temperature this morning, and Fertility Friend says I ovulated on CD 14. I really think I probably ovulated on CD 13, because that was the day my temp dropped, but either way, I think we timed everything just right.

I also think I've figured out what happened with the fertility monitor. It was an old box of test sticks from March when we were TTC with Jenna. I didn't want to go out and buy a new box since they are so expensive and because I had half of the box left. Friday morning, I checked the wrapping on one of the test sticks. It said they expired this month. I'm sure that's what the problem is.

I'm going to buy a new box if I start my period at the end of this cycle. For now, though, I am in the two week wait. Here's my chart if you want to check it out.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Feeling down tonight

Tonight was Tessa's fall festival at her school. She had a great time along with Luke and Elijah, but being there just made me feel bad. It's like I had a secret, and none of them knew it. The secret was my broken heart and sorrow over losing Jenna. I think I've said this before, but I feel like I'm beyond people who haven't had this kind of loss.

I think a part of it was there was so many children there with their siblings, and Tessa will never have that opportunity with Jenna. It just isn't fair. A lot of tiny baby girls were there, too, and it's so hard to see them. I want my baby girl here with me.

I'm also feeling down because my cycle is so off this time. I've been getting highs on my fertility monitor for eight days now but no peak. I thought I had already ovulated because of my basal body temps but fertility friend isn't giving me my coverline. Here's my chart if anyone wants to look and give me advice.

Also, since I lost my job last week, I've probably applied for 30 freelance jobs. The only ones I've heard back from are the scams. I have the experience, the clips, the know how, why aren't I getting any responses?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Even though I am over the moon about Obama's election, I am having some bittersweet moments today.

I had been planning to order a T-Shirt that said Obama Momma with the words "Obama Supporter Inside" to wear while I was pregnant with Jenna. I was planning to wear it when I voted, and I had thought about telling her about how she was inside of me when I voted for the first black president, who I had supported for four years before he was elected.

I also thought it would be wonderful to bring a baby into the world in the same year we looked past color to put the right man into office. She should still be here moving around in my belly, kicking me in my ribs, but instead, she's sitting in an urn on my end table surrounded by angels. How is that right?

It's also bittersweet for me because of my granny. She voted in every election held right up until a few months before she died. She always told me how important voting was. She didn't like Bush at all and would be so glad a Democrat won. She would also liked Obama himself. She always told me that we weren't any better than anyone else, that all people are equal. She practiced what she preached, too.

After both of her inlaws died, she and my grandfather moved into the house on the main farm, which left their home empty. She rented it to a black family, and this was Tennessee in the 1960s. Prejudice was rampant. Her co-workers said bad things about her, about how dirty black people are, but she told me, "They were just as clean as I was. You could eat off her floor. I wasn't any better than they were, so why should I treat them differently?"

She also went to a black dentist during the 1960s, too. She was so brave in standing up for what she believed in, and I know she would have been for Obama.

I also have bittersweet emotions of not being at the newspaper the night he was elected. Even though a part of me is glad I'm gone from there, I can't help but wish I could have helped tally the votes coming, watching the results on television with the newsroom staff, as I have for every election (local, state and national) since 2000.

I will get through this just as I have everything else. It's just sad to me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

He won, He won

I am sitting here in tears tonight. I don't even know if I can write a coherent sentence. Barack Hussein Obama is now our president-elect.

It shows me that this country can move beyond color to elect the right man into office. It shows children, of any color, that they can be president, too. I have hope for this country once again, and my faith has been restored in the American people.

I can't write anymore tonight. I'm thinking of waking Tessa to watch Obama's speech. Wait a minute, that should be President-elect Barack Obama.

Biting my nails

I have really gotten into the election this year, mainly because of the abortion issue and what I went through this summer and also to take my mind off my pain.

Now, tonight, I'm sitting here biting my nails as I watch the television news about the election results. Obama is leading in the results as this moment, but the night is not over yet. I would love to say that I think he will win, but I don't want to jinx myself.

Four years ago, when I was watching the results, I listened to Barack Obama speak, and I thought to myself, once again, that he should become president someday. I heard him the first time at the Democrat National Convention. As much as I was in tears over Bush winning, I was super excited that Obama might run and win one day in the future.

I did not believe it would be this soon, but I am so glad it is. I'm staying up to see who wins, and I'm hoping to be celebrating.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Brenna's mom tagged me so now I have to list seven weird things about myself.

1. I had a half-sister that was three weeks younger than me. We had the same dad but different moms. We were even born in the same hospital, delivered by the same doctor and even the same nurses working that night. She was killed in a car wreck when we were 16.

2. I don't produce ear wax. Seriously. I started having chronic ear infections several years ago, and when my family doctor couldn't get them to clear up, I had to go to an ear, nose and throat specialist. He said he didn't know if my ears were so damaged from the chronic ear infections that I had stopped making wax or if it was something that had always been that way.

3. I don't remember not being able to read. I can remember reading the Little House on the Prairie books when I was in kindergarten. My older cousins would come home from school and teach me to read, so I was reading by the time I was three. I still love to do it.

4. I love Harry Potter. Seriously, I worship JK Rowling, and I wish I was half as talented as she is. I've read all of the books at least six times, have all of them but the last one in paperwork, and am working on getting them all in hardback. We have all the movies. I'm raising Tessa to love it, too.

5. I don't really like chocolate. Every once in a while, I will get a craving for it, but mostly I could do without it. I much prefer sour or fruity candy.

6. I'm a bleeding heart liberal. LOL. I know not everyone would think that is weird, but where I live, it is.

7. I wrote my first novel before I was 20. It wasn't any good, and I no longer have a copy of it.

Ok, I tag Jessica (Georgia's Mom), Holli (Cameron's Mom), Beth (Ada's Mom) and Liz.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo is held held every November. Last year, I had planned to participate, and even started on a novel called "Ghostly Secrets," when my granny became ill. I didn't have time after that to participate, so "Ghostly Secrets" is stuck on my hard drive at 13,000 words.

I hadn't done any fiction writing since my granny died. I edited my young adult paranormal novel "Psychic Straits," but I didn't have anything original started. I wanted to go back to "Ghostly Secrets," but I don't think I can handle it right now. The main character in it loses both of her parents, and I've had enough death in my own life for a while.

I've had an idea floating around in my head since last year. It would be about a set of teenage twins. One is normal, and the other is paralyzed on one side and has a pinched and drawn face due to a birth accident. The mother keeps the handicapped girl locked in the attic, where she can see the outside world only through the window. The normal twin comes home everyday and teaches her sister how to read and keeps her connected to the outside world. Here's the first paragraph:

Momma walked over to me, turned the freakish side of my face toward her and gave it a kiss. “I'll see you tonight after work,” she said. “Remember, kids like you will someday march in God's Army.”

Do you think this would make you want to read more? I think it's pretty intriguing myself. I've written over 6,000 words. I'm proud of myself. I was afraid grief would keep me from writing again.

Fertile Cervical Mucus

Before I was on Metformin, the only time I had egg white cervical mucus was when I was taking Robitussin to thin it out or when I took Clomid.

I'm on cycle day 10 today, and I've been getting high readings on my fertility monitor. Tonight, when I went to the bathroom, I had EWCM. I was so shocked.

One of the other reasons I was so surprised was that it's early in my cycle. I usually don't ovulate until later due to the PCOS. Even though TTC sex is usually boring, Brian's going to be very happy for the next few days. If I do get pregnant this cycle, we will be having a late July, early August baby. The best thing is that I might get to be a stay at home mom with this baby, especially if I can get my freelance career going.

Wish us luck this cycle. I'm hoping not to wait too long. Brian wants us to be finished before he turns 40, and I don't want there to be too much more of an age difference between Tessa and the new baby. As it is, there will be six years, which is an awful lot.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Should I send this?

Ok everyone. I need some help. Through a friend at the newspaper where I used to work, I obtained my publisher's e-mail address. I have written him a letter, detailing my side of things. I didn't get to talk to him on Monday when I was fired, because Betty did it. Do you think I should it? Here it is and please tell me through the comments section if you think I should.

Dear Jeff,

I realize your first inclination will be to delete this e-mail, but after nine years of loyal service to Lakeway Publishers, I believe I have earned the right for you to show me the respect to read and reply to this e-mail.

The first issue I have to address is the resume you found in my queue at work. It was not there because I was applying for other jobs at work. I had it stored there because I wanted a back-up copy. The reason I had an updated resume was not because I wanted to leave The Tullahoma News, but because I was applying for freelancing positions to earn a little extra money. I didn't want to leave The Tullahoma News. It has been my home for the last nine years, and I loved what I do.

I have given you and the company nine years of loyalty. Three people under you have told me they will give me good recommendations or write letters for me if needed. I have come into work when I was extremely ill. I hardly ever missed a publication day. I have placed each year in the TPA contest, when many others there have not. I am so dedicated to the newspaper that when my stillborn daughter was born, I called that night to check to see if everything went the way it was supposed to and to see if Justin needed any help.

This leads me to my last point. You informed Betty that it seemed like I had lost interest in the last few months. I suppose to a point that I have, but I never let that loss of interest negatively affect my work. I'm not sure if you are aware of what I have gone through. In April, I found out I was pregnant. In July, I found out the baby was a girl and that she was very, very sick. I left early the day we received the diagnosis and came back to work the very next day. I thought we would be able to end our pregnancy in Tennessee but was not able to do so. We had to travel to Atlanta, where we were told we couldn't have the procedure done due to a mix-up at the clinic. We came back home. I took two days off for that trip, one to travel to Atlanta and one to explore what our options now were. I came back to work right away, and two days later, in spite of all the pain and turmoil I was going through, I worked until 11:30 p.m., on election night. I call that dedication to a company.

In August, we found out she had died. I held her lifeless body and had to look down at a child I knew would never laugh, run, play or even cry, a baby that was doomed before she ever even had a chance. I only took two weeks after she was born. I was going to take longer, but Betty called and asked me to come back because they had no one to do "Over 50." I came back, my heart heavy, grieving over the loss of my child. That was two months ago. I doubt I will ever completely get over it, but two months is nothing when it comes to the death of a child. I would have expected a little compassion from you, but I did not receive it.

I really hope you never have to go through what I did. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, but if you ever do, I hope no one punishes you for a natural "loss of interest" afterward. I do not want my job back. I don't believe I could work for you again. I just hope that this letter will give you a heads up and show you the mistakes of your actions. Maybe it will also allow you to have more compassion when dealing with your employees.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A little good news

This morning, I was trying to figure out what to do because I was bored. I'm not used to be home all day without Tessa here, and I've had a job since I was 16. This is just so weird to me. The phone rang, and it was Tabitha, the editor of The Moore County News. She wants me to freelance for her.

Now, I had a terrible experience in Moore County when I was editor there, but this is fabulous news. I can get some clips, add her to my resume and not officially have to work there. She's going to pay me $25 a story, which isn't great, but it's not bad either.

I've been applying for other freelance gigs, too. I hope to hear back from some of them. Between what I'll make if I land some of the other jobs, the Moore County gig and unemployment, I may actually make more than I did at the newspaper.

Tabitha did tell me that she hates what he did to me, how unfair she thinks it is, and how talented of a writer she thinks I am. That made me feel very good.

I turned down a job today, too. It was at the civic center in Tullahoma, as director there, but it also included budget work and other stuff I just didn't want to do. It didn't pay anymore than the paper did and no insurance. So, I told Shirley I couldn't take it, but I am going to volunteer and be the publicity chair for her. I have also decided to volunteer with the Trisomy 18 Foundation. They were wonderful to me when we found out Jenna had it, and I want to pay it back. And, if I can help a family going through what we did this summer, I'll be happy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lost interest

One of the things Betty, my former editor, told me yesterday was that Jeff, my former publisher, said it seemed like I had lost interest over the last few months.

I wanted to say, "You think? It's not like I lost a child or anything." Every time I think of him saying that, it pisses me off even more than I'm already pissed off. To rub salt in the wound, he gave the job to his wife, who has no journalism experience. How can that be right? We live in a right to hire, right to fire state, so he can do whatever he wants.

But, back to the topic at hand, the loss of interest. Isn't that a sign of depression, which follows the loss of a loved one? In the last year, I've lost two important people to me, my granny and my child. I know my work wasn't at the top of my list, and I've done a better job. But, I don't believe it affected my section at all. It was still full of local news, still had features (when I had space for them which wasn't often because of bad ad sales) and finished by deadline every day.

I came back to work the day after I got the diagnosis for Trisomy 18. When we went to Atlanta, I took two days off. When Jenna was stillborn, I only took two and a half weeks off, because Betty called and asked me to come back because "Over 50," a magazine I was editor of, was suppose to come out, and no one else could do it.

I called from the hospital after Jenna was born to make sure everything was fine and Justin didn't need help. I haven't lost interest in my job or that paper. I loved that newspaper, and everything we did, the attention to local details, the stories I wrote about little old ladies and men, pictures I took of kids, and book reviews to bring a little culture to our area. Of course, that culture is what got me fired.

Again, I hadn't lost interest, but even if I had, I had more important things on my mind. Give a body time to get over such a devastating event. How insensitive can you be?

It's a wonder I have even been able to get out of bed, let alone go to work some days. I could have completely shut down after the hell I went through, but part of what made me keep going was my dedication to my job. I knew I couldn't let them down. I guess dedication just isn't appreciated any more.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tired of all the bad things happening

Losing granny last year was just the start, but I didn't know it then. I thought that losing her would be the hardest thing I've ever had to go through, but I was wrong.

I lost my child. That is the hardest thing I have gone through, and I don't foresee anything happening being worse than that.

Even so, I received some bad news today. I was fired from my job. I ran a story that my publisher didn't like, so he fired me. It was a book review that one of our reporters wrote. I'm not surprised I was fired. My publisher is an ass who has been trying to get rid of me for a long time.

Even though I'm not surprised, it still hurts. I've been there since I was 22 years old, most of my adult life. The people I work with, for the most part, are my friends. Actually, they were more than friends; they were family, especially Betty, Rita, Justin and Larry. They've been there for me through good times and bad. I don't know what I'm going to do not seeing them every day. The worst part was that the only people who were there when it happened were Betty, Brian and Linda, the last two I don't particularly care for. I didn't get to say goodbye to any of my favorite people. I am going to call tomorrow and tell them goodbye.

It is a huge blow to my pride, of course. I've done good work for them, and I'm the only one who has consistently won awards for the newspaper. Betty is going to write a letter of recommendation for me, and I'm sure Larry will do the same. It just sucks, because I may have to put my trying to conceive plans on hold. I'm going tomorrow to find out about insurance. Please wish me luck that we can find some that's reasonable and includes a maternity rider.

I'm ready for something good to happen.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lost friendship

I work with a lady who I used to consider a friend. She has always had a tendency to get on my nerves, but her actions after Jenna was diagnosed have made me dislike her.

The day after we got the diagnosis, I went back to work. I knew I would drive myself sitting at home, looking up information on the Internet, so I went to work where I could keep myself busy. She came over to me and asked me what our options were. I told her, "We can carry to term, or we can end the pregnancy now."

She looked at me and said, "Oh, don't end the pregnancy. Miracles happen every day. You should carry her to term. Don't you want to hold her and get to know her? I know that's what I would want to do."

Every day after that I had to hear about how miracles happen, that God could fix things, that her son almost died during delivery but a miracle occurred. He had the cord wrapped around his neck, and he was delivered by c-section. I know cord accidents are a terrible horrible thing. That's how my granny's youngest baby died. But, her son's happened at the very end of the pregnancy while she was in labor. That's not a miracle to me; it's good medicine on the part of the doctor.

It might seem like nothing, but those days, I didn't need to hear that. I needed her to be a friend, to tell me she was sorry for what I was going through and would support me no matter what decision we made. At the very least, it was insensitive. My other friend at work, who is staunchly pro-life and even adopted two children one of whom speaks out against abortions, didn't do that to me. She even told me she would support me in whatever decision I made. Why couldn't the other friend do so? I was barely functioning. I needed a friend to wrap her arms around me, not tell me what I should do.

Now, I can't trust her. I can't even bring myself to even like her a little bit like I did before. Whenever she says anything, I want to bite her head off, even if I agree with her. When she talks about her teenage daughter, I want to slap her. See, her teenage daughter was pregnant a couple of years ago. She considered adoption, met with the adoptive parents, who then got the room ready and she changed her mind at the last minute. When her little boy was about four months old, she signed off all parental rights and gave him to his father's grandparents. I hate that she did that to the adoptive parents, and I hate that she has a baby with nothing wrong with him and can throw him away.

She is actually the only person who has been this insensitive to my face. I've heard about others from my mom, when they would say things to her, but they haven't actually said it to me. I don't know how to get passed this, and I don't think I'm ever going to be able to look at her the same way again.

Not pregnant

I knew I probably wouldn't be, but I found out Thursday that I wasn't pregnant when I started my period. I was planning to take my temp that cycle but stopped after two days because I forgot about it. I guess that just goes to show that I wasn't ready that soon.

But, I've taken my temps the past three days and set the "M" button on my fertility monitor. I'm taking my Metformin and started a new cycle at I'm ready to go.

A new baby won't take Jenna's place. No one could do that. But, our family is not complete yet, and my arms still just feel so empty. I'm hoping a new baby will help with that.

I'm doubtful we will get pregnant this cycle since I'm not taking Clomid and have never had a pregnancy without it. But, maybe since I'm taking my Metformin it will happen.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is this weird?

Tonight, I bought a really cute new purse. I cleaned out my old one to switch to the new one. I had been carrying around the cards everyone sent me after she died. I was going to put them in the memory book I bought, which is still empty, but I couldn't do it. I wanted to keep them with me, so I put them in the new purse.

I also had her ultrasound pictures in there along with the pictures taken after she was born. I also couldn't make myself put them in the book. They went into the new purse, too.

I had all the reminder cards from my doctor's appointments in there. I didn't throw them away, like I did other reminder cards. I put them back in the new purse.

Besides having a very full and not very neat purse now, I also have a bag full of Jenna's memories. After she died and we had her cremated, I carried her urn with me for the next week, until the day of her memorial service. I now have it on an end table along with the picture Melissa drew for us and some of the angels we received the day of the service.

Is it weird that carrying all of those things with me make me feel closer to her? Should I force myself to give them up? Will that make me move through the grief I'm feeling? Is this kind of crutch a healthy thing? I don't know, but for now, I'm keeping them with me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Update on my letter writing campaign

Several weeks ago, I sent out letters to the people on the House's Health and Human Resources Committee and to the Senate's committee. I also wrote to Jim Tracy, our state senator, and Curt Cobb, our representative. I also sent letters to their home addresses. Jim Tracy and Curt Cobb are both up for re-election.

I heard almost immediately from Jim Tracy's assistant, who said she would present the issue to him. Several other people wrote to him, too, and she contacted all of them. Even though he is a conservative and is backed by the Right to Life Coalition, I feel like I have more of a chance with him taking this issue seriously than I do with his opponent. Even though I don't normally vote Republican, I will be voting for Jim Tracy.

As for Curt Cobb, I have heard nothing from him. Not one word. I sent an e-mail to him, along with a letter to his home address. I haven't received a phone call, an e-mail, a hi, bye, I'm considering this, nothing. His assistant didn't even write to me. I realize he is busy campaigning, but I am one of constituents. I was planning to vote for him. I have a large family, who I can influence not to vote for him because he isn't taking this seriously. So, I will not be voting for him. Even if he had just written to me and said he was busy with the campaign and would get back to me after the election was over, I would have voted for him. He still has until election day to contact me to get my vote. Otherwise I won't be casting a vote in that race.

Out of all the people on the committees I contacted, only one has gotten back to me. His name is Joe Armstrong, and he is the chairman for the House committee. If I could vote for him, I would, but he is out of my district. He said that right now he couldn't do anything for me, because they aren't in session. But, it will start back in mid-January, and if I still wanted to do something then, he would help me. I will be contacting him then, definitely.

Since I can't do anything with the representatives until January, I think I'm going to write letters to the editor to newspapers. I can't do so for the ones our company owns, but I can write one to The Times Gazette, The Tennessean and The Daily News Journal. I'm also going to ask Larry, who is doing our editorial page if I can write an editorial about the laws in Tennessee.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A rough few days

I say it was a rough weekend, but it wasn't really that bad. A few things happened, though, that kind of put me down in the dumps.

On one of the boards I visit, a woman called me pro-death after I had a problem with her saying she wouldn't be heartbroken if Barack Obama were assassinated. I said that if she was really and truly pro-life, she would be heartbroken over his death. She then went on to say that was absurd and would be like her saying since I was "pro-death," I shouldn't care if he died. Later, after I confronted her about it, she said she didn't say I was "pro-death," but she did. It doesn't matter now anyway; the thing is, she hurt me more than anyone has with regards to what I went through this summer.

I was so afraid of being judged for wanting to end the pregnancy that we didn't tell anyone beyond immediate family what we were doing. Brian didn't even tell his parents. I am not, nor have I ever been, pro-death. I was pro what was best for my child and my family, but I knew that I would be judged by people like her, so I kept it to myself. She doesn't realize the grief and the guilt I felt when making that decision. I was in tears and didn't sleep well for the rest of the night.

My best friend at work promised me that after everything was over with Jenna, we would go out for a "Girls Night Out," so on Saturday, we went out for that. Being around them and cutting up and having a good time basically made me realize all over again that I am a completely changed person from the one I was a year ago. Even in the midst of a good time, I was still thinking of my dead baby and wishing she were alive. I had Georgia Peach Martini at the restaurant and thought that if Jenna were still alive, I wouldn't be able to have that. We moved on to a bar later, and even though I was drinking Coke then (I'm not much of a drinker at all; I didn't even finish the martini), I thought that if I was pregnant, I wouldn't be in the bar at all because of the smoke.

Mostly, I just felt beyond my friends. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but it's like I know something they don't. I know the terrible pain of losing a child, of holding a baby that's never going to grow up or move or say any words. I know what it's like to have the hope of life stifled, what it's like to know that things truly do not go the right way sometimes. I think I might have known that before, but I had never really lived it until I lost Jenna.

Then today, I went to take a photograph for work, and the last time I had seen one of the ladies was a week or two before Jenna was diagnosed. I had just started showing then and was wearing maternity clothes, so she knew I was pregnant. She asked me today how the baby was. It was like a punch in the stomach. I stammered and stammered and finally just said that we lost her. She apologized, and you could tell it bothered her that she mentioned it. I told her not to worry.

I wondered how long the reminders would hurt, and I realized they probably would forever. I know with Granny I am now able to remember her without crying, and at times, without all the pain. I know it's getting easier to bear, not better, just easier. But, I think the difference is that Granny had a chance to live a full and long life, and Jenna never got that chance. At least I have solid concrete memories of Granny. All I have of Jenna is fleeting butterfly movements.

All of this isn't to say that I'm not doing well. I'm doing much better than I was two months ago, or even a month ago. I don't cry every day on my way home from work. I don't cry in the bathtub every single time I take a bath. I don't cry every night after everyone in the house is asleep. I'm getting better and pushing through this pile of grief that has landed in front of me, and I know there has to be rough patches along the way.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I don't put much stock in percentages anymore. When our AFP test came back, we were told Jenna had a one in 10 chance of having Trisomy 18, meaning she had a 90 percent chance of not having it and a 10 percent chance of having it. Sounds like pretty good odds, right? Well, we were in the one in 10.

Since all of it happened and I've been doing research on abortion statistics, I have come to find out that 93 percent of abortions are done for social reasons, and the other seven percent are because of health of the mother, fetal anomolies and rape or incest.

I just don't trust percentages anymore. Based on the ratio, you would have thought Jenna wouldn't have had Trisomy 18. You would also think that since not many women need abortions because of health of the mother, fetal anomoly and rape or incest, the laws would be fine as they stand in this state.

All of that changes when you fall into those percentages. We should not be punished when we are already going through the hardest time in our lives. I've heard, "It's only a small percentage. Why does it matter?"

It does matter. What if you were one of the percentages? How would you feel then? Have a little compassion for someone else and walk in their shoes for a moment. Then you will see that those little percentages are big numbers for those of us who are going through it.

Our remembrance night

We were running a little late getting home Wednesday night, but we managed to have all the candles lit by 7:15. I thought I had purchased enough candles, but I was short by one. As we lit each of the little candles, we said the name of the baby we were honoring. When we reached the big candle, the baby that had been left out was my uncle Ronnie, so I said, "This candle is for all the babies all over the world who have been lost, but especially for my uncle Ronnie." I know that wherever she is, my granny was looking down and was pleased I remembered her babies. I know she's holding them, along with my Jenna.

Tessa helped me light the candles, and Brian, who had been in bed and asleep at the time, woke up and came out. We all three put our arms around each other and just stared at the candles for a while. It was truly a special moment for all of us. We will never forget about our sweet Jenna.

Here are the pictures. Please ignore Tessa's long bangs. She wants to let them grow out, but we are getting them cut tomorrow.



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remembering Our Babies -- Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day


Today, all over the world, parents are coming together to remember their sweet lost babies, some to early miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth or SIDS.

I thought I would be very sad today, remembering all of these babies who have passed on. While I am sad, I also have to stop and take a moment to thank a higher power for allowing me to have Jenna for a little while.

I'm going to take a moment to remember her. She was stubborn, just like her sister, momma, nana and great-granny. Every time we went to the doctor (except for once), her little heart was beating solidly away. Even with just a little brain matter, she held on for a long time. Her most active time was in the morning. I would have my one caffeinated drink a day, and she would start moving around. I miss those kicks so much.

Other bloggers who have lost children are praying for the people who have lost children. Even though I don't really believe in a Christian God anymore, I do believe prayer can be a good thing, with all kinds of positive energy and thoughts floating around. Instead of doing a prayer for those who have lost babies, I want you to post a story of remembrance in the comments. Please share your name, your baby's name, what happened and a little bit of what you remember about them. If you haven't lost a child, you can tell me about a friend or loved one who has. Please feel free to post anonymously if you wish.

I'll start:

My name is Tamara, and I lost my baby girl, Jenna Grace, to Trisomy 18 at 21 weeks. She was stubborn and loved to move around in the morning. If she had lived, she would have looked just like her big sister. She is always in my heart.
Who's next?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Two months today

Two months ago today, Jenna was born. No one remembered it again, except for me, but that's all right. I've got to come to expect that people are going to have a hard time remembering her because of how little time she was here.

She impacted me in a big way. I've learned compassionate because of what we went through with her. I go out of my way now to tell people how sorry I am for what they are going through. I take the time to mail cards to those who are hurting. I make phone calls and try to remember the dates of hard times for people.

I've learned not to worry about the small things. Some things are just not important. Being with family, spending time with friends, showing people you care, that is what is important, not how much money we make, what kind of car we drive or the kind of house we live in. Brian and I hardly ever argue anymore. It's just not worth it.

I'm changed forever. I know that. I thought at first, it was for the negative, and in some ways, it is. People ask me all the time how I'm doing. I don't believe I'll ever be able to say fine again. I answer "all right." I will forever be missing a part of my family.

But, after two months, I'm able to see some of the positives of how my life has changed. Of course, I would give back all of those positive changes if Jenna could have been healthy, all of them.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Just some thoughts

Lately, I've been reading blogs of women who decided to carry to term when given a poor prenatal diagnosis. I often wonder if they think they love their children more than I loved Jenna, since I wanted to end the pregnancy and would have if I had been able.

This leads me to feel guilt and think that maybe they did love their baby more than I loved Jenna, because if I really loved her, I would never have wanted to end the pregnancy. At times, I even feel sort of jealous of those ladies who had the strength to never even have the thought of ending the pregnancy.

I know, or at least I think I know deep down, the women who decided to carry to term don't think they love their children more. I'm sure they realize we all have to make what is the best choice for our families. I also know that I did love her. Even though not many people in real life know our story (the fact we traveled to Atlanta to do it and weren't able to), I feel like they are judging me when I say that I miss her or loved her. In fact, I'm waiting for someone in real life or on here or my boards I visit to say, "How can you say you loved her when you wanted to abort her?"

It's just not that simple. I did love her. She was my child, and I hated the thought that she could be in pain. That's the only reason I wanted to end the pregnancy. I've read on other boards that parents have to quit wanting the perfect child. For mre, it wasn't about wanting a perfect child. In fact, I hoped and hoped that if she did have a chromosome disorder it would be Down Syndrome or Turner Syndrome or one of the other non-fatal disorders. I didn't care if she was handicapped or disfigured; I just wanted a baby that was going to live. In fact, if the amniocentesis had shown normal chromosomes and the only problems were the cystic hygroma and clubbed foot, terminating would have never even been an option.

I don't want people thinking I didn't love her or that I don't have the right to grieve for her because I wanted to end the pregnancy. I did love her. I wanted her more than anything. I wish she was still inside me, moving around and healthy. I wish she was going to be my little Christmas present. So, please don't judge me because I wanted to end my pregnancy. I loved her so much that I didn't want her to be in pain. I didn't think I was strong enough to handle that.

To all those mothers who were given a fatal or poor prenatal diagnosis and decided to carry to term, I think you are probably some of the strongest women I know. I don't judge you for your decision, and I hope you don't judge me for mine. I think we (those of us with fatal diagnoses no matter what decision we make) have to stick together to get through the most difficult thing any of us will ever have to face.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Oct. 15

As I posted below, October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Organizers are asking everyone to light a candle at 7 p.m., in remembrance of lost babies and to keep it lit for one hour.

Right now, I'm planning to light a candle for my Jenna and one of my Internet friend's little girl, who was stillborn at full term.

If anyone wants me to light a candle for their loss, please leave me a message, and I will buy a candle for your baby and light it. I'm going to be doing pink for a girl and blue for a boy. I also plan to find some candles in a neutral color to light for those who don't know the sex of their baby. Please just leave me a comment here with what color it needs to be, and I will gladly do it. I'll take a picture of all the candles and post it here afterward.

The dragonfly

When we had the memorial service for Jenna, I allowed some of it to be religious because most of my family is, and I knew they would want that. However, I wanted this little story about the dragonfly to be read. This story sort of describes what I think happens when we die.

Once, in a little pond in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions.

Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of the lily pad and would never be seen again.They knew when this happened, their friend was dead, gone forever.

Then one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top.

When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired and the sun felt so warm that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed, and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying. So, fly he did! And as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed.

Then he remembered his water beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended.

But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life.

So, now, dragonflies sort of remind me of Jenna. The day we held the memorial service, we went to the cemetery to see my granny's grave, and two dragonflies flew past us, almost playing together. We thought it might be Granny and Jenna.

Over the weekend we went camping. It was the first major thing we've done as a family since Jenna died. We also went out on the canoe. We had a lot of fun, but I couldn't help but wish Jenna would be able to experience it with us, too. We saw tons of dragonflies buzzing around us, but I was amazed when one landed on my shoulder. It stayed there for about five minutes, even with Tessa shouting about it being there.

I might sound crazy, but I think it was Jenna, telling me she was with us and always would be.

Friday, October 3, 2008

You don't ever get over it

Last night at the vice-presidential debate, Joe Biden teared up while talking about the deaths of his first wife and his infant daughter over 30 years ago.

I've read on two different boards that he should be over it by now, and he's playing the death card. I don't believe I've ever read anything so insensitive in my life or anything so insulting to those people who have lost children. I will never question the emotion when it comes the loss of a child.

Losing a child is not something you ever get over. It's not something you move on from. I've heard from several people that you get through it; you don't get over it or move on.

My life was changed forever when I found out Jenna had Trisomy 18, but I was even more impacted by her death. I will never get over holding her small, lifeless body in my arms, looking at tiny fingers that would never curl around mine or little feet that would never run. The sight of her collapsed head will haunt my dreams forever.

I don't understand how anyone could say he was using his tears for political gain or that he was playing the dead family card. How dare they assume he should be over it and shouldn't cry when he thinks of his baby girl?

It infuriates me the lack of sensitivity for those who have lost a child. If you are a parent, you have to be able to imagine how it would feel to lose a child. How could you even question it? It's one thing to criticize his political stance, but it's quite another to insinuate that he is using his personal tragedy to further his political agenda.

Shame on those who have said that. I hope to God you never know the pain he has been through, and if you do, I hope you never have to hear that you should ever be over it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

They just don't get it

Tonight, I was discussing politics with my two cousins. Both of them are for McCain and Palin, mainly because my cousin believes Palin will help those with special needs children. Anyway, I said I could never vote for her because it's politicians like her that took away my choices because of their pro-life stance.

They said that Palin isn't a politician. First of all, she's a politician because she has run for office. That makes her a politician. I think they are seeing what they want to see with her instead of how she really is.

Anyway, they went to address the issue of whether I had a choice or not. They said I had the choice to go to Atlanta and have it done, that it wasn't politicians that kept me from having done, but the people at the clinic who took it away from me. While that may be true, politicians were the ones who made the laws that forced me to have to go to Atlanta and go through that awful humiliation. I should have been able to deliver early by labor and delivery in the hospital of my choice with my own doctor. I told them that, too.

They went on to say they would want to do it as far away as possible so no one would know it, and they wouldn't have to see the place where it happened all the time. I hate it when people say they know what they would do. They don't. They have no clue what it's like to make a decision like that. They have no clue how it feels to decide to end the life of their child, so they have no clue about how they wanted it done. I certainly didn't want to go to an abortion clinic and sit around with a bunch of women who were happy about ending their pregnancies. My cousin said I would still have to see people no matter where I went, but I wouldn't have. I don't think she quite understood about what labor and deliver early termination is all about. I explained it to her and said that I wanted to be comfortable with my doctor at my own hospital. She said that I wouldn't be comfortable anywhere.

Then, she said, "At least you didn't have to make that choice. God took it out of your hands so you wouldn't feel guilty about it." First of all, I'm not even sure there is a God. I just can't believe a God of love would allow me to go through what I went through. I know there is a higher power, but I believe this power allows things to happen without interfering. I don't think he had a thing in the world to do with why I wasn't able to terminate, and it all turned out like it did.

Secondly, I am glad in a way that I didn't have to make the decision to stop Jenna's heart, because I know I would guiltier than I already do. The thing is, I should have had that choice, the choice to do it like I wanted and needed to in a comfortable environment of my choice. Hospitals should have to do this in the case of health of the mother, fatal prenatal diagnoses and rape and incest. I kept saying that I should have had that choice, and she kept saying that at least I didn't have to make that choice. I just started crying, and I told them that they would never understand and never get it.

Kim actually said, "I know, and I hope I never have to." The truth is, I don't want anyone to experience what I went through because of the laws in this state. We were lucky enough to be able to travel down there even if we weren't able to go through with it. But what about people who can't afford to travel? Shouldn't they be able to do it at the hospital of their choice?

Kim and Karen both said they would never change the law, because hospitals won't allow it. But with an amendment worded the way I want it to be, the hospitals would be forced to perform them and have doctors who will on standby in the case of the health of the mother, fatal prenatal diagnosis and rape or incest.

I got the feeling from them that maybe I'm being a little silly being so involved in this or maybe I'm going overboard and shouldn't feel as strongly as I do. Do you think it's silly that I'm fighting to change this law? I mean, even though I wasn't able to end the pregnancy, I should have been able to have that option. Shouldn't other women carrying sick babies have that right? I just want to make sure this will never happen to another woman, that she can choose the option that is best for her family without having to worry about traveling, finding care for her other children, missing work, paying for the procedure and the travel plans.

Am I foolish to think that I can get this changed? Am I going overboard? Do I have a right to be upset that I wasn't allowed to end the pregnancy since it ended before going to term?

They just don't get it. No one really can, not even other deadbabymamas unless they had to make the decision to terminate and then weren't able to do so. I tried to explain it to her, but she didn't get it. Is it just something you have to go through to be able to understand? Or maybe I'm being ridiculous after all.

My article for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October has been designated as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I think this topic deserves a lot of attention, so women don't have to feel as though they are members of a secret society. So, I wrote an article giving details and information about loss. I may also do a sidebar for those who have a loved one who has lost a child and want to know what to do and what not to do. In this article, I detail that Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Everyone is encouraged to light a candle that day for the babies that have died. If you've lost a baby of your own, please do it to remember that child. If you haven't, please do it for my Jenna and all the other lost babies, too. Here is the article.

October has been designated as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month with Oct. 15 set aside as a special remembrance day.

Every year, there are approximately six million pregnancies throughout the United States, which result in 4,058,000 live births. Pregnancies that end in a loss number 1,995,840.

To break the numbers down even farther, 600,000 women experience pregnancy loss through a miscarriage, which is considered any loss that occurs before 20 weeks gestation.
The loss through termination equals 1,200,000, and 64,000 women experience an ectopic pregnancy loss. Molar pregnancy losses equal 6,000 with 26,000 women experiencing a stillbirth, which is any birth after 20 weeks of gestation.

Most early miscarriages, as many of 60 percent of first trimester ones, will remain unexplained. It is usually assumed these losses are genetic, where the chromosomes didn’t replicate correctly. Other reasons can include hormonal problems; chromosomal defects such as Triploidy and Trisomy 13, 18 and 21; problems with the uterus or cervix; immune disorders; premature rupture of membranes and blighted ovum, ectopic pregnancies and molar pregnancies.

A blighted ovum is a condition where a gestational sac grows, and a woman develops all of the pregnancy symptoms but no baby ever forms. An ectopic pregnancy is a normal fertilized egg that gets stuck in the fallopian tube and implants there. This type of pregnancy can not survive and puts the mother at risk for severe hemorrhaging and possible even death as the baby grows and eventually bursts the tube.

A molar pregnancy is a very rare type of pregnancy where an abnormal mass forms inside the uterus after the egg is fertilized. A molar pregnancy is formed when a sperm fertilizes an empty egg (called a complete molar pregnancy) or when two sperm fertilize one egg and both the baby grows a little as well as the abnormal placenta, called a partial molar pregnancy. Even when a baby grows, it cannot survive.

If a molar pregnancy has been diagnosed, the mother’s health will be carefully monitored. In about 15 percent of molar pregnancies, the moles spread to other parts of the body like cancer. A mild form of chemotherapy will have to be used, but the cure rate for this disease is very high.
Trisomy 13, 18 and 21 are chromosomal disorders, where the baby has three copies of a certain chromosome instead of just two. Trisomy 21, the most common of the trisomies, is also called Down Syndrome. Triploidy is another chromosomal disorder where the baby has three complete sets of chromosomes instead of just two. Triploidy and Trisomy 18 are considered incompatible with life and are always fatal. Some babies with these disorders are carried to term, but most result in either an early pregnancy loss or a stillbirth.

A stillbirth is technically any pregnancy that ends after the 20th week, and the baby does not survive. Some babies die in utero and are discovered when a heartbeat is not found. The most common causes of this are uterine abnormalities, a knot or other umbilical cord accident, infections of the lining of the gestational sac or cord and placental abruptions that cause the placenta to pull away from the uterine wall.

Other babies are lost through early labor. The causes of early labor are premature rupture of membranes, uterine abnormalities that make the uterus to small to hold the baby and an incompetent cervix. Some babies are lost during labor and delivery by an umbilical cord that gets pinched between the baby’s head and the cervix or the cord wraps around the baby’s neck.

Having a miscarriage or stillbirth is very difficult. The emotional impact usually takes longer to heal than the physical one. Some emotional symptoms mothers and fathers may experience include numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, depression and difficulty concentrating. Some women report having a feeling of empty arms. Physical symptoms can include fatigue, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite and frequent episodes of crying. Seeing a counselor can help with these symptoms.

If you have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss, know that grieving is a normal thing after experiencing this. Some women find comfort in doing things of remembrance, including planting a tree, selecting a special piece of jewelry with a birthstone or donating to a charity.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day on Oct. 15 was started by Robyn Bear after she had six miscarriages with little or no support. She wanted a day set aside for parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and the world to unite and remember the babies that had been lost.

On Oct. 15 everyone around the world is urged to light a candle at 7 p.m., in that time zone. If everyone lights a candle Oct. 15 at 7 p.m., and keeps it burning for one hour, there will be a continuous wave of light over the entire world in memory of all the babies who have been lost to miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death.

For more information, visit the Web site at

Monday, September 29, 2008

Going against doctors orders -- sort of

When we went in for our two week check-up, Dr. McGowen advised us to wait two or three cycles before trying to conceive. She said there is no proof that it is dangerous not to wait or that the chances of miscarriage are any higher, but she wanted us to have time to recover both physically and emotionally.

Now that I've had one cycle, and it's been almost two months since Jenna died, I don't want to wait. I am not over Jenna's death and won't ever completely be. This has changed me for the rest of my life, not just her death, but the whole experience. If I waited until I was emotionally healed, it would never happen.

I'm feeling very good physically, better than I've felt in a long time. I'm down 33 pounds and walk every day. I'm eating better, and I've cut out most of my sugar. I think I'm going to do a more regimented exercise routine though because I want to take off a few more pounds before we do get pregnant. I'm taking Metformin, prenatal vitamins and extra folic acid.

So, this cycle we are going to trying to conceive, but not, if that makes any sense. I'm not going to use my fertility monitor, but I am going to take my temperatures. We aren't going to use any birth control at all, and we are going to have sex on the right days. I doubt it will work this time, because we have been married for 10 years and have never used birth control at all, except for the past few weeks. The only time I have ever been pregnant is when I took Clomid.

Next month, we will be using the fertility monitor and taking my temperatures. When that doesn't work, I'll call the doctor for a prescription of Clomid.

I just hope it works in the end. I have this fear of not being able to get pregnant again. I am so afraid that Tessa will be an only child, and I will always feel like our family is incomplete. I'm also scared that we will be able to get pregnant, but something bad will happen again. I don't think I can take that.