Blue Moon

August 12, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone

"Once in a blue moon, someone like you comes along." - Van Morrison

Yesterday was a new moon. "During this phase the Moon is to close to the sun in the sky to be visible. The moon rises and sets with the sun and is not present in the night sky. Because of this the night sky is darker and an excellent time to view other celestial objects." (source: moongiant)

However, today, it's a Blue Moon. 

Ordinary eyes cannot see this blue moon. Why? Because only eyes like mine can. And if you want eyes like mine, you'd have to read the blog I posted yesterday - on the day of the new moon.

(Related Read: Crampy Hopes and Maybes)

If you haven't read my latest blog (which was posted about 18 hours ago), I will explain in short of how I was "1 day until next period." I use this app on my iPhone, called Pink Pad to help keep track and record my cycles. I was blabbering away about how the app wasn't always accurate, but "once-in-a-blue moon the estimation is exact, like on the dot."

Lo and behold, the estimation WAS exact! Hence why today is a blue moon, MY blue moon. A full blue moon. I couldn't believe it. 

I had awakened early this morning feeling dampness. I searched on the bed for any red marks on the cream sheets. I didn't see anything. I didn't feel any cramps either. I walked pretty fast to the bathroom, pulled down my sleeping boxers, and saw the red marks that I was searching for.

This time, my heart didn't sink. I didn't cry. I wasn't angry. I wasn't sad. I wasn't even shaking, like how I usually do when I start my period after a whole month of hoping that it wouldn't show up. No, I was relatively and freakishly calm. I didn't even pray to God to get me through it.

I think it was because I was "already half-disappointed, in case it didn't work." 

I walked back to the bedroom and did the same thing I had done last time: I sat on my rug, opened the app, and stared blankly at the calendar. We "baby danced" four out of seven days of what the app calls the "fertility window." Most importantly, we did it on the day that had a circle with a flower on it, which of course is the day that the app estimates as "ovulation day."

The app was accurate on my period alright. On the dot. Sadly, it was wrong about ovulation. I explained on my latest blog that the app wasn't accurate in the ovulation department. If it was, I would have been pregnant already, after losing Elijah. But I had already known not to depend on it for ovulation, but did so anyway - at least halfheartedly. I was let down so many times that I didn't want to believe in the app anymore.

I know that the app is not my body and it is better to listen to my body more than to a damn piece of shit app that knew nothing about losing a baby, and in my case, on trying to conceive after loss. Yeah, I admit, I'm now angry.

Because it's not fair. 

It's not fair how lots of women could have babies so easily and I can't.

It's not fair how I have to try so hard, educate myself, and be patient, while others could have and pop out babies like it was nothing, like they were being delivered fresh, ripened, juicy fruit on a gold, shiny platter. And all they had to do was have sex on that very one time, while my husband and I do so many times, but nothing freaking happens. I don't understand this. I can't.

It's also not fair that the one time I get pregnant, my baby dies just after five months of conception and after years of hope. 

I hate myself for sounding like the world is against me and if you think so, too, then I hate myself more. But this is real. This is what it's like to lose a baby and then not being able to have another one two years later. It's beyond frustrating, it's laborious, taxing, relentless, and discouraging. It makes me boil inside, while also on my knees, pleading to surrender. 

I could hear the song "White Flag" by Dido, softly playing in my head. It's funny because "hearing" this song made me play it, while writing these very words. 

I want to give up so bad and scream at God. I'm beyond exhausted and feel so used up, I have nothing left. Losing one baby made me lose my mind, but somehow, my heart still beats. My heart is the one thing that even with all of its wounds and scars, aches and pains, pushes me to open my eyes and puts one foot in front of the other. 

Sometimes, I want to lose both my heart and mind, and just do. Do whatever. Do whatever I want without thinking, without hoping, without any sort of control and just go completely bonkers. Maybe I'll be free. Maybe I'll stop crying. 

I thought about drinking cases of Blue Moon with my husband, while we play beer pong and get flat out drunk. It's been a very long time since I've felt that woozy, room spinning, euphoria of being "young and drunk." It's been a long time since I've had a hangover and needed a "hangover cure." Now, I get hangovers from being drunk on tears from grief

I'm surprised that at 25, I no longer do rounds of shots or drink beer after beer. Once I turned 22 and was almost 23, I slowed down to the point where wine was occasional and liquor was only on anniversaries. I guess that's a good thing? I've learned to control my alcohol early on. But that's also because I don't party or stay out late anymore, instead, I stay up late reading books, watching Netflix, or crying. 

Anyway, what if my husband and I drank Blue Moons, got crazy drunk, then had wild, passionate sex? Maybe then, we'd have our baby. 

When I worked at my former college bookstore, my boss found a can of Four Loko in the lunchroom. It was sitting in the mini fridge, half empty, but no one knew how long it had been there, it had just appeared one day. At first, my coworkers were joking about it. "Hey, do you know where my Four Loko went?" No one at work appeared or smelled drunk from alcohol. 

We all thought it was this one guy who never seemed to care about doing actual work, who eventually got fired. 

My boss went around asking everyone if it was theirs. When he asked me, I was thinking of something clever to say (because everyone was joking about it, but said that it wasn't theirs). I said: 

"No. I'm trying to get pregnant, why would I be drinking?!" 

My boss laughed and said, "That's how you GET pregnant!!!" 

We all laughed at that, even my boss, who was still mad about it for awhile. 

But seriously, that's where my head is at now. 

My mother-in-law brewed herbs that I hope would help with a pregnancy. It didn't. Probably because I hadn't fully committed to drinking the tea every single day or because I had only started the herbs not too long ago. It is now maybe a couple of weeks or so since the first batch, which I still haven't finished. 

But the fact that she would give me these herbs and encouraged me to take them meant a lot to me. She cared and thought about me; we had never told her about our struggles to conceive. She wanted to help. I just don't know if the herbs will, even though I wanted to start herbs for a natural pregnancy. 

I have become a little more health conscious over the past year and knowing that we could never invest thousands of dollars for IVF, nor would I try it, going the natural route to pregnancy seemed to be the best option. 

It's just a lot more discouraging when you start seeing all of these baby loss moms turn out pregnant after a round or two of IVF, while you're still researching natural methods for pregnancy and wondering if you could even afford to buy herbs and seek an acupuncturist and herbalist because Medi-Cal does not cover any sort of natural methods or medicines for pregnancy and today's Western doctors do nothing to support "alternative medicine." 

I have been reading The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies by Randine Lewis, Ph.D. Lewis is an acupuncturist and herbalist who studied both Western and Eastern medicine, with a specialty in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for fertility. She has worked with both IVF and non-IVF patients. 

I remember reading somewhere in her book about how using TCM and herbs does not magically get you pregnant within the first month/try. It could, but most likely, it takes time. The body needs time to heal. However, the herbs won't do much if you haven't changed your diet and lifestyle for more healthier options. I know that the natural process is a process - it takes time and there is no forcing, unlike IVF and Clomid.

But it's hard, being patient is hard, especially when you have waited years for your baby and one day, you waited all just to witness your baby die. 

Could I just take the easy route, not care about my health, drink Blue Moons until I get drunk and "accidentally" get pregnant, like so many people out there?? Like that movie, Knocked Up?

It's funny because I can't even "accidentally" get pregnant. It's awful. I can't even avoid "not, not getting pregnant." My world feels so upside down, nothing makes sense anymore. I could count on my body to have a period, but could I ever count on it to have a baby?

If the Blue Moon doesn't help, maybe I should try a Four Loko. It's stronger stuff and I'll get drunk way faster.

But I know that my lifestyle hasn't been the healthiest and I've let myself go over the years, even though I've stopped drinking like an alcoholic years ago. I've gained weight and sometimes don't want to bother losing it, in case I get pregnant and have to regain weight anyway. But that hasn't happened, I'm only procrastinating on my plans for running and yoga. 

This Blue Moon looks more like a red moon. A Blood Moon. A big, eye piercing, bloody moon. 

Sometimes, I hope to fall pregnant on a full moon. Because a full moon signifies a completion and to me, a mature egg. An egg that is ready to implant, an egg that gives birth to life. 

This Blue Moon makes me want to howl, asking God why sperm + egg does not = baby, why every moon cycle there is no baby?

I've thought about naming a baby girl Luna. Because if she happens to be our baby, she would be born on a Blue Moon, the moon that rarely rises and shines in the night sky of grief.


Today is also the seventeenth tally mark. The Seventeenth loss. I don't know if I have the will to fight anymore battles. I keep repeating that I'm tired, but still go on swimming without any breaths. I wish I had wings to fly, like Elijah.

We drove to the water today and as I watched the white caps in the water, I felt the wind wildly blow my face and hair. At times, the wind blew my body and there would be airplanes going against the wind, flying towards the Bay Bridge. Oh, how I had wished that I could fly, instead of swim. I wanted the wind to take me away because I'm tired of breathing above water.

In Lewis' book, she said that according to TCM, "menstruation is a period of rest." It is a time when the body is resting from all of the lining, building in the uterus and from all of the hard work that the body does to maintain it, in case pregnancy happens.

When pregnancy doesn't happen, the body sheds the lining and the shedding is a resting period before the lining starts to build again. In today's world, we are told to stay and be busy, even during menstruation. But TCM says that it is better for the body to be at complete rest during menstruation. Resting during the body's natural resting period makes perfect sense to me.

I want rest.

Complete rest.

With love,

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