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Havaya Metakenet Redux

23 Dec

Quietly and without much fanfare, two important milestones for this blog have gone unacknowledged. A couple of months ago I published my 450th post (interestingly enough, it was my official “one month” post). I am now (slowly) crawling toward post 500.

A week ago was my three year blogaversary.

On December 16th, 2010 – just a bit after midnight (so really – exactly one year and one week ago today) I published my first post (for savvy readers, you will notice it has a very similar title to the post announcing Bunny’s birth. This wasn’t by accident).  I had no readers. I had  no idea there were other blogs out there. I had just taken my first ever Xan.ax, and after months of hell trying to come to terms with two miscarriages and battling depression and panic attacks, I found some clarity. I found the drive to write again.

Little did I know what I had in store for me. What those three years would bring, and the world and people they would expose me to.

I admit, even though I was broken when I wrote my first post, I still didn’t think it could get any worse. Then it did. Then once again I didn’t think it could get any worse.

And it did again.

And then I broke into a million pieces and it was this space that kept me together. But also this space that kept me remembering things I didn’t want to remember any more.

So I denied. I podcasted. I ran away.

But then I came back. I came back here because no matter what, this space chronicles and honors the most difficult journey I have ever taken in my life. And I choose to continue to chronicle it. Because the journey doesn’t end with a baby.

When you lose so much, you cannot be magically fixed.

These past few weeks have been insane. Going back to work and trying to get back to living has been a challenge. I have been in a cocoon for so long it’s been a hard road to get to know myself again. And that road is just beginning. I am slowly reclaiming my body. I am slowly coming out of the hard shell I built around myself. Slowly. Slowly.

I won’t lie to you, it’s been hard. But it’s also been amazing. It has been – finally – one Havaya Metakenet after another. If you don’t feel like going back and reading that post – havaya metakenet is a Hebrew phrase meaning “restorative experience”. I’ve been longing for them since the moment I lost my first pregnancy (that particular post was written when this blog was about 4 months old). And I’ve been striving for them since the moment Bunny was born.

I’m not sure if it’s the end of the year, the fatigue, the transitions, or all of the above that have made me count the restorative experiences that I have had in the past few months. Lately, instead of flashing back to the most awful day of my life, I have been flashing back to the most wonderful day. That in itself is a restorative experience. It’s not that I no longer remember. I remember him. I think of him. I love him completely. But Shmerson and I told ourselves long ago that he would not want us to always be sad. So I think he would be happy that he is remembered more often now in his little sister’s gaze. Not in his mother’s trauma.

Today, while striving for a new restorative experience, I realized how many of these experiences I have already had in the past 3.5 months. It has all been so overwhelming, but today, I counted them.

  • My daughter, just out of the womb, being laid on my stomach as we waited for the cord to finish pulsing. I couldn’t see her. I had yet to see her. But I felt her breathing. I had my hand on her back. I could feel her –  tangible and present. It was the happiest moment of my life up until that point.
  • A few hours later, laying in recovery, trying out of habit to count kicks. Understanding that there were no more kicks to be counted. Getting up out of bed frantically and running to the nursery, to beg them to finish their tests so that I could finally have my daughter. Standing outside the nursery at 6am, sobbing. Waiting for them to open the door. Stepping in, being lead to my daughter. Looking at her properly for the first time. Taking her in. Understanding that she is living, she is breathing, she is real. She is mine. Well – at least trying to understand it. I don’t think I fully understand it even today.
  • Every day. Every song I sing to her as I put her to sleep or as we play. Every time she follows me across the room with her eyes. Every time she gives me one of her amazing smiles. She is so generous with those smiles. Every time we have a “conversation” with her coos. She is an open, loving, warm, happy, generous little person. I cannot believe I actually had a part in making her. She amazes me every. Single. Day.

bunny with a bunny

Nadav was born and died about a month before Purim (for those who don’t know – that’s the holiday where us Jews dress up and eat candy).

I was still broken. Shmerson had just started a new job. They encouraged employees to dress up. I still could barely get my butt out of the house. But I was determined to help him with a costume. We dressed him up like Dr. Who. I even made a homemade sonic screwdriver. I stayed at home that day. Happy that some fun was had. Broken that it was had without my son. I don’t know why those two days of making that costume stick out so much in my memory. But I feel those days. The ever-present pain, wanting to break through a facade I was putting on. Trying to be happy. Trying to live, to honor him. Barely able to do it, yet doing it ferociously.

Purim is still about 3 months away. Today I started a pinterest board. I want Shmerson to dress up as Dr. Who again. I want to be the Tardis. I want Bunny to be a little Dalek.

To add another restorative experience to the list.

With the hopes of adding many more to come.

To all of my wonderful readers out there, who have stuck it out for three long years, or who have just now found me, thank you for being here. Thank you for your patience as I navigate my way through this strange new world. I hope your 2014 is full of restorative experiences.

I’m striving to make mine chock full of them.

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How I Met Your MO There

25 May

So today I’ll give you my view of what Shmersonette described in the previous 5 posts. But a little about me first.

I’ve always believed in honesty. It’s not always a good thing. In some relationships, I scared the girl away because I was too honest. See, another thing was that I would fall in love really fast. And because I was honest, I would say it. I didn’t like playing games, teasing, playing hard to get. I couldn’t play it cool around a girl I was in love with.

9 months before I met Shmersonette, I went to South America for six months. It was a trip to see the world, but as always it was also to change myself. I did a lot of thinking and gained self-confidence. I can really say that had we met without me going there, it wouldn’t have worked between us.

So I decided to be less honest. Wait with my feelings. play games. I also had doubts about love. I thought maybe I was expecting too much. I wondered – am I like a person who never had ice cream, and when they describe ice cream to him as “heavenly, orgasmic” he takes it too literally and is later disappointed? Maybe all those poets and novelists who wrote about love were exaggerating. Maybe love is just friends having sex. Maybe if I stopped expecting so much I wouldn’t be disappointed and hurt anymore.

Of course, none of it is true. Writing those things now makes me sad for myself  back then. But at the time, I thought I was growing up.

I also thought I should change in other ways. I never had sex outside of a serious relationship with strong emotions. I started to think maybe I should loosen up, and have meaningless sex. I decided to date girls just for that and ‘for the sport of it’.

Still, I learned some things. For example, I noticed how we prefer the thing we know, even if it was bad for us in the past. I always knew what I wanted in a girl. She had to be intelligent, with a sense of humour and independent. But usually I found myself in a relationship with someone not-so-smart, not-so-funny and dependant. ( I like to put it in PowerPuff Girls terms: I always wanted Blossom with just a little bit Buttercup, and found myself with Bubbles). So I realised it was a cycle; you go there because you know it, and you prefer it over the unknown. And every time you go there you just make it more likely that next time you choose, you’ll choose the known over the unknown. Until the point when it’s not even a choice anymore. And I realised that the first step to get out of it was to acknowledge it.

I didn’t like Bubbles-girls because they tended to look up to me, and I don’t like that. I also didn’t like looking up to girls. I believed in equality, I believed both people in a relationship should feel just as lucky to have each other. I think that on How I Met Your Mother they said that every relationship has the person who settled for less and the person who got more than deserved. I don’t think it’s healthy in the long-term.

A short while before I met Shmersonette I dated a girl for a short period of time. I tried implementing my new ideas, expecting less, playing it cool, etc. and they collided with my other new idea – she was totally a Bubbles-girl. I ended it. We didn’t have meaningless sex, and I’m happy for that.

Two weeks later, it was my zero date with Shmersonette. As she already told you, it was very special. As I was driving home after I dropped her at her place, I thought “what if she didn’t enjoy this as much as I did? What if she tells me it was nice but it’s not going anywhere?” and I thought that if that happens, I’ll probably know how that Bubbles-girl feels about me right now.

I used to have this dream: I meet a girl and we’re together. We barely need to speak. There is no suitor and “suitee”. We just like each other very much, and are happy. People around us think we’re strange, or that we’re going too fast. We don’t care. I used to hate waking up from that dream.

By the end of our Zero-Date I knew I finally found her. I was perfectly honest, and so was she. We didn’t play games. After our third date, I was walking back to my car, very happy. I thought of how perfect it all is, and then I thought this is much like that dream. Then I got to my car and saw a parking ticket, and smiled. This would never happen in a dream.

On our real first date, she said: “There is something you need to know about me. I’m a little messed up”. I told her it’s okay, great even. I like messed up. I’m a little messed up myself. (She didn’t believe me back then).

She was right- she IS messed up. And today, she knows I am too. And every now and then, during hard times, she says something like: “Is it okay that I’m so messed up?” and I always remind her of that conversation.

On one of our first nights together, we were talking. Then I thought of something stupid. See, I have a weird sense of humor not everyone gets. And I knew that if I said what I thought out loud she won’t get the joke and would think I was weird. This voice in my head was like “don’t say it you’ll ruin everything” but I said it anyway. And she cracked up laughing. And yes, that’s the origin of our private sense of humor and our private language.

The first time I told her I loved her was also very strange. I blurted it out less than a week after our Zero-date. And for a second I thought “There you go again, you’re too honest, too quick, you just scared her away like you always do”. Then I thought “well, screw that” because I knew I meant it. And I knew that all that crap about playing games, not being honest and so forth was BS.

I’m so happy it happened that way. I think the strongest thing about us is that we’re perfectly honest with each other. We can’t go to sleep after a fight without making up. We can’t keep a secret for more than a minute. It’s great.

During our first week together, I met up with my brother and sister. I told them about her. I told them that when I’m driving with her in the mountainous  roads of
Haifa, and every time the road goes down I go “wheeeee!” and then she replies “must. kill. moe.” they both said: you should hold on to her and never let go.

Between our Zero date and Valentine’s day, we saw each other almost daily. Met each other’s friends. When I had to stay at my place and study, she showed up with pizza. Some other night I woke up to watch a lunar eclipse. She came with me. After Valentine’s day, I practically moved in. My roommates started calling me “Garry the imaginary” behind my back, because I was never at my apartment.

About the period of time when Shmersonette was waiting for me to propose. (About 6 months from when the subject was brought up to when I proposed): I have only this to say: I always knew we would get married. There is a difference between knowing you’ll get married and being ready for it.

I’m proud to say I chose the wedding ring myself. A week before I proposed, we went to Paris. I decided not to propose in Paris. I wanted it to be were we live. I wanted to be able to take the kids there. I felt like when you propose you should be close to home, in a place that means something to you. And I told her it would not happen in Paris, and why. See, at the time she already knew I was going to propose. And during the time in Paris she found out it was going to happen in less than a week. See? We can’t keep secrets.

Mo’s note. I thought it was probably going to happen, but I’m a hopeless pessimist. Or at least I used to be. Now? Who knows.

About a month before I proposed Shmersonette said that if she wanted to propose (She didn’t really, and I didn’t want it that way either), she would buy tickets to our favorite singer  – Shalom Hanoch’s concert in Ceasaria, and pull some strings so that she gets on  stage and proposes to me in the middle of the show. I know. Totally not us (and totally Mr and Mrs No balls). Then I thought of doing the same thing – only without the rock concert. So I took her to that stage (it’s a 1500 year old Roman stadium) and proposed there.

It has been a strange year. I think you, as readers of this blog, are mostly aware of the bad things. But a lot of good things happened also. In a way, I’m glad we had to go through all of that this year, it was a test for our relationship and guess what? we passed. “A plus plus” passed.

Anniversary Week Post 5 – I Want My Husband.

24 May

“You can only bring one person in with you.”

It’s the end of July. I have just been diagnosed with a blighted ovum. I’m at the hospital to get a D&C. Both Shmerson and my mother are there. At patient intake that is what I am told.

One person.

I look at both of them. I know they both want to come. I am scared out of my mind.

“My husband. I want my husband.”

That’s the moment I realized that I was truly married.

I mean – I think a lot of people who get married never really get MARRIED. But Shmerson and I – well, we were about three months into our marriage. And we were a family already.

This was the first of many realizations about love, marriage and family that I have had in this last year. This first year of marriage. This year of depression, anxiety, loss, and growth. When you get married, even before you have children, remember – you are already a family.

This choice – my husband over my mother. This choice proved to me that I was truly a ‘wife’ now.

I didn’t have to force myself to make that decision. It was my husband. Of course it was my husband. I didn’t even blink.

“I want my husband.”

I think that’s been the crux of our first year of marriage. We are truly a family. We have truly learned what that means.

***

It’s November 19th. We have just decided to move back to our old studio apartment in my hometown, to take things easy and regroup after our second loss in three months.

I haven’t been sleeping. I haven’t been functioning. I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night screaming.

3:30am. I’ve had another panic attack. My third or maybe fourth that day. I go to another room to watch something stupid on my computer to try to distract myself and tire myself out so I will be able to sleep. We have a lot of packing to do. The movers are coming the next day.

4am. I feel a bit calmer. I go into the shower. I don’t even know what sets off another attack. But all I see is a dark gaping hole and horror. Complete terrifying horror. I collapse in the shower, screaming. The water still running.

Shmerson, who was fast asleep in the other room, runs into the bathroom. My screams have woken him up. This isn’t the first time, either.

He turns off the water, grabs a towel, and wraps me in it. He hugs me and tells me that he loves me. That’s all he can do, really.

A month later I’ve finally come to my senses enough to understand that I can’t go on living this way. I break down and find a psychiatrist. The panic attacks finally stop, and I start this blog.

And through all of that, through all of this – there is my husband. Cheering me on. Telling me he loves me. Telling me I’m beautiful despite the extra 20 pounds that three failed pregnancies and months of anxiety and depression have added to my already plump figure. Despite the fact that I spend half of my time a total and complete mess. And I sometimes take it out on him. He tells me he loves me and that I’m beautiful.

Through all of this – he is there.

April 2oth (wow, i can’t believe it’s only been just over a month. it feels like eons) was the first time I’d ever had to spend the night in the hospital. I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t know what was going on. Shmerson didn’t leave my side for a second. And when they kicked him out of my room at 2am that night, he slept on a cot in the hallway. Just so I would know he was there.

This is the man that I have married.  A man who has been with me through the hardest year of my life. Probably of his as well. A man that still makes me laugh, that reads this blog every day and has become a huge supporter and a part of this community that I have found for myself. For both of us. A man who takes it in stride when I unceremoniously announce to him that in a year we’ll be flying to the States to attend a wedding of a woman who I’ve never met in real life, but who I love like a sister. Who celebrates with me when another announces her pregnancy after more than a year of trying. Who emails back and forth with another, talking about Whiskey and inviting her to crash on our futon. Who gets it. Who gets why I need this space and cherishes it as much as I do.

A man that bravely stood up a couple of months ago and wrote openly about our losses on facebook, because he wanted to be there to support others.

My husband.

****

When you get married, there are always little nuggets of doubt. My brother is divorced, and just leading up to our wedding, I was kind of freaking out. I talked to my brother about my fear. About loving Shmerson, but worrying that maybe that wasn’t enough.

My brother told me that we were perfect for each other, and I should calm the fuck down.

He was right.

My body and my soul have been through the ringer during this last year. I have been at the lowest points possible. The literal depths of pain, despair, and grief.

I have also grown, and learned, and tried to find meaning through all of this.

I often talk about that. About finding meaning in this insane roller coaster of a year. Trying to find a “why”.

I don’t know why. There are very few things I know. In fact, I feel like each time I’ve got things figured out, I get bitch slapped and realize that I probably know nothing.

But there’s one thing I do know: We have gotten through this. We continue to. We continue to love and support each other through this. Our first year of marriage will always be this sad pit of grief and despair.

But it will also be the year that we learned how to be a family.

The year that we learned how to compromise our plans to help each other, and still be happy within that compromise.

The year we realized that we will be amazing parents, because now we will love and appreciate a healthy baby more than we ever thought possible.

The year that we pulled each other out of the muck and mire of loss and depression.

The year that we learned just how strong we really are.

The year that we started the new tradition of high-fives and saying how much we rock when we get stuff done, or find a healthy compromise and make tough decisions.

As I wrote these last few sentences, I started crying. Shmerson had just gotten out of the shower. He sat next to me on the couch, buck naked. He put his arm around my shoulders and said:

Next year we’ll have much happier stories to tell.

I hope so. I really do. But even if we don’t, I know we’ll get through it. As a family. Because that’s what we do. Because we rock. *High Five*

Tomorrow – Shmerson insists on telling his side of the story. 

Anniversary Week Post 4: The Proposal (?)

23 May

It’s the middle of July, 2008. Shmerson and I have been together for 7 months, and I am still freshly shocked from the Philly Freak Out of June ’08.

Shmerson is with my parents and I at a wedding of a family friend. The cocktails have been served and my mother has already downed two glasses of white wine. We get called to gather for the ceremony. We stand around the Chuppa. Shmerson and I are kind of leaning on each other, and my mother, without even noticing, stares longingly at the ceremony while affectionately petting Shmerson’s shoulder. Willing him to get off his ass and propose already. Shmerson takes it in stride and we casually mock my mother on the drive home. In fact, to this day we tease her about the “drunken two-ton unsubtle hint of July ’08”.

It was always pretty obvious to both me and Shmerson that we would get married. It wasn’t a question of yes or no, it was a question of when.

That July, I was 27, and Shmerson was 25. My uterus had started slightly screaming. But I was ok with waiting a while longer. Letting Shmerson take his time.

You see – in that way, we are very different. Shmerson is a very contemplative, slow-moving kind of guy. He doesn’t make decisions lightly. I on the other hand, have been known to decide to move to a different country in the course of 24 hours.

(I am happy to report that in the last few years, we have managed to balance each other out on the big decision thing)

S0 – back to July of 08. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want him to propose. But we were only together for 7 months. There was time.

Fast forward to July of ’09. We are at my second cousin’s wedding. Shmerson and I comment on the decor, and sometime between the ceremony and the food we come up with the perfect idea for a wedding invitation (that idea came true – you can see it in my header).

No – he hadn’t proposed yet. But this is what we had been doing for a while now. Examining other people’s weddings and discussing what ours would look like.

And yet, no ring. I was 28 and Shmerson was 26, we had been together for almost 2 years and I was – well, I was starting to go a little nuts.

He knew it too. We even had several fights about it. He wanted to wait until he thought we were good and ready. I was a panicky crazy person and actually said stuff like – “What if we die tomorrow? Don’t you want to check “get married” off of your list?”

Yes – I used to think like that. Thank goodness for xanax and understanding husbands.

At this point, my conversations with my mother, on a daily basis, went something like this:

Mom: So – when is he going to propose?

Me:  I don’t know mom. And please stop asking because I want him to and I don’t want to give him any ultimatums.

Mom: Well – I have a diamond I want to give him for your engagement ring. Tell him that.

Sometime during our next “when the hell are you thinking of proposing?” fight, I mention the diamond.

Then, I literally start getting paranoid. Does he not really want to marry me? Is it because I gained weight? Maybe I’m completely wrong about this?

Nearly daily talks with Squish and Me0Me around this subject help keep my sanity. Barely. I somehow get it into my head that he’s waiting for a special occasion. Like my birthday.

So – around comes September 25th of 2009. My 29th birthday. The night before, Shmerson had taken me out to a fancy dinner. There was no ring in sight, and on top of that – I was a bit disappointed when the chocolate cake came out and there was no sparkler for me in honor of the big 2-9. I voiced my disappointment to Shmerson. About the sparkler, not the lack of a ring.

We throw a birthday BBQ the next day. I see Shmerson plotting something with Squish while checking the Chorizo sausages. I think to myself – oh – maybe now. Maybe he’ll propose here – in front of all of my friends.

Then Shmerson turns around with a big sparkler on a chorizo. Especially for me.

There was no ring on that sparkler.

I smiled, then I hit him. A bit too hard. I’ll cop to that.

A month earlier we had started planning a week long trip to paris. This was taking place at the beginning of October.

Paris. It had to be Paris. I mean – who wouldn’t propose in Paris?

I started getting sneaky. I searched his backpack one day. I found a ring box and a ring. A really ugly, really thick gold ring.

Oh dear flying spaghetti monster – please don’t let this be my engagement ring.

And we go to Paris.

We had a lovely time in Paris. Truly.

And we came back still NOT ENGAGED.

I was seriously about to lose it. Was he really that cruel? Was he going to wait until our 2 year anniversary in January? How the hell will I have time to plan a nice summer wedding in January?

This was getting to be too much.

Then – the last weekend of october, I knew something was up. I mean, it was kind of obvious. He had told me to pack. He didn’t tell me where we were going. But I knew I was going away for the weekend.

Shmerson and I suck at keeping secrets from  each other. It was obvious what was going on. I was just hoping that hideous ring was not part of the plan.

So, in the car we go. It’s a rainy day. Shmerson takes me to Ceasaria National Park – one of the most beautiful places in the country. He walks me to the bottom of the ampitheater – a place where I’ve seen some of my favorite musicians give epic performances. Now bare for the winter – just made up of ancient ruins overlooking the sea.

I don’t remember exactly what he said. But it was pretty fucking awesome. We both cried.

Oh – and the ring – well – see for yourself:

I’m not sure how much you can make out from the picture. But it was perfect. And he used my mom’s diamond after all.

It turns out that gold ring was an attempt to take something of his mother’s and blend it with my mother’s diamond. A lovely thought. But he had the sense to know my tastes and know that I would dislike whatever version of that ring he would have come up with.

Still – you have to love him for the thought.

We spent the next three days at a bed and breakfast (our favorite past time). Shmerson had called my boss and told him that I was taking a day off.

And yes, he was right, it was worth the wait.

I sometimes wonder if we had gotten married sooner, if perhaps, this whole baby-making thing would have gone a bit smoother.

I will never know. But one thing I do know – that had we gotten married sooner – we wouldn’t have been able to deal with this last year nearly as well as we have. We needed that time to grow as a couple. And we did.

So – we got married on May 27th, 2010. I was 29, Shmerson was 27. And it was beautiful.

Tomorrow – how our first year of marriage became arguably the worst year of our lives, and yet, on a lot of levels, arguably the best. 

Anniversary Week Post 3: The Whiskey Fake-Out

22 May

Welcome ICLWers! If you’re just tuning in, my husband, (aka Shmerson) and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary this Friday. In honor of that, and to get away from the nightmarish couple of months we’ve had (feel free to check out our TTC timeline to see what that’s all about), I’m dedicating this week to our amazing marriage. Just scroll down for parts 1 and 2 of the story. 

So, when we last left off, Shmerson had moved in, and the fur baby had been adopted. Just around the five month mark.

I had been invited to a wedding in Philly during the second week of June, and since I had introduced the couple and had the designation of “best dude”, of course, I planned to fly out. Plus – I hadn’t been to the States in  couple of years and was looking forward to seeing my friends.

Before I go on with this story – a little background. At the age of 19, I decided to leave Israel and study in the states. I did my BA at University Y in Philly, and my MFA at Grad School X in LA (the names have been changed to allow me to bitch openly – mostly about Grad School X. University Y is actually rather awesome).

So – that means I spent the majority of my twenties (7 years to be exact) a minimum 12 hour flight away from my family and my friends in Israel.

Now – during that entire time I didn’t feel homesick once. Don’t get me wrong – I talked to my mom every day, I missed my friends in Israel. But at that point, Israel didn’t feel like “home” to me (the States didn’t either, but that’s a different post for a different time).

If I look at it on a philosophical level, there was no real place that I felt at home.

Now – back to our story.

The plane ticket was bought. I was leaving for Philly the second week of June (forget the exact date), and flying back June 22nd – exactly our six month anniversary.

Shmerson is a Whiskey lover (to say the least) and I already had a dastardly plan to pick him up a bottle of Johnny Walker Gold as a present.

I was really looking forward to the Philly trip. I LOVE Philly. Seriously. It is one of the most underrated cities out there. If I was ever forced to live in the States again, I would totally live in Philly.

So off I went, packed and ready and arrived in Philadelphia. Shmerson had driven me to the airport, and we had brought Luna along for the ride. I had a really hard time saying goodbye at the security gate. Little did I know that I was headed into utter torture. Not only for myself, but for my poor Philly peeps who had to put up with my whiny ass.

I got on the plane, I cried.

I landed, happy to see the groom, we hugged it out, I got to the happy couple’s apartment, I got on skype with shmerson, and I cried. I told one of my BFFs about my incredible love affair over pizza, she was skeptical (AK I love you to bits and always appreciate your skepticism!), and I went back to the happy couple’s place. And I cried.

I didn’t just miss Shmerson, and our little apartment, and our new puppy. I ACHED for them. I LONGED for them.

From the second I landed in Philly, all I wanted to do was go back home.

This had never happened to me before. Ever. 7 years away from my family and friends in Israel, and I had never ACHED. I didn’t know what homesick was until that time I spent in Philly.

The wedding was lovely, of course. The plan was that after the wedding I would go to a family friend’s place for a couple of days before the happy newlyweds headed off to their honeymoon, and then I would spend about 4 more days crashing at their place, hanging out with old friends, maybe taking a train up to NY for the day, etc.

So I was up at the friend’s house when I got the call: The bride had come down with the plague. Better not to come back to the apartment for fear of me catching it as well. The honeymoon was off.

Now – most people would be pissed at this. I had made plans, I didn’t have money for a hotel or another place to crash, and I didn’t want to stay up at the PA burbs with a 70 year old woman. I mean, I loved the woman, but after a day – it’s a bit much.

But I wasn’t pissed. Not in the slightest. I WAS RELIEVED.

I picked up the phone, called my travel agent in Israel, and changed my flight. Screw my friends, screw NY, screw everything. I wanted my Shmerson and my fur baby and my apartment and I wanted them NOW.

On the way to the airport the next day I realized that I had a problem. Our 6 month anniversary was four days away. Should I give Shmerson his present early? But wouldn’t that make him feel bad? (Yes – this was the only thing that was occupying me. I didn’t even care about the extra 200 bucks I had to shell out to change the flight.)

So I put together a dastardly plan. At the duty free, I bought TWO bottles of whiskey. The JW Gold as planned, and a cheaper bottle of something I knew he liked well enough. I would present him with the cheap bottle just as I landed, and then on the anniversary day itself, he would get the good stuff – Surprise!

This plan of course went off without a hitch, and Shmerson loved all of his presents (yeah – I also did some serious clothes shopping for him at Target and Ross, because I can never say no to keeping him out of black velvet pants and in discount Rocker T-Shirts).

But you guys know that’s really not the crux of the story.

It took 10 days (well, actually one) of me being away, and driving my poor Philly friends crazy (sorry guys! I know I was obnoxious! Love you!) for me to realize something: I finally had a home. And it wasn’t the apartment. I had lived there for almost a year before Shmerson came along. It was the man that was waiting for me at that apartment, along with our amazing little puppy.

He picked me up at the airport, we drove back to our little place with me cradling our little puppy the whole way home.

That night, I slept like a baby, with the huge smile plastered on my jet-lagged face.

Tomorrow – “Why hasn’t he proposed yet? Oh, yeah. Ok.”

Anniversary Week Post 2: Valentine’s Day Becomes Moving Day

20 May

So Shmerson and I were moving at a pretty rapid clip. Our “Zero Date” happened on January 16th, and by January 22nd, there were already declarations of love on both sides. He had this ratty apartment with two roommates that was walking distance from his University, but we spent about three (maybe four) nights a weeks together at my place. By Valentines day, it was even more than that.

Then came Valentine’s Day itself. Shmerson planned a really nice evening out, and had brought a small rolling suitcase with him because he was planning on spending the weekend.

Oh! But before I continue this story – I must tell you of a shopping trip which happened a few days earlier. A legen- wait for it and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant – dary shopping trip. Just because it gave birth to a line that I will forever be trying to find a way to work into a script, but for now, I guess the blog will do.

I knew Shmerson was planning something big, so I decided to surprise him by wearing some sexy number under my dress. So Squish and I went lingerie shopping.

We were at a bit department store looking at lingerie, when we stumbled upon some ridiculously cute boxer and tank top sets with mickey mouse on them. And they were on sale.

We both looked at the sets longingly and debated. I mean, we love Disney, but at the time, Disney was being disappointing in terms of their films, plus – there was high school musical, and Miley Cyrus. So we were definitely in a moral dilemma about whether we wanted to pay into the big Disney corporate machine.  A heated discussion ensued. Finally, we decided that it was ok if we each bought a set, as long as we “wore it ironically.”

And that’s when the phrase “ironic underwear” was ingrained forever into my consciousness. Hopefully now it’s ingrained in yours as well. Use it well, dear readers, use it well.

Ok – back to our story. I bought a sexy red number along with the ironic underwear, and I was ready to go.

Shmerson came to pick me up with the rolling suitcase, and a stuffed bunny holding a heart in tow. Wearing black velvet pants. Yes. Black velvet pants. For him, at the time, that was considered “fancy.” I’m happy to announce that I threw away the black velvet pants during our first closet purge a few months later. But I forgave him the pants at the time, knowing that soon enough I would be doing most of the clothes shopping for him anyway. Men who buy black velvet pants are officially banned from shopping for their own clothes. (This is actually a very nice arrangement. I buy him semi-preppy rocker clothes, he looks hot, and he hates shopping anyway).

So, a nice evening was had. We went to this great little wine bar and got particularly smashed. The red lingerie was an unmitigated success. Shmerson slept over, and he never really left.

About a month later we realized that he had only gone to his apartment a couple of times to pick up stuff after valentines day.

So there never really was a “moving in” conversation. It was pretty much – “Oh, so I guess we live together now.”

“Yep, I guess so.”

“You Ok with that?”

“Yep. You?”

“Yep. Though – Maybe you should officially move out of that other place – you know, to save on the rent.”

“Yeah, I probably should. But let’s wait another month or so before I do. I think my parents would freak out.”

“Ok.”

(He called them two days later anyway, told them we were living together, and they did indeed freak out. They asked him to keep the other apartment for a couple more months. And he did. But by that time we had already adopted Luna, so it really was just to appease them. They’re kind of conservative, in the – we’re not sure our son should move in with his girlfriend after they’ve only been together for a month – kind of way).

The first several months of our living together were pretty happy and uneventful. I do remember at one point realizing that I was playing the happy housewife and freaking out a little. I even wrote him a love letter which ended with the sentence: “You made me bake cookies!”

That is indeed a dramatic statement coming from a reformed feminist. And that was only the beginning of my descent into wanting to be a 50’s housewife. But I think that part of the story (which involved my screaming uterus, and we’re not talking about that) may be for another time.

Tomorrow – how a trip to Philly made me finally understand what “home” really meant. 

Anniversary Week Post 1: How We Met

20 May

So I’ve been bad about blogging in general. I guess existential crises easily explained by sitcom metaphors will do that to a person. Plus Shmerson and I apparently have the plague, because we’ve both been pretty non-functioning sick for the last week.

Still, I kind of don’t feel like talking about That right now. I know it and its repercussions will be taking up plenty of blog space here in the near future.

Instead, I want to focus on the fact that exactly 7 days from today, Shmerson and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary. This wasn’t the first year of marriage either of us imagined – running to emergency rooms, spending most of our time grieving.

But it has made us stronger, and I want to celebrate that with you this week. Starting with telling you all the story of how Shmerson and I became what our friends fondly call us: “The Shmersons.” Today, I’d like to tell you how we met.

Facebook. Yes. You read it right. Shmerson and I met through an app called “Are You Interested.”

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would meet my husband on a silly FB app used mostly for booty calls I would have laughed in your face. But so it goes.

Basically, the app works like this – you set parameters: Age range, location, and such. Then the app shows you pictures. You click on people who you think are cute. If you click on someone, and they click on you as well, you get a notification and you guys can start communicating.

Now – mind you, I was pretty jaded with dating in general, and online dating specifically at this point. It had become an endless parade of guidos and assholes. But I’m not one for singles bars, and I work from home, so I kept at it.

After two particularly disastrous weeks with a 40 year old divorced film director (and a pretty crappy director to boot) that I had met on Jdate, I log on to the app, and see this picture:

“Not too bad” I think to myself. Plus – I have a long hair fetish. I have since I was 10 years old and saw Mike Patton for the first time in the music video for Faith No More’s “Epic”.

My picture on the app at the time was this one:

Needless to say – this was during one of my relatively skinny phases. Not half bad.

So I clicked away, and immediately got a pop-up saying that we have a match!

Mind you, I was still jaded from the 40 year old filmmaking hack. But I checked out pony-tail guy’s facebook profile and was pretty ok with it. Coen Brothers fan, “Lost” obsessed, listens to Pink Floyd, REM and Radiohead, and studies at the Israeli equivalent of MIT – so definitely smart. Hopefully not a sex-crazed asshole, doesn’t look like a guido, and not a filmmaking hack. So that’s definitely progress.

So starts a month long facebook message exchange. Yes, a month. Like I said before, I was jaded.

And our relationship almost didn’t happen. And it’s all Karl Marx’s fault.

We were talking about music and books. I had mentioned having a secret love of 80’s hair metal, and that I loved the Harry Potter series, had just finished a book by Coelho, and I adore Paul Auster.

Shmerson wrote back something like (and I’m paraphrasing here): “I don’t really know 80’s hair metal, and I think the Harry Potter books are ok**. I don’t get why people like Coelho so much. As far as authors go, I really like reading Marx.”

Now – this is a moment in which I need to explain a bit about Hebrew. “Marx” is spelled exactly the same way as “Marquez” – as in Gabriel Garcia Marquez – author of one of the most beautiful books ever written – “100 Years of Solitude”.

But I read it as Marx (which when I finally told him about, made him burst out in a fit of laughter). Plus – he had just downplayed the harry potter series, and said he didn’t know hair metal.

I read that message and decided this long haired “Lost” obsessive was a pretentious a-hole. I mean, who brags about reading communist manifestos? That’s just weird. I had just had a short-lived relationship implode with another pretentious a-hole.

So I didn’t write him back.

And it would have ended there.

Except, Shmerson, who was usually incredibly insecure, decided on whim to persist. When I didn’t answer, he waited about a week and then wrote me a short message giving me an out: “Still busy with work?”

I gave in, I wrote back, and our FB courtship continued. To this day Shmerson jokes that if it wasn’t for his deciding to write that second message, well – who knows where we’d be. But such is fate. Or randomness. Or whatever I believe in (darn it Mo leave your existential crisis at the door today, will you?).

Aaaaaanyway, I remember that sometime during this month Me0Me came for a sleepover and I told him about this guy I was talking to on facebook. We hadn’t met yet. I said to him “I’ve been saying my first name with his last name to myself in the last couple of weeks. And I haven’t even met the guy. Isn’t that weird?”

I guess now that I actually do have his last name – it’s not that weird. At the time, Me0Me took it in stride. I found out later that, at the time, Shmerson was just about as jaded as I was, and had decided that most likely nothing significant would come out of our exchange, but hell – at least maybe he can get laid from this thing (mind you, in his defense, this was generally a very un-shmerson-like thought)***.

It was finally time to meet but neither of us wanted to put too much pressure on the whole situation. A band that I had recently directed a music video for was performing in town, so I suggested he come to the show, and “bring a few friends” if he wanted. Basically a non-date (today we refer to it as our “Zero Date” since we hadn’t wanted it to count as a date when we first planned it).

16 people showed up at that club. Luckily, Shmerson was among them (sans friends). After a rather lame set by the band, we hung out with them a bit, I took a couple of hits off their pot, playing it cool. Turns out Shmerson wasn’t a pot smoker. I really wasn’t either. Ahh well. After a while the band piled into their van and I suggested Shmerson and I hit a coffee shop. At that point we hadn’t really talked much.

We got to the coffee shop – and I basically knew it was meant to be the moment the waiter walked up to us and we both ordered cokes. Neither of us likes coffee.

We talked for several hours. One of those really awesome conversations. Sometime during it I decided that I am a 28 year old woman, and I’m done playing games. It was the most open and honest first date conversation I had ever had. We clicked immediately. After about 3 hours Shmerson dropped me off at home. And we had our first kiss.

At 3am I call Squish.

“He dropped me off 20 minutes ago and I can’t stop smiling.”

And just like that – I knew I had met the man I was going to marry.

Yes – through a freakin’ Facebook App.

It’s not knight in shining armor romantic, I know. But heck – at least it involves communist manifestos and a pot-smoking band, right?

Tomorrow – how Shmerson came over for Valentine’s Day weekend and never left. 

** I am happy to report that since that exchange, Shmerson has changed his mind and is now a big Harry Potter fan. I think it’s kind of hard not to be when your wife has read the books so many times she may have set a world record.

***Shmerson later told me that the “just getting laid” thing went straight out the window the moment we started to really talk. I mean – I’m sure he still was hoping to get laid, he was at the time a 26 year old man and that is very much a justifiable motivation. But to his credit, he didn’t even try to cop a feel by the end of the night. So I tend to believe him.

Sunday – The Day of the Doctors: Help me prep!

8 Apr

Ok, so here’s the deal: I’m a mess.

No, seriously. I’m a complete mess. The last week or so I’ve been detached, I’ve had middle-of-the-night anxiety attacks (something that hasn’t happened to me in months), and two uncontrollable crying fits in the last 48 hours.

Something’s up.

I mean – duh, of course something’s up. What I mean is, too much is up. I think my anti-depressants aren’t working. And I think it’s not a coincidence that I started having panic attacks as soon as AF showed up.

So I decided to make Sunday my Day of Doctors. I already mentioned making an appointment with Dr. Twofer. That’s happening at 6pm. At 3pm I have an appointment with my GP just to go over some blood tests and get my mega-vitamin-D prescription renewed. So – I decided to go all out and add Dr. Happy Pills to my appointment list at 11am that same day. I’m a woman on a mission. By the end of sunday, I want to know what the hell’s going on with my body. I don’t care if it’s me being control-freaky. It’s time.

And for that – I need your help!

I’m about to spew a very long list of concerns and problems I’ve been quietly not thinking about or talking about. Once I’m done with them, I want all of you guys to chime in – I want to hear your opinion. What tests and workups should I be asking for? What am I missing? Am I exaggerating with anything? Should I just shut up? Because I tried shutting up with Dr. Blunt, and with all due respect, it just made me sit around and wait to have another miscarriage. I really want to feel like I’m in control of my body.

So – this is something I don’t think I’ve actually done on this blog before, but without further ado – here’s my whole sordid history:

Age 17 – first bout of depression and anxiety – periods start to become irregular. Go on BCP. (I think these two may be connected. More on that later)

Age 22 – Diagnosed with PCOS – stay on low dose BCP. No other action taken. Anxiety and depression still come in bouts.

Age 27: Lose the pill. Meet Shmerson. Periods incredibly irregular. Use condoms as Birth Control. Anxiety and depression still there. Still (somewhat) under control.

Age 29 – present (halfway to 31):

Because of Jewish Laws and such, I needed to make sure that AF was done a few days before me and Shmerson’s wedding, so that I can go to the “Mikveh” and the wedding would be recognized by the rabbinical institute here (long, annoying patriarchal story).

Anyway, because AF wasn’t regular, and the wedding was coming up, I took provera for 3 days to jump start AF. It worked. Because AF was irregular leading up to the wedding, Shmerson and I had decided to TTC right away (as in during the honeymoon). I was completely clueless even about ovulation at that point. Turns out those rabbis know their stuff, because the way they time it, you ovulate right around your wedding day. Clever bastards. So (I assume) due to that AF jump start I ovulated on our honeymoon and tada! Baby made. Didn’t find out I was preggo until I was around 5 weeks because I was so used to AF not being regular. I POAS on a whim and got a BFP.

Betas were normal. First US at 5 weeks showed a small sac.

I go and get my genetics tested to make sure all is well. I get the all clear so shmerson is told he doesn’t need to test for hereditary diseases.

Second U/S was scheduled for 8 weeks. 4 days before that I started bleeding, diagnosed with a blighted ovum. I ended up getting a D&C on the day we were supposed to see a heartbeat.

Anxiety and depression get worse. I decide they will get better if I get preggo again (really smart of me).

Surprisingly, AF shows up exactly when it’s supposed to – 30 days after D&C. Positive OPK on CD20. BD from CD 15-CD 21. Faint BFP on CD 27.

Now this m’dears is when things get complicated. Here’s where I share some stuff I haven’t shared here before, probably because I was too scared to think about it, let alone write or talk about it. It’s only in the last few days that this whole affair has started to come into focus for me.

So – Faint BFP on CD 27. Time to get a blood test to confirm right? Wrong. A perfect storm was brewing. It was Rosh Hashana – which is Israel’s equivalent of everyone else’s “Holiday season”. Two weeks of EVERYTHING being closed. Between that and my total state of denial I kept on putting off the blood test. I figure I would just go “after the holidays”. Denial is a wonderful thing.

But I knew I was preggo. I kept on getting BFPs. I peed on many sticks during those two weeks. Another fun fact: My anxiety was through the roof. This is when I started waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety attacks (this was every night. and they were BAD).

So, holidays are wrapping up, and I start bleeding. I call my obgyn. He brings me in that same day. He does an U/S, and he doesn’t find a thing. No sac. Nada.

He actually believes I’m either not preggo or I got my math wrong. I assure him: Positive OPK on CD 20. I’m almost 6 weeks along. Trust me.

He tells me that I need to get my betas done so that he’ll know whether he needs to go looking for that fetus. (In other words, there’s a chance this may be ectopic).

So the next morning, I get my Betas. They’re in the high 900’s. Bleeding still going strong. OB says to wait 72 hours and get another beta. I can’t wait that long. 48 hours later I get a second beta. it’s 1200. Numbers aren’t doubling. I call the doctor. By the time he calls me back I’m already passing clots. I know it’s over.

I come in two days later, he sticks his magic wand in my hoo-ha and says that all is clear. I say ok. I’m destroyed.

I don’t think to ask why the hell he didn’t see a sac in the first place, and why he’s only looking at my uterus and not at my tubes. I don’t think I want to know. I don’t think about the fact that this could have been ectopic.

Anxiety and depression become unbearable. AF becomes a clockwork 29-30 day cycle (this is the first time since the age of 18 that this happens without the aid of pills). Ovulation happens always between CD 17 and CD 20 (usually closer to 20).

I break down emotionally in December and decide to go to a shrink as Shmerson and I pick up the pieces and decide it’s time to figure out what’s up.

In the meantime, I start having a slight sense of cramping on my right side during AF and up until ovulation. Then it goes away. This happens every month. I decided to ignore it (oh god please don’t let there be something wrong with my tubes. please don’t tell me my last pregnancy was an ectopic and this pain is because of that).

I go see Dr. Blunt. I don’t tell him about the pain because I’m stupid and I’m in denial. He sends me to do a clotting test. My MTFHR says I’m a Heterozygote. Dr. Blunt says that means that I’m fine and I don’t need anything. He suggests progesterone supplements after a BFP. I ask him to do a hormonal workup (all I’ve had checked is my thyroid) he says I don’t need it. I’m uneasy with this, but in the spirit of “letting go of control” I go along with it. And in that same spirit, he doesn’t give me an US or anything.

In the meantime, I go to my GP for a general blood workup- high blood pressure and a vitamin D deficiency, and also, elevated lymphocytes, which are basically antibodies. That usually happens right after a sickness, but for me I’ve always had it. Doctor wants to monitor lymphocytes. I have no idea why and whether that has anything to do with anything.  I start taking prescription dose vitamin D and decide to quit smoking because that will obviously help with the blood pressure thing. And yeah, I should really quit smoking because of all the other stuff too.

I quit smoking. Shmerson and I start TTC again. Ovulation not monitored but guessing it was on CD 17. AF starts on CD 30 and that freaking pain on my right side comes right along with it (worse than ever).

And on the night before AF starts,  I wake up with an anxiety attack. The first time that’s happened since I started meds. And then the next night it happens again.

And the last two days, I’m pretty much as much of a wreck as I was right after the second miscarriage.

I have realized that it was all nice and good while Shmerson and I weren’t TTC, but now that we are again, I need to take control of my care. I cannot wait around to have another M/C.

I also can’t spend another TWW like I did this one. I also cannot handle being back with all of that anxiety and non-functioning depression. So when I go to my day of doctors on Sunday (in case you’re curious, sunday is Israel’s monday), I want to come armed with everything I need to tell them, everything I want to ask, and a list of every test me (and possibly shmerson) need to take.

I’ve got a few guesses.

I think that maybe – just maybe my PCOS is causing a hormonal imbalance that has resulted in increased anxiety, and that the meds may be masking that.

I think my second pregnancy was an ectopic that cleared, though I have no proof of that except the beta numbers and that stupid nagging pain on my right side that was never there before.

I think that if I have another miscarriage I may go insane.

And now I need your help.

What do I say to Dr. Happy Pills? Should I stay on the anti-depressants if they’re not working for me? Should I just detox off of them and hope that balancing out my hormones will do the trick and take xanax until that happens?

What do I ask Dr. Twofer? The man’s a gyno and an endocrinologist, and I’m paying for a private consultation, that means, everything is on the table. Every test in the book. I just don’t want him to think I’m crazy. Am I imagining this ectopic? What affect would a prior ectopic have on TTC at this point?

Have at it ladies – I need all the help I can get. I need to come in armed with a plan and take control of this Biyatch.

So – theories, personal experiences, debunkings, lists of tests, screaming at me to shut up, lists of questions – all of it. Lay it on me.

Thanks!!

Me in a Nutshell

21 Feb

Hi there ICLWers!

If this is your first time here, I thought you may want a rundown of what my deal is. So here’s a blow-by-blow from heavy to light:

1) I’ve had two miscarriages in the last year. Still haven’t found a reason why. The second one brought on an existential crisis and a serious case of ptsd, so I am now taking happy pills and working on figuring out what I want to be when I grow up (apart from a mother, of course). It’s been a long hard road these last few months, but things are slowly getting better. We’re not back on the TTC train yet, but we’re hoping on getting there soon.

2) Though my writing style, my endless pop culture references, and my overuse of the words “like” and “dude” as in “it was like – so awesome dude” would make you think I am most likely American, I am not. I am Israeli. I spent a large chunk of my life in the US though, including all of elementary school, and undergrad and graduate school, so my accent and my writing are pretty much as American as you can get. And yes, I think in English, therefore I blog in English. Therefore I am in English. Or something.

3) I work from home, mostly on the family business but I also do a bunch of internet content editing stuff. I also have recently started teaching film to high school kids, which is challenging and fun. I’m also a filmmaker, as in, writer/director (which is what I have my lovely yet often useless MFA in), but a serious lack of confidence is holding me back from letting my film flag fly. I am working on it though, I swear.

4) If you’re clever enough you can find my name around here (only in embedded things so I can fool the google machine), but I blog anonymously, not because I’m ashamed of what’s going on with me, but because I don’t want current/future employers to google me and decide that I’m crazy. The evidence around here to support that fact is overwhelming. But in my opinion, in a good way.

5) My philosophy in life is that chocolate fixes everything (except the few extra pounds I carry around with me most of the time). If you believe that too click on the heart-shaped button on the right! (sorry for the shameless plug).

6) In this whole self-discovery kick I’m on, I’ve begun to have conversations with myself. Click here if you want a peak inside my screwed up head.

7) I have a sometimes unhealthy obsession with the 90’s.

8 ) Shameless plug #2 – I will be fulfilling a fantasy of mine this year by live blogging the oscars right here! Would love it if you join me!

9) My husband (AKA Shmerson) and I speak in tongues.

10) I was sans-internet for about 4 days, so I apologize for the ranty internet withdrawal posts that you will see on this first page.

So read, comment away, and of course – have fun!

And now: Decisions dilemmas and most of all – patience

17 Dec

There are no miracle cures. Xanax for a week, Zoloft for a year, reading endless harry potter books… whatever your drug it is not a solution. It’s a bridge.

I am in limbo.

I realize this.

There are moments in the day where all I want to do is jump right in and try to have a baby again. and now!

there are moments in the day when I just want to get my $h*t together and make a damn movie already.

There are moments in the day when I just want to sit down and watch a rerun of “The Big Bang Theory” and eat some chocolate.

But I am trying something I have never tried before: patience.

I cannot make decisions in a day. I will make the decisions as needed, as they come, as I am ready to make them. And maybe I’ll update this little blog and tell you – anonymous non-reader out there, what they are.

But here’s the point – and this is just in case some woman out there is reading this. And she is in pain from losing a baby. Until this happens to you, you don’t realize how common it is.

And when you realize how common it is, it is still not a comfort. This devastates. This destroys. This breaks you into a million little pieces.

and I have no words of comfort. I am, myself, looking for words of hope and comfort and no matter what peoples’ intentions are, there really are none.

But I’m here. I’m writing this. And that’s a beginning.

We’ll see what’s next.

Chapter 14: bless you, xanax

17 Dec

And 14 posts in, we are up to yesterday. I go to the shrink, and he gives me this lovely little pill. And for the first time in months I feel calm.

It’s just for the next couple of weeks, until the Lustral/zoloft kicks in, but my god – clarity is a good thing. I am functioning, I can concentrate. I can eat again (which may or may not be a good thing!).

I keep on poking around in my mind looking for a panic attack. Sometimes I find the beginning of one. Sometimes I don’t, but that’s progress.

Yesterday I even managed to speak to my psychologist about being creative again.

You know – looking at this objectively dear reader, whomever you are, you may think I’m nuts. You may think it’s a cop-out to take pills to deal with my crap.

Heck – I feel that way sometimes.

But a friend once told me that pills are a bridge to help you step from darkness into the light. And lord knows, I need that bridge.

Chapter 13: 5 days of panic

17 Dec

So on day one of the pills I felt good. Mostly because I was happy that I finally took a step. My friends were proud of me, my husband was proud of me, bla bla bla.

then on day two things started getting weird. I was feeling restless and jittery. i couldn’t concentrate. I was panicky. All the time. $h*t was bad.

And it kept getting worse and worse. All I wanted to do was sleep. I had absolutely no appetite (which, for those who know me – is WEIRD!)

Things were just messed up.

Two days ago I snapped once again. I had a project to do and I couldn’t keep it together. I was literally feeling like I was losing it. Finally I called a friend who had some experience with this and she told me to call the shrink. this is not normal.

See – I have a tendency not to ask for help. To “tough it out”. She was yelling at me “ASK FOR HELP!” And my poor husband, who is incredibly sane and sensible, had no idea what to do with me. If I was a wreck before, now I was the shards of the shards of the dust that you find after you clear the wreckage out.

So back to the shrink I went.

Chapter 12: Happy pills?

16 Dec

I spend two weeks feeling like a person who’s learning to drive stick but keeps on throwing the clutch.

some background: I basically make my living doing freelance content work. Web, cellular, that kind of stuff. On occasion I try to get a film off the ground, but my self confidence in that area has been shot for quite some time.

So I work from home. This may sound like fun, but trust me – it is not.

The two weeks after the move are spent with me trying to get projects off the ground, procrastinating, not sleeping, watching lots of mindless downloaded programming, having panic attacks, and falling into a detached stupor.

What I wrote above was basically an accurate description of every single day.

10 days ago I had enough.

I’ve been thinking about going on anti-depressants for quite some time. I always resisted. And now I want to have a baby, so how the heck can I even consider it. I barely even take advils. so anti-depressants? Me? Really?

Well, three panic attacks per day and an average of 3 hours of sleep per night are apparently my limit.

That and the fact that I was feeling stuck. Unable to function. Trying to drive a stick and throwing the clutch at every hill.

10 days ago I decided that enough is enough.

I knew I may change my mind in a split second. So I told my husband. I told my best friends. I told my mom. I told my psychologist. I told my brother. Everyone except my dad because he wouldn’t understand.

Luckily my dad is not the blog-reading type.

I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. He just had a cancellation the next day. So on Thursday December 9th I spent an hour in an office describing a decade of anxiety and depression. and the two months of utter hell that I have just been through. He prescribes Lustral – for you americans – AKA Zoloft.

He says it should be safe if I get pregnant. It’s time to stop the suffering. But there’s a catch:

I have an anxiety disorder. And that means that with the pills, it will most likely get worse before it gets better.

I can handle that, right…?

Chapter 11: Breaking point

16 Dec

We move.

For about 3 days I’m starting to feel content. Picking up some of the pieces. Some. Slight optimism. But no. I’m still not doing well. Panic attacks. Insomnia.

I am not functioning. I haven’t been functioning for months.

I lost two babies. Nothing makes sense anymore.

I go to a new OBGYN. I like this guy. He’s sympathetic. he’s sweet. I think he and I will get along just fine.

Next stop: hemotologist (how the heck do you spell that?) to check why the heck this keeps on happening.

I feel better for two days.

And then – not.

Every time I scrape my way up a wall I slide right back down.

I am stuck. Everything is stuck. I am shattered.

Chapter 10: Panic

16 Dec

I’ll detach emotionally for a second so I can give a little background. I’ve had anxiety attacks more or less since the age of 17. I also sometimes have long periods of depression.

Usually these things are manageable. I always find a way to crawl out of it. Some therapy – a new project – something always brings me out of it. I always find the strength.

I’ve had panic attacks before, but the week leading up to our move back to haifa brings on Horror attacks. there is no other way to describe it. Sheer terrifying screaming I-am-going-to-die horror.

Don’t worry. It won’t last. Just get through the move. Then things will be better.

I am lost. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know where I’m going.

I am in a million little pieces.

A mentor and hero of mine suggests I write a love letter to my dead babies. She means that I do it through video – my medium. I am after all a filmmaker, right? Right. Maybe. I don’t know what I am.

So I just write them a love letter. A letter in which I tell them how sorry I am that I am not a whole enough person to keep them in my body.

I am in a million little pieces.

Chapter 9: Resolutions

16 Dec

This was a wake up call.

I need to take it easy.

I need to move slowly.

I need to figure out what I want in order to be a better mother.

I need to prepare my body to make it better for the next time we try.

I need to start doing yoga.

I need to eat healthier

I need to make more money.

I am in a million little pieces.

I am nothing.

Chapter 8: Wait – who am I again?

16 Dec

It’s october. we have not found an apartment. we have not found an apartment and we are not having a baby.

I am a terrible person who caused this. I was under stress I was in a rat race (and what for – really?). I drank too much Coke Zero. I worked too hard.

I am not a woman. I am not worthy of being called a woman.

What the heck am I doing? What am I chasing? Why am I working two jobs – and two jobs I hate?

Aren’t I supposed to be a director or something? When was the last time I even directed something? I am worthless.

I can’t even keep a baby in my body. I am toxic. I am nothing.

My husband suggests we move back to Haifa. Closer to my parents to the old studio apartment we used to live in. Let’s take things easy. Try to take care of ourselves. Re-group.

I am nothing. I am a million little pieces.

Chapter 7: My world collapses

16 Dec

Ok – so I was dreading getting to this point in the story. Deep breath. Here goes.

A couple of weeks after my birthday I start bleeding. Not spotting. Really really bleeding.

Emergency  doctors appointment (he sees nothing on the US but believes me that I had 20,000 positive home tests).

blood test. Confirms HCG levels at around 900. Way too low for where I’m supposed to be.

Then the pain starts.

I’m not going to go into a description of what it feels like to miscarry naturally. It’s actually less painful than a D&C. But psychologically – it’s about 100 times worse.

One week of a continuous nightmare.

Second doctors appt. Yes – the baby is gone. No more fetal material left in the uterus.

Then – I Break into a million tiny little pieces.

Chapter 6: 30th Birthday

16 Dec

Things were crazy. Our lease was coming up on our apartment and our landlords decided they wanted to move in, which for us meant no renewing and in november we were homeless. We had been thinking of buying a place so we started apartment hunting. At this point I was also working two jobs, not getting much sleep, and we were contending with some serious money troubles (weddings, apparently, take a toll on you wallet no matter what). In short – 18 hour days, lots of worries, and a pregnancy – which I was in complete denial of.

I’ll quit smoking once I get to week 8 – I swear.

My 30th birthday came with its own challenges. I was 4 weeks along, and we weren’t telling anyone except the future grandparents, and my three best friends who I can’t keep secrets from. ever.

Denial. It’s a wonderful thing. I kept on chugging along with my over-caffeinated, 20 hour days, and the stress of figuring out whether we can afford to buy a house.

I didn’t even go for a blood test to confirm. But I was pregnant. 15 pee sticks confirmed it (a new record?).

Chapter 5: Pee sticks are my friend

16 Dec

I know I’m running through these rather quickly. But I figured it’s important to go over the near past before delving into the present and future.

I handled the miscarriage well. Relatively. I think. I mean, as well as can be expected. I did what I always do. Control everything. at every turn.

I have a friend who recently miscarried. Right after my D&C she told me that the upside is that my monthly cycle will be – finally- regular.

And she was right. precisely 28 days after my D&C my period showed up (I know, I know, TMI). The doc said that after the first period we can start trying again.

And this time – I was prepared! Ovulation kit: Check. Obsessive googling about optimal timing: Check. Frequent visits to peeonastick.com: Check (that last one by the way became so frequent that it just automatically popped up whenever I opened a browser. ).

You’re supposed to check for ovulation starting about 13 days after your period – and about once a day. I started to check on day 8. By day 14 I was checking twice a day. On day 18 I started freaking out. On day 20 it was positive. But you know, we tried the whole time. just to make sure.

On day 21 I felt weird. I was pregnant again. I could feel it. I just needed the proof.

two weeks of waiting and of course – once again using the google machine to constantly check if the little pinching I felt on my ovary/heartburn/frequent peeing/feeling hungry/going to sleep and waking up/etc meant I was pregnant.

Then came the new sticks. 7 brand-spanking new pregnancy tests. You’re supposed to start testing about 4 days before your period is due.

I started testing 7 days before. Of course. (what can I say – peeing on sticks is an addictive practice).

Lo and behold – 2 days before my period was due – a positive – albeit a faint one.

No happiness this time. Mostly skepticism. Other things were going on….

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