Friday, April 30, 2010

The Book Challenge: April Recap

First of all, I would like to thank all of you that expressed your good wishes regarding my last post. I appreciate every single one of those thoughts and virtual hugs and I appreicate having every single one of you in my life. A twinge of sadness still hits me at the most random moments, but I am starting to feel much better and more like myself again.

In light of everything that happened last weekend, I remembered one of the reasons I love to read: It's an escape. Whether it's a different time, a different place, or a different emotional landscape that you're seeking, a book can take you there. Most of what I ended up reading this month was lighthearted, which turned out to be exactly what I needed.

21. The Finishing Touches by Hester Browne -- Adopted daughter of owners of a finishing school in London tried to revitalize the family business by updating the curriculum to reflect what millenial women really need to know. Much of her motivation stems from hoping to find out the identity of her birth mom & of course there are love interests along the way.

22. I Will Always Love You by Cecily Von Ziegesar -- Gossip Girl goes off to college and repeats a cycle of incestuous dating between S, B, V, C, D, N & Little J for the next four years. Seriously. That is all there is to this book.

23. Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus -- Hmm. The sequel to The Nanny Diaries. I started off this book with high hopes and for a short time those hopes were fulfilled. But the more I read, the more I got frustrated with the protagonist. She seemed to have not grown up at all during the past ten years. As someone roughly the same age as her, I just could not buy it at all. She was ridiculous in her inability to have a grown-up conversation with anyone, including her husband. It got to be very annoying.

24. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella -- I have to admit that I had a hard time getting into this novel because I disliked the two main characters so strongly at the start. It did get better, sort of, but was still "meh" overall.

25. Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad -- Book number two in the L.A. Candy series, which was inspired by L.C.'s stint on The Hills. This book is as fluffy and lightweight as cotton candy. I read most of it while watching a marathon of The Hills. I probably should never have admitted that.

26. Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot -- I picked up this book for the sole purpose of getting it signed by Meg Cabot. You can read more details about the signing on Forever Young, but I just have to say that Meg Cabot is so awesome & funny. I would love to hang out with her at a happy hour. This book was so funny at times that I actually chuckled out loud and slapped my knee while reading it. The story was told through a collection of e-mails, journal entries, voice mail messages & photos. I thought it would be off-putting, but it wasn't at all. I really enjoyed reading this one and plan on trying some of the recipes from it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Over Before It Ever Began

The last two days have been an emotional rollercoaster.

It all started Friday afternoon. I came home early from work, feeling sick with a cold. Knowing that my period was 7 days late, I stopped at Walgreen's to pick up a pregnancy test. I didn't think my usual cold remedy of Contac washed down with a glass of wine would be a good idea if I happened to be pregnant. So my responsible self peed on a stick, waited three minutes and then got the shock of my life. The little digital screen said "pregnant." We had literally just started trying to conceive; I never thought it could happen so quickly, especially since I get closer to reaching "advanced maternal age" with each passing month. As the shock and resulting shakiness wore off during the next few hours, I started poking around all sorts of baby websites: maternity clothes, nursery decor, due date predictors, etc. I even made a little bandana for Jack to wear, announcing that he was going to be a big brother, as my way of telling Eddie. Yeah, I'm a ridiculous, over-the-top dog owner. Eddie came home, found out the news and started looking around our spare room, figuring out how to turn it into a nursery.

The next morning, still in a little bit of disbelief I tested again. And the screen came up with a "not pregnant." Since there was one more test in the box, I had a big cup of tea and tested again. Another "not pregnant." By that point I had been poking around the internet enough to know that things were not looking good. Sometimes Google is not your friend. I called Kaiser's nurse advice line. The nurse agreed with me that the conflicting results were "perplexing" (no shit Sherlock), but that I could come in for a blood draw over the weekend if I wanted to be sure. If not, I should just keep an eye out for any sharp pains, heavy bleeding or difficulty breathing. While I was getting ready to head out to the hospital, I realized there wasn't much point anymore. There were clear signs of what looked like the start of a period.

Miscarriage is such a rough sounding word. A chemical pregnancy sounds more benign, but is really just a very early version of the same thing.

So I was pretty sad yesterday. I'm still feeling a little sad today. Although the stats say that this happens quite often and that there are numerous causes, I still can't help but feel some guilt, as if I did something wrong. Maybe it was because I drank way more than usual last weekend on a girls' weekend? Or took advil a couple times during the week? Or because I'm fat? Or because of this nasty cold I came down with? Or maybe it was a karmic bitchslap for getting too happy, too quickly.

I also feel guilty about feeling sad. There are so many women who have faced far greater struggles on their journey to parenthood and who have had to endure far worse losses. I poked around a messageboard dealing with loss yesterday and felt silly & selfish. My situation seems so much more trivial by comparison.

So now I am trying to find some positivity out of this whole thing. We can build up our savings some more. I can keep eating sushi, rare meat & soft cheeses. I can get hardcore about dieting & exercise. I can take that trip to Portland in mid-November. And Christmas will always be much saner (the due date would have been 12/22).

The part that really gets me is that if I hadn't wanted to take cold medicine on Friday, I wouldn't have even thought of testing until this morning. Which would have been unnecessary; I just would have assumed that my period was late this month. I never would have known that I was pregnant, even if it was just for a minute.

This is one of those times that ignorance would have been bliss.