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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.