I’m Going for the Tote Bag – Making Sense of Absurdity

Crap. Fuck fuck fucking shit crap arse. I’m pretty sure I miscarried again.

I won’t bore you with the details because I don’t want this to be a diary of all my temps and fluids and ovulation predictor kits, but suffice it to say that I strongly suspected it 3 weeks ago and an extremely late ovulation kind of puts the seal on it for me. If you recall, I heroically battled my urge to take a frillion pregnancy tests and therefore had no confirmation, but the only times I’ve ever ovulated this late are when I’ve miscarried. That plus all the other signs and portents adds up to yet another early miscarriage. So that’s 4. Awesome. I’m so close to getting my frequent miscarriage card. I think you get a tote bag and fat discounts at the boxed wine factory when you hit 5.

I wanted to write the other day, last Friday when I came home to find a sample pack from Similac on my doorstep. Just sit with that for a minute. It included about twelve different pamphlets for “the new mother”, and four types of powdered baby food for the newborn infant who in no way exists at all in my home at this time. I did the math and realized that it must have been somehow related to the baby we lost in May, who, had it been born on the outside of the due date range, would have been a week or two old at that point. Somehow my pregnancy got sold to some marketing list somewhere (I’m looking at you, WhatToExpect.com) and the result was some very poorly vetted research that wound up as a box full of baby juice on my front porch. For my dead baby. Probably not the cognitive link they were hoping for: Similac = my dead baby. Pretty much forever. High fives and High Lifes all round for the online marketing department.

I wanted to write then, and I tried, but I ran up against two major blocks. One was that I was actually not utterly destroyed by it. I had an hour or so when I felt like I’d been kicked in the solar plexus and essentially wanted to give up and raise ferrets instead, but it passed and I was able to move on. I took a picture of the box and posted it on Facebook, and all my fierce beloved warrior women crowded the ether with their righteous anger on my behalf. It was awesome. A devout Christian woman whom I love most deeply (and who appears to love me equally despite my staunch and unrepentant atheism) commented that she was thinking some VERY bad words at Similac. That’s like some nuclear shit, yo. You don’t want to mess with a godly woman when she’s protecting her sisters. Another dear friend did not deign to feck about and deployed the word “douchenozzle”, which is not to be thrown around lightly. And that’s just a sampling of the inventive invective. I have some seriously savage and articulate GF’s. These women gave me the tremendous gift of validation, raised their voices in an outraged clamor and because they did, I didn’t need to. So I didn’t need to write.

(After checking through the 20+ comments on that post, I must correct the language above. It was not only women. There was one man, a creative and perennially smart-arsed artisan cheese maker with whom I once haunted the back parking lot of our high school, who commented and deserves to be noted here. He made me nearly pee my pants by reporting that he’d heard Similac pairs nicely with ice wine. Ice wine. Well played, sir. Well played.)

The other obstacle to writing was that I couldn’t find a larger meaning for the experience. So far in this blogging experiment I’ve gotten comfort from being able to pull all this heartbreak and insanity into a pithy little point, a message that makes sense of my despair. How do you make sense of something so absurd? All of this is absurd. My cups of pee; my obsessive nipples; the way that sex, which we have traditionally had in quantity and ever increasing quality for nearly 11 years now, becomes this occasionally onerous task and gives rise to questions like, “Should we fuck?” or “Have we done it enough or do we need to keep doing it?”, both of which are in the running for Least Arousing Come-on Lines EVER. It’s all absurd to a degree I never would have imagined.

And what, really, is the point? If I am a walking garbage disposal in which tiny little sparks of life are caught and then spat out with the rest of the trash, no matter what I do, what is the fucking point? Where in the hell do you find meaning in that?

Tonight, after getting the positive ovulation test at 21 days that confirmed, in my head at least, my fourth miscarriage, I wanted to give up. I want to give up. I want to storm out of the room I share with this fickle imaginary child, slam the door, scream that if it doesn’t want me then I don’t want it, and fuck it all anyhow cause I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to care anymore. I want to hurt its feelings and make it know how badly it’s hurt mine. I am sulking at my unconceived child. How evolved is that.

As I snarfed and snotted all over my husband’s sweater this evening he put some words to this absurdity for me. If you’re stranded on a desert island, he said, you can’t know if there’s a plane coming today, or tonight, or this week, or this year. You can’t know but you can’t just lay down and die. So you make your big-ass “HELP” sign, every night, without fail, and then you just have to lie down and get some sleep, because there’s no way you can make that plane come. If the plane comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. The only real failure is not making that sign, because it’s the only thing you have control over.

I kind of really wanted to suggest that if we ever have a boy we should name it Wilson, but he was in a moment and I didn’t want to distract him. And he was making a hell of a lot of sense.

Anyway, it’s nice to be back.






10 thoughts on “I’m Going for the Tote Bag – Making Sense of Absurdity

  1. Luna says:

    I hope you don’t mind, but I would like to quote that last metaphor from your husband on my blog. It just makes a lot of sense to me right now.

    P.S. I love your blog, I was telling my hubby about it this morning and he said, “This is brilliant, I am taking quantum physics over breakfast with my beautiful wife, living the dream baby, living the dream!”

  2. Please feel free to quote my husband’s sterling words of wisdom. I told him this morning and he got all pleased with himself. 🙂

    And thank you so much for your compliment. I’d like to say that it’s a well thought-out, intentional reflection or something, but really it’s just me barfing this stuff out into the ether. I’m so glad it’s resonating for folks.

  3. redbluebird says:

    I love your husband’s island/plane analogy. I’m sorry that this was another loss for you. And I can’t stand those douchenozzles either! I received some useless baby food and diaper coupons in the mail last month. Jerks.

  4. brianackerly says:

    I confess, I stole the notion of similac from musician Bob Schneider. The lyrics go something like:
    Rolling downtown in my big, red, Cadillac
    Sippin on ice wine, mixing it with similac,
    Feeling that amazing flow…

    But you know, when life hands you lemons, make chocolate cake and leave the bitches wondering how you did it. (I stole that to. I do have many of my own thoughts, but I’ve often been told it might not be good from a legal standpoint, to post the.

  5. sarah says:

    thanks for sharing this and for being so candid – larger meaning or not, you articulated better than I could some of what I felt after my first early miscarriage recently. also, for what it’s worth, I think similac can go to hell AND I agree that wilson is a great name for a boy. keep on keepin’ on!

  6. Sadie says:

    I’m here from LFCA; we have very similar ttc histories and it’s always nice to find someone who, sadly, ‘gets it’.

    I love your blog, you write beautifully and funnily and truthful. I wish I had your skill! I just wanted to say that there doesn’t always have to be a larger meaning. It’s shit and it’s random and as much as that hurts, we get it. I think that’s what’s great about this community – you’re allowed to just be your true self and know you’ll get support for it. Although I’m also glad to hear you have such great support around you in real life too.

    I’ll be following your journey from here and wishing you all the best.

  7. gradualchanges says:

    I’m sorry for the bad news of another loss… IF just sucks. You wrote another fantastic post though. Must admit, I’m a bit jelly of your mad blog skills.

    It’s weird how we always feel like we’re the only ones going through something and then someone else tells a story that we could have written… The “douchenozzles” at a nursing pad company got me after my miscarriage, and my “free” subscription to “Parenting” magazine is a monthly slap in the face. For both of these lovelies I believe I have the Motherhood Maternity store to thank.

    I also love your husband’s analogy and naming a boy child Wilson made me snort… fantastic!

  8. Rachel O. says:

    I just discovered your blog and though it’s a year later, I needed to hear the plane analogy today. Thank you and your husband for putting it out there in the universe!

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