Temporary Service Interruption- Tuesday May 24th

The day has finally arrived! I have yet to buy a headstone for my son, but I have finally manage to arrange to have my blog redesigned. See, it started out as a tongue in cheek advice column. Then I made it a little more personal, then my baby died. I kind of hate the left overs of the old blog. It makes me squirm to think back on the days when I would bitch for three days about getting the boot after three parking tickets because that was the worse thing that had ever happened to me. Now my life is changing again, and thanks to the lovely and talented Franchesca at Small Bird Studios, my blog is getting a wardrobe change.


Poor Lucky Me will be under construction for the next week or so. If you want me to email you when I’m back up and running, just send your address to advice@poorluckyme.com.


Thanks everyone, for helping Tom and I along our way.

Firsts- Monday May 23rd

I got my first baby gift this weekend. It’s not at all surprising that my dear friend EJM was so thoughtful and hopeful about this baby. But I was surprised that I didn’t feel more superstitious about getting a gift. I put that Pipsqueek onsey right on my belly and smiled and laughed without a twinge of fear.
Maybe it helps that I don’t believe in superstition. I step on cracks all the time, and my mother is in good health. I didn’t even knock on wood after I wrote that. It also may be that all my assurances that I’m just going to enjoy this pregnancy every day that I can is true. Sometimes I thought I was just saying it because it felt like the right thing to say…then all of the sudden it’s completely true.


In other news, I won a blogging award! Ever since I joined the baby-loss/infertility blogging community I’ve jealously watched other bloggers give each other awards. Getting praise from your friends and family over your writing is nice, but getting praise from the insiders is a particularly coveted prize.


Without further ado….






1. Link back to the person who gave you the award


Thank you The One in Eight Couple!


2. Tell 7 things about yourself


-I am an embarrassingly picky eater.  As is, I went to Paris and mostly ate cheese and French Fries.


-I am an obsessive reader.  I often forgo sleep to read.


-I never considered getting married or having children until I met my husband.


-I talk to my parents at least once everyday.  Luckily, my husband finds this charming.


-Instead of lamenting that I didn’t have the guts to major in creative writing in college, I’m determined to someday go to graduate school for creative writing.  Unless I write a book first.  You can all hold me to it.


-I know how to needlepoint, sew, create mosaic tile art, and paint.  All badly but with gusto.


-I got a D in Italian while I was living in Italy studying abroad.  I should have failed the class but my teacher admired my enthusiasm.


3. Award other bloggers- The Versatile Blogger Award is for 15 recently discovered bloggers (I cheated.  I only got to 10 and a few aren’t recently discovered.  But I really really enjoy them all.  I also tried to add a few unexpected blogs for your enjoyment):


Buck Up Buttercup

Second Hand Happiness

Gratuitous World

Here We Go Again

My Hormonacoaster

Mommy Odyssey

The Inadequate Conception

Feeling Beachie

Life Philosophy 101 for the Squirrelly Senior Citizens



Thanks again One in Eight, you made my day!

The Hungry Caterpiller – Thursday May 19th

When Tom G and I got to hold Tommy Jr in our arms in the NICU we read him The Hungry Caterpillar together. It was our only shot at doing parenting things with him and I’ve always dreamed of reading the classics to my children. Tom knew it would give me a little comfort to read to Tommy Jr.


I’m having a hard time writing this without crying.


The Hungry Caterpillar has become like a religious icon for me. Anytime I see it my eyes prick with tears and I have to take deep breaths. It represents the perfect sliver of family time that the three of us go to share that day. I don’t have the same reaction at the cemetery, or when I look at the pictures of Tommy (although that’s very difficult still), but that Hungry Caterpillar just tears me up. It’s weird the things that get you when you lose someone.


I wish my belly was sticking out already. I mean, it is sticking out, but that’s just because I went off of Weight Watchers and started eating like I was preparing to be the next mixed martial arts champion. Actually those MMA guys probably eat really carefully. I’m more like those people in the show “I’m addicted to food” or “The 600 Pound Woman”. In fact whenever I tell people I’m pregnant they look at my stomach, and I want to say “no no, that’s just my regular belly, not my baby belly”.


Sometimes I try to fast forward my brain to the day that I’ll get to hold and kiss and snuggle a big fat baby. I can’t really bring myself to image it.

Details- Tuesday May 17th

It’s taken me a while to write the details because I have so many conflicting emotions. Then yesterday I had a great talk with a friend who convinced me to stop being cautiously optimistic and start being hopeful. I have to visualize this baby making it to 37 weeks and being born all fat and happy and healthy. Not getting my hopes up (keeping my hopes down?) isn’t going to protect my heart if something happens, it’s going to get in the way of me enjoying being pregnant. So that’s the end of that.


Most of the conflicting emotions are too obvious to bother writing down. There are a couple of issues though, that people might not realize are coming up.


First of all, and most frustrating, is that many of my loved ones can’t seem to help but think I’m now cured of my sadness. I understand the sentiment, I know it’s been terribly difficult to watch me struggle this past year. I am overjoyed to be pregnant again, but it does not detract one iota from the sadness and longing I’ll always have for Tommy Jr. I’ll always have one less child then I’m supposed to. My broken heart has healed a lot because I was surrounded by love and support, because people propped me up when I couldn’t muster my own courage, and because I worked really really hard. But the new pregnancy doesn’t dilute my feelings about the last one.


Second of all, I’ve already had some one ask if this was my first pregnancy. I think that’s a weird question to begin with…what’s the difference? But it presents me with an awkward choice. Either I spare the person and say yes, which I don’t like to do because I want to acknowledge my son, or I drop the bomb. The first time someone asked I said, “This is my second pregnancy, the first one is a sad story”. I think is the best I can do. I know sometimes I’ll be in a bad mood and drop the bomb because I get annoyed that people ask such thoughtless questions. But on my good days I know that thoughtless questions are usually innocent and always forgivable.


Remember when I wrote that post about being wrong and how I wasn’t pregnant? My math was just off- I was testing the wrong week. In fact I felt so pregnant that then I thought I was having a hysterical pregnancy. When we were finally positive, I had an actual panic attack. We got pregnant the first try! I thought I would have more time to prepare. A few minutes of deep breathing later and I decided that this was just meant to be. And I don’t even believe in that. I spent two days telling Tom “I TOLD YOU” and laughing. This pregnancy has been different too, which I’m sort of relieved about. I feel happily nauseous and exhausted and crabby and fat. And I love every minute of it…even when I’m complainering.

Celebrating Life- Thursday May 12th

As much as I feared Tommy Jr’s birthday as it approached, it actually turned out to be a wonderful day. Tom has finals this week so he couldn’t get away from studying. So instead of lying in bed and being sad, I went to my parent’s house and spent the morning with my Mom.


My Mom and I went to the Botanical Gardens where my two most creatively thoughtful friends donated a tree to Tommy Jr. The tree is near the Model Train Garden, which is the perfect place (maybe the best place on earth) to go on a sunny day and think about the joy that my son brought into my life. It’s the perfect place to imagine the spirit of my son hanging around, watching the trains and being with other little boys.


I felt so comforted thinking that my wonderful friends provided a place for Tommy Jr to hang out. Much more fun then the cemetery full of old people and mourners! He wants to be with other babies and trains!


I got dozens of touching emails, texts, calls and Facebook messages from my friends and family. My heart healed even more knowing how many people were touched by Tommy, and thought of him on his special day.


After soaking up the sunshine and laughter in the Model Train Garden, I raced back to the city for a doctor’s appointment.


It turns out that I’m pregnant.

Mother’s Day- Sunday May 8th

I thought I’d be very sad today. I expected to cry and reminisce and cry more. Instead I woke up feeling confident and secure. I am a mother, and a good one. I feel sad every day that my son is gone, but today I just felt happy to have a son. Those five days were the best five days of my life, and his death didn’t take them away.


My own wonderful, beautiful, charming, funny, dear mother threw a party today. My in-laws and relatives came to honor Mother’s Day and Tommy Jr’s birthday. We had such a fun time- our two families make a great team and there’s no shortage of laughter. My mom gave a little speech toast acknowledging all of the mothers and my boy’s birthday. It was so thoughtful and when she looked right at me I knew that she really thought of me as a mother. She wasn’t just being nice.


We talked on the phone afterwards and she laughed at herself because she had forgotten some of what she had planned to say. “I forgot the most important part,” she said “which is that you mother everyone in our family. You take care of us all.” I was so moved to hear her say that. I do feel very responsible for the emotional needs of my family. I try and keep everyone together, I carefully share or withhold information as I see fit. I don’t always make the right decisions but I try, and even when I screw it up my family appreciates my efforts. In fact it’s hard to complain about being the family caretaker when they appreciate it so much.


A few of my friends texted me Happy Mother’s Day today. I got a perfect email from another mother, saying that Tommy was looking down on me with pride and would have tried to cook me breakfast today if he could. All of my relatives and in-laws hugged me enthusiastically and said Happy Mother’s Day. There wasn’t a minute that left my heart aching today. Even when I looked at Facebook and saw page after page of people saying Happy Mother’s Day I didn’t get sad, because I felt that I was included in their wishes. I am a mother.

How AT&T Made Me a Violent Person- Tuesday May 3rd

I am a pacifist. I don’t believe in the death penalty, or in rejoicing in Osama Bin Laden’s death. I think state-sanctioned murder is wrong. I hate war. I can’t watch boxing or scary movies.


Then, I encountered AT&T.


Actually I have long been a wireless AT&T customer, in fact my first cell phone was with Cingular- which became AT&T. I had a few struggles in the early ’00s but really they were my fault. If you don’t pay your bill for a few months things get hairy, and you can’t really blame anyone but yourself.


But you know how when you have to do something for work that you’ve been assured will be “no problem” so you tell your boss that it’s “no problem” then the next thing you know it’s a huge effing problem? And since you were the one who kept naively repeating what your AT&T rep told you: it’s no problem it’s no problem its no problem- suddenly you look like either an idiot or a liar? Or more precisely: an idiliar.


That’s the position I found myself in today when I was on put on hold for the fourth time in two hours. When the unsuspecting fourth AT&T customer “service” rep got on the phone I had to explain the problem. Again. I had to ask the person that if I sounded like a complete bitch to forgive me, it wasn’t his fault that the company he works for is obviously manufacturing a complicated conspiracy aimed at causing my co-worker and I to suffer aneurisms. I had to temper the hysteria in my fake laugh and fakely say “No problem!” when I was put on hold again when what I really wanted to do was smash the phone into my desk until it was an unrecognizable pile of Chinese manufactured plastic.


While I sat on hold for another 15 minutes my mind wandered. It ended up at a terrible place.


DISCLAIMER: I don’t know very many facts. I have a lot of vague theories based on things I heard while half-listening to NPR and driving badly. Sometimes I later discover that I actually had the radio tuned to KISS FM and it was Drex, not Michelle Norris, spouting off on the housing crisis. I try and be careful, which is why I’m warning you that I might not have this right…


If the Supreme Court decided that a corporation has the same rights as an individual (an American individual- not someone from the Arab world who’s been imprisoned at Gitmo for the past 10 years with no hope of facing a trail or a judge or being treated humanly or being charged with an actual crime) then theoretically a corporation should have the same vulnerabilities as an individual (being picked last for the softball team, getting too drunk at a breast cancer benefit and barfing in a fancy hotel lobby bathroom, repeatedly crashing their car into the cement pole next to their parking spot). And if a corporation can drive me to a level of rage-induced insanity I didn’t know I was capable of…perhaps I am capable of committing a violent act after all. Perhaps, if I could, I would murder AT&T.


I feel terrible writing that. What kind of a person am I? Even a thought-experiment about murdering a non-human makes me horrified by myself.


Then the AT&T rep got back on the line. “Huh,” he said “I think the person you spoke to earlier gave you the wrong information…”


I don’t know what he said after that. I came to a few minutes later, with my co-worker hovering over me with a worried expression on her face as my arms and legs jerked against the floor in spasms. “What happened?” I asked.


“I think you short circuited” she replied.


“Yes yes,” I said impatiently, “but did they fix the line?”


She nodded, “it’s fixed”. I burst into wracking sobs. My murderous rage was washed away by the tears of accomplishing a feat comparable only to climbing Mount Everest or hunting crocodiles with my bare hands or getting my Comcast cable fixed.


In the end, my pacifist nature prevailed. For now.

I’m Sunshine- Monday May 2nd

It makes me feel very pretty to have loads of gray hair and acne. It indicates that I am at once old and wise and youthfully bubbly. It’s like being the chubbiest person at the gym. I think it shows that I am jolly and unencumbered by societies standards yet dedicated to my health and fitness.


Today I was working out with kettle bells and a personal trainer stopped by to compliment my form. At first I felt so proud of myself, then I wondered if he said that because he didn’t expect a size 14er to be so agile. Because I am hella agile. I know it’s not cool to say “hella” anymore, I said it to be funny. The point is that I’m an enigma. Or like a superhero, but with no powers or waist. I can run a 14 minute mile though.


Tom is in the middle of preparing for his second round of finals. I don’t really know how it’s going. I want to ask but I’m so busy worrying about what I’ll eat and where I’ll walk the dog and how little laundry I can do and still look like I’m wearing clean clothes that by the time he gets home I’m exhausted. Taking care of me is a huge job, I don’t know how Tom manages.


It’s not just the constant demand to open windows, close windows, turn on the heat, now it’s too hot…although that is a really annoying thing I do. It’s also the incredible amount of attention I need. Jokes have to be laughed at, political rants must be agreed with (or else), long descriptions of things I saw on facebook or a blog or youtube have to be met with enthusiasm and remembered for when they’re referenced the next day. Being by myself reminds me what a wonderful husband I have.


I know Tom worries about me being alone, especially right now. We’re getting closer and closer to Tommy Jr’s birthday. My brother’s new baby made me incredible happy and proud…and wistful. Wistful is a nice way of saying jealous. Being jealous makes me feel like a complete jag-off. Luckily, because I’m an enigma, I can be a little jealous and wildly, insanely happy.

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