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Diary Of A Lost Pregnancy, Part 10: Steve The Cat

On September 17, 2014, I went for a routine 8-week prenatal check-up. It was the only routine thing I would do for more than two months.

During this time, I e-mailed a small group of people. Some were aware of the pregnancy, some had plans with me that would need to be broken, and still others simply asked after my health on the wrong day. This is the 10th of 11 such messages. They have been edited to remove identifying information and inside references, but otherwise remain largely unchanged.

November 16, 2014
Dear Friends,

Some of you know about this already, but back in August, just as I was beginning to wonder if I might be pregnant, my cat died. She'd been sick most of the summer and I'd been spending my free time nursing her; sticking drops in her ears, feeding her special food, giving her shots of Pedialyte in one of those baby syringes used to dose kids' ibuprofen. She rallied for a while and we decided to take a little weekend getaway. When we returned, there was Steve the cat, dead on the floor by our back deck.

It was the first time my daughter had seen me cry. She earnestly asked me, with more than a little worry in her eyes, "Mommy, what's wrong with your face?"

Somehow, I managed to find a wonderful, compassionate pet cremation service. Not only was the guy willing to pick up on a Sunday, he was at our house within the hour. It was a tough hour, knowing that our sweet little kitty was sitting in a garbage bag, but the guy who took her was so kind and understanding. He answered all of my daughter's questions (to be fair, most had to do with what he looked like, so all he had to do to answer them was show up), honored our wish that Steve be kept wrapped in the towel we'd used to cover her, and - crucially - brought her remains back to us the next day. We still haven't decided where to scatter them, but at least that part of the process is over. We can get back to cleaning up after our remaining cat and wondering, on occasion, why the pet gods couldn't have spared the less vomity one.

I think I would feel differently if the guy who handled my cat's body had returned her ashes one tablespoon at a time, once a week, for two months running. At first I'd feel grateful for all the time and energy he was expending to bring my pet back to me. I'd probably see him as a tragic figure, forced by some obscure regulation to dip into my private life time and time again. But after a while, I'd just be sick of the sight of him. I'd probably tell him to stick his sincere apologies up his well-intentioned ass and leave me alone.

Worse, I'd lose sight of my cat. I wouldn't be able to associate the little piles of ash with any sort of loving or meaningful tribute; I'd just see a mess.

I did a blood draw on Friday and, as expected, the level of hCG had roughly halved to 7.2 - just outside the upper limit for a negative test. The results don't usually come until the following Monday, but a new midwife was on duty Friday and got the news to me right away. It turns out this is an excellent way to ruin a weekend. She included a note saying how sorry she was that I have to go through "weekly reminders of [my] loss." This is an extremely kind thing to say that makes me feel like punching a baby seal. I try to think of those weeks back in August and September, how nervous I was to take a pregnancy test, and how excited to see the positive result; how much I looked forward to everything from telling my wider circle to watching my daughter grow into a big sister. I'd like to honor that somehow, maybe just scatter some ashes in my heart, but I can't because an endless series of well-intentioned people gently ruin my life each week.

If the pattern holds, I'll be under 5 next week and the blood draws will be over. Then I can express my true gratitude and appreciation for the compassionate support I've received over the past two months. Right now, I've got another mess to clean up.



* Diary Of A Lost Pregnancy, Part 1: No Fetal Heartbeat.

* Diary Of A Lost Pregnancy, Part 2: Firing Squad Or Hemlock?

* Diary Of A Lost Pregnancy, Part 3: Remember The Challenger.

* Diary Of A Lost Pregnancy, Part 4: Mommy, What Does Bupkes Mean?

* Diary Of A Lost Pregnancy, Part 5: D&Cs Suck.

* Diary Of A Lost Pregnancy, Part 6: The Garage Doors Of Fresno.

* Diary Of A Lost Pregnancy, Part 7: Like A Pelvic Game Of Asteroids.

* Diary Of A Lost Pregnancy, Part 8: Zero Is The Target.

* Diary Of A Lost Pregnancy, Part 9: Show Stoppers.


Wednesday: My pregnancy is now over.


Comments welcome.


Posted on February 3, 2015

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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