Monday, May 30, 2011

Well, had Gabbi been born alive she would be just over 3 months old now- I guess that means it has been just over 3 months since my world went black.

I have come a long way in three months.  I went on a date yesterday with my husband and enjoyed myself.  I listen to music again.  I have started reading books so long as they are really light.  The 15 pairs of earring I churned out today for a show later on  this weeks definitely says I am back in the studio, and the shows I have booked means I am seeing customers.  Most of my piano students are back.  I am planning our trip this summer.  Shopping on ebay.  Watching some of the tv shows I enjoy.  I am even hosting the book swap again later on this week.

Looks like I am totally back to "the old Rachel".

Except I'm not.  I go through the motions a lot of the time without having the emotions to go with them.  I light shabbat candles by wrote.  I almost never get through Friday night without tears.  I am taking 3 different pills a couple of times a day to keep me sane, and if I miss a week with my therapist I go ballistic.  I still have moments when I will not let Jason or Channah out of my site, and others where I sob uncontrollably for no particular reason.

I am still avoiding most of my friends.  Pregnant women still make me skittish as do newborns.  While I have starting things like housework again I am doing the bare  minimum for the most part but other times going on insane organizational sprees.  There are times where I think horrible thoughts about myself and others that are just not "me" sort of things to think!  Basically, most of the time I have no idea if I am coming or going and I feel like a nut. (Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.  Right now I am more of an Almond Joy than a Mounds)

In any case, the world has changed through my eyes.  Like the thestrals in Harry Potter I have now seen and understood death and pain and thus there are things I see very differently than I did before.  I try to make better use of every minute.  To help people more and complain to them less.  I cherish every kiss and hug from Channah because I know at some point they will not come as frequently or as easily.  I have learned that not all friends are alike.  Some are like family- and some family is invisible.  I have learned that sometimes total strangers can help the most, and long time time friends can cause the most pain.

I have learned that someone can change your life without ever opening their mouth.

I have learned that some health care workers are incredible and others are so terrible as to seem malicious.  I have learned that many see you as a number, either on a file, on a scale, or on a paycheck and not as a person.  I have learned that if you find a good one hold on for dear life.

I have learned I can fake almost anything if it will make Channah happy, and that her hugs can make even the darkest times a little lighter.  I have learned to rely on Jason more and myself less.  I have learned that there are times to fight for what I know is right and times to let it go because it does not matter anyways.
I have learned it is not always possible to forgive or to forget.

I have watched the world around me go back to it's normal course, and felt myself being pulled along with it.  I can feel my heart resisting.  I should be grieving.  I can feel my head pulling.  I need to be human.  The two sides of my personality fight for dominance and my soul gets caught in the middle.  It wants to grieve and to move forward.  It wants the pain to dull but not to disappear.

I have learned that I can not even begin to comprehend losing a child you knew outside the womb, but others can not begin to comprehend the difference between a still birth and a miscarriage.  I have learned what it is to want something to badly your body plays tricks on you.  To seek things out so thoroughly you will try looking under any rock or take any miracle potion to try to get it.  I also know eventually reality always wins but sometimes you spend a fortune trying to hold it off for a few days.

It feels like so much longer than 3 months.

Obviously I still miss what I would have had, but I am starting to look forward to what will please God eventually be.  No potential child could ever replace the one I lost, but I beg God regularly that he send me one so I have something to do with the extra love built up in my heart.

As always, I end by begging that you please keep davening for a healthy and full term pregnancy that ends with a healthy baby and a healthy mommy for Rachel Marmel bat Mindle Hinda Chaya.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I love living in Israel.  I mean, I really love living in Israel.  Despite the last few months of living through my own personal little hell, I would not have preferred to have lived through it anywhere else but here.  There is a built in spirituality that kept me grounded.  It never quite leaves your neshama so long as your feet  are on the ground here. No matter how small the flame gets it never quite goes out.  At least it didn't for me.  As much as I wanted to turn my back on God and leave his "rules" my soul was torn and I was never quite able to go through with it.  It was like the power of the souls around me was holding my soul with a spider web that kept me ever so slightly tethered to my people.

Driving up to Jerusalem I can feel my spirit lifting as we rise into the mountains.  Getting the car and the freedom to drive in to Jerusalem when I need a pick me up, and in fact having to go in to see my therapist once a week, has made an enormous difference to my overall well being.  Today Jason and I went on a date to o some of the "Jerusalem-y" things that I have never done that I have always wanted to do.  It was exhausting, and a total emotional roller coaster for me, but I am so glad I went and I feel much better for having had the day out alone with Jason.

One of the things that we did was the Kotel Tunnel Tour.  Apart from the fact that the tour itself was incredible and something I have always wanted to do, I had a moment there that I could not imagine having anywhere but in Israel.

So the thing is, about half way through the tunnel tour you reach the spot on the Western wall that is directly opposite where the Holy of Holies was when the Beit Hamikdash was standing.  It is actually odd in that the stones there drip water and it looks like the wall itself is crying.  As we were coming to the spot, a group of 4 women came through the centre of our group to go there to daven.  Turns out, a bride on her wedding day is welcome to come in, free of charge, to pray at this, holiest of holy sites.  It is also long thought that a bride on her wedding day has the power to give brachot to which God will listen.

I left our tour group and went over to the kallah and asked for a bracha.  I told her my daughter died 3 months ago and I had one amazing little neshama at home and all I wanted in the world was the chance to have more.  She gave me the most wonderful, sincere, spiritual and complete bracha, taking everything I could possibly think of into account, and it ended with the other women showering me with brachot and me and the kallah, two total strangers from totally different backgrounds who would likely never see each other again, sobbing and hugging in this narrow, dark corridor with the wall weeping beside us.  Then we both turned to the wall holding hands and each said our own prayers.

This stranger gave me the sort of loving bracha one would expect from a sister or very close friend.  Not a stranger off the street.  I can't imagine being anywhere else in the world and having a similar encounter.  It was  two neshamas touching across the entire spectrum of Judaism.

I don't know what I missed from our tour-guide (who happened to be very good!), but I do know I would not have given up those few minutes for any history lesson in the world.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Seriously, I know I already wrote this afternoon that today I seem to be an emotional nutjob, but what the hell is wrong with me today?  I can't stop crying.  I have been working, doing a tutorial to learn something new.  I went out.  Finished some really nice pieces.  Made Channah clean up her junk in the living room.  And I am miserable as all get out.  I have no idea why.

I feel like I have gone back in time 2 months to when these stupid breakdowns were happening regularly.  Everyone tells me I am doing so well and then here I have a day that I just fall apart for no reason whatsoever.  This makes no sense.

I want my baby.  I want my Gabbi.  I am having the sort of day where I can't for the life of me remember how to move forward.  I am stuck and falling and falling fast.  I know people told me there were still going to be bad days, but as they space further and further apart they get harder and harder to deal with as I am not ready for them any more.

Remind me please someone. Anyone.  How do I get myself out of this stupid downward spiral.  Everyone else has moved on.  All my friends are back to their own lives and I totally understand that.   I think every woman I know is pregnant.  And I am stuck here.  Can't go to see the fertility clinic until after we get back from our vacation.  My glucose numbers have started going insane.  I have no idea what is going on with my own system even though I am doing everything right and have put myself back on the very straight and narrow.  I am taking all my medication at exactly the right times.

And nothing is helping.   My numbers are still insane.  My life still feel empty.  Sure I have gotten really good at faking "normal" but I'm not.  No matter how much like the old me I seem I am still feeling empty and hollow inside so much of the time.  And those brief moments when I am not, I feel guilty for not feeling bad.

I am so lonely all of the time.  Good friends have turned their backs on us.  Others are just "bad at staying in touch".  Most just have their own lives to lead.  But now, going on to 4 months later I feel like I am left mostly unsupported and I can only hold myself together for so long before I loose the koach to keep my sanity in one piece.

Yesterday I had my therapist cracking up.  She loves my sense of humour.  I told her it comes and goes.  Truth is, it is my old sense of humour, but it is mostly an act that I can't stop putting on even for the people trying to help.  It is not that I do not want the help- I most assuredly do, I just don't know how to turn off the smart ass comments that she finds so amusing.  That is just part of who I am and I have no idea how to turn it off.  Even in the hospital in recovery after the c section where they took my precious baby and I never got to see her again I was cracking jokes because that is the only way that I know how to cope.

But I don't think that I am coping nearly as well as people think that I am.

I am scared and confused and lonely and so miserable.  I feel like even most of the people who love me are just tired of hearing about how I am really doing.  So I stop talking about it.  I pretend that I have started moving on.  I pretend everything is fine.  I pretend peoples jokes and comments about  "well maybe you should think about having a baby" don't bother me.  I pretend to laugh them off.

But inside my heart is breaking.  No.  That's wrong . Something smashed to bits can't break anymore.  It is the ground up dust of what is left that is now blowing away in the cold wind of loneliness and taking with it the last hope I had of ever really feeling like myself again.

I work to get away from the pain, but working brings more pain because I feel like I am running from my real feelings.  Sure I am producing some of the nicest pieces I have ever made, but I feel like if they sell at all it will be pity sales for the nebby woman who's daughter is dead.

I am in a sealed box and can't see out and just feel like everyone is pointing and laughing and gossiping behind my back.  I walk into a room and people are shocked to see me- then the whispering starts.

I know I am nebby and ugly and beastly and fat and not all that smart- but I am an okay parent and an okay artist and doesn't that count for anything for me?  Why do I feel so worthless all the time?  I am not even capable of carrying a baby full term- something that 11 year olds have been known to do.  Crack whores can do it.  Evil people.  Poor people.  Mean people.  They can all do it.  Just not me.

Hi, I'm worthless nice to meet you.
I seriously don't know what is wrong with me today.  I am back in the studio and it was going really well.  I was singing along with my music.  Turning out some great new pieces for the spring line.  And all of a sudden I was sobbing.  It was not a sad song or an emotional project (I was cutting out a frog for goodness sake!) but there I was sobbing over my work bench.

I wish I knew what brought on these little emotional potholes so I could do something about them.  I ended up taking half a dose of my anti anxiety medication- the problem is that it has made me so tired that now I doubt I will end up doing any more work tonight.

I just wish I could manage to put this all behind me in some fashion so I do not break down so randomly.

Monday, May 23, 2011

For the first and hopefully only time I forgot to take my medication this morning.  Turns out that apparently I become a manic depressive when that happens.  I go from talking a mile a minute and laughing hysterically to weeping over a crack in the sidewalk.  From shopping and working at a superhuman pace to having no interest in anything.

I have eaten a cheese string, a granola bar, drunk a bottle of water and a glass of caffeine free diet coke all day.  I have also been chewing a lot of gum which is something I only do when I want to snack on something but am not hungry.

I spent most of my morning with Jason and a friend supply shopping in Tel Aviv.  It was actually a lot of fun (for me, maybe not so much for him).  At my last stop my favourite supplier was very visibly, noticeably 8 months pregnant.  I did not run from the store and even managed to wish her a beshah tovah.

Where is my baby?  Why does everyone else get one.  Even my parents are pressuring me now into having one- what?  You think I wanted to lose Gabbi?  You think I just woke up one morning 8 months in and decided I was not in the mood for this anymore?  I can promise you that moment never happened.  I want a baby as much as the next person- in fact, I probably want it a whole lot more than most.  So why in the world am I stuck in this stupid position of having lost my baby while everyone else gets to have one?

I have taken my night medication already so I should start to feel better soon.  I hope.   Right now I am miserable and my thoughts are all over the place.  I did get a lot of work done though during my high moments.  I also laid out a work schedule for the rest of the week so hopefully I will get back into the groove.

Work tomorrow morning.  Shiluv in the afternoon.  Work Wednesday morning.  Piano students in the afternoon.  Thursday work all day.  I have about 100 pieces lined up ready to go with all my supplies.  If I can keep up the manic times I should to great.

I do have to say that the stuff I am doing this year is leaps and bounds ahead of what I was doing last year.  So much cleaner.  I learned a lot about cleaning up my work when I learned about cleaning up waxes.  Now if only I could clean up my life.

Truth is, this recovery does seem to follow much of the same pattern as making a piece of jewelery.  Start with raw emotion that does nobody any good as is but is to expensive to just attack head on without a plan.  Put it under heat, than acid, smack it, hammer it, cut it down, examine it, file away the rough edges, examine it again, put it under more heat, more acid, then throw it into a tumbler for a few hours to try to take off any remaining rough edges before taking it to the most dangerous of all the machinery in the studio and trying to give it a nice shiny polish that will disappear the first time someone touches it without wearing kid gloves.

Great, me and the ring I just make have more in common that me and most of the animal kingdom.  I have heard tell than margarine is only one molecule off from plastic.  I wonder how far off I am from a piece of scrap metal.

Why do I have a feeling that this entry makes no sense whatsoever?  Oh well.  This is my blog for my thoughts and this is where my thoughts are today.  Confused.  Frustrated.  Kind of manic.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a more well balanced day.  Hopefully.  One can dream.  Of course, most of my dreams still turn into nightmares so maybe I should try to stop dreaming.

It is just that I keep thinking I am starting to get better.  I can put on a really good show nowadays.  But when I am alone and have time to think I am just as miserable as I always was.

I was listening to my ipod before and the song "Reflections" from Mulan (the end credits version) came on and I realized that the song was ridiculously accurate as a representation of me right now.

Look at me
You may think you see who I really am
But you’ll never know me
Every day, is as if I play apart
Now I see
If I wear a mask I can fool the world
But I can not fool my heart

Who is that girl I see 
staring straight back at me? 
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?
I am now in a world where I have to hide my heart
And what I believe in
But somehow I will show the world what’s inside my heart
And be loved for who I am
Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?
Must I pretend that I’m someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show who I am inside?
There’s a heart that must be free to fly
That burns with a need to know the reason why
Why must we all conceal what we think?  How we feel
Must there be a secret me I’m forced to hide?
I won’t pretend that I’m someone else for all time
When will my reflections show who I am inside?
When will my reflections show who I am inside?

Do I spend to much time on this blog talking about music from random soundtracks?  I think I do.  Ah well.  What do I care.  My blog.  I can write about what I want right?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I am feeling very down and lonely tonight and I am not really sure why.  We had a lovely shabbat with my aunt and uncle up north, then spent some time with friends at a semi-local bonfire for lag b'omer.

As a kid I used to love lag b'omer.  Than as I got older there were loads of bonfires and parties to go to for singles.  Then I got married and in Toronto there was nothing.  Now here there are a million and one bonfires, but as our shul does not do one I feel like I do not really attach to any of them.

Like I said, sort of  lonely and down.

I feel like a moron.  I am sitting here and have tears running down my face for no particular reason.  I am just feeling sad.  I feel like I am just sort of floating in a sensory deprivation chamber and all I can feel is the sad.  Sounds stupid when I see it actually written out but I have no idea how else to describe it.  It is like everything else, all my hard work lately has, for some reason, disappeared in the blink of an eye.

I hate when I get like this and lose control of my feelings.  I can turn to some sort of chemical escape, but mostly it just makes me tired and so I fall asleep to nightmares.

I think that it is also that that is the holiday where there is a tradition to go to Meron to pray for children.  I don't think having done so 2 weeks ago "counts".

I just feel sort of lost.  I could use a CT hug if she happens to see this.

As always, please keep davening for Rachel Marmel bat Mindle Hinda Chaya for a healthy and complete pregnancy in the VERY near future.  So far things are not looking good for this month.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

As I hear about more and more recent announcements, I really am surprised to find that I can separate my feelings for the other family for my feelings for myself.  I really can be genuinely thrilled for people who are pregnant, (unless I know they see it as a burden) or have children (same thing).

It obviously just does not make me feel any better about my own situation.  In fact, it makes me feel like half a human not capable of doing what seems to come so easily to so many.

But I really am thrilled for those who have told me about recent announcements.

One thing though.  If you are going to give me news- I prefer to hear from you directly, but by email.  That way I do not need to be happy on the spot and can take 2 minutes to get my head in order before needing to reply.  I really am happy for them- sometimes it just takes me a minute to remind myself of that fact.  Especially if it is their first or a long sought after pregnancy.

As always, please keep davening for Rachel Marmel bat Mindle Hinda Chaya for a healthy, full term pregnancy in the VERY near future that ends with a healthy full term baby that gets to come home from the hospital the same time I do.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I remember leaving the hospital after Channah was born. She was still in the NICU and likely would be for weeks if not months. On the car stereo we had journeys 4 playing and the song Mama Rochel came on. Here I was doing nothing but crying for my child. The lyrics were strangely appropriate. I made Jason turn it off.

Mama Rochel cry for us again
Won’t you shed a tear for your dear children?
If you raise your sweet voice now as then the day will come

Mama Rochel cry for us again
Won’t you shed a tear for your dear children?
Bi’zchutaich v'shavu vonim lig’vulom

Funny, here I am 7 years later, my beautiful girl is home and sleeping in the next room.  The last line of the chorous to me is one of the happiest song in the world.  Veshavu Banim Legvulam- your children will return to their borders.  It is the song sung in shul and pretty much every where new olim go.  To me it represents a whole new chapter of my life that, until 2 months ago was the best chapter of my life by a long shot.

But what of the rest of the chrous?  I may not be the Mama Rochel in the song (in fact, I rarely even answer to Rochel- Rah-chell yes, but not Rochel).  I have found myself praying and singing and raising my voice to beg God for what I want.  I have shed more tears for my dear children in the last 2 and a half months than would fill the Atlantic Ocean.

So why is it that with crying, begging, and raising my voice in tehilim and perek shira, the day still is not coming?  

What more do I need to do to gain God's attention?

As always, please keep davening for Rachel Marmel bat Mindle Hinda Chaya for a full term and healthy pregnancy followed by a healthy and full term pregnancy.  Maybe God will listen to one of you more than he listens to me.
Tonight is the first night in a very long time that I am home alone (well, with Channah asleep) for a long period of time without Jason. So far so good. I am definitely lonelier and sadder than I would be if he were home- which is sort of funny because the baby should only be a month or so old so it is not like she would have been the best company. I am feeling a little, I don't know, maybe dejected is the right word?

It just feels like the world has gone back to normal and I still can't "get over" what happened and get back to myself. I have signed up for a show so I have real purpose to being back in the studio, and I have a few jobs I am working on. I have taken back most of my piano students. I am basically back to living my life the way I did before I was pregnant- spent this afternoon cleaning my room and reorganizing my night table.

My therapist thinks I am on a cleaning binge because "since I can't control what happened to me I am trying to control my environment". Meh. Truthfully, even if that is the case there is nothing wrong with my apartment meeting my bubbie's standards of cleanliness for once in my life. Seriously Bubbie- if you are reading this now- I BLEACHED MY TILE GROUT.

I cleaned out my closet. Got rid of everything too big and put away maternity stuff. We are almost caught up on laundry for the first time in ages. Took stuff to the dry cleaners that needed to go. I even finally got around to buying new fitted sheets for our beds as ours are American sized and we have Israeli mattresses. I was spending half my nights trying to tuck my fitted sheet back into the corners.

Since my pre-pregnancy days I have lost a bunch of weight, 7 inches in my hips and 5 in my waist. The depression chocolate and cheese only diet seems to be working great for me. I also seem to have gained a cm and a half in height. I don't know. Maybe all the screaming and crying stretched my neck out of shape or something. What do I know.

So long story longer, I am alone but coping okay and pretty proud of me if I do say so myself. I am not exactly getting the work done I wanted to- more goofing around on the computer (I'll finish knotting the pearls tomorrow when I am not so tired and start building inventory for the show), but at least I am managing on my own holed up in my bedroom.

As always, please keep davening for a full term, healthy pregnancy VERY VERY SOON for Rachel Marmel bat Mindle Hinda Chaya.
Oh my gosh!  A very close friend sent me this video this morning.  She warned me first it was dark umour in case I was not in the mood.  From almost anyone else I would have been royally pissed off to get such a thing, but from one of my oldest and closest friends I take it from where it came.  It really is funny and is all the things Jason and I have been hearing way too often.  I only hope the bit about having another baby comes true quickly.

Video from

A friend who has had her share of grief linked me to the article called "Bad things don't Happen : Finding light in the darkness" by Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt.  The truth is, as I am sure you can understand, the last few months have been sort of like walking through my own personal hell. I have no idea how anyone does it on their own, I thank god a million times a day that I have Jason by my side through all of this.

Well, more accurately, I have only recently started thanking God for anything. For the first few months we were not exactly on speaking terms. The truth is, until very, very recently I found secular books on grieving and loss to be much more comforting than anyone or anything telling me that it was all a part of God's plan and I should accept it.

Then I had someone tell me something that sort of changed my point of view. God is a big boy. He can look after himself. I can get as mad at him as I want, and he can take it. And so I did. I let loose with all the fury I could muster, and boy did I let it go. I went into my room and screamed and cried until my voice was gone and my eyes burned bright red. And then I realized that for the most part, my fury had burned itself out.

I now realize there must be something I am supposed to take away from this. I am not sure I know what it is, but obviously God thought I was not ready for such a precious gift as Gabbi's tiny, holy neshama.

I am now working on myself and my anger- after seeing the fury of which I am capable I have decided that maybe God took her from me as an opportunity to work on my temper and my anger. I will never, ever say loosing my little girl is a good thing, but I am trying to learn out something positive from it.

I am back on limited speaking terms with God now. Jason and I are praying with all our hearts and souls for a healthy and full term pregnancy as quickly as possible and doing everything we can to help that along- including focusing on tefilah and working on our midot.

As always, please keep davening for Rachel Marmel bat Mindle Hinda Chaya for a healthy, full term pregnancy in the VERY near future.

Monday, May 16, 2011

There are bad days, there are good days, and there are average days which, in theory, each fall into one of the previous 2 types of days.  The long term goal is to have the good days outweigh the bad days until the point where the majority of my life is good days with a few scattered bad days or even better just bad moments here and there.

On a good day I function pretty much like I did before we lost Gabbi.  I have moments where I am still sad, but there are also moments when I feel pretty much like my old self.  I can deal with babies, walk by strollers without batting an eye, and pregnant women only give me a slight twinge of agony.  I can generally go  through my day like a normal wife and mother.  I can hang out with friends.  On the whole I just sort of exist in a way very similar to the way that I did before I was pregnant with Gabbi.

On a bad day life outside my bed ceases to exist.  I spent my day bawling my eyes out until they are red and burning.  I yell at God.  I won't let Jason anywhere near me for comfort.  I don't bother getting dressed or brushing my teeth, and don't speak to anyone or eat at all.  The only thing I do is grieve for what I have lost in the hardest way possible.  I have been known to scratch my arms until the skin is raw, contemplate suicide (although I have now learned how to protect myself from actually even getting close to going through with it) and certainly contemplate hiding under my blankets and never leaving my room again.

Today was what I can an average day.  There are good moments and bad moments.  So far as I understand so long as the good moments outweigh the bad moments average days count as good.  If not, they go into the bad column.

But like I said, today was an average day.  I had a crying moment while cleaning my closet.  I had a moment of spiraling sadness tonight just before Jason left for shul.  On the other hand, I felt really good about having cleaned out my closet- happy even!  I took care of a bunch of correspondence that I had been putting off and so felt good about that too.   I went for a walk, dealt with combing Channah's hair again for bugs.  Jason made bbq chicken for dinner.  Overall if you put the good and the bad on a balance scale I am not really sure on which side would outweigh the other. So where does today end up?  Is it a good day or a bad day?

I have heard people say that life is a string of average moments where we live for the great highlights.  I have heard that it is a bunch of great moments held together by average or bad moments.  I think my day is a lot of average moments strung between both good and bad moments.  The thing is?  I think it is what an average day is.  This is a typical day in what I have come to call "my new normal".  So long as my days stay average, I can hold myself together.  I can hope for good days, deal with the bad days, and spend as many days as possible hoping for that delicate balance of average.

The Rambam (Maimonides) teaches that we should walk the center path vearing neither too far to one side nor the other.  I learned a song as a child that the whole world is a very narrow bridge, but the one important thing is not to be afraid to walk across it.    I think both are true of my current situation.  I am desperately seeking to stay as close to the average point as possible right now as I know good days are still to hard to come by very often, but at the same time I know that the path between good days and bad is incredibly narrow, so trying to stray too far to either side might make me fall off the path all together.  It is when I stray to one side or the other that I find myself rebounding like a pedulum.

Steven Sondheim said it best in one of my favourite musicals (Into the Woods)


Mother daid,
"Straight ahead,"
Not to delay
or be misled.
I should have heeded
Her advice...
But he seemed so nice.

And he showed me things
Many beautiful things,
That I hadn't thought to explore.
They were off my path, 
So I never had dared.
I had been so careful,
I never had cared.
And he made me feel excited-
Well, excited and scared.

When he said, "Come in!"
With that sickening grin,
How could I know what was in store?
Once his teeth were bared,
Though, I really got scared-
Well, excited and scared-
But he drew me close
And he swallowed me down,
Down a dark slimy path
Where lie secrets that I never want to know,
And when everything familiar
Seemed to disappear forever,
At the end of the path
Was Granny once again.

So we wait in the dark
Until someone sets us free,
And we're brought into the light,
And we're back at the start.

And I know things now,
Many valuable things,
That I hadn't known before:
Do not put your faith 
In a cape and a hood,
They will not protect you
The way that they should.
And take extra care with starngers,
Even flowers have their dangers.
And though scary is exciting,
Nice is different than good.

Now I know:
Don't be scared.
Granny is right,
Just be prepared.

Isn't it nice to know a lot!
And a little bit not...

I had a bit of a crying fit this morning.  I woke up and decided today was the day I cleaned out my closet.  Today was the day I got rid of all the stuff that is huge on me, put my winter stuff into a duffle bag in the storage area, and get control of all my t shirts and skirts.

I got about 5 minutes into it and started to cry.  A huge part of me was wondering if this was hormonal "nesting" setting in just a little (ok a lot) too late.  Jason reminded me I do it every year around now and periodically I just get sick of the messy closet and decide to do this sort of thing, but then, while I did stop crying and start working, a part of me was wondering if that was what nesting felt like.  This insane urge to clean and tidy something.  I have never actually been pregnant enough to get to know the feeling.

On the other hand as I am far from a clean freak in some ways that might be a good thing.  I just wonder if I will ever get the chance to want to need to clean uncontrollably (and for once in my life make my Bubbie proud of my housekeeping skills.

In the meantime, my closet looks fantastic.  I put all the maternity stuff away in a bag up high.  Hopefully I will need it again really soon- but I do not want it in my face all the time when I go to find something to wear.  It will sit there ready, please God, for it's next use.   Actually, there is a lot more of it than there was before this pregnancy even though I did not buy a thing.  My mom sent a few shirts, but other than that I just lost so much weight that Some of my regular clothing became maternity stuff.

Ah well.  Ce la vie.

As usual please keep davening for a healthy and full term pregnancy in the VERY NEAR FUTURE.

So since the pregnancy I have continued to lose weight even though I seem to be subsisting on chocolate.  For mental reasons I have pretty much refused to wear anything that I wore while I was pregnant. One skirt has passed the drill so to speak as it is the most comfortable piece of clothing that I own, but nothing else I wore while pregnant with Gabbi will even be taken into consideration.

So the problem is that I have no clothing to wear.  My skirts are all too big.  Much much too big.  Like falling off big.  Most of my lightweight shirts have now become so low cut that they are unwearable.  So I got myself 2 new skirts and 6 tank tops with highish necklines that I can wear under things.  Yes yes I know it is sefira, but the truth is that with no dryer I am running out of options.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Music soothes the savage beast- or so they say.

During this time of year for orthodox Jews music is generally a no no.  Yes there are some loopholes like accapella being okay (even if it is digitally manipulated so it sounds like real instruments) or playing and instrument for learning or professional reasons, but on the whole from pessach until either lag b'omer or until shavuote (depending on who you ask) most music is considered off limits (although according to one Rabbi we know this assumes that most music is generally on limits- an assumption he does not make so easily).

Along with it being disallowed at this point in the year, it is also generally considered a no no while in mourning.

The problem is that for a very long time now music has been a huge part of my life.  I find it relaxing, soothing.  I can listen for hours while I am working and the time will just fly by, or I can sit and pull out a old favourite piece of sheet music and by the time I am ready to get up from the piano I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders.

So what is a poor, cranky, miserable, lonely, mourning, non-parent to do?

Well fortunatly halacha has some wiggle room.  1) I am not officially in any sort of mourning as halacha never really recognized the loss of my Gabbi so that is one less no no to worry about.  2) The truth is, the Rabbi's have a fair amount of power to say what can and/or can not be overridden for the sake of someone's health and/or sanity.  When Jason asked this year about whether I could continue to use music as a way of soothing my aching heart the answer was not only that I could but that in this specific case I should.

I am certainly not telling anyone to do what I have been doing and to continue listening to music during gsefirat haomer or at any other time when it is normally unacceptable.  I just find it is interesting that  there is so much wiggle room on a question I am not sure I would have even thought to ask if my husband had not brought it up as I was moping around right after pessach.

Maybe in some small ways halacha is not as rigid as I thought that it was.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just as an FYI to myself, the new medication does seem to be helping me and keeping me a lot more balanced.  It exhausts me, but I was told to expect that for the first few days.  Good thing we are picking up our new car tomorrow so  I can be a little more shleppy this week if need be.

Oh right, so, two pieces of good news.

1) We bought a good, solid, not to old used car.  It was less than we anticipated needing to spend and the mechanic we bought it from has a good reputation and was a mentch to deal with.

2) We found out Thursday night that we are not going to need to move this summer.  There was some worry that the ladlord would need the apartment for his own use.  As he is happy where he is living, he is staying there and thus does not need to live here.  As he is not 100% sure he will be happy there long term or where the markets will go, he is not selling this place in order to buy there so we get to stay here.  Consider us thrilled over not needing to move this summer.

Please God good news, like bad, comes in 3s.  We have already done our 3 bad, please, please, please daven that we gt the ultimate piece of good news this month.

The only slight hitch in the whole thing is that the new medication I am taking warns to definitely, definitely not take it during pregnancy.  I am hoping for good news that will make continuing to need it unnecessary.  Other than that, my shrink is excellent with his knowledge of medications and I am sure he can find a way around the problem.

As always, please keep davening for a full and healthy pregnancy for Rachel Marmel Bat Mindle Hinda Chaya in the extremely near future.  Thanks.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Medication rebalanced. Feeling much better.

My life still feels like hell, but I am much more stable than I was this morning. It was just one too many things in a row in a week that really, really roller coastered.  I am 100000% thrilled for the piece of news that finally was the water-shed moment where I totally lost it, but it was just one last thing and it was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak.

Please keep praying for a healthy and full term pregnancy, but also that the new medication keeps me a little more stable.  The new stuff is a brain relaxant so to speak that just helps take the edge off until such time as I can manage on my own again.  Sort of like a hug from Channah that sticks around in my brain and soothes the rough edges even when she is not around.  It works but it is definitely not as cute.

Sorry for worrying everyone this morning and making everyone panic.  I really was that bad.  I made an immediate appointment with my family doctor to help me, and made Jason stay with me every minute while I was at my worst.  In the meantime we managed to get a hold of my phsychaitrit who gave us the name of the new medication and the dosage for my family doctor to write the script.

So I really was in no immediate danger.  I did all the right things, I called my doctor and my phsychaitrist, I did not leave myself alone, and I pretty much locked myself in my room where there was nothing that could hurt me.

I am still sad.  I am still angry.  This has still been a week that comes in second only to the week we lost Gabbi in terms of how lousy I have been feeling, but I was not at any point in real danger.
I quit. God you win. You want to shatter every single piece of my soul you have done it. I have nothing left to give. I am broken. Eyond repair. I suck as a mother and as a wife. I am ready to dig my own grave, lie down in it and just wait to be sent wheber the he'll you see fit. Maybe I can help you. Plenty of toxic stuff around here to help me meet mym maker face to face.

I am sick of my life. I am sick of the tears and the pain. I am tired of having to be happy for everyone having babies while I am forced to wait with my precious little girl in a hole in the ground. No marker. Bugs and worms
eating her from the inside out.

I am tired of pain 24 hours a day. I want out. I want out of my life and I have given up on caring who the he'll needs me to behere for them. I want out. Sleeping pills, a knife, I don't care anymore. Nothing can hurt more than the pain I am living through.

My life is a nightmare. Maybe if I end the nightmare I can wake up and still be 8 months pregnant with my Gabbi. I went from so happy to so miserable in the blink of an eye. Please god. I know you can stop my heart in an instant. Just do it and make the pain stop.

I want to die. Please god just let me die. Please. I can't live with this pain anymore.
The last few months I have not exactly been on official speaking terms with God.  Oh sure I had some choice words for him, and I made all my brachot diligently or Channah might catch on (she notices everything) but for the most part picking up a siddur or a tehillim was so far out of the question someone might as well have offered me a Book of Mormon.

In the last few weeks though I have found myself in a position a few times where I said a piece or two of tehillim.  At the kotel with Channah. At Meron at the kever of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.  While I stood silently and listened to the sirens on Yom Hashoa and Yom HaZikaron.  I have a full set on my phone so when needed I could pull up whatever was appropriate and read it with no emotion and close the program until the next time I need to fake religiosity again.

The only other tefilah I have offered came in the Atime paackage for pregnancy loss.  A small card with tefillat Channah on it that I now keep in my wallet.  There is something comforting about repeating it knowing that my light in my life was name for the woman who originally spoke those words so long ago.  I have been saying it with Channah on our trips to the kotel and also when we were in Meron.

Tonight, for the first time in months, I have pulled my tehillim off the shelf to do something with it other than than throw it at a wall.  We have lots of copies of Tehillim.  We have a broken up set.  A couple of Artscrolls with translation, transliteration.  A tiny one we picked up somewhere for giving tzedakah.  The one on my phone.  Channah even got one at school at part of her mesibat siddur.

But of all the tehillim we have, 3 are special.  They were given to us by special friends right before we made aliya.  We each got one, with an inscription just for us.  Jason's is a beautiful leather bound manly one.  Channahs is small and light and obviously meant for small hands.  My tehillim book is special to me.  It is off white with sefer tehillim written across the front in gold, and an inscription wishing me happiness and peace.

The friends who gave them to us have moved on.  One is no longer with us, and the other has been unwell for a long time now.  But tonight, for the first time I have pulled their gift off the shelf.  It is not just any Tehillim.  It is one that is filled with love and warm wishes from people who truly care for Jason's family, and once I married in for me as well.  For the first time, even looking at the sefer is bringing me comfort.

I think the time has come for me to resume some sort of regular communication with God.  I am not really ready for prayer- for asking for things and for thinking him for what he has sent me.  But I think I am ready to reread the words of David Hamelech- the only figure in all of Tanach we see loosing a baby and sad about the loss.  The only figure who shows human emotion at sickness and loss of a child.

We all know I write with much more power than I speak.  I have been getting notes from people from around the world that my writing has been helping them deal with issues of their own be it still birth, miscarriage, disease, divorce or other disasters that life throws at us.  Maybe it is time that I turn to the blog David Hamelech wrote so long ago, to see if I can find my strength there.  David Hamelech, the king known for his difficult reign and remembered for his mistakes, was able to connect to God through his writings, maybe it is time I tried reading what he had to say.  By drawing on his words, and on the love and strength of the family who gave me the book, maybe I will be able to start fixing my broken connection.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In the last 2 1/2 months I have learned a lot about real friendship.  A friendship is not 2 people being in the same place at the same time.  It is not even two people with similar interests being in the same place at the same time.  It is not even necessarily people two people with the same interests and lots and lots of things in common in any two places on the planet be they next store neighbors or pen pals on opposite times of the world.

I have many friends with whom I do not have a thing in common.  They can be gay to my straight.  Atheist to my religious.  Vigorous excersizers to my well... not.  World travelers to my homebody.  Fashionistas to my I-would-wear-my-pajamas-all-day-if-I-could wardrobe.  They can be math and sciency to my writing and artsy.  Business to my creative.  Not a single one of those things matter in the long run.

A friend is someone who, no matter where they are, you know you  can count on to help you when you need them the most.  Someone who, failing pressing matters of their own will do their best to take your feelings and needs into account regardless of how busy they are.  They are the people who will prop you up when you feel like you can't stand on your own anymore.  The people you can call at 3am and say "I am falling apart and need you to help hold me together" and you know intuitively that they will be in the car before you manage to hang up the phone.

But they can also be people you have never met in your life.  They can be random internet strangers you have met in a chatroom who spend 3 minutes a few times a week sending you messages of hope and courage and telling you they believe in you.  It can be someone you "know" from a forum who has gone above and beyond anything you would expect even close friends or family to do for you.  It can be anything from sending you  something you can not find anywhere that they scoured there city for, or a stupid little piece to a game your kid lost that they don't need anymore.

A friend is someone who says "I want to be certain not to cause any unneeded pain even if it does mean walking on eggshells for a while".  Who may not understand your emotional needs but accepts them anyway.

But the one thing a friend is first and foremost is mutual.  A one sided friendship, no matter how well intentioned, is not going to stand the test of time.  A friendship has that is all take and no give is going to wear thin eventually when the giver gets sick and tired of being taken advantage of.

I spent a lot of years learning Pirkey Avot and it says pretty clearly oseh lecha Rav, v'koneh lecha chaver.  Make for yourself a Rav- it is a one sided relationship- you go to him with questions, he is there when you need him, he carries the weight of his entire kehillah on his shoulders.  Koneh lecha chaber- buy for yourself a friend- it is a  two sided transaction.  You need to give your friend a piece of yourself in order for it to be a real friendship.  There is no such thing as making for yourself a friend and placing all the responsability for the friendship on their shoulders.

To those who have been there by phone, by email, by text message, on forums, in chatrooms, and obviously in real life looking out for me, for my feelings, my emotions, my physical health and the health of my family.  To those who have done everything from laundry to making meals to making sure I got to see Channah's messibat siddur even though I was in the hospital having the worst week of my life.  To those who have been offering prayers and hopes and wishes from around the world, please know that you have my gratitude and that I would offer the same in a heartbeat to each and everyone of you.

Thank you.
Have I mentioned lately that Channah works better than any of the drugs I have been prescribed.  I don't know how she knows when I need it most, but even if she is asleep and I am crying silently in my room with the door closed there is a quiet knock on my door and she just comes in, crawls into bed with me and gives me the best 7 year old snuggles that have ever existed.

She is calming and tells me she loves me even when I am sad.   That no she would never want to trade me in for a happier eema.  That I am her most favouritist eema and she loves me.  She puts her little arms around my neck and just hugs me and lets me hug her back until I find my breathing slows back down and I am amble to relax.  I can just sit and tickle her arm or stroke her golden red hair and almost immediately I will start to feel better.

Last night, I had the worst night I have had in a while and she just came into bed with me and let me hold her until I felt better, then went right back to sleep.  I worry though that it is too much responsibility for suck little shoulders.  I am the one who is supposed to make her feel better- sometimes I feel like I forget who is the eema and who is the little girl.

The only problem is she knows it and can sometimes try to take major advantage of it.  When she has done something really wrong and she KNOWS she is going to be punished for it she just puts out those cute little arm and says "snug?" and how the heck am I supposed to punish her with that sweet little "I love you eema" look on her face?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This morning's ridiculousness has sent me backwards to the point where I am forgetting how to maintain even the slight control over my emotions that I had.  I went to the BBQ today as a zombie on the highest level of clonex I am allowed to take.  This is the first time I have taken an extra dose, even a partial one, in weeks.

I barely interacted with anyone.    I came home to find I had been "defriended" and "blocked".  Probably better that way anyway.  Funny though since all I asked for in the first place was the right to block them until I was ready to see updates on new babies and the such again.  I know it is only Facebook, but it just hurts so much more when it comes from an old friend for whom you spent years willing to bend over backwards to try to help.  To hear him tell me that I am not allowed to feel my emotions or that the way I am doing so is wrong and unfair to him just pushed me over the edge.

I went to the BBQ for Channah.  It was not right for her to miss out on the simchat hayom.  I managed to stay 2 hours and pretend to smile even while my heart was breaking on the inside.

So much for reclaiming mt independence.  Turns out one old friend can undo 2 months of therapy.  Who knew?  And then other people wonder why I do not trust anyone outside my small circle of friends who have been there for me every step of the way so far.

As big as last night's step forward was, I think today's backwards motion was double it.  If things keep up at this speed I will be back at the emotional mess I was the moment I heard I lost my Gabbi.

I know people tell me this nightmare ride is a roller coaster and there is no getting off.  They just did not mention that the highest highs would come from within myself, or that the worst lows would come from my "friends".
It never ceases to amaze me  how one comment from a "good friend" can cause enough pain to make me want to hide in my bed again forever.  To be told that my feelings are invalid because he thinks I should take it otherwise, and that "my perception" is wrong.

I have never before wished this nightmare on anyone, but now I wish that just for one minute they could feel the pain they caused.  Feel the raw edges where they pulled apart the scab that was just starting to form on my soul. I AM ENTITLED TO MY FEELINGS even if you, who Baruch Hashem have never felt such pain in your life, do not understand why I feel them.

Infertility followed by a still birth is agony.  It is the agony of feeling like my own body works against me.  It is the agony of feeling like I have been given the punishment from God of Karet and cut off for any future generations.  It is the agony of grief of losing the child and not assuming another one will come along.  Making me feel like a nebuch case, even if you mean it in the best of ways, IS GOING TO HURT and telling me that I AM WRONG for feeling pain because "you meant it sincerely" is right up there will saying "it's not loshon harah because it is true".  It is the very fact that you meant it sincerely that makes it so truly painful.

Not that I think the people this is aimed at will ever see this, not do I think they would care if they did, but what it comes down to is- sometimes, praying for someone, taking challah for someone, doing a segulah for someone is best left unsaid because the feeling that can come along with it, the pain of being the nebuch case is worse, much worse, that the "warmth" of knowing they care.

This morning I received a "go back to start" card in this stupid game I am playing.  Every time I think I am finally getting ahead, finally getting somewhere, something happens and I am left a sobbing mess in my bedroom scared to face the world.

I would sincerely like to thank those people from  this morning for reminding me that my feelings, and my grief should be dictated by others, and for bringing out the evil side of me that I am trying to work on by having me wish them the pain I feel just for an instant.
Tonight we celebrated 63 years since Israeli Independence and I, at least in part, celebrated the first night of mine.

Tonight was the first night I realized that that while I have 2 beautiful little girls, it is the one who is here and spunky and precocious and full of life that needs my attention.  As much as I miss my Gabbi, and there are times and I am sure there will continue to be times where the pain of missing her will be unbearable, the living have to come before the dead.

Tonight for the first time, for most of the night I was able to put my grief aside to make sure that my Channah had the best night she could have.  We read tehillim, we sang, we even danced- and I ENJOYED it and I DON'T FEEL GUILTY.  We watched the concert and we snuggled and I watched her play with her friends and I ENJOYED watching her play with her friends.  Would I have enjoyed it more with my Gabriella?  I am 100% certain that I would have.  But that is not how things played out.

In taking my first step in starting to find my independence from my grief I have taken then the first step away from constant guilt and sadness and towards the light at the end of my tunnel.  I have admitted to myself that although I wish things had worked out differently they didn't, and that no matter how much I hate that fact, and no matter how much I hate the final outcome, things are the way that they are.  I have a sweet little light in my life that I can't let my grief extinguish.

Last night, Remembrance Day, was for my Gabbriella Galit.  Today, Independence Day is for me.  All the rest of my tomorrows are for Channah.

This blog is a spot for me to be honest.  I am not going to lie here and say that my Gabbi never entered my mind tonight.  As I saw strollers with new babies in them I felt sad, but kept repeating to myself "tonight is for Channah.  Tonight is for Channah".   At one point I told myself I was going to count backwards from 10 to 1 and when I got to 1 I would again be relaxed and happy.  Lord only knows why but it seems to have worked.
The only time I was overcome with melancholy was when the fireworks started and as I held Channah and listened to her squeal with delight, and heard a baby cry in terror, I wondered what Gabbi would have done, and if, wherever she is now, she could see them.

I hope she could because they really were beautiful, but if she couldn't I am sure she is looking at something much more spectacular.

So in conclusion.  Am I "cured"?  No way in hell.  Have I taken the first teeny tiny itsy bitsy step towards reclaiming my independence from this seemingly unending nightmare?  I think I just might have.

Monday, May 9, 2011

For Yom HaZikaron, remembrance day, getting into the right frame of mind was no problem for me.  It seems that all I do is remember those same few hours over and over and over again.  Getting in the mood for Yom HaAtzmaute, Independence day, a giant 24 hour party celebrated across the country with music, barbeque's and outdoor fun is a little- ok a lot- harder.

Last night was the night for my angel.  After the official ceremony of remembrance for the soldiers who fell in wars to protect us and our country, Channah and I davened at the kotel for a healthy, full pregnancy and a healthy baby.  We davened for family and friends, we said tehillim and tefilat Channah.  We spent 20 minutes in deep discussion with God over what we wanted him to send for us.

I keep trying to remind myself that one day I will have my independence from this nightmare I am living- and that when I truly understand that I have made my way through this trial by fire and come out the other end whole and in one piece I will be ready to celebrate the way we celebrate tonight and tomorrow and so I can fake it now as practice.  Unfortunately that plan is not working so well.

But my plan tonight  and tomorrow is, or my Channah's sake, to fake it and hopefully fake it really, really well.  Israel only has one stat day a year and this is it.  Tonight we are going to the big city-run firelight walk and then the carnival/endless speeches/gouge the locals with souvenirs that will not make it home/fireworks 3 hours after the kids should have been in bed and are now tired and cranky and whiny night.  Tomorrow we are going to bbq in a nearby park mostly with friends who have shown their support throughout this difficult time.  Basically, we are trying to put ourselves in positions where we can leave easily if I feel overwhelmed.

Except I really don't feel any of it.  This is one of those times where I am going to have to fake it for someone else and just hope that anxiety and insanity do not set in.  Thus far I have been fairly lucky in that I can let my own emotions rule the days, but now we have come to the point where I need to step outside my selfish self and make sure that I am doing everything I can to put my living daughter first.

After everything else this year I can't take this away from Channah.  I have put on a jean skirt and a white shirt, a blue hat some blue and silver jewelry and we are headed out for 24 hours of fun and frolicking.  What good is living in Israel if you do not take advantage of the fun of Yom HaAtztmaute?  Would I be happier if Gabbi were here with us celebrating her first time with us?  Absolutely.  Am I prepared to  take this day away from Channah, her kitah aleph year with all her friends celebrating her homeland with all her friends at the sports centre?  No way.
Today was mother's day and although it was difficult I managed to get through it and even enjoyed getting my card from Channah and a new Donald Duck mug from Jason.  We decided that as it was also Yom Hazikaron (remembrance day) we would head in to the old city for the tekes at the kotel.  I will write that up on our aliya blog tomorrow at moving on up with pictures and video and what not.  In any case, that is not the point of this post.

Tonight was a huge milestone for me.  I davened at the kotel and said tehillim without crying.  Channah and I said a few pirkei tehillim followed by tefillat Channah followed by asking Hashem outright for a full and healthy pregnancy.  A sister or brother for Channah to play with and to whom she could teach her wonderful middot.  We asked him to please look after some of our relatives who are not doing so well, and some who are and we would like to stay that way.  We asked him to please make sure our Gabbi was happy and had all the love and attention up there we would have given her down here.  We finished with me asking Hashem to please allow me to continue raising my Channah to a life of Torah, Chuppah and maasim tovim, and that she should continue to grow into a beautiful bat melech and bat torah.

We then shared a piece of paper and wrote a petek asking for a full and healthy pregnancy and she schooched between the people to sneak it into a crack in the wall.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ever since Channah was born mother's day has been the happiest day of my year.  No other day even came close.  This year I am of seriously mixed up feelings.  I was up at 5am looking at the 2 pictures of my beautiful angel.  First they made me happy- I was able to look at them without tears for the first time and see she really had my Channah's eyes and nose, but clearly my shaped mouth.  It is nice to know she had at least a piece of me.  I thought about what it would be like to let that tiny hand in the picture hold my finger.  To rest that tiny head on my shoulder and stroke that soft looking back.

Then came the tears as I remembered that I would never get to do any of those things.  It was not a major breakdown, just fairly quiet, lonely tears.  I am still a mother to that little girl even though she went right "home" instead of coming here.

Then, a few hours later I got a ball of hair in my face as my princess climbed into bed with me for a "snug".  She was all warm and cuddly and sleepy.  This is the little girl that first made me an "mother".  The little girl who called me "meema" for the longest time.  The little girl whose hair I brush, clothes I buy, tuition I pay and hand I hold.  This is the little girl who changed my life for the better the minute she came in to it.

From both girls I have learned different things.  From Channah I have learned patience, I have learned empathy, I have learned that sometimes it is better to just sit by the sidelines and watch until you know how to play the game.  I have learned how terem works, and I have learned how to make a purim costume out of a table clothe.

From Gabbi I have learned not to take anything for granted, that there is no such thing as "safe".  I have learned to value every single second you have with someone. I have learned that you can miss someone so much it causes physical pain to your soul and I have learned you can love someone you have never even met.  I have also learned something about how a community works and how many friends I have when it is really important.

Today I recognize that I am the mother of 2 little girls, one and angel, one a princess, and even if other people do not recognize that fact I am proud of what I have learned from them both,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It is my first birthday that I was supposed to be a mother of 2 instead of 1.  I woke up to Channah giving me a whole bunch of pictures she made for me of me or me and her being happy under rainbows and sunshine.  Some had our house in the background.  There was also a note from Jason about having a year where all my wishes and dreams come true.

We went to friends for lunch who thankfully did not do anything special to mark the day.  I would probably have cried if they had.  After Shabbat Jason gave me a book on the history of Jerusalem- perfectly up my alley and it is a great gift that will keep me reading for a while and had great pictures.

I have gotten a call from one of my brothers who shares my birthday, and lots of facebook notes as well.

The truth is, I just don't feel like celebrating this year.  Everything to do with my birthday makes me want to cry.  It wasn't supposed to be like this.  I had planned to spend today snuggling warm and cozy with my two girls, thinking about how big a bracha I was given for my birthday.  Instead all I can think about is what God stole from me this year.

As I look back at my last year I realize it was far and away the worst year of my life.  I spent 4 months on bedrest only to lose the baby.  I couldn't work for most of that, spent tons of it in pain and getting shots that in th end did nothing- they id less than nothing- had I gone into labour early my sweet little girl would still be alive!

I love the book from Jason and the pictures from Channah, but for this year I wanted so much more and so much less at the same time.  I didn't need gifts or cards- I just wanted my Gabbi.  I hope that somewhere up there she is looking down on me and showering me with her brachot and begging God to send me the only birthday gift I really want.  Obviously nothing can make up for losing her, but at least send me someone to help fill the whole in my soul.

Please, with your birthday wishes, offer a small prayer that God send me the one gift I really want.  A full term healthy, and happy baby as soon as possible.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ok, so today other than spending most of my day in bed sleeping (I feel like I have been awake for a million years) I am feeling almost human again.  Not looking forward to tomorrow and Sunday as it feels more like I am waiting for a couple of funerals than my birthday and mother's day.  Birthday messages have started coming in and although each one is meaningful and wishes me a better year than the last one (yeah, like that is hard at this point) each one is still a little stab because I am bing spoiled and complaining about not  getting the gift that I wanted.

I know that I have no right to  behave this way.  I have a husband and a daughter who love me unconditionally, a roof over my head, food on our plates, etc.  But my brain has a mind of it's own (see what I did there?).

Jason was at my sweet 16 so as of this birthday we will have officially known each other for more than half my life.  Scary how time flies.  Hard to believe we were not dating yet though- it was not until December of that year that we started.

Geez that means that we are coming up to the point where we have had Channah around for nearly half our total relationship!  I really can not begin to imagine life without either of them.  I just wish we had that brand new addition we were supposed to have to keep things fresh.

Please include prayers for a complete and healthy pregnancy followed but a healthy happy baby with your birthday wishes.  We all know what I will be wishing for as I blow out my imaginary candles this shabbat afternoon.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Not feeling nearly as lousy as yesterday.  Wish the doctor would have thought to mention that the first two days going off the welbutrin are HELL.  He said the next two should be all right, and then back to normal (well, the new normal) by shabbat.  Yesterday was just terrible.  I was shaking and sobbing and could not get any sort of control of myself.

Do you know what it is to totally lose control?  I'll bet a lot of people have lost control in anger- in fact, I believe that is what the definition of Rage is, when you are so angry that you lose all control of how you think and behave that physically can not control yourself.  But anger is something you have to let happen.  It starts slowly and gradually rises until it hits the point where it overflows the damn and come pouring out as uncontrollably rage.  Once the two sides of the dame are equal it can become as still as silent lake that reflects like glass.  Once the moment passes and the rage is contained the episode is over.

Sadness and grief is different.  There is no slow rising.  There is no huge rush and than relief as the twi sides of the damn balance out.  It is instantaneous and it has to much pressure behind it that it cuts right through the damn in a stream so high pressured that the one single stream is completely uncontrollable, but you try to repair it anyway.  But soon there is another little hole.  Than another whole pokes through.  and another.  And another.  and eventually you can't keep up with patching them all.  Although the water is not rushing over the damn as quickly as the rage, the grief is still coming through and there is just as little you can do about it.  And because the holes are lower down it never stops.  Water keeps going back and forth from one side of the damn to the other even long after the two sides are level.

Yesterday was the rage.  It all came flowing out at once and was completely unstoppable.  The only thing that could be done was to wait for the water to become level and for my internal and external pressure to equalize.  Nothing can hurry it along.  There is nothing I can do, nothing I enjoy doing, that will help me out of this state.  All I can do is to wait for that blessed moment when the rage disappears in exchange for the drugged sleep of forgetfulness where I can, for a few hours, leave the damn entirely and take refuge in a bright sunny field playing with both of my girls.  Or take them for ice cream, or on a merry go round ride.  Or even just sit and snuggle on the couch and read a story.

Today, and most days,  is more like the holes in the damn.  The grief and sadness come through and there is nothing I can do about them because they come through in too many places at once, but they come through slower so I have a little bit more time to anticipate and react to what is going on. and when I have that time I can try excersizes or medication to relax before they hit the point where the water comes rushing over the wall.  On these days I can pass the time working or drawing.  I often sit and pick out old melodies on the piano.  Maybe watch a tv show.  On these days I generally try to avoid the drugged sleep and just go to bed sadly when I get tired.  These are the days where the nights are horrible.  Where I have one nightmare after another until I finally wake up and pick up a book or a game and play until morning.

And that is how I am getting through life right now.  Rage or grief during the day.  Drugged sleep or nightmares at night.  It is no way to live.

But back to what I started with.  Do you know what it is to lose total control?  To know you are sobbing but to be unable to stop.  To be shaking and convulsing in agony and to be clenching your muscles so tightly that  it physically hurting you but yet be unable to relax them?  To be scratching your skin and leaving welts so that you can try to get the physical pain to over ride the emotional agony that you are feeling?  To have no recollection of how you got to where you are or who in the world is with you or how they got there.  It is a terrifying feeling to not have any notion of what you are doing are why you are doing it.  To wake up the next morning with welts on your arm and to not remember exactly how  they got there?  To have your  husband tell him you were hitting him away when he tried to stop you from doing it and that you would not let him anywhere near you?

Do you know what it is to hear a noise like an animal and realize it is you moaning in pain?  To hear yourself chanting one name over an dover and over again?  To not be able to get terrible thoughts of how you might have killed someone you love or what you could, in theory, do to yourself out of your mind?

I used to watch crime shows and think that all those people who claimed to  not know  what they were doing and then got off my reason of mental defect were fooling the system.  Now I know better.  There really can come a point where there is a total loss of control that can not be overcome by will power alone.  There really can be a point where it is almost like you are watching your life as an outsider and can't do anything about it.
Time passes.  It is Rosh chodesh Iyar.  Had everything gone according to plan my Gabbi would likely be a month old and we would be starting to work on getting her Canadian citizenship and passport in order for our trip.  Every passing date marker is hard.  Each Rosh Chodesh, each shabbat- every day makes me realize that I am one day further from the days I was so hopeful and excited for my little princess to join us.

Every time I do anything that I remember thinking "ok, how am I going to manage this with a stroller" I stop and wish to God that I had such problems now.  Each time I can just run down the steps on shabbat I stop and think about how much harder it should have been by now to get to shul.  Now it is next to impossible but for different reasons.

I turn 32 this weekend.  Who would have thought that at  32 I would only have one little girl, and one special angel?  You always hear about these things and think they only happen to other people, but this time the other person was me.

Mother's day is Sunday.  Another milestone I thought I would be celebrating with my 2 girls instead of just 1.  These "milestone dates" are killing me.  I have no soul left to shatter and yet I feel like like the sand left over from smashing the glass of my soul is being ground ever finer.  Soon it will be so fine as to be a  powder that can blow away in the slightest breeze.

It has be about 2 1/2 months months since I lost my angel- almost a quarter of a year, and I don't think I feel even the tiniest bit better.  My doctors suggest taking a year without making myself crazy with tracking everything, but anyone who knows me knows that is not going to happen.  I may not use the hafnayot I begged for for ultrasounds and bloodwork, but I will use the random store bought test kits to track what is going on.  I might use the hafnayot.  Who knows?  I just don't want to lose a year so that by the time we really start trying Channah is nearly 10 and I am nearly 35!  That  brings all sorts of new risks into the picture.

We have started loosely talking about adoption from within the country.  Might gte the forms just to get on the waiting list as it has been known to take years.  I don't know.  I feel like I can't really make any major decisions right now.

I am still a horrible emotional mess.  I barely speak to anyone but my closest friends and have no patiences for pretty much anyone else.

Almost 1/4 of a year latter shouldn't I be starting to feel at least a little bit better?

Yom HaAtzmaute is next week.  I don't really want to participate in the festivities.  Too many strollers and babies.  Not sure I can handle it.  I normally love Yom HaAtmaute.  I am just not me any more and any passing time seems to take me farther away from who I was rather than closer to who I want to be.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My god I am hating my life right now.  The medicine change seems to have been a really bad plan.  I am miserable.  I am feeling like I want to curl up into a ball and hide in a cave or under the kitchen table and cry until the kineret is full to overflowing and my eyes are redder than the lines we painted and ignore to tell us how low it it has gotten.

I am miserable, sad, lonely and I have no idea what to do about any of it.  I want a baby.  I want my baby.  But I just want a baby in my arms.  I want a husband who understands me and understands how to be comforting.  Would you believe he thought a birthday party was going to help matters this year?  I can hardly stand being around one or two people at a time and a party sounds like a good idea?  Who in their right mind would think that is a good idea?

I  love my husband very, very much but it feels like he has no idea who I am or what I need.  He has not got a single frikken romantic bone in his body.  God, I shouldn't be complaining.  He is a wonderful provider and an amazing father.  He has a great worth ethic.  He is smart.  He is diligent.  And I have gotten over blaming him for the night we lost Gabbi.

Yeah, I have stopped blaming him and taken all the blame myself.  I am an adult.  I could have called a taxi.  I could have called an ambulance, but I didn't.  And because I didn't my Gabbi is dead.  That is what it comes down to- even my ob agreed that things could have worked out differently if I had gone to the hospital that night when I was concerned.  It is my fault that my little girl is in some unmarked grave rotting away while I am sitting here above ground rotting away just as quickly.

I have nothing, absoluty nothing left holding me together.  It is like my soul is made of glass and has been shattered into smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller pieces until there is no possible way to figure out which piece goes where.  I am stuck in this stupid rut that I just can't get out of with this stupid glass wall between me and everyone else on the planet.  for some reason although the glass of my soul can be smashed into billions of trillions of pieces the one between me and everyone else in completely impenetrable.

I am tired of living a life of misery that I can't seem to get out of.  I am doing everything everyone says.  I take the medication.  I go for walks.  I get out.  I work.  I try to force myself to think about other things, but I am ANGRY!  I am ANGRY at me and I am angry at God and I am angry at Jason.  I am angry at the doctrors that could not save my angel and the doctors who can't make me feel better.  I am angry that I am going to be 32 this week and hate myself so much right now I can't even aknowledge the 1 precious gift God has given me in Channah.  I am angry that this mothers day I still only have one special little girl when I was supposed to have 2.

I know there is something about the stsages of grieving and I am pretty sure that one of them is anger and I AM THERE.  I am mad as hell at me and at pretty much the rest of the world and I feel like there is not a soul out there who can even begin to understand where I am.  I know this has happened to other people.  I am not stupid or naive enough to believe I am the first woman to ever lose a baby, but this was my miracle child.  The child I was happy enough not to have- until God sent her to me.  God teased me.

Then he made it worse and sent healthy, happy little bundles of pink to so many other people right after mine should have been coming home with me.  Then he had my ob take away my hope.  My last hope.  My only hope.

How the hell am I supposed to believe in an almighty God who is so mean that he teases and torments women who want nothing but to serve him as well as they can.  If it were just me that would be one thing, but even the holy imahos all dealt with the same thing.  Why God?  So you can see if we really love you?  WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE TO YOU????  You are in total control anyway.  Whether we love you or hate you makes no difference in the grand scheme of things.  One day, the final battle between gog and magog will happen and you have the great armagedon battle all planned out to a T already don't you?  We KNOW who is going to win.  YOU.  People are just stupid little pawns in your game of chess with the universe.

Well you know what God, I have had enough of playing your games.  I want out.  I am tired of living my life by your rules only to have you not hold up your end of the bargain.  I am tired of trying to be a good person while those who lie and cheat and steal have the huge families and the mountains of strollers.  I am tired of everyone around me having kid after kid and listening to them complain about how hard it is to have/look after so many kids.  How the baby keeps them up at night.  Jealousy between siblings.  Hospital trips when someone falls.  I would do anything, I would kill, for just one more chance to do it all.

Channah is growing up so fast sometimes I forget which one of us is the imma.  She dries my tears now and hugs away my pain.

When I was in high school I thought I would never want children.  Now I would do  anything in the world for just one more.

I hate the life I am living trapped inside the body of a person who is stuck in this stupid rut who has nowhere to go but forward in the same rut.
Anti-depression/anxiety medication dosages seems to be more of an art than a science.  We had one drug we thought was not really adding the "pep" it was supposed to, so for two days my doctor says to stop taking it.  I have spent the last 48 hours in tears and mad at the world.  Every little thing can and does set me off.  Channah is sitting here being adorable and playing school with her dolls and it is taking every fiber of my being not to yell at her to shut up.  She is being super good and it is driving me nuts.  I feel like I just want to sit in a dark cave, by myself, with no noise, nothing but my laptop, and maybe then the urge to kill will stop rising.

Yes we have already placed a call to the shrink to see if I can restart the pill I stopped.  Hopefully it will kick back in quickly as I have not been off of it for very long.

But then we start trying to lower the dose of the anti anxiety medication and lord only knows what that will do.

Why can't someone just fix all my problems by giving me a baby.  Then I will not need all this medication.  I will be perfectly happy with any random baby girl- okay I would have been happier with MY baby girl, but I gladly take one that someone else does not want.  I wonder if we can start considering that as an option.  Would we even be eligible?  How would we go about such a thing?  I have friends who have fostered and adopted- maybe I can ask them.  There are lost of children out there who need parents to love them.  I don't even need a newborn (although I would love one) just someone who can fill the empty spot in my heart with his or her light of their own.

But I doubt we earn enough.  I doubt we are healthy enough.  I am seeing a phychaistrist- would that automatically make me ineligible?  Would I need a note from him that I am not insane?  Not sure he would give it right now.  Have we been here long enough.  Can get it done before we need to leave this summer to get documents in order.  I don't know.  Maybe it is something to look into after the summer.

It is something I have been thinking about more and more and starting to wonder about,  I am a little embarrassed to ask my friends who have done it though.  Haven't exactly spoken to Jason about it either.  And how about the rest of our families?  I know Channah would love any sibling we gave her- but would the rest of my family accept a new family member with no common DNA?  I think I have some family members who did it years ago, but it is not talked about really and I have no idea how it was seen at the time.

Maybe it is something I should start looking into- but where in the world do I start?  How much would it cost?  We are not rich people but we have a lot of love in our hearts to give to a child who has no one else.